Responding to trials · Speech

Coming Clean

Have you ever driven through one of those intense car washes?  They start by manually washing off the windshield and side windows with a brush.  Then the car gets pulled through the wash on the conveyor track while huge sponge-like fingers slide over every nook and cranny.  Colored bubbles, sprayers and cloth wheels continue the cleaning process. The end result is a car that is totally and thoroughly clean!  

Last weekend I had the blessing of attending the Ladies Prayer Advance in Roanoke, VA. It’s a three day event focused on the Word of God and times of prayer.  I came out of the weekend feeling like one of those cars that had gone through that intense car wash.  There truly was no area of my life unchecked. The Lord brought the searchlight of His Word to Revive, refresh and restore me. I came away feeling so clean.  

I also came away with one word as a take away – Rejoice.

That word came as a result of many different teaching/preaching sessions. Here’s how that word  is working its way into my life as I’ve come home.

I’m to rejoice in my circumstances – As I mentioned recently, I’ve been experiencing a trial for quite some time.  It’s been heartbreaking, but I can also see that God is working in my life as a result.  I must choose to rejoice and give God glory rather than bemoan my situation. He is using this to draw me to Himself.  That alone is reason to rejoice!

Rejoice through forgiveness – The Lord taught me how I can give forgiveness in the midst of my trial.  I’ve struggled with this because I’ve felt that I’ve given it all to Him only to turn around in a day or so with thoughts of my trial swirling in my thoughts and heart like a spring twister.  Ugh. I’d wonder how that bitter thought got back into my heart. Then I heard this illustration that made it absolutely clear.

Corrie Ten Boom, a prisoner in the Nazi Concentration Camps, had tried and failed to forgive those that had mistreated her and her sister Betsy.  Coming to a pastor at a church with the question about how she could forgive, he took her to the bell tower of the church. He gave a tug on the rope and the bells clanged loudly.  

“Each time you rehearse an evil action or cruel word spoken against you, you are ringing the bell, causing unforgiveness to remain in your heart.  What you must do is let go of the rope.

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Suddenly I saw myself with my hands tightly gripped around that rope of those bells as I rehearse or repeat the misjudgments, or evil deeds done.  Clang, Clang, Clang. The bell of unforgiveness begins to ring loudly in my heart.

But now when those thoughts come racing in, or the words start to form on my lips, I make a choice to let go of the rope. How freeing it is to live this way!

Lastly, I’m also applying rejoicing to my speech.  The weight of my critical words have profound effect on myself and those around me.  How much better it would be if I found things to praise God for, rather than complaining about life’s irritants! Yes, the car that darted in front of me, the slow person at the check out desk, the hateful person who took my phone call can be turned into times of praise instead of criticism or complaint.   It takes intentionality to overlook the negative and be thankful for the blessings. This is a lesson I seem to have to learn and re-learn over and over again!

I’m so glad I took the time and effort to go to Ladies’ Car Wash Prayer Advance! It’s sure great to be clean!

Is there an area of your life that could use a good scrubbing?  A point of spiritual defeat?  A sin that is on repeat? You don’t need a weekend away to get it right. Do it now, then you, too can rejoice.

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.  Philippians 4:4

denise a

Proverbs · Speech

The Wise Woman’s Words

I’m loving the sweet apples that are available right now.  They are delightful to the eye and the taste.  Could our words be described as sweet fruit like those apples, or would they be more like poison?  We continue in our Proverbs study today and learn about the wise woman’s words. Listen to the video below and hear how God describes her words and responses.

Has anyone else ever experienced Galvanic Shock?  How about the shock of hearing both blessing and cursing coming from your own mouth? Was there one truth that stood out to you today?

I’m grateful you took time to read/watch!

Denise

Family life · Husband · joy · Love · Marriage · Speech · Wife's Role

Talking To Your Spouse with Grace

 

 

couple aThe phone rang and she answered it. The change in her tone was blatantly obvious to everyone in the room.  This wife went from bubbly/friendly to irritated/annoyed.  “Who was on the other end of the phone?” we wondered.  Then she said his name and we learned that it was her husband.

This scenario happened in the public setting of a business.  My heart sank when I realized that when this lady heard her husband’s voice, instead of being glad to hear from him, she was irritated.  His call interrupted her.  His questions annoyed her. And his needs overwhelmed her.  She was only too happy to hang up and move on with the people around her and the business at hand.

But I cannot point a finger at her because the rest of my hand is pointing back at me.  It’s easy to get a call from Dale and answer casually instead of enthusiastically.  Do you ever get caught up in the day-to-day routine as I do and forget the special bond you share with your spouse?  Consider the difference between answering the phone with,

“Yeah, whatcha’ need?”

Or

Hi Sweetheart!  I’m glad to hear from you!

What about when he asks you a question and you answer him for the second or third time?  Does each answer get louder and more aggravated? Remember how you loved his name when you were dating?  Do you say it with as much tenderness now?

Last week my brother-in-law was working his job inspecting roofs, as he has done for many years now.  The early morning dew was still on the back half of the house, making the surface slippery.  His work would be quick and he planned to climb down in just a minute, but just as that thought was flying through his mind, his foot slipped and he could feel himself falling.  He grabbed the gutter of the house, helping to break his fall, but only a little.  He was taken by ambulance to the Medical Center in the area where he was treated in the Emergency Room for his many broken bones.  Praise the Lord for sparing his life!

