In his classic book, The Friendship Factor, Alan Loy McGinnis gives the following characteristics of a good listener:

1.  Good listeners listen with their eyes.

2.  Good listeners dispense advice sparingly.

3.  Good listeners never break a confidence.

4.  Good listeners “complete the loop” of communication.

5.  Good listeners show gratitude when someone confides.

That certainly works in your relationships with people. But it’s also an opportunity to remind you that the God of Heaven invites us into a friendship with Him.  In some ways, the things Dr. McGinnis has to say about listening well to other people can translate into listening to the Lord.  Based on his wise advice, let me offer a few suggestions for being a good listener in the spiritual realm: [click to continue…]

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Soul to Soul

by Andy Wood on February 5, 2014

in 100 Words, Insight, Life Currency, Words


“In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language.”  -Mark Twain

 In communication, clarity rules.

But logic is only one way people make sense of things. [click to continue…]

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Make a list of the most important qualities needed for effective leadership, and let me hazard a guess as to what won’t be on it:  Conversation. 

Oh, I’m sure you’ll mention communication, but in most people’s imagination, this refers to the ability to move a crowd with speeches, lead a meeting with clarity, and/or write powerfully.  And let me hasten to say, I’m for all three of those.

In each of these, a position holder is talking to people in other positions.  And that has its place.  But the best leaders have a secret weapon that “primes the pump” of their influence:  they know how to engage their constituents in ongoing, life-shaping, direction-setting conversations. 

They disarm by listening differently. 

They empower by asking questions out of sincere curiosity. 

They enflame the imagination by telling stories – theirs or somebody else’s. 

They forge “joint ventures of the heart” by demonstrating understanding and an ability to be influenced themselves. 

And they mobilize by sharing their vision interpersonally, with passion.

And all of this can be done in a few minutes at a time, standing at the water cooler, waiting for the “real” meeting to start, or riding on a bus to the company picnic. [click to continue…]

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Casting netsHow do you learn best?  Mark Meadows used to amaze me in third grade.  He’d just sit there.  Never write.  Never raise his hand to answer a question.  Just sit and listen.  And make “A’s.”

Cameron Walker?  Never stopped moving.

Me?  I don’t think I ever stopped running my mouth.  (Hey!  I heard that!)

We all learned.  We just did it in different ways.

The same is true of people in the Bible.  Guys like Paul could go off into the desert for three years and think about stuff.  Analyze things.  With the Holy Spirit’s help, rehash everything he’d ever believed (incorrectly) about the Law.

Our buddy Peter was different.  From the day He met Peter, Jesus began transforming him from a “man of fish” to a man of God.  Like Moses before him, Peter learned with pictures and visual objects.  Things like coins and nets and fish and swords.  I’d like to show you a few objects Jesus used to teach Peter to hear God’s voice.  I think you can learn, too.  Even if you learn best by talking or sitting there listening, I’ll bet you can pick up a few important lessons from Peter’s experience.

[click to continue…]

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