Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Word Became Flesh

Not a creature is stirring, not even mouse!  Since that was indeed the case in my house at 5:00 am, why in the heck did I wake up?  Why am I typing on my blog at 6:00 am on a cold, Christmas Eve morning when I could be sleeping a warm, cozy bed?!?!?  I will be up late tonight wrapping gifts, and I know my kids will have me out of bed early tomorrow morning for sure.  I'm really missing a great chance to sleep in.  It's just,'s just my mind won't stop thinking about Jesus. 

Everyone everywhere is celebrating this weekend.  The lights, the music, the parties, the services...they will all be fun and will make our senses dance.  It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!  It's a time to reflect on the manger scene and what that means to those that love Him.  This Christmas season I've been reflecting more on the beginning than the manger scene.  For whatever reason, God has taken me to the book of Genesis, and the first chapter of John many times.  He's been reminding me that the story of Christmas, the REAL story of Christmas, did not start at the manger scene.  OK, now I know you think I've lost my mind.  Christmas not starting with the manager scene?  That's right.  That's what I'm thinking.

God has been taking me to the first chapter of John for the past few weeks.  Have you read that chapter lately?  It is full of amazing things.  Let me show you some of them.

In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,[a]
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.[b]
6 God sent a man, John the Baptist,[c] 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. 8 John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
14 So the Word became human[d] and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.[e] And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

In the beginning (before the creation of our Earth) The WORD WAS GOD and the WORD BECOMES HUMAN (aka JESUS)!!!   Jesus, the Creator!  The little baby wrapped in a manger that was the Creator of the World.  NOTHING WAS CREATED EXCEPT THROUGH HIM!  That's where the Christmas story begins. IN THE BEGINNING!

Why would God...Holy, Most Powerful, The Creator....come to dwell among us?  I know, I save us, but let's think about the whole idea of Him saving us.  He could have planned to save us in many ways.  I mean, He's GOD!  But yet, He chose to come to this earth, AND be born in a manger for the love of Pete!  Well, no, actually for the love of us all...not just Pete!  (-:  Why?  Why would He do this?  Maybe because He wanted to be with us?  I know I want to be with my kids!  He's our Father so I'm sure as any Father He wanted to walk with us and to talk to us and to laugh with us and to cry with us.  He wanted to teach us His ways.  He wanted to show us His grace and mercy. 

And then He reminded me.  John 3:16.  We all know it.  I can recite this verse so quickly it will make your head spin.  But think about it.  "For God so loved the world.."  God LOVED the world.  Not liked, or was amused by, but LOVED.  He had created us out of His own image and He loves us.  So much so, that He would leave His throne and come to walk among us.  And then, He would die for us.

Today is Christmas Eve. I am so glad God woke me up early this morning so I can celebrate longer today.  Yea, I missed some good sleep-in time, but I much prefer this time reflecting on His Word...on the Word that became flesh!

Happy birthday, Jesus, my Creator.  I'm so glad You came to save us.

Merry Christmas to all who choose to read this.  I pray your day is filled with family and fun, but that your heart be filled with the love of Christ. 

~ Stephanie

Saturday, October 29, 2011


You can't work your way into heaven.  There's nothing you can do that will make you good enough to stand in front of a Perfect God and get into heaven. You can only get to heaven by FAITH in Jesus Christ. (John 3:16; Romans 3:21-26) I mean, can you imagine standing in front of a perfect God and telling Him all the good works you did to qualify for heaven?!??!!?!  I think He would laugh.  There's not enough good I can do to cover up the sins in my life.  I'm so thankful for grace and mercy from a loving Savior, and for being deemed righteous because of my faith in Christ.

However, if we read James 2:14-25 we find that faith without good deeds is dead. (Read it for yourself!)  Now, the Bible's not saying we are saved by our works.  It's saying we are saved by faith FOR works.  If we are truly saved, we want to do good works for the glory of God.  Ephesians 2:8-10 even says that God planned in advance that we would do good works. 

