Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gods signature.

Well, I thought it was foolish to be so intrigued by something so... um.. well. mundane. But a commenter, Sherry, who is actually one of my favorite followers just because of her profile information (I'm not kidding either) well, she, unfortunately for all of you, has encouraged my oddball habit of seeing God in everything around me. So despite the fact that I told myself not to be silly enough to write this post, I'm writing it anyway.

And you can all blame Sherry.

I don't know how many of you use Adobe Acrobat. I never did. My computer at home doesn't even want to allow me to open .pdf files. My new job however, opened up a world of new programs to use and Adobe Acrobat is numero uno on our list of favorites.

I make and save dozens of files each day. But one special one that I put together for each packet gets my signature. Obviously I can't sign it, so, thanks to Adobe Acrobat's nifty tools, I have an electronic signature that puts my name and business information on the signature line. It makes my packet official.

If I fail to sign it, my packet would not be processed which could end up making my company financially responsible should the claim not get approved because it was held back because of the signature. My signature is the stamp of approval which gets my packet where I need it to go.

But what's intrigued me about this signature is the question it asks me every time I put it on the packet. I create the packet, then sign the packet and every single time Adobe informs me that because of my signature my packet is going to be replaced by this same packet with a signature. It doesn't wait to ask me that till I close the packet, no, instantly, because of this signature it must be saved as a replacement of the old file. If I click no, that it cannot replace the old file, the signature will not be added to my file as I need it to.

I save a lot of things. But rarely does one thing I save completely overwrite another thing saved. But when I put my signature on this, the old packet is gone. The new packet is all that's left.

There's always a moment of hesitation, even though I know what the answer is going to be. There are only two options "Yes" "Cancel". I know I have to click yes, it's the only way. But there's always a moment when the question pops up that I look at it and think - am I letting God's signature in my life replace the old me.

I know. I told you right from the beginning that it was dorky. If you're a regular blog reader though, you probably already knew corny was my middle name but hey, to quote Popeye, "I am what I am."

I've seen something in myself too many crazy time for this not to strike home with me. It's like I want to make two packets. One of "me" and one with "me and God". I'll add history and files, goals and hobbies to the "Me" packet and neglect the "me and God" packet. I try and be two different people. One that's Spiritual and Holy and all God-happy. The one that loves worship and holiness, miracles and good preaching. And a second person that goes to wrestling matches and watches a friend drink enough to not cry when they get something pierced.

Adobe Acrobat doesn't give me the option of having two files though.
And God doesn't either.
I hope you're not laughing too hard at my unusual sense of God, but if you are I hope you pick yourself up off the floor long enough to hear the sadness and sobriety in my writings as I say how much, with my whole heart, I click "Yes".
I want to replace the old me, with the one with His signature.

If only it were always as easy as the click of a button.
But there's only one me that I'm so proud of, so absolutely enjoying, so crazy happy and secure in. And that's the one with God in it. It's the only one I truly want.
It's the only me worth having.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Taking a walk.

I was driving home from work the other day when I witnessed a very common sight in my neighborhood. A gentleman was walking his dog.

Or he was when I first saw him anyway.

Suddenly he jerked to a stop as the dog stopped and started sniffing at something profoundly interesting to him on the ground. As I made a turn, I could see the guy just standing there, holding the dogs leash, unable to go anywhere.

I can only assume that he accepts such a lack of discipline and doesn't just leave the dog there because he loves it.

I don't know why, but instantly I imagined God holding my leash while I yank Him to a stop again to sniff at some hobby.

It's not that He's unable to move, while He stands there waiting on me, it's just that He won't leave me behind. So He waits. Knowing that as I grow up I'll become more disciplined and focused on taking that walk with Him and not being so distracted by the things around me.

I can only assume that He accepts such a lack of discipline and doesn't leave me behind because He loves me.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Inspirational speeches.

I was researching motivational speeches and stumbled across this. Hope you guys might enjoy it. It's a put together of 40 different speeches into a 2 minute speech of it's down. Below the video is the transcript of the speech.

Hat's off to Matthew Belinkie for creating this.

