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Habitually Hearing

“She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.” Luke 10;39

“Therefore, everyone who is of such a character as to be habitually hearing these words of mine and habitually doing them, is like the intelligent man who is of such a nature that he built his house upon the rocky cliff.” Matthew 7:24 Wuest

“But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.” Mark 4:34bd NIV

Mary sat at Jesus’ feet to listen to him. How often do you spend time listening to God? Every day? Every Sunday? Every once in a while? Jesus tells us to not just listen once but to be constantly listening. Why? Because there is so very much he has to tell us. A lifetime of constant listening is not enough time to hear it all. Eternity is not long enough for God to run out of new things to tell us. And we need to hear all he has to say to us because this is how we know what to do each day, how to live, the direction he’s taking us. Can he even take us anywhere if we’re not in the habit of constantly listening?

How do we listen? I’m reading Henry Nouwen’s Spiritual Formation (and taking a long time about it). The most recent chapter I read talks about listening to God and suggests that there are four ways God speaks to us.

He speaks to us through the Holy Bible.
He speaks to us through his Holy Spirit, that still small voice that speaks to us in the silence.
He speaks to us through others.
He speaks to us as we write to him.

Are you reading your Bible daily? Are you making time in your day to sit in silence and just listen? Do you keep your mind and ears tuned to God through the busyness of your day? When others speak to you, do you ever consider that perhaps God is using them to tell you something? I’ve never before heard anyone suggest that writing is a way of listening to God but it is something that I have experienced for much of my life.

Jesus often too his disciples away from the crowds to explain his words to them. He wants to do that to us as well, but if we refuse to follow him into that place of quiet listening how can learn and know?

Father, I want to keep my ears constantly open to hear what you have to say. I want to hear not just the big things but the little nuances, the things you have to say just to me because you know my circumstances and my heart. Speak to me, Lord! And keep pushing me to hear you—not just today or next week but every minute of every day.


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About the Author


I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …