Sunday, October 30, 2011

Knowing Versus Knowing

Ladies, how often does a gal you know act and speak to you like they know you well and you find yourself frequently thinking something like, "she doesn't really know the real me"?  It has happened to me many times in my lifetime of 31 years and I don't think it's just me who relates to this question. I believe that here in the United States the depth of women's friendships are getting more and more shallow. Since I'm writing to women, obviously I'm only going to address women, but I do believe it is both men and women in our nation struggling with the lack of deep and supportive friendships and/or relationships with the opposite sex.

Reasons for this lacking of depth in our friendships/relationships probably are too numerous to be thought up and listed in this blog. I am going to talk about two possible reasons for this. They were the first two reasons that came to mind when thinking of this topic. Is the lack of depth and support because our culture is so fast paced these days and we Americans choose not to deeply invest in friendships/relationships simply for the reason that we "don't have time"? Or maybe the reason we Americans choose to neglect deep and devoted friendships is because it is too vulnerable of a position.

Most of us might think that a deep friendship is too risky because another human being will have a voice into our circumstances and the freedom to give positive feedback or unload negative criticisms. It can be a "scary" thing for many people to allow someone else access into their personal life and I don't just mean access into their life on social networks on the world wide web. I mean real personal interaction.  I'm just going to say that stating our problems on websites and blogs and or building friendships through those websites and ONLY those websites is not really very vulnerable and "personal".  Face to face relationships is when people prove who they say they are and what they say they feel on those websites and blogs. When we Americans let our lives only be filled with online friendships and no real face to face friendships, life becomes (in my opinion) very shallow. The many shallow friendships happening in our nation these days lead to many people feeling over-burdened about their life's circumstances and feeling isolated even when they are surrounded by folks they consider their friends.

Some of you might say that you don't struggle with this, that you have deep and abiding friendships with other gals in your town or city, that you don't know what it is like to struggle with feeling lonely in a crowd. However some of you ladies know that your symptoms of depression you've had lately and your feelings of isolation stem from your lack of going deep with those women God has placed in your life.  Some of you gals out there realize that you need to be more vulnerable, but it is just too much work on your part and so you stay in the friendly acquaintance playing field and continue to avoid the late night chats over coffee in your friends kitchen, the long walks through the neighborhood talking about everything under the sun, the road trips to see your friends' family members who are ill and need support. Although we acknowledge our lack of depth with people, it is rarely the case that we choose to step out and change that situation.  We have found a way to exist, to cope with the shallowness. And it is so sad. I do this very thing myself many times.  What a powerful force of women we could be if we overcame that struggle and learned to truly embrace each other, cry with each other, love each other deeply, challenge each other to be better, rescue each other from shallow living and together truly live.

Sometimes we will blame our problems and stressful days on exterior things such as the weather, our family's choices of behavior/actions, or our job circumstances when really all we may need is a deeper and more honest group of friendships with the gals we know who can help us see inside ourselves and help us grow to love the person God made us to be. Some of you might really relate to this statement. If so, I'm grateful because then I'm not alone in this struggle. Many women are striving to look strong in the eyes of their bosses and clients by leaving behind their human support team...our friends, and it is wrecking us as a culture instead of bringing us the success we thought it would. We were not made to stand alone on this earth. We need other women in our lives each week, or perhaps in our lives every day. We gals in the U.S. (as a whole) struggle to make enough time in our days to really invest in those that God has specifically placed in our lives. Why that is, I don't really know, but I do know it isn't a good thing.

Ladies (talking to me, as well), God has put certain women in our lives to be more than fair weather friends, but our dear friends----friends who encourage and support us; friends who we can encourage and support; and friends to be pals with---in the times of celebration and times of grief.  How many of us have that kind of person and/or people in your daily life?  How many of us have "true blue" friends for the "every" day of our lives.

Women have a great power of encouraging and building others up by using their words and their actions. However, women also have a great power of twisting that spirit of encouragement into manipulation and negative criticisms. There is so much comparison and criticism going on among women that the idea of pursuing a deep friendship with a fellow "daughter of Eve" (like The Chronicles of Narnia puts it) seems crazy. I mean, most of us women would think her to be a little crazy the gal who tries to keep a friendship alive all the while the comparisons, criticisms, belittling observation are flying. If only we women would daily ask our Lord and Savior for the strength and the gumption to use our abilities of observation, comparison and criticism for good instead of selfish gain.

Women, in general, have a difficult time figuring out how to use their skills of observation for good purposes. If we women did do that, it would really strengthen the friendships we have and make our whole world of family life and work life more positively impacted and encouraged. Our culture has gone so long with the lack of strong and devoted friendships that it almost seems negative to have someone around weekly who has "the right" (as a friend) to speak into our lives, "the right" show us our strengths and weaknesses and watch us make successes and failures. We just continue to use that crazy confused mentality as a reason why we don't pursue deeper friendships.  We don't want others seeing our flaws, telling us their opinions of how we should live, showing us different ways of doing life, displaying gifts and talents that we don't possess but wish we do.  It's a crazy and twisted cycle we women have put ourselves in. I'm exhausted just thinking about all the silly things we women use as excuses to keep ourselves distanced from transparent friendships.  WOW.  Maybe I'm just speaking for myself, here, but I HIGHLY doubt that.

Lately I am working on being a kind of friend that I would want others to be for me.  I am learning, again, what it IS to be a good friend.  It is definitely a commitment. As a little girl, I think I did a decent job at being a friend who was "all there"; who was 100% committed to my friends.  As time has passed and as I have faced much more struggles, stresses and complicated situations in my adult years, I have began to put the value and importance of being a devoted and committed friend on a back burner of my heart and mind.  I don't believe that was a good thing, just in case you haven't caught that by now.  haha! 

As we grow into adulthood, there are many changes that seem to force us into a more serious perspective of the world around us.  And it is a good thing to view our world with a sober mind. However, I don't think that it is ALL good. As adults, we almost need more of those amazingly transparent, deeply devoted and innocent friendships than we had as kids. Even if some of us can only say they had one deep and awesome friendship in our childhood, it is something to be considered now as adults. We need to still be willing to open up our hearts and minds to those friends we have now. It will help us in life in so many ways. I won't list them, but you know how many areas of our life can be strengthened and encouraged when we have a dear and devoted friend to share it with. All you ladies out there with husbands, I am talking to you, too.  You (me, included) need a woman in your life that is a deep and devoted friend and we don't need to just depend on our husbands for that friendship support.  If you have more than one dear friend, then praise the Almighty God because that is truly a blessing!!  If we continue through this life without a deep friendship.......a "bosom friend" as Anne Shirley of Green Gables would say, then we are bordering on the type of pride that is dangerous and sinful before God. To think, as women, we don't need a gal in our lives to be our friend since we are married to "our best friend" is....well, I don't know how to say it........selling ourselves short.

All of us have gifts and talents that can be used to bless others. Can we lay aside the, well frankly, arrogant attitude we get sometimes that says we don't need another woman to really know us?  Can we lay aside the attitude that we are too busy and too tired for the amount of time and vulnerability it takes to maintain a good friendship?  Can we stop that?  The greatest enemy of our Almighty God wishes that we would think that we can be strong on our own.  We know we need deep friendships. Let us be willing, starting today, to be better friends to the women our loving God has placed in our lives. Let us be willing to let others speak truth into our lives. Let us be willing to listen to those truths and look into God's Word and let both encouragements and guidance help us become strong women whose characteristics look more and more like our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

So, I now have been more inspired even as I write these words.  I commit today to being a better friend, a more available and a better listening friend to the ones God has placed in my life. And I commit to allowing others to really know me instead of just know about me.  I desire to learn from this realization and be a good friend who is a devoted friend; one who is willing to "be there" for the other in a moment's notice; one who is willing to listen before dishing out their opinions; one who is creative in finding things to do and places to go together to strengthen the bond.

