Friday, March 26, 2010


Yesterday, I wrote about comforting words and I used six phrases that we all love to hear and need to say. Last night when I went to bed, I wished I had used seven. I like that number and think that God does too...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Caring and Comforting Words

      I was reading a multitude of verses in Proverbs this morning as I prepared to end this theme of our speech. Scripture is clear on the importance of our words- read James 3. The Book of Proverbs is filled with verses- I challenge you to get a concordance and look up the verses that have to do with our speech. Many have to do with the negative aspect, things such as lying, boasting, gossiping, spreading discord and others. Our OWNER'S MANUAL has much to say about the little member that can set things on fire, according to James 3 or can bring health and comfort to the hearer.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Criticizing Words

      In the last two blogs, we have looked at the importance that the Word of God places upon our words- a negative aspect in callous and cruel speech- crude speed, the Bible calls this a perverse mouth and I am still offended, Church, at how indifferent we have become at vile language. I find it almost impossible to watch a good movie because Hollywood thinks they can't sell one unless "gutter mouth" language is strewn all through it. I am told this "Deb, that's the real world, everyone talks that way." I beg your pardon, everyone doesn't talk that way. I don't; I go to lunch with family and friends and they don't talk that way. And I do remember the day that even if there was one nearby who said foul things, he would control it if a lady came into the room. Now, the ladies (females, I should say ) find it acceptable to talk the same crude way.
       Again, I know the world does and speaks consistently with who they are. But my blogs go out to Christians who need to be reminded   that our words are to be wholesome. As we mature in our faith, we are to be more like our Master and this was said of Him by those who were around Him as He walked this earth. "And all bare witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceedeth out of His mouth..." Luke 4:22. One might say- "oh, to have heard Him speak!"  You can, dear believer, open the Scriptures. Do you remember the love letters that came for you when your future spouse was away and wrote to you? Do you recall that you couldn't wait from the mailbox to the house before you opened it? You hold in your hands God's love letter to you!
      Last time, we covered a positive way we can speak- with courage, concerning our great God and His love for us demonstrated on the cross, the Righteous (Jesus Christ) dying for the unrighteous.(you and me). We can and must speak up for right and against wrong. Two verses in Prov. 24:11-12  "If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it? And He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He know it? And shall not He render to every man according to his works?" We cannot hide our heads in the sand and plead ignorance when it comes to standing, especially for those who have no voice, and understand, Believer, it will become increasingly unpopular to speak out concerning the evils of our day but speak, we must!
        Many times I close my personal prayer time with a Scripture that you are familiar with. (God loves it when we pray Scripture back to Him- like for the peace of Jerusalem- Ps. 122:6- and we had better pray also that America remains her strongest ally-Gen. 12:2-3). I hope I don't lose you when I run the rabbit trails- so much to say- so little time to say it!  I close many times with this prayer from Ps. 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my Strength, and my Redeemer."
       Are the words of our mouths acceptable to you, Lord? I submit that they are not when the rule for us is criticism constantly from our lips. Have you ever been around those who criticize everything? I remember the story I heard long ago of the husband who could never say anything pleasant to his wife of many years. One morning, she prepared him two eggs for breakfast, per his request, one scrambled and one over medium. When she placed them before him on the table, he looked down at his plate and said "Woman, you scrambled the wrong egg!" The temptation would have been to place them on top of his ungrateful head. The better question to" do I know someone like that" is" am I like that?" Have I fallen into that pattern? I believe that bitterness breeds that into our hearts and lives. Also, apathy and non-involvement in the things of God lead  to criticizing those who are busy. We criticize often to make ourselves feel better. Usually, church members who are serving diligently find they have no time to criticize others. And, let me be bold and a friend to pastors here and say that at times, parishioners can be so nit-picky in their criticism of what is going on in the church. Can I share with you something I have never understood? The complainers about the temperature of the sanctuary- you know- the super important issue facing God's kingdom today?
       I never could understand that issue because I did understand this one. I taught a beloved S.S. class for many years and we had older women who tended to be colder, middle-aged women who were never cold (you know, those who fan in the choir loft in January?) And the younger who had gotten 3 small children ready for S.S. at 9:30 so they were oblivious to the temp - they were just glad to be there. Now, multiply those 30 women x ever how large your congregation is and explain to me how you will please everyone. And shame on us if we go criticize to our Pastor who has prayed and prepared all week to bring us something good from God's Word and now he is frustrated over not getting from S.S, to the pulpit without some nonsensical issue. You think I am kidding, right? Not if you have been a member of a church, you don't. For that silly illustration, I always responded "Bring a light sweater, "(it's what I do at Longhorn, it's always too cool to enjoy my lunch but I never have thought about telling management to turn the a/c off because the other 100 customers seem to be ok) or if you are 45-50 and we women know what that means, "Go by the local funeral home on the way and see if they still hand out those fans with an overgrown popsicle  stick with a picture of Jesus holding a sheep on the front. You who went to revival days in hot July and August with me know exactly what I am talking about. Back when there was no air conditioning. We just opened the windows - some even sat in them- and we were just blessed that none ever fell out. Souls were saved- that was all-important!!!
     Do we go to worship because "it's all about HIM"? Or do we go to criticize because , after all, "it's all about me and my comfort and my preferences and my parking "spot"? Do you know that I heard a true story one time of a couple who visited a church for the first time and were asked to move by a "life-long" member when she came up from Sunday School because "I have always sat here"?  I was glad the removed couple were saved people because the lifelong member had no clue if they were on their way to Heaven or Hell. She just knew where she needed to sit,  that's all.
      Parents, do you criticize too much and leave little room for commendation for those little ones in your home? I know that there is constructive criticism that we must employ at times and our spiritual maturity shows at how we receive that. Prov. 9:8-9 "Rebuke not a scorner, lest he hate thee. Rebuke a wise man and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning."  There is a time for confrontation and constructive criticism but I fear many little children have given up because all they hear is "You are so bad. Why can't you be like your sister? You will never amount to anything in this world"  Oh, here are two that , I think, would apply in this culture. "Honey, if your friends are buying size 2 jeans, maybe we should get to working out." Mothers, is it any wonder that our teens are anorexic and bulimic today, as we let them follow Hollywood's criteria for worthiness? Young ladies, being healthy is good- eating right and exercising are commendable but comparing and obsessing over your physical appearance is not. Do you know what I respect and appreciate in the teen girl? Well, really, you could make a case that my opinion here isn't really important so better question- are you interested in what God, your Maker, your DNA giver, says is precious? Read 1 Peter 3:4.  The old song asked the question "How about your HEART , is it right with God?"  Dads, do your sons only hear about it when they miss the ground ball that would have resulted in the double play or do they hear "You played your best, that single you hit was right on"?  Parents, God's plan may not include the major leagues but rather a pastor or a missionary. Encourage them to be who God has made them to be.
    Well, my blogs are turning into books, aren't they? But before I close, let me talk to spouses, probably my readers being mostly women. Does your husband long for some words of affirmation from you? You know, experts say it is one of the greatest needs of a man, to be told that he is worthy? Has he heard criticism so long from you that he would probably have a coronary attack if you spoke to him today words that you spoke when you were dating him? Two interesting verses in Prov. 21. Verse 9 says"It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop , than with a brawling woman in a wide house."  Verse 19 "It is better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and an angry woman."  Another in 27:15 "A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike."  DRIP DRIP DRIP!  I hear that it is a form of torture. Is it any wonder that they had rather stay at work or go by the gym on the way home because they know when they open the door, here it goes
     Now, lest you husbands feel left out, it can apply to you also. Does the waitress hear more words of endearment in the hour at the restaurant than your wife of many years, maybe grayer and tireder now, hear in a week's time in your home? Have you told her lately that she is still the prettiest lady in the world to you? She likes hearing that.Little girls grow up longing to be someone's princess, little boys envision being the knight in shining armor. I love seeing couples, some now married 50 and 60 years, who still love, respect, and compliment each other. And for those who never married or now are not because God took him or her to Heaven, God is our Rescuer, our Wooer, our Lover of our soul Who encourages us with the gracious words we long to hear- "You are precious to Me, My Bride!"
     This lesson on criticism went longer than I thought and I close with this question, firstly asked to myself, "When people walk away from me, after being in my presence for awhile, are they refreshed or wearied?" Was it time well spent for someone who maybe is struggling and needed a "word spoken in due season?" Pr.15:23   Thanks for reading, hope I can help!
      Looking up, Deborah
      Proverbs 18:21 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."    20:15 "There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel." 12:25 "Heaviness in the heart of a man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Courageous Words

