Friday, July 29, 2005

A Time To Keep Silent

I want to close out our month together with yet another thought about our tongues. One of the verses God used to cause me to stop and think was Proverbs 10:19, “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”

I had to learn that not every silly little thought that popped into my head had to come out my mouth. In fact, not every opinion I had needed to be shared, not matter how right I thought I was. As I have counseled numerous women, many struggle with the idea of “holding their tongue.” I hear, “I’m not just going to sit back and be quiet.” “I have a voice; I’m going to use it.” And “If I don’t speak up, he’ll never learn.” I am not suggesting that we never speak up or voice
our opinion, not at all. But I am learning we need to be women of discernment and discretion. There is, “A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3:7b)

We need to remember God has given us the ministry of reconciliation, of building up and encouraging, of speaking the truth in love. The Holy Spirit is at work, and He doesn’t need our advice and help. I believe that as women of integrity, honor and Christ-likeness we will learn
to “hold our tongue” when it is “a time to keep silence”.


Thursday, July 28, 2005

The God Who Speaks

God is all-knowing. He knows our need to communicate with Him. He allows us to talk to Him through prayer and adds His response to us as we read His Word. I once heard these words concerning prayer: "The power is His, the privilege is ours." What a privlege prayer is to me;
and what power it has!

In Matthew 26:36-45 we find Christ, himself, praying to the Father before His crucifixion. In Luke 11 we read a model prayer He gave to His disciples - and to us. Philippians 4:6 instructs us that He is here for us in everything. Before opening His Word to read, pray. Ask God to make His Word clear to you.

Do you want to experience a special prayer time? Make on of thanksgiving. We often pray for wants and forget the thanks. When you come to Him with a thankful heart filled with love and gratitude, you will realize the blessings you have. We like to hear "thanks"; the Lord does, too.

Pray for people by name. During a past surgery, I had a trachea. I couldn't speak and was having trouble adjusting to the respirator -trying to breathe on my own. God helped me to adjust in this way: I would let the machine breathe for me, and then I'd pray for five people by name. I would again allow the forced air from the machine, and then prayed for five more. If I knew you back in the late '60's, you probably were prayed for many times - by name! Today, I
breathe on my own, and still love to pray for requests by name.

Pick up your Bible and read: He speaks! For all your requests and thanks, pray: He listens! Communicate with the Lord today. What a privilege!


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Signs of Pride

Quite a few months ago I had to speak truth to someone. (At least that's what I told myself.) I remember thinking "this is a good thing" because my friend "needs" to be shown this area of possible blindness in her life. It never occurred to me that the Lord wanted to show me about
a blind spot in my own heart as well.

Proverbs 15:33 reads, "The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor." The Lord showed me a pride in my heart that was lurking around the corner, out of sight, feeling pretty good about itself.

Roman's 6:13 "Do not offer the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness."

That morning I offered my tongue as an instrument of righteousness rather than for any form of wickedness. In speaking to my friend as I had, I may have done a good thing, but I didn't necessarily do the better thing. I had weighed a deed done, judged it, and spoken my thoughts concerning it. From Hannah's prayer in 1 Samuel 2:3 I read ,"Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance - for the Lord is a God who knows and by Him deeds are weighed". Was it coincidence that all of this was in my morning devotions? I think not. Who am I to weigh the thoughts, deeds and heart of any other person?

Only God has the power to know the thoughts and intents of my heart or yours and His call is for us to daily examine our life for anything that exalts itself above the knowledge of Him.

My question for you:

Do you see signs in your own life of a prideful heart? What is the fruit that has been produced by it?


Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Like most people my spiritual growth occurred typically as motivated by events in my life. When various family members went through physical challenges in the 70’s my walk with Christ was established. Subsequently Christ, the Bible and living a certain way became a new part of my existence and thoughts. As a senior in High School and upon turning 18 my spiritual life took a new twist. During this time certain events had me doubting my faith and I was presented with opportunities to explore the social life common to my non-Christian peers. For two years my faith became stagnant and I played at being a Christian.

As a sophomore in college I realized that following Christ and really making him the Lord of my life was what would complete me rather than tear me apart. Thus, I began a steady growth spiritually and the integration of my faith into my life took shape. I have since had times of drought and even famine, but God has continued to work in my life and I have grown. As I have interacted with a variety of people it has become more and more evident to me that what is of utmost importance along this pilgrimage is keeping my “mind” stayed on Him. Living today in a time when what I see and hear can be so opposed to scripture I find it necessary to constantly
remind myself of the verses that challenge me to focus my “thoughts”.

