Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Can you hear me now?"

Have you ever been in a conversation and thought you were communicating one thing only to discover later that the person you were talking to heard something totally different? Or have you misunderstood something someone was trying to communicate to you?

So often we are more concerned about being understood and less concerned about understanding. Can you imagine a world without speech or words? Communication is the most effective tool we have in relationships and yet many of us stink at it! Are you a good communicator? If so, congratulations, you have mastered both the mouth and the ear! If you are not, don't worry, this article is for you!
Verbal communication is the art of speaking and listening. Speaking is not often the area many of struggle with so I will keep this portion brief. However, active listening is the area that many of us need to be reminded of, so pay close attention!

Speaking Effectively:
  • Be clear and concise.
  • Be courteous.
  • Be coherent.
 Active listening:
  • Do not just hear the words, but try understanding what is being said.
  • Do not interrupt. 
  • Do not allow your mind to drift when others are speaking.
  • Do not formulate a response while others are talking.
  • Ask questions when you do not understand
  • Finally, summarize in your own words what was communicated. This shows speaker that you were listening and that you understood. 

Take the time to listen today.

Patricia Gilbert
Talking Heads Image courtesy of Google Images

Friday, February 14, 2014


On Valentine's Day, we celebrate "LOVE". Valentine's Day is a day that we have set aside to show expressions of love to our lovers and our loved ones by sending or giving candy, flowers, and gifts. Are your being loved today?

What is love? Have you ever tried to define it? Can you find words to express it? Often we think of love as the feelings that we get in our stomachs when we get a call from our mate, or the happy feelings that we get when we think of someone. Some express love as an emotion. Does love last forever? Can we be in love and out of love with the same person?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 gives us insight about what true love is. It says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

God not only gave us words to describe love, He gave us an example of what love looks like. While you and I were not thinking about God, or how we lived our lives, He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. We did nothing to deserve God’s love; it was a gift from Him to us. That is what 1 Corinthians 13 describes. We often call it “unconditional love.” Unfortunately, we do not experience this kind of love often. We generally give and receive conditional love; the kind of love that says, “If you do this and that, I will love you, but if you do this and that I won’t love you.”

You see, God has given us the ability to identify true love when we see it and when we are doing it. Words mean nothing, if the actions behind them are contrary to what we say. You may have heard the saying, “I want to listen to what you are saying, but your actions are speaking much louder than your words.” Actions have a way of displaying what’s in our hearts. I ask again, "Are you being loved today?"

“HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY” to those who dare to love!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Once in time, the true meaning of Christmas was the celebration of the birth of a Savior. A day anticipated for hundreds of years by the Jewish nation had finally come. A promise from God, that there would be a King over Israel that would never be dethroned and a promise to all that would believe, a Savior who would take away the sins of the world, fulfilled.  

As I sit this Christmas morning, I can’t help but to think about all of children who went to bed last night with so much anticipation that they could hardly sleep, and parents who had no problems putting them to bed.  I reminisce on the emotions that I felt as a child on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. I wonder where it all went. What happened to the joy and the anticipation? When did we allow the most wonderful day in time to become a commercial holiday, controlled by consumer over indulgence? Instead of unimaginable joy over a savior being born, children anticipate the arrival of a man in a red and white suit coming to bring them their hearts desire. Parents stressed and depressed, bound by debt trying to fulfill their children’s desires. Children upset and disappointed because Christmas was not all they anticipated it to be. Many disheartened because of the loss of loved ones.

I can image what the Kings must have felt, as they saw the star appear in the sky, and what the shepherd’s in the field must have experienced when the angels proclaimed the birth of this King/Savior (Luke 1 and 2). Feelings of so much anticipation, that they were willing to pack up their camels and travel the desert following the star that should lead them to the awaited the promise:

The promise of peace and good will on earth
The promise of being set free from the control of sin
The promise of spending eternity with my creator
The promise of a good heart and not a stony one

What is your focal point for Christmas? Let’s not forget the true meaning of Christmas, and let us not forget to teach our children. We have already received the best gift on Christmas. Nothing can be compared to it. Absolutely nothing!