Words of Honor

There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family. Proverbs 6:16-19

As I thought about these verses yesterday, I came up with these sayings:

You can dress up a lie with flowery words and the allusion of honey, but in the end, it is still a lie.

False accusations will eventually bring sorrow to those who speak them.

A smooth lie wounds deeper than a harsh truth.

A vicious tongue cuts deeper than a sword by dividing relationships.

Controlling what comes out of our mouths is essential to peace in every facet of our lives.

Once a person becomes used to lying, they become immune to understanding truth.

If you claim to show love, but cannot control your tongue, the only person continually fooled is yourself.

A salty ocean cannot produce pure sweet water.

Pleasant words and a bitter heart are in conflict with each other. They produce dissension and division.

Those who pretend to be your friend and gossip behind your back are not your ally.

If you want to put out a fire, don’t give air to a spark of rumors.

When you listen to rumors, you are as guilty as the one who gossiped and when you repeat the gossip, you are embellishing hearsay. You start with a domino effect and create an avalanche of trouble.

Prayer: Lord help me to control what comes out of my mouth and may all my words be a blessing to you. May I glorify God as I journey through this life. Allow the Holy Spirit to say words that are worthy of your honor and in a timely manner.

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.  But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Galatians 5:16-25

HOME!!

About 10 months ago, I shared a story about a young man who was deployed.

It was so difficult to leave. T. said “Daddy, I don’t want you to go.”
This is the story of his return:

(To see the photos in a larger format click on each photo. Use your browser’s arrow back to return to this page.)

We made our way to my daughter’s house to be with her the last couple of days of this long journey her family has been on.
We anticipated an arrival early on Saturday morning around six am. Then the calls came in that their arrival had been moved up – Twice! The approximate time would be around two am. We put two Very Excited boys to bed knowing that Daddy would be home in the morning. We didn’t expect to wake them up in just a few hours. Around one am, we put jackets and pants over their pajamas and each carried a very sleepy boy to the car. The youngest one didn’t quite understand when I said we were going to pick up Daddy & insisted on having his Daddy pillow. (A ‘Daddy pillow’ has a photo of ‘Daddy’ in the center.) We made our way to the base. The photos will tell the story.

Tie a yellow ribbon…

Two sleepy boys…


Well, one was hungry! When someone wakes you up at 1:30 am, you Have to have a snack!

Or, some chill time watching ‘Sponge Bob!’

Time on the couch might help… Everyone!

Or, letting your brother make you a miniature Uncle Sam…

J grabbed his ‘Daddy pillow’ to snuggle with which he has loved during Daddy’s ten month absence.

Typical military routine is to hurry up, get on your shoes…

and Wait! … We just heard he was on base, but this is a 154,000 acre base!

A spouse left behind is very patriotic.

I see a tear… Who says “Marines don’t cry?!”

The pure Bliss is seen on his face as he hugs her.

They were all so excited and taking their turns in the arms of the man they love and call ‘husband and daddy.’

   

A family reunited is Joyous!

(The boys were looking at the sign Mommy made while they were sleeping.)

“Daddy you are so Tall! I am Two now!”

“Welcome Home, Proud and Hero” hardly covers the plethora of emotions to see Jeremiah Home again!

I would give up a night’s sleep any time!!

And we Thank God for bringing him home safely!

“Praise the LORD! For he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. The LORD gives his people strength. He is a safe fortress for his anointed king. Save your people! Bless Israel, your special possession. Lead them like a shepherd, and carry them in your arms forever.” — Psalm 28:6-9 NLT

And here is a link to the first story: The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all that I need.

(This Hero happens to be my “son-in-love.”)

Time Alone with God

I have been an exhorter in the past and I want to re-establish my role by encouraging others.  My question to you is; how often do you have time alone with God? If we’re too busy for God, then we are simply too busy. When I allow God to be in charge of my life, I am amazed at how much more productive I am. When I put Him first; everything falls into place. I have developed five points on how to put God first in my life. Five is the number of grace and the acronym I have used spells out the word GRACE.

