Friday, May 25, 2012

Watch your words...

The Bible says so much about the tongue/mouth/lips...
and of course the words that come out therefrom.
I'll share a few that "speak" loudly:

Prov 12:14 - From the fruit of his words a man shall be satisfied with good,
and the work of a man's hands shall come back to him [as a harvest].*
Prov 13:2-3 - A good man eats good from the fruit of his mouth,
but the desire of the treacherous is for violence. He who guards his mouth keeps his life, but he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.*
 
The Message's rendition of verse 3 is so apt:
Careful words make for a careful life; careless talk may ruin everything.

Prov 21:23 -
Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.**

The point is that: "what my mouth prophesies, determines what my life produces and whether or not I prosper." Words are a seed...so we must plant them purposefully...

In Isaiah 55:11 the Lord tells us that none of His words return to Him without accomplishing what they were set & sent to do. In Jeremiah 1:12b the Lord clarified that further
"I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it."*

We were created in the His image, hence our words are equally potent and productive.

Prov 18:20-21 - A man's [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil]. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].*

Prov 31:26 -
When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.**
 
Our words should always be loving and life-giving.

References:
* Amplified
** New Living Translation (NLT)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Out of the salt-shaker

Too many of us start the year with many resolutions...actually too many of us have too many resolutions. As I drifted in and out of sleep, one of my resolutions came to mind:

It's my heart desire that people are glad wherever I go, not whenever I go

God is so good - Matthew 5: 13-16 gives me (actually, all of us) 2 ways to do/be that:
You are like salt for the whole human race. But if salt loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again. It has become worthless, so it is thrown out and people trample on it. You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven. (Good News Translation)

I'll focus on how we can be Salt in this posting...we've talked about being Light* before.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Choose one...

I'm sure you cannot but agree with me that life is full of options. When torn between more than 2 options, it can be hard to decide ...ask me about when I had to "decide" between more than 2 prospects in a destiny determining matter...that's another day's story.

God obviously didn't want to complicate our lives any further so He has given us all 2 options when it comes to life and death. Did you know that we all have the choice to:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mom...

I saw this first sign on someone's FB page...and couldn't resist saving it for Mothers' Day.

I smiled when I read it and the first thought that went through my mind was:
In a lot of homes, Mom rules.
Then I found this sign:

Since we "enjoy" having such signs, or at least smile when we see them, now is a good time to talk a bit about our role as mothers.

Proverbs 1:8 advises: Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. (NIV) And this verse follows this popular one: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (NIV) 

It's up to fathers to give general instructions. You know, just as God said about Abraham in Genesis 18:19 “I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.” (NLT) Fathers direct then mothers help to "break it down" and teach the children. Fathers can & should also break it down too but we know that in a lot of homes, mothers spend more time with the children which gives them more opportunities for teachable moments.

So it is no wonder that these verses are in the first and last chapters of Proverbs and all through it too:

Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you;
never forget what you learned at your mother's knee. (Prov 1:8 - The Message)

The sayings of King Lemuel, a prophetic revelation, 
used by his mother to discipline him.
(Prov 31:1 - God's Word Translation)
2 other men said: 
“The best academy - a mother's knee”*
and 
“Education commences at the mother's knee,
and every word spoken within hearsay of little children
tends toward the formation of character.”**
Children should be discipled and disciplined on Mum's knee (and also Dad's knee). It should be a place of comfort & correction. We must remember that: "Our children are not going to be just "our children" - they are going to be other people's husbands and wives and the parents of our grandchildren."*** Now see how many more people's future you have in your care. Just like Ann Landers said, we must always remember that: "It is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings."

One fact of life is that: "Motherhood cannot finally be delegated. Breast-feeding may succumb to the bottle; cuddling, fondling, and pediatric visits may also be done by fathers...but when a child needs a mother to talk to, nobody else but a mother will do."** A key connection...

The reason is simple: "A mother understands what a child does not say."~Jewish proverb

The bottom line is: "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much."**** In fact, I know that nothing else you do matters - what is your legacy?

Wishing you a very Happy Mothers' Day - today and always because everyday is a "mother's day" to make an impact in her children's lives...so they are a blessing to and in many other lives.
The world is counting on you...and so is the Lord...don't let Him down. God bless you and yours.

Sources:
* James Russell Lowell
** Hosea Ballou

*** Mary S Calderone
****Erica Jong
***Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

According to John...

Anyone who has read & studied the New Testament of the Bible, especially the Gospels, will agree that John (the Beloved) was the "unappointed" leader of the disciples. Seeing such leadership, and being convinced that everyone can be and is a leader, I went looking for what some of his name sakes said about leadership:-

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Think on this

There is nothing like a hopeless situation...
people only become hopeless about the situation.
 ~ John Hagee

If you're going through a challenging time...don't forget that once there is life, there is hope. The Bible says: "There is hope for those who are still alive—it does not matter who they are. But this saying is true: A living dog is better than a dead lion." (Ecc 9:4 - Easy-to-read Vern)

There may be times we "low in hope"...I've had some in recent days. I decided to be like David who focussed on God not the situation when in seemingly "hopeless" situations.

In Ps 42:11, he asked and answered: "Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the help of my countenance, and my God." (NIV)

The reason is simple:
"the LORD delights in those who fear him, 
who put their hope in his unfailing love. (Ps 147:11 - NIV)

Afterall, He said: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jer 29:11 - NIV)

I respective of the situation(s) you're facing or in now, "There is indeed a future, and your hope will never be cut off." (Prov 23:18 - God's Word Translation)

Keep your focus on Him Who cannot fail...and that is all you need to keep hoping...