Don’t you just love spring and the early weeks of summer! After the stark gray and white of winter, the pops of color encourage and enliven our spirits. Or, at least most of the colors.
Having an elementary classroom across the hall from the music room can be a mixed blessing. Thankfully, our school is blessed with an extraordinary music teacher.
What's a girl to do? Is it my fault I was born beautiful? To hear my parents talk, you'd think it was a sin.
Enough was enough! I didn't choose gorgeous hair or skin like porcelain.
So, when the first good-looking guy came along with an invitation, I was outta there!
Dear Reader, as we reflect on early events in the life of our Savior, I hope you will indulge me with this excerpt from my work in progress, "...and Jesus laughed." It's based on Matthew 3:13-16. (While I would love for you to share this post, I would ask that you not copy any portion.)
His dusty feet followed the hoarse, harsh voice in the distance. He knew its owner, by reputation and by blood. He smiled, thinking how surprised the baptizer would be.
He praised God for this man who was willing to sacrifice everything in order to be his herald. A shadow dipped and fled across his eyes as he glimpsed the herald’s final sacrifice.
Faces and feet joined his as they all drew closer to the voice. Their hearts were hungry, their hands empty. Inwardly, a glimmer of a smile took seed. Their seeking hearts were fertile soil for the message of the voice, and for the gift only he could give.
Lord, we have been faithful in returning, but look at this mess! Seventy years, Lord, perhaps it would be better if there was nothing left.
The Lord will again choose Jerusalem to be his special city. Judah will be his share of the holy land.
Lord, I didn't ask for this job, you know. I was out there watching sheep, minding my own business. Are you sure I'm the right guy for the job? Public speaking definitely isn't on my resume.
1 Listen to this, Israel. God is calling you to account—and I mean all of you, everyone connected with the family that he delivered out of Egypt. Listen!
My name is Alice, and I'm a recovering Netflix junkie.
Our kids had been telling us for a couple of years we needed to get Netflix. Finally, when we got our new smart tv after Christmas, Tom and I took the plunge.
Lord, we have totally screwed up, all of us. What a mess we've made of things!
12 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me all your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, mourning. 13 Let your remorse tear at your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful. He is not easily angered; he is full of kindness and anxious not to punish you.
Exhortation is an old word, perhaps a word we don't use much any more. Nevertheless, it's meaning is far from lost.
exhort /ɪgˈzoɚt/ verb
exhorts; exhorted; exhorting
: to try to influence (someone) by words or advice : to strongly urge (someone) to do something
Dear Reader, lately I've been reading more and more about the effect of our words. I know, not a new topic. But one thing has added to my thinking, and it's the effects of our words, good and not so good, on ourselves. Will you join me in digging a little deeper?
Dear Reader, I can't tell you how much joy it gives me to write for and to you. My goal with each post is to give you a little something to smile about, or to reflect on. Sadly,it wasn't always this way.
My poison pen found its voice early on. It began at recess, in 5th grade. I crafted the letter, promoted its virtues, and solicited the signatures. We didn't like our music teacher, and thought our classroom teacher, Mrs. Moore, would be much better. My classmates and I didn't even hesitate in addressing it to the superintendent of the school district.
Our (my) letter found its way to the principal's office. Since my name was signed, boldly, proudly, and first, guess who was invited in for a chat.
The effects, and consequences, of that first poison pen experience didn't deter me from being an enthusiastic participant in the circulation of "Slam Books" a couple of years later. Middle school girls can be the meanest.
And then something changed.
Attending a Youth for Christ rally in 9th grade, the Lord spoke to me in a new way.
Our God, you bless everyone whose sins you forgive and wipe away.
God began chiseling away at my heart. It took a while for Him to make me understand how a gift can become a curse.
So I confessed my sins and told them all to you. I said, “I’ll tell the Lord each one of my sins.” Then you forgave me and took away my guilt.
As young marrieds, Tom and I sought pastoral counseling in the midst of a family loss. One of the pastor's suggestions was to write letters to all the people we felt had caused us anguish.
When we returned with the letters,he put them in envelopes and sealed them, without reading them. The written purge had allowed harsh thoughts and feelings to come to the surface. Healing was something else altogether.
The pastor wasn't finished with the letters quite yet. He told us we always have a choice about our words. We can put a stamp on the envelopes and send them to the recipients. We could pull them out to read over and over again. Or we could destroy the letters.
The pastor told us that neither sending or destroying the letters, guaranteed the death of our words. We could always rewrite them.
What seemed like a somewhat harsh lesson, taught me the power of our words, spoken or written. The Lord had chiseled out a big enough hole in my heart to begin using His gift for His glory.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
How fun it has been to discover the joy of exhortation over the pleasure of denigration. I love our weekly visits, and also sharing encouraging texts, notes, and letters.
To be completely honest, Dear Reader, sometimes my lack of online presence is my attempt to keep my poison pen in check. For me, social media can be a powerful temptation to spew venom once more. (That's not a social media criticism, just a chink in my personal armor.)
Dear Reader, do you have a gift you have to guard against becoming a curse? What ways has God shown you to reflect and share His glory?
Hi, my name is Alice. A Way with Words is about sharing faith,
fun, & encouragement. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you find a little something to take
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