Will you join me in this commitment?

Let's start knowing each other instead of just knowing each other.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The New Fisherman's Tale

There was a fisherman alone in his boat far out in the deep ocean caught in a great storm. His boat was wrecked badly by the storm's waves and was minutes from sinking. The man scrambled to get all of his lifesaving gear strapped on himself and managed to get his life jacket on and his inflatable raft secure in his grip. In just a couple of minutes the boat's top deck was coming closer and closer to sea level.

Soon, the man was alone in the ocean, storm still raging and he was treading water still struggling to pull the cord to inflate his raft.  Waves were beating him down so badly that he didn't have much time between hits from the huge waves to pull the cord properly to get the raft open.  He lost all of his other gear that he hoped to have on the life raft once it was open.  Again a wave hit his body, this time harder than the others and knocked the wind out of him. Alone in the water, strapped to his life jacket, the man was unconscious face down in the water. The storm was relentless and before he could "come to", he breathes in too much water and is no longer breathing. His heart stops beating. He drowns.

Suddenly a boat appears seemingly out of nowhere, the storm is violent but this boat seems to be unaffected by the weather and the waves. A man of great light and peace steps out of the boat onto the crashing waves and walks to the lifeless man in the cold and raging waters. The mysterious man gathers the breathless man up in his arms and walks back toward his boat. Immediately the lifeless man begins to breathe. His heart ignites to a normal rhythm. The mystery Rescuer is now to the boat and placing the now alive man into his boat. The new man opens his eyes. The storm is raging all around him, but he sees a man unaffected. This man is of great light and peace. Drenched and shaking from the cold, the fisherman with new life speaks in astonishment.

Who are you?
"I am your Savior," the Prince of Peace proclaims.
Lord, I was dead and you brought me back to life. I will live each day to honor you for this gift of new life you have given to me.

As the Savior's boat made it to land, the storm had subsided. The new man stepped onto the beach in total amazement. He had never thought he would see land or life again when his boat sank to the depths.
"Master, what shall I do first in this new life you have given me?" he asked the Rescuer.
And the Savior replied, "Go and live for Me to show others who I am so that they may be rescued from darkness and brought into my marvelous light as well." And the new man looked up to see his Savior in radiant light walking back out onto the ocean unaffected by the weather or the waves. Turning to the docks to go home the new man saw his own boat completely restored and tied to the dock. He said to himself, "Fishing will never be the same again."

Each day from then on as he was out in the deep ocean doing his job, the new man-- the old fisherman, would hear His Savior's voice on the waves reminding him. "Son, I will be with you wherever you go, always, and even to the end of the age."

*This is a short story I wrote in response to my husband's and Michael Kelley's explanation of what really happens when we come to faith in Christ.  My husband and Mr. Kelley say that when Christ saves us, we aren't just in great distress like someone floating in a lifesaver on the ocean needing someone to pull us out of the cold waters.  When the Savior comes to our rescue we are dead in spirit and Christ saves us from death and darkness and gives us life....eternal life and abundant life on earth.  Christ saves our souls, thus saving our whole lives!  PRAISE GOD!  And then Christ asks us to live for Him and live our lives telling others about the Savior. This is so those who haven't accepted His salvation may have new life as well.*

Friday, October 21, 2011

Letting Our Guard Down

Keeping this post as short as possible, I will just say a few things on this topic only because I am so passionate about it that my whole thoughts on this idea cannot be contained in one blog post. Many of my thoughts are not original. God's Word and Christian Bible studies I have worked through are the main sources of my inspiration.
Here I go!
Autumn is a great season, full of beautiful weather, colorful foliage, hot apple cider, candy, parties, campfires, football games, road trips and more candy. However, it is also a time that I think our entire country goes into a frenzy of celebrating or at least strongly focusing on death, sorcery, scary movies/t.v. shows, devils, goblins, zombies and everything else that's scary, deadly or just.....well.....dark.  Why is that?

