Tag Archives: listen

One More Time!

I listen to doctors dictate and type what they say (medical transcription).  Sometimes the doctors are wonderful speakers and the job is easy.  Others are difficult to understand due to language barriers, mumbling.  To make matters worse sometimes they’re shuffling papers, not speaking into the microphone clearly, they’re in loud places and many other contributing factors.

I listened to a dictation over and over again and for the life of me, I couldn’t understand what he was saying.  Especially to those of us who have been in this profession for a long time, nothing is more frustrating.  I listened for 25 minutes, over and over again!  That’s a long time in the production world of transcription!

After I finished relistening to the entire dictation, I was going to send it to QA and let them figure it out.  Because I find it excruciating to give up, I decided to listen one more time and to my delight, I very clearly heard what the doctor was saying. It was so clear I couldn’t believe I didn’t hear it before!

Just as clearly as I heard the doctor, I hear God saying:

“I know you’ve tried and tried.  You believed you could do it, but believe One More Time.  Believe because I said so.  I know you’re weary and just want to walk away and if you do, that’s okay too.  Come on.  Just because I said so, do it one more time.”

It would have been acceptable…”okay”… to send the document on to QA. That’s what they’re there for and they excel in solving mysteries.  No harm no foul.  I tried but I couldn’t get it.  But I tried, one more time after listening time after time and I finally got it.

God won’t bail on us if we decide to quit.  We won’t be any less in His eyes if we stop where we are.  He always gives us the choice to try, one more time.  One more time, we put our feet to the floor with nothing but faith, believing we can and believing God will do His part.  Don’t be afraid to fail or fall short. Don’t think about it.  Just do it.  One more time.

Matthew 7:7 (NLT)  “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

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He’s Still There.

I love hummingbirds.  In the almost three years since I’ve been in East Tennessee, I haven’t seen many of them.  I think they’re having trouble keeping up with me since I’ve moved so much.

When hard times hit I stopped everything including putting feeders out.  I was so caught up in my circumstances and the fear that came with them, I wasn’t myself in every respect of the word.  This spring I put out feeders and have seen a few hummingbirds from time to time but not like I used to.  Where I live now is pretty heavily populated with quite a bit of traffic.  Yet every once in a while when I go outside and look for them, occasionally I will see one or two.

That happened this morning and it hit me – I wondered if I thought they weren’t there if they really were and I missed them because I wasn’t looking.

Sometimes we find ourselves in a dark place feeling totally alone and we think because no one else is there God isn’t either.  Then you feel a “tweak” in your spirit, hear a song on the radio that contains the perfect words or hear a word from an unlikely place or person that lets you know He knows exactly where you are, exactly how you feel and He is right there with you.

The hummers flittered by chirping.  God does the same – something reminds us He’s still there, wherever there is.  In the darkness, sickness, even when you may want to be alone…He’s still there. Look and listen.  You’ll find Him.

Listen

As a MLS (Medical Language Specialist), it’s my job to listen to doctors dictate and either type or proofread their dictations.  The doctors come from every nationality and it’s sometimes hard to understand what they’re saying.  There are some days when the American doctors are even harder to understand than the foreign ones.  I work from my home and I’ve never seen any of these speakers and probably never will.  Still, it’s my job to decipher what they say accurately so on many occasions, I must listen over and over…and over again which cuts into my production and more to the point, irritates me.

We’re encouraged to leave a blank (or a time stamp for Australia) if we can’t get it.  The push for production encourages us not to linger too long and leave the blank.  I’m a bulldog.  I don’t like giving up.  When I struggle with understanding, I find it very hard to “blank it” and move on.  Every time I rewind to try to get it, I become more determined to hear what they’re saying.  I wish I were more like that in a spiritual sense.

We spend time with God, study and pray.  We seek what He’s trying to say and trying to teach…but sometimes we lack the patience and yes, even the desire, to “get it”.  We think we hear and understand and something will happen to set us back and realize we didn’t get that at all.  Only then will we go back and revisit and listen intently, read over and over trying to grasp what He’s saying.  Our intensity for Him and His word pales in comparison on occasion to the effort we put into my jobs and other activities.

