Consequently, Laurence is recording 1,600 sentences into a computer program that can be banked and pieced back together to enable him to read and converse with his son. He said, “My son is the key motivation to record my voice so that if my voice is lost, he can still hear what his dad sounds like. He may also hear what I sound like when I am no longer here.”*

Mr. Brewer knows that without a voice he could still tend to his son’s needs, but hands and smiles alone have limited impact. With his voice, he could read, whisper, and reveal the depth of his heart to his boy. Retaining his voice is a means to intimacy, relationship, and influence. We see this same desire in the heart of our God: God's desire for relationship and intimacy requires a voice. While his provision of the Law also demonstrated his desire for communion, the Incarnation was the primary means God used to broadcast his voice to humanity.

How are we employing our voices to influence others for God?

God also relied on other voices to help prepare the way: John the Baptist said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord’” (John 1:23). Jesus also made disciples who would carry the message on after his death. He charged them to continue making disciples in order for God’s voice to be heard “in all the world.”

Our focus should be on the redemptive conversations and actions available to us every day with our families, our parishioners, our ministry partners, our friends, and our acquaintances.

As followers of this same God and his Son, Jesus Christ, how are we employing our voices to influence others for God? If we are authentic disciples, then the same desire for intimacy and relationship should be evident in our daily lives. Rather than pursuing positions of power, superior knowledge, or perfect performance, our focus should be on the redemptive conversations and actions available to us every day with our families, our parishioners, our ministry partners, our friends, and our acquaintances. In these immediate circles of influence, God gives us ample opportunity to share the same love he has already shared with us.

The theme of this issue of Grace and Peace is discipleship. My prayer is that through your voice—an imperfect, yet valuable and signifi cant voice—you will be a means of grace to those within your circles. In Romans 14:7-8, Paul said, “We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” Your voice will continue to speak long after you are gone through the voices of disciples you have helped shape. May God help us to speak up!

*This story can be found online at http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/03/06/britishdad- record-1600-words-losing-voice-forever/.