Listening with your heart begins with a sincere interest in caring for the other person. When we listen with care we come alongside another person heart-to-heart. We enter into their world — not our own — and we become an agent of God’s Spirit in offering comfort, acceptance, support, and more.
To take care of how you listen, start with this listening audit. Read through these questions and answer them honestly. Ask God to give you a heart that truly cares for others and listens to them with your heart.
- How good am I at taking the time to truly listen?
- How good am I at asking open-ended questions to draw out what others are really trying to say?
- How good am I at being able to summarize what I think I’ve heard from them to check I’ve gotten it right?
- How good am I at using body language to communicate interest and attentiveness in a conversation?
- How good am I at resisting the temptation to jump in and assume I know what the other person is talking about?
Try this timely listening exercise to help the people around you debrief the Covid lockdown and their experience. Ask and answer these questions with your spouse/family, closest friends, small group, etc. then take some time to offer a word of encouragement and/or a prayer of support. Be sure to practice “listening with care.”
· When were you first aware that the pandemic “got real” and was serious?
· What did you miss the most during the pandemic?· What’s one thing that you think helped you get through the pandemic?
· What was a part of your new routine that you’d like to keep?
· What were a few things you really enjoyed doing when you were at home so much this year?
· What would you describe as your low point during the last year?
· What were some of the things you were scared of in the last year?
· What was an unexpected benefit that came out of the pandemic?
· How did your faith help you during the pandemic?
· Is there anyone special you want to thank after this year?
· Who is someone you know that had an even harder time than you because of the pandemic? Why?
· What lesson did you learn during the last year that you don’t want to forget? Why?
Are you looking to get out of the house, get some exercise, and enjoy some company? If so, then join Paul Williams along with friends from Christ Church Anglican and IBCB (weather permitting) for a church-sponsored bicycle tour this Saturday, May 15.
Feel free to join the tour at Stage 1 (Innsbrucker Platz at 9:30) or at Stage 2 (Griebnitzsee-S-Bahnhof at 11:00), and, of course, you may leave the tour at any time.
Here are some details, a link to a map, and some helpful information:
First Stage (9:30 ~ 11:00) sponsored by Christ Church Anglican. The start of 10 km stage is Milestone I at Innsbrucker Platz. It continues down Highway 1 past the windmill to Milestone II just after Zehlendorfer Eiche. Here we leave the milestones going up to Mexikoplatz by way of Argentinische Allee.
Second Stage (11:00 ~ 12:30) sponsored by International Baptist Church Berlin. The start of this 10 km stage is Mexikoplatz and goes up to the section of the Wall at Waldsee. Here we turn down to Steinstücken, its section of the Wall and the helicopter playground. This stage ends at Griebnitzsee S-Bahnhof (outside the AB zone).
Third stage (12:30 ~ 2:00) The start of this 10 km stage is Griebnitzsee S-Bahnhof and goes back along Königsweg leaving it to Malchower Weg, ending the official tour at S-Bahnhof Zehlendorf.
FYI: Within the AB zone, BVG tickets for bicycles cost 2,10 euros, one-way. Bring your own bicycle, sunscreen, water, and food. Got questions? Inbox message us at https://www.facebook.com/IBCBerlin
LORD, You have chosen me since before the beginning of time. You have watched me stumble and cause others to stumble. You were patient when I acted as to arouse your anger. So much contempt for you through my depravity I showed. Yet, You, my Sovereign God, are faithful and kind. Even though, since before the foundation of the earth, you knew my sins, You chose to adopt me as a son, to inherit your Kingdom.
Heavenly Father, I know you love me so, but my heart is always so full of doubt and uncertainty. Why, LORD, do I still fail to obey your just Commandments? Haven't you written your Law into the hearts of all men? Or did you not, in your endless compassion, allow me to gaze at the perfection of your Glory? Yet, I still disobey and despair.
My Creator, my Rock, my Redeemer, why do I still have to crawl through the mud? As you have sent your only Son, a perfect blameless sacrifice, I was ransomed from my grievous sins, bought with the price of the cross. Yet, I still must confess: my heart loves myself more than it loves You, my God. Forgive me, Father, but I must ask: Why do I still have to be such a stiff-necked beast? Can't your unfathomable power rectify this wicked heart of mine, once and for all?
Yesterday, I suffered, for I had no hope. I looked into the abyss and walked towards it, for I knew that's where I belonged. Still, somehow I hoped and longed for something better Though I should indeed be laid forgotten in a shallow grave, this relentless voice persuaded me to hope for Love, Justice and Truth, thus I wondered and prayed that they would reveal themselves to me.
You, The God of Abraham and Israel, looked at me with favor, You chose me, spoke to me and washed my iniquity away. You clothed me with fine clothing and even sent your Spirit of Wisdom, but now my suffering is greater than ever before. Through your Grace my soul is healed, yet my accursed flesh still yearns for sin, it longs for rebelliousness, forgetfulness and ungratefulness.
I've been granted too much already, I feel ashamed to ask for more. Even so, I beg you LORD: have mercy on me yet again! Bless me! Burn away the unyielding corruption of my heart, through the radiance of your Eternal Glory! Excise my wretchedness and pain through your Might! Let my soul rest on the blessed promise of resurrection, so that all may hear me sing in joy and bless Your Holy Name! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen