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Thursday, June 27, 2013

The power of life - in a few words


Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The power of life - adding value



Proverbs 25:11
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver


Doesn't this conjure up a beautiful picture for you?  Golden apples encased in silver settings.  Beautiful.  Valuable.  Rare.

"A word fitly spoken".  Notice it's not "a word spoken in a fit"!  Rather, a word fitly spoken.  A word that is appropriate in its message and delivery...and timing.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Happy birthday, Jonathan

One year ago today, the world changed completely.  The 2nd cutest little boy in the universe was born.  My Katie had Jonathan.  And nothing will ever be the same again.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The power of death - harsh words


Proverbs 15:1b
but a harsh word stirs up anger

Just as a gentle answer gives life, a harsh one has the power of death.

Let's look at how the dictionary defines "harsh" -

ungentle and unpleasant in action or effect; grim or unpleasantly severe; stern; cruel; austere; physically uncomfortable; desolate; stark; unpleasant to the ear; grating; strident; 
unpleasantly rough, ragged, or coarse to the touch

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The power of life

The power of life, the power of death.  The power is in the tongue.  The choice of which to employ resides in our hearts.

The power of life-

A gentle answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1a)

Wow.  How many times have I been the blessed recipient of this!  A husband who responds with gentle kindness diffuses anger.  A customer service representative who listens without interrupting and says "I am sorry for the problem" unruffles frayed nerves. A Mommy who speaks softly, though firmly, calms a distraught child. A friend who replies to our outrage with  peaceful empathy can prepare our hearts to hear the (gentle) truth a bit later.

A gentle answer.  Notice that Scripture doesn't say "a correct answer".  Being "right" isn't always best.  Being gentle is.

A gentle answer.  I think that God is helping us understand that ignoring another's wrath isn't an option.  Answer it.  Just do it gently.  "No response" isn't a gentle answer.  It can sound like harsh words.

A gentle answer.  The power of life. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tidbits on the Tongue

I don't know about you but my tongue has gotten me in more trouble than any other thing about me.  Far too many times, I have said things that I shouldn't have even thought, much less said.  And I'll bet every single one of us can easily recall the times somebody's else's tongue has scorched our hearts.  Ouch. 

Over the next several posts, we'll let some verses talk instead of our own tongues. Let's start off with that powerful reminder from Proverbs 18:21 -

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Til next time,
Suzanne

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the men in my life!  I don't take it lightly that my cup overflows, especially when it comes to my Daddy, my husband, my brother, and my father-in-law.  All are strong men of impeccable character. All of them love my children...and me.  And all of them made all the difference in the world in my life.

Today's culture needs more men like these.  Men who work hard to support their family.  Men who serve their country and their community. Without thought of fame or recognition. Men who are generous with their time and their resources.  Men who are say no to what's wrong and who defend what's right.  Men who lead churches and coach Little League teams.  Men who take their kids camping and teach them life skills. Men who are courageous enough to stand up for ones being mistreated.  Men who are not passive but willing to be proactive.  Men who will absorb personal loss in order to afford greater gain for their family.  Men who love their wife more than themselves. Men whose lives are worthy of emulation.

Dads, today is your day.  Most of the time you are prefer to be in the background.  Just observing.  Content with your role to provide and protect.  But today we celebrate you.  And we thank you. We do notice.  We know you have a choice and that you have chosen well.  May God bless you.  Because you have certainly blessed us!

Proverbs 20:7 A righteous man who walks in his integrity-- How blessed are his children after him!

Amen and amen.

Just a closing word to us wives and moms and daughters and sisters ---- may God grant us the grace to encourage and support and deserve men like this.  Amen.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My love-hate relationship with Pinterest

Pinterest.  It's either the coolest idea-spreader/resource known to man or the most intense grief-inducer known to woman.

I love it.  Recipes, home d├ęcor ideas, gift suggestions - all at the tip of my fingers. 

And I hate it.  Before Pinterest, I probably knew there was a better way to fold fitted sheets but I didn't know anyone cared.  I was just supremely proud that I had eventually washed them.  Impressive folding?  Not on your life.

And when I get a notice that someone is "following" me on Pinterest, I don't know if I should be happy or embarrassed.  If anyone is looking for a source of great inspiration,I can assure you that I will sadly disappoint.  I don't even know how to use it properly.  I think I fit appropriately in the "Don't" column of Glamour magazine when it comes to Pinterest-savvy.  And probably a few other categories as well....

