Your Tongue Can’t Hurt Others Without Hurting Yourself

Your tongue can’t hurt others without hurting yourself.  Why? Because you are attached to the other end of your tongue.  Sounds like a joke or a riddle, but it is no joke. We need to teach our children this very important lesson.

Probably all of us have had a slip of the tongue and thought, “Now where did that come from?”

“for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Matthew 12:34b
Nobody appreciates a tattletale, but our tongue is our tattletale of our heart. The tongue and the heart are closely connected.

There are things growing in our heart.  We are always taught to monitor our behavior, but Jesus said that there are an abundance of things growing in our heart that will eventually come out.

If we were being taped all week, how much would we want it played in public? If you are like me, you try hard, but you keep slipping up.  Sometimes, it seems like the Christian walk is littered with banana peels. Be encouraged! James preached to keep pursuing, but we will slip up at times. See James 3:2.

You and I need to ask ourselves this question on a regular basis: “How is my heart?” We need to daily monitor our heart.

Do I think positive or negative about people? Do I harshly judge people or do I accept them as they are, but love them toward change? Do I allow angry or jealous thoughts to enter my mind? Am I discontent or am I content? Am I thankful or ungrateful? These thoughts will affect my countenance, my conversations, my health and my heart. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

Every adult in the world has had someone mistreat her in some way.  Some mistreatment is more severe than others.  What is more important than any abuse or mistreatment is the way we allow our minds to think on this mistreatment. The way we handle mistreatment in our minds will lodge and grow in our hearts.

happy and free by forgivingWhy are some people positive, happy and forgiving when they suffered abuse and others bitter, unhappy, and unforgiving who have suffered from much less? What is the difference? The answer is: Drum-roll please~~~~

Different Thinking!

The negative, angry, unforgiving people hold on to their bitterness refusing to let it go… by forgiving their offender(s). Bitterness lodges and grows in their heart, making it an ugly heart.

The positive happy people come to a point in their lives where they make a conscious decision:

  • God has a good purpose for their lives.
  • They use the hurt they experienced to help others.
  • They choose to forgive the people who hurt them.
  • Instead of ugliness growing in their heart, they have the fruit of the spirit growing in their heart; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. See Galatians 5:22

Is it easy for the happy positive people to do these things after mistreatment? NO! Is it easy to have right thinking? NO! Is it imperative to one’s life to make these conscious decisions?  A million times, YES!

Pull in right thoughts
PULL IN RIGHT THOUGHTS

It is freedom and happiness when we do a heart check-up and replace negative thoughts with happy, kind, forgiving, Bible thoughts.

This is most Important: When we realize we are thinking a wrong thought, we try to get rid of it.  Have you noticed that method does not work?  Instead, pull in right thoughts and the negative wrong thoughts will push out. (Pull in Philippians. 4:8) 

Let us begin our day with Pull Ins!

  • Name five blessings.
  • Think on all the good the Lord has done for you. Start with the day He saved you.
  • Thank the Lord right now.
  • Thank others who have made a difference in your life. Start with your family members.
  • Meditate all day on a favorite encouraging Bible passage. I am meditating on Galatians 5:22 today.
  • Pull in good thoughts today. Why? To push out the evil thoughts.
  • Now ask yourself this question: How is my heart right now?
  • Before you lay your head down on your pillow tonight, evaluate your day. How was my heart today?  If you still have a heart problem, tell the Lord all about it.  He cares like no one else!
  • Remember to Pull In, Pull In and Pull In Some More! God is cheering you on, because you are a winner!

Enthusiasm Means, “God is in me!” Wow!

The photo is of our enthusiastic grandson, Bryant! Unwrapping his birthday present revealed his brand new big-boy Bible. The captured expression in the photo says it all!

At church this past Sunday, Barry and I shared our testimony of salvation and what God has done in our family! I get all excited and love telling my story of what God has done.

Today, I learned something new. I love learning something new about the Lord in His Word, because I want to know Him better.  I hope you get as excited about the true meaning of the word, “enthusiasm” as I did today.

