Bible Study, Encouragement, Faith

Listen, Love, Repeat – Week 1 – Chapters 1 and 2 – My Bible Study Notes


CHAPTER 1 – LIVING ALERT – How To Hear A Heart Drop

What is a heart drop?  Have you ever heard that phrase?  I had not until Karen Ehman introduced it to us in her book, Listen, Love, Repeat.  She is introducing this girl to a whole lot of stuff in ways I have failed to see in the past.  A small group leader shared that phrase with Karen and her husband.

A heart drop is “when a person either directly, or in a cryptic way, gives you a peek into his or hers heart.  It may be through actual words, or you may pick up on a feeling, perhaps sadness or loneliness.”

Karen began Chapter 1 telling us about how she had listened to a heart drop of a friend.   Karen picked up during a conversation about a time in her friend’s life when she had felt significant and safe.  Her friend had a reading disability.  When she was at her grandmother’s house there was a book she could read well cover to cover.  Karen listened and was excited for her friend’s birthday.  She went on to E-Bay and bid on that antique book and got it for her friend.  That’s a heart drop.  It is an art Karen tells us in listening and loving others.

Karen never had a slumber party.  Her mother was single, working and she never had a friend spend the night.  Her hubby told her to get ready to go out and her hubby had invited her 3 best friends. They kidnapped her and her husband had pulled off a party for 30 friends.  He had heard that heart drop.

Have you noticed how obsessed our culture is with me, me, me?  Karen Ehman reminded us this week that we have forgotten the joy that comes when we put others before ourselves.  Do you find yourself doing that whether it be on-line, in your to-do list, in your phone conversations, at work, at home with your loved ones, with your neighbors (do you even know them) and even at church and other areas of your life?  Shouldn’t it be more about Him, less of me?  Shouldn’t it be more of Jesus, then others, then me?  

Think about this one.  Karen says we are seduced by “selfie-centered living”.  It’s all about pictures we post on-line, what we are doing, what we are wearing, what we are eating, where we are going, and on and on and on.   She says “at every turn we seem to care about only one thing:  “What’s in it for me.”

We were reminded how many “old-fashioned virtues” have disappeared.  I was reminded what a sweet man I am married to who always opens the door not only for me but others too.  I don’t take for granted how he opens the car door for me, and how he opens doors wherever we go.  It used to bother me seeing him stand and let a dozen people in behind me while I stand waiting.  Now he opens, I go in and if there are two doors I let those folks go ahead.  Do you “give a helping hand”?  Do you “look out for others?”  Do you say thank you?  We do.

What would Jesus do (WWJD)?  “Jesus was never too busy to notice.  He lived alert.  He could be among a crowd of thousands and yet focus in on one weary soul who needed a look, a word, or a touch from him.”  “Jesus wasn’t about doing big things.  He was about doing the right thing.  And often for him, the right thing was noticing one simple soul.”  Have you, my friend, stopped to notice one simple soul today?  Do you live alert?

Karen shared with us her “magnetic kitchen island” and how when they were looking for a house that was her desire.  Her island is a magnet for others and pulls so many duties during celebrations and holidays.  She reminded us to open our lives so that we can sacrificially celebrate holidays, holy days, and the everyday because it gives us opportunities to serve.

Jesus noticed.  He took time to heal a common woman who had been bleeding.  Just a simple touch from her and immediately it stopped.  Jesus took the time to meet her need even in a big crowd.

As Karen talked about “ordinary holiness”, I not only reflected on my savior, but my husband.  Karen talked about a friend “who loved his friends, his community, his family, and his God.  A man who knew how to hear a heart drop.  And not just hear it, but respond.”  Also, “but he gave quietly” , and “quietly serving the person standing in front of him.  With an audience of only One.”   That’s my man.

We are here to have a relationship with our Father who created us, and we should take every opportunity to point others to Him.  Everything we do should point others to Him, not me, me, me.

Five ways that Karen reminds us to live alert:

  1.  Pray each day
  2. Take notes: mental ones and sticky ones.  Keep a small notebook in your purse, notes app on your phone, sticky notes, etc..  When you hear someone talk about an interest, write it down – birthday, favorite childhood toy, sports team they root for, a deceased’s birthday.  Plan to do something for them when the days rolls around.
  3. Pay attention to special dates.  Surgery, sports tryouts, offer on a new house.  Pray for those situations.
  4. Start stalking.  Check out their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts. Look for patterns – likes and obsessions and find ways to encourage and surprise them.
  5. Be a smart shopper.  Stock an arsenal of affection, stock-piling items that will be useful as you share love with others.


Karen started this chapter with a new term for me – summum bonum.  It’s meaning is the highest good.  She was writing a paper in college and decided that she would write about relationships.  She decided that nothing was more important in life than people.  How about you?  Is it really people or are things more important to you than people?  One thing I’ve learned myself the older I get is it truly is people.  Things will rot, things will be blown away by tornadoes, things will burn, things end – memories with people do not.

