Excerpt from Chapter Four of my New Book

This is an excerpt from Chapter four of my new book “Listen Carefully”:

Text of Chapter 1.4

“When Diligent Study doesn’t Satisfy”

Hearing God Book

My golf partner was late. And I was surly. The two go together.

This was in the days when cell phones were as long as your forearm, which was okay because only businessmen had them in their big cars, big enough to store such things. But it meant I couldn’t find out where he was and no one was home at his house. I hung closely to my car, for this neighborhood was tenuous at best.

It was full of very religious people.

I had visited there before and my buddy had pointed out many of the properties with their huge signs plastered with Scripture. Most of them went to the same church and many were related. I wanted to ask if any of the couples were first cousins with each other or perhaps closer relatives than that, but I kept my unsanctified comments to myself. This was a rural enclave in an ever-developing urban area and generally the neighborhood was peaceful and law-abiding. No one would think of mowing their lawns on a Sunday and wild parties on the weekend were only mentioned in prayer requests for people who lived closer to “town”.

In short, it was a religious, bible-loving ghetto.

The next door neighbor was a kingpin in the Bible sign mafia. He had a Bible Sign lab going in his garage and he churned out kilos of the material to be handed out for free to anyone who wanted his product. On his lawn he displayed his samples, hundreds of signs in bright neon shades, announcing various evangelistic and moralistic verses from the Bible. There must have been 200 of them at least. My first thought was “how do they mow their lawn?” At almost the exact moment I was thinking that, he came out of his shed with the lawn mower. Now I found myself gravitating over his way.

“How do you mow your lawn with all those signs” I started.

He looked me up and down as if assessing a junkie or a newbie (or a colossal idiot). “I pull them all out and stack them up before starting the mower”.

“Can I help?”

“Who are you?”

“I’m Glen’s golf partner” I proudly stated

“Golf!” he spat out. I had no idea what that meant, but it sounded like how he might describe Evolution or Woody Allen movies. There was no love lost between him and golf, so I went back to my original question. Continue reading “Excerpt from Chapter Four of my New Book”

Excerpt From Chapter Three of “Listen Carefully”

Later on this year, I hope to have my book published on hearing God more effectively. The working title of the book right now is “Listen Carefully” which is why I have called the blog that as well. From time to time, I will post excerpts from different chapters to get your feedback. Some of your feedback may even help me with the book itself. Even if you don’t comment, you will still get the first glimpses at it.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter Three which is titled “The Spirit Bears Witness”:

I have conducted this experiment with large groups and with individuals. I have tested people with this on buses, planes and park benches. I even have done it over the telephone with a 20-year old soldier in Iraq who was just coming off her shift. In the vast majority of cases, the result is not only the same, but afterwards produces the same result. This is not a secret therapy or a zen-like practice. It is actually just a question.

I ask the question if someone says they want to know God better. So I always ask “Do you want to know how God feels about you?” If they answer yes, I ask them to calm their heart and simply receive whatever God has to say as I ask the question: “God how do you feel about this person here?”

I don’t even have to poll the readers of the last paragraph, for the vast majority reading this will know what answer they come up with.

They hear God telling them “I love you.”

Psychology tries vainly to explain this universal thought pattern. Since most people suffer from poor self-esteem, their own thoughts would lead them to a much different conclusion. The world around them is a cruel, dog-munch-dog existence and therefore the daily grind won’t initiate that thought pattern. We all admit to a level of incredulity when it comes to how God must feel about us. After all, shame is endemic to the human condition for everyone except a few basketball players and comedians.

So how do you explain “I love you”?

William James might say that it is simply wishful thinking (though I doubt he would use the words “wishful” or “thinking”…most likely he would settle for “phenomenological experience of induced emotional potential”). But the certainty and frequency of “I love you” stands in direct opposition to that theory. There just aren’t that many wishful thinkers out there.

The Bible does give us an explanation I can live with. In Romans 8:16, Paul says, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirits that we are God’s children.” The word in Greek for “children” is a word which denotes a young child, beloved by the parents. This is not a designation of an heir or a short inhabitant of the house. This is a description of a child that suggests intimacy of relationship. The parent loves this child. And it is just that message that the Spirit of God bears witness with our spirits.