Shame on you. This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you’re going to let it be the worst. And I guarantee a week won’t go by in your life you won’t regret walking out, letting them get the best of you. Well, I’m not going home. We’ve come too far! And I’m going to stay right here and fight for this lost cause. A day may come when the courage of men fails… but it is not THIS day. The line must be drawn HERE. This far, no further! I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. You’re going to work harder than you ever worked before. But that’s fine, we’ll just get tougher with it! If a person grits his teeth and shows real determination, failure is not an option. That’s how winning is done! Believe me when I say we can break this army here, and win just one for the Gipper. But I say to you what every warrior has known since the beginning of time: you’ve got to get mad. I mean plum mad dog mean. If you would be free men, then you must fight to fulfill that promise! Let us cut out their living guts one inch at a time, and they will know what we can do! Let no man forget how menacing we are. We are lions! You’re like a big bear, man! This is YOUR time! Seize the day, never surrender, victory or death… that’s the Chicago Way! Who’s with me? Clap! Clap! Don’t let Tink die! Clap! Alright! Let’s fly! And gentlemen in England now abed shall know my name is the Lord when I tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our Independence Day!

What are you?

This is an iffy little post for me to write because the entire thing leaves me feeling frustrated and foolish and even though the situation ended several days ago I am still burning with the lesson I learned.

I suppose it's still a little too tender for me because I'm going to leave the details vague - but suffice it to say, someone told me they were a certain thing and they were not.

And I'll tell you straight up it's pretty annoying to be lied to.

And, as almost always happens, as I stewed about how mistreated I felt by someone else - I was able to see that same sin within myself.

I've actually gotten better about it, unexpectedly so and very recently, with this blog. I'm admitting things more close to my heart and misguided than what I would typically like to do. You all are getting a pretty fair and open look at exactly what I think and feel when I write - both good and bad. You've seen me at my most stubborn, most fearful, and you've seen me be downright wrong.
And that's exactly what I want you to see because amongst my strong desire for God and Holiness is a completely whacked out person who still struggles just to not bite someones head off or quit relationships the minute they get hard. I'm human.

It's nice to have people in your life that appear to be so utterly Godly that you can dump all your problems into them like a coin bank machine and receive back a little slip of paper that just tells you what you should do. Those people never get tired, or discouraged, they always want to listen to your problems and they never have any of their own.

The problem is, those people are really actually human. They're just pretending for your sake because they know you want a prop to hold you up and that you're expecting it to be them instead of God. So they stand there and take it. But it's always painfully disappointing when you reach for your fix it all coin bank and discover they're off having a cancer removed from their liver and they're trying to figure out why God let this happen.

My friends, I'm always willing to listen and encourage you however I can, but if you've read my blog you'll see I'm no Holy Joe.

But what I do hope people will find in this blog is that, much like the Army motto, I'm trying to be all that I can be. I might not make it some days, and some days I might sail through so easily that it's hard to imagine doubting anything.

But whatever you do, even you coin bank folks out there who pretend you never woke up in the morning saying "I hate everything about this decision God.", don't pretend to others that you're more than you are.

Be all that you are. Every glorious, nasty bit of it. Fight for the best - but don't ever pretend to be perfect. Be exactly who you are. I have it on good authority that people enjoy seeing others grow. How can anyone see you grow if you walk around perfect?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Getting up again for a miracle.

It's my favorite Bible story of all time: The pool of Bethesda.

It's sparked my favorite posts that I've ever written; like Trouble The Waters, and Trouble The Waters 2.

And now it's sparking this one.

But as I was reading this this time - it stirred something different in me.
So, just to warm us all up and refresh our memories I'd like to repeat the story.

Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, "Wilt thou be made whole?" The impotent man answered him, "Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming another steppeth down before me."

Jesus saith unto him, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk."

And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

I could keep going, because there is a little bit more to the story than that, but that is a good stopping place and still gives you the story.

What gripped me about the story is that the man is still going down. "while I am coming" he said, another stepped down before him. He didn't say that another would get there before him, so there was no point in trying. He said "while I am coming" even as he feared it was futile.

To add to that is the simple fact that this isn't a daily occurrence. It says the angel came at "a certain season". Let's just say for illustrations sake that it's talking about natures seasons and call it 4 times a year that the angel comes. (THIS IS NOT TRUE, I'm making up a number to just illustrate, I haven't been able to find any writings with anything more than a suggestion of one possibility.)

