Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Speech Problems

Momma always said, "if you ain't got nothing nice to say, then don't say nothing at all." Sadly many of us get that backwards and hold in the nice things while letting out the not-so-nice. This story is a great example:

There once was a poor, rural family who were greatly concerned because their little boy had not started talking. The family didn't have many resources to call upon, so the problem went on for a long time. One day, while the mother was making supper, she became overwhelmed and lost her concentration. She burned the meal. After she served the meal, the little boy tasted it and hollered, "I can't eat this. It's all burned." Shocked but happy, the mother hugged the child and asked, "Why haven't you been talking?" He said, "Up to now, everything has been OK."

I've been that little boy way too many times. I hold in the encouraging words of affirmation and the compliments that would brighten a person's day while freely complaining and criticizing over the smallest of things.

When I read the New Testament I am convicted about the way I sometimes speak, but encouraged because God has given me direction in this area. Check out these verses:

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29)

"Let your speech always be with grace." (Colossians 4:6)

"But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips." (Colossians 3:8)

"...and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks." (Ephesians 5:4)

Prayer: Lord, help us speak words of Grace and Love. May our words pick up and and build up, not tear down. May we encourage, not discourage. May we give thanks and not complain. May we glorify and bless Your name, Oh God, by letting our speech be pure and holy to Your ears. Amen.

On the Journey Together,


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Do Things Always Work Out for Good?

It seems whether or not one is a Believer in God or the Bible, he or she will most likely use a commonly used phrase to comfort people who are dealing with fearful or crisis situations. Have you ever had someone tell you, "Everything will be ok" or "The Bible says that everything works together for good."

Unfortunately, one of the most well-known verses in the Bible is also one of the most misunderstood and misquoted. It's found in Romans 8:28:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Did you see the rest of the verse? All things work together for good "for those who love (God) and who have been called according to His purpose." One thing that we see throughout the Bible is that almost exclusively the promises of God are for the people of God.

If you love God and are fulfilling His calling and purpose for your life, take heart---for, everything will work out for good!

However, if you are living a life of unconfessed and unrepented of sin; if you are rejecting the calling of His Spirit; if you are knowingly choosing to rebel against God and His Word, don't be surprised when things in your life don't work out.

In fact if you aren't following Christ, you should expect that aspects of your life will almost undoubtedly fall apart when the storms come, for you are building on a foundation of sand.

As Paul continues in this letter to the Believers in Rome, he says in verse 37:

" all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

May we love God, follow God's calling and purpose for our lives, and experience (by His grace) the ability to become more than conquerors in all of life's situations. Then and only then will we realize that ALL things DO work together for good...

On the Journey Together,


Friday, September 10, 2010

Creator God

Have you seen the newly released from NASA? Just this week we have new breath-taking images of the universe taken by the recently updated Hubble Telescope. Click here to see more of the incredible images.

ngc6217 hubble.jpgOne of the most challenging things for me to try and wrap my mind around is the cosmos. When I think about the sun(s), other planets, stars and star clusters, other galaxies, black-holes, the varieties of nebula, and so forth, I am flabbergasted at their scope, beauty, and force. The awesomeness of such wonderful things fills my heart and mind with awe.

Psalm 33:6,9 says,

"By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host...for He spoke, and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast." (NASB)

ngc6302 hubble.jpgFor me, the only thing more astonishing and majestic than the cosmos is the One who created it by simply causing it to be. God spoke and it was so.

This God, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, knows us, loves us, and wants a relationship with us. You may choose to believe that the universe is an accidental byproduct of random chances, but as for me, I'll put my trust in God.

Worshiping the Creator Together,