Thursday, May 30, 2013



I think a lot about words. I mean A.LOT.  Did I mention a lot? I’m thinking God is pretty serious about mine as He continues to convict me. Words are life and death. The Bible has much to say about them. Words can curse ... like sarcasm, ugly words, negative words, jokingly negative words, harassing words meant to be funny, smart-alec comments, name-calling, arguing, bating, antagonizing, words spoken under your breath, words that are disrespectful and the list goes on. And, frankly, it's not just words that hurt, but also the tone and facial expression and loudness of them that add to their meaning.
This picture captures it perfectly ... what happens when we use words that curse and do not bless. I don't know about your house, but this, sadly, happens at mine and I hate it. I hate watching it. I hate listening to it and I hate the most when I am a participant in it. And, while it doesn't happen every day, when it does, it hurts my throat, hurts my head and it hurts my heart and the heart of the receiver and the heart of the giver and, worst of all, it hurts God's heart.
Speaking life looks like words of praise, words that honor, words that encourage, words that lift up and build up, words that say “I love you” and words that speak life and life to the full, words that are God's words, God's truth and that speak and declare God's truth over each other and over our lives. It’s pretty simple and joyful and feels good and makes your heart warm and gives you confidence and grace and, let’s be honest, when you are receiving blessing, you just want to bless others, too. Yep.
Isaiah knew how important words were. He didn’t even want to speak in the presence of the Lord.
  • "Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”  Isaiah 6:5
Fortunately for Isaiah (and for us), God has a plan to take care of it ...
  • Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”  Isaiah 6:6-7
This is a prayer of mine every day. Bless. Bless. Bless. It doesn’t mean my words aren’t instructive or corrective. Jesus’ words were. God’s words are. Hello, read the Bible. But His words bring life and speak grace and mine need to, too.
The Bible says a lot about our words. Here are a few examples:
  • "How long will you torment me and crush me with words?" Job 19: 2 (DEATH)
  • "The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful; they fail to act wisely or do good.” Psalm 36:3 (DEATH)
  • “Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees.”  Job 4:4 (LIFE)
  • “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24 (LIFE)
So, we are choosing to focus here ... on words and actions that bring life ...
  • "Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”  Hebrews 12:14
  • “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18
  • "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”  1 Thessalonians 5:11
  • “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13
And, just keeping it real, this very day, as I typed this blog post, we have had a day where we are repenting to each other and to the Lord for words and tones of voices and facial expressions. Thankful He doesn't expect perfection, just progress. Praise Him for His forgiveness. Praise our girls for theirs, with us and each other. And, since His mercies are new every morning, we get to start fresh tomorrow standing in His amazing grace and redemption.
* A great book to read about words: “The Power of Your Words” by Robert Morris.
*  Photo courtesy of Ant Magazine.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Happy!

I LOVE this picture. I took it in 2010 with my phone when we were staying at the state park in New Orleans. Those precious big girls laughing and riding a bike together and that baby girl watching them and giggling. The beautiful outdoors that God displays His love for us in every day. That my friends is PURE JOY! And everytime I look at this picture it makes me smile and makes my heart happy, happy, happy.
We are choosing joy ... in the midst of great stress, great sorrow and just plain old stuff, even when it's hard and takes an effort to find it, there is joy and it can only be from the Lord. He's so good.
Choose joy, too, because every day is a precious, precious gift. Happy Friday!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Bull Nettle and Sin

This is a picture of "Bull Nettle" and it is rightly named, as only bulls or cows can co-exist with it. I saw a whole breath-takingly beautiful field full of it a couple weeks ago, as we were driving to Fort Worth. Stunning. Really. And, of course, cows were roaming that particular field, oblivious to it's hidden dangers. And, I was wondering why I didn't have my camera out to capture it's beauty.
But, you see, even though it's a pretty flower, it's actually a weed. Extremely hard to be rid of. And, it tricks people, because just as soon as you go to pick this lovely "flower," you get stung ... by it's main stem, branches, and leaves, which are all covered with glass-like bristly hairs that release an allergenic toxin upon contact. And, they ITCH and burn like fire when they come in contact with your skin. NOT COOL. Not good and quite decieving. Alot like satan and alot like sin. Both can come in pretty packages that draw you in and are really soothing, beautiful and even enticing. However, if we are not careful, when we entertain sin and satan, we can become like the cows ... who are immune to it's firey itch and burn, vicitims of it's allergic toxin.
God gave us His Word and His example and Himself in order to save us from lives that are filled with sin. So we wouldn't be attracked to fields full of it. So, we would look over at it and see it for what it really is ... dangerous to our spirits, deadly, a toxin. So we would choose to live in His love for us, which is great and more glorious than any other option that is out there. Where peace and joy and contentment live. That's where I want to be. Always.
"For sin shall not (any longer) exert dominion over you, since now you are not under the Law (as slaves), but under grace (as subjects of God's favor and mercy)."  Romans 6:14 (AMP)
"The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." Romans 8:6 (NIV)
" ... You are not merely a sinner struggling up into God but you are a new creature coming from God."     .... Francis Frangipane

Monday, May 13, 2013

Still Here ...

Have I mentioned I LOVE sheep? Because I am one. A messy, hair-in-my-eyes, tantrum-throwing, forgiveness-asking, guidance-needing, Jesus-loving sheep. I love this particular sheep photo because he is a big 'ole mess, just like me ... most of the time ... well, more like all of the time. Just being honest. We have much going on in our life presently. In fact, we would no question blow the top off the stress scale. But, the great thing for us is we have The Shepherd. And, He is leading. And, blessing us in spite of what appears with earthly eyes to be chaos. And, loving on us in ways that fill our hearts and spirits. So, with fists pried open at times, we surrender our mess to Him and wait with great anticipation for the beauty He is making from these ashes. So thankful I am a sheep.