the tongue

Today has been a good day. Lots of opportunities for learning. Mostly learning about the tongue. I have as much to learn about this as my children do. We can injure each other when our hearts have been hurt. We can joke with each other sarcastically and wound each other. We can be way too quick with our tongues.

Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

When I truly understand that I have something in my possession that is so powerful it scares me. That the words that flow off my tongue has the power of life and death, wow. Do I spend time thinking about the words I want to say before I say them? Am I careful with those words? After studying out Job and how the words seemed right but they were so wrong…I made the decision that my tongue needs to be controlled by Christ so that everything I say can be beneficial to those around me and to myself.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t need to be a doormat and keep quiet. Those who know me know that I couldn’t keep an opinion to myself nor can I let a wrong intentionally be allowed. I also don’t want to walk around being a superficial flatterer. But to be beneficial means I need to speak in love whether that is in flattery, building up those around me, or speaking the truth. It must all be done after Christ has filtered my words.

Thessalonians’ Faith

Reading through the first chapter of Thessalonians I think about how much this letter may have meant to this church.
I wasn’t raised as a Christian.  I pretty much raised myself.  I was emancipated at 14.  On my own.  When I first became a mom I questioned all of my thoughts and decisions.  Sometimes I felt so easily influenced and so easily frustrated.  I didn’t have answers and sometimes I didn’t even know the questions to ask.
Feeling alone, persecuted.  I imagine them asking some of the things I ask myself.  Why does it have to be so hard.  Just wishing that I had answers.  Second guessing myself, should I had said something, did I say too much, did I bring glory to God?  Was I doing the right thing.
The letter came at just the right time for this church.  A letter of encouragement to let them know they were not forgotten and Paul was excited for them and kept them in his prayers.
I think about myself as well.  At just the right time He as sent encouragement.  Sometimes I see it and sometimes God has to make me stop and look for it.  I’m glad though.  I couldn’t walk as a Christian without Him, without the people He places in my life to let me know that He has come into my life with power and my faith is based on the same hope that the Thessalonians’ faith was based on.  Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving for the Thessalonians’ Faith 
1:2-4  We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that He has chosen you.
I’m praying for you today.  Please pray for me as well.

dependent

Jude 1:20-21 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

I always say that I want my sons to grow up strong and independent and they are well on their way.  They like to do things for themselves and they have their own opinions.  They are even beginning to develop their own faith.

When I came across this scripture I wonder if I have my own thinking right.  In the Message version it say “In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love”.

I think of my role as their mom and I take my job serious that I keep them safe.  At their ages they are still dependent upon me and my wisdom.  As they grow they will learn and begin to make choices based on what I have taught them.

This makes me think seriously about this scripture.   Should I be teaching them to be independent or should I teach them to transfer their dependence on me to becoming dependent upon God.  Building them up in their faith.

our examples

My oldest was with a large group of boys and the message was about who we chose to be our heroes.  The question “Who do you think is a good example in the Bible?”  My son raised his hand and said “Goliath”.  The man who asked the question paused for a moment then allowed another raised hand to answer the question.  My husband and I both felt embarrassed.  That’s is NOT who your hope your son will look to for an example.

When we got home I asked him why he chose to say Goliath and his answer was simple.  He said, “You don’t want to act like him, you don’t want to treat people like he did”.  The conversation was over as he walked away and I was still feeling embarrassed and I still wished that he had answered Jesus!

1 John 2:9-11 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them. (NIV)

Today I was reading through 1 John 2 and I had an aha moment.  It’s about fellowship.  It’s about loving your brothers and sisters.  I get it.  Goliath is a good example of how to not treat each other; to not mock each other, to not shame each other, to not fight with each other.  Oh from the mouth of babes we can learn.

John knew Jesus intimately and his message in 1 and 2 John was personal.  John watched Jesus be the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).  If I had physically been standing at the foot of the cross, watching Jesus make the final sacrifice, would I treat my sin differently?    Having this knowledge today makes me want to change for Him.

David did a lot of things wrong.  David was a sinner but he loved God and he loved the people of Israel.   He loved them so much that (1John 2:10) there was nothing in him that made him stumble.  He walked right up to Goliath and did as we are to do, put the sin to death.  No regrets!

**This message has been oldest son approved**

Friends

Have you ever had a friend that you wondered why they were your friend?  And I’m not talking about when we have insecurities thinking we aren’t good enough.  I’m talking about someone who is hanging around and you aren’t sure of their motives.   Do they like you and your company or are they there because of something you can offer, because you might hold a certain position?  Maybe your are that friend, hanging out with someone for the wrong reasons because they hold a position in your church and you want people to think you are spiritual because you’re friends with that person.  You try to stay close to the boss so that things could possibly be advantageous for you.

I thought about this as I read about Jonathon and his young armor-bearer and their relationship.  This young man would of been assigned to Jonathon.  He might not of had a choice or he might of volunteered for the position.  Either way because of his position he would be with Jonathon all the time.  It would be easy to walk around all puffed up because he served someone of importance but we can see that this young man’s character was that of devotion to God and to Jonathon.

1 Samuel 14:7b “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul”.

They were getting ready to head into battle.  Death was a possibility.  He believed in God and in Jonathon.   He wasn’t following blindly or out of obligation.  He was devoted heart and soul.  So much so that verse 13 tells us that “his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him”.

This is the relationship I pray that my sons grow up experiencing.  That they would be and have friends that would be with them heart and soul.  Not afraid to face the battle together.

I praise God that I have girlfriends I know are not afraid to face the battle with me as well.  And I am not afraid to be in the battle with them either!

I am blessed.

 

the fighting

I just sent all three boys to their rooms.  They are fighting, again.  Nit picking and complaining, negative attitudes, pushing each other.  Then they come to me with all the petty complaints!  This mama has just hit her limit and I hit it hard.  Yelling, I told them all to go to their rooms, I had enough!  I’m tired.  All I wanted was the basement cleaned!

1 Samuel 10:6 The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.
1 Samuel 10:9 God changed Saul’s heart
1 Samuel 10:26 …whose hearts God had touched.

Today I am just wanting God to change, touch, do whatever He does in these scriptures to my boys and get them to love each other and make my house peaceful again!  It’s hard living with kids and some days I want it to be much easier.  God, what shall I do about my sons?!

The thing is, they do love each other and God is working, touching and changing them so they will walk in His will.  I now need to allow God to work, touch my heart, and change me.  Please God remind me that this isn’t about me, this isn’t about whether or not I’m a good mom or bad for that matter.

My sons need me to be softer, gentler, loving in moments like this.  I need to be willing to guide and teach, love in the midst of the anger. A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.  I was harsh.

These are just learning opportunities.  I know that.  But in the middle of their grumbling and arguing I’m thinking that the peace is now gone and I’m looking at myself.  Focused on me and my peace.  God Bless!

I have to keep scriptures near me, very close to me, in order for me to respond to my sons in the strength that only comes from God.  I need to approach God in prayer.   Then I can approach my sons, strengthened in Christ, and restore peace to my home by being gentle.  Kicking Satan to the curb, out of my house.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

“The Lord is my strength and my shield …” Psalm 28:7

“In the day when I called out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.” Psalm 138:3

“O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places. The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people.” Psalm 68:35

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.” Isaiah 40:29

“For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3:26

“They shall walk after the Lord. He will roar like a lion. When He roars, then His sons shall come trembling from the west …” Hosea 11:10

“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” Proverbs 24:10