But even if it were 4 times a year, that gives you 3 months in between each failure to tell yourself that there isn't any point of even going to sit on one of the porches, much less getting up and trying to get in the pool before anyone else.

Trust me, after 3 months of telling myself it was pointless, there was no way I'd get there in time, I wouldn't disappoint myself by going back to the pool. I just wouldn't.

But here he is, for who knows how many years, season after season, knowing "while I am coming another steppeth down before me", he still comes.

For me, this fit into a struggle I'm facing.
I'm tired of trying church after church, being disappointed, and frustrated. I'm let down that after all these months in San Antonio I have yet to find a truly good church that can be my home. Last Sunday I went to a Baptist church, but it took every last bit of effort I had to make myself go. I had to bribe the kids to get them to go, and then rewarded them even further afterwards because the experience was so awful.

Every Sunday I struggle to make myself go. I don't want to get up. It's not going to be a good church. I'll leave even more disappointed with Christian-kind. It will make it that much harder to go next week. "While I am coming, another steppeth down before me."

But he kept stepping. For however many seasons, however many years, he still came down.

For me it's finding a church, for you it could be anything that you're tempted to admit defeat on. Anything you can see that it's obvious your desire won't come true. Anything that tells you it's too hard, you're not strong enough to succeed, someone else will get it instead of you. You know what it is because the minute I started this paragraph you started thinking about and wondering if there is any point in hoping for it.

So get up. Be a person who "yet comes". Because the miracle worker appears when you least expect it.

And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed and walked; and on the same day was the sabbath.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tomorrows post is going to be awesome

I'll never tell you I'm an amazing writer. So trust me when I say I'm not building up tomorrows post because it will be written in amazing form. But in my Bible reading tonight I was incredibly struck with something that I just can't wait to share.

So... as soon as I can get the post up tomorrow, I hope you find it as hope-inducing as I did. The idea is just incredible to me, and I can't wait to get it all written down.

Come back tomorrow!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

In case you're wondering...

I have really awful internet right now that makes it take about an hour and a half to upload my posts. That's an hour and a half of concerted effort.

It's also an average - sometimes it's taken longer.

So, let me just put that forth as evidence of how much I love writing and posting and hoping for your comments. I sit at my computer an hour and a half after I get it written - just trying to get it to upload.

It's by far the most frustrating thing I've done in a very long time - and I've been playing balancing games on the new Wii, so I have plenty of experience at frustrating.

But, that's the reason I'm not posting too often. I've had dial-up that worked with more consistency than this.

As my personal review concerning Clear, the alleged internet provider, YOU STINK. You allow me to check my e-mail and randomly allow me to see google reader (if you're in a good mood), you tease me concerning youtube because you allow me to search more often than you allow me to see videos (which you only actually display 1 time out of 199,002,372,847 times - yes I'm sure I've tried that many times) and you forever promise that a magical tower is going to be put up in my area that will resolve all these issues. The magical tower date was supposedly last week - you lie. If I got a penny back for every time my "Page could not be displayed" , well, lets just say we wouldn't be cutting you a check each month now would we.

So... anyway friends - my internet is giving me problems as you can see and it's been nearly impossible for me to post unless I'm willing to devote quite a bit of time each night to the mission of just getting the blamed thing to "Publish".

I apologize, and I miss you. I've been writing - but typically after 45 minutes or so I just give up trying to make it post.

But I hear my internet pretender is soon going to put up a new tower near my home and that will fix this. Any week now really.


The best end I see to this is that in July we're all moving out of this house - so I can personally guarantee that I will NOT be chosing Clear as my internet pretender there.

Though I can assure you, as with this post, I will make the effort to get something posted as often as I can. This blog is too important to me to let slide. So stay tuned! Really.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

One a scale of 1-10, how serious are you?

A couple of months back, I'd been enjoying the benefits of an incredible gym for awhile and I'd talked a friend into going with me for a visit. One of the trainers/make-you-believe-anything-is-possible-if-only-you-join-our-gym-professionals sat both of us down and began asking her questions.

Some of the questions were incredibly personal ones that only your doctor and someone as intense looking as these individuals could pull off not only asking, but also getting an answer.

Finally they got to one question that I've been thinking about ever since they asked it. He looked her dead in the eyes and said "On a scale of 1-10, how serious are you about losing weight?"

