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Monday, June 30, 2008

How very domestic!

Aprons. Aren't they great? I feel so very domestic when I have one on.
But I've never had a truly cute apron before.
All my precious newlywed girls get them for their weddings and from their registries.
I hosted a shower here for Claire last semester, and a flood of college girls entered my house wearing darling aprons! I was a little outraged...I mean, most of those girls don't even cook yet, and THEY had cute aprons! I spend hours each week in the kitchen, and I didn't have one!
I keep trying to convince each of my engaged girls to put just one thing on their registry for me, but no one's done it yet.
BUT....finally! My sweet Amanda got me a super cute apron!
I think I'm going to wear it everyday. You might see me at church with it on.
It's way cuter than any of my clothes.
Here's a recipe to go with this domestic post. It's a good one that even my kids love!

Mozzarella and Ham Stromboli
To make the dough: If you don't have a bread machine, you can buy a tube of French loaf bread in the section with the biscuits, etc. Use a little flour to unroll it.
If you do have a bread machine, this is so good!
Use the recipe you have for pizza crust dough. Then take the dough out and unroll it onto a cookie sheet into a giant rectangle to fit your pan.

Sprinkle 8 oz. of Mozz. cheese on it
And lay out slices of deli ham
Roll it up from the long side up, jellyroll style.
Pinch the sides to seal, and lay it seam side down.
Then brush 1 T of melted butter on top
Sprinkle grated or shredded Parmesan cheese on top
I also sprinkled a little garlic powder
and snipped our fresh rosemary on top. So good!!!!!
Bake at 350 for about 20-25 min. until a little brown on top.
I serve this with fresh fruit salad.

We had this on Saturday, and it was so good! Adding the fresh rosemary from our herb garden was awesome!
We also made homemade doughnuts on Sunday morning! I often make doughnuts from canned biscuits...you know just poke a hole in them and fry them for a minute in some oil on the stove. But we were out of canned biscuits, so we made a biscuit dough from Bisquick and made them that way. It was so good! (I added sugar to the biscuit dough.) I make a glaze for them with a mixture of powdered sugar and milk.
We had farm fresh eggs with that from our friend, the amazing homemaker herself, Mrs. Kyle McVay! If you want to know about living and shopping frugally and all things homemaker, check out her blogs. She also sews her own cute aprons. Now that's domestic! She came to my house last week for a church gathering and brough me some homemade bread and farm fresh eggs. Even a large duck egg! I ate that one. It was pretty exciting. It was the largest yolk I've ever seen in my life!
Give the stromboli a try, and tell me what you think!

Friday, June 27, 2008

We're getting back together...

LOST and I.
We broke up, about two seasons ago.
And it wasn't a break-up, like "It's not you, it's me."
It wasn't me!
I was tired of being in a relationship with LOST where I was only getting more and more questions and no answers.
They didn't name this show LOST because these people are lost on an island.
That is the word to describe all its viewers. We're the ones who are lost!
I patiently took the questions, for years, and then one day, one episode, I just got fed up.
So we made a clean break.
I knew one day we'd get back together.
Well, our sweet reunion has come.
I can't help it. I love this show.
I showed it who was boss by avoiding it completely for almost 2 years!
The total silent treatment. It was good.
But I'm back, and I'm in!
We're on Season 3, so please don't reveal to us anything we don't know.
All those unusually beautiful people, on one plane, with such interesting lives...
it could happen.
People with accents. I love people with accents. (Rusty does not.)
I'm still lost, but you just can't beat this for TV.
It's good.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Emma's blog

Check out Emma's blog here and learn a little something about cheetahs, her "favorite big cat"!

Prayer and Fasting

2 Chron 7:14-15
14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.

God is teaching me to pray.
To pray more, to pray harder.
To pray in the Spirit, to pray longer.
He's teaching me to rely on prayer, because I can't control or manipulate events or my life or people to work together for His good.
I can only pray.
As I mentioned before, we are planting two new churches from Living Hope.
Rusty and I are apart of the Core Group for the new church in College Station.
This is exciting!
We met together yesterday for a vision sharing time.
Wow! God was there...I felt such unity and excitement among us.
One of the men challenged us with the above verse- to know and meditate on.
So I am.
Because we can't make a move without much prayer.
We are truly powerless to do any good thing without the Lord.
Later on in 2 Chronicles, chapter 20, there is the story of King Jehoshephat.
He was a king that pleased the Lord.
A great army was on its way to attack his kingdom, and immediately, he gathers up all the people, men, women, and children, before the Temple to seek God.
It stood out to me that he says this to God:
2 Chron 20:11-12
12 O our God, won't you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help."

We are powerless.
He had his own army.
He could have gathered them up and had a peprally.
But instead they got on their faces and admitted they were powerless.
We are also powerless.
I'm powerless to be a good Mom today.
I need Him desperately.
We are powerless to start a new church that will reach new people and do a God work without Him...obviously.
But God is our source of ALL power, and because we know Him, He lives in us!!!
The power of the Holy Spirit can raise the dead, and He lives in us.
Isn't it about time we started living and walking in POWER?!
So God's teaching me more of what it means to really pray and expect big things.
Do we fail to pray for miraculous healing? Why?
Because we don't pray believing and in faith.
Finish reading 2 Chron. 20 and see how they prayed believing, and counted wholeheartedly on what God told a man among them He would do.
I don't think I even ask God for big enough things, because my vision is short, my expectations too small sometimes.
I want to learn the power of PRAYER in FAITH!
God is doing good things in and through me when I'm on my face in desperate prayer.
I want more of that.
And I especially want that as we start this new church and seek to find out exactly what new thing God wants to do through us.
If we try to do any of it in our own power and understanding, it will fall flat.
I am aware that God doesn't have to commune with us so intimately in prayer, but He does! Praise God!

