Good morning. 

Have you ever spoken a word over and over again until it sounds quite a ridiculous word to apply to the object to which it belongs? Try it. Look at an object and say it's name re­peatedly. Then wonder why it was given that name. I always end up wondering if I've got it right.

One of the things that brings greatest relief when older children leave home is the lack of noise. You may have experienced the constant bass beat of popular music, resounding through your house, or in your car, until the shout goes up to turn it down.

Apart from damaging ears, and the general environment, I'm sure it doesn't do much for the structure of the building!

Of course the music, or television that we enjoy, changes over the years, and maybe does become a bit more subdued, especially as those teenagers we complain about once had to have peace and quiet in our homes in order to sleep. No doubt in years to come they will send up similar cries of complaint to their offspring.

Listening and hearing are related activities, but are not the same. We listen to hear com­pletely, but often what we are listening for is masked by other sounds that we hear. Jesus told many stories to people who understood the illustration, but in hearing the story they didn't actually listen for the meaning. Some just weren't ready, some were listening for something else. But Jesus said to them, as He says to us today - "If you have ears, then hear.”

Pippa Cook