One day, recently, on the playground, Landon said to a "little competitor" these words-"Hey, my sister plays basketball and I'm GONNA take karate!!"  Sounds rather menacing, right? Well, it must have been to his nemesis on that particular day, because he went away. Grandanny and I had a good laugh as we have many times over the years at the funny and unpredictable words that came forth from Mark and Amy and now, our grandchildren. When they are between the ages of 2-4, it just doesn't get any better. We admired Landon's courage even   though the reasoning wasn't very good.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Caustic, Cheap, Cruel Words

In my previous blog, I spoke of how powerful that words can be and that, at times, we just need to be quiet. In 1 Thess. 4:11, Paul exhorts us to "study to be quiet, and to do your own business..."  It is interesting , to me, that he uses the word "study." I study for things, the test, that I haven't "aced" yet and truly, people need to learn and work at controlling that little member, as James 3 describes the tongue. He says this in verse 2-"If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able to bridle the whole body." I believe that a mark of a spiritually maturing believer, man or woman, is they are able to control their tongue. John MacArthur said this concerning James 3. "Human speech is a graphic representation of human depravity."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Why I Write

A few minutes before church yesterday morning, I had an opportunity to speak with our pastor and the subject of my blogging came up and I confessed to him that I struggle with it somewhat because it is so different from teaching in the fact that in one-on-one communicating, you have the privilege of verbal tone, body language, and raised hands if there are questions. I had a dear friend once who told me she loved the balance in all my lessons which I thought was very important. Just in my previous blog, where I was explaining that even men cry, if I had been teaching I would have shown too, as Pastor's message did yesterday, that we want our men to be men. We don't want them falling apart every time a challenge arises. We admire their strength. God made men and women differently and the world wants to cloud the issue of their roles but the Bible is clear in defining them.

Friday, March 12, 2010

What Makes You Cry?

I  rode with Amy yesterday to pick-up Landon from school, one of my favorite things to do. I have told her before that I am "not in" for the dropping off but to see that pretty little face peeking out from under the rain protecting hoodie (with a shy grin because he saw MaMa in the car) just made my day!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's Already There!

Yesterday was March 2nd, 2010 and we enjoyed a late winter snow, probably about the prettiest I have seen in awhile. It snowed all day, I mean, big flakes and Dan estimates that we probably had about four inches of the beautiful, glistening snow before it was finally done. We drank coffee, I sat under my "snuggyl" (as Landon calls it), we took some pictures, put chili in the crock pot, and made some more memories. Thank You, Lord!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Hardest Working Man I Know

For the last couple of weeks, our Pastor has preached on the Biblical roles of men and women. Yesterday morning, his focus was on the roles of the man, citing three areas of leading, working,(providing), and keeping (protecting). His text was from Genesis 1 and 2, the Biblical mandate, the God-given role for men.