"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
June 24, 2015
There are times when what someone actually says and what we think they say are two very different things. What we hear may have a completely different meaning from what was spoken; and if we don't make sure we heard it right, may cause us to get our feelings hurt or upset with someone for no reason. We can become offended at someone because of something we thought was said, when in truth, just one little word or phrase that was misspoken or we misheard can make a world of difference in the meaning.
This is a humorous example of mishearing someone. Recently, I was babysitting my nephew's two children, Abigail (age 7) and Owen (almost 3). Owen had fallen asleep and I had put him to bed by 7:45 that evening. Abigail was keeping me entertained by talking and telling me all kinds of stories. She can talk non-stop, and go from one subject to the next without stopping to think about it.
In the middle of her talking, I thought she said, "My mama said she thinks that you're chubby!" Now, in truth, I know that I'm more than chubby; but, I really didn't think that Shelby would say that to someone. So I repeated it back to Abigail, "Your mama said she thinks that I'm chubby?" Abigail said, "Yeah, she said that," and kept on talking. I again said, "Your mama said that she thinks that I am chubby?!" Abigail stopped what she was saying and backtracked and said, "NO! My mama said that she thinks that SHE is chubby!" Then she proceeded to tell me the story of what was going on and why her mama said she thought she was chubby. I told Abigail that her mama was far from being chubby! Abigail said, "Well, that's what she said that she thinks!"
Now, had I not questioned Abigail, I could have left their house thinking that Shelby had been talking behind my back about how chubby I was. Human nature being what it is, in my mind the story probably would have grown over time, and I could have ended up being offended at Shelby for something her 7-year old daughter told me, that I misheard. Don't misunderstand this example: I know Abigail, which is why I clarified what I thought she had said! I was not upset with Shelby, nor did I think she had been talking about me behind my back, and I did not take this seriously; in fact, I thought it was funny.
There have been occasions when I've been around someone who has been offended and have their feelings hurt over something someone supposedly said. I've sometimes wondered if what they are upset over happened as they think, or if it is something that in all actuality was never said quite as they heard or were told.
There have been times when Jon or I have been talking and one of us said something, and the other person heard it just enough differently to change the entire meaning of what was spoken. If we're not careful, the one listening will get their shorts tied in a knot, so to speak, because of what they think the other person said.
When we think someone has said something that offends or upset us, we need to stop and think about it. If we know the person well, is that something that they really would say? Would they intentionally say something negative about us or a family member, knowing that it would hurt feelings? Yes, there are times when people say hurtful things. But sometimes what is said can be taken out of context; especially when it is being repeated by someone else; or when we only overhear part of a conversation. And I'm sure that we have all been on the other side of the fence where something we've said was misunderstood and our thinking was, "Why didn't they listen and pay attention to what I really said?!" We need to give others the respect of paying attention and truly listening, without jumping to quick conclusions, just as we desire for them to give us that same type of respect.
Proverbs 18:13 (NLT) says, "Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish."
Ouch! How often have I done that?!? Am I the only one??
Perhaps we are having a conversation with someone and they say something that we don't like or that upsets us or that we take as being critical, but before they finish what they are saying, we tune them out and start thinking about our reply and how we're going to answer them. Our mind is wandering, so we miss everything that is being said, and our response ends up being defensive; when in truth, there really was no reason for us to get upset, had we listened to everything that had been said.
In Matthew 17, Jesus had taken Peter, James, and John up to a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus' appearance was transformed so that His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as light. Verse 5 says, "But even as he [Peter] spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, 'This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to Him.'"
These three men, who were disciples of Jesus, were admonished to listen to what Jesus had to say. Each of us should pay heed to the words of our Heavenly Father even today and take them to heart, and listen to what Jesus had and has to say. The scriptures are still relevant for us all, even though they were written thousands of years ago, and we need to pay attention to what they say. Also, Jesus will speak individually to the heart of all mankind, when we pray and take the time to truly listen to what He is impressing upon us. We may not always like what He is saying, but He speaks what is best for our lives and He always speaks truth!
In Matthew chapter 13, Jesus is teaching in parables and the disciples ask why He is doing so. In verse 13, Jesus answers them by saying, "That is why I use these parables, for they look, but they don't really see. They hear, but they don't really listen or understand."
