A Heart of Stone

Last night, I watched a man of God walk boldly into the streets of Portland, Oregon to evangelize and preach the gospel to a crowd at the Black Live Movement protest. He was sharing the word of God and preaching the message of love.

I watched with anxiety and great sadness on how the people rejected the gospel with such disrespect, anger, rage and disregard. They rejected, scoffed, and mocked him as he continued to preach the gospel.

The people blocked him from going any further into the crowd and told him to leave the area. I actually feared for his safety. As I reflected on what I witnessed through an online video, I’m reminded of how much Jesus had to endure as he walked through crowds of people who rejected his message as he traveled, preached and healed in the midst of persecution.

Unfortunately, not much has changed since then. Since we live in a fallen world, it’s too be expected, but it’s still very upsetting to see others reject a pure, genuine love. It’s an unconditional, agape love that the world is desperately searching so hard to find in people, places or things. I also realize how many people really don’t understand what love really is.

Love is a word thrown around very loosely in society, which has no substance, foundation or value. The world, in general, is void of love. 

Plain and simple, the devil is the master of confusion and the lawlessness experienced in this country is a reflection of the culture which honors and validates acts of disobedience, sin, pride and arrogance.

The world seems to be spinning out of control and erupts in chaos but God is still in control despite how we may think or feel at the present moment.

Sadly enough, society mirrors the disorder, injustice, pain, abuse and hatred that is not a stranger to the history of America.

If you look at a stone, it is unmovable and nothing can penetrate it. Depending on the size, it may be very heavy, but whether it’s a pebble, rock, stone or mountain, it’s made of the same substance. Nothing can pierce it.

After years of pain, anguish, frustration, anger and bitterness, a heart becomes hardened from life experiences, poor choices and decisions and bad situations or circumstances. Things may have happened unwillingly in your life which is not your fault but you’ve suffered the consequences, behaviors or decisions of someone else’s actions. Life is a painful journey and none of us escape life without heartache and pain. The only one who can heal the deep wounds, sickness or disease is Jesus Christ.

Ezk 36:26

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

The Only Answer is Love

Every problem we are facing today relates to love. It’s the dominant force in life and without it humanity cannot survive.

The Lord values family and marriage. There’s a domino effect that starts in the home. The breakdown of the family has disrupted society, our communities and our nation. Whether your home is dysfunctional or operates under oppression, generational curses, domestic violence, teaches racism and bigotry in your household or have a lack of positive role models in your family, it allows children to run astray without discipline or guidance.

Prov 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

The severe neglect or abandonment of a child leads them down a road of mental, emotional or psychological anguish. As young adults, they fall prey into the world and tend to gravitate towards gang membership, crime, cults, corrupt organizations and abusive relationships. They search for anything to fill the void. Alcohol and drugs mask the pain but does not cure the original offense they faced as a child or along the path of adulthood.

The cycle continues as an adult but the devil is a liar. You can break the cycle of abuse, addiction, or rejection. You are not an outcast. You are not a failure. You are worthy. You are treasured. You are valued. You are loved.

The world is starving for love but doesn’t know or understand what love truly is, what it means or if it truly exists. The world has a perverted or distorted view or perspective on the meaning of love.

I Corth 6:19

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

It’s so disheartening to personally experience the love of God and then to witness so many people disregard or reject the truth of the gospel. The only one who saves you from the pain, discouragement, depression, anger or bitterness that you are trying to escape is Jesus. While others thrive in evil thoughts, bondages, and deeds of wickedness. The Lord is gracious and merciful to all those who desire a change of heart and mind.

What Does Love Look Like?

When you have love for yourself and others, you will not mistreat yourself or dishonor others. You will have self-control and walk with the fruits of the spirit.  You will have a desire to please God at all times. You will have integrity, morals and values that represent a Christ-like character. Even when you’re in private, you will have a desire to please the Lord while understanding that your priority is to honor the Lord regardless of your environment or surroundings. You will not be intimidated or influenced by others views or opinions. You will be truly set free from mental chains, bondage’s and worldly mindsets. This can only be accomplished through a heart transformation by the Holy Spirit. No prophet, preacher or teacher has the power to change your heart.

Acts 4:12

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

You must come to terms with your sins and have an honest desire in your heart to open your heart to receive Christ.

Your ego, arrogance, lust of the flesh, pride, and rebellion will continue to lock you out of a relationship with the Lord but Jesus does not discriminate.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matt 7:7-8

Rev 3:20

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

A Nation Divided Will Not Stand

When our society can no longer appreciate and value diversity of races, ethnicity and cultures as well as the opinions, beliefs and values other than our own, we will continue to bandage the lacerations of a culture that magnifies and gratifies sin, arrogance, and injustice.

