I’ve been doing a lot of listening. Counseling students before they leave for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Engaged in conversations with pastors who are struggling to adjust to this new season of life and ministry. Hearing stories from others who are battling life with epilepsy during this Epilepsy Awareness Month. Asking questions to writers who hope to put their stories into books. Writing down what a neurologist tells me in my latest appointment. Family dialogue. Planning future schedules for my jobs at Emmanuel College and Goldmine Church. Personal goals for 2022.

Listening. Much listening.

This week I heard myself introducing my top five U2 songs for XM Radio. This week I heard myself on a podcast interview. This week I heard myself on a video about my illness. But I need to hear from God—His love, His encouragement, His assurance, His guidance, His provision. Not just myself. My Creator. I need to hear Him.

Don’t you? Don’t you need to hear again and again that you are created in His image, that you are important, that He will never leave you or forsake you?

What do we need to do? How can we prepare?

Listening. Much listening.

Paying attention to the noises in my own mind. How are my own past stories influencing my present decisions? What can I do to learn better, live better, love better? Are you listening? What are you hearing? How are you responding?

Let’s hear more than news reports. Let’s hear more than negative mental repetition. Listen to a song which brings a smile. Listen to a story, a poem, a moment of silence. Listen to a noise which can redirect your mind from negative obsessions to positive thankfulness. And, if you struggle to shift mental channels, find a friend or counselor or pastor who will listen to you. Tell your story.

Speaking of listening to stories, please take time and listen to our Next Step Leadership podcasts as Tracy Reynolds and I talk about life, church, business, and relational leadership. Do not miss our interviews with Coach TJ Rosene, Bishop Doug Beacham, Nicole Unice, Pastor Tony Vismor, Dr. Ron White, Aaron Maxwell, Ron McCants, Graham Maxwell, and Jon Campbell. A new podcast comes out each Thursday morning.


Are you listening? What are you hearing? How are you responding?

Hear what you should hear. Silence what isn’t healthy to hear.

And listen. Continue a life of much listening.