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Category Archives: Scripture

Words

What are the last words you spoke to the last person with whom you spoke?

To be fair, I’ll share mine: “I love you, too.”

But if you’d heard my words yesterday, they would’ve sounded less beautiful. More… ungrateful. Untrusting. Unkind.

Words have the ability to encourage or the ability to destroy. When you add emotions, exhaustion, and ego to the mix, communication can be a minefield. The paradox? We frequently mete our harshest words to the individuals we love the most.

Why is that? Don’t you hate it? I do. I want to be a better listener. A better problem-solver. I want to end a conversation with someone knowing that I’ve affirmed him. In times of disagreement, my desire is that when the conversation is over, the problem has truly been resolved instead of postponed. I want to stop falling into the same speech traps that constantly leave me disappointed and defensive.

The gift of speech is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given, but I’m so inept at utilizing the spoken word. That’s why the Proverbs wield power. These wise sayings help me to love God and my neighbor.

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25

“He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3

“It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” Proverbs 20:3

“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11

Sometimes the best use of the tongue is to keep it sealed behind our lips. Silence is a powerful form of communication. The best Communicator who ever lived, Jesus Christ, chose to remain silent even when He was unjustly accused and on the way to His crucifixion. I would’ve been screaming. But He was silent. He knew He was right. Therefore, He had nothing else to say. His final action of love was all that was necessary.

It’s tough to control our words. We should think before we speak, and if we do have to say difficult words, they must be spoken in love. One of the scriptures most difficult to apply is this: “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”

Father, give me wisdom. Use my speech to glorify You and encourage others. Make my words agents of Your healing.

 

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Can You Believe It?

We’ve lost a lot of famous individuals in 2016, most recently Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. We’re shocked to hear of the deaths of talented and wealthy people. We expect them to live long lives and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

As confusing and sad as death is, everyone has a death date. When someone dies very young or tragically, I’m reminded how short life is and how fearful we become because we don’t know which day will be our last. Death raises questions like Why was I born? What is the meaning of life? Why do people die?

The Holy Bible answers these questions.

  • We were born to bring glory to God and enjoy fellowship with Him.
  • The meaning of life is to honor God with our reasoning, creativity, and productivity.
  • We die because we’re rebels.

Humans are created in God’s image, and as such we were created to live forever. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, were created in perfection. But they disobeyed their loving Creator. They were told before they disobeyed that they would surely die if they disobeyed. God called their lack of trust and subsequent disobedience sin. No longer were Adam and Eve in an eternal state of perfection, but in an eternal state of condemnation. Stiff penalty. But it’s all about who makes the rules, and clearly, we don’t.

How merciful that God didn’t cast them out of His perfect garden in their wretched state. He shed the blood of an animal to provide reparation for their wrongdoing and clothed them with the animal skin to cover their shame and remind them of His provision.

Since we are the offspring of Adam and Eve, we’ve inherited their sin nature and its consequences. It’s why we die. We’re born rebels. Left to ourselves, we would go our own way instead of trusting and obeying God. But God gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the death penalty that we deserved. Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, was crucified to save from their sins those who trust Him by faith.

Even though our physical bodies are decaying each day, we don’t lose heart because through Christ, our inner person is being renewed day by day.

Glorify and honor God. Enjoy Him, knowing that our times are in His hands. Don’t fear. Only believe.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2016 in Current Events, devotion, Scripture, Writing

 

Dealing with Disappointment

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Depending upon the results of the United States election yesterday and which candidate you voted for, you may find yourself facing disappointment this morning. Or maybe you are in the middle of a stressful situation with a family member or at your work place. You may have gotten test results back from the doctor that you weren’t expecting. Each of us face disappointment in our lives. Sometimes daily.

I was praying about some recent disappointment and came up with a new motto. Instead of thinking about ________ (fill in whatever situation you are going through), I choose to focus on Jesus. I like these verses from Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV).

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

So instead of wallowing in the muck and mire of disappointment, I choose to fix my eyes on Jesus.

social-media-2015Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. She has a regular column in Home School Enrichment magazine and has written for Christian Devotions. Her newest novella released in November, Love in the Seams. Learn more at www.jodiewolfe.com.

 
 

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Halloween and Christians

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Manasseh made his sons pass through the fire in the valley of Ben-hinnom; and he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger. ~ 2 Chronicles 33:6

I’ll come clean and admit that I’ve never understood Halloween. Other than sending children out to beg candy from friends, neighbors, and total strangers, what’s the point? In this day and age where parents need to have their kids’ candy x-rayed before it’s deemed safe to eat … I really don’t get the point. But let’s explore it a bit anyway.