When we can no longer communicate, listen or understand each other, we will thrive on distasteful behaviors, mentalities and attitudes influenced by the world system that is embedded in our music, entertainment, work culture and social norms.

When everyone has their own agenda and fighting for their own dominance and voices to be heard, we will continue to struggle with greed, power, wealth and fame for our own selfish motives and purposes.

It’s all rooted in fear. The only voice that stands is the voice of Jesus which is the foundation of love, peace and compassion.

When you know better, you do better. Every voice is screaming right now but be watchful and consider your ways and actions. Is it a reflection of love, joy, peace and compassion? We must be able to respect each other’s opinions without judgement, anger, animosity or disrespect.

Get out of your comfort zone. Lend an ear to people who don’t sound like you do. Share your story. Release your fears and negative emotions. Embrace courage and strength and mostly, focus on spreading love and compassion in a hurting, dark world.

Bible References:

Scriptures on Love

I Corth 13

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Scriptures on Salvation

John 14:6

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 10:10

Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, but God came to give you a life more abundantly.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Scriptures on Communication

Col 4:6

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Luke 19:40

40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

Scriptures on Servanthood

Rom 6:18

18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

1 Corth 7:22

22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.

Matt 5:10

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Thirsting for You

Bible on Pulpit
Start by picking up the Bible and ask Him to give you the wisdom to understand
the words on the page.

In the last days, there will be more confusion, chaos, deception, distraction, and corruption in the world because Satan knows his time is up.

The only thing left to be able to stand on will be the Bible to light our path. In fact, it should not be the last resort but the first thing we run towards for safety, protection, and security.

The Bible is our daily manual for life. It is the living word that sustains us. We simply cannot navigate through life without a spiritual compass. We need guidance and reassurance that there is one higher and greater that is leading, providing, and protecting us. Sure, many will believe that they are the product of their own success or failure. However, it’s the Lord’s will for your life that ultimately guides your path.

Holy Water of the Spirit
Water is of the Spirit and is the sustainer of life.

Just like water can be transformed into ice, steam, or liquid so can the one and only living God whose spiritual nature consists of the Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit (Ghost).

It is within the divine plan of God that lights our path, however, He gives us the option to choose whether to believe and follow Him. Every man or woman must pick up their cross daily and follow him freely. (Mark 10:21) No man can come to the Father but through Jesus Christ. (John 3:5)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth Him shall not perish have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

You cannot mix half-truth with the whole truth. You simply cannot water down the truth.

As the birth pangs continue to increase and grow and the sorrow, pain, heartache, and destruction magnifies, your soul will continue to cry out for truth, protection, hope, and security.

You may already be searching for truth and clinging to hope. The only true hope comes from the encouragement of the Word of God who is the Creator of Heaven and earth, the only true God who created and designed you in the womb. He knows everything you’ve been through and exactly what you’re going through right at this present moment in time.

God loves you and desires for you to have a relationship with Him. You may even have a relationship with Him but He desires a deeper intimacy with you. God is a jealous God. He requires your full attention. He does not want to compete with Facebook, Instagram, text messages, corporate meetings, or the latest sports event.

If you put God first in your life and make Him priority daily, He will not disappoint. The raw truth is in the scriptures. It is healing for the spirit. Start by picking up the Bible and ask Him to give you the wisdom to understand the words on the page.

The Bible is life to the bones so it cannot be read like a novel or a textbook but by meditating on small chunks of scriptures at a time. It’s like eating a really delicious meal slowly so you can enjoy each bite and savor the flavor and by allowing it time to digest.

Life is a process as well as growing with Christ. The Spirit of God will guide and teach you along the way but you must remain open to His calling. He has a divine plan for your life. You also can’t escape a life without struggle, pain, discomfort, rejection, and opposition. Jesus’s had the same types of challenges also.

In fact, those were the same exact issues Jesus faced in life and on the cross where he sacrificed His life for our sins. He paid the penalty for our sins. We no longer carry the same burden of sin on our backs. This is the good news of Christ. He arose from the grave and Jesus is alive!

As you draw closer to the Lord, your Spirit will also come alive. Your old man (old nature) will pass away and you will become a new creature in Christ. You will begin to desire what pleases the Lord. (2 Corinth 5:17)

Temptation will always lurk at your doorstep but the Lord can and will give you the strength to supersede the devil’s request. It’s a matter of will.

With the Lord’s power, you can fight and win! So, be not entangled with false doctrines or false prophets and mixed truths which equal untruths and no truth.

Dinner Table

The one thing you hunger and thirst for is the God of the Most High. You may satisfy yourself by striving for status, fame, material objects, success, and money, however, all those things are temporary and fickle. They’re not stable nor secure.

