Saturday, July 26, 2008
"A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue."
Ain't that picture priceless? Can't you just think of someone right now who that bull reminds you of? Someone who goes charging in to speak their mind- even when the counsel is not wanted? Someone who absolutely can't hold their tongue and absolutely missed their calling as the 'gossip columnist' of the week? Someone who can't wait to share the juicy misfortune of others? Someone who loves to tell all the gory details of their life situation and all those who have offended them? Someone who takes your prayer request to the Lord in absolute sincerity and then turns around and blabs it to every Tom, Dick & Harry? Someone like you? Someone like me?
Uh-oh. Is that too harsh to even consider? Okay- so maybe a lot of that first paragraph is worded in such an uncomfortable way that no one would take responsibility to be that bad...
What, however, does the Bible say? Is it just the busy-body's with too much time on their hands that are addressed in scripture? The Word instructs us over and over to bridal our tongue. We are reminded that a soft answer turns away wrath...that the fruit of believers is to show gentleness, kindness, and self control... to let the words of our mouth and the mediation of our heart be acceptable in the sight of a Holy and righteous God.
Are we building others up (whether it is deserved or not) in the sight of their friends and family- or are we tearing them down and destroying their reputation one conversation at a time?
Let me tell you a personal story. I had a situation occur a while back in which I decided to share something (with no malicious intent in my heart) to someone else. In all honesty- it wasn't my business, but it was interesting. A little while later I realized that my 'confidante' wasn't as concerned as I was with keeping this information between the two of us. I absolutely panicked. I had to call 'so and so' and 'so and so' and remind them that if this got back to 'so and so' that they would be devastated. I worried. I fretted. I told myself, "I'll never do this again!.
But, alas... as news comes about and seems so interesting to be shared... will my husband be the first to hear of it? Or can I control my tongue enough to keep it to myself- whether or not it would make good dinner conversation. A good rule of thumb- if I'm worried that my words spoken in secret might be 'found out'- then I need to say quiet. As the Bile says, 'even a fool is thought wise and discerning when he holds his tongue'.
We must also be careful not to engage in gossip either. Listening to someone else's words of destruction can be just as damaging as sharing them yourself. Being a willing party to another's hurtful criticism can fuel the fire and destroy the victim much more quickly. Instead, put a stop to it... don't nod your head in approval, but rather leave the conversation; change the subject or begin to interject kind and healing words about the individual in question....even if they don't deserve it.
Be challenged- dear friend...that even our most private of conversations are heard by our Redeemer. If someone has done you wrong, allow Him to take care of it. Even if it is "yours" to share- consider if it is worthy and uplifting to communicate or just feeding the lust of the flesh. Will God be glorified or the god of this world?
Monday, July 21, 2008
About a month ago, one of the pastors of our church preached on 'offense'. He challenged us as believers to let upsetting things roll off- like water off a duck's back. He reminded that a mark of a solid believer...one who is founded in Christ and finds true solace in Him, is not offended to the point of sin.
Seriously, though- how many times a day are we really offended over such trivial things? If I am allowing the Holy Spirit to work through me on a daily basis (even in the little things), I will show traits of joy, patience, self-control and gentleness. How many times, though, am I grumpy, irritated, undisciplined and angry!?
For instance- case in point; I came home the other day to a plethora of emails and one in particular shook me up a little. I received a note from an friend that seemed a little on the 'arrogant' side and it just ticked-me-off. I mentioned it to my husband as I was reading it. Then I mentioned it at dinner. And then I mentioned it at bedtime- to which he turned to me (in his best loving husband way) and said, "Dear, you are allowing this to offend you too easily You have moved from the point of "irritation" to sin. Ask forgiveness and let it go..."
Oh, how right he is!
I was again reminded a couple days ago in the parking lot of my ease for being irritated. I had been waiting for a parking spot when I lady hurriedly tried to cross in front of me. I quickly stopped and allowed her to pass. All of a sudden her quick gait turned into a Sunday stroll and I waited and waited and waited. Then- wonder of all wonders- she turned her cart INTO the spot I was waiting for and parked it. And turned and looked at me with an irritated expression and begin to 'mouth' her annoyance. HER annoyance! Her big 'ole cart is in MY spot!
Why did I allow my offense to turn to sin? Sure, she was inconsiderate, but why wasn't my first reaction to show kindness or gentleness? I want to come to the place that I allow the goodness of the Holy Spirit to be free-flowing...even when my flesh is frustrated! Oh, that I might be a vessel of His faithfulness!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
"Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."
I would like to take the opportunity to share with you my heart on the matter of home-based business. I am an entrepreneur at heart- there is absolutely no way to get around that! I've tried many business ventures over the years (all from my imagination) and some have panned out and others have not. (ie: 7 years old; mobile kool-aid station in my little red radio flyer wagon; door to door; in the dead of winter).
Now that I am a SAHM (stay-at-home-mother), that hasn't really changed. Serving Christ is still my central focus- and my home and my family are priority. I do, however, love the idea of contributing to the financial needs of our home because of the joy that work brings!
Don't get me wrong- work 'inside' the home is consuming and very rewarding; but this allows me to work in a different way as time allows. I have known women who have wanted to work at/from home, but it took priority and everything suffered, causing much frustration and grief. There is a very fine line and my desire is to be wife and mommy first, homemaker second and lastly...entrepreneur.
In Proverbs 31:10-31, King Solomon speaks highly of the woman who is of noble character and provides for the needs of her husband and children. He speaks of her praiseworthy works and her buying/selling to provide. Her husband speaks highly of her and her children call her blessed.
I have started an "organization" in which I host/promote an evening for 4-5 women in different areas of home business to gather together in a local venue with the express purpose of promoting their products.
There will be no presentations and no pressure to purchase; just the ability to peruse fantastic items at your leisure from some fabulous proverbs women!
Would you like to start a Proverbs Woman organization in your area? Let me know!
The following is a copy of a letter that my husband and I just sent out this morning to our friends and family!! Please be in prayer is we start out on this great endeavor...
I’m writing to engage your prayers concerning a momentous occasion. Angel and I have been working towards starting a church in the **** area. We have just submitted our initial articles of non-profit incorporation in the state of ***** and we are moving forward in having the new church recognized as a legal non-profit entity.
We have chosen the name of Oikos for the new church. Oikos is a Greek word meaning family, a dwelling place or descendents. It used within Scripture in I Peter 2:5, “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
Our desire is for Oikos to be a congregation of people who strengthen Biblical families and build legacies for Christ. There is also a desperate need to engage the withering culture and in particular to address the twenty-somethings that have been fed a steady media diet of postmodernism and unbelief. The god of this world, Satan, has focused his attention on destroying the Biblical concept of family and crippling the minds of our next generation of leaders.
In every age, it is imperative that God’s people fight the advance of evil on the battleground where evil is advancing. I can think of no greater peril than what is currently facing families and young adults.
It is our passion to not merely create another church entry in the Yellow Pages. We want to seek the lost, to bind children’s hearts to their parents and to Christ, to redeem the times, to raise up a holy generation, to rightly divide the Word, to serve our community with Christ-like compassion and to establish an eternal community. God’s foremost passion is for his people to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Him through Christ. We want to pour out our lives and we are seeking others who want to do the same.
We are still in the initial stages of forming our core group and establishing our identity doctrinally. Please pray that Oikos would wage war on spiritual strongholds, that our efforts at creating a church would bear fruit, and that God’s hand would guide us. Our greatest need is for intercessory prayer warriors to lift up our cause.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Hope you are all doing well bloggyworld!