Open ended

There is nothing that gives a garden a more polished and refined look than a nice edging around the flower beds. It serves the same purpose as a frame does as it defines the edges of a painting or picture, and draws attention to the beauty inside.

A good edge can be expensive. For many years, our little backyard oasis went without the finishing touch of border edging. When we began to formulate the idea of a patio over a barren patch of lawn, we started collecting flat stones for the project. As they were being slowly gathered from blasting sites, we began “temporarily” laying them along the edge of the curved flower beds in the backyard, awaiting the commencement of the patio project. Continue reading “Open ended”

Listening

If you are not a charming conversationalist you might still be a big hit as a charming listener. You can win more friends with your ears than you mouth. Did you notice that you can earn an entire degree in communication, yet not take a single class on listening? Apparently “Listening 101” is not considered a part of communication at a university, yet 50% of any communication transaction involves the part where someone listens.

Have you ever taken the time to think about what qualities make one a good, or a poor listener? A nod of the head, eye contact, a word of encouragement (“Go on, I’m listening”) would certainly help. In Jesus’ parable of the soils (Matthew 13:1-23), the verb to hear is used 15 times, and such figurative terms for hearing as “see,” and “perceive” are used 16 times. Continue reading “Listening”

Can we know truth?

Following a romantic break up, you might listen to what the young woman says to her friends … and what the young man says. You would be forgiven for wondering if they were talking about the same incident! When listening to varying political commentators in this presidential election season, you might be forgiven for wondering if they were talking about the same debate.

The fact is that truth is a very rare commodity indeed. Why is it so hard to know the truth? Continue reading “Can we know truth?”

Parents, listen to testimony before judging

When a prisoner stands before the judge, he defends himself through his attorney. Even if found guilty, he knows he presented his case for innocence.

In our legal system, we’re innocent until proven guilty. We cherish this freedom and we’d do all within our power to retain that civil right. Sadly, too many children lack this privilege in their own homes. Continue reading “Parents, listen to testimony before judging”