The Greek origin of the word, enthusiasm was around 1570. Enthusiasm literally means “the God (en Theo) inside (iasm).” That is a real wow! I never knew that!

If you have been saved from your sins by trusting in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, He inhabits you.

God inside you = Enthusiasm!

Do we get “lit up” with enthusiasm thinking about the Lord inhabiting us?

Everywhere I go, the Lord goes with me.  He is my constant companion. The Lord walks with me, lives within me and goes ahead of me to prepare the way. Think about the Lord within you. Think about the Lord being with you everywhere you go. Ponder that extraordinary fact!  If we could just grab hold of this incredible truth, what a difference it would make in our lives. Jesus inhabits you! Jesus inhabits me! He lives within my heart! Wow!

Today’s reading is about how God has no pleasure in those who take Him for granted. Lord, may You renew a right spirit within me.

Bible Reading: Malachi 1:9-11

Malachi 1:9  And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 1:10  Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
Mal 1:11  For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

Meditate on Scriptures for confidence
I love reading my Bible!

In this passage, God said He had no pleasure in the people. Why? Because they forgot who God was. They forgot the nature of God. Have I ever forgotten His nature? If we are not daily in His Word, seeking to know Him, then we will forget the nature of God.

Man gets and forgets, but God gives and forgives. Lord, when I am weak, thank you for being my strength. You work through those who acknowledge they are weak and are aware of their need for You.

We should daily give God honor, because He is our Father. Do we daily remember with enthusiasm that we are God’s child and He lives within?  I owe my Father honor! God is pleased with us when we give him honor.

Webster’s Dictionary 1828 gives this definition of honor. “to entertain the most exalted thoughts of; to worship; to adore.”

Jesus said “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” John 5:23

bird
Heartless worship of the Lord is like a bird without a song.

How enthusiastic is our worship of the Lord! Heartless worship of the Lord is like a bird without a song.

Heartless worship is disgraceful and dishonoring to God because it is as if we are saying, “I am bored.”

Recognize the nobility of God. I am worshiping the King of kings. Worship is total surrender! Walking with the Lord should be a life filled with enthusiasm. Take time during the day to stop and remember “God is in me. I am filled with enthusiasm and adoration.”

Do we ever say to our children and others, “Let me tell you what the Lord has done?”  Jesus is no longer here on earth in the flesh, but He resides in each of us.  We are God’s billboard in our home. We are God’s billboard to the world.

Are we a boring billboard or an enthusiastic billboard of God’s goodness?

The definition of the word, Enthusiasm, “the God (en Theo) inside (iasm)” is a good lesson to teach our children.  When our children were home, I would learn a valuable lesson from studying God’s Word.  I would say with great excitement, “Let’s stop what we are doing, because I have something important to teach you.”  Then, my children would gather around and listen as I enthusiastically told them about what I learned from God’s Word.

I have many faults, but I don’t think my children can accuse me of being unexcited about God.  Enthusiasm is contagious and each of our children were saved at a young age, all praise to God. Parenting becomes much easier when God resides in each child.

Enthusiasm Begins at Home
Enthusiasm Begins at Home

Today, in everything you and I do, let us be aware that God is in us! God inhabits you and me. I am lit up with enthusiasm and ready to face my God-given day with Him as Lord of my life and with Him in my heart!

What kind of billboard will we be in our home today? Right now, let us, with enthusiasm, “Get all excited! Go tell all our family that Jesus Christ is Lord!” Enthusiasm begins at home. Since Christ died for us, why should we not live for Him?

25 Ways to Decrease Pressures In Life

Stress makes us feel heavy-hearted. Much of the stress we have in life is self-imposed. If you are like me, you will want to eliminate any self-inflicted stress. God says if we take His yoke upon us, His yoke is easy and His burden is light. His yoke gives rest to our souls.

In my Quiet Time this morning, I was reading Matthew 11:28-30: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I have sweet memories of our family singing this Scripture to song in church.