Even many Christians who, during the other 11 months of the year are "all about" things of hope, peace, light and LIFE, will suddenly turn into people obsessed with going to the scariest movie showing in the theaters or decorating their houses with witches, goblins, headless scarecrows or zombie creatures decorated immaculately with blood and stitches.  To me, this is not funny.  This is not even something that I am able to look past each October. It grates at me.  There, I said it.  I am very bothered that many of the Christians in America find happiness each Fall in surrounding themselves with decor, television shows and movies that the sole plot and purpose is to make wickedness and evil deeds look really good.

I know, I know........most scary movies have "good guys" in the story line and the bad guys are clearly bad, but it seems that the bad guys in the t.v. shows and movies get more of the attention and they somehow become the "cool" character of the movie.  It seems that the more blood spilled and the more suffering a character goes through in a movie or t.v. episode, the better the show and the higher the ratings.  People seem to crave violence in their entertainment and in the season of Halloween that craving seems to intensify greatly.  If we Christians allow things of darkness to fill our minds, it will begin to affect our thoughts and views. Over time it will work it's way out into our words and actions.  I'm not saying that if we as Christians watch a scary movie that we will inevitably go out and murder someone just like the bad guy did in the movie we watched. I'm just saying that when we let things that are against God's character consistently into our minds, sooner or later it will affect our lives on the outside.

Remember the statement, "you are what you eat".  What we put into our lives will come out of us at some point whether we like it or not.  So, why can't we discipline ourselves to flee from thoughts that are against God's character and run toward thoughts that promote life? As Christians, our life is not our own anymore; it is the Lord's. We owe him all gratitude and praise for what He has accomplished on the cross and for defeating death in order to give us new life. Our entire lives, including the thoughts we think and what we let our eyes see, should be an act of thanksgiving and worship to God. SO, I'm not saying stop watching movies that have villains in them.  A good story always has to have conflict.  I'm just asking myself and you, who do we side with when watching those movies?  Since we have been rescued out of darkness, hopefully we are people who stand on the side of what is right and good.

It is beyond me that Christians who have tasted the goodness and greatness of God in their lives because they accept the amazing grace of Christ can suddenly let their affections and adoration and attention go toward things of the darkness. God's greatest enemy is the Deceiver--Satan.  He is described in God's Word as a lion prowling around seeking someone to devour. God's enemy exists only to kill, steal from and destroy God's people simply because we have the gift of eternal life and have been saved by Christ  That being said, why would we as believers in Christ, the Light of the world, be so enamored by things of such wickedness every time Halloween comes around? And strangely as soon as October 31st has passed, come November 1st the frenzy is over and we're all onto a new frenzy of Thanksgiving holiday decor.  Why are we Christians swayed so much by our worldly culture?  Why are we not so greatly affected by God's Word when we read it each day?  Why are we not so greatly convinced to be more like Christ our Savior and King. Especially after we read and hear about His amazing love for us that God would send His only Son into the world to save us from our sin, giving us the opportunity to believe in Christ and have a relationship with the God of the universe?

I tried to tell you earlier that I'm passionate about this.  I know my views are not in any way popular opinion, but I really feel like I needed to post something about this.  It is very dangerous for us Christians to go a whole month unguarded in our minds and hearts simply for the sake of holiday traditions and holiday peer-pressures.  Now, I love to dress up in costume.  It is so much fun. I just don't see the point of dressing up in something or decorating my lawn with something that looks like something that is powered or created by the arch enemy of the Almighty God, my Savior.  Let the costume parties come and let us have a wonderful time dressing up in costume, enjoying delicious food, friendships and wonderful weather, but let us be wise about what we choose to portray and what we choose to exalt. As Christians, we want to honor Christ in all we do because He is worthy of all our praise.