It wasn't my question, but I still thought about it right then.. a 1.... a 10... how serious?

She answered "10" and I have to admit I winced a little bit. Because I know she's not a 10.
Because a 10 is the highest point on this scale. A 10 says there is not even a small degree of me that isn't willing to do whatever it takes.

I imagined, easily since I can see myself in the same position some times that perhaps the answer to "On a scale of 1-10 how much do you wish you had lost weight?" Wishes are an entirely different matter.

Wishes are, as grandmothers all over the world who told their children "If you wish in one hand and spit in the other, only one hand will get full.", useless.

It challenged me to rethink the numbers of my life.

You see, someone who is a 10 in seriousness about losing weight, is probably going to lose weight. They won't need a gym to exercise, because they're already exercising. But they might use a gym to exponentiate the effects of their exercise. A 10 in seriousness about weight loss effects every single day of their life. It effects everything they eat. It effects their thinking, their goals, their desires, their habits. It also sees results.

So as I rethought my numbers, I realized that I want some of my numbers to be higher. I realized that if I graded myself, I would probably say on a scale of 1-10 that I was a 6 in how serious I was about seeking God.
I'm not counting my score of 12 concerning how much I wish I knew God better - the only score that counts is the one that actually involves me acting on what I say is important. And 6 is a sad score to me.
And it's also a promising score.
You see, a 6 means I see obvious areas that I can improve in. a 6 shows me clear ways that I can grow that I haven't been taking as seriously as I know I should. A 6 tells me that my life still has areas of change and when I pursue those areas - then life will continue to increase in this wonderful thing I call the Presence of God.

It's hard to separate your wishes from how serious you really are though. Everyone wishes for a clean house, good finances, well-behaved children, good relationships, favor at work; but few people are serious about them.

But do you know what a 10 is? A 10 is everything. A 10 is all-consuming.
Do you know what a 5 is? Half of everything.

A 5 doesn't lose much weight.
A 5 doesn't walk away from the presence of God with a face glowing so radiantly that others ask you to cover it.

If you were honest - honest - what do you think your number would be in how serious you are about drawing closer to God? How serious are you about walking in the Holy Spirit giftings so that when you pray people are healed, demons are cast out, prophecies are spoken?

10 is an easy answer, but I don't know anyone that is a 10 about anything. And it's ok to not be a 10. But I don't think God is pleased when we hit 5 and stop so we don't become peculiar.

How serious are you?

Monday, April 05, 2010

A word about Craigslist.

Well, the good news is that I'm not afraid anymore. I went out yesterday and met yet my 2nd car dude Andre (which apparently I need to clarify, he is a completely separate contact that had nothing to do with the first event).
If my gut screams at me again, I believe I won't be quite so foolish again.
But I won't run unnecessarily.

I'm happy.

But I still don't have a car.
While it is a wealth of great "deals" craigslist is is frustrating source of tidbits of incredible usefulness hidden amongst a thousand and one scams, weirdos, and people that just don't show up. It did help me get two buyers for my car within a week though... but shopping on there has been unreliable.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

God has not given me a spirit of fear.

The Friday before last, in my continued hunt for a car that actually stops on command I arranged to meet a person from craigslist to look at their car. So after I got off work I headed down to the South side of San Antonio to meet up at the South Park Mall. *As a point the further South you go in SA, the worse the neighborhoods get. I typically stay north.*

Once I get there I text to let them know I'm there.

I get a call back saying that a friend of his is bringing the car to me and that the friend is running late. He's going to give his friend my number so that the friend can call me when he's almost there so he can find me.


The friend eventually calls and instantly something inside me clenches up and says "This isn't good... get out."
It's irrational, and I'm not a rude, fleeing person by nature at all. I trust people until you've given me a good reason not to. And even then I might still be gullible. I pick up hitch-hikers for cryin' out loud. I don't assume bad things about people.
So I sit there and he finally arrives. He's said things that don't make sense, but unfortunately when I ask pointed questions instead of answering he apologizes that his English isn't very good. He was white, completely white, so I've been calling him "The Russian" in my mind.