The rationale that it’s all fun and games is one I’ve heard often, from both Christians and non-Christians. Okay. But aren’t there better ways to have fun and games than sending children out into the night, dressed in costumes that often depict evil, to face decorations often glorifying evil? I hope so.

It’s just about the candy is another rational I’ve heard. Every grocery store in town sells candy. Every. One. There’s no need to send children out to beg for it. But that’s just my take.

If our children don’t participate, they’ll be made fun of. Yeah? Like Christ didn’t foresee that already? But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.”~ John 15:21 Halloween is a great opportunity to model this for children, not to deprive them of candy (available at every grocery store), but to emphasize that you believe they have been bought at a price. That price includes denying things that are against God. Trying to find anything spiritually redeeming about Halloween is like sitting in pigeon poop to view statue you can see better while standing. 

Manasseh messed up big time. He dabbled in evil. He angered God. Does dabbling in Halloween once a year put your children at risk? Maybe not. But what if it plants a seed you can’t unplant? What if it delivers that underlying message that Christ is for Sunday at church and the rest of the time … you can go along to get along? Is that worth a bag of x-rayed candy to you?

~ Pegg Thomas

Trooper and Pegg cropped

 

 

 

 

 

PeggThomas.com

Debut story will release in April 2017 from Barbour

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Posted by on October 31, 2016 in devotion, Pegg Thomas, Scripture

 

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To Speak or Not To Speak?

repub-and-demoThe closer we get to election time, the more I’m convinced this isn’t a war between Trump and Clinton. It’s a spiritual war. The nastiness being blasted on social media isn’t just among republicans and democrats but between Christians.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve read dozens of Facebook posts by Christians defending Hillary’s stance on abortion. Likewise, I’ve read posts by Christians sugar-coating Trump’s absurd behavior toward others, especially handicapped individuals and women. However, the fact we don’t have a decent candidate to choose from this election isn’t the focus on my post today, though it highly concerns me. What makes steam pour out my ears like Yosemite Sam after a failed attempt to make Bugs Bunny his dinner is the way Christians are treating other Christians in the comments they’re leaving.

I’ve seen more adults act like children while defending their viewpoints, calling each other names (like anyone is going to take them seriously with that kind of behavior), relaying in detail exactly how God will judge that person for their belief (as if any of us are holy enough to make that call), and some even being so bold as to put words in God’s mouth that aren’t even biblical.

I’m appalled.

Truth is, folks have already made their choice on which candidate they believe is best, so to debate, especially on such an immature level, is a waste of time. I’m not saying Christians shouldn’t “like” or leave comments at all, I simply want Christians to think about a few things before sending their opinions into cyberspace.

  1. Why do you feel the need to comment? Are you defending God’s word or are you really just convinced you’re right and they’re wrong?
  2. Is commenting really worth your time? Or risking a friendship? After all, you could spend that time in prayer for your country, witnessing to someone, or reading your Bible.
  3. Do you have sound scripture to defend your viewpoint? (Putting words in God’s mouth is unwise.)
  4. Is your defense based on God’s word or your own understanding?
  5. Is your comment insulting to others (are you name-calling or acting immature)? Are you using the right tone with your words (opposition given in love)

After all, we’re not advancing the cause of Christ if we’re not living Christ-like.

Lastly, choose this day whom you will serve. (Joshua 24:15) DON’T defend something God is against, but you think there should be exceptions to. (Proverbs 3:5-7 and Ephesians 5:17) You’re either following God or you’re not. (Matthew 6:24)

Pray for your country. Pray for your fellow Christians. Pray for wisdom and a right attitude as we prepare to elect the next leader of our country.

Pray for God’s mercy.

~Candice Sue Patterson

 

The Election – Not the End of the World

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With our country in upheaval about the coming election – well illustrated by these signs my husband drove past earlier this month – it’s good to remember that God is still in control. Of everything. All the time. Even who gets elected in a couple of weeks. Yes, even that. This election is not going to destroy the planet … although at times it seems like it. The planet will be here when Christ returns. He is the only One who can – and will – destroy what is corrupt and replace it with that which isn’t.

2 Peter 3:10-18

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore,beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

~ Pegg Thomas

Trooper and Pegg cropped

 

 

 

 

 

PeggThomas.com

Debut story will release in April 2017 from Barbour

ponyexpressbookcover

 
 

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