Friday, March 22, 2013

...By Your Words

Matthew 12: 36-37 (NASB) “And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.

This week, I am sharing in the encouragement with my friend Linda, as she launches her 2nd blog,  “Celebrate Your Voice,”* a blog where she plans on speaking to the things that concern her in this highly volatile, political and socio-economic dynamic within our country. She reminds us that we all have a voice and to not take that responsibility lightly, but to further explore how we are best gifted to use our words in a positive and helpful manner, wherever God directs us. 

In my Special Ed English class today, the kids got in groups and played a card game called Quiddler.  The idea, similar to Scrabble except with cards, is to make short words from the cards you’ve been dealt and not   have any remaining cards left in your hand. Points are added for words and subtracted for letters not used.  There are piles to choose from; letters you can see in a discard pile and and letters that are hidden 

In that same class today, one special student came in from lunch very sad. With big tears rolling down his cheeks, he told us that a friend spoke harsh words that upset him.

 "They said, ‘go away from me’  and it hurt my feelings."

The three of us adult teachers in the room consoled and encouraged this sensitive young man as well as other classmates.

Words challenge

Words teach

Words hurt.

Words boast

Words love

Words divide

Words heal

In the book of James in the New Testament, the writer compares the tongue to a ship’s rudder. Though the ship is great, a small rudder directed by the captain determines its course. He also reminds us that from our mouths we both bless and curse.

Like the card game, there are two choices of words : those we know will cause trouble, dissention, bitterness, a loss, a tarnished reputation—either ours or someone else’s


the pile, that when we lay down our hand, encourages, redeems, forgives, compliments, inspires, and gives hope. 

Let’s take it one step further, play another hand. God hears the words we put together in our heart. The thing is, He wants you to play your hand. Lay down the words of doubt, fear, the anxiety-laden, heart-breaking words, in a prayer.  If you don’t, those words turn into bitterness that subtract from your progress towards transforming joy. Let God take the ugly words and discard them. 

Father God, I am most thankful for Your Word, words of peace, of hope, words of purpose, words that teach, and words that bring forth unconditional love. Lord, many times my words sting, cut, rebel, complain.  Sometimes I can’t finish a sentence because I’m not trusting.  Protect me Lord from the fiery arrows of the deceiver, the one whose words wish to destroy, but instead Lord, fill me with more words that delight you, bring you glory and whose utterance defines eternity for those searching for a voice. Amen.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Palette of Promise

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Dancing daffodils, budding tree branches, birds chirping love songs; spring promises push through the earth and liven the sky. I can’t wait to sit out on my patio in the morning, sipping my coffee while listening to the whir-whir of hummingbirds that frequent my yard.  One of the earliest rhymes I learned, “April showers bring May flowers,” reminds me that spring storms still linger in the horizon. Last year on spring break, it hailed one day.  What comes after a spring storm? A sunburst through the clouds and a beautiful spectrum of a reflection, water and light reveal a rainbow.

This weekend we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day—the “wearin’ of the green.”  Folklore recalls stories of little “leprechauns” searching for the treasure, a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  God gives us a little glimpse of Heaven when a rainbow appears. One only sees maybe 5 or 6 colors, yellow, pink, blue, green, maybe a lavender or orange. Heaven though, promises colors we do not know here on Earth. 

So, what is your treasure?  What lies at the end of your rainbow? What do you search for, compete for, strive for, dream…dwell on? Where is your treasure? Are you satisfied with a few colors, or is there something that pushes you to look longer, delve deeper, and capture moments that inspire?

I think God designed a color just for you. It’s there in the rainbow with your name assigned to it. He wants you to take that color and paint your life here on earth to reflect His glory. Go ahead, squeeze the tube out on your faith palette, put your hands all in and swirl it around. We all began finger painting in our youth. With practice, a master piece of  He-Art, worthy to hang in God’s Gallery delights on-lookers. Find that rainbow this spring. Ask the Lord of Promise to color your world, then share the "pictures" in your portfolio you've created with the Master and give someone else a glimpse of Heaven.  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Comfort Food

Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

First, middle and last; that’s it for my name. You won’t find Dr., R.N., Ltd. or Esq. attached, but it seems like another sort of “specialty” sometimes applies. It looks like this: G.C., Giver of Comfort.  One can find my degree written in II Corinthians 1:3-7.  I am still in “extension classes,” these last 7 years, with one Professor, that of the Holy Spirit, the TRUE G.C. I don’t remember signing up for this.  What did God see in that “career assessment or life skills test" when I decided to get serious about my purpose?  I’ve learned a lot, felt a lot. I can’t say that I understand a lot, but that’s where trust and the words I highlight in God’s textbook encourage me. I press on. 

Today, 7 years ago, my son’s own Commencement took place. He graduated with the highest degree, one I am naming M.SdF., mustard seed of faith.  His practice is in Heaven.

Gathering comfort food for a basket to take to another mother and father who mourn their oldest son, I thought about my Savior as I made choices.

Bread  (of life).
Grape juice (blood of the lamb), 
Ravioli (He fills us with His mercy).
Marinara sauce (He covers us with Grace)
Parmesan cheese (He sprinkles us with blessings)
Strawberries and bananas (He gives us the Fruit of the Spirit).
Greek Yogurt Pretzels, (The Trinity)
Zucchini and yellow squash – (Power foods, that give strength).
Lemon Cake- (sweet promises of eternity).

This Monday, attending the memorial, I ask God for a refresher course, an extra helping of His Comfort Food, Comfort Food that I can tangibly give and He spiritually provides.  God’s comfort food never runs out. I partake in it daily, for without it, grief emaciates, starves the soul.

Fill me up Lord. Be filled to fill.

Father God, I pray for the God of comfort, to comfort those afflicted with the same comfort in which I have been given. I pray for those in the ravenous ills of cancer, both young and old, for grace and healing, for faith in the Lord, a hope and a future now and for eternity.  Amen. 

Do you need comfort today? Do you crave more joy?  The world will never satisfy. Ask the Lord to help you to see His goodness and let's chat.