The Russian didn't have the car with him. He indicated that it was somewhere else and we had to go to it. He wanted me to get in his car.
The very moment he even started the sentence, his hand still in midmotion to point at his car, my gut screamed at me, "DO NOT DO IT, LEAVE NOW, DON'T GO A STEP FURTHER".
But again, I hate to be the freak who just says "No, I'm calling everything off now, thanks for driving all the way down here - albiet without the car - but I'm going to run home now in case you're a psycho."
So I tell him that I'm going to take my own car and will follow him.

As I get back in my own car, I'm listening to a gut that is literally screaming at me. I've heard my gut talk before, but I can't say that I ever recall it screaming. Listening to my gut screaming at me, GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT!!!! I hesitated and then finally texted my family a description of the man and the car. I even wrote that this was "In case something happened".

Let me just say that in hindsight if you feel enough danger that you want to send a text describing a person "In case something happens", then it's a situation you should probably get out of. Even if it means you're rude.

We drive about 2 miles down the city streets and ever worsening neighborhoods. He finally pulls in to a car lot. He appears to unlock a gate, but cannot open the gate very much. We boths squeeze our bodies through the small opening.

So now I'm inside a car lot, not able to get out quickly because the gate isn't open. To say I feel trapped is putting it mildly. I'm literally trembling. Shaking with adrenaline (I wasn't shaking with fear, I'll get to that in a moment.) The Russian points at a car in the lot that is impossible to move because it's surrounded by other cars. It's so tightly packed in that you can't even walk around the car. He announces that it is the car and then gets on the phone and begins speaking in another language. While I pretend to look at the car from a distance. He pauses his gibberish conversation long enough to tell me his friend is coming shortly who can move the other cars.

I swallow, it's funny how a person remembers doing the oddest things, but I remember swallowing right then and realizing that I've long since past the easy way to get out of this situation. So I look at him and politely say that I had already arranged to meet someone in 30 minutes (not a lie) and needed to leave and was very sorry but that I could not stay and wait any longer. His face made a crazy look at that moment that I can't even describe. And then I turned my back on him and began the long walk to the fence. My screaming gut was silenced only be the small chant in my head praying he would "let me leave".
The word "let" was ringing in my head. I'd never before felt such a hope for another humans mercy in "letting" me walk away.

I left. I left extremely shaken. It felt like I didn't even breathe until I'd maneuvered the city streets back out to the highway, and that's when I began trembling so hard I could hardly hold the wheel. But not for anything would I pull over.

I went home and tried to forget everything.

I did contact one person and cancel my appt with Andre to look at his car the next day. I officially banned meeting craigslist people. NOT gonna happen again.

Then yesterday Andre contacts me again and really wants to sell me his car. After at least an hour of gut twisting indecision I make a plan. Yes I'll meet him, close to my home, on a road that's close to the library where my brother and his wife would be and in a very busy parking lot next to a gas station on a busy Saturday afternoon.

So I go there and park and wait for him to arrive.

Andre sends me a text asking me to go to a different location.

That's all he did. Any other day I wouldn't have even cared one wit. I would have just driven a few more exits down and parked there. But the next thing I know I'm trembling from head to toe, and I'm trying not to cry. I send Andre a text back saying No and the deal is off I'm going home.

And that was the first moment I realized I had a problem. I drove away from the parking lot as quickly as I could, afraid he would show up before I could get away. I was stopped briefly in the parking lot by my brother and his wife who stopped by on their way home. I would have had people with me this time. The situation was entirely different. But I was still shaking so violently that I thought I was going to be sick. I drove away, and at the first opportunity when I felt "clear" of the place I pulled over to try and gather myself. And I realized I had a problem.

God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and of sound mind.

Yesterdays events let the devil enjoy a victory over me. And I hate that. So, I've arranged to meet Andre again. He's given me even more reason to trust that this situation is nothing like the other and I'm trying again. If for no other reason than I will not allow the devil to keep this victory.

I've got a post on this that's not quite so personal that I'll put up soon, but I wanted to post this humbling description of me because I want to be completely frank about how foolish and stupid I can be sometimes. Because our Christian walk isn't about doing it perfectly and enjoy victory after victory. It's about getting up every single time you fall over and knowing that God is still there. It's about seeing your weaknesses and not accepting them but challenging them by the power of Jesus Christ.