Romans 12:1-2 ~ we are transformed and changed by our minds
Ephesians 4:17-24 ~ worldly thoughts equal a futile mind; in Christ we have focus and purpose
Phil 4:8-9 ~ think on that which is good
1 Samuel 16:7 ~ God looks on the heart (or mind)
Psalms 23:7 ~ our thinking determines who we become

So how is your pilgrimage going? Do you need to re-focus your thoughts? Today is the day to begin.


Monday, July 25, 2005

The Power of The Tongue

On Friday, I shared about our mouth-member as an instrument of righteousness or unrighteousness. I want to continue with that train of thought. James 3:8-10, “But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” If you recall, on Friday I shared that every word we say is either accomplishing God’s agenda or Satan’s agenda. Here are just some of the ways we use our mouths as instruments of unrighteousness: Silence –
pouting, withdrawal, ignoring; Sarcasm (Proverbs 12:8); Gossip (Proverbs 10:13, 26:20); Nagging (Proverbs 19:13; 27:15-16); Deception (Psalm 38:12, Ephesians 4:25); Idle words and coarse jesting (Matthew 12:36-37); Making our point (Psalm 12:3); Misused humor (Ephesians 4:29); Grumbling and complaining (Philippians 2:14).

Now before you get too distressed, God has given us the grace to use our mouth-member as an instrument of righteousness to accomplish His agenda in the following ways: Speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), To encourage (Acts 15:30; 1 Thessalonians 4:18, 5:11, 14); To Edify (1 Thessalonians 5:11); Bless (Romans 12:14); Instruct (Proverbs 16:21); Build up (Romans 15:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:11); Exhort (Hebrews 3:13); Admonish (Colossians 3:16); Rebuke (Titus 2:15) and Comfort (Proverbs 12:25).

Let me close with a quote from one of my favorite authors, Beth Moore: “We are created in the image of God; therefore, His words are omnipotent, and our words are potent. Using our instruments inappropriately is an effective way to stay out of our promised lands.”(Believing God, pg. 115)


Friday, July 22, 2005

our tongue and gossip

A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to speak to a women’s group wrapping up their season of ministry. I have spoken several times for this group and have always enjoyed it. When the organizer contacted me to speak, I asked her the topic and she didn’t hesitate to respond, ‘the one you did on our tongue and gossip.’

I’m a talker. About 2 years ago, the Lord started to really convict me about how I use my mouth. Through a Paul Tripp study, War of Words, the Lord showed me that my mouth and my words belong to Him. Romans 6:13, “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” According to this verse, I only see two options: we are either instruments of unrighteousness or instruments of righteousness. I think we kid ourselves into thinking there is a huge neutral area in which we are neither an instrument of righteousness nor an instrument of unrighteousness. According to this verse, we are either one or the other. If we consider our mouth as the member we are offering, then we are either going to be accomplishing God’s agenda with our words or Satan’s. There is no middle ground. It’s one or the other. Who will you serve with your mouth today?

Psalm 17:3, “I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.”
Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.”


Thursday, July 21, 2005


As women we have a common bond, we love to talk! The need is to communicate with our husband and children, and even our friends. The dictionary defines the word communicate as: to have connection with, to reveal and to impart information.

I listened as a soldier described his seven years as a prisoner of war. Each prisoner was placed in a dark cell, alone. He shared that his way of staying sane was his means of communicating with the prisoner in the next cell, and that man with the next, and so on. The greatest respect was for the man who could pray or quote Scripture there in the darkness. Not one man rejected God’s Word or the prayers. Those who made it, credit this soldier for helping keep their sanity by communicating together and with God. A special lady in my life lost her ability to speak after a stroke. Her husband had difficulty with his hearing. Their visits together were mostly in silence or napping. We discovered that the songs and Bible verses she had learned by repetition over the years were stored in her heart and mind. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
(Psalm 119:11).

When a group of men from the Colony of Mercy addiction center came to visit, they sang Victory in Jesus”. She joined them! What glory it brought to the Lord as workers and visitors in the nursing home marveled! Today she is with the Lord; her husband and some of the men likewise. They communicate with God face to face.

While we wait for that day ourselves, we can communicate now through prayer and reading God’s Word. As an added bonus, memorize His Word. God can bring it to mind even in the darkest hour.