You will continue to search and strive for something that quenches but never fully satisfies. As soon as you gain, you desire more and more leading to an unfulfilled life. 

Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink, He who believes in Me, as the Scriptures has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive. John 7:37-39

When you fail, you grow deeper into despair, anxiety, and frustration. It’s a cycle of emptiness. It’s a process where you grow weary, tired, and discouraged and it eventually leads to depression and hopelessness.

There is another way to this thing called life. Will you continue to be parched and dry or will you begin to drink from the well of everlasting life?


Related Scriptures:

Luke 24:45

45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures

Isaiah 41:17-18

17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.

18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

2 Tim 1:9

Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began

Romans 3:4

Let God be true, but every man a liar.

John 3:3-7

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

John 4:7-15

There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.

(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)

Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

John 4:23-24

23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Luke 10:21-28

21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:

24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.

28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

Fear Not

13461188553_e88720831f

 

The definition of fear:  (noun):  An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat.

(verb):  Be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening.

synonyms: terrorfright, fearfulness, horroralarmpanicagitation, trepidation,dreadconsternationdismaydistress; More

 There are two little words in the Bible that Jesus often reminded his disciples throughout their ministry. It was also embedded in Jesus’s ministry and teachings. “Fear Not,” a statement that is opposite of such a strong emotion that is often hard to control when it strikes and grips your mind and consumes you.

There is a lot of fear going around:  You may fear of a natural disaster, economic collapse, and terrorist attacks. Fear can block your actions. It intimidates. It paralyzes. It stifles. It can stop you from moving forward or taking the next step. It may become a prison in meeting different people than they are accustom to.  There is a fear of success or failure. You can have a fear of the future or fear of dying. You may even have a fear of public speaking or afraid of snakes or spiders.

Fear is disguised in many forms. Fear is a spirit from the enemy. It is ugly but has no power once you confront it. However, it will grow if you do not take control over it.

With so much going on today, it’s hard to ignore that the world is living in fear. The world is in chaos. It is out of control. It’s hard to speak to fear when there is a real presence of harm that threatens lives on so many levels.

On whatever form it may appear in your life, you have authority over fear. Many people are not aware of how to regain control over their feelings and experiences. I cannot promise you instant results, but you can subdue constant fear, anxiety, and worry and replace it with faith, peace, and love.

I’m no expert, but can only share my own experience with how I handle fear. First, you must acknowledge what you’re afraid of. Be specific. Write down every possible thing that could happen that you are fearing. “F-E-A-R” is False Evidence Appearing Real so once you acknowledge why you are afraid and picture the worst-case scenario, you have acknowledged the fear. Confronting fear is liberating and it is the best way to overcome it.

Reading the Bible scriptures is a powerful way to overcome any type of fear you struggle with. Meditate on scriptures related to fear and research stories where people in the Bible faced various obstacles and challenges and focus on how they overcame their plight.

Having a strong relationship with the Lord in prayer and communication is one of the best ways to overcome fear. Seeking His guidance and wisdom in circumstances that are beyond our control will ease our minds.

When you understand and know the character of God, you know that He loves you. You are aware of His promises. You can rest knowing that He is protecting and watching over you.  Psalm 91.

There is an assurance that even though you can’t figure everything out at the time, you know that the Lord is working behind the scenes. While He is working, you need to be in preparation for whatever instruction He provides and follow through without hesitation. Many times we may second guess ourselves which is only having doubt and unbelief. This may steer us off our path or delay the progress due to our actions.

At times, our environment has influence over our specific circumstances or enhancing a fearful mindset as a whole. Unfortunately, we cannot control other people, weather conditions, or other devastating elements that affect our lives, but we have the ability to walk in peace or comfort others who are struggling with fear and anxiety due to loss, grief, and difficult circumstances. We must seek opportunities to comfort one another.

In every season, there is constant change. Being flexible to change is challenging. Obviously, fear plays a big part in unknown present realities, anticipated futures and dangerous environments that the Lord may place around us, but we should rest knowing that whatever state we find ourselves in, we should be content in every circumstance and decision we face and walk in faith knowing that God will protect and rescue us in due season. You can adapt to rapid changes with faith, not fear.

God is not a God of chaos and mass confusion. The world may feel like it’s spiraling out of control, but God is in control. He has a purpose and plan for each of us.  Instead of looking to the world for solutions, we need to seek Him for direction.

Just put your trust in Him. He will lead you beside the still waters. As we enter 2016, seek Him with your whole heart and leave the fear behind.

Peace be unto you.