Do you consider yourself a Christian?  If so, what good works have you done in the last 48 hours?  I was thinking about that and was real convicted.  I do take care of my family, but I'm supposed to do that.  I think we're to do good works that go beyond what we typically do.  For example, I think it wouldn't kill me to take out the garbage for my husband every now and then.  It would also be a good idea to write a sweet note to my daughter every now and then. And what about my neighbors?  If I am to call myself a Christian, shouldn't I show them some good deeds that reflect Christ in me? 

You know that old saying, "actions speak louder than words"?  I think that is so true, especially for Christians. 

Lord, help me to show others my faith by my actions.  Help me to remember that You created me to do good works. ~ Amen

Monday, October 17, 2011

Being a PeaceMAKER!

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."  Matthew 5:9

Our God is the Prince of Peace.  (Isaiah 9:6-7)  Our God is the God of Peace.  (Hebrews 3:20, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Roams 16:20.)  Our God left us the gift of peace. (John 14:27).  If all this is true, and it is, then why are we Christians living without peace!?!?!?

Let me suggest to you today that Satan is trying to steal and kill our peace.  Just turn on the news and see the craziness in this world.  But the Bible calls us to be PEACEMAKERS.  In this world of chaos and craziness, we are to be PEACEMAKERS.  Now, that's a PRO-active word.  Being a peaceMAKER involves doing something and not sitting around waiting for peace to strike us.

We need to make our peace with God.  In Isaiah 57 it says there is no peace for the wicked.  In order to not be wicked we need God in our lives.  We need to have a daily walk with Christ and let Him lead us.  Then, we'll have the Fruit of the Spirit which includes PEACE in our lives supernaturally.  Obeying God leads to peace.

We also need to have peace with ourselves and our purpose in life.  Matthew 10:29-31 points out how important we are to God.  Colossians 1:22 points out that we are holy.  We need to have confidence that we wondefully made and that God loves us dearly. 

Finally, we need to be peaceMAKERS with others.  Romans 12:18 says as much as it is up to us, we need to live in peace.  As Christians we are expected to humble ourselves and seek peace.  Matthew 18 tells us how to handle disagreements with other Christians, but even when we are seeking peace with non-Christians we are to do it humbly. 

And what does the Bible say about being a peacemaker?  Well, they will be called children of God!  Oh, that others would know me as a daughter of the King.  And not just any King, but the King of Kings!  That's how I want to be known!

Lord, thank you for leaving us the gift of PEACE!  Help us to be peaceMAKERS and not just peaceKEEPERS!  In your precious Son's name I pray.  ~ Amen

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I've Got That Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy....Down in My Heart!

Did you know Christians are commanded to be joyful?!?!?  That's right.  It's not an option.  As a matter of fact, Philippians 4:4 says to ALWAYS be joyful.  It does not say be joyful when others are joyful, or when things are good or when you are on cloud 9.  It says we should be joyful in ALL circumstances.

Now, I don't know about you but I've had some days that I didn't think JOY was going to be a part of my attitude.  You know those days.  You wake up late.  Your dog throws up on your new rug.  You burn breakfast.  Your kids remind you 5 minutes before the are to walk out the door that they have a project due that they forgot about.  And you have PMS.  You get my drift?  NOT A JOYFUL KIND OF A DAY!

But yet, we are commanded to be joyful in all circumstances.  ALL CIRCUMSTANCES! 

So, how in the world do we do it?  Well, first we have to get our praise on.  In Psalm it says that Jesus inhabits the praises of His people.  If you start praising God, it will put some joy in your heart.  I like to put in some Third Day Christian rock music.  Maybe you like to listen to Southern Gospel.   However you like to praise, just do it! 

Secondly, we should realize that life will NOT be perfect on this side of Glory.  If Jesus suffered while He was on earth, why in the world should we think we will not have bad days.  And honestly, when I compare my suffering to His makes me want to go back to step one and PRAISE HIM MORE!

Finally, we need to look at problems as OPPORTUNITIES to bring God more glory instead of just problems.  When I don't yell and scream during those bad mornings like I mentioned above, my kids learn how to act under stressful circumstances.  It is an OPPORTUNITY to teach them.  All negative circumstances have opportunities if we look for them.

