Hearing God

(Seven More Half-Baked Ideas I’m Still Working On)

If you sing a song and no one seems to hear it, is it still music? (A variation on the tree-in-the-woods question)


It’s not the silence of God that bothers me so much as the times when I know He’s speaking, but only in a whisper.


What you fear is not the thing you dread, but your inability – or God’s unwillingness – to stop or resist it.

+++++++ [click to continue…]


Jackie Mays was a legend.  Maybe not everywhere, but certainly in some of the circles we roamed in when our kids were small.  And to a couple of four-year-old twin girls, Mrs. Mays was larger than life.

Sending your kids off to school for the first time is a big adjustment.  Especially when they’re your oldest, and they’re the ripe old age of four.  Enter Mrs. Mays.  Not only was she a faithful member of our church in Birmingham, she was one of the K-4 teachers at Grace Christian School.  And a legendary gift she was, to both parents and their little darlings.

“Daddy, Mrs. Mays says…”

“Daddy, that’s not how Mrs. Mays…”

In Mrs. Mays’ class they learned the basics of reading and writing and that other “r.”  They learned the pledges and the Star-Spangled Banner. (Cassie used to come home with that wistful, “I just love America.”)  They learned to love God’s word, and learned the gospel and about heaven and hell and the price Jesus paid to snatch us from the one to take us to the other.  And they had fun learning it all.

There were no assistants, aides, or volunteers.  Just one amazing woman and a room full of four-year-olds, who most days sat mesmerized or did what was expected.

I want to tell you one of her not-so-secret secrets. [click to continue…]


Do you think God still speaks to people through dreams?

He did in the Bible.

I know a lot of people who don’t think He does that anymore because we have the Bible now.  I know a lot of other people who say, “So what?  The Bible we have shows God speaking to people through dreams.  So if the Bible is inerrant, infallible and all that, why would it say that God gave people dreams back in the day if He’s not supposed to speak through dreams now?”

I gotta admit, that makes sense to me.  But I should hasten to say that not every dream comes from God.  One time I dreamed that I hauled off and slugged this British guy.  I know he was British because when he prepared to slug me back he said something really ugly in a very lovely British accent.

I don’t think that dream was from God.  Unless He was telling me to avoid hauling off and slugging guys from Great Britain.

But I have had dreams that I very much believe were prophetic.  Like this one.  And probably this one.

And I think I may have had another one last week.

I don’t know what you do with your possible alerts from the Almighty in your sleep, but I have sort of an ad hoc committee I run them by, just to test it out.  Think of it as my Prophetic Testers of Supposed Dreams team (PTSD for short).  [click to continue…]


Something happens at the end of the day when the to-do list loses its power, the however-many words we use have escaped us, and the sinks and tubs and TVs have done their duty.  Life gets still.  Sometimes for a fleeting moment before sleep.  Sometimes, like last night for me, for a surprising length of time.  Borrowing from ancient practices, I like to call these moments the Watches of the Night.  Even though the body is tired, another part of you is still very awake.

It’s there, in the quiet stillness, that you can hear Him if you listen in your spirit.

It’s the same Gentle Whisperer that Elijah heard in the mouth of the cave.

He’s the Mighty to Save, who quiets your soul in the most beautiful of ways… He rejoices over you with singing.

This is no task for angels or even people.  This is a visitation in love fitting only for One who can take such personal delight in you, despite your weakness or failure.  And in the Watches of the Night, He Himself becomes the descant of your soul.

Listen with your heart, and in the Watches of the Night, you can hear Him lifting your soul, singing to your hope that He will come back to you again.  He sings to your regrets with His stubborn love, casting them into the depths of the deepest sea.  And in his delight over you, He buoys your heart to face new challenges and new opportunities for patience and endurance. [click to continue…]


Your Journey of Desire

by Andy Wood on February 16, 2011

in Following Your Passion, Life Currency, LV Cycle

Okay, so try this.  Let’s take a little mental inventory.  Go back to the twilight of your thinking last night – that mental place where you drift between the time you close your eyes and the time you actually go to sleep.  (I can tell you mine, but I’m saving it for a future blog post… watch for something called the “three A’s.”)

Or… how about the first line of thinking out of the mental gate this morning – that place where your mind went before you got out of bed?

Was it something to do?

Something you were worried about?

Some pressure, or pain?  Or some pleasure or something/someone you were grateful for?

Was it a longing, or an idea?  Or a feeling of dread?

Recapture that thought or line of thinking for a minute… then go behind it… and look for the desire. Based on your thinking, mentally complete this sentence:  “I want to _____________.”

It could be something you want to feel.

Could be something you want to accomplish.

Could be something you want to experience.

Could be somebody you want to connect with, serve, or resolve an issue with.

