The Power Of Words

Words Have Power

Do we realize the power of our words?

Every day, we have the potential to encourage someone, or the power to bring them down.

the power of words

Hopefully, we encourage others with what we say.

In an ideal world, that would happen 24/7.

Unfortunately, we often do the opposite, and that can get us into a heap of trouble.

Has that ever happened to you?

Perhaps there was something you said that seemed okay, but resulted in an angry response or hurt feelings.

I know. It’s happened to me.

Foot In Mouth Syndrome

Thinking back years ago to when I was a television reporter, I’ll never forget the day the boss called me in for a reprimand.

Top Story

I had just finished reporting live outside a courthouse in a nearby city.

Everything, I thought, had gone well. I reported the verdict, the attorney interviews, and a thorough account of what had taken place during the trial.

After the report, my cameraman and I packed up our equipment and headed back to the station so I could write an additional story for the next morning’s broadcast.

Thinking all was well, I got on the radio and called the assignment desk to say we were on our way back.

The assignment editor told me that the news director wanted to see me immediately when I came in.

I could tell something was up.

Say What?

I headed straight to the boss’s office when we got back.

“What’s wrong?” I said.

I sat down, and he closed the door.

My heart started to sink and I quickly searched my brain for what this could be about.

Hmm, not good.

I guess this is not about a raise?

The Power Of Words

Apparently, I said something in my report that made one of the news anchors mad.

“Huh?” I said. “All I did was state the facts.”

The news director wasn’t smiling.

Apparently, during the report, I began answering the anchor’s question with these four words, “As I said before…”

That was it.

Four words.

The simple phrase, “As I said before,” got me into big trouble.

I had to think back.

In my defense, I told the news director that I had already answered the anchor’s question in my report. I didn’t understand why he was bringing it up again.

It didn’t matter. Apparently, the anchor thought my four words made him look stupid.

Oops. It wasn’t intentional or meant to be mean, but I had screwed up.

Live And Learn

Four seemingly innocent words became another learning experience for me.

When I read through the Bible, I’m often struck by how often the apostle Peter stuck his foot in his mouth.

Remember this?

In Matthew 16:21-23:

*21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

 

22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”

 

23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” – Matthew 16:21-23, English Standard Version (ESV).

No matter what, we can and should learn from our mistakes.

It had to be awful for Peter to receive a direct, but well-deserved, rebuke from Christ.

After admonishing him, did Christ send Peter away from His presence forever?

No, He forgave him and used Peter for His glory.

I’m glad we have a God of second (and third, and fourth…) chances, aren’t you?

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*Scripture quotation is from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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A Story Of Love And Faith

A story of love and faith

There are many shows that I don’t care to watch on mindless television, but occasionally, there’s a movie that stands out and continues to touch my heart.

Without hesitation, I can recommend the documentary/film, “To Joey With Love.”

I’d heard it was showing on CMT (Country Music Television) so I taped it.

Have you seen it yet?

Joey and Rory Feek

*Photo courtesy of: By Burningkarma

An Extraordinary Story Of Love And Faith

“To Joey With Love” is a film that tells the love story of Rory and Joey Feek, married singer-songwriters from Nashville, Tennessee.

When Joey began her fight with cervical cancer, I was inspired by her extraordinary courage and her unwavering faith in God in the midst of personal tragedy. Her husband narrates the film.

The movie is unforgettable. It’s truly a lesson for us all.

Having experienced our own family tragedy, I am naturally drawn to the testimonies of others who are devoted to sharing their stories of perseverance through insurmountable odds.

Another thing that truly amazes me is that, at some point in their marriage, Rory started filming glimpses of their lives together, from the birth of their daughter (diagnosed with Down Syndrome) to their life on the family farm.

How could Rory have known that his random, behind-the-scenes close-ups, would eventually become a love letter to his wife that the movie is today?

I’m a songwriter who isn’t writing songs right now, so Joey encouraged me to write about our lives instead. So at the beginning of 2014, I started blogging about and filming the little and big moments in our life as they happened. I didn’t know why at the time. I do now. – Rory Feek. [Blog post]. Retrieved from This Life I Live/About/. n.d., para. 5).

Their music career garnered some acclaim, including a Top 30 Country single, “Cheater Cheater.” One of my personal favorites is their cover of “If I Needed You” by Townes Van Zandt.

Life Can Turn In An Instant

Life for them seemed perfect for so long, but it took an unexpected turn as it often does.

God has given us an incredible love story. Not just how we began.. but now, today… even without her here by my side. That love story is still unfolding as I hold our little one’s hand and turn the pages. – Rory Feek. [Blog post]. Retrieved from This Life I Live/About/. n.d., para. 2).

Have your box of Kleenex ready.

If you miss seeing it on the CMT channel, you can also watch it on PureFlix.com.