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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

sharper than any two-edged sword

Hebrews 4:12 tells us, "For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (NKJV) In other words "God means what He says. What He says goes. His powerful Word is sharper than a surgeon's scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey." (The Message)

The thought of being cut by something so sharp is frightening! To have my thought-life laid open to reveal all its secret places is something I dread and long for simultaneously. Yet, in order for me to come to the place of obedience, I know that I must choose exposure to and saturation by the living and powerful Word of God Then and only then will any desire I have to "speak the truth in love" be marked by the sincere desire for what is best for the other person, rather than a desire to "speak my mind".

As the writer of Hebrews says, only God's Word has the power to reveal the thoughts and attitudes of my heart or yours. That means I must be slow, very slow to speak and pray what the writer of Psalms 12:3-4, so rightly penned, "May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and the tongue that speaks proud things, who have said, '"With our tongues we will prevail.'" Our lips are our own, who is Lord over us?"

Simply put, I do not own me; my lips or my heart! God owns all of me! He is Lord over me and He would have my words be seasoned with grace and thus an instrument for His righteous purpose...not mine.

My question for you:

Are the words that you speak to others seasoned with grace and love?


Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Are you ever disappointed? Do people or events not live up to your expectations? As women we can especially get upset and emotional when expectations are not met. I know there have been times in my life that I have fully planned something out in my head and then when the time comes it turns out totally another way and boy am I steamed. Why? because we like to be in control and to have things turn out our way and re-adjustment is tough.

The thing is we need to learn to deal with earthly disappointments, but not heavenly. God's plans and promises are beyond our comprehension and greater than anything we can dream up ourselves. What is even better is that His promises have come true and will continue to be fulfilled. God will more than live up to our expectations... We can rest in His promises just as David did throughout his life.

Psalms 119:49-54

"Remember what you said to me, your servant-- I hang on to these words for dear life!
These words hold me up in bad times;
yes, your promises rejuvenate me.
The insolent ridicule me without mercy,
but I don't budge from your revelation.
I watch for your ancient landmark words,
and know I'm on the right track.
But when I see the wicked ignore your directions,
I'm beside myself with anger.
I set your instructions to music
and sing them as I walk this pilgrim way."


Monday, July 18, 2005

No provision = utterly destroy

On Friday I shared with you how the words “utterly destroyed” have been swirling around in my head now for days. I want to return to that Scripture in 1 Samuel to share another thought.

“Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey."' (1 Samuel 15:3)

God commanded Saul to utterly destroy Amalek. Utterly destroy. Amalek was an enemy of God’s and of the Israelites. God commanded Saul to utterly destroy their enemy. I think we tend to approach our enemies (world, the flesh and the devil) in much the same way that Saul did. We partially obey. We partially do battle, but we fail to utterly destroy. We leave little windows of opportunity open for them to come back and attack us. The windows are the avenues that tend to ultimately lead to our downfall.

I can think of numerous illustrations but here are two. When men come into the Colony of Mercy to deal with an addiction, one of their commitments is to abstain from all tobacco use. They may have come in with a heroine addiction. When they leave the program, they may stay clear of heroine but pick up cigarettes. Often cigarettes will lead them back into heroine use. They did not utterly destroy the enemy. Their reasoning might be, ‘well at least it’s not heroine’ and they are lulled into a false sense of success. Since they do not utterly destroy the enemy, they will deal with it again. A second illustration is from my own life. In July 2001, I choose to give up desserts, totally. I had people suggest I try to cut down, to eat sugar free options, etc. I know if I make that provision for my flesh, eventually my flesh will gain control over me. I am not strong enough or disciplined enough to moderate. Some people are, and this decision is not for everyone. But I believe God called me to utterly destroy that enemy. I can make no provision for my flesh. I have to shut down every avenue to feeding my flesh (literally) in that way. I had to utterly destroy. I could not let the king live. Make no provision for the flesh. Cut off every avenue to fuel sinful desires. Leave no back door escape hatch. Utterly destroy your enemy the flesh, whatever that looks like in your life. Romans 13:14, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”

No provision = utterly destroy


Friday, July 15, 2005

“Utterly destroy”

1 Samuel 15:3, “Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey."'

“Utterly destroy”. Those words have been mulling around in my mind for a few days now since reading a lesson in Kay Arthur’s book, Lord, I Want to Know You. God commanded Saul to utterly destroy Amalek and all they had. If you know the story, Saul only partially obeyed, “He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them.´”(1 Samuel 15:8-9) How could Saul utterly destroy Amalek but keep the king alive? If he kept the king alive, he did not utterly destroy Amalek.

