Monday, March 11, 2013

I Hear Voices, by David O'Dell Nobles

This post was written by our son, David Nobles. David is head counsel for Dawson Geophysical Co. in Midland, Texas. Prior to that he served as Minister to Singles in three churches in Texas and Oklahoma: Midland, Oklahoma City, and Longview, Texas, and before that he practiced law. I think he must have written this when he was having a bad day. We all have bad days. I posted this because even when we have bad days, God will carry us to victory if we listen to Him, as you will see near the end of this piece.
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I hear voices.
Not all the time, but fairly often. Fortunately, they don’t tell me to hurt anyone, at least no one except me. What they tell me is that I am, at best, mediocre. In spiritual terms they say I am lukewarm, like the church in Revelation that God spit out of his mouth.
The voices have lots of examples of mediocrity. In high school I was a good student but an average athlete. Yes, I graduated from Law School but with a C average. I had middling success as a lawyer—I won lots of cases but none were big or important to the overall legal community. I never made much money. I went to seminary and made straight A’s but I was ‘just an education guy.’ As a minister every church I’ve served has seen a substantial decline in attendance during my tenure. My area did a little better than the overall church, but not much. (He didn't tell you here that he won awards in seminary TWICE for getting the highest grade in the education department.)
I’m an average golfer. On the bike I’m not horribly slow but I’m not fast either. The same is true for running and swimming. I drive a red Mustang but it’s a 6-cylinder ’03 automatic. My height is average and I weigh too much.
I know a lot about the Bible but I don’t have any special insights. I am a decent communicator, orally and in writing—maybe a little better than average, but I am certainly not someone people can’t wait to hear or read. Need an example? We started this thing called ‘PowerHouse’ in single adult Bible study where I had the opportunity to lead a 10-minute devotional for our entire group. Attendance declined. Now we have a different format.
But you know what? My Bible tells me God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Jacob was a deceiver, Joseph was a jerk, then a slave and a prisoner, Moses was a shepherd who did not want to be a leader, Gideon was a farmer with an inferiority complex, David was a shepherd and the last-born in his family, Mary was a peasant, Matthew was a tax collector, Peter was a simple fisherman, all the disciples were ‘unschooled, ordinary men.’ Like Paul, I can definitely say “To keep me from becoming conceited… there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” And like Paul, God says to me: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
I am grateful that God has chosen to use me to be a blessing in many lives. I can see the faces right now of people who now are part of the family of God, who gave up despair and found purpose and happiness, who are serving God as a full-time vocation, who discovered the joy of service as a volunteer or leader, and who have won victory over many different types of problems.
The voice of mediocrity is my unwanted companion. Sometimes I believe it, and those are bad days. Many days, hopefully more often than not, I recognize the voices for what they are: the “thorn in the flesh,” the reminder that the good things God does through me are just that: GOD at work. I suspect most of us have these same companions, to a greater or lesser degree. I encourage you to embrace the lesson of grace Paul taught us. I encourage you to acknowledge the presence and power of God in your life.
David and his wife, Margaret, visiting the Holy Land
David is our third child and our second son. He has a law degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and a Master's degree in ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas.

David's guest blogs will be every second and fourth Monday of each month, until I run out of articles he has sent me. I hope you enjoy them. I don't think he is mediocre. I think he's a pretty neat guy. Hope you will enjoy hearing from him for the next few months.


  1. Yes, that was a bad day. I remember that day, in fact. But in a way, it was also a good day, because in the process of writing this I realized just how good God has been to me. I hope this will be an encouragement to you WHEN (not if) you hear voices. Now it's telling me to select a profile, & I have no idea what that means...David Nobles

    1. It printed your response, so I guess it was all right. Select a profile means to leave your name. Your email address will not be published. You need to learn that David, so you can comment on all my blogs. (from Mom)