Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Showers of Blessing

Showers of Blessing - Heavy Rain - Courtesy:  http://openclipart.org/detail/172573/rain-heavy-by-mi_brami-172573
Showers of Blessing
Ezekiel 34:26 (KJV) – And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.


I was tempted to complain about the rain this morning.  I say tempted because God quickly reminded me that, even in this rain, I have plenty to be thankful for. 

Check out some of the reasons I am grateful for the rain on my blog!  I am grateful for the rain because...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Stress - The Tongue that Kills

Proverbs 15:1 – (KJV)15 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but
A Stressed Tongue
Must be Tamed!
grievous words stir up anger.

Stress can be a killer.  It will eventually kill you and/or your relationships.  Stress contributes to health problems, mental and emotional problems, and relationship problems.

I need to be especially aware of some of the symptoms and side effects of stress.  Stress can manifest itself in many ways.  Sometimes I experience pain; stress grabs me in my neck and shoulders and sometimes in my jaw (because I clench my teeth).  Sometimes, stress affects my stomach and bowels and rears its ugly head causing digestive issues.  Stress can do wicked things to our minds, our bodies, and our soul.  Not to mention our ears, and our mouths.  Yes, I said our ears and our mouths!

One of the first places I notice stress is in my ears; when I’m stressed out I hear everything with a critical ear.  I hear criticism, perhaps even where there isn’t any, and react rather than respond to people; why not share the stress?  The stress flows into my ears and out of my mouth.  It goes to follow, then, that my mouth is the next place I notice stress.  Stress makes me tense and irritable and it shows in my speech.  My voice gets sharp and edgy, I get that defensive tone to my voice, and I’m just not very pleasant to be around when I’m stressed out.

I am usually rock solid during the major dilemmas of life; but, long term stress causes me to overreact to the little things.  I may be all smiles one minute, but one wrong word, or some small mishap, and I may melt down or I may explode!  Not very pretty, huh?

What’s my first response?  Remorse?  Guilt?  Shame?  Regret?  NNNNNOOOOO!  I want to lay the blame on others!  I try to rationalize why I’m justified in blurting out what’s on my mind and spewing hurtful things out of my mouth like a volcano.  Not very Christ-like, huh?  But, God’s still working on me!

I cannot control all the stressors in my life.  There are situations that occur over which I hold absolutely no sway or power.  But, God’s word teaches me that I can, and must, control my mouth.  When I spit out grievous words (mean, hateful words) I have to deal with the ugly side effects of volcano mouth such as regret, guilt, shame, embarrassment, humiliation, and the loneliness of isolation.  No one wants to get too close to a verbal volcano!

God gives lots of instruction on the mouth in the Bible.  I find Proverbs 13:3 especially convicting.  But, I have hope in the fact that I don’t have to do this alone.  Philippians 4:13 reminds me that Christ will help me mind my tongue.

Proverbs 13:3 – (KJV) –He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.

Philippians 4:13 – (KJV) – I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.


My Prayer for Today...   Dear Lord, Thank you for the Bible and all the guidance you give us on how to live.  Teach me, Lord, to turn to you when stress levels are on the rise.  And, help me Lord Jesus Christ, to bridle my tongue so I cannot hurt my friends and family.  Give me opportunities to show your love by holding my tongue.