Saul’s partial obedience was not obedience. 1 Samuel 15:20-21, “But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD
your God in Gilgal." Disobeying for what seems like a good reason is still disobedience.

I think sometimes we rationalize doing things our way because it makes more sense to us; or we think we have a really good reason to do it our way. Stop!

It was that very kind of thinking that resulted in Saul loosing the kingdom. “But Samuel said to Saul, "I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel."” (1 Samuel 15:26)

I have heard the following definition from numerous sources for parents to instill in their children as to what it means to obey. I think the same definition applies to each of us as well: obedience is doing what you are asked ‘right away’, ‘the right way’, ‘all the way’, ‘the happy


Thursday, July 14, 2005

"The Master Is Coming."

As a child, I remember my mother submitting a poem (unknown author) to the radio program, "The Breakfast Club". The poem remained with me as I memorized it as a teen. The title was "The Master Is Coming." God brings it to my mind as I need to be reminded of its message: "too busy for others".

It begins: "the Master is coming to honor the town today and no one can tell at whose house or home the Master will choose to stay".

The woman in the poem is dreaming that the Lord would choose her home. She begins by saying, "Straightway I turned to toiling to make my home more neat". She even decorated her house with flowers to make her home more sweet! But in her busy toiling, she is 'interrupted'
by a woman who needed to share her sorrows and receive comfort. The toiling woman was too busy. Next was a little child needing her help, and then a crippled lady. Each time she replied, "I am truly sorry, but I can not help you today, I have greater things to attend to" - and the
visitors went away.

Later in her dream this woman is upset that the Lord never visited her home. She had toiled so hard to have things ready for His visit! As you can guess, His reply was this: "Three times I came to your home today, and three times you turned me away!"

This poem brings tears to my eyes as I remember, not just the words, but my mom! She had time for everyone. Our home was open to her friends, children, and also many strangers. The Lord was honored as Mom was the true example of her life verse, Matthew 5:16, "Let your
light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven." She passed this example of God's love to my sister and me. Our prayer is : "Please, God, let us be there for others as Mom was."

How often does the Lord try to visit your home, but you miss the blessing, because you are "too busy?" Hebrews 13:1-2, "Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Human Lighthouse

t one time we were very dependant on lighthouses along our shorelines to guide ships and travelers, unfortunately many fell into ruin or were torn down. For sailors the light gave direction both during calm seas and during danger. The light was continually burning providing safety, hope and security to those that traveled the shores. Many seaman survived the storms because of the light that shown for miles. Christ is light and does the same thing for us; he provides salvation, hope, security, direction and safety. Christ also calls us to be lights in the world. In Matthew, the reference is related to a city on a hill, which stands out like a lighthouse on the coastline. In Israel there is a city located in the middle of nowhere that literally grows up one side of a large mound - you can see it from miles away. Thinking about that city and our coastal lighthouses brings about the question ~ am I that kind of light? Do I provide safety for others? Do I know how to provide direction to the true Light? The lighthouse keeper is required
to clean the light several times a day as well as refill the lamp constantly. God supplied us with the Word to keep our lamps full and constant union with Christ keeps us clean and on course. Do you know the true light or are you walking in darkness?

"You are the light of the World..." Matthew 5:14-16


Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Do you ever watch those home improvement shows? Sometimes I do and it always amazes me what can happen to a structure when materials are replaced with different or newer materials. I have done flood relief work in the Carolinas after Hurricane Floyd and many times we tore out
walls and foundations in order to save the homes. The homes would not survive after water had damaged the foundation and structure, so it was necessary to rip out and build a new foundation.

It is the same in our lives. If our foundation is based on the world and the beliefs of our culture our lives will be constantly in danger of collapsing. Susan Hunt in her book "True Woman" makes this point as she addresses women on where they are getting their authority.

"The unquestionable authority of God's Word must be our standard (foundation). When we deviate from God's truth, we lose touch with what is real. The slightest deviation from God's truth produces a counterfeit reality that makes us vulnerable to the lure of culture."

