Thought For The Day 03/04/13


Speaking, Listening and Hearing,

The A B C’s of Communication!




To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words. You listen not only to the ‘music,’ but to the essence of the person speaking. You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is. Ears operate at the speed of sound, which is far slower than the speed of light the eyes take in. Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself, so you can slow our mind’s hearing to your ears’ natural speed, and hear beneath the words to their meaning.

Peter Senge


Since the Son of God began his mission of sharing the message and words of his Father to mankind, so it is that communicating our faith to others has become the hallmark and mission of every religious denomination for the last 2000 years. The problem is that relatively few people really hear what it is we are trying to convey because instead of using our words to teach and to build bridges, in our enthusiasm, what we are sometimes doing is constructing a bulwark so mountainous and overwhelming that we frighten people away. We assume that because we embrace with our whole heart, everything that it is we want to covey, that everyone we share it with will be receptive to our approach and receive our words with the very same enthusiasm. There is a reason one quote in particular, has become so popular over the years. ”You attract more bees with honey than vinegar”! Deuteronomy 32: 1-2 ESV, uses honey to teach us this very thing! “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb.”


Communicating the faith is not arguing to force someone to see our side, but rather, to encourage a dialogue of shared ideas whereby we convey to them our side of the matter, and at the same time, try to convince them of our belief. If we can persuade without overwhelming, like honey instead of vinegar, we are more likely to get our point seen and open the door to developing the meaningful dialog we hope for. And listening and really hearing is absolutely fundamental for this to happen. It is only during a free exchange of information, especially when we allow the questions someone may have to be asked, that we will find the opportunity to share with them our answer and what it is we hope they take away from our discussion. So how do we refine those communication skills? Well, sometimes that means opening up in the one place where we are the most comfortable speaking freely; our home, with our partner! However, even then, do we really know how to speak to those who are closest to us? Are there rules for becoming good communicators, even within the dynamic of the intimacy of an interpersonal relationship? Are you like me…..sometimes guilty of only listening with one ear and then to only half of what our partner is saying? And if so, should we really be surprised when, in the end, we really have no more idea about what the other was saying, than the “man in the moon”? Mark 4:24 ESV is a reminder of why it is important to really hear what another says! “And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.”


Nancy Salazar is the author of a blog on WordPress entitled, “LOVE YOUR SPOUSE”. Her goal is to provide the tools of faith that will help a marriage last a lifetime rather than a minute, as seems to be the norm in the 21st century. And while I may mot always agree with Nancy’s approach with everything she writes, there is something of value worth remembering in every one. Today’s is especially important since, to my mind, it is the fracturing of our ability to communicate with those closest to us that makes it nearly impossible to communicate with those we want to share our belief system with! And just as the learning tools we need to navigate life are easier to remember when we begin with our A B C’s, so it is as we learn how it is to sustain an open and effective capacity to communicate with everyone in our lives! James 1:19 ESV is perfect for thinking about effective speaking, hearing and listening! “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger..”


Why is it so hard to listen and What to do about it

by Nancy Salazar


Assumptions: You think you know what the person is going to say so you don’t listen or you interrupt to fill in the gaps.

Solution: Listen with an open mind.


Bias: You let the person’s outward appearance or opinions block you from truly hearing what is said.

Solution: Don’t focus on any one thought or emotion that you have.


Control: You feel the need to interrupt, rush and/or correct what the person is saying.

Solution: Listen with your heart as well as with your ears remembering the importance of relationship. Maintain a relaxed, non-hurried posture that communicates that their agenda is important to you. Don’t be petty.


Distraction: You lose attentiveness because you think faster than they speak so you think about what you are going to say next.

Solution: Stay in the moment. Hang on to every word. Refrain from planning ahead to what you will say. Maintain eye contact which will help you keep focused on the person and communicate that you are with them.


Ego: You put your own need to be the focus of attention before the other person.

Solution: Work at respecting and valuing the other person. Learn to love your neighbor as yourself.



“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

Proverbs 2: 1-5 ESV


It is now March of 2013, more than 3 months since Superstorm Sandy struck on October 29, 2012, and yet there are still people living in Staten Island that remain without the basic necessities for living that you and I take for granted. Lives will continue be impacted for years to come. But you can help! Please consider sending a Gift Card to the organization listed below. Thousands of cards have been distributed since November but millions more are needed. Give as much as you can, as often as you can! Your gift might just mean a family who has lost everything might just have something to smile about!


Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
For information, visit


Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry


About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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