All posts tagged: words

Trust Me, It’s Better to Obey Now

Ok, God, what do you want me to write about for this blog? No… I’m not writing about that. What else you got? When I was fighting God on writing this blog, He reminded me what happened the last time I disobeyed Him. So here we go… The Holy Spirit had been prompting me to have a conversation with a friend, let’s call them Logan. I rationalized it wasn’t my place and I was being overly critical. The thought nagged me, but I continually pushed it away. Eventually I did something I thought Logan would never know about. Turns out they were well aware of it and my actions hurt their feelings. Is God calling you to have a difficult conversation? Take it from me, you don’t want want to ignore the Holy Spirit. Here are 3 things God showed me through this experience and I hope it encourages you to act in obedience. It is your place. Romans 12:5 says, “so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and …

How To Communicate What’s In Your Heart

Charlie Shedd writes about two rivers that are flowing along smoothly and quietly—until they come together. At this juncture the water “boils,” spray is thrown into the air, and mud comes up from the bottom. After this turbulence, a few miles downstream the two waters flow smoothly and quietly again, now as one. But the newly formed river is broader, more majestic, and more powerful than either of the two were on their own. He goes on to say: A good marriage is often like that. When two independent streams of existence come together there’s going to be some dashing of life against life at the juncture. Personalities rush against each other. Preferences clash. Ideas contend for power. Habits vie for position. The waters boil and mud often comes up from the bottom. And you wonder where the loveliness has gone. But when you go downstream a few years these two lives are flowing smoothly and quietly again. But together they are more than either of them could have been on their own. There will …

Are You Planning for Destruction or Life?

A few years ago I remember one fateful night. Melissa was gone so it was just me and the two boys home alone. I had walked out of the room for a couple minutes when I heard both boys screaming and laughing. This was not good. This combination is a herald of bad things to come. I walked in the room to find one of my sons in his underwear sitting on the other’s head. “Can you smell it?!?” Kids don’t wake up thinking, “How can I stretch the limit of my parent’s patients and love?” But they still seem to do it, don’t they? (For the record, everyone could smell it.) What sorrow awaits you who lie awake at night, thinking up evil plans. You rise at dawn and hurry to carry them out, simply because you have the power to do so. – Micah 2:1 We “as adults” don’t succumb to the base urges our children do (most of the time). So we think ourselves better in many ways. But here God points …

Useful Advice From One Non-Parent to Another

Have you ever wanted to say something to a parent, but questioned how to go about it? Shannon recently reminded us that we belong to each other and have a responsibility to speak into each other’s lives (see Romans 12:4-5). It’s wise to accept biblical advice, but offering it to a parent can be tricky as a non-parent. So I asked a parent how I can give advice and it be received well. Here are 3 useful tips for us non-parents when it comes to talking to parents about parenting their kids. 1. First and foremost, offer support and often. Support can look like providing a meal or doing their laundry so they can focus on playing with their kids. Support is giving them a gift card to an activity they can do as a family. Support is watching the kids for an hour so the parents can have a break. Support is using your words to encourage and pray for them. How can you offer support to the parents in your life? So encourage each …

Valuable Life Lessons from Mom: Yes Be Yes

Did your mom say short repeatable statements that have stuck with you through the years? Maybe they were just silly little phrases like, “Someday your face will freeze like that,” or  “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Growing up my mom quoted either the Bible or Benjamin Franklin. She would quote Franklin saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” “A place for everything, everything in its place,” “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” And she would quote the Bible saying, “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’” These were simple phrases, but over time they shaped my character. James 5:12 says, “But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.” This verse teaches the value of our …

What Do Your Words Reveal About Your Heart?

When I was a kid, I remember seeing an illustration regarding my words. Maybe you’ve seen this illustration as well: two individuals are put head to head, squeezing toothpaste out of a tube as fast as they can. Once completed, the participants are then instructed to put the toothpaste back inside the tube. As you can imagine, this is an impossible feat and you’re left with a mess. I’m not sure exactly when in my childhood I participated in this experiment, but it has stuck with me for at least 15 years. Usually, if you do this activity with a group of kids, the atmosphere is fun and playful (unless you are the one in charge of cleaning everything afterward) and I think this helped the lesson stick with me. I remember the teacher explaining to us that our words are like the toothpaste, “Once you say something, you can’t take it back. It’s out there.”  Unfortunately, the illustration falls short when it comes to the clean-up. A mess made by toothpaste is much easier …

Taming the Destructive Fire of Your Tongue

A single wooden match weighs .15 grams. It is so light, that its weight cannot even be felt. It produces a small spark and flame, that can easily be pinched out with our fingers.  Nevertheless, when not respected, it can produce a monster that will destroy and even take human life. In 2016 a single spark resulted in 14 lives lost and 10,000 acres of the Great Smoky Mountains to be engulfed in flames, including significant portions of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  A place with several decades of investment and effort that so many of us have visited laid in waste.  But, thanks to resilience placed in the human heart by God, rebuilding is happening. James 3:6 tells us that “the tongue is a flame of fire.” It goes on to explain in descriptive detail that it can “set your whole life on fire.” Basically, James 3:3-10 sternly warns us to respect the tongue, for at its core it is a match. Today, James may have included our fingertips as we text and update our …

If You Can’t be Kind, Be Quiet

“If you can’t be kind, be quiet.” This is a phrase I hear myself saying often to my children. I am trying to teach them that their words are important and they should consider their words carefully before using them. I don’t know about you, but this concept is difficult for me to live out, much less my school-aged children. I mean, seriously, how am I supposed to respond in kindness when the precious people in my house are hopping up and down on my last good nerve, a recent post on social media seems like a personal attack, or a good friend hurts my feelings with a careless remark? In those situations, kind words are not how my flesh wants to respond. When my emotions are on edge I tend to react very impulsively, giving little thought to my tone of voice or the words I’m saying. Our current sermon series is entitled Intentional Acts of Kindness, and I think “intentional” is the key word in that phrase. When something is done with intention, …

Inconceivable! What Poison is Living in Your Heart?

Ah, the battle of wits between Westley and Vizzini.  If you don’t know what this is, stop reading and go watch “The Princess Bride” right now. At this point in the movie, the hero, Westley, challenges Vizzini to a battle of wits.  He presents Vizzini with some iocane powder which is supposed to be an odorless, tasteless, and extremely deadly poison.  Vizzini tries to figure out which goblet has the poison; would Westley put the poison in the glass next to him or the one in front of Vizzini?  After Vizzini makes his choice and picks one with poison in it, Westley reveals to Buttercup that Vizzini would have died either way because he put poison in both cups.  Westley had successfully built up immunity by slowly drinking a little poison at a time over several years. Now, from a medical perspective… that don’t work.  You can’t build up immunity to poison.  If he had really been taking small doses of poison for years he would have either already died or he would be frail and …

This Week For Sunday

I have always loved music. It’s a tool, a vehicle, an art, that helps us express ourselves to each other.  Music is also one lens that reveals what we are worshiping. For a long time, I’ve been a country music fan. However, over the past several months that has started to change because country music is changing. Country music used to tell stories, and some songs still do. But now, more often than not, country singers are singing about objectifying women, getting drunk, trucks (ok, I like that part), heartbreak, tailgates, breakups, and making love on the tail-gate of a truck with a sexy woman while drinking beer. When you sing along to what’s on the radio, are you paying attention to the lyrics? Are the words that come from your lips the desire of your heart? Jesus says they are (Matthew 12:34).  So when you sing along and never catch yourself saying “Get down in that Georgia clay and I’ll find peace at the bottom of a real tall cold drink,” consider what that means about what’s happening in your …