Are we deficient in listening?  If so, there’s good news.  We can always choose to listen because He’s always speaking.  Keep a Bible handy and pick it up often.  Ask for ears to hear and a heart to receive.  If you don’t get it the first time, read it again. Ask again.  Don’t walk away with a blank – stay until He fills it in.

Speak Lord.  We’re listening.

Sunday Morning Thoughts

John 12:28-30

This morning while reading the scriptures above, a couple of things occurred to me:

Some heard the voice from heaven, some didn’t.  Which one am I?  Am I tuned in when heaven speaks or will I miss it?  How do we “tune in”? Will I just hear with no effort on my part?

Jesus told the people (paraphrasing) “the voice you heard was for you to hear, not for me”.  In other words, He knew exactly who He was.  He knew with 100% confidence what He was there for and He knew his time on earth was very, very short.  Do we? Do we have that kind of confidence in God? Do we know why we’re here?  We make plans for tomorrow, for an hour from now…lots of times we spend our today focused on tomorrow and miss the now.

Suffice it to say, most of what we go through, trials we endure, good things that happen has very little to do with us.  We’re the vessel God chooses to work through for the benefit of someone else.  Sometimes we’re so caught up in us we can’t see beyond our own nose.

So I leave you with these questions:

  1. Are you “tuned in”? If heaven spoke, could you, would you hear?
  2. Do you know who you are and Whose you are…really? Do you live and love like you believe it?
  3. Could God be using you to bring someone else to the realization of the Lord Jesus Christ…so hold your head up and walk out this thing you’re going through believing  it’s for His greater purpose.

RESET!

I’m a Medical Transcriptionist and sometimes because the audio files come from faraway places it’s mumbled and inaudible. Drives me crazy. I have to rewind and try to decipher what the dictator is saying and a lot of time is doing this which ultimately cuts into production.  Over and over again, I listen attentively adjusting the speed to no avail.  This morning, I noticed an option I’ve been scared to try before.  I couldn’t understand what the doctor was saying so after about 15 minutes of this back and forth with frustration building, ready to quit, I decided to risk clicking the button and to my relief and surprise, I heard what he was saying perfectly.  I had left many blanks (time stamps as they are known with the company I work for) and was able to fill every one of them in with understandable words.

Loving how God uses everyday occurrences to teach me something, I thought I would share these lessons with you hoping we all take them to heart.

  • Time stamps. How often we muddle through just marking time oblivious to the things and people around us.  I wonder how many times in how many areas I’ve been content to just go and do, not caring about anything but just going and doing what I have to do.  What have I missed?  I wonder how many times I’ve just marked time only to reflect later and wonder why I did what I did and what I missed while there.  You?
  • Settling.  How often do we just do things not caring if it’s good or bad but we just do them because we have to, to arrive at the finish line?  I could have left that dictation just as it was, sent it in and let QA clean it up and make it presentable to the account and that would have been “good enough” – as long as the document is marked properly it’s perfectly acceptable (and sometimes necessary) it’s okay to do this, but I tried something different (something I was actually hesitant to do, scared of what the outcome would be) and that made all the difference.  Why are we so hesitant to try something uncomfortable or different!?
  • It’s okay to reset. We keep our cycle going…the way we’ve always done things and that’s okay; that’s good but it isn’t BEST sometimes. We’re getting by just fine, working hard on being content and grateful but there could be so much more.  I’m not talking about materialistically (although that’s entirely possible too) but spiritually.  We try so hard to “be good”.  We make good life choices, even spiritual choices and complete tasks A, B, C and D sometimes wondering what if would be like if we _________  (you fill in the blank – trusted more, believed God with conviction to really believe…tried ____, devoted ourselves more…).  Give yourself permission to go farther and deeper with God.  Faith requires action.  A better life (spiritually and physically) may require better and different choices.

