May

6

He Who Has Ears…

By pastorbillwalden

This post is from my friend, Pastor Bill Holdridge.

The Spock picture has nothing edifying to do with the article. I just wanted to be goofy.

Bill Has some great insights here.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I had something happen to me recently—an experience that has become an amazing tutor.

Let me tell you the story, if you will.

It all goes back a number of years, to the time when I began going to things like retreats and Pastor’s conferences as part of my calling and life as a believer. These are very interesting social encounters, and each one is different. One commonality, though, is the incredible experience of sleeping in a large cabin with other men. I’m talking very high decibel levels here; the kind that cause a light sleeper like me to lose an entire night’s worth of needed rest. I can wake up from a leaky dripping toilet or dripping faucet in another part of the house, so you know how light a sleeper I really am.

My solution has been to wear earplugs. It’s been a great preventive to sleep-robbing thieves of nocturnal roaring. I’m thankful for earplugs, believe you me.

So for years I’ve been on a search for the perfect earplugs. I’ve found some good ones, but I still look for the world’s finest. Recently, I went online as part of my ongoing quest. Bingo! I found not one, but two types that promised to be even better than any others I’ve ever used. So I ordered a starter set of each.

One set was a blue goo kind that the wearer warmed up by molding it with the fingers. Then it was to be placed in the ear canal, forming an air-tight seal. I not only read, but I even followed these directions to a “T.” The right ear went first. All was well. Then the left ear; but I couldn’t seem to get the same air-tight seal. So I pressed and shaped and pushed until I was satisfied. That night was a silent night—a holy night of wonderful slumber, Psalm 4:8 style. My problems began when I woke up the next morning.

First, I pulled out the blue goo from the right ear. Perfect. Now for ear #2. Not so perfect. It couldn’t get it all out! So I did the absolutely stupidest thing I could’ve done at that point; I used a Q-tip to try to pry it out. Not a good idea. What I actually succeeded in doing was to force the blue goo down into the recesses of the inner ear, pressed up against the ear drum. The result of all this stupidity was the loss of at least 50% of the hearing in my left ear. Mega-bummer.

I tried squirting it out in the shower. I tried ear wax removal kits. We tried using a water pick jammed down into the ear. Not only were these solutions painful, they also did nothing to fix it. Well… providentially, I needed to take my Dad to his doctor’s appointment later that week. His doctor (who is now my doctor) graciously looked into the matter and was able to get some of the matter out. There it was—the blue goo! But I was still left with maybe 20% hearing loss. I went weeks without any further “treatments,” until I finally gave up and became ready to shell out the bucks to pay for an ear, nose, and throat specialist. I knew they’d be able to help.

The procedure itself took less than two minutes. With his specialized equipment the doctor looked, and he saw; he mumbled, and then probed with a special grabbing instrument. He pulled gently, and immediately I could feel a suction feeling on my ear drum, then a release of air, and then heard sort of a slurreep sound. Victory! A ½ dime-sized piece of blue goo was now gone.

I could hear! No more “Huh, what did you say?” or turning up my iPod loud enough to get at least some sound in both sides. I was able to hear again! (Thank you, Lord!) I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated hearing as much as I did then—or do now.

Almost immediately the Lord began teaching me. These words of Jesus came into my mind:

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 13:9)

After that, more verses followed:

“Take heed what you hear.” (Mark 4:24a)

“Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.” (Luke 8:18)

These are three separate concepts.

* If I have ears to hear, I need to hear!

* I need to take heed to what I hear.

* I need to take heed how I hear.

All of these are my responsibility. The stakes are high if I should fail in my mission. If I fail, I’ll lose what hearing I now have. If I fail, God’s Word will have little if any effect upon my life. The spiritual DNA that’s in the Word of God will no longer have the ability to produces its results. Fruitfulness will depart from me, and I’ll become a lifeless shell. Hearing is huge.

In Jesus’ day, there were many who thought they heard but really didn’t. They needed to press much further and go much deeper. Theirs was a shallow faith which lacked understanding of the greatest of God’s truths. So I have to ask myself today: Am I really hearing what I’m hearing? Am I doing anything with what I’m reading in God’s Word, or hearing in that Bible study? Am I focused, bent on having the Word of God do its thing in me? Or am I lazy, just glad to have a good sermon to listen to, not at all engaged in the powerful truth it contains?

