The Potency of Words

“The words ‘I am…’ are potent words.
Be careful what you hitch them to.
The thing you’re claiming has a way
Of reaching back and claiming you.”

— A. L. Kitselman

We forget the power of the spoken word. But the spoken word has a history. For the Christian, that history begins in Genesis .
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. ~ Genesis 1:3
He waved no magic wand. He didn’t pick up lightening in His hands. He opened His mouth and spoke the creative words.
On the other hand, we seem to have an epidemic of bullying in our society these days. And most of that bullying is done with the spoken word. Those words hurt the hearts and self esteem of the person being bullied. They can be hurt to the point of wanting to die. Or they can carry those words like a festering wound, crippling them for the remainder of their natural lives.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. ~ Ephesians  6:12
There is more to this world than the physical that we can see and touch. There is a spiritual dimension as well. We have a sworn enemy in that spiritual dimension. This enemy has great power only because we let him. We give him permission with our words.
We don’t intend to give him permission, but we speak aloud something we fear. And lo and behold, that fear comes upon us.
For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me,
And what I dreaded has happened to me.  ~ Job 3:25
That is because the enemy can hear what we say and use it against us. Read the entire book of Job. We frequently reference the patience of Job, but we seldom look at the root of his problems. He had done nothing to have all these negative things happen to him. He was in the middle of God’s will, doing all the right things. The enemy made Job the object of a bet. He bet God that he could get Job to deny God in the middle of adversity.
Then the enemy found the weak spot in Job’s life and hit him there.  Pay special attention to “For Job said”.
And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.
So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly. ~ Job 1:4-5
The spoken word has power.  Sometimes what we say becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you say “I’m clumsy” often enough, you will begin to believe it and excuse any clumsy incident as just inevitable. Like wise, if you say “I’m just too dumb” you will not try to learn.
Many of us remember the story of The Little Engine That Could. “I think I can; I think I can; I think I can…
Scour the scriptures for the truth God says of you, and repeat those truths aloud. The enemy cannot hear your thoughts, but he does hear what you say. Don’t give him a stronghold to make your life miserable.  If A. L. Kitselman’s quote is true, use it to your advantage. Speak only those things that are profitable.

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Quotes and Cryptograms

As a night owl, I find it difficult to get my mental gears moving smoothly in the morning.  So I exercise my brain with various puzzles and such to get those gears oiled and moving.  One of the sites I use is http://www.cryptograms.org .

When this quote from Aristotle cropped up, it made me think bout the best friend we have in this world or any other.

“The antidote for fifty enemies is one friend.”  — Aristotle

Think about it. Who is your best friend – your very best friend?

Qualifications for the job of Best Friend are quite stringent.

  • Best Friend must have your best interest at heart at all times, regardless of the cost to the friend.
  • BF must be on call at all hours of the night and day, ready to help in any crises, major or minor.
  • BF must enjoy what you enjoy, laugh when you laugh, weep when you weep.
  • BF must be able to advise you correctly when you ask for advice.
  • BF must have all wisdom – and all discretion to keep your needs private.

There is only one person I know of that fits this description. And that is the person Jesus sent to be with us in His physical absence, the Holy Spirit.

Paraclete:

You who draw near,
You who walk beside,
Come to comfort,
Come to strengthen,
Come to shine the Light of the
Word on the Darkness of my heart.
Help me to align with you, Oh, Holy Spirit.
Help me to bring my thoughts
Captive to the will of Christ,
Captive to the Word of God,
Captive to obedience,
Instantaneous and unquestioning,
To Your promptings.
Help me to study to show my self approved,
Unashamed to sit in the Council of your saints.
Help me to see the will of the Father in everyday situations.
Help me to respond in love to the Lord.
Help me to respond with Love to all His hurting creation.
Keep me dead-on, sighted with tunnel vision,
Single-minded on the goal of
Total obedience as a channel of His love.
Amen.

©1979 – Judith Robl

 

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God’s Crazy, Lavish Grace

 God’s grace is radical. Extreme. Counterintuitive. He pours it out on the undeserving. God lavishes His grace on those not seeking it. He even generously extends it to those who hate Him and persecute His people. Saul of Tarsus fit that description. In the years immediately following the death and resurrection of Jesus, Saul was the archenemy of Jesus’ followers. He did everything “possible to oppose the name of Jesus” (Acts 26:9). He went from synagogue to synagogue to punish Jews who “belonged to the Way” (Acts 9:2). He traveled from city to city to arrest them and put them in chains. He zealously and violently sought them out and put them to death.

Yet even while Saul breathed out murderous threats against the believers, God wooed him with His grace. Years later, in his letter to the Christians in Galatia, Saul (Paul) acknowledged God had “set me apart from birth and called me by his grace” (Galatians 1:15). God workedin Saul’s heart and mind long before his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.While Saul worked strenuously to stop the Gospel message of Christ, God’s grace flowed all around him, preparing him for a life-changing meeting on a dusty road.

While Paul zealously tried to annihilate the Church, God pursued him. While Paul had his heart set on destruction, God had His heart set on Paul. And the same is true in our lives. When we were still running hard away from God, He pursued us with His grace. Doesn’t that just bowl you over?

