Most of my friends have heard me mention that I hear voices. And if they continue to listen, they have heard me explain. As a pastor, as a youth camp director and as a respected elder in society I have discovered that in order to have a positive influence I must have an open ear to the voices of those around me and under my influences. It is a serious mistake and mind boggling to allow one's self to become susceptible to every voice. If a person feels that friends are gained by giving in to the individual voices, he will shortly find himself without true friends. If a person is only willing to listen to supportive voices, he will become self enamored and mistrusted. If a person allows negative or contrary voices govern his decisions, then he will be seen as a coward and powerless.
  Many men have had the opportunity to become leaders and have suddenly found themselves without followers or have been overthrown simply because they were deaf to the voices of their followers. A true leader must have his own internal goals and a set agenda. He will lose his following if he consistently changes course or is vague in purpose.
John Dunne, a preacher, wrote, "no man is an island...." He was referring to the fact that there never has been a man who was self sufficient in all respects. I believe that a majority of the born leaders had at least one parent who instilled the qualities of leadership. Yes! It is possible for an abusive parent to cause an offspring to mount to high achievements only in response to a flawed home life.  There is another saying that must be included here, "behind every successful man, there stands a woman." which was first published in 1946 by a Texas newspaper. Every great man sits down frequently at a meal prepared by his woman. The accompanying conversation becomes a time of influence or a voice.
  Generals have a staff. Presidents and Kings have staffs. Did you know that the secretarial staff of the Oval Office continue on from president to president. One of the Oval office secretaries retired in the late nineties. She had been in that office since FDR. If the truth were known and tapes had been recorded, it might amaze us how much influence a secretary might have on the decisions of a president. Voices. I certainly would like to have been a mouse in the Oval Office for the first few days of Obama's occupation of the White House! His office as a senator was counted in days. Bush was very nice to him, even leaving notes of instruction for minor details.
  Above, I spoke of parents having influence upon their off spring. Though my dad has been gone since 1989, I still rely on his voice in many of my actions and thoughts. No, I am not saying that he still talks to me! I am saying that many of his philosophies and mannerisms still have a direct influence in my life and behaviour.
  I have a couple of friends who seem to enjoy cutting into my ideals with pungent realities. They sometimes don't even pretend to be tactful. Their voices are important to me because I know inside me that they are true friends and love me. I have to ask one of them frequently if they are still my friend?
  The over riding voice that I allow to affect my direction and decisions is the Word of God. I make absolute that voice. I have learned that if I do not abide by and obey that voice, I get into sure trouble and find myself flailing about. The Lord's voice is precious and invaluable.

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