There are two yokes in life:

  • God’s way-take God’s easy yoke upon me = rest
  • my way-take my burdensome yoke upon me = stress

In my Bible, next to Matthew 11:28-30, I have written these notes:

Pressures in life are one of the main reasons for stress in life.

25 Ways to Decrease Pressures In Life~

  1. Pray and cast your burden on the Lord.
  2. Read God’s Word/ Meditate on God’s Word. God gives wisdom, hope and comfort to you through His Word.
  3. Get involved in ministering to others. Have a family ministry to help others. Grow closer to God and to one another in your family through ministering together.
  4. Be faithful to attend church as a family. Be encouraged by the go to church~preaching of the Word of God and encourage others by your faithfulness to be in your place on Sunday.
  5. Don’t overspend and put unnecessary stress on the family. “Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.” Proverbs 27:1
  6. Listen to peaceful music.
  7. Exercise in the morning to get feel-good endorphins going. Mix cardio with stretch exercises.
  8. Get enough sleep and rest.
  9. Eat right.
  10. Minimize time spent with stressful people.
  11. Build family relationships by making good memories. Laugh alot.Laugh
  12. Be careful about what TV program you watch.
  13. Get outside some each day.
  14. Start a fulfilling hobby you enjoy.
  15. Meet your husband’s needs. You will gain confidence from knowing his needs are met because of you.
  16. Refuse to worry about things outside your control.
  17. Train and disciple children.
  18. Resist temptation to sin. The consequences of sin are stressful.
  19. Learn to say “no” without guilt. Overextending yourself is stressful.
  20. Teach all family members to keep a clean, organized, uncluttered home.clean house~
  21. Regularly evaluate your life and eliminate stress as much as possible.
  22. Simplify your life.
  23. Work on communication skills with family.
  24. Try to read at least a page a day of something helpful and think on what you have learned during the day.  Keep your mind actively learning something productive.
  25. Instead of worrying, trust God to do the impossible.

A Christian Without Wisdom Is Like An Owl Without A Wing

I hope you do not mind if I repost an article from last year.  Our new grandbaby is here and we are celebrating. Plus, we are giving our daughter a break by keeping their other four children. Praise the Lord for babies!

Recently, our son and daughter-in-law witnessed a National Geographic Scene in their own backyard. Jodi was taking pictures of an owl perched on a low branch in a tree.  The owl’s wing was hurt.  Just as Jodi was taking the photo, a turkey flew up into the tree attacking the owl and knocking the owl down.

A Christian without wisdom is like that owl without the use of his wing. She is left vulnerable to all kinds of attacks. The owl was rescued just in time by Brandon and Jodi, then taken to a bird rehab center. We all need wisdom from the Lord to protect us from the attacks of worldly thinking. We need wisdom from the Lord to come to our rescue.

  1. We need wisdom to rescue ourselves from thinking, “This is logical.” We might think something is logical, but God’s ways are much higher than our ways. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)  Logic can be misleading.
  2. We need wisdom to rescue ourselves from thinking, “Everyone else is doing it, so it must be alright.” Following the crowd seldom turns out well.
  3. We need wisdom to rescue ourselves from emotional decisions that feel right. Feelings are flighty and untrustworthy.
  4. We need wisdom to rescue ourselves from thinking, “It was always done this way.” Tradition is not necessarily wise to follow.

There is a flip side to the National Geographic Scene that took place in our children’s backyard.  Why did the turkey attack the owl?  The turkey attacked the owl because she was protecting her young. A parent without wisdom is like a turkey who does not watch out for her young.

  1.  We need wisdom to watch out for our children. The devil does not think, “Oh, how cute that little child is right now.  I am going to wait until he is much older before I begin to trip him up.”

God said wisdom is first place and we need to get it. “Wisdom is the principal (first) thing; therefore get wisdom…”  (Proverbs 4:7)

How do we get wisdom?

First: We must be in God’s Word to know God.

Second: We must ask God for wisdom.  I daily begged God for wisdom. I was a desperate mother. I desperately needed God’s wisdom to be a wise mother! While we are asking, let us also ask God for wisdom to be a wise wife.

