Be Open to Listen: Intertwining Your Faith with Everyday Life
Updated: Nov 14
I had a vending event this past weekend at the Orlando Gospel Fest. There were a lot of people walking, running, listening to the live music, and enjoying the weather. The amphitheater is located in downtown Orlando at Lake Eola Park. I had never been to the amphitheater before so I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s beautiful.
The Lord provided me with an opportunity to witness this weekend. One of the conversations that I had was very interesting. The person's father was a Jew from Israel and her mother was a black African. She was a beautiful lady with a kind soul. She talked about some of the struggles she was having now and how she had no family available. She had moved to Orlando to help another person, but she was now starting to feel down. She came out to get some air and to have a change of scenery.
I asked her if she had any remaining family in Israel and she stated none that she knew of. I was thinking about all the conflict that’s going on right now and how we need to pray for Israel. She mentioned that she was a Sephardic Jew. I asked her to define a Sephardic Jew. She gave me a history lesson. I always want to be in the posture of learning. The world's history is so great and it’s a lot bigger than my corner of the world. Here’s what I discovered:
The name "Sephardic" comes from the Hebrew word for Spain, "Sefarad." Spanish Jews who were forced to convert to Catholicism or face expulsion from Spain after 1492. In this great diasporic movement, 100,000-300,000 Spanish Jews (estimates vary) left Spain and settled in different parts of Europe and the Middle East. Many settled in the Ottoman Empire after they were welcomed by the Ottoman Sultan.
The Jewish diaspora (Hebrew: תְּפוּצָה, romanized: təfūṣā) or exile (Hebrew: גָּלוּת gālūṯ; Yiddish: golus)[N 1] is the biblical dispersion of Israelites or Jews out of their ancient ancestral homeland (the Land of Israel) and their subsequent settlement in other parts of the globe.
I loved talking with her. She had a wealth of knowledge about her history. I asked if I could pray with her and she said yes. We prayed and at the end I said in Jesus name, Amen. She told me that she prays to Yahweh. I told her I understand, and she said we both believe in God. I said yes ma’am, then she was on her way.
Always be open to listening. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” James 1:19-20
Be enthusiastic about learning and sharing the word of God. “Quietly trust yourself to Christ your Lord, and if anybody asks why you believe as you do, be ready to tell him, and do it in a gentle and respectful way.” 1 Peter 3:15 TLB
Be a berean. “But the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and gladly listened to the message. They searched the Scriptures day by day to check up on Paul and Silas’ statements to see if they were really so.” Acts 17:11 TLB
By doing these things…over time, I’ve been learning how to incorporate Christ into every area of my life.
Below are two books that God has inspired me to write. "The Flip Side" and "Blinded By Sight: The Heart Matters" both available now.
So… what’s this book about?
“The Flip Side” depicts the possible feelings and emotions of lesser-known Biblical characters as they navigated their lives in the shadows of the more popular characters in the Bible. While the Bible gives us snippets of their stories, we are usually left in the dark about their true motives, desires, and thoughts concerning the situations they are in. However, one certainty is that despite how little we know about these characters, they were often the catalysts to pivotal moments in the main characters’ lives.
So… what’s this book about?
Join me on a journey of self-discovery. “Blinded by Sight - The Heart Matters” is a compilation of short biblical devotions. These stories are not conclusive. They are depictions of how God is revealing my heart to me.
My prayer is, Lord, make it real for me, show me your heart, show me my heart, and give me the wisdom to change what hinders my relationship with you. I am learning that my perception is my biggest obstacle it affects my mind, what I think, and how I process my experiences. What I have experienced in my mind is expressed through my feelings and these experiences dictate my choices either consciously or subconsciously.
This devotional will allow you to explore and evaluate your past and present situations that have hindered you from seeing the heart of the matter. Simply put, look at the heart – it does matter. Your future depends on it!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalms 34:4