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” Romans 8:22

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURES:

Matt 8-24-26

Psalm 23:4

Psalm 27:1

Psalm 112:7-8

Prov 29:25

Isaiah 41:10

Isaiah 54:14

Luke 12:32

2 Tim 1:7

Heb 13:5-6

I Pet 3:14

I John4:18

 

Lost and Found

176445820_a379de3078_m

 Many years ago, I went shopping with a close friend with her two-year old child. As we      casually picked out outfits, we watched her daughter dash between the racks of clothing  playing peep- a- boo. When we decided what to purchase, we got in line.

However, we could  not locate her daughter. She was suddenly missing when we called her name. We frantically  rushed through the store asking people if they had seen a small child describing her in  extreme detail. With alarm, no one had seen her. They sent out an announcement over the  intercom as we raced through the aisles searching for the child.

In a panic, my friend headed towards the courtyard inside the mall where she passed the security desk where she found her child sitting on top of the desk with a security officer gently holding her. It was the most rewarding and gratifying moment ending in a sigh of relief.

It definitely does not feel good to get lost. I can remember several times being lost when I was driving to a new location. As I desperately searched to find the right direction, I usually became extremely panicked to make it to my destination. Then, finally I would find my way which provided me with comfort. Of course, this experience was long before cell phones and GPS systems!

When you’re lost spiritually, you may not even be aware. There is no warning or immediate danger involved. You may travel through life freely taking no precautions or direction in life.

You don’t have any fear about salvation or eternal life. Possibly, you may simply be at a crossroad in the midst of confusion about what you believe. No matter what road you travel, the Lord’s grace and mercy will find exactly where you are if your heart is open to receive His love. God’s love is profound.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus) that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world: but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-1

This is the foundation and the basic substance of truth found in the Word of God. Once you start to follow your spiritual GPS (God’s Power Saves) which is directed by the Holy Spirit, you will find comfort and security.

You will find out the empty, lonely place where you are constantly searching to fill a void in your life does not sustain peace or satisfaction.

When you begin to fill the space with such things as alcohol, drugs, sex, money, power, material things and other feel-good possessions and remedies, you begin to realize that it only last for a moment before you begin to search and search and search for something else that satisfies and fills the void. Eventually, you find out that you spent a lifetime seeking something that does not exist or that you cannot find.

When you put your faith in Jesus, you begin to receive a wholeness that does not compare to worldly expectations. Seeking a relationship with Jesus consists of daily prayer (simply communicating or having a conversation with Him), worship and praise, reading the Gospel and surrounding yourself with other believers and finding a Bible-based church. You will begin to transform yourself and your life. However, it’s a gradual process and it’s not done in your own power. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.” Zech 4:6

The growth process is never-ending with no destination in sight. It is an exciting journey with lots of surprises along the way. Living a Christian life, is by no means easy. You will still face obstacles, challenges and problems, but you will not have to carry the burdens and pressures of life on your shoulders.

When you walk by faith, you are “Trusting the evidence of things hoped for but the evidence of things unseen.” Heb 11:1 and Romans 8:24

This is the same faith you will use when you acknowledge Jesus as your Lord and Savior who has died and resurrected for your sins. You must come to Him by faith.

What makes the relationship so special? Each person will never have the same exact experience. You are a designed original and the Lord desires to have an intimate relationship with you because He created you for His pleasure. It’s just like the lost child who wandered through the mall.

Our Father welcomes you into His loving arms when He finds one of His lost children and desires to build a relationship that will be everlasting. How can you miss out on that opportunity?

Reference:

“And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another comforter: that He may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it sees Him not, neither knows Him: but ye know Him: for He dwells with you, and shall be with you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” John 14:16-18

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? Luke 15:4

“But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” 2 Corth 4:3

Walking in the Light

The word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

I went to the library and decided to walk since it was about 65 degrees. It was a gorgeous day, especially after dealing with the biggest snowstorm of the year about a week ago!

On my way back, I was wondering about my direction in life. I know what I want to do, but I just don’t know how to get there. We all know that we need to enjoy the journey and not the destination, but sometimes to be honest, I desire a shortcut pass the struggles, disappointments and challenges of life.

The world has taken a strange turn in the past few years. I have been through many transitions, but I’ve been at a level of peace that I can’t comprehend. 

I believe in unexpected opportunities in the midst of a crisis. I might be a little more optimistic than the majority and it serves favorable. It also helps me overlook the panic and despair that others may feel and experience at this time.

While I was walking, I happened to look down and saw a business card on the ground. I picked it up and noticed  that it was from a church ministry.

On the back was printed, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in the darkness.” I stopped in my tracks in astonishment. I also reflected on the verse I read this morning in Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he.

Some may believe it was a coincidence. I believe God speaks in gentle whispers to get our attention.