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Are You Sure It’s the Truth?

August 28th, 2012 by stephanie

Of late, a particular verse keeps coming to mind. It really calls us to think about the information that we are not only receiving, but the info that we are giving to others in our day to day interactions. Then, this devo popped up this morning, and I couldn’t resist sharing it with you. I didn’t feel it was random. I call them God Moments. Enjoy.

August 28, 2012

A Sweet, Winsome Melody
by Charles R. Swindoll

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is of good
repute . . . dwell on these things.
Philippians 4:8

Let me urge you to take charge of your mind and emotions today.

Let your mind feast on nutritious food for a change. Refuse to grumble and criticize! Let your life yield a sweet, winsome melody that this old world needs so desperately.

Fix your attention on these six specifics in life:

Not unreal far-fetched dreams, but things that are true . . .

Not cheap, flippant, superficial stuff, but things that are honorable . . .

Not things that are wrong and unjust, . . . but that which is right.

Not thoughts that are carnal, smutty, and obscene, but that which is pure . . .

Not things that prompt arguments and defense in others, but those that are agreeable . . .

Not slander, gossip, and put-downs, but information of good report, the kind that builds up and causes grace to flow.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Neh. 6:8-9

I replied, “There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.”
They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination.

Silence is Golden

August 13th, 2012 by stephanie

I was watching a new campaign ad that had just been released. As the images faded in and out, I realized there was only music…no words. The only message was the one that was written on the screen matching each image. It was pretty powerful.

I am often amazed at the power of silence. A power I truly wish I personally fully understood and harnessed. But alas, my words usually find their way across my lips and into the world as we know it.

Do you ever notice that when someone sits silent, there’s a tendency to think they might just know something we don’t know? It’s like they are holding some grand secret that will be disclosed only at the proper place and time. And we await the resolve with baited breath.

Then, there is also the person who, whatever comes into their mind generally exits their mouth. Those folks don’t always realize it, but many times, the expression of their thoughts is simply dismissed by their hearers.

How many times have I heard that little voice deep in my own heart warn me, “Keep it to yourself.” But, alas, my pride or whatever it is at the moment gets the best of me.

It you are just dying to say something today, but that warning system seems to quietly be beeping deep down inside, might I suggest, “Save it.” For a better time. A better place.

There’s an ancient proverb, or two, that backs up that tidbit of advice for today. See what you think:
Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; when he closes his lips he is considered prudent. Proverbs 17:28

I like this one as well:
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; a time to be silent and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes 3:7

Just my thoughts, well, and again, my words…

Betrayed by “Braveheart”.

August 8th, 2012 by stephanie

If you haven’t seen the movie Braveheart, with Mel Gibson, you should. It’s just plain great. And, it’s even more powerful knowing it’s based on a true story. One famous clip from the film has become quite popular. William Wallace is rallying the troops, preparing the men for the battle of their lives. He races up and down the line on his white horse, fist raised, crying out that this moment could change the entire face of history. They only have to be willing to lay down their lives, for him, and for their beloved country, Scotland.

The inner circle of men, that became his personal band of brothers, remind me of a group known as “The 30” or David’s Mighty Men. I didn’t grow up knowing about them, but they were right there in front of me all along, buried deep within the Old Testament. (See 1 Chronicles 11 and also in 2 Samuel 23). These guys were definitely some of the original super heroes. They truly had the Jason Bourne kinda-thing goin’ on.

These ancient roughians had gathered to David early on while he was being chased down by King Saul. And by the time David was finally seated on the throne, these war torn heroes had been together through thick and thin.

What I didn’t notice, until recently, was one name buried within this special list of warriors. You may recognize it: Uriah the Hittite. Yes, the man who was married to Bathsheba. The woman that David slept with, and well, as they say, the rest is history.

We can’t begin to imagine what raced through Uriah’s mind the day he was ordered to step to the front line. As a professional soldier, and leader, he knew what it meant. “But, why?” Perhaps someone broke rank and shared the secret just before his demise. We’ll never know. Whatever the case, he was loyal and brave to the end possibly never knowing what evil had actually placed him there. We’ll never know. Knowing this tidbit, however, gives the story a fresh and stronger sting.

Now, when we see in 2 Samuel 11 how Uriah refused to go to the comfort of his home and to his wife (while his band of brothers were out in the battlefield) choosing instead to sleep on the steps of the palace regardless of David’s frantic urgings, we find ourselves a bit more angered. This noble, loyal brother was true to the core, and we watch as he is very wrongly led to his ultimate betrayal.

Perhaps you too have experienced a similar event. Maybe from within your own ranks. Perhaps you didn’t fully understand what was transpiring until all the damage was done, and the bitter end was staring back at you. Whatever the case, it may be of interest to you to fully hear and see that you are not alone. You were not the first, and you definitely won’t be the last.

Know this too: Wrongs do not go unpunished. Such was also the case in this tragic story. David and Bathsheba watched the baby born of that incident, sadly, die. And the King himself knew exactly the reason as to “Why?”

Take heart, knowing, that God sees you where you are. He hears your heart’s cry. And, he is with you in this journey.

Stand strong to the end. There truly is a place called “the other side”. And you will not only get there, you will find peace when you arrive.

Just my thoughts,
PS: Called on the carpet. Here.

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