I also need to pay attention to what I hear. This can apply to the obvious… the music, radio or even television that I listen to. I’m not a legalist in such matters, but there are times when I know enough is enough. If I listen to too much of it my spirit becomes dull. Sports talk radio, political talk radio, etc… for me, “enough” comes pretty quickly. What I really need to hear is the voice of the Spirit. I need God’s truth, His Word. I need to fill my mind with it, and meditate upon it. I need to journal about its riches. I need to listen to that which builds me up. I need to focus upon words of grace and love, and avoid words of condemnation. I need to listen closely for the voice of our Shepherd, the One who has promised that His sheep hear His voice and follow Him (John 10:27).

I must also take heed how I hear. In my blue goo story, I was unable to restore my hearing myself. I needed a doctor. A specialist needed to be called in. The one with the specialized equipment could cure me. My own efforts proved futile. What this means for me and you is that we must hear God’s Word by the Spirit’s power. He is our Teacher. It also means that we must be careful to let the Word do its full work. The soil of our hearts— as in the parable of the sower—must be ready. It must be dug deep enough, and it must be free of weeds. Consider:

“But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. [14] Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.” (Luke 8:13-14)

Hearing is a great gift. We are blessed and privileged as followers of the Master to actually hear His voice. The Word of the Eternal God comes into our minds, hearts, and spirits.

We can’t let anything plug up this hearing that the Lord has given us. We can’t let the blue goo of insincerity, shallow thinking, preoccupation with unnecessary outside interests, or worries keep us back. If we do, the Lord doesn’t have much more to say to us until we become unplugged (Hebrews 5:9-14).

Thanks for reading.

In Christ,
Bill Holdridge

For more of Bill Holdridge’s writings , go to: http://www.billholdridge.com/Home.html

28 Responses so far

“Am I really hearing what I’m hearing? Am I doing anything with what I’m reading in God’s Word, or hearing in that Bible study? Am I focused, bent on having the Word of God do its thing in me?”

Bill; excellent post. I pastor in “easy believism central” (Midwest US, the “Bible Belt”). All too often there is no hearing, just a going through the motions. Spiritual revival is needed in the church in the heart of the Bible Belt. Sad, but true.

I enjoyed what the Lord taught you. Thanks for sharing.

pastorbill: I loved the ears (were you aware that when you wear them you look like Spock?).

I have to be careful as well, I have a tendency to watch way to much Fox News I have to learn to say enough is enough especially with the election stuff. If I listen to christian radio as much as I listen to Fox how much better off I would be.

Pastor Bill

BTW When I was younger I was in love with Mr Spock …… I was a true trekie

Okie, Maryb,
Blessings. Live long and prosper. 🙂

There’s supposed to be a new Star Trek movie coming out next year. New Spock with new ears. 🙂

James

The new movies are never as good as the orginals IMO. There will never be a spock like Lenord Nemoy however you spell it.

I totally agree, MaryB! I don’t know why “they” think “they” can improve on the old classics.

And, you are so right! Nemoy’s Spock isn’t a do-over ……. he’s a one and only!

Hi Pastor Bill;

I love the creative, colored pictures you added to the names… they look like colored snow flakes and remind me of how the sun reflects through a prism, revealing a variety of brilliant colors.

It makes me think of God’s creation and now each of us are like individually colored, carefully crafted snowflakes in God’s hand… we all are uniquely different from each other and very beautiful by His design.

Have a great day enjoying this beautiful sunshine!
Helen

Helen
You have sunshine up there NO FAIR 🙂
We have gray skies and drizzle here in Orange County today. 🙁

Hi Helen,

Thanks for the compliment regarding the colorful designs for th gravatars, but it isn’t my doing.

I guess WordPress is adding them on their own. It is a nice touch though.

For all the Trekkie fans….It will be very difficult to ever create a cast that had the same interpersonal dynamics of the original crew. All, of course, IMHO.

I must confess to being a 1st generation fan, and also enjoyed the subsequent Star Trek movies with the original cast. They will be hard to replace.

I just read a write up and the actual original Spock will be in this movie. It’s supposed to be in the timeframe of Kirk’s earlier years. I don’t think there will be any ‘triffiles’ in this movie either. 😉 I’m such a nerd…May the Farce be with you.

well you know the trouble with triffiles…

ok I will admit, I am dense what is triffiles 🙁

O.K. folks…time for some Star Trek trivia to get set straight.