Friends, we must be careful what we let seep into our minds and hearts.  We need to daily announce to our soul in whom is our allegiance.  We need to daily speak to our Redeemer and acknowledge He is mighty and powerful above all else and that only because of Him do we have new life..........rather, life at all.
Read the Bible, it never turns out well for things or people that go up against the God of the Universe. Those who trust in the Lord and make Him their Lord and King of their whole self are the ones who are blessed.
Psalm 97:10
"Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked."
Proverbs 4:23
"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

I don't believe it is wise to imitate the characteristics and personality traits of the enemy of our Lord and Savior.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Power of Spoken Word: Part 2

What I'm about to share is definitely not an attempt of mine to make myself look godly or good. I just wanted to share how I view the power of words.....and for this blog I'll focus on just the power of spoken words. All throughout my years in grade school I had a great group of dear friends and I am still so blessed to be considered their friend to this day. My friends and I had a great time together throughout junior and senior high school. We had some rough times too, but overall, I am so blessed by all the good times we had and that they are still so encouraging to me even seventeen years later. Okay, back to the thing that I was about to share.  It might seem a little crazy, but it's true. 

Throughout junior and senior high school I really tried as the silly, goofy, and oh-so-redheaded self that I was to get my classmates to see Christ in me. I tried to bring God and my beliefs about him into my everyday conversations so they might see in some small or big way that Christ had made a big difference in my life. I did not attempt anything crazy to get attention, but I prayed alot that God would help kids see the love of Christ in my words and actions.  I tried to be brave (failed miserably in that most of the time) and tried to speak up about what I believed when given an opportunity. The key word here is tried. Many times I would choose to just blend in with the crowd in my attitude and my way of communicating. Regardless of my victories or failures in being a personal witness of my changed life, I knew that God was amazing, that He had rescued me from an empty existence, that He loved all people of the world far beyond any one person could or ever would.  And because of those things I knew and believed, I wanted others to know it too.  And I still want that for my friends......I want that for....well, everyone for that matter.

Many times I (and also several of my Christian friends) would get into random discussions with classmates about religion.  Most of the time my Christians friends and I would not start the discussions.  I believe God just worked it out that I was (we were) in the right places at the right times to hear schoolmates' thoughts and questions about religion and faith.  When it came to religious discussions, I wasn't great at saying many profound thoughts. I just tried, whenever the opportunity would open up, to tell them what I believed and how much it changed me. Thankfully I had several friends who were thinking just like me and desired to see their classmates come to know the love of God personally. 

Trust me, I'm getting to the reason why I titled this blog what I did. Thinking back to my time in junior and senior high school, most of the time I didn't see much evidence of anyone's life being changed because of my choice to show with my life that I loved God and that He loved us. But I do believe the statement "you reap what you sow".  Even today, I am curious what God chose to do with all those days of my junior and senior high school years when I attempted to share what I believed with those around me. I wonder about what my choice of words did for and/or to my friends, teachers and classmates who heard.

Questions I have about that time: Did the comments and spoken opinions I shared with people around me build up those who heard them?  Did my words sow seeds of negativity that over time have grown into a self esteem problem in some folks?  OR do words even have the power to do anything like that?  I might be getting a little too crazily picky and weird about this whole thing. If so, hang in there with me and keep reading.  heehee!

Either way, I know that the positive feedback, encouragement and leadership that people (friends, family and anyone else) have given me throughout my lifetime has seemed to stick in my mind and heart.  I grow in confidence when people speak positively into my life....into my circumstance.  And even positive criticism is in that same group of speaking positively. My parents invested tons of encouragement in me and it has taken root, grown and produced fruit. Let me share a current example of positive words taking root in me. A friend of mine just told me last week when I answered her phone call that she wanted to start calling me Becky Who is Blessed.  She said she wanted to encourage me that God loves me and will provide for me and because those things are true...I am blessed. Now if I don't respond to that by being strengthened and motivated in some way then something is really wrong with me.  haha!  Anyone who gets a word like that would 99.9% of the time walk away standing a little bit taller, see the world as a little bit smaller and view their obstacles as a little less daunting.