All I can say is that I am eternally grateful that Pinterest didn't exist when my children were tiny.  Oh, the pressure of a beautifully decorated (and clean, mind you!) home, a delicious - and healthy - dinner on the table every night, and daily DIY crafts to enhance the development of each child at each stage.  Sigh.  Not to mention the themed birthday parties!  oh my!!!  I thought it was a success that each child had a birthday each year --- that meant I hadn't killed anybody.  Now I realize what all they missed out on.

Oh well.  I take comfort in the fact that my parenting (or lack thereof...) will make some counselors really rich one day.  My kids are all gonna need them when they grow up and figure out how I cheated their childhood.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Before we say "amen"....

We've looked at the prayer Jesus gave us as our model and unpacked the topics to cover in our communication with the Father. Worship, allegiance to God's Kingdom, submission to His perfect will, petition for what we need (on a daily basis!), confession/forgiveness, supplication for help in trials.  Great stuff.  I hope it's helped our prayer lives, remembering that prayer is not to inform God of what we need (He already knows - see Matthew 6:32) but rather to strengthen our relationship with our Heavenly Father, increasing our intimacy with Him so that we are transformed into the image of His Son.

Looking at James 5:16b, The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working, I find myself wanting to address a few more things.  The familiar King James translation of this verse says "The fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much".  We want to "avail much" through our prayer life - what are some other things we need to know?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Come boldly????

Today's thought on prayer is brief.  But significant.  Sometimes we act as though we are bothering God and we practically apologize for coming to Him.  We approach prayer as though we need to beg Him to grant our request. 

That's baloney and I want to help you change that stinkin' thinkin'.  God is the one that thought up the whole idea of prayer anyway!  It's His chosen means of communicating with us, of forging an intimate bond, of sharing His goodness, and of letting us participate in what He's doing. 

His plans for you and me are good, better than we could dream up ourselves.  And He possesses all power and controls all things so He can engineer anything He wants in order to accomplish His plan.

Do you need to make a decision?  Ask Him for wisdom.  Do you have a strained relationship?  Ask Him to show you how to repair it.  Is someone you love living dangerously?  Ask Him to show Himself strong on their behalf.   

Don't be deceived.  Come to Him, knowing the truth.

Matthew 7:11
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Hebrews 4:16
 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
 
PRAY!!!



     
     

    Monday, June 10, 2013

    Comments

    Two different people have asked me about how to post comments.  So I thought I'd answer via post in case other folks had the same question.  You can post on my Facebook page or directly on the blog.  If you get the posts through email and try to reply to that, they do not make it to me or to the blog.  I suppose they are wandering around in cyber-space!!!

    Thanks for taking the time to respond - I love hearing from you!  And if you have responded to the blog email and I never replied, now you know why!!

    Blessings,
    Suzanne

    What's the answer?

    Have you  ever felt like God didn't answer your prayers?  Well, I have!  Those feelings are not accurate, though.  God answers all prayers of His children.  (Not so for those that don't belong to Him, but that's a subject for another post).

    He always answers....but the answer isn't always "yes".  Sometimes He says "yes", sometimes He says "no", and sometimes He says..."wait."  But He always answers.

    Let's talk for a minute about how we handle those "no" and "wait" answers.  Both of those can be difficult. 

    Saturday, June 8, 2013

    Asking Daddy

    We have a close family friend who has two daughters.  Those girls are all grown up now, but when they were little, their Daddy did the sweetest thing with them. 

    Friday, June 7, 2013

    Closing prayer

    The final topic that Jesus instructed us in prayer says And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil.  That sounds confusing, doesn't it?  Because elsewhere in Scripture, we are told that God doesn't tempt anyone (James 1:13).  Not just confusing, that sounds contradictory!!  Is it?

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    As we forgive others

    Forgiveness.  What is it.  Why we should do it.  And how.

    We've already seen why we should forgive.  But it's always good to remind ourselves.  When we forgive, we are acknowledging the forgiveness that God has extended to us.  If we refuse to forgive others, then we put our own relationship with God in danger. (Matthew 18:21-35) No, I'm not saying we lose our salvation.  But I am saying (because the Bible says so) that our prayers will be hindered and we subject ourselves to all kinds of emotional torment.

    Monday, June 3, 2013

    Forgive us....

    This is an area we often overlook in prayer.  If we aren't careful, we will see prayer as a one-way conversation, a chance to tell God what we need/want and just look forward to seeing His answers.

    We would be grossly mistaken to view prayer that way.  And we would also find our prayer life sadly ineffective.