Joy is a Fruit of the Spirit.  I ultimately need Jesus in my life daily to help with my joy.  I'm so thankful that I can truly rejoice in all circumstances because of the hope I have in Him.

Lord, thank you for allowing me opportunities to express my joy.  Help me to be joyful always and forgive me for when I'm not joyful.  ~ Amen

Friday, September 30, 2011

True Love

Today is my birthday and let me say for the record I am already feeling LOVED! I woke up to my husband singing to me. Then my sweet kids came down stairs and loved on me. Then I was given all sorts of presents. And as I type this message, my phone keeps beeping to notify me of all the comments on my Facebook page. Wow! Life is good and I feel so LOVED!
Yesterday my Bible study group talked about love, so today as all these LOVE acts and messages keep pouring in, I can't help but think about the meaning of love. 1 John 4:8 says that "God is love". Think about that. God's very nature is love. He is and does everything out of love. He loves us. Each of us. He didn't send His Son to die for all of! He sent His Son to die for EACH of us. I praise Him for that amazing act of love. I will live with Him for eternity and death has lost it's sting for me because He chose to love me. Wow! Amazing! It's amazing because I DON'T DESERVE IT! None of us do!
We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19) When we love others it's because of the love God has put in their heart. Isn't that cool!?!?! Without God's love for us, we wouldn't have the ability to love anyone else. Can you imagine a world like that? Sometimes I get a glimpse of that when I see people that don't know our God of Love and prefer to live a hateful life. It saddens my heart that they can't see the amazing Love of our Creator and Savior! But the good news is that we can show them God's love. John 13:35 says that we will be known as Christians by our LOVE for others.
So, today as I celebrate my 41st (yes....well into my 40's now but I hear that 40 is the new 30! HA!) as I get a mani, pedi, massage, and facial I will think about God's love for me and praise Him. And when I am celebrating with my family tonight I will look for God loving me through them.
Lord, thanks for your gift of LOVE! I am so grateful that you would love someone like me enough to send your Son to die for me. So today, on my birthday, I celebrate YOU AND YOUR LOVE! You are the reason I am loved at all. Thank you Jesus! ~ Amen

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Just do it!"

"Have it your way!"

"Call NOW to get this once in a lifetime offer!"

If you've watched TV lately you've probably heard sentences like these. We've been watching a little more TV with the kids out of school. I am realizing that our world, more specifically through our TV, is teaching us that it's all about me. These commercials are saying we should do what we want, when we want and how we want with no regards to others, our health, our finances or anyone around us. Most every commercial out there is ME focused.

Now, don't' get me wrong. I like ME! I like to be first. I like to have it my way. I like to do what I want to do. The problem is that most times I focus on me, it leaves me feeling empty and just wanting more for ME.

Another problem with the "ME" attitude is that I love Jesus. Jesus is my example for living. What He teaches us in His Word sounds different than what I'm seeing on commercials. As a matter of fact, the words HUMILITY and SERVANT seems to come to mind when I think of living as a Daughter of the King. I mean, let's think about it. Jesus was born in humble circumstances, NOT in a castle. He washed the feet of His disciples the very night before He was betrayed. And of course, He humbled Himself to die on the cross.

What if our commercials promoted humility and serving others? I wonder what this world would be like it we started placing more emphasis on others than on ourselves. If you've ever served someone else then you know how wonderful it can make you feel. Serving others leaves you feeling satisfied...fully of joy....and wanting to serve more! That's a feeling I could become addicted to. That's a feeling I should become addicted to!

Lord, help me to look for ways to serve others. Help me to remember the good feeling I get from humbling myself. Help me to bring glory and honor to You through my actions. It's NOT all about me. It is all about YOU! ~ Amen

Isaiah 66:2 "..declares the Lord. 'This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Philippians 4:4 says, "Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again - rejoice!" It does not say, rejoice when things are going well. It does not say, rejoice only on the good days. It says rejoice ALL THE TIME.
Now, tell me how I can rejoice when there's financial trouble? Or, how in the world can I rejoice when I'm sick, or my kids are sick? And when I'm at a funeral, I am to rejoice? What?!??!!
As Christians, we can indeed rejoice in all circumstances. We just need to remember some things in order to get to that rejoicing during times of struggles.

