Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Scattered Feathers

Have you ever said something and wished you could take it back immediately?  I have heard that speaking carelessly is like cutting open a feather pillow and standing in the wind.   It would be impossible to find all the feathers and gather them back together.  Words are very powerful; both good and bad. We often speak out of anger, sadness, tiredness or stress.  However, words can hurt.  Whoever said "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me" lied! We must have the Holy Spirit's power to control our tongue.

There was a time that some very hurtful words were spoken to me.  The words cut through to my heart and hurt deeply.   For awhile I let those hurtful words define me.  I struggled believing they might be true. However, with alot of prayers and God's strength, I chose to forgive the person.   At first, I was not able to be around that person without feeling shame and nervousness.   As time passed, my heart healed and now I seldom remember those words and when I do, I know they are not truth. On the other hand,  I have been the one that said very hurtful words.  I  was full of anger and opened up my mouth and the words flew.   Once the words left my tongue I knew I would regret saying them.  Sure enough, the words damaged a very important friendship.  Even after apologies the relationship was strained. 

Words can do alot of good or can do alot of bad.   We can use our words to glorify God or to grieve Him.  With God's help, we can control our tongue and be selective with our words.  Let's leave a legacy of speaking with grace, love and hope. We may never be able to "gather all the feathers" back of careless words in the past, however we can start now to be careful to make sure in the future that our words are spoken carefully.

Following are some scriptures to think on:

Don't use foul or abusive language.  Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.   Ephesians 4:29 NLT

The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.   Proverbs 15:28 NLT

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Unexpected

We have alot of expectations every day.  We expect the sun to rise.  We expect the lights to come on when we flip the switch.  We expect our car to drive us where we need to go...and the list goes on.  However, in the midst of all our expectations we often encounter the unexpected such as a flat on our car, electricity not working due to a storm whose dark clouds hide the sunrise, or waking up with a sickness.

Life is full of surprises.  We truly don't know what will happen one day to the next.  However, we can know that our God is in control, loves us, and truly wants good things for us.  Romans 8:28 says:
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  We often hear Romans 8:28 misquoted. We tend to think that all things will be good.  However, the Word doesn't tell us that everything that comes our way is good, but that God will work everything out for our good.   We can trust our Heavenly Father to work and grow us in the midst of painful unexpected situations.  I can remember the time when God called us to step out in faith and go into full-time music ministry.  We spent many days praying, fasting, and seeking God's will on this.  We were convinced that this was what God was calling us to do.  However, when we let our friends and family know about it, we were met with doubt, discouragement and even some anger.  Even our Christian brothers and sisters thought we were crazy and that we had misheard God.  As the day drew near that Chad was to leave his bank job, our finances seemed to plummet.  I will admit that I felt hurt, scared and confused.  I thought, "God, we are obeying you to the best of our ability and everyone is upset and our money is gone!"  I somehow thought that if we were on God's perfect path for us that we would see lots of encouragement and the money would never be lacking.   Life would have been very easy if doors flew open and the bank account overflowed.  However,  He took this time of discouragement and defeat and turned it around to help us grow in our faith and trust. If our faith was in all things going well, we would be up and down.  However, if our faith was in Christ then we can stand strong knowing His love for us never changes.

I am not sure what you are facing today:  a flat tire, a sick body, a broken marriage, or a wounded heart.  Rest assured that as you place your fragile heart in God's hands, He will take your brokenness and work something redeeming out of it. We can trust His heart towards us and we can trust that when everything looks like it is falling apart, He has a plan!