Tag Archives: words

A Nice Thought To Begin the Day

fireNobody is any more surprised than we ourselves when something we’ve said ends up being the start of a pathway to destruction. Yet, there it is in James 3:5

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things, Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

As I read through James last night and this morning, preparing my Sunday School lesson for the teen department; I am reminded that the same tongue that can start a fire of destruction… and we all know it can! Can also start a fire for the cause of Christ that will burn until His return and God won’t mind in the least! As a matter of fact He’ll reward us for the effort. I pray that my thoughts and God’s words unite to ignite my youth. I pray that’s true in your church too.

The tongue is such a small portion of the body, and yet yields so much power. So do each of us in the body of Christ. That’s a nice thought to begin the Lord’s Day with. Encourage one another today!

While it is called to day

today

Words are heavy on my heart today. My words and those belonging to other people. I’m flabbergasted at the fact that so many people believe they have the right to say what ever it is that comes to mind and give no thought to the repercussion emotionally, spiritually or otherwise.

Scripture says

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Ephesians 4:29

It happens to be the verse of the day which I read after I journaled the image attached to this blog. If I were to give people a piece of my mind, first: it might be all I had left and second: it may be a waste of my energy. Which is why I usually keep my trap shut because wasted time speaking your mind is like a clearance sale item, you probably don’t need it and it’s not returnable. So what are we to do when people hurt us or those we love with words.

Hebrews 3:13 says

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

While it is called to day

Spell check wasn’t happy with the words to and day being apart. But further study shows me why it was written as such. Written in that form is to say “until that day”, meaning until eternity. That puts that sentence and life into a totally different perspective. Until Jesus returns we’re to encourage one another, because to do anything else will harden our hearts which is sinful.

To not care what we say, or think causes a callousness that hardens us, and I think we all know “those people.” They are not fun to be around! They suck the life out of me. It also hardens us to the spiritual things of life and feeling the Holy Spirit move. A negative Nellie or Ned as the case may be will squelch the Holy Spirit moving in a service faster than a race car. But church seems to be a chosen place to practice idiotic commentary. Oh dear… I may have just meddled. But it’s true!  On more than one occasion I’ve heard a “well intentioned” church member cut someone to the core and fail to realize any damage was done.

That ought not to be.

Every word that proceeds out of our mouth, whether is to blood family or church family, will be answered for.

My advice to myself and to you is … until Jesus comes back choose your words wisely and at every opportunity sew kindness, mercy and grace. And when someone cuts into you with their words, speak Jesus, He is the balm that heals all.

 

What to eat when you’re hurting

what to eatHave you ever wondered which hurts worst: Saying something you wish you’d never said or saying nothing and wishing you had? It’s tough. And it’s one of the millions of problems God understands. Now if only I could understand.

When you’re a talker, and I am, silence isn’t necessarily golden. I can feel the Spirit of God welling up in my soul trying to overpower the words that are working their way up from my gut. I need to say it! And God says “That’ll leave a mark Shari.” And I reply… “Just a small one God.” And He responds… “You can only see the surface, I see down deep… that little mark you thought your words would leave will go clear to the bone.

And so I shush. But the words pool and pool and pool until they flood out my mouth like tsunami that just hit the beach of a small island! I hate it! I regret it. But it’s too late… and so God begins putting the shores back of the relationship that I cut myself off from because I’d had enough. I’d been hurt one too many times.

In Matthew 18:21, Peter asked the Lord how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? To which Jesus replied, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

I taught this lesson on Wednesday night to my youth. It was timely in my life… but that’s how God works. If you’re a teacher of the gospel you understand. God never allows you to point a finger at anyone and say “You should do this!” without three pointing back at you saying, “So should you!”

I spoke a while back on the subject of hurt in the ministry.  I was shocked at the widespread sentiment of almost everyone there. Many thanked me and said the message was for them, then asked prayer for their issue. I think some wanted me to pray that God would cast coals of fire on their enemies head, but that’s not how God works. I know, I’ve prayed that prayer a time or two. If you’re honest you likely have too.