  • First, we need to remember that God loves us and He wants what is best for us. Jeremiah 29:11 says He had great plans for us.

  • Secondly, we need to remember He hasn't forgotten about us during times of trouble. Psalm 91 says He will send His angles to watch over us. Nothing comes to God's children unless it is filtered by Him.

  • Thirdly, we need to remember God loves us so much that He wants to change us so we can have more glorious lives. Sometimes those struggles are meant to mold us and teach us. Praise God that He loves us so much He wants to teach us! Paul even said Philippians 1:12 that everything that happened to him had helped him to spread the Good News!

  • Finally, we need to remember that we are citizens of Heaven and aliens of this world. Paul states this in Philippians 3:20. As aliens in this world, we know it's not going to be perfect.

Christ came so that we might not just live, but live more joyously. We truly need to REJOICE in all circumstances. Having JOY is where it's at for living!


Lord, help me to rejoice ALWAYS!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

God Rested and So Should You!

I stay busy. There's always laundry. My kids think they have to change clothes every day! (-: AND, there's always dishes and cooking to do. My kids like to eat at least 3 times a day. Isn't that crazy?!?!? (-: And then there's my business I have to attend to. And let's not forget my precious husband that needs my time, and the kid's homework and school project, and ministry stuff, and my friends, and my extended family, and...well...and now I'm tired. Just thinking about how many irons in the fire we women have wears me out! YIKES! We have a LOT going on. ~~~ Most women I talk to say they find it hard to rest on a regular basis. AND, they also tell me they feel guilty when they take time for themselves to rest. Why is that? Why is it that we would feel guilty? I don't think that feeling of guilt is coming from the Lord. As a matter of fact, I know it's not! ~~~ There are many references to Jesus going away to recharge in the Bible, and HE WAS DEITY here on earth!. Mark 1:35 and Luke 4:42 are examples of this. But we can go back to the beginning to time and find even better examples of rest. In Genesis 2:2 we see that God rested after creating the world we live in. And not only that, In Exodus 20: 8-11 we see that God COMMANDED us to take a day of rest each week. ~~~ Did you get that? He COMMANDED us to rest? Yep. It's right there in the Bible. It's actually part of the Big 10 commandments! You are to rest, and it's part of obeying God. ~~~ So, how do you feel about resting now? I don't know about you, but I'm a little bit ticked off that Satan has made me feel bad about resting for so many years! I'm going to have some Holy nap time this week my friends! ~~~ And you know, I've found there are different types of resting. My sweet husband likes to work in the yard or ride his bike. I have friends that would prefer to spend their rest time reading a good book. I have other friends that would say their rest time is watching a good movie. As for me, I like to spend my rest time on the couch in and out of consciousness, opening my eyes every now and then to make sure the kids are still alive. (-: There's nothing like having your feet elevated for a while if you ask me!! ~~~ You know what happens when we rest and recharge ourselves? Well, it's my opinion we become more effective for Christ. Our words become blessings to others when we are well rested. Our thoughts are better when we are well rested. Our actions are pleasant when we are well rested. And, we have more joy when we are well rest. Now I understand why Satan doesn't want me to rest! ~~~ Lord, help me to remember your commandment to have a day of rest! I commit to resting once a week just as you asked me to do! ~ Amen

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

There is Power, Power, Wonder Working Power!

