Today’s Scripture Selection: Psalm 95:7-8

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts….”

When was the last time you heard God’s voice?

I’m not talking, necessarily, about literally hearing that voice.  Such phenomenon, to say the least, is rare and I would rather leave it to the theologians and mental health experts for a discussion of how and when that happens.

I’m talking about hearing God in a more subtle way than a literal “voice” in your ears or mind.

I think that happens more often than we talk about.

God speaks in multiple ways, every single day.

Do we hear?

Do we understand?

Do we take that voice seriously?

Do we respond faithfully?

These aren’t matters just for the professional theologian or counselor.  These are matters of faith for everyone.

Each of us must prayerfully, carefully discern when – and how – God is speaking to us; calling to us.

Each of us decide how and when to respond.

It’s a good and important thing to do.

In prayer, journaling, dialogue with others, reading, simply sitting and listening – we have a great opportunity.

God is calling.

Do you hear it?  If you do, it will change your life, and who knows what else.

Prayer: Lord, open my ears – mind – heart – to you and your love.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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