PureFlix is a membership site where you can watch 100’s of family-safe movies. It’s kind of like a Netflix for Christians or anyone else wanting wholesome, family-oriented, decent entertainment.

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*Photo courtesy of: By Burningkarma [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AJoeyandrory.jpg

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Celebrating Freedom And The Spirit Of America

What Makes America Great

What makes America great

One of the many things I love about this great country we live in is our undying American spirit. 

No matter what has happened in the past, the spirit of America continues to live on.

Political and media rhetoric sometimes muddy the waters, and unfortunately, there’s relentless pressure that many things that we hold dear need to change.

Even so, the spirit of our country continues to stand firm. Resilience, hard work, and innovation haven’t gone anywhere.

Celebrating Freedom and The Spirit of America

On Tuesday, July 4th, we celebrate Independence Day. It’s the day set aside to commemorate the birth of our American independence.

We have good reason to celebrate with our loved ones!

This important day isn’t about time off from work, the largest fireworks display, or the best-tasting barbecue.

It’s about respect and love for country.

Patriotism is a good and beautiful thing.

When I see a child waving a little flag during 4th of July celebrations, it makes me smile.

Sometimes I shed tears when I see patriotism in action.

Thoughtful words from friends:

“The American spirit is pride in our country, pride in our forefathers, and their vision for what we could be.

 

It’s pride in our heritage and history and pride in all our past and present military, without whom the vision of our forefathers would never have been realized.” – Trish M., from Virginia.

Celebrating freedom and the spirit of America

“The American spirit can have a different meaning for everyone, but for me, a few things come to mind.

 

The American spirit is having the ability to achieve whatever you want to achieve by good, hard, clean work. Decent and honest people who haven’t given up on this country. Brave soldiers, many of whom gave the ultimate sacrifice. Christ, American flags, faith, love, hope, and freedom.

 

A lot of these, if not most, sets us apart from other countries”. Andrea K., from Arizona.

Our American Heritage

Extraordinary people live in America.

Whether I see them on the news or know them in person, there are people out there who inspire me every day with their strong faith and courage, sometimes under insurmountable odds.

As Americans, we are blessed with an enduring tradition of faith in God and love for country.

We must never forget either.

Ronald Reagan quote

Food for thought going forward.

As the former President stated above, is our country still with God?

It appears we have a choice as a nation.

We can do nothing as atheistic groups continue to try to undermine our country’s Judeo-Christian values, or we can pray for God’s mercy and stand firmly on the grounds of our faith.

I know what I’m going to do.

Will you join me in praying for our country every night?

God bless America and Happy Independence Day!

2017 Happy Independence Day

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*Quotation from President Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States. Courtesy of, and as quoted from, Christian quotes.info

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Sometimes We Just Need To Laugh

Sometimes We Just Need To Laugh

This is in my heart today.

I’m getting ready to say something profound here.

As you know, the word “profound” means “deep.”

So here goes.

sometimes we just need to laugh

We can’t let the actions of some ruin our joy in the Lord and tamper with our Christian witness.

There are a lot of bad things going on in America, of course.

Additionally, there are still groups of people in this country who are trying to divide us and turn us all against each other.

I have to say that, and I’m also looking in the mirror at myself, we can’t let them steal our joy for any long length of time.

Where’s That Remote?

turn it off

There’s an adage that says: “Misery loves company.”

Sounds to me like a great reason to turn off the negative news when it gets to be too much.

In our fallen world, suffering, doubts, confusion, and the like are earthly certainties.

We can count on it.

Fortunately, these frustrations and times of sorrow are only temporary.

We can (thank the Lord) count on that.

Dear Christian, someday when we reach Heaven, our tears become a thing of the past.

And here’s an added blessing:

There’s no political infighting in Heaven.

I’m looking forward to that, aren’t you?

I love this take away from John MacArthur:

God is not a cosmic killjoy. I know some people who believe He is.

 

They think God runs around saying, “There’s one having fun; get him!” They believe God wants to rain on everybody’s parade.

 

 

But that isn’t so.

 

 

God made you. He knows how you operate best. And He knows what makes you happy. The happiness He gives doesn’t stop when the party’s over. It lasts because it comes from deep within. – Pastor and teacher, John MacArthur, from Grace To You.

Meanwhile …

What can we do about all this Debby Downer “news” thrown at us every day?

Don’t lose our sense of humor!

We can remember with gratitude God’s gifts to us of joy and laughter.

Those gifts are still there, tucked in our brain closets somewhere underneath all the negative breaking news.

Joy and laughter can help us deal with this crazy world we’re living in right now.

Remember what makes you smile.

For me, it’s my silly dogs and husband. (Joanna Gaines and I have the “silly husband” thing in common.)

Also for me, it’s the close friends I have, who love to laugh just as much as I do.