This is a problem that has been around since the beginning of time; people don't really listen and hear what is being said, nor do they really pay attention and understand.
Isaiah 42:20 says, "You see and recognize what is right but refuse to act on it. You hear with your ears, but you don't really listen."
This problem is still ongoing hundreds of years after Isaiah wrote these words! Men and women alike recognize and know what is right, but they refuse to act on it, for whatever reason. They hear with their ears, but don't really listen. Have you ever done this? It's easy to point your finger at others, but we have all had those occasions when we've known what the right thing to do was, but we didn't act upon it.
The prophet Jeremiah is preaching in chapter 5 and reminds Judah of their sins. He then proceeds to give a warning to God's people. Jeremiah 5:21 says, "Listen, you foolish and senseless people, with eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear."
He didn't say that they had no eyes or ears, but rather that they had them but didn't use them. How often today do we see people who act this same way; they choose not to see and hear the truth? At times, we each are guilty of doing the same. We become desensitized to the sin surrounding us, especially if it's ourselves or a loved one who is involved in sinful behavior. We may not like it, but we justify it as being okay and not as bad as what we or they could be involved in. God speaks through Jeremiah and has him tell the people of Judah that they need to listen up and pay attention! I believe that God is telling us the same thing today. If not, then our own hearts become in danger of becoming hardened to the truth and us being deceived by the lies of Satan.
Ezekiel 12:2 says much the same: "Son of man, you live among rebels who have eyes but refuse to see. They have ears but refuse to hear. For they are a rebellious people."
I believe that James writes it best, and we should all take his words to heart and make this scripture our motto to live by on a daily basis:
James 1:19, "Understand this, dear brothers and sisters. You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry."
I've re-read Jonah recently. There is quite a bit packed into a short book. One part that stands out is how upset Jonah was that God gave favor to the people of Nineveh who had been so evil before. When the people were confronted with destruction, they were terrified, and prayed to God for forgiveness. Jonah had been faithful to God from birth (or at least we assume so), so he didn't think he needed forgiveness. But seeing someone who had fought against God's people receive forgiveness made him jealous.
It isn't surprising. It's easy to get jealous when we see someone receive something easily that we don't think they deserve, when we think we deserve it. But forgiveness is a gift, and never earned. God offers it to anyone who truly wants it.
If ribs are frozen, thaw. Either cover the ribs well with a dry rub or BBQ Sauce, depending on whichever you prefer, to marinate. Place the ribs in the pan, meat side down. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. I lined the pan with aluminum foil, which made it easier for cleanup after cooking; then covered the top of the pan with foil, which is what a lot of recipes say to do, but I suppose covering the pan with a lid would work, also. After allowing the ribs to marinate in the dry rub or BBQ Sauce, preheat oven to 275. Put the covered pan in the oven and cook slowly for 4-6 hours, depending on how thick the ribs are and how many you are cooking. When ribs are tender, turn oven up to 325. Baste the meat with more BBQ Sauce, if that's what you're using, turn the meat over in the pan and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Note: I prefer BBQ Sauce over a dry rub, but it's a matter of preference.
Also: The way my nephew cooks is ribs it to marinate in a dry rub. Cook on a charcoal grill long enough to sear the meat and give it the grilled flavor; then put in a 275 oven for 2-4 hours, until meat is tender.
Jon and I went to Branson this past weekend to celebrate our 10th anniversary. As a general rule, when we go on vacation or to Lampe, we don't watch TV. The one big thing that we had planned for the weekend was to see the production of Jonah at the Sight and Sound Theater on Friday afternoon. It was excellent and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. If you would like to see it, this is the last season this particular production will be in Branson (next year they will be doing the story of Moses). Other than that, we decided to play it by ear, because we mostly just wanted to relax. We took a couple of board games that we played the two evenings we were there. Jon won the one game of Carcassonne, and I won both games of Scrabble. Saturday morning, we decided to go play mini-golf. Neither of us had played in years. We were very evenly matched, and Jon won by 1 point! I was quite proud of myself, because I only hit my ball in the water twice.... and Jon only won by 1 point without me having to cheat!! We had a lot of fun and are looking forward to playing mini-golf again.
When God shuts a door, quit banging on it! Whatever was behind it, wasn't meant for you.
Consider the fact that maybe He closed that door because He knew you were worth so much more. - unknown
We love you!
Loretta & Jon