Can You Hear Me Now?

Verizon

A few years ago, Verizon Wireless had a commercial where a man on a cellphone would walk a few steps and ask, “Can You Hear Me Now?” The commercial claimed that with a Verizon Wireless cellphone, you could get reception anywhere the guy in the commercial stood. The commercial asserted that there were no obstacles that would interfere with your hearing the other person, if you had a Verizon Wireless phone. With Verizon Wireless, whether you were in a valley, on a mountaintop, on a freeway in the middle of nowhere, you could still hear the person on the other side. We all know that is not entirely true. Also, that gentleman in the Verizon Wireless commercial, is now working for Sprint Wireless, claiming Sprint is superior to Verizon! Cellphones have their limitations, there are places where the reception is low. There are people with whom we cannot communicate because they do not own a cellphone, or they live in areas where cellphones do not work. Any form of communication could fail if there are obstacles in the way.

Effective communication is a two-way channel. The sender dispenses the message, the receiver must receive the message. Sometimes miscommunication happens when the sender sends the wrong message, wrong words, uses the wrong channel, sends the message at the wrong time. The receiver could miss the message if the receiver does not engage with the message. In James 1:19, we read, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” This verse encourages people to take time to listen to a message. Most people are born with the ability to hear. Listening is an art. You have to teach yourself to listen.

Look at the construction of the Chinese character for listening. It is called, “Ting.”

TING-for-blog

Ear = What you use to listen (hear). Hear, don’t let it go through when ear and out the other.

Undivided Attention = Pay attention as if the other person were king (obey). Respect. Time, value of words. Let them finish.

Ten = Maximum effort, as if you have ten ears. Critical thinking. What are they saying? What do they mean? What do I think about it?

 Eye = Be observant with your eyes (heed) (Look at me when I am talking with you). Minimizes distractions.

One = Listen with individual attention (attend to). Appointment. No other interruptions. Multi-tasking. Phones, TV, computer, other people.

Heart = Listen also with your heart (in addition to ear and eye) (hearken). Engage emotions. Read between the lines.

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The Red Cord of Salvation

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One of my favorite TV shows is called Shark Tank. On Shark Tank, ordinary people come to pitch their innovation ideas to a panel of multi-millionaire investors. In 2013, two young innovators pitched the idea of an internet video doorbell idea. The Ring Video Doorbell equips the owners with the ability to monitor their house front door. This offers security and peace of mind knowing wherever the homeowners are, they can see who visits their house. Often, robbers have walked up to a front door, noticed the Ring Doorbell, and they turnaround. They know they are on camera. They would not be breaking and entering into this home. Soon, robbers know not to mess with this house.

Red cord

In Joshua 2, we read of Rahab who saved the lives of the Israelite spies by letting them down through the window. She asked the spies to promise her they would protect her during the impending Israel attack on Jericho. The spies told Rahab to place a red cord out of her window. When the time of destruction comes, the red cord would be a sign to the Israelite soldiers to know not attack this house. The homeowner, Rahab, had the peace of mind knowing that her house would be spared. Her salvation came through the red cord.

Rahab_Passover

This reminds me of the 10th plague recorded in Exodus, right before Pharaoh let the Israelites go. After nine plagues, Pharaoh would not let the Israelites free. The 10th and final plague was about the death of all first-born people and animals. However, God promised he would not destroy the Israelites’ first-born children and animals if they had the blood of a lamb painted on the door posts of their houses. Exodus 12:23 says, “For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you.” The angel of death passed over the houses whose doorposts adorned the red blood of the lamb.

The Ring Doorbell camera sends the would-be robbers away, passing over the house because the owner is watching over the house. The red cord was a promise which reminded the soldiers to pass over Rahab’s house. The red blood of the lamb stood as a protection for the Israelite families, the angel of death had to pass over. We all need protection from physical and spiritual harm. We need protection from the enemy who seeks to destroy us. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

I Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

The red blood of Jesus on the doorposts of our hearts serves as a reminder to the devil that we belong to Jesus. We have the red blood of Jesus as a promise of God’s protection. The blood of Jesus protects us from spiritual attacks. Our salvation and safety are through the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. Do you have the covering of the blood of Jesus? Pray for protection. Pray for the blood of Jesus to cover you, your family, your work, everything you touch and do.

You Sing Over Me

One of my favorite songs by Stevie Wonder is called “Isn’t She Lovely?”

As you begin playing the song, your ears are warmly greeted by the sounds of a crying new-born baby. Stevie Wonder recorded this poignant, tender moment of the birth of his baby, Aisha. He rejoiced over the birth of his daughter by singing the song, “Isn’t She lovely?” Listening to this song, you hear the adoring, loving voice of a father smitten by the arrival of a new life. Stevie Wonder could not help but compose a song to express His utter amazement and unconditional love of little baby Aisha.

The Salvation Army Pasadena Tabernacle Songsters have been singing a new song written by Heather Sorenson called “You Sing Over Me.” The words of the chorus of the song go like this:

“Sing over me your songs of joy

Your songs of healing and salvation

Sing over me

Anthems of love crescendo above!

I’m the carol of your heart

I’m the theme of your song as I sing to You

You sing over me!”

In Zephaniah 3:17, we read, “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you but will rejoice over you with singing.” Did you catch that? The God of heavens and earth, the Creator of the universe rejoices over you with singing. God composes a personal song which heaven harmoniously sings over you. I imagine a parent holding their baby, singing a lullaby of joy over their baby. I imagine God holding you, singing a song of blessing over you. Imagine God singing words of affirmation and encouragement over you. God loves you deeply (John 3:16). God cares for you, and He thinks of you always (Psalm 139:17-18), He wants to rejoice over you with singing because you matter to Him. You are the apple of His eye, the theme of His song!

When you feel lonely, rejected, unloved, dirty, disappointed, frustrated – God cares for you. Do you hear the melodies of heaven playing over your situation? In reference to you, the song could be, “Isn’t he/she lovely?”

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