When I become irrationally afraid I know the devil is at work. I believe when I met The Russian I had great reason to follow the Holy Spirits urging (I believe the Holy Spirit lives in my gut quite often). But the second event was just the devil using fear against me. And I'm going to attack it.

Whatever you've got in your life, whatever you see makes you irrational and you see it isn't of God - fight it. Don't condone it, don't tell yourself it's just a part of your past that is still haunting you. Fight. Give God everything you've got, every day.

You'll only be glad you did.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

His great-grandma was rich.

I'm a music lover of all types - but WORDS typically get me more than the rythym. Fortunately this has the words printed on it. :)

(HT to Ray Ortlund)

Special request!

Good morning everyone!

I've looked and looked for a KJV Bible that doesn't have verses and chapters. But I haven't found any yet. The best I've found so far is an ESV, but I really would druther the KJV.

If any of you have found one, made one, or knows which online sites allow you to read in that format - I'd really appreciate your linking me to it.


Thursday, April 01, 2010

What are you eating?

I was struggling with what to write with. Not because I couldn’t come up with anything – it’s actually quite the opposite. I’ve got two different topics floating in me, one concerning a study of Romans that I’ve been doing that just happened (as so often it is with God) to coincide with a series of sermons I’m listening to at work.

But one article that has been burning in me lately is a complaint that I’ve had for the last several weeks. Which, once you see what I’m complaining about you’ll see that the very idea I’m complaining about it is rather ironic.

I’m frustrated that complaining has become so very much the “in” thing to do.

Awhile back at my nieces’ birthday she’d invited a friend over to the house. Within 3 minutes of her friend arriving (and no, I am not exaggerating whatsoever) she’d announced to her friend that her parents embarrassed her and that her little brother was annoying and she hated him.

Two days ago, walking into a store with my nephew he announced that the store wouldn’t have what I was looking for. He proceeded to announce failure on every single aisle.

It’s not just children either. As adults we complain about the weather, our co-workers, and any other situation that comes up. We speak negative words concerning our health, our abilities, our futures, and our goals and that of other people as well.

And that’s the part that I’ve been dwelling on. We’re killing ourselves, and we’re allowing the devil to win hundreds of battles that might not have been anywhere close to a loss had we just kept our minds and hearts in line with God. The Bible says: “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh forwardness” (def: ”forward”=willfully contrary”). Or Luke 6:45 which says: “A good man out of the good treasure of his hearth bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalms 19:14

The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words. Proverbs 15:26

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. Ecclesiasties 10:12

Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Psalms 141:3

The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom. Proverbs 10:21

A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:20,21

And those are just a few of the verses found concerning the words that come out of our mouths. I want you to notice 2 particular things here.

1: I’m focusing on what should be coming out of our mouths. Because when we focus on that, we don’t have to worry about the negative things coming out quite so often. If you maintain an attitude of praise, and thoughtfulness, sweetness and hope in your words – you’ll not so often find the thoughts of complaint, and bitterness welling up within you.

2: The last verse that I cited was the one that interested me the most. There were several other scriptures that mention our lips as having “fruit”. Most of the verses mention either the giving of the “fruit” to someone else, or the satisfaction of your own belly with the “fruit”. We downplay our words. We’re sarcastic, flippant, mocking, irreverent, rude, angry, sullen, discouraging, pessimistic, and we think nothing of it. But we get to eat our fruit. Whether we realize it or not, we’re eating and filling our bloated bellies with our words. But I’ve eaten enough bad fruit (there are few things as nasty as bad fruit) to know that the difference between good and bad fruit is so drastically different it’s a story unto itself.

It’s hard to pick good fruit at the grocery store. You pick up a peach, stick it in a brown paper bag and take it home and wait… hoping you take it out at just the right moment. But let me tell you, when you bite into the golden, delicious, fresh, ripe peach; it’s a moment to savor. It takes you by surprise how good it is.

But it’s also really rare for that to happen. Because too often the peaches either still aren’t ripe enough when I try it, or they were in there too long and now they’re a little… off. I’ve got a lot of words to eat that have been intended correctly, but improperly timed. I’m still working on it. That’s probably why there are so many verses talking about the wisdom of keeping silent.

So to end this little rant – just know how much God cares about your words. The devil cares too. Guard yourself.