That button made a huge difference in my work day. I’m wondering what else I can reset today.  Sometimes a reset may just be what we need.  Go ahead.  Hit reset!

Reflections of Grace

No meeting is by chance.  If I never believed that before, I certainly believe that today.

I was in the store buying cold medicine for my son when a young lady and I began a conversation.  I’m apparently one of those people who others find easy to talk to.  She started crying telling me about her life and when she did, something inside of me quivered.  Everything she said that had happened sounded a lot like my life.  She started with her childhood in painful, familiar detail, how she had been treated differently than her other siblings ultimately being robbed of her birthright as the oldest child, having a sick child with very little family support, divorced, financial issues, church hurts…I mean everything she said paralleled me.  Anger and resentment oozed from every word.  I could feel her pain.  Listening to her started a rewind of everything I have been through and the pain associated with it.

This woman had anger and bitterness all over her.  It was palpable. Her countenance shouted it and her tone of voice certainly did.  She smelled of alcohol, pupils dilated.  I asked her if she used to which she quickly, almost proudly confessed that was the only way she could live with her “stuff” adding she would have killed herself long ago had it not been for her children.  With those words, I got it.

I’ve learned when unusual things happen like this to look for what I call “the God-side”.  I believe everything happens – including those we meet – is for a reason.  I prayed a quick silent prayer for Him to show me and don’t let me miss it.  This woman was me; I would have been her had God not saved me. For a brief moment, God let me see who I would have been had it not been for the intervention of His grace.

Admittedly, there are days when the hurt over what has happened in my life captures me.  Who doesn’t have those days? I shed a few tears and remember…but I don’t stay there long.  I choose not to.  Is it easy?  No. It would be easier to wallow and stay mad, hurt and disappointed.  It’s work to get up when you fall isn’t it?  You have to defy gravity and make a physical effort to get back on your feet.  The choice is yours.  You can stay down, because you know it won’t feel good getting up, or you can prepare yourself and make the effort to stand.

After she finished speaking I offered to talk with her more if she wanted to, and I took her down the road for coffee and a bite to eat.  When we got settled it was my turn to share.  I told her how literally everything she said was pretty much what I had been through, too.  Her eyes widened and she asked what I had waited to hear.  “How then, if all that has happened to you, are you so happy and positive?”  There it was…the reason for the encounter.  She needed someone who identified with her, her life, her pain one on one to tell her about The Difference Maker and I needed to remember why I wasn’t consumed with anger and regret.

This being a Christian…this faith we so freely shout about is hard work sometimes.  Life is painful and extremely unfair.  Those we are supposed to be the safest with often turn out to be our greatest betrayers.  Our circumstances can suck the very will to live right out of us if we let it.  I’m learning daily that perspective is everything.  How we look at things…and looking for God and HIS will and perspective while going through something can discourage us OR it can make us want to believe there is actually something bigger, something good that can be found in our pain.  I believe that’s part of the “work” of our salvation.

After our talk she had lightened up a little, and actually smiling and laughing.  I prayed with her and told her God was on her side and with her not against her.  I told her everything that had happened in my life and hers, I believe, is to bring us to saving faith in Jesus and getting closer to Him.  Once we understand that everything here is temporary and He is eternal and all of it is used to draw us closer to Him, it makes what we go through less devastating and gives it purpose.  The human-ness in us begs for a reason. He is the difference in our lives, only He brings good out of the bad and I wouldn’t want to live without Him – it just wouldn’t be worth it.  She said I had given her something to think about, that if that were true it would all be worth it.

Exactly.

The more I think about that woman, the more profound that encounter becomes.  I got to see who I would be, what I would be had I not been saved.  God allowed me to see reflections of grace in my life…how He had really changed my heart, my attitude, my countenance.  I could have been her in every way because that’s where I was headed.

I would say there are many people around all of us that are living riddled with anger, bitterness and brokenness.  They need our compassion but they also need to know the difference God has made in us.  Tell them and be sure you pay attention to the reflection you see.  That could have been you.

 “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16  (NASB).