The most wonderful glorious thing is that God promises to give wisdom generously if we ask Him! Now, how easy is that! Thank you, Lord!

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5  

Overcoming Fear (Part 4) 23rd Psalm

We are like sheep and sheep worry. Sheep are fearful.

It is only when the shepherd’s presence comes into view that things change for the sheep. It is the same for us. 

When our eyes are on Jesus, they are not on those around us nor on things that may bother us, because we are in the place of peace. The place of peace is not the absence of problems, but focusing on the presence of the Lord, our Good Shepherd.

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” Psalm 23:2a

I think lovely lush green pastures seem inviting.

  • Worry keeps a sheep from lying down at peace in green pastures.
  • Fear imprisons the sheep.

You and I can easily end up sickly, confused, hurt, angry, bitter and worn-out if we allow fear to dominate our thoughts.

Despite all the Shepherd’s efforts to protect us, sheep cannot be made to do something contrary to their nature. The Shepherd will not force us. We have thewolf in sheep's clothing decision to trust or fear, to lie down in the green pastures He provides or to wander off where a sheep can easily be devoured.

sheep laying downWhen my focus is on “me”, I become self-centered, focusing on my problems and situations. If I continually think about my own problems, they will become magnified in my mind and loom larger than reality. Then I will get stuck in a rut. Sheep have terrible problems with ruts.  Those well-worn areas the sheep go back and forth in eventually destroy the pasture and the sheep. Sheep won’t get the nourishment and rest they need in a rut. We do not want to choose to live in a rut of fear, because a rut is a grave with the ends out. The shepherd has to keep sheep on the move to find green pastures.

I learned that the Greek word for “sheep” is the word “probaton”. Probaton lambsmeans “something that walks forward.” Are you and I moving forward following Jesus or do we live in a rut of fear? The answer is to keep looking toward the Good Shepherd for help.  He will give me nourishment and rest. When we walk with the Shepherd, we walk in power and peace.

We cannot have faith and fear at the same time. We must get out of the rut of fear and turn to the pasture of faith. We will have total peace only when we have total trust.  The more we think of things to fear, the deeper get the ruts in our lives. Jesus is standing in the green pasture inviting me to lie down in the peace of His presence.

The 23rd Psalm of God providing “green pastures” challenges believers to trust God day by day. As His sheep, we should trust God today rather than fear the sheep~future. You may not see it now, but a new pasture of grass will always be there in the morning. Remember, the Shepherd knows you by name. All the way, my Shepherd leads me.

The good shepherd worked hard to provide the sheep with an abundant lush green pasture for rest. Our good Shepherd has worked and is working in our lives to remove the hard places of stubbornness, unbelief and fear in our hearts. He exposes the roots of bitterness and anger which contaminate.

When we feed on the green pasture of His Word, He sows His Word into our lives. As we fellowship with our Heavenly Shepherd in His Word and in prayer, our mind, our emotions, and our will are renewed. His presence, His Word and prayer are our green pastures, our nourishment and rest. “Come unto me…and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Are you worried? Are you fearful? I admit it! I have my moments of worry and fear, and these lessons are for me too! I am a needy sheep. If you are feeling worried and fretful, join me in prayer.  The Lord will give us His peace, so we will rest in Him. Let us remember that there is no need to fear tomorrow, because God is already there.

Heavenly Father,

shepherdI need Your rest in my life today.  Worry robs me of the joy and peace You had planned for me today. Worry and fear rob me of the strength I need to carry on the work You had planned for me to do today. I look unto You, my good Shepherd. Thank You for leading me to green pastures by removing the stony places of fear, worry, and stubbornness in my heart. I desire to walk forward with You leading me, and not look back except to remember lessons You have taught me. I am so grateful I have a good Shepherd Who Cares for me, Who loves me and Who leads me.  Where would I be without You, My Heavenly Father! Thank You for loving me with an everlasting love! Let me never forget the miracle that You live within my heart.  I praise You for being My Good Shepherd! In the Precious Name of Jesus Christ, Amen~