I totally know that I'm not the only blessed person. duh! All of us who are God's people are blessed just to belong to Him.  I know that's alot of church-y wording, but it's true. God is King....the Creator of the Universe and if we choose to be fully on His side, believing in His Son Jesus Christ, then we are blessed simply because we are His. All that to say, my friend's encouragement has really taken root in me for the better. She probably doesn't even know that yet. I have really been encouraged by her quick greeting  when she called me the other day.

So, now here's the question part I'm asking myself AND all of you.  Are you ready??

What words are we going to sow this week?  What words from God's Word have we let be planted in us this week so that they can grow in our hearts and minds strengthening us for life's challenges; allowing us to know God's amazing grace, His power, His sovereignty, His hope, His peace a little bit more?  Will we see words as more than a means of communication?  Do we give any weight to what we say?  Are you attempting to plants seeds of hope, life, love, kindness, truth, grace, patience, peace, gentleness into people's hearts?  I'm asking myself these things too.

We need to be daily aware that we WILL reap what we sow.  It has been proven throughout all the history books, in non-religious and the Holy Bible.  What we put into something is what we'll get out of it.  If we invest a bunch of negativity and condemnation in our words to our family and friends, we will not get much true help from them in return when we find ourselves down in the dumps or struggling.  If we build up our family and friends each day and pursue to speak words of encouragement and life into their daily routine, there will be a return someday of kindness from them.....maybe not directly to us, but it could provoke them to pursue a lifestyle of speaking kind and uplifting words to those in their life.  It's so neat to think that we all have the opportunity to be a tiny part of a positive change in someone's perspective of life and perhaps even their perspective of God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Blessings to you all.  Get Real, Women!  Rise up, shine and speak words of life to all you meet and I will pursue to do the same! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Is That Really the Attitude You Want to Wear to Dinner? You Might Want To Go Change.

Struggling seems to have been my mental status for most of today.  My attitude was so easily swayed and/or manipulated by the circumstances of the day.  I knew the answer to why I was struggling, but I seemed to ignore it all day until this evening.  Brodie and I prayed together tonight after putting Zachary to bed.  It was a sweet time to talk to our God, thank Him for His many blessings, elevate Him in our hearts as our God and King, ask Him to help us with our heart attitudes, our needs and our struggles. So much peace and confidence in our Maker came into my mind and heart after that prayer.  Why we didn't pray together earlier in the day, I don't know. However, I'm so glad that we did pray together tonight.  What a blessing it is for me to have such a great husband who has a strong desire to honor God with his whole life and a desire to bless me with loving prayer support.

So, back to earlier today. I had felt all day that I shouldn't be having such a struggle with my attitude especially since we just got back yesterday from a weekend long collegiate ministry retreat. (By the way, it was really good time.) The weekend was inspiring and encouraging and an all around good time catching up with friends who live far away on the other side of the state. However, after all that positivity, I still greatly struggled today to think positively.  I titled my blog (a really long title, sorry about that) the way I did because it is what I know someone would want to say to me today if my attitude were an actual piece of clothing. They'd ask, "Is that attitude you're wearing the one you REALLY want to wear to dinner (or insert whatever place I was going today)?  Maybe you should change first."

My loving husband didn't say anything about my attitude today, but that's because I fessed up to him earlier that I was really struggling today and that I felt I could not get out of the "let's be blah all day" attitude I was in.  But it is interesting to recap the day.  All I can say about it really is that it's no fun and also that I know it isn't a very healthy way to live.  It is so tiresome to be prone to negativity all day long.