Her mentor, Pat led her to the Lord  and shared the two  reasons why we are on earth – have a relationship with our creator who offers us a place in heaven and to tell other people about Him so they can go to Heaven.  Relationships with our family members, friends, co-workers even those we meet only a few moments and even relationships our enemies.

Jesus performed miracles – He healed the bleeding woman, He healed a demon possessed man.  Immediately the bleeding stopped.  He healed, He was alert, and as Karen said, “he didn’t Instagram it.”  Even when peopled crowded around He noticed, and we are reminded that when people and projects bid our attention that we Jesus is calling us to stop and notice and give a special touch to that one person who might need some cheering up.

Often it seems like Jesus was going to be these big grand things, but for Jesus  ministry usually  was the person standing right in front of Him.Not the big thing he was going to do but the person standing right in front of them

Who is in front of you longing for you to notice them.  We have to start making relationships our big why.  We value possessions over people or maybe it’s a position or popularity among our circle of friends.  About a year ago she spent 3 weeks in a hospice with her SIL after a battle with breast cancer and bone cancer.  She never talked about the things they accumulated, the big house, the cars.  Her sister-in-law asked her to tell her about the time we were kids and the boat turned over, her son in a Christian rock band.  It was about people, not things.

Safety and Health at Work-4.png

Matthew 5:14-16 you are the light of the world.

“If you want to find your big why you have to lose it.  In order to bring joy to yourself first you need to be concerned with bringing joy to others.  The reason God brought us to earth in the first place was to have a relationship with him so we will enjoy him forever in heaven and take other people with us.  We want to be a mirror that lets his light shine so that he gets all the glory.”

Karen shared with us when she got away to write in the quiet at a friend’s home without distractions, and how a neighbor working in the yard kept coming over and interrupting.   She reminded us that “often interruptions,  especially of the people sort,  are God’s agenda for our day.  Sometimes we get caught up in what we think is big ministry like writing a Bible study but most often for Jesus true ministry was the person standing right in front of him.”

Is someone standing in front of you today?  Would you even notice if they were?

Our Bible verse this week reminded us why we should let our lights shine.  I’ve done it using the KJV.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven..png

Heart Drop photo designed using Pixelscrapper and Canva.

Max Lucado quote photo used free Canva photo.

Matthew 5:16 – Personal photo taken at Billy Graham Rooms

Blog, Let Others See Jesus In You, Matthew 5:16, Mirror, Titus 2:7


I grew up in a Southern Baptist church and we sang that song “Let Others See Jesus In You.”.  It was kinda’ slow, and not one of my favorite songs, but the older I get, the more I realize there are so many times that others don’t see Jesus in me. Oh my goodness it breaks my heart how I have failed others my whole life – at home, at work, at church.

When I look in a mirror what do I see or what do I think?  Some days I have to admit it’s scary.  Those stinkin’ thoughts like:

  • My hair looks bad.  I need a hair cut, a new hair style, color or perm.
  • Look at those lines.  Oh my goodness I need a face lift, but nope I don’t believe in that.
  • I am sooooooo fat.  I need to go on a diet and I sure need to exercise more as I run a few steps in place there in front of the mirror.
  • I am getting sooooo old.  Good grief – we went today to sign up for Medicare.  Was a very strange feeling.  Where has time gone?  I still feel like that young 19-year old that was getting married yesterday, and yes, still in love with that same wonderful man.
  • I’m a mess.  That does not look good on me.  Why did I buy that?

Are you like me, when you gaze in that mirror?  What do you see or say?

What does God say about you and me?   What if we looked into a mirror and see what He sees?  What we should be thinking when we look in the mirror is:

What God Says About Me

It’s not about who we are looking at in the mirror.  It is and should be about who we are trying to mirror.  I need to look in the mirror and say, “Thank You Lord for how You created me”.  I need to look in the mirror and die to my self every day.  I need to look in that mirror and examine myself in faith and God’s eyes.  We need to be asking God who we are, and looking to be more like Him by studying what the Word says.  We need to spend time in our mirror – the Word – and not just glancing in a glass mirror.

As we begin to see ourselves as Jesus sees us, we will begin to look at others differently and they will see Jesus in us.  Is He reflected today in your actions with your family, friends, and neighbors?  Is He reflected today in your blogging, your email, your Facebook comments, your church, your jobs, the way you handle money and keep your home and body?  Our behavior should mimic His, and I have to honestly say my behavior does not some time.