How would you describe a Christian? Maybe polite, or selfless, or meek, or gentle, or loving or self controlled. There are many words we use to describe Christians, but one we don't use is POWERFUL. "Powerful" is not a word that makes me think of a Christian, but yet in God's Word it is clear that God fills His Children with the Holy Spirit. It was through the Power of God that Moses was able to lead the Israelites out of slavery. It was through the Power of God that helped David slay Goliath. It was the Power of God that helped the Virgin Mary conceive. It was the Power of God that healed people in the New Testament. It was the Power of God that called Jesus forth from the dead on Easter morning. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God has NOT given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of POWER, love and self-discipline." If you are a child of the King of Kings, then you have a Power in you that is great than the powers of this world! Jesus promised to leave "A Counselor" when He left us. Acts tells us that the Holy Spirit would come upon us and we would be able to do great things! So, are you living as if Jesus was resurrected from the dead, or are you living as though He were still behind that stone? Are you walking in the Power of the Holy Spirit, or are you like the walking dead? In John 15 we are told we need to remain in Him, and He will remain in us. Being connected to the vine is the way we can access the power that God has for us. Jesus said He came to give us a more abundant life, and remaining in Him is the key to that. But, how do we remain in Him? We need to put God at the top of our priority list if we are to remain in Him. Do you think God is at the top of your list? Then prove it by writing down how much time you spent with Him today. OUCH! When I did that I realized that He wasn't getting enough of my 24 hours each day. YIKES! I was saying He was my priority, but I really wasn't living it. And there's no way I can truly stay connected with The Vine without spending time with Him! I'm finding that on days when I put Jesus first, then I see the Holy Spirit working through me. I see God's Hand displayed in my life. AND, He gets the glory for those good works He is doing through me! I certainly want my life to point to Him! Matthew 17:19-20 says we can move mountains through the Power of God living in us. We just need faith! So let me ask you again..... are you living as if Jesus were raised from the dead, or are you like the walking dead? Get up! Live as a child of the Living God! Live with Him at the center of your life! Show the world what God has done for you and is doing for you! Let the Power of your King flow through you so we can bring glory and honor to Him! Lord, help me to remember that you did not leave me a spirit of fear and timidity, but yet a spirit of POWER, love and self-discipline! I know I am not the daughter of some earthly king, but yet I am the daughter of the King of Kings. Thanks for adopting me! ~ Amen

Monday, April 4, 2011

Prayer: Our Words to God

How precious it is that the Creator of the universe wants to have a personal relationship with me! And the key to any relationship, particularly our relationship with our Heavenly Father, is communication. We need to be in constant communication with God in order to grow our relationship with Him. And so, we pray. Some might say that reading our Bibles is how we get to know God. While that is partially true, it's hard for a relationship to really develop with God without prayer. Prayer is communicating with God. It's official defined as "devout petitions to God" or "an act of worship" or "spiritual communion with God". We can read the Bible every day of our lives, but until we call out to God and ask Him to be Lord of our lives then we don't have a relationship with Him. You know, I can read all kinds of books on Brad Pitt. I can find out all I want to know about him on the Internet. I can find out when and where he was born. I can find out about his career, and even about his family. But if I went to his house with all this knowledge, they still wouldn't let me in. Why? Because I don't know have a relationship with him!! We've never talked! It's the same with our Heavenly Father. In order to get into His eternal house that He has prepared for us, we must have a relationship with Him. Studying the Bible isn't enough. It's good, but it's just not enough. Romans 10:9 says it's with our mouths that we are saved. It's by confessing to our Father our need for Him that starts our relationship moving in the right direction. If you still don't think prayer is important, well, consider Jesus. He prayed. He prayed a lot. Most people that have ever attended church could probably even quote one of His prayers to you, The Lord's Prayer. That's out of Matthew 6, and it's a great prayer to say! However, I think prayer is a lot more than just reciting something to God. We need to express ourselves to Him. We need to tell Him our hopes, our dreams, our fears, our disbelieves, and our struggles. And we need to listen to what He has to say to us. That's real communication. That's when our relationship really starts to grow. How's your prayer life? Need a good reminder to pray. Well, why not pray every time you are at at stop sign or a traffic light. Or, why not set a reminder on your smart phone. There's a lot of way we can develop our prayer lives. Let's start today!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Encourage Your Sister!

We are so blessed to be able to go to church in the United States. We have the freedom to worship God whenever and where ever we want. I love that about our country. Yet, so many Christians don't attend church.

God like communities of Believers joining together. God wants us to meet together regularly. His Word talks about community. His Word refers to Christians meeting together to worship, pray and celebrate together. If God is pro-church, then we should be too!

I love having a Bible study I meet with each week. I learn so much for these ladies. Sometimes I learn parenting skills and not a specific Bible lesson, but it's still great information! Sometimes I get the opportunity to encourage a sister that is down, and sometimes I get to be encouraged. Honestly, I'm not sure how life would be unless I had a great community of Believers around me!!