The little animals were called tribbles, not triffles.

For more information on them, go to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribble_(Star_Trek)

Pastor Bill;
You and my son, John would have so much in common, he’s also a first generation Star Trek fan and actually, still is….

Hi MaryB;
Good news for you, it will be in the high 60’s, though partly cloudly through Sat. ~ but on Sunday it will be in the 70’s with full sun…. enjoy!
Blessings to you,
Helen

Okay, Pastor Bill;
I had to look it up… and have to take back what I said about my son being a fan of the original series, because according these facts, he wasn’t born yet…

“The Trouble With Tribbles” is a second-season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, first broadcast on December 29, 1967 and repeated June 21, 1968. It is episode #44, production #42, and was written by David Gerrold, and directed by Joseph Pevney.

Overview: The Federation and the Klingons have aspirations to develop a nearby planet; Kirk has to deal with the Klingons on one side, the high strung Federation’s Undersecretary for Agriculture on the other, and in the middle is a trader who has introduced very cuddly, and very prolific, little creatures. (Tribbles)

Helen

That good thanks for the weather update, I don’t like real hot but I don’t like gloomy either. Have a good night .

Amazing how visual we have all become – spock became the topic.. I guess everyone just agreed with Bill H. – so there was not much to say…. 🙂

BMR, ha-ha That’s funny! Hi there! Is a “Welcome Home” in order?

Sure have missed you two. You both would have been so blessed (You can still be blessed ’cause I’m telling you now), at our last home fellowship, because we seemed to land ourselves into a rather lengthy time of prayer and the discussions were so intimate and full of praise and thanksgiving in spite of a few who also had some heavy burdens to bear.

It was a lovely time and I thought of you and Mona, wishing you could have been there with us. I think the last group didn’t leave until almost 11pm. ha-ha and as always, mom had some “good eats”!

Looking forward to the next one.

You all know entirely too much about Star Trek.

If I remember correctly, this thread is about ears and having the ability to hear with them.

There are many things that prevent us from hearing; an unwillingness, pride, failure to listen, pride, refusal to listen, pride, being too busy, pride, a hard heart…did I mention pride?

Often times we are just too proud to listen to what we NEED to hear. The good counsel of a friend, the criticism of an enemy; both can be of enormous benefit, if we are just willing to listen.

Often, you enemy can be your best adviser; sure he usually embellishes the situation, but often their is that grain of truth in what he is saying that we do well to consider.

Someone once said: “If it’s false, turn from it; if it’s true, learn from it.” Good advise, me thinks…

Okie,
You nailed it: PRIDE. Pride keeps us from hearing from God.

God is faithful to His children, and He can and will speak louder than our pride.

BTW folks…
This post got 403 visits yesterday. That is almost twice the daily average, and probably about 5th or 6th highest of all that I have posted.

I think folks are googling Star Trek, and they are finding us. Interesting form of evangelism, huh?

To all Trekkies: Welcome. Stick around and follow some of the conversations.

One of the Christian themes definitely is: “The needs of the many outweighed the needs of The One”, and so He came to Earth, put on flesh, and died on a cross to pay for our wrongdoing, so that we might be free to be who and what God created us to be.

Welcome, and blessings…

“So for years I’ve been on a search for the perfect earplugs. I’ve found some good ones, but I still look for the world’s finest. ”

All he really had to do what go to someone who makes ear molds for hearing aids. They can make custom fitted ear plugs for you. That’s what I did. But then he wouldn’t have had such a powerful lesson to share would he?

Blessings,
Jackie

LTW,

Yes we are back, Thanks… We had a wonderful time with our son, and his wife. We could have floated home, but the jet was probably faster… Michigan is a great state, well now that spring has arrived….

Saturday night we take off again for a mothers day excursion to LA, so Mrs. BMR can be with her mother. 🙂

Blessings,
BMR

Bill: You are crazy like a fox. Excellent evangelism tool indeed.

OK, I know the purpose of this post was not to promote earplugs, but I just have to say that HearO’s are simply the best. They’re soft and squishy, and fit well in small ears, and best of all…no goo! They have saved my sleep at retreats, on planes, and especially sleeping next to the snorer that I love.

And ya know…being a Trekie I can tell you that a Spock pic works anywhere, anytime.

blessings

Mary,

🙂

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