Got it yet?  Okay, let’s dig a little deeper. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Wherever you may find yourself this Christmas – in prosperity or poverty, health or sickness, laughter or tears, togetherness or solitude – I pray that you will experience the same sense of wonder, gratitude, and grace (and more) that I have found. 

I pray that in the midst of all you call blessings, you experience the beauty of knowing the miracle of being loved in this life – deeply, fully, completely…

That the evening shadows and stars remind you of the one star that mattered most and the Spirit behind it, guiding those who sought Jesus to discover His presence, and to miss Herod’s schemes…

That as heaven and nature sing of the glory of God, the mountains you face only serve as reminders that they are no match for the love He has shown you in His coming and His care…

That Jesus, our Emmanuel, would manifest His faithful awareness and presence and the miracle that takes place when God and sinners are reconciled in love and grace…

That whether you hear His voice in a prayer or a song, a promise or a still small voice, that you would truly hear it – and that as He sings over you, you would taste and see that the Lord is good,  His mercy everlasting, and His truth endures forever to you and yours…

That joyfully and triumphantly, you would live in anticipation and adoration of the Word of the Father who appeared in flesh, and that you would not for one moment miss the opportunity to invest your life in what He is still doing today…

That in the silence of the night or the newness and glory of the morning, you would experience again and again the coming of the King – with the promise that the One who lit the sky once will split the sky when He comes again to claim you…

That the nearness and tender care of the Lord Jesus would carry you through the seasons of loss and the memories of those you miss this Christmas season…

And that the Carpenter’s son who built a bridge of goodness and light will find you waiting, however long it takes, for the day He returns.

Merry Christmas!

{ 1 comment }

“It’s going to be fun to watch and see how long the meek can keep the earth once they inherit it”  -Kin Hubbard.

“The meek shall inherit the earth – if that’s okay with everybody” (Motto of the Dependent Organization of Really Meek and Timid Souls, or D.O.O.R.M.A.T).  -J. Upton Dickson

“He leads the humble in what is right, teaching them his way. The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all those who keep his covenant and obey his decrees.”  -Psalm 25:9-10, NLT

It’s quiet on this Monday morning, except for the sound of a rooster and a fiddle, an infant’s grunts from his swing, and a toddler’s delighted dancing as she watches – again – the Baby Einstein “Life on the Farm” video.  Watching the two of them – especially with scenes from an abundant earth passing by – reminds me from the last post how we were wired from creation and birth. 

We were created to inherit the earth.  It’s in our DNA.  But in the wisdom of God, He knew we would need help.  His help.  Without it, we have the capacity to do – well, what we’ve pretty much done with the planet.

That’s why Jesus – quoting Psalm 37 – said that the delighted happiness that comes from inheriting the earth is reserved for a specific kind of person.  Yep – the meek.

So He Reserves It for Sissies?

Not exactly.  [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Will You Trust Him?

by Andy Wood on March 5, 2010

in Turning Points

It was a momentous day, and I thought I knew why.  Boy, did I have another thing coming. 

It happened on an early morning in late August 1976.  I was about to enter a new phase in my life called “college.”  And today was registration day.

Preparations for this day had begun several years earlier.  I was blessed to have one of those life-changer teachers in high school who saw it as her mission, partly, to give us a taste of what university life would be like.  And I have to say, thanks to her, to whatever degree I may have dissed schoolwork in high school, I had my game face on now.

This was college.  This was serious.

Advisors and friends had also prepared me for what to expect when freshmen show up at registration. 

“You want what class?  Nice try. That class closed when the sophomores came through here yesterday.”

Nevertheless, I had made out a schedule, and thought it was a good fit for me.  I was excited.  But I also wanted to be teachable and flexible.

Oh yeah, and godly.

So before I left for the campus, I knelt beside my bed and laid out my pre-designed schedule in front of me.  And I began to pray.  My prayer went something like this: [click to continue…]


The Lion Dream

by Andy Wood on October 23, 2009

in Insight, Life Currency, Turning Points

From our Fifth Anniversary Celebration

From our Fifth Anniversary Celebration

Walk inside my office and look to the left, just under the big window.  There you will find one of my most cherished possessions.  It’s an original framed caricature of a lion inside a cardboard box.  It was given to me for Christmas 2003 by two dear friends.  And it’s the kind of thing that when you see it, you know there’s a story behind it.  And if you’re in my office for the first time, as a couple was yesterday, it’s only natural that you would ask about it.

So I thought I’d tell you the story behind it.  This is the story of the Lion Dream. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

The Sting and the Save

by Andy Wood on October 12, 2009

in Tense Truths

Okay, first watch the short video, then let’s talk. 

This is an adaptation of a story Henri Nouwen used to tell.  Voice, illustrations, direction by Allen Weathers…

Before the dawn of time as we know it, God foresaw.  [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }