Ponderings with Doug – July 28, 2017

Good communication runs in two directions. As a public speaker, I watch and listen to the congregation while I’m preaching. If I see several people with heads bowed I know they are not praying for the sermon to improve. They are sleeping, soundly. The other sign of failed homiletical communication is the sound of coughing. More than three coughs from different people in a minute means you have lost the congregation. During a boring sermon coughs are as infectious as yawning. Another sound of sermon failure is the sound of peppermints being unwrapped. I’m going to be frank with you church peppermint people. You need go ahead and “grip it and rip it” trying to open peppermints slowly is not better! We can hear you!

Understanding nonverbal communication is important for a relationship. If you are a guy and she is looking at you with her hand on her hips, please notice the thumbs. If the thumbs are in sight, she is mildly chagrined at what you have just said or done. If you can’t see her thumbs and all you see are fingers as she has her hands on her hips, you need to go quickly and purchase many roses and diamonds. You have blown it big time.

Many females have two sets of wrinkle lines on their forehead. The set of horizontal wrinkle lines indicate an inquiry. That is her nonverbal way of saying, “What do you think you are doing?” They never ask us what we are doing; they want to know what we think we are doing. Perhaps our cognition and our actions are not congruent. The second set of wrinkles resides above the nose; they are vertical in orientation and expression, when they appear you need to leave.

Another way of communicating nonverbally is leaving stuff around. I have a friend who came back from a business trip and all of his stuff was on the front yard of his house. His wife had moved everything else out and left him.

Shoes can be used as a means of nonverbal communication. You have doubtless seen shoes hanging from telephone lines. There are all sorts of meanings that can be associated with that. I’m not sure that any of them are accurate. When we were kids we played a game to see who could do it in the fewest tosses. Now sinister meanings have been associated with shoes hanging from phone lines.

I saw something the other day that I don’t know what it means. I have attached a picture of the sight to this article. On Second Street across from the Methodist church someone has nailed a shoe to the utility pole. I have no clue what it means. I don’t know who did it. I don’t know if I should remove the shoe or not. I thought you would join me in pondering the meaning of the shoe nailed to the utility pole. It may mean nothing. I don’t know if I should be “getting the message” from the shoe or not. I feel sorry for the child who is one shoe short of a pair. I must leave opened the option that some sibling was playing a joke using a shoe, hammer and nail.

When God communicates He does so in a way that we can understand, internalize and then follow. The book of Hebrews tells us that God communicated in many ways in the past, but in these last days has communicated through His son Jesus.

Jesus was clear that God loves you. When you follow Him your life will be filled with abundant joy and peace. His message of love for you is clear.