The Many 'Voices' of God.
Are You Really Listening For Them?

"And he said, "Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD." And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 
and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice."
1Kings 19:11-12 RSV
Instead of "a still small voice", the DRB calls it "a gentle air", the Septuagent "a gentle breeze",
the NAB "a tiny whispering sound".
At any rate it is the voice of God.

How many times have you asked God for something but heard nothing from Him, not even 'a still small voice'?
Have you ever wondered why? Was it discouraging for you? I am here to tell you please do not be discouraged.
Maybe He did not fail to answer you. It just could be your fault because you were not listening properly.
Did you know that there is a big difference between hearing and listening?
You may hear what someone said but did not listen and so you failed to get the message.
Maybe it was not the fault of God at all, but because you were not listening correctly.
What? How can anyone not listen correctly? If he or she has ears to hear, let them hear.
Now you have asked a very important question and I will attempt to answer it.
How many senses are we born with? That is a grammar school question.
We have five: sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. 
There are actually more than that when we add the senses of balance, pressure, temperature, pain, and motion.
Some scientists say that there are even more than that.

I once had a three way problem that I was greatly concerned about and I did not know the best way to solve it.
So I asked the 'Little Flower' to please help me resolve it by sending me a red rose for option one, a yellow one for the
second option, and a white rose for the third. Just minutes later I flipped open a magazine that I had not read
and was surprised to see a full page ad that said, "I picked this rose especially for you". It had a picture of a red rose
and that was the correct option to solve my problem. Did I hear anything? No, nothing but the sound of the
magazine as I flipped it open.

I had a brush with death and I prayed for the name of the person who saved me so I could thank him or her.
Immediately a picture of the face of my dead uncle George appeared in my mind but I heard nothing.
Expecting an audible voice message, I wondered why the mental image of my uncle appeared since he had
passed away many years before, and so I did not connect it to my prayer and I simply ignored it.
To my utter amazement almost a year later, I found out that mental image was the answer to my prayer.
That person's name was George.
So you see in those two examples, neither prayer was answered by a voice to be heard.
One was for those who have eyes to see and the other came through a mental image.

Here is one more true story of mine. This time with a photograph of the ending:
August 23, 1983, Tuesday, Rick:
My wifes nephew, Rick, age 28, was a tree faller. Six months before the above date, the following happened:
He loved having a bar-b-que and visiting us on our few acres in the tree covered foothills in the mountains.
There was a seven acre parcel next to ours and Rick told me, "If that parcel ever goes up for sale, you had better buy it
or someone else will buy it and build a three story house right there". He pointed to a spot that was the closest to my house.
I told him I was not interested in buying it.
Right after that, while he was tending the bar-b-que, our conversation somehow turned to religion.
Rick, being an atheist said, "You know I do not believe in that". I replied that I knew it, and that he would have to agree on only one thing, that one of us has to be right and one of us has to be wrong. He laughed and agreed. I then said, "If I am wrong, all I have done is to waste a few years of my life in practicing my religion.
But if you are wrong, you will have all of eternity to pay for it".
He laughed and said, "If I go first I will come back and tell you who was right and who was wrong".
That was the end of that conversation.
Six months later on the above date he was accidentally electrocuted.
He felled a branch across a twenty thousand volt powerline. The voltage traveled from the powerline through the branch, down through his chainsaw, through him and out through his climbing spikes and into the grounded tree.
August 25, 1983, Thursday:
Rick loved our few acres and had mentioned many times that if anything happened to him he wanted to be 'planted' beneath a large pine tree on our property. He was to be cremated and we agreed to his wish.
However the area of the large pine was covered with small trees, brush, and manzanita.
I had a large loader-backhoe Case 530 Construction King, and I was using it to clear the brush.
It mowed down everything that got in front of it, ripping it out by the roots. While doing this I became angry with Rick, reminding him that he said he would come back and tell me who was right and who was wrong, and he had not done so. I told him that a promise is a promise and I expected him to keep his promise to me.
No sooner had I said that in my mind, I had made another cut with the tractor and had a pile of brush in front of it.
It was a hot August day and I was thirsty to get a drink of water, so I backed up the Case 530 for a bit and to my amazement up popped a small pine tree that was not uprooted and it had formed a perfect cross. I was stunned. Rick had somehow passed a message to me that I was right. I realized later that the message could not be from Rick but from an infinitely higher authority.
I examined the little cross and found that the Case 530 had cut the little pine in half and peeled off its bark,
and that piece of bark swung around and formed the crossbar. Now the mystery here is that there was no visible means of support for that piece of bark other than a tiny thread of wood material attached to the top of the cross on one end and to the extreme left end of the crossbar at about a 45 degree angle. There was nothing in the center of the crossbar that would hold it to the little vertical damaged pine tree. I dared not touch the crossbar for fear that it would fall to the ground. However I did gently blow on it as a slight breeze would do, and it merely rotated back and forth on the verticle part of the cross, and did not fall.
A week or so later Rick's family and friends, seventeen people in all, were at my home with his ashes in a sealed plastic container. Yet there was something else very strange that happened just minutes before the burial.
Carrying Ricks ashes,we started in a stretched out procession by ones in line walking a path from my house to the burial site a few hundred feet away. It was warm and clear and not a breath of a breeze was present.
Grandma was the slowest in the procession and after she had passed a large apple tree loaded with apples, we heard a loud crack followed by a loud thump. That tree had suddenly split in two and almost half of it crashed down in our pathway behind us missing Grandma by only about 3 feet. It would have killed or maimed anyone in our procession had it happened only seconds earlier. The previous day was very windy. Why didn't it fall that day? Who held back the fall of that tree until the last person had safely passed it? Or for the reverse of that question, who pushed it over on a calm day?
Was this a strong message for the atheists in the group? If so, I doubt if any of them got the message.
I then formed an axiom in my mind and I live by it to this day.
"All of life is a matter of timing, a minute or two here, or a second or two there."
This axiom will hold true in my life as more examples of it will come to light in later years.
We then buried Ricks ashes at the foot of his favorite pine tree.
The little cross was still standing and everyone saw it. I would check it every day afterwards and about two weeks later the crossbar had fallen to the ground.
Here is a picture of that little cross. The tree that Rick wanted to be buried under is just out of the picture to the right.
Note the tracks on both sides of the cross that my large Case 530 had made:

Oh, and that is not yet the end of this story. Remember Rick telling me to buy the next door property or someone else will buy it and build a 3 story house as close as they could get it to my house?
Well, someone else did buy that property and there is now a 3 story house sitting in the exact spot that Rick pointed out.

So yes there is a God, and He does indeed answer the requests of those of whom He wishes.
However, He may not answer with "a still small voice", but by any method that He opts to use.
It is up to us to be open to the 'voices of God', by whatever method that He chooses to answer our prayers.
He could answer by any of our five senses. or by a way not even of those basic senses, 
such as a mental idea, a thought, or a picture. He could use a method such as a 'coinsign'
of which I have seen so many. He could answer you by simply opening a magazine to a certain page
for you to read as what happened to me as I have mentioned earlier in this page.
It is up to each one of us to maintain an open mind and to not reject even the simplest ways that God may speak
to us, as I did with that mental picture of my uncle. God already knows the prayer petitions that we are going
ask of Him before we ask them, so he could answer them immediately after it is presented to Him. But then again He
may delay it for a reason of His own. Just attune yourself to the fact that His response could come from any source and any direction at any time and by practically any means and please do not have a closed mind so you can be open to it.

My dear Father Dwyer of whom I have written about so many times once said:
"The hardest thing to open is a closed mind."

Written by Bob Stanley, August 28, 2014

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