Yesterday, I was telling Brodie that I am striving to live a life that is seeking truth.....more importantly, seeking God's truth in all aspects of my existence whether that be when I'm talking with my friends about make-up, fashion, cooking, decorating, parenting or keeping up with my toddler.  But still, even in just the day's routine, I need to be seeking what is true, more importantly... truly good, about my circumstances and how do I respond to daily circumstances in a way that is right.  In my opinion the right way is the way that is honoring to God. And seeing that definition reveals that I royally failed at looking for the good in my circumstances today.  Haha! (So glad God's mercies are new every morning.) It's when I put God and others before me and my priorities that I am living right.....right with God and those in my life.

I just remembered in my high school years at Super Summer there was an "I'm Third" award given out to a person from each "school".  The award, as you might already know, was for people who put, Christ first, others second and themselves third.  It's also worded; Jesus, Others, Yourself    J.O.Y.

Funny......J.O.Y. is what we get when we put our priorities in the right order.  There must be something to that when it comes to the things I struggle with recently.  If I make my priority to knowing God more, loving God in all that I do, it should lead me to caring for others more and in a better way.  By doing that I have put my life in the right order.  This is something I need to focus on this week.  I really want joy......J.O.Y.  I know that this way of life works because I have done it many times before. Obviously, I haven't done it too often lately or I wouldn't be blogging about it. HA!  Maybe this struggle of mine was meant to happen so that you too would be encouraged to pursue a life of joy.....J.O.Y.  For me, today, it was difficult to see it becoming a reality because I was in a dense fog of focusing on negative truths instead of positive truths. 

Soon, sometime this week, I would like my attitude to reflect a J.O.Y. pursuit so that someone could say, "I like the grace that you are wearing today".  Or, "that compassion you've got on today is's so YOU!"  Or, "You know, love looks good on you, girl. You should wear it more often. It really brings out your eyes." 

Love you, friends.  Be encouraged as I have been.  God knows we are weak and it's okay because He is strong.  Let us seek to know Him more, bless others around us more and keep ourselves in the "I'm third" position each day. And we will see what great things will happen when we live out J.O.Y.

Colossians 3:12-14
"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."

Ah, I needed that. Thank you, Lord.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Power of Words: Part 1

Here's just a short thought that might spark a long conversation over the next several days.  Whenever I read stories in the Bible, I notice most people in the stories take very seriously all spoken word.  It seems that their words were living and once spoken into existence their words could actually alter the course of someone's life; either giving people a curse or a blessing. Again, this is just me working through a thought process that has been spinning around in my mind for many months now.  If my assessment of the ancient perspective of spoken words is correct or even close to correct (and I have not yet researched this in order to know if it is) then why does our world live so differently today?

At least in the Western world, there seems to not be much of an importance to the words that we say.  We say what we think, whenever we want to say it and don't often think that it has much consequence to speak critical, opinionated, kind or encouraging words to others. It doesn't seem to make sense that suddenly words would have no more "weight" like they did in ancient times. Why and when did this change?  And if it did not truly change, then maybe many of us are living in frustrating situations or in bless-ed and fruitful situations all because of a word that was spoken over us or directly to us somewhere in our lives by a family member, co-worker, friend, or stranger.  What if words really are living and able to alter the course of someone's life?  Doesn't God's Holy Word say clearly that all humans are made in His image....His likeness?  Meaning, we have the finite characteristics of His infinite ones.  If His Word is living and active...
Hebrews 4:12
"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

.....then wouldn't we, God's creation, have the ability to have a finite version of that?

So many stories in the Old Testament AND the New Testament reveal to us that spoken word is powerful.  The Bible shows a person's spoken words can tear down people's lives in their present and their lives in the future thus altering their descendents lives as well. However, the Bible also shows clearly from the beginning to the very last verse that the spoken words of people can also anoint, bless, heal and redeem others.

This thought of mine is not fully developed.  I must give it more time to marinate before writing anymore. Forgive me for stopping short. Your thoughts to this topic are welcome while I publish these not-fully-edited thoughts.

Now, I'm really getting conscious of what I say.  Oh boy, this should be interesting, rewarding......or just plain annoying.
May you have a blessed day and may you find ways to bless others around you in WORD and in your actions. Peace.