One of my great joys is listening to my daughter wake and greet the day. I hear her laughter, even her smiling. She talks and sings as she explores the potential that lies ahead of her…as she waits to see who will walk through the door of her room, to help her begin her day. Perhaps she is telling the world about the dreams she dreamed or the hopes she hopes.

Proclaiming in babble tongue and baby song this unintelligible, but obviously good, news to her world.

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Oh God, we seek you and we cannot wait to find you.
Our souls are thirsty for you; our legs grow weak with waiting and wandering.
But we have glimpsed your holiness in holy places, we have witnessed your power and your glory.
The truth is that your steady love is better than life, so we must speak up.
With our mouths, with our minds and our whole selves, we seek the rest and proclaim the peace found only in you.
We are satisfied–more than satisfied–in you!
Our thoughts revolve around you. You are our center, the rhythm of our beating hearts, no matter the time or place!
You, O God, have been our help, our protection and our safe place.
In finding you, we are reminded how desperately we seek you.
In being filled, we recall how hungry we are.
We can only bear the waiting because you are our strength and our light!
Lord Jesus, be the strength and light of the world.
Lord Jesus, bring justice, peace and mercy in your coming.
Lord Jesus, bring life from death and make all things new once again.
I have written previously on the Good Shepherd’s voice and the first words the Shepherd speaks: You Are Valuable. Today’s post is the second in a series of reflections on John 10:1-16.

If you have breath in your lungs or a smile on your face…

If you have the ability to walk or to sit upright…

If you can hold a hand or make a phone call…

Or even just listen…

You. Are. Able.

imagePhoto Credit: “Old Man” by rubybgold (Creative Commons)

You may not feel able, but you are.

Life might be rough and tough. You probably go through days, months and seasons of life when you feel anything but able. Others might look at you and wonder if you are up to the challenge.

Or look right past you, never realizing the challenges you face.

I’ve been there. Have you?

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I have written previously on the Good Shepherd’s voice. Today’s post is the first in a series of reflections on John 10:1-16.

Every member of the flock matters. Each of you and all of you matter. Every one of you!

It’s that simple. And it’s that important.

You know that story about a shepherd who left 99% of his flock to go and find a single lost sheep? (Luke 15:3-7, Matthew 18:12-14)

imagePhoto Credit: “Lost Sheep” by simonella_virus (Creative Commons)

Or the one about a person who sold all that he had in order to buy a field where he found a priceless treasure? (Matthew 13:44)

Or the one about a traveler who saved the life of a beaten, helpless stranger on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem? (Luke 10:30-37)

Or the one about a father who runs out to meet the son who left with disrespect and returned in disgrace, clothing him in love? (Luke 15:11-32)

Or the one about…?

That’s not just rhetoric. It’s the beating heart of God on display.

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“Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” (Luke 8:8)

With these words of Christ, Scripture calls us to a kind of spiritual listening that requires more than just having ears. Our ears aren’t meant just for decoration. This kind of spiritual listening is an active discipline, an active practice.

imagePhoto Credit: “My Listening Ears” by niclindh (Creative Commons)

We hear. We listen. God speaks.

And as we listen, we learn to recognize the voice of God.

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