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Sunday Special: Incline Your Ear

Happy Palm Sunday, Sweethearts!

I just had a “listening at the speed of life” moment.

I was sitting on the couch and noticed my dog’s ears. They were turned outward while he was lying on his bed. I needed him to move so I wouldn’t step on him (he likes to move his bed close to my feet). I shifted my weight and one of his ears turned toward me. I whispered his name and he looked up.

Now, when Sammy and I lock eyes, I know he’s paying attention; however, when he hears my voice, his formerly-outward ears rotate toward me.

Pause. Take note of that for a second.

His eyes can be on me and I know he will hear my words, but the moment I call his name, the orientation of his ears always changes. He not only recognizes my voice, but he is waiting to hear from me. It doesn’t matter what is on television or what music I’m playing, he hears me over the noise.

The Holy Spirit used this as a teachable moment and I said a quick yet sincere prayer right then.

Lord, may I always incline my ear to You. Your voice supersedes every sound around me. I want to always be ready to hear your voice — whatever it is You have to say.

Here’s a verse to chew on that relates to this prayer – Isaiah 55:3: “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.”

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Courtesy of my YouVersion – Bible App

Here’s the next step. While out for our walk today, I heard more from the Holy Spirit. “He even inclines his ear when you shift.” It made me pause again. I shook my head and said, “Lord, please let me be so sensitive that I listen when you move.” Think of how much spiritual sensitivity and intimacy that takes… to change the orientation of your heart, mind, and body when God shifts his movement around you and in you. To turn your ear toward Him at a moment’s notice because You don’t want to miss what He has to say. That’s how I want to be. It’s how I am now, but I want it even more so.

I pray that your ears become inclined too. That during this season and beyond, you will hear the voice of God as clearly as you hear a parent’s voice. I pray that you recognize it clearly as the stillness of the world is commanded among us. Here’s a hint – His voice is usually not loud, but it is clear. Keep reading the Word and saying real prayers, Sweetheart. He is there and he is also listening out for you.

Peace & Thanks for listening to me. 🙂

 

No More Muddy Tracks

Sleeping dogs can't lie.

I have a dog… a puppy, actually.

For those who know me, your eyes probably just doubled in size. You may recall my life-long fright of four-legged canines of any size. What can I say? Things change and I truly believe he was meant to be my dog. I have seen more sunrises than I intended and heard more from God than I expected since Sammy’s paws stepped into my world. One of these lessons occurred on a cold and rainy day in Birmingham, Alabama.

There I was… praying that my dog would hurry up and relieve himself so I could dry my soles in the comfort of my heated home. It was the unforgiving wind coupled with rain that created an unholy matrimony for a bitter attitude to flourish. Sammy wasn’t a fan of the wind, but he enjoyed licking raindrops from the grass blades and slurping water from the mini-pools along the path. I felt myself getting frustrated.

“C’mon, Sammy… just use it already,” I muttered under my scarf. “Stay focused.”

He couldn’t care less about my rising flame of frustrated funk and was having the time of his life. The puppy pad was not an option; Being a chew toy was its demise. The doggie booties were returned to the store; I never got past one staying on without him taking it off. Apparently, being naked outside was his state of choice for the moment and I had better deal with it… mud, wind, rain, and all.

Finally, relief came and I was beyond elated to get inside. Oh, sweet victory! I wanted to rush us in, but I forgot the wipe towel and growled at myself. Sammy licked his paws in nonchalance, then proceeded inside.

“No! I do NOT want muddy tracks in my house! Let’s leave the outside, OUTSIDE!”

As soon as they left my lips, I heard the resonance of that string of words in my spirit… No muddy tracks.

I thought of how many times the past has tracked into our future. To scale down, how many times has a negative experience from your day – the “outside” – dribbled into your home as soon as you walked in it? You stepped in it earlier in the day. It’s stubborn and even satisfying to wallow in for a small length of time. When you walk inside, you realize it’s still there. It also takes more than water to remove it, but that’s for a different post. *wink* If we go a bit deeper, think of moments when a sour word, bad customer service experience, or a disagreement with someone disrupted the peace in which your soul was bathing.

It’s easy to allow the residue from situations of anger, sadness, mistrust, or resentment to transfer to the walls and floors of your inner sanctuary, and it can be quite difficult to remove it. Even temporary tattoos can linger around for a while.  That’s the where the peace of God steps in like a centurion (Philippians 4:7). It can see the danger of allowing unwanted visitors past the gate and the mud underneath their feet. While you’re focusing on the rain and the wind, peace stands guard to protect your heart and mind from receiving the muddy tracks those situations can leave on your soul.

Take a stand and be resolved. In light of it still being the first month, we have built a fire around resolutions and expectations to warm us throughout the new year. Let’s include the fortitude of throwing muddy tracks into that flame.

Peace & Thanks for listening.

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