Can I confess, I like food a lot.
And I have not fasted enough in my life because of that.
God is seriously teaching me the power of fasting and prayer.
God speaks to me my need for Him and prayer, and I hear Him more clearly when I'm fasting.
Why? I don't know.
I know that I need Him more than food, more than air, more than anything!
I am more aware of that when I'm fasting.
All I know is God asks us to do it.
The Word doesn't say "If you fast..." it says "When you fast."
It's an assumed part of our walk.
It truly is powerful.
I don't always fast for an entire day. Sometimes it's just a good portion of the day and I ask the Lord to show me when I'm done and when I can eat.
But even a fast for one meal for more devoted prayer is effective to me.
I don't want to be legalistic about fasting and follow rules for the sake of rules.
But I am hungry for the intimate time of prayer that I have with the Lord when I do it.
It's something I'm slowly getting better at.
When I first started, I constantly thought about hunger.
I feel like it's a discipline we have to learn.
Our Core Group is considering fasting collectively on Fridays so that we can pray earnestly together and seek God's face as one body.
I have no doubt He's going to speak to us through that and honor our desire for deeper prayer time.
Is this harder for a Mom who has to continue to feed children all day and can't go to a prayer room alone while fasting?
YES! But it's still good. He's showing me how to do this.
I want to challenge you, because I have been more challenged, to do this when you feel led to.
Remember, it's not if, but when.
(FYI: If you're pregnant, look into other kinds of "fasts" that may help focus your prayer time. I don't think you should abstain from food while you're pregnant.)

I want my life to be marked by prayer and fasting.
I want my children to grow up knowing the power of it.
I think our lives will be greatly changed by it.
I want to hear God's voice clearly, and see Him move.
I want to be apart of what He's doing, and not miss any of it!
I desperately want to be a woman of prayer.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Jax's unique party invitation

Click here to see Jax's awesome Star Wars party invitation.
The force was with us last night!
I hope to post more pictures of it after we download,
but here is the video invitation we sent out to the
boys he invited.
Can anyone guess the true identity of Darth Vader
in this brilliant short film?
Hint: It's NOT James Earl Jones.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Jax Vader!

How I adore this precious boy!
He lights up our house.
I love the way he talks.
I love how he loves to snuggle with me.
I love the way he prays,
and kisses me goodnight.
I love how he adores his sister,
and when he leads his little brothers.
I love the big missing tooth in front of his mouth,
and his buzzed blonde hair.
I especially love that sweet smile.
He has that smile most of the time.
He's a pretty contented kid.
He dreams about his birthday all year long.
That's not an exaggeration. Seriously.
Tonight, after his big party, we will snuggle in bed together,
and I garuntee you, he'll say "So Mom, what should we do for my
next birthday?" Crack up.
We read Psalm 139 this morning, about how God knit Jax together
in my womb and has planned every single day of his life already!
I told him about how God thinks about him more times in a night than
there are grains of sand on the beach! That's the Bible!
We thanked God this morning for Jax. We thanked him for his health.
They thought Jax might have a heart problem when he was in my womb,
so this day six years ago, there was much rejoicing over his health!
We will continue to thank God for that!
We are thanking God that this year Jax came to know Jesus personally.
He is walking with the Lord and learning how to listen to His voice.
We thanked God for making Jax for His Glory! We are claiming that he
is going to be a mighty warrior for the King someday- starting now!
Then Emma prayed and thanked God for Jax, and no kidding, Jax was
so touched, his eyes teared up! He was wiping his eyes and telling
Emma thank you for praying that!
I am overwhelmingly grateful for June 19th, 2002.
I had an induced labor without an epideural. Quite memorable!
But seeing Jax's face at the end of it was a moment I'll treasure in my
heart always. He was beautiful from moment 1!
And he's been nothing but a blessing ever since.
Happy Birthday Jax! We love you!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Emma's Prayer

Emma has been asking tons of questions about Jesus' return lately.
Yesterday, when the sky got a little dark and a wind was blowing, she came in with the urgent question: "Mom, what's going to happen when Jesus comes back?"
Okay, sure. I'll sum up Revelation in a moment. Oh wait, I don't understand Revelation. That won't work.
So what did we do? We tried to call her Daddy. He didn't answer. (He was in the hospital.)
So we called Pop-Pop. He has a Doctorate in Theology. That will work!
He referred her to Matthew 24. We read it this morning.
This was her precious prayer this morning.

"Jesus, please make us ready for when you come back. And please, please, please come back soon...like maybe later this week."

I love that! There's nothing better than hearing them pray.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Today, I went to the funeral of little Abigail.
She lived for only 9 days.
Her parents, Paul and Becky, are members of our church.
Our Body has been in shock to this loss.
It kicked us all in the stomach, and we've felt a little sick since we found out.
It was just about a week before that we all received the joyful announcement of her arrival via e-mail.
How could this happen?
As a body, we are learning how to grieve with them.
Rom 12:15
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn .

We mourned together as the Body of Christ today.
Our hearts were collectively broken in one place.
They showed a slideshow of little Abigail and her family.
The beginning showed her nursery, with her name written in wooden letters on her wall, just like many of our children.
Then came the hospital photos, just like all the mothers in the room have, holding a new baby, wearing a hospital gown, tired but beaming, our proudest moment caught on film.
As a mother, I know what it means to endure a long, hard pregnancy, your body swollen with the promise of new life. I know what it's like to feel their every little move inside of you, think about them day and night, and then finally, the most difficult and most magical experience of delivering a baby. There's hardly words for it.
Becky