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Open Your Mouth… With Wisdom

One of my dear little dance students has such a way with words.  She is the child that will talk to everyone… and then talk, and talk, and talk some more.  She is the one that is sure to let me know she is being a good listener- by talking.  As I sat down in the waiting area with some of the dance moms, she asked, “Would you please pray for my mom?”  “Of course,” was my reply.  “What’s wrong?”  In her typical projecting voice she said, “Oh, it’s kind of private!”  

You see, word travels quickly with this little girl.  She means well, but she hasn’t quite learned the art of bridling her tongue.  I wonder how many of us are just as quick to speak when given the chance.  We look forward to getting the latest news and quickly e-mailing, texting, or blogging it for the world to see.  We take lightly the confidence others place in us.  We guise gossip with sharing information for the purpose of prayer.  We betray confidence even in the small things.  

I think of the Proverbs 31 woman who, “opens her mouth with wisdom.”  (Proverbs 31:26a).  How convicting to think of the number of times I have opened my mouth in foolishness.  But it is no mistake that godly speech is addressed in the picture of Proverbs 31.  Using wisdom in our words is an area where we can all grow in grace.  Let us not be like little girls, quick to speak and share others’ secrets.  Let us be slow to speak so that when we open our mouths, it is with wisdom.

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Reasons: Part III

Reasons

If you are just joining, please see Reasons: Part I and Reason: Part II.

If God loves us and wants us to know and believe in him, why be so completely invisible? What is the purpose of being so illusive to those who believe and worship him?

This is an interesting reason for rejecting Christianity.  First, it can be argued that God is not invisible.  He came to earth as a man, Jesus, and revealed Himself in human form to hundreds of eye witnesses who recorded the account in Scripture.  Second, anyone that has seen a glimpse of God has hardly been able to handle it.  Think about Moses when he came off the mountain after meeting with God.  His face shone and the people could hardly look at him.  And they were only seeing the effect of God, not God Himself.  We could not handle seeing the glory of God in the infinite form.

However, we do see glimpses of God all around us.  Creation evidences God.  Our very existence is evidence of God.  The design around us indicates a Designer.

For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own parts have said, For we are also his offspringActs 17:28 KJV

So my restatement of the reason would be:

God’s glory is so great that we cannot see Him and live.  In His goodness, we see evidences of Him through the creation, through the eyewitness accounts of His Son recorded in Scripture, and through our very existence.  He is invisible only to those who choose not to see the evidences He has given.

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The Wilderness

The past month of my life has been a difficult season.  I have felt very much alone with silence from God.  I have prayed, sought wise counsel, searched, and still had no clear answers to some very pressing questions.  I was feeling especially discouraged last night, and wrestled with God about opening His word.  I must admit that I do not always feel like reading my Bible.  (Side note- I’ve used the word feel several times in the past few sentences.  That is key- my knowledge of God does not always connect with my heart.  I KNOW He is still there when He is silent.)  I finally opened my Bible and turned to where I am reading in Deuteronomy.  Now, when I am feeling down, Deuteronomy is not my first choice for verses of comfort.  But God saw fit to let me land on a chapter about the wilderness.

For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands.  He knows your going through this great wilderness.  These forty years the LORD your God has been with you.   You have lacked nothing.  Deuteronomy 2:7 ESV

The Lord does not forget His people: the Israelites in the wilderness or His daughter in her own wilderness.  Does that mean I will not wander around a bit longer?  Not necessarily.  I may wander around much longer.  I may never see an earthly Canaan.  But my hope is not in what this life holds but rather what I know is on the other side.  Heaven is my home, and I can trust the One who cares for me to do so even in the bleak desert.  So I wait, and I do what I do not feel like doing all the time- I trust in My God even in the wilderness.

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Fascinated…

Is anyone else fascinated by VOSS water?  I must admit that frugal me purchased VOSS water the other day because I wanted the bottle to refill.

My aunt thought I was drinking out a shampoo bottle.  My brother thought I was drinking out of a perfume bottle.  I think I am drinking out the most fashionable water bottle ever.

So far, it was $2.99 well spent.

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On the Street

evangelism2

May I just start by saying God is SO good!  It has been several weeks since I have hit the streets in my city.  Not from lack of desire, but a variety of things came up.  A last minute phone call from a friend this weekend led to four of us hitting the streets at a huge festival in uptown.  We huddled in prayer, looked around at the crowd, and were a little overwhelmed not knowing quite where to begin.

I started talking to a guy who had been sitting for a while smoking a cigarette.  I gave him a tract and asked him the eternal question.  It was not a great conversation from my perspective.  He was quick to agree to disagree with me about how he thought he would get to heaven.  The thing that I have to keep in mind is that the Holy Spirit is not daunted by what seems like a dead-end conversation.  I pray that God uses the tract and the message of truth to lead the man to repentence and faith in Jesus.

Another conversation with a cell phone sales guy named Mbye was drawn out by his circular reasoning.  He went round, and round, and round… He feels that all paths lead to heaven.  He said his Muslim grandfather and Christian grandmother are in the same place now that they have passed away.  His arguement is that mathmatics is the only absolute.

We talked about the possibility that he could be wrong.  And he said he was fine if he goes before God and is told he chose the wrong path.  Mbye has no fear of hell but more importantly no fear of God.   Pray for his soul as he is searching for truth.

Handing out tracts is a bit like sprinkling seeds.  Some will be thrown away.  Some will be forgotten until a much later time.  Some will be read.  Tracts open doors for future encounters, for conversion, for salvation.  Do not underestimate what God can do through a piece of paper with the message of truth.

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15 Chickens in a Mini Van

Chicken for Dinner?

Chicken for Dinner?

We have referred to my home as the city-farm on more than one occasion.  We have a variety of animals at any given time, and chickens have their own little home built from scrap wood and structured in the brush behind our house.  The bird coop has been vacant for nearly a year, but today we decided it was time to move in a new flock.  A drive to a chicken farm provided us with 15 laying hens.

The drive home was eventful- the stench filled the van, and all I could do was laugh at the precocious situation.  My brother is pictured here with two of the birds.  Do not worry, carrying the chickens upside down keeps them calm while loading them into the crates.  And we will not be having Sunny, Blackie, or Tutu for dinner… but we may be having eggs.