Why do my embarrassing moments always happen in public?

What makes you laugh?

Perhaps an embarrassing moment?

C’mon, you know you have at least one.

You can tell me, no one else will know  😉

 

then sings my soul

Here’s one of mine from years ago.

One evening, our church was having its annual potluck dinner, complete with a Choir Special.

By “Choir Special,” I mean our choir sang about eleven rousing songs after the dinner portion of the evening.

It was a great night. We pigged out on delicious home-cooked food, cracked up at the tables, and then it was time for all of us who were choir members to get into place up front. We had five minutes to run and use the restroom.

You know how girls are. A bunch of us ran to the restrooms. 🙂

After that, we got into place up front in our designated spots.

As we all stood there facing the crowd about ready to begin, I suddenly felt self-conscious and subtly checked the zipper to my pants. They were zipped up, yes indeedy, but the zipper broke, and my pants began to flap open.

Two words.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Noooooooooooooooo!

It was too late; I couldn’t run or hide.

I crossed my arms over the broken zipper and held my pants up for eleven very long songs. Every other choir member was moving and swaying to the music, but I had to stand there motionless, or the crowd would have gotten more of a show than they bargained for!

That kind of thing seems to happen to me.

In public, in front of everyone.

Sometimes ya just gotta laugh.

God Created Joy And Laughter

I’m looking forward to “Eternal” joy and laughter.

How about you?

That will be a blessed day to come.

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*John MacArthur quotation, as quoted, from Christian quotes.info.

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Truth Or Popularity?

Truth And Consequences

At some point in your life, you’ll encounter someone who will challenge your Christian beliefs. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will.

doubters are everywhere

Doubters are everywhere. You may know them personally, or you might come across an atheistic thread on social media.

Skeptics love to argue about Christianity.

Truth or popularity?

Standing firm in your faith can have consequences.

You may think you’re having a pleasant conversation over the water cooler and then – Bam!

Next thing you know, the other person throws out a zinger that leaves you almost speechless.

They may say something like,

I don’t believe what the Bible says.

Why doesn’t God stop evil?

All “religions” worship the same God.

We just need to have one religion for the whole world.

The Rapture is a fairy tale.

God is love, and He won’t send anyone to hell.

When you respond in faith, don’t expect your popularity to soar through the roof. Christianity is becoming more and more despised these days.

Be prepared

What can you do about it and how can you be prepared?

Try not to let yourself get caught off guard.

I know, easy for me to say!

Please, don’t worry. You don’t have to memorize every biblical fact by heart. If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so. Look up the answer later and get back to Sam (or Sally) Skeptic at another time.

But, we must be able to state what we believe.

faith challenges

Role play with another Christian if you need too.

*Withhold no part of the precious truth, but speak what you know and declare what you have seen. Do not allow the toil or darkness or possible unbelief of your friends to dissuade you. Let us rise and march to the place of duty, and there declare what great things God has shown to our soul.Christian pastor and author, Alistair Begg, of Truth for Life teaching ministry.

Truth or Popularity?

God loves you and me, but He will also judge us

The fact is that God is a God of love, but He is also a God of justice. He will judge the world, and rightly so.

The Apostle Paul said this quite clearly to the Greek council in Acts 17:29-31. It is likewise true for us today.

Acts 17:29-31

Putting on the armor of God

Here’s your secret weapon.

Dear Christian, Jesus is alive and the Holy Spirit is living in you.

A skeptic will argue and try to make you look stupid with their “facts.”

It’s okay.

No matter what they say, you have something in your heart there is no denying.

Are you ready for it?

You have a changed life.

There’s your life before coming to Christ and what your life became afterward.

You are a new creation, a repentant sinner, still growing in your faith.

Give your testimony about what led you to Christ.

No one, even the skeptic, knows you better than you know yourself. 

If you don’t know the Bible backward and forwards, don’t sweat it. Bible knowledge comes with time. Keep studying! In the meantime, use your beautiful witness of God’s mercy and grace in your own life.

Talk about a conversation stopper!

No one can take away the blessed assurance you have of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.

Sharing Stories

Hearing other people’s testimonies makes me very happy. I’d rather talk about that than what’s on the news any day.

This six-minute song from Chris Tomlin is so worth your time to listen. Not only is it a beautiful song, but there are also glimpses of real praises and prayers from people all over the country.

At the five minute mark, it sounds like the song is over, but please keep watching.

One believer, in particular, described her faith so eloquently. She said, “He didn’t pull me out of the storm, but He walked with me through the storm.”

Physical healing is never promised in this life, but we must trust in God’s providence and sovereignty. As believers, thank the Lord, we know that He is with us during the storms.

Praise God!

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*Alistair Begg quotation, as quoted from Christian quotes.info

**Scripture quotation is from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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