September 03, 2017

Can You Hear Me Now? by Steph Beth Nickel

Can you imagine if God made a telephone commercial?

While He, of course, knows the answer to the question, sometimes we need to be asked, "Can you hear me now?"

Where do I hear from God? How do I connect with him?

Highlight Scripture Verses
I recently purchased a package of multicoloured highlighters to use when reading my Bible. (They're retractable and I love them.) I use use the yellow marker to highlight familiar verses, the green to highlight those that stand out either for the first time or for the first time in a while, orange to highlight passages about prayer, etc.

Listen to Worship Music
Whether hymns that were written hundreds of years ago or contemporary Christian songs that only hit the market within the last few years, truth set to music can sink deep into our hearts and minds. I prefer the latter and enjoy listening to music by contemporary artists such as Lauren Daigle, Matthew West, and Toby Mac. I even enjoy some songs by Skillet. Sometimes I need a musical shot in the arm.

Subscribe to Christian Podcasts
I listen to a number of podcasts, most are on the topics of writing and marketing. However, I also enjoy listening to faith-based recordings. As most of you know, I write for HopeStreamRadio. There you will find a wide variety of podcasts, from academic to personal testimony. I also enjoy listening to Matt McCarrick's One Verse Devotional and others.

Join Online Christian Communities
I was once asked, "Who needs them?" when I was discussing the connections, the friends, I'd made on social media. I can answer categorically, "I do." While connecting with brothers and sisters online in lieu of doing so in person is not a healthy option, I'm a both / and kind of person. I have been blessed tremendously through my online interactions, and I have had the opportunity to bless others as well. I love that.

Take Notes
When I asked my husband if anything in particular stood out when our guest speaker gave the message at church today, he said he hadn't really learned anything new. Although the same was true of me, Pastor Don did present his points in a way I had never heard before, and I made note of some phrases that stood out to me.

My plan to to review these notes periodically, but I rarely do. Even so, I like to take notes. It ensures that I'm listening more closely.

And speaking of things I intend to do but often forget ...

Commit Each Task to the Lord
There are many benefits of doing so.
1. It reminds me that I should do all as if doing them for him. (See 1 Corinthians 10:31.)
2. It keeps my focus where it out to be—on him.
3. It serves as an invitation to him to redirect my path. (If I can't commit a task to him, I ought not to be doing it.)

How do you hear from the Lord?


  1. So much of what you shared resonated with me. I'm a big fan of highlighting as well, sometimes in different colours. I love a variety of Christian music as well, and enjoy various podcasts. I've made wonderful connections online and I always take notes, even if I never read them later, because somehow it helps me focus. We seem to have a lot in common! I would really love to meet you in person one of these days. Who knows? maybe it'll hapen!

  2. I like to take notes also. As both Steph and Tracy have said, taking notes does keep our minds on the what is being said. Like the two of you, again, I sometimes refer back to my scribbles and sometimes I don't, but I find that the writing reinforces my learning. Taking notes means we are using more than one modality--our auditory, our tactile and our visual modalities. We hear it, feel it as we write, and we see what we've written.

    I also take along my missal, which contains the text of the Bible readings for the day. I often underline particular scriptures that stand out for me and I write in the margins. It's amazing how often these nuggets fit into one of my future writings. Synchronicity?

    When our music team picks the hymns for the day, as much as possible, we choose songs that suit the readings or the particular spot in the mass. Sometimes we are amazed at how well our song picks go along with our priest's homily. God's leading? Purposeful synchronicity?

  3. Great post, Steph. I, too, am a note-taker in church. If I don't my brain chooses not to focus 100%. And it is good to have further discussion later if the sermon was particularly pertinent! Then I am not trying to remember - my memory is getting worse these days!


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.