So what does one do when they’ve been hurt? At least for a while… shush; followed by calming the waters.  No tsunamis! You need to sit in the recliner with a cup of coffee and banana and talk to Jesus. Well, that’s how I did it.

It’s said to be an old Cherokee tale, but whosoever it is, it is wise and it is biblical:

***

One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “my son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good. It is joy, peace love, hope serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

The grandson though about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “the one that you feed.

***

 Our words have great power. The spoken and the unspoken. Although we may never say aloud many of the things we think, the thought process still feeds our spirit. And like the tsunami that got its start down deep on the ocean floor, the things in the pit of our stomach that causes us anger and resentment are what we feed upon. If we continually think negative thoughts about issues and people it will eventually erupt and likely cause a broad path of damage.

The coffee and banana were good… the Words of God, were great! Feed on those.

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Church Words… a hot topic!

James 3:6 ~  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

What church doesn’t have that “one among their members” who never understands the need of keeping their trap shut when it comes to expressing an opinion without regard for the feelings attached? Perhaps you’re that person (insert smile here, for you likely don’t know it) and it is for certain that we all have the ability to be that person. But this morning as I prepare my heart for attending service my thoughts are on the others attending and the importance of feeling loved and understood. Part of the charm that attracted me to Victory Baptist Church was that I felt a part of it from day one, that I mattered. The Pastor at that time called me that first Sunday afternoon and ask what I thought of services that day. Wow! Was my response to him, but not about the church, about the fact that he called to see what I thought! Don’t get me wrong, I loved the church too, but what was most important to setting me on a course of salvation was the words that fueled the fire. A pastor have never called me before… nor a church member for that matter to tell me that I mattered. That’s a lot of “matters,” but it does!

There’s a right fire and a wild fire and both have the power to turn a body of Christ as the helm of a ship as it says in James 3:4 ~ Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

Words are a mighty thing. Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton, a nineteenth century author coined the phrase “The pen is mightier than the sword;” a phrase he knew the meaning of full well having lived years with a discontented wife (and possibly rightly so) who then became his ex-wife . She berated him in books and musings as well as publically. In June 1858, when her husband was standing as parliamentary candidate for Hertfordshire, she indignantly denounced him in a pubic event, he retaliated by threatening her publishers, withholding her allowance, and denying access to the children. He then had her committed to a mental asylum but with public outcry had her released a few weeks later. Her words were ruining his life, but the both of them were the willing victims of one another.

I fear as the bride of Christ, our words have done far more damage than we’re aware. I won’t go into the words spoken that harm and discourage God’s children, for they are too many; and it does little to speak about a condemning, gossiping tongue, for those who have one usually choose to justify it. I’m assuming this morning that you are of the lot who desires to encourage and edify the body of Christ… well let me encourage you with my pen, or the stroke of the keyboard. Let your words speak Christ into the heart of someone today. Tell them you’re glad they came to church, call them afterwards and let them know that you loved their visit. Perhaps it’s someone who’s been in your congregation for a while, let them know that you enjoy their presence, speak life into their soul!

Those few words that the Pastor to spoke to me that Sunday in February of 1996 set a righteous fire in my heart that is still burning with great passion for Jesus Christ today.

Three Ways to Destroy a Relationship

words

Cranky Pants

Proverbs 15:1 ~ A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

I try really hard to be a little Susie Sunshine, realizing that my attitude has the power to turn the helm of a relation-ship from blue skies to stormy seas with just a few words; but I can on any given day be the Gloomy Gus especially if I’m under stress, overly tired or not feeling well. Short curt answers are a telltale sign that something is not right, something a wise man like Solomon likely figured out with his 700 wives and 300 concubines. One thousand women… what was he thinking?

There are days it’s best just to walk away or at the very least answer softly. It seems that we feel we have the greater right to speak harshly to those we love the most, and yet we’ll bite our tongues off to keep from offending the a co-worker or friend. Why is it that? Likely one reason (speaking from experience) is that we have those curt conversations at the end of very long days, or at the beginning of one where the night was too short.

Rest on my friend, and speak easy.