If you want to live strong and firm build up your foundation on God's word. "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the (woman) of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Tim. 3:16


Monday, July 11, 2005

Life Verse

Psalm 119:36-38, "Incline my heart to Your testimonies, And not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way. Establish Your word to Your servant, who is devoted to fearing You."

I admit I was a bit jealous. Everyone seemed to have a life verse but me. What's up with that? In October 2003, I was walking and memorizing Scripture out of my favorite Psalm -119 when I realized that what I was memorizing encapsulated my heart. So right then and there, I claimed it as my life verse. No one else can have it. It had all the important components for me.

"Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to covetousness." In my flesh, my inclination is to my own wants and desires rather than God's word. Dr. Ed Welch (on of my seminary professors in the 90's) called it the "I wants". That's me, I get the 'I wants'. My desire is to be delighted in my heart with God's word to the point that I will be inclined to it.

"Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things." So many things vie for our attention. Even those that appear good are not if they draw our eyes away from God. Perhaps it is that new house, new car, a new husband, a thinner body, thicker hair, you name it, if they draw your eyes away from God, they are worthless things. "Revive me in Your way." Have you noticed that our way rarely works. Sooner or later we'll realize His way is best. Psalm 25:4-5, "Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day."

"Establish Your word to Your servant." I want God's word to be settled, well established, and deeply rooted in my heart. Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and
of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

"Who is devoted to fearing You." This is an area in my life that still needs growth. I want to develop a reverential fear of God that makes a difference in my walk with Jesus Christ. Ecclesiastes 12:13, "Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man."

My life verse tells me to love God more than anything, to follow hard after Him, to immerse myself in His word, and to fear Him. What more could I want?


Friday, July 08, 2005

Jehovah-jireh, a strong tower

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe." (Proverbs 18:10)

Currently in Higher Ground, our women's Bible study/support group, we are studying Kay Arthur's book, Lord, I Want to Know You on the names of God. It is a very interesting study through which we are not only learning the names of God but also His character and attributes. In the course of our study, I regularly challenge the women to take what they are learning and making it practical. What good is the knowledge of truth or the study of Scripture if it doesn't translate into our lives in a practical way? How can we use the name of the LORD as a strong
tower, a place of refuge and safety?

I work with a lot of women who, through no fault of their own, are loosing their home, have no money for groceries, are 2-3 months behind in the mortgage payment, or are looking for a job. Anxiety is a regular companion. Panic threatens at every turn. How can these women find safety in the name of the LORD? How will that bring food into the house? How will that prevent foreclosure?

Jehovah-jireh (Genesis 22:8, 14) is the name of the LORD which means, the LORD will provide. Genesis 22:14, "And Abraham call the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, 'In the mount of the LORD it will be provided." The place referred to is the mountain on which God provided the ram to replace Isaac as the sacrifice.

We can find the name of the LORD, Jehovah-jireh, a strong tower and find safety there by calling to mind this name of the LORD and by believing that He will keep His promise to provide.

We can do likewise with the other names/attributes of God. Here is a partial list from Kay's book.

El Shaddai-The All-Sufficient One; El Elyon - The God Most High; El Olam - The Everlasting God; Adonai-Lord, Master; Jehovah-nissi-The Lord My Banner; Yahweh-Lord (Jehovah); Jehovah-raah-The Lord My Shepherd; Jehovah-rapha - The Lord Who Heals; Jehovah-shalom-The Lord is Peace.


Thursday, July 07, 2005

Reflecting the Redeemer

I am reading a book by Susan Hunt and I feel compelled to share with your her insights. The following is from Chapter four from "True Woman".

"The redeemed are to reflect the image of the Redeemer. Neither the syrupy sweetness nor tearful testimonies are a true reflection of redemption.

A true reflection demands the hard stuff of repentance, faith, obedience, and forgiveness. These are not one-time events; they are lifelong processes. To reflect redemption, the true woman must grab the promises of God and integrate them into every aspect of her life. In short, this is the process of sanctification: '...the work of God's free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.'

When I was young, I used to hear it said sometimes that someone was so heavenly minded they were no earthly good. I don't hear that anymore. I'm glad I don't, because it didn't make sense then, and it doesn't make sense now. As George Grant has said: We cannot be authentically
Christian and simultaneously be so heavenly-minded that we're no earthly good any more than we can be so earthly-minded that we're no heavenly good. The only possibility for us is to be so heavenly-minded that we do the earth good. And that demands a substantive lifestyle balance
where both faith and work are operative, where both holiness and service motivate, where both Word and deed dominate, where the Gospel is proclaimed in both doctrine and life."