God has blessed us all with gifts, and not one gift is better than the other. All the gifts work together and all play an important role in supporting each other and bringing glory to God. But sometimes we as Christians compete with each other. We either try to be something that we are not, or we try to show that our gift is better than someone else's gift. And sometimes, we even judge other Christians that aren't as spiritually mature as us or have the same gifts as we have. And while we are focusing on that silliness, we lose sight of the non-Christians watching us. I think Satan loves to have us devouring each other instead of encouraging each other.

I'm going to make it a point to use my words for encouraging my brothers and sisters in Christ. I'm going to make it a point to pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ. Will you join in with me?

Lord, help me to be a good sister. Please show me ways to encourage the others Believers around me. Help me to show grace and mercy as you have shown me grace and mercy. ~ Amen

Check out Romans 14, Galatians 5:13-15 and Luke 9:46-48 if you have time to see some of the scriptures I've been reading.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Be One, Have One

Job 2: 11-13 "When three of Job's friends heard of the tragedy he had suffered, they got together and traveled from their homes to comfort and console him. Their names were Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. When they saw Job from a distance, they scarcely recognized him. Wailing loudly, they tore their robes and threw dust into the air over their heads to show their grief. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words."

I love, love, love this picture of friendship. I think this is the one of the best if not the best picture of friendship in the Bible. Job's friends had heard of the terrible tragedies that had struck., and what did they do? Well, they went to him! We should do the same thing. If we have a friend that is going through a hard time, then we need to SHOW UP! This is a key ingredient in the friendship recipe. Be there for them!! I mean, you wouldn't want to go through a hard time by yourself, would you?!?!? And it should be easy for us to show up today. A face to face meeting is the best, but if you can't do that then call or email or text or Facebook or Tweet your friend! There's no reason we can't be there with today's technology!

Once Job's friend's showed up, they mourned with him. In Ecclesiastes 3 it says "There is a time for everything....a time to weep and a time to laugh...a time to mourn and a time to dance." We see Job's friends supporting him by mourning with him. It was certainly time for that. When we have friends that are sad, it should make us sad too. And when we have friends that are celebrating, we should celebrate too.

I really love what it says in the last verse. I think I can relate to this verse the best. Sometimes, we just don't know what to say when someone is going through a tragedy. But you know what, we should follow Job's friend's actions and say nothing. Simply show up and say nothing. A lot can be said without us speaking. We can put our arms around our brother or sister that is suffering and just be there for them. We don't have to have all the right words.

If you continue reading in Job you will see that in Chapter 3 he says he wishes he was never born. You can see how upset he is, and rightly so. He had just suffered so much loss. But then in Chapter 4 when one of his friends finally said something, He pointed Job back to God. He reminded Job that God was faithful and would see him through this. We too should point our friends back to God in their times of trouble. We all need reminders from time to time that God loves us and has great plans for us!

I want to have good friends. But in order to have a good friend, I've got to be a good friend. I can't expect others to be there for me if I'm not there for them. Job 4 indicates that Job had "encouraged many people". I imagine that is why he had so many good friends.

What about you? Do you show up when your friends are in need? Do you mourn when necessary and celebrate with them when necessary? Are a friend to others like what you want others to be to you?

Lord, help me to be a better friend to those you have put in my life. Help me to encourage my friends, both in times of trouble and in times of celebration. Help me always to point my friends to You. You are the answer to all our problems and the reason we should all celebrate. ~ Amen

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What Words Are You Teaching Your Kids?

Proverbs 31: "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her."

In my class this week we've been talking about the words we use with our family....specifically the words we use with our children and our spouses. I posed a question to the ladies in my class, and it was one that made me think. "If we were to ask your children and your husband what they thought about the words you use, would they say you use your words to encourage them or would they say you use your words to discourage them?"

Yikes! That is something to think about. I would hope my family would say my words are encouraging to them, but then God reminded me that sometimes I've said things like, "What is wrong with you!?!??", or "What were you thinking?!?!?" Those aren't very encouraging words.