Critical People

Proverbs 15:2 ~ The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

We likely all have that person in our lives that always sees the glass half empty, it’s never good. Perhaps you’re married to them. I am married to the guy that sees the exact water level. It’s neither half empty nor half full, its 4.2 ounces. I don’t dare ask his opinion unless I really want it, because he gives it and it’s usually brutally honest. It’s a good thing he’s married to a little Susie Sunshine! But I have my days as well. A critical spirit begins when we start having conversations in our head that eventually work their way out of our mouths. We’ve somehow formed the idea that our opinion is expert, and sometimes we are. It’s always better to assume you’re not than to open your mouth and prove the point.

Crude Profanity

Proverbs 15:3-4 ~ The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

I know there’s no “Cussin’ Christian’s” out there, (she said sarcastically and a tad bitter) but just in case there are, Solomon had a few words to say about it.

If I weren’t such a failure in so many other respects in my own life I could get up on a soap box and preach about this one a while. I guess Solomon felt the same way when he said it was “breach of spirit.” It puts a crack in a Christian testimony as wide as a canyon. And there’s not enough Christian service or words that fix it in the eyes of a lost person. They’ll be hard pressed to ever believe there’s a difference between the God we serve and the gods of this world. If it’s said to a friend or family member it breaks their spirit as well. There’s something far more demeaning about “those” words than the average word. And a relationship is on shaky ground.

I don’t know why I parked in this spot today, other than to encourage you to choose your words wisely, get some rest, and love the people in your life like there’s no tomorrow. Because you don’t know if there is.

8 Words that Describe Life

baby feet

If you were to describe life in just 8 words what would the words be? That was the question I posed to my teen class yesterday morning in Sunday School. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­Would those words change if circumstances changed and what might some of the words look like to describe God in the bad times? It was a great conversation starters! Word’s stir us. If I mention a word, like “fear” and ask you to think on it, it usually calls to remembrance a time in your life when you were afraid. The Word of God is greater than any word I could use, and has the power to stir your soul with ever jot and tittle. That’s God.

So when it comes to the Bible, why do you think we hesitate to read it? … not enough time, lack of understanding, conviction, you just don’t want too? I think that’s called rebellion. God created each of us in His image and for the purpose of having a relationship with Him. For me it’s an overwhelming thought sometimes to think that the Creator of the all the universe created me for Him. To have a relationship with Him in the manner that I have a relationship with my children. Parent/Child. But that’s how it is, and His word is the greatest and most easily understand way of communicating with Him and yet we take if for granted.

The beginning of our relationship with God began in Genesis

Genesis 1:26a

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:

It was as if God was saying – They’re going to look like Us, and they’re going to like the things We like. What kind of things do you and God have in common? Did you ever think about that? It’s amazing when someone who wasn’t raised by their parent discovers that there is commonness that can’t be denied; looks, mannerisms, likes and dislikes. It was amazing to think that God placed certain things in me that He too likes, it was like He had a purpose for them…

Genesis 2:15

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

I’m pretty sure the garden didn’t have to have Adam’s attention. It was self-sustaining and no doubt glorious. So why would Adam have needed to “dress” it? When we get dressed we put on things. What could Adam “put on” the earth to make it better? God had made Adam in His likeness, to take care of things. That was Adam’s purpose, He couldn’t improve upon what God had given him, but He could take care of it. It’s true with us as well. We cannot improve upon the things God has given us to work with, but we can use them for His glory.

Romans 13:14 says “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” We’re not going to make the world better with man’s ideas. God put within us His ideas, but we often choose to ignore the very thing that would make us happy.

 Remember my question to the kids “What eight words would you use to describe life, well I’d use the first eight in Psalm 100:3

Psalm 100:3 says – Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

He is the Creator of life.

Much of the trouble we have in life comes from the fact that we’re always searching for “something” or “something better.” We’re never satisfied with what we have. God gave Adam and Eve everything they needed in the garden, and yet still they chose to search for the one thing they could not have. Satan has a way of distorting what we think we want. People question why God gave man the free will to make a choice of sinning or not. It was the gift of free will that made love possible, otherwise it wouldn’t have been love; it would have been an order.

If I were to ask you what one thing would bring happiness to your life what would that be? Have you forgot the things you once liked? Have you talked to the One who created you? He has a way of reminding us.