Before God created the heavens and the earth, He chose to love you. He desired to make you His own, even before there was time. And He put a plan in place to make it possible. Before you ever knew you needed a Savior, the Father determined Jesus would be your eternal hope. Then with His lavish grace, He wooed you.

Throughout Scripture, God is the Initiator. Even in the Garden when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sin entered the world, God sought the sinner.(See Genesis 3:8-9.) While we were still His enemies, God proved His love to us in the most radical way. But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8, NLT).

We do not deserve salvation. We are not worthy of a relationship with God. Yet He chooses to love us. He lavishes His grace on sinners and makes salvation possible through His own sacrifice.

By definition, God’s grace flows from His heart. It’s based on His bounty, His character. We do not merit His grace. We cannot earn it. Yet in His loving-kindness He woos us to Himself and freely pours out His grace through the death of His Son.

Then after our conversion,on the born again side, God still woos us. Through times of rebellion , complacency, grief, and struggle, God gently draws us back to Himself with cords of love. He calls us from our wanderings. He longs to protect us from pain of our own making.His crazy, lavish grace refuses to let us go.

This post is adapted from Kathy Howard’s new Bible study Lavish Grace: Poured Out, Poured Through, and Overflowing.

Lavish Grace is a 9-week journey with the apostle Paul that helps readers discover God’s abundant grace for their daily lives and relationships. You can find out more about Kathy, her speaking and writing, and find free resources at www.KathyHoward.org.

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New Job Description

Even though I’m well past retirement age, I still work 25 hours a week at our local print shop. My tasks have been to man the front desk, answer the phone, handle basic customer service, create page layouts, assist with finish work…   You get the picture.

Now I have a new job. We have a new, 24/7 website where you can design and order your printing online. It isn’t completed with all our products, but you can design your own business cards, letterhead, invitations, note cards, or posters, then you upload the files, and we print them.

It’s my job to spread the word, update the Facebook page, and generally handle our internet presence.  We’ll see how that goes.

I’d appreciate it if you would check us out at dumondprinting.com and let me know in the comments below what you think of our website. Please be advised that our gift page is not yet completed, so you’ll need to check that out later.

I look forward to your input.

 

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Political Season

Because political discussion tends to generate passionate emotions, I try to stay away from those topics on social media. Sometimes, however, something needs to be said. The following is not directed at any person or party in particular, but toward the process in general.

Is anyone else weary of the political season now in progress?  The name calling, the insults, the crude language, the jockeying for position regardless of the consequences all remind me of a school yard brawl. None of which makes me optimistic for the future of our nation.

The media hasn’t helped the situation. Reporters strive to ask “pertinent” questions which are actually impertinent and designed to generate more heat than light.

The public laps up the sound bites, thinking with their emotions and reflexes, not considering the ramifications of all the promises. At this point, it’s difficult to ascertain the truth.

Without a large dose of discernment, the public will go to the polls, salivating like Pavlov’s dogs, hoping that their choice will be able to deliver on the impossible promises that have been offered.

And the situation in this nation will continue to spiral downward.

We need an individual of real character, with an accurate moral compass, who has the heart of a servant rather than the arrogance of privilege to fill the oval office. I’m still waiting for that person to appear.

God help us.

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Review: Dancing Up a Storm

Dancing Up A Storm: 9 Christian Short Stories offers nine unique and well written stories: two romances, four contemporaries, and three speculatives.

My personal preference runs to the romances and romantic contemporary stories. When I’m Gone, Dancing in the Rain, Dancing Hands, Teething Troubles, and Fred and Ginger fall into those two categories. Each writer had a unique voice, believable characters, and a plot that moved well, some with a twist or two. I found them delightful. The other contemporary, The Last Waltz, was almost a romance with a unique ending.

Not being a fan of speculative fiction, I found The Confession and The Dance of the Light Brigade a little difficult to negotiate. When we’re so far into the future, it confuses me. On the other hand, Night Dance was interesting – intriguing even. Having been reared on fairy tales, I generally feel at home with ogres, trolls, gnomes, elves, pixies and fairies.

Dancing up a Storm provides a wide variety of reading entertainment. The main similarity between these stories is that they are written by authors whose passion shows, always a delight to the reader.

Please note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Love Blossoms – Review

The Love Blossoms boxed set is a lovely mixture of voices and plot lines. Children color A Handful of Flowers by Kimberley Rae Jordan at the beginning of this set and Spring Break by Susette Williams at the close. Between times we get to tour Australia with Narelle Atkins in The Bridesmaid’s Hero and Savannah with Jan Thompson in Walk You There.

Autumn MacArthur (A Lesson in Love) and Lynette Sowell (Spring at the Barncastle) are authors with whom I was unfamiliar until this publication. Both enchanted me with their characters and their writing voices. You can bet I’ll be looking for their other stories.

Marion Ueckermann lived up to my expectations with A Match for Magnolia. Since I’ve read practically everything she’s written, my standards for her are high. She’s well matched with equally talented writers in this box set. Although I was provided a free copy for my review, I’ve already purchased my own copy from Amazon. I’ll be re-reading these stories for my own pleasure.

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