G – Getting to know God:

We can’t reach others without first having our own time with God.  We have to know what the Bible says in order to share it. So why do many of us try to live a Godly life without having personal time with God? When we study the Bible, it overflows to the rest of our life.  Out of that wealth, we are able to minister to and encourage others. What we put in is what comes out. If I FILL my heart and mind with the Bible, there is not any room for negativity. We can strengthen our relationship with God by communication and observation otherwise it won’t grow. With our friends we listen and find out as much about them as we can. This is how our relationship with God should be; sharing and communicating, finding out everything we possibly can about Him (getting to know God). Satisfied living comes through knowing God. Matthew 5:6 (Amplified) “Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be completely satisfied.”

R – Refusing self:

Just as we should ask about our relationships “What can I do to make this relationship better?” we should ask about our relationship with God. When we focus on what we do rather than what we can get, we become selfless instead of selfish. When we put our own self first we are giving into our weaknesses.  In Galatians 5:20-21, the Bible speaks of idolatry. The definition of idolatry is “excessive devotion.”  This could mean loving ourselves more than others. Jesus’ example was to put the needs of others first by being a servant. Luke 22:27 “Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.”

A – Asking:

Asking for wisdom and making our petitions known before God is how we should pray, simplicity is the best approach. Our time should begin with prayer. “Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 We should have confidence in our prayers just as Abraham did.  When Abraham prayed that Lot would be spared from the destruction of Sodom, obviously he had confidence in that prayer because we read he had slept that night.  Genesis 19:27 “Abraham got up early that morning and hurried out to the place where he had stood in the Lord’s presence.” If Abraham didn’t believe Lot would be spared, I don’t think he would have slept.

C – Charging

Letting God be the one that charges us up. Most people don’t try to withstand a trial or problem without running to God in prayer. But why not just be hooked up to God all the time? Think of yourself as a three-prong electrical plug. The bottom prong is for “Grounding!” That grounding should plug into the Bible. Notice how it is fatter than the other two and relate that to how much we should draw on the Bible. Then take a look at the other two prongs.  Notice how they are wider at the tip? Those prongs represent our outstretched hands in worship. Once they are ‘plugged into’ the socket they are harder to pull out. Now, take a look at the holes in these prongs, relate these to ears. These two prongs make the circuit complete and if we are not listening to God along with praying, worshiping, and reading the Bible, then our circuitry is incomplete. I know people who cut off the third prong because it doesn’t fit. They take a risk of getting shocked. We need to be careful that we don’t cut off our relationship with God by only praying and not reading the Bible, which makes a one-way relationship.  Also, if we were to tape up the holes on the prongs, and we only went to God in prayer, then how can we hear? In Romans 10:17 the Bible says, “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.”

E – Exalting:

When we hear from God, how can we help but exalt or worship Him by praising Him in spirit and song? Exalt means to raise in rank, honor, power or character. We should exalt God far above everything and everyone. I love the song “How Can I Keep from Singing?” by Chris Tomlin. This is how I feel about God. I cannot keep quiet about all the things he has done for me. Worship is so important in our daily walk, it isn’t just for Sunday, and God loves to hear our praises! “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.” John 4:23

We live in such a “give me” society that it’s no wonder we expect God to do everything while we just carry on until we ‘need’ Him. Grace is freely given, unmerited favor, the Love of God, and the influence of the Holy Spirit in us to strengthen us. God gave us his best through Jesus Christ and his death on the cross, a perfect sacrifice, his resurrection, and the Holy Spirit. He graced us with the Bible, but what have we given in return? Sometimes we offer a mere pittance of a prayer before our meals or a ritualistic prayer before bed when God deserves our best! The very least we can do is give of our time to communicate with Him. I encourage you to show God honor for the grace he has shown you, he loves you and wants to bless you by communicating with you. Have some time alone with God today and every day. Your life will be better because of the time you spend.