Sticks and Stones

Do you know that old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me”? I think sometimes it is easy to forget that the opposite is actually true. In Matthew 10:28 we are exhorted to not fear that which can only kill our bodies, instead, fear that which can kill both body and soul. Bodies are just bodies. Like Jesus, we will be raised again. We bruise, we break and eventually our bodies will die — but remember your soul doesn’t die along with your body. They are connected, but one is far more precious than the other.

So what should we fear? What can harm our souls? In Matthew 15:11, Jesus states that what goes into a man’s mouth isn’t what defiles him, but that which comes out. This truth is also found in James 3:6,

“And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.”

You can also hear this echoed in Proverbs,“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” (13:3),  “A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.” (18:7), “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (18:21).

Words bring life and death, my friends. Only sometimes to physical bodies, but words always effect our souls. So how should we protect ourselves? What can keep our souls safe?

“What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?  Keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:12-14

 

Did you catch that? If you want to live, if you want many days, if you want to see goodness — watch your tongue and keep your lips under control. Oh how careful I am to buckle my seatbelt, to look both ways before crossing the street! How much time have I spent in pursuit of keeping my body well, vitamins, food, exercise. Only to blurt out unkindness to my children. How often have my complaints torn down my husband’s spirit? All those times my thoughtless comments wounded dear friends.

Think about your words (not remember someone elses’) — what have you said? What did you type? Did you reflect a holy pursuit of peace? Did your words encourage fleeing from evil? Were you doing good? Did you bring life or did you harm to their souls?

The words we speak, the words we type, they have power. Words are a weapon. Be careful. Know how to use them. Intentionally devote time to practice.  Seek wisdom on when and how to speak. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.   Words heard (and read) cannot be undone. Once they have been heard and seen, you cannot retract them. The delete button is nice, but it doesn’t erase what was written in the heart and mind of those who already read it.  Forgiveness is at hand, but only the humble may obtain it. Sticks and stones only break bones, but words have the power to destroy souls. 

Lord, keep us from cutting down the righteous and harming the innocent.
Lord, teach us, instead, to fight for them. Teach us to protect them.
Help us bring life to others and glory to You.

Amen. 

Gospel Beauty Part Two

 

You are so beautiful

 

Should we desire beauty?

 

We know by looking at Scripture that inward beauty is more important than outward beauty, “Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7 MSG, Prov. 11:22, 31:30, 1 Tim 4:8). However, particularly throughout the Song of Solomon, we see physical beauty praised.

 

“How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves behind your veil…” (4:1 NASB).

 

We also see many women in Scripture being described as physically beautiful: Sarai (Gen. 12:11), Rachel (Gen. 29:17), Tamar (2 Sam. 13:1), Abigail (2 Sam. 25:3), and Esther (2:7), just to name a few. Concrete beauty or abstract beauty? Which one is the beauty we are supposed to pursue as Christian women?

 

Continue reading

Help for the Hopeless

As one who has dealt with severe depression for 17 years (to the point of attempted suicides) and emerged hopeful with joy and peace, allow me to encourage the hearts of those who are struggling with hopelessness today: Your pain is real. You aren’t going crazy, you aren’t a failure or a weakling and you aren’t alone. For most, simply choosing joy or forcing blind faith in someone you don’t trust is not the answer, but there is help. Please message me on facebook. I would be blessed to pray for you and help in any way I can. 

For those who have no understanding of depression, please heed this word of caution,

“We dare not speculate too much about what we cannot see and cannot know about another’s story. We must rest in the trust that the Judge of all the earth will do what is just (Genesis 18:25).”

 

Please check out this post from John Piper’s Website: Help for Those Fighting or Grieving a Suicide 

Soul Food

This is it!! This is what I am coming to understand that seems too good to be true! This is what has been changing the way I think and feel!  This truth continually takes my breath away: God delights in us!!

You’ve gotta check out this sermon!  I know fellow mommies,  the kids need you and you don’t have to sit down and listen to a sermon — but this time, you really can’t afford not to listen. You can listen on your headphones as you walk around the house cleaning, you can listen as you sit in the sun and watch your kids play in the kiddie pool, you can listen this evening when you go out on an evening jog, or you can wait until after everyone is in bed, and allow this wonderful truth restore your soul. 

The sermon can be listened to here: http://thecafe.canonpress.org/trinitypodcast/2014/08/06/joy-that-bowls-you-over/

And here is the written outline: http://www.tobyjsumpter.com/the-sovereignty-of-joy/

Decadent Beauty

My husband and I got home today from a week-long cruise to Alaska & Canada in celebration of our 10th anniversary. I’d never visited Alaska before and was completely overwhelmed by the beauty there. One night we feasted (we feasted a lot, but that time) overlooking Sawyer Glacier. I never expected the water to be that green and the ice quite so blue. It struck me that all this incredible glory goes, for the most part, unseen — yet there it is, day after day, proclaiming God’s magnificent love of beauty! Such breathtaking decadence! I’m still uploading my photos and getting my land legs back, but for now….

Sawyer Glacier

10 Years

About 13 years ago my bestie and I made check lists of who our dream guy would be. 

Blue eyes: check.
Brown hair: check.
A voice that makes me weak in the knees: check.
No beard: check.
Plays guitar: check.
Is a writer: check.
Enjoys horseback riding: check.

The list was exhaustive. 12 1/2 years ago I kissed that man and 10 years ago today, I got to marry him! He met all the most important desires of my heart and God kindly replaced the 17 year old girl requests with what I would want as a woman. God has been so kind in giving me my husband. 

Thank you, Ben. 
Thank you for liking me.
Thank you for staying with me.
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for singing to me.
Thank you for working for us.
Thank you for our kids.
Thank you for comforting me.
Thank you for this life.
Thank you for being my friend.
Thank you for marrying me.

Photo: About 13 years ago my bestie and I made check lists of who our dream guy would be. </p>
<p>Blue eyes: check.<br />
Brown hair: check.<br />
A voice that makes me weak in the knees: check.<br />
No beard: check.<br />
Plays guitar: check.<br />
Is a writer: check.<br />
Enjoys horseback riding: check.</p>
<p>The list was exhaustive. 12 1/2 years ago I kissed that man and 10 years ago today, I got to marry him! He met all the most important desires of my heart and God kindly replaced the 17 year old girl requests with what I would want as a woman.  God has been so kind in giving me my husband. </p>
<p>Thank you, Ben Carnahan.<br />
Thank you for liking me.<br />
Thank you for staying with me.<br />
Thank you for loving me.<br />
Thank you for singing to me.<br />
Thank you for working for us.<br />
Thank you for our kids.<br />
Thank you for comforting me.<br />
Thank you for this life.<br />
Thank you for being my friend.<br />
Thank you for marrying me.” width=”373″ height=”400″ /></p></div>
</div>
<p> </p>
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Coming Soon

This is what blogging really looks like, folks.
Coming Soon
Coming in August on the topic of body-image and God. I’ve been praying for several days as I contemplate the subject and about 5 hours worth of typing in. Still a long way to go! Please join me in praying for wisdom, clarity of mind and that it will bless many who read it.