As my sister and I walked the hospital halls together, we discussed the abruptness of any calamity.  No one plans for it.  No one puts, “Visit husband in trauma unit” in their planner, but life as we know it can be changed in a moment. We all know that, but we move on each day as though we are ignorant of that truth, and we blurt out unkind phrases and words like an umpire at a ballgame.

Remember the woman I mentioned at the beginning of this post?  The one who changed her disposition when her husband called?  Sadly, I learned the news of her husband’s death and I wondered if she ever wished she could talk to him again, with a completely different frame of mind? Did she ever wish he would interrupt her busy day by calling her?

If you knew that this was your last day with our spouse, would you use a different tone when we answered his call?  Would you use kinder words when responding to his questions?  Would your repeated answer be more patient?  Even if we knew we had 50 more years together, wouldn’t we want our relationship to epitomize tenderness, kindness and sacrificial love?  These are all words of grace – what we receive from the Lord every day.  It’s what might not be deserved, but we give it, because that is how we are loved and spoken to by our Savior.

I know I need to make some changes in order to fill my husband’s ears with words of grace. How about you?  Excuse me while I answer my phone…

Hi Sweetheart! I’m glad to hear from you!

If we asked others what they hear when we speak to our spouse, what would they say? What would our husband say?  It’s all about grace.

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Christian Life · Refreshment · Speech

What If Everyone Could Hear Your Words?

Image result for lg phone messenger voice record settings

What if everyone could hear your words?  Would you be okay with that?

Imagine my horror recently when  I discovered that my cell phone had been on “Record voice” mode for thirteen minutes to a group text!

It was just a couple weeks ago on a Sunday morning and I had been texting with a group of friends while getting ready for church.  I slid my phone into the outside pocket of my purse and headed downstairs to make breakfast and finish my meal prep for lunch, totally oblivious to the fact that my every step and word was being recorded.

I set my purse down in the kitchen and made my way to my husband’s office where he and I had a brief conversation.  Making my way back to the kitchen, I busied myself with my kitchen chores.  About thirteen minutes later, I heard a notification on my phone.  It was when I went to check it that I realized I’d been recording myself!  I quickly sent a message to my friends to delete the recording, then I proceeded to listen to what I had accidentally sent. I heard footsteps, my question about what my husband would like for his breakfast, and my banging and moving about in the cupboards.  Yeah, that could’ve turned out unpleasantly, but it didn’t, thank the Lord.

However, as I finished my work, I couldn’t help but think about how careful my words would be if I knew they were being recorded and replayed for all to hear!  I wondered…

  • What if that had happened on a day that I was being unkind to my husband?
  • What if I had said something unkind about someone else?
  • What if I had been griping and complaining?
  • What if I had been going off on some rampage?

Yeah, what if?  But of course the truth is, God always hears those words.  My complaints, my hatefulness, my griping, my complaining, my slander.  He hears it all.

Psalm 139:4
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, you know it altogether.

After that incident, I would start to make a comment, and then close my mouth, knowing that I wouldn’t want that recorded!  Sometimes they were just words that weren’t needed.  It was best to allow the silence to fill the room, instead of my talking.  Other times they were words that shouldn’t be said.  It was best to be still.

Wow.  What a lesson that was to me, and one I pray I won’t forget.
Maybe asking yourself,

Would I want this to be broadcast for everyone to hear?

will keep you from saying what doesn’t need to be said.

Oh, and you might want to check your cell phone to be sure it’s off.  I remember some time last year a friend going “Live” on Facebook without ever knowing it!  It could happen to any of us, but if we guard our words, it won’t be a worry if it does.

Refresh others with your words!

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Christian Life · Speech · tongue

Let the Fire Die

fire pit

A fire in a fire pit is a great thing!  A fire in your lap…not so much!  You may say, “A fire in your lap?  That’s dumb!  Who would want that?”  The answer is no one!!  Proverbs 26:20 says,

Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer,
the strife ceaseth.  

You see, a person who bears tales (gossip) causes strife.  It’s like having a fire in your lap.  No one wants it!

The strife that tale bearing causes is as hurtful as a fire burning in your lap.  Even if the words are true, they are painful to hear.  What do you do with this “story” after you’ve heard it?

I recently had someone share a “fire” with me.  The words were true, but I didn’t need to hear them.  They stung.  It was like sparks flying from a hot ember, touching my very heart.  Trying to deal with the burning coals for the next day or so wasn’t easy.  They needed to be extinguished with the Water of God’s Word.  I was reminded of words that were flung at Christ; untrue accusations, ugly names, words of doubt about Who He really was.  What did He do?  He answered not a word.

Not a word.

For me to pass on what was shared would be to pass along the fire.  No one else needs this in their lap.  I told my Savior, and of course He already knew.  He applied the salve of His love and comfort.

Do you know some “hot news?”  Keep it to yourself.  It could be a burning ember that will scorch the hearer.  The fire in my fire pit needs to keep burning, but the fire that needs to go out is the one that will cause strife.  May we each let that tale bearing fire cease.

With love,