The words we use with our families are so important. Sometimes we get too comfortable in our homes with our words and we hurt the people that we love the most. Studies show that kids need 10 times more praise spoken into their lives than the discipline they receive. I realized this week that I'm a lot better at telling my kids what they need to correct than I am at telling them what they do well. Boy, does that need to change.

And my sweet husband...oh my! Some of the words I've used with him are less than encouraging. He's the man that provides for my family, takes wonderful care of me, loves his children and is committed to his Lord and Savior. And yet, I'm not always encouraging to him. Sigh. What is wrong with me!

I'm so thankful to God for pointing out these things that I need to change. I want to be a blessing to my children and my husband. I want my words to be uplifting and life giving. And above all, I want them to see Jesus in me.

Lord, help me to say the right things to my children and my husband. Help me to be a blessing to them. Help me to discipline in a loving way, and praise much more than I discipline. Thanks for Your grace and mercy and Your love for me. I'm nothing without You. ~ Amen

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mixed Messages

What message are you sending out with the words you speak? Do the words you speak tell others you are a Christian, and that you extend grace and mercy because you have received grace and mercy? Or, do the words you speak make others think you are filled with an evil that is quick to anger and uses her words to hurt others?

Sometimes we send mixed messages with the words we speak. Proverbs 11:22 says "A beautiful woman who lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig's snout." Now, that's a picture for you. There's nothing about a gold ring in a pig's snout that is appealing to me, and I will guess that you will agree to that. But as women, that's what we look like when we don't act with discretion. We should have discretion not only with our actions but with our words.

James 3 in the Bible talks about how hard it is to control our tongues, and how evil our tongues can be when they are not under control. But it's not our control that we need to place our tongues under. It's the control of the Holy Spirit that our tongues should be placed under. God has given us the gift of His Spirit living inside of us if we have accepted Christ as our Savior. We just need to listen to that Spirit before we speak. Romans 8:8 says "..those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God." In Galatians 5, it says those living by the Spirit will show "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control".

The last thing I want people to see when they look at me is a pig with a gold ring in it's nose. As a matter of fact, when others look at me I want them to see Jesus. I think I'm going to start thinking more about the words I use.

If you want to hear more on what the Bible says about words, check out James 3:2-9, Proverbs 12:5-8, Proverbs 12: 13-22, and 1 Peter 3:10-11. Ask God to point out how you can improve your words.

Thank you Lord for the gift of YOUR WORD. I love reading the Bible. I know you give me the rules to live by to help me. I know speaking kind words will bring more blessings to me than speaking evil words. Help me to reflect You in my speech. Forgive me when I've failed you and help me to listen to your Holy Spirit. ~ Amen

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Words of a Friend

Proverbs 18:21 "The tongue has the power of life and death.."

My friend, Jennifer, called me. She didn't really say anything important. She didn't really have anything to tell me. She just called me to say hello and to check on me. She knows I've been sick. Her call was good medicine for me. I needed to hear from a friend, and God prompted her to call me. I'm so glad she listened to Him.

You see, I've been sick for about 5 weeks now. I'm getting better, but it's been a tough road. I guess I'm getting all my sick days in the first of the year so the rest of 2011 will be free from illness! At least that's what I'm claiming. While I've been sick, Satan has been attacking me. He's been feeding me bad thoughts. He been telling me how dim my future looks. Now, you know that's not God. God's Word says He has GREAT plans for us....plans not to harm us, but for hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) So, I know it was the enemy trying to steal my joy. He's been doing a good job of robbing that joy, and might be succeeding if it weren't for my friends and family. They've been God's voice to me.

Have you ever had friends encourage you? Maybe someone has sent you a text at just the right moment. Maybe someone has called you just to pray with you. Maybe you've gotten an email that said, "How are you and how can I help you?".

Or, have you ever encouraged someone through your words? Who can you show the love of Jesus to during their hard times?

Jesus, thank you for Jennifer, Judy, Martha, Mom, Mimi, Dean, Amy, Michelle, Betty, Julie, Manthie, Wyn, Scotty, Leanna, Nate and all of the others that have prayed for me and encouraged me this week. I am so thankful for my family, both my biological family and my family in Christ. I hear your voice through them and I'm listening!