Do others see Jesus in you:

  • When you go out to eat and a waitress messes up, or does not give you the exceptional service that YOU deserve, do you send back the food in a rude manner and just complain about everything?  Do you tip her/he less because of their poor service?  Do you belittle them to their manager?  Is that what Jesus would do?  For me, I used to tip 10-20 % depending on service.  But, today I realize that Jesus wants me to treat every waiter the same.
  • When a driver cuts you off, do you cuss, do you make hand motions, do you call them an idiot or worse?  Is that what Jesus would do?  When that happens I pray for that driver that God will change their heart and actions.
  • When your child disappoints you or makes a mistake, do you scream and yell or do you sit down and talk about it?  I have to admit when mine were younger, Jesus saw me yelling at times.  I don’t get a do-over and yep there are things I would do different today.
  • When you are upset with your spouse, do you clam up or do you yell and throw things?  Both are wrong. I used to clam up.  Not proud of it, but it’s good for the soul to look back at how far I have come.
  • When a telephone solicitor calls, how do you respond?  I’m still working on that one.  If you have ideas, I would love to hear them.  Yes, the phone just rang, and it was an unknown number.  I decided to answer and be nice and polite.
  • When someone messes up at work, do you show grace?  We’ve all been there.  Remember when you messed up and how you felt.

Titus 27

When I think less of myself, I don’t need others to fill my cup.  I only need Jesus to fill my cup.  When I think less of myself I am not as sensitive, or self-conscious, or comparing myself to others.  When I think less of myself, I am not looking for compliments to feel good, or look for others approval.  When I think less of myself I only have to look to Him for my approval.

If you want to let others see Jesus in you:

  • Be the same person every day that you are in church, unless you are the one in church that is causing conflict.
  • Be a person that can keep a confidence.  It’s so hard to find a friend that can keep a confidence.  I love that my husband and my children can be trusted to keep a confidence, and me too.
  • Be a person of self-control.  Control your tongue to not gossip.  Control your anger – it’s not that hard.  Control your emotions.
  • Be kind and compassionate and not greedy or stingy.
  • Be honest.  Don’t exaggerate.  Don’t cover up your children’s mistakes, and please admit when they fail at school and listen to the school administration.  Don’t misrepresent the facts or add to them.
  • Be humble – not cocky, not proud, not self-centered.
  • Be pure.  Watch what you read and what you see on television.
  • Be a person who serves and not one that expects to be served.

We have to become more like Christ in everything we do.  Let your lights shine!

blog-Matthew 516

Linking up with Suzanne Eller on Live Free Thursday  


Day 2 – First Monday of Advent – Waiting for You, My Lord

Today I lit a Christmas candle

blog-matthew 5.16

moving from a bountiful Thanksgiving week of thankfulness, and all those daily reflections of what I am thankful for to advent – to a season of bountiful joy.

May you be filled with JOY this Christmas season and every day.
Advent is a time of preparing for the expectant waiting and celebration of the coming of Jesus Christ.  It is a time of rejoicing in His birth.  It is a time we thank Him for the precious gift of Him so long ago – a gift we have to cling to every moment of our lives knowing He is coming again.  He is the greatest gift,

KING of Kings!!!!!

the greatest illustration of joy, and our greatest source of joy.

May you be filled with unspeakable joy this year.
 It only took a few minutes to run upstairs and grab a candle as I rushed up from my morning study and read my first Ann Voskamp free no-stress manifestos –  great reminders for each one of us and a gift from Ann for this December.

I am waiting Lord.  This December will not become a production in my home, in my life – it’s all about You!  May I remember that not only this Christmas season, but every day of the year.  May I reflect this day as I decorate for this season only on You.

“J” is for Jesus born on Christmas day!
  May I look at that candle, that crown, that Jesus candy cane, those joy ornaments and be reminded of You, the Light and know I am the light in my home and everywhere I go.  May I shine for You.

I pray you catch a glimpse of the Light, of His light.

 Remember He is the reason for the season.

You can print out all of Ann’s sticky notes here or find her on Facebook where she started sharing the sticky notes today.  I printed them off on card stock and putting them on a ring.

Photo: Hey Soul? December 1st! Okay -- deep breath -- not only is this month going to be okay --- it's all going to be Beautiful!<br /><br /><br /> No-Stress Holidays this year --  because simply? quietly...<br /><br /><br /> we are hushing the hurry & waiting for you, Lord.<br /><br /><br /> And when we know it's all about Jesus -- there. is. no. stress.<br /><br /><br /> And we whisper it:<br /><br /><br /> I will not let December become about making a production<br /><br /><br /> when it's simply about not. missing. You.<br /><br /><br /> Miracles happen throughout Advent --<br /><br /><br /> whenever I slow.... whenever I still.... whenever I simply look for small and unlikely shoots of Jesus' love everywhere...<br /><br /><br /> because this grows deep in Jesus' love for everyone.<br /><br /><br /> ~ from #TheGreatestGift<br /><br /><br /></p><br /><br /> <p>#Day1 #TheGreatestGift #LookForTheSmall </p><br /><br /> <p>[ yep, free 25 No-Stress Manifestos for every day of December,<br /><br /><br /> like an Advent Calendar for Big People, so we unwrap *Jesus* & not *stress* :) ... free Stress-Free Holiday Sticky Notes for Your Soul, right here: ]

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