My sister beautifully embroidered set of pillowcases for me recently. I just love new pillowcases, that quiet rustle when I lay my head down, the slightly scratchy feel on my cheek, and the clean smell of cotton.
Sometimes I think candy bars are an invention of Satan. I know they really aren’t, but there is probably no candy bar that I don’t really enjoy. Maybe enjoy isn’t quite the right words, perhaps savor is a better description.
Dear Reader, have you been bitten by the decorating bug? Thanks to sites and shows, even someone who's never considered themselves "artistic" can get creative.
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.
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.
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?
I wonder if the advent of the water bottle has pretty much eradicated the water cooler that used to dot offices. Water cooler or not, wherever people work or go to school, there seems to be a designated gathering place.
I stopped eating in the workplace "break" room several years ago. They seemed to be hotbeds of negativity and gossip. It was too easy to join the conversation.
Dear Reader, please don't think that choice was noble or altruistic in any way. (Remember me? I'm the one with the poison pen.)
9 We use our tongues to praise our Lord and Father, but then we curse people. And God made them like himself. 10 Praises and curses come from the same mouth! My brothers, this should not happen.
As a school principal, I was fortunate to participate in a technology cohort. When we created our websites, I chose "Knowledge is power" (Sir Francis Bacon), as my signature slogan. It seemed appropriate for an educator.
The more I became immersed in the professional world, the more I learned that the power can easily be corrupted. Have you felt the sting of having your words bandied about, or used against you? Perhaps it's due to misplaced trust, or restroom eavesdropper.
Workplace words used to put down rather than promote are bad enough. But what about traitorous words from those closest to you? Jesus knew how that felt.
44 Judas had planned a signal for them. He had said, “The man I kiss is Jesus. Arrest him and guard him while you lead him away.” 45 So Judas went to Jesus and said, “Teacher!” and kissed him.
(Dear Reader, feel free to turn out any time if gossip or careless words aren't vices of yours.) Being "in the know", gossip, is a real challenge for me. I'm thankful people frequently feel they can confide in me. But frankly, sometimes I wish they didn't.
In a casual conversation, it's so easy to let a careless word slip. Have you ever done that, Dear Reader? It's not like we go looking for an opportunity to slander and/or hurt.
When it comes to our conversations, there's good news and bad news. First, the bad: we're accountable for all of our words, not just the careless ones.
Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”
Whoa! Talk about harsh! That should be enough for me to put a permanent filter on my big mouth.
Since it isn't, I have to trust in our great big God, who is big on forgiveness:
If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings,
who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit,
and that’s why you’re worshiped.
Psalm 120:3 MSG
Woo-Hoo! While we're held accountable for our words, we have the BEST ADVOCATE EVER when we invariably mess up. And just when we think the good news can't get better, it does:
The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure,
Dear Reader, sometimes I think the "water cooler" should come with a warning label. Even more often, I'm thankful for a forgiving Savior, who's always true to His promises, when those careless words slip out, aren't you?
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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