Do you have this balance? Are you reflecting the Redeemer?


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Walk the Talk: Character Counts

I have heard that phrase many times about not just talking the talk, but walking the walk. If I am walking the walk then my character should display certain character traits. Reflect on some of the traits we can display which will show others that we are walking the talk.

Joyfulness: Being happy inside and out because I am right with God and others. "A happy heart makes the face cheerful..." Prov. 15:13

Boldness: Confidently sharing the Good news with others because I know what I have to say has lasting benefits for them. "... enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness." Acts 4:29

Sincerity: Eagerly treating others correctly and doing things the right way out of a pure transparent heart. "Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart." 1 Peter 1:22

Thanksgiving: Letting God and others know just how they have benefited my life. "... give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thess. 5:18

Encouragement: Lifting the spirits of others through what I do, the things that I say and the look on my face. "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..." 1 Thess. 5:11

Diligence: Looking at each task I have as a special assignment from the Lord and using all my energies to get it done. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." Col. 3:23


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Are you a Refresher?

Names all have different meanings and in scripture God often re-named people to describe who they were to be as His Child. Other times we see names clearly identify what we have ended up doing or being. My name, Lynne, means "Refreshing One" or "out of the pool or waterfall". When I found that out I thought it very interesting because I love the water and I use to love to swim. Today I don't swim much, but I still love to sit near any type of water.

There is a verse in scripture that calls me to live out my name - Proverbs 11:25. "She who refreshes others will herself be refreshed." What does it mean to be a refresher? Water refreshes because it is cool, tranquil and invigorating. That is what God asks me to do for
others - to add invigoration to their life. Don't you love it when someone cheers you up, gives up a word of encouragement and just makes your day? I know I do, and many times I really need that bit of refreshment. The great thing is that God asks us to do this and promises us in return that he will do the same for us. I love that and I have found it to be true.

So, today... encourage someone, smile more, and give someone a special lift today.

"The most introverted of persons will influence an average of 10,000 other people during their lifetime." Start influencing positively - be a refresher.


Monday, July 04, 2005

a celebration of independence

In view of the holiday we celebrate today, it seems our topic should be appropriate. The Fourth of July is a celebration of independence. In one sense, as believers we can also celebrate our independence from the power and control of a horrible taskmaster, sin. As Biblical believers,
God says, "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace." (Romans 6:14) Ladies, we are free!!! Romans 6:6-7, "knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should not longer
be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin."

Our independence is not so we can go do whatever we want, but rather we are free to worship and serve the One who purchased our independence, our freedom. Romans 6:13, "And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God."

I don't remember where I heard the following statement but it fits here as we consider our "independence." Parenting involves growing our children from total dependence as infants to independence as adults. God, on the other hand, is growing us from independence (from
Him) to total dependence (on Him).

As you celebrate today, meditate upon our freedoms won, as a nation and as believers, and the blessings of dependence on the Lord Jesus Christ.


Friday, July 01, 2005

Yet Another Mask of Pride

Our theme this week, except for a special entry yesterday by Lynn, has been pride. I would like to close out our week with a thought about yet another mask of pride.

I often hear people say they have 'low self esteem' which many of them equate with humility. I don't want to step on any toes today, but 'low self esteem' is not a Biblical term.

I understand the thoughts and self-image of a person struggling with this problem, so please don't misunderstand me. I am not denying the existence of the problem, I am just questioning the root issue in the heart of an individual with such a low opinion of them self. About 4 years ago, I ran across the following quote from Beth Moore's book, Praying God's Word. I don't think I could say it better so I would like to just pass the quote on to you: "Remember, pride wears
many masks. I once spoke on pride only to have someone remark afterward that she had far too little self-esteem to have pride. Pride is not the opposite of low self-esteem. Pride is the opposite of humility. We can have a serious pride problem that masquerades as low self-esteem. Pride
is self-absorption whether we're absorbed with how miserable we are or how wonderful we are." (pg. 58)

It has always concerned me that our public school system was on a self-esteem program. I had an elementary teacher tell me a number of years ago that they did not teach the students sentence diagramming because it would hurt their self-esteem!!! Is it any wonder we have so
many angry, self-centered, arrogant youth today. We taught them that. If I have struck a cord with you today, my prayer is that you will take that thought to the Lord and ask Him to reveal your heart to you. He is a gentle savior.