It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

Glass tongues

“If ONLY our tongues were made of glass . . . how much more careful would we be when we speak”?  by Shaun Shane

Our tongues are the strongest muscle in the body, proportionally speaking, so we can lift the spirits of our families and friends. What will you do with that which is in your mouth?  Bridle it or unleash it?  They both make a long lasting impact. Which will you choose?

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers”.  Ephesians 4:29

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue:  and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”  Proverbs 18:21

 

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Can You Hear Me Now?

And Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  Mark 4:9

Numerous times Jesus includes the equivalent of saying, “Listen up!” when He speaks. His expression, He who has ears to hear,”makes us realize how often we use our ears for other purposes—to secure sun glasses, to keep our hats from falling over our eyes, and to hang jewelry. But we’ve got ears in order to hear. Jesus wants to provoke attention, even though He knows some will not listen.

When we look at the reasons why people don’t listen, we can group them into four categories. As you read them, do a spiritual hearing check-up by asking yourself, Am I like that?

Immaturity. People of all ages can have this problem. Immaturity is the inability to connect actions and consequences. The immature person doesn’t get it. They can’t make the connection between their choices and what comes because of those decisions. They need to discover the unbreakable law of cause and effect that God has established in the universe. If you choose to sin; you choose to suffer. That’s what’s coming. People frequently say, “I’m going to beat the odds. I’m going to cut the corners.” Then they hit a brick wall or disappear in a bottomless pit. Often, painful experience is the only effective teacher to improve an immature person’s hearing.

Rebellion. “My will. My thrill. You chill.” Those are the proud declarations of rebellion. “No one’s going to get between my will and my thrill! This is what I want to do. You back off! Don’t tell me anything.” Rebels won’t listen and they try to cut off any attempts by others to help. They are stuck in overdrive, headed for a wall—and they don’t care! But hardship and humiliation can make a rebel’s heart attentive.

Woundedness. Hidden hurts close hearts and ears. They can’t hear because something happened that left unseen scars. Sometimes in a family or a church things happen that few know about. The person holds it all inside and drifts away. They’re hurting, but don’t bring it out in the open. They can’t listen to reason because all they hear is their hidden wound.

Relationships. Peers could be the problem. Peers in the ears block fears. Warnings we should hear and be afraid of don’t register on our radar. Like a teen who feels the need for speed, with a friend in the passenger seat shouting, “GO!! GO!! GO!!!” There are many times we should be afraid, but we’re more concerned about impressing our friends and the people around us.

Most of us can relate to one or more of the reasons above. But He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Jesus’ words remind us He has spoken even when we are not listening. And His Word is always ready when we’re ready to use our ears for their designed purpose—to listen. Until we’re willing to respond to the truth He has for us, we’re not really listening.

How did you do with the hearing check-up? If you realize you are being influenced not to listen to the Lord because of one or more of these causes, it’s time to let God do some hearing correction. Ask Him to tune your ears to hear His voice.

Pastor James MacDonald

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What is Your Parenting Style?

Do you have a solid plan on how to teach & train your children, or are you a “slap-it-together” parent?  A little duct tape here & there . . . left over parts & pieces to complete a repair?  Or are you willing to give them the whole truth from the Word of God, something fresh that can restore them to new life?

There is hope for the x, y, me, I generations.  Start by telling your teenager, “I desire to stand beside you & walk with you in life . . . but make no mistake; I will stand in front of you when I need to.”

A simple answer is to say things like, “No” & “Maybe” more often; & we need to apply boundaries & consequences when our kids cross over the line.  Balanced parenting is applying strength when needed & tenderness at the same time.  It is not just one or the other, it is both.  The essence of balance in parenting is to stand beside our children & walk with them  THROUGH life, while also determining to stand in front of them when we need to stop them from their foolish ways.

Speak softly & gently to your offspring.  Strangely, children seem to remember the tone & volume of a mother’s voice more than her words.  Your facial expression & body language convey to your children, “You are my delight & I’m crazy about you!” or just the opposite!  Soft words heal tender hearts.  The life you live today, produces the legacy you leave for tomorrow.

Our children are a PIECE of time, that we are sending ahead to a PLACE in time, that we will NEVER see!  How are you parenting them today that will prepare them for the future?  Are you making straight tracks for your children to follow?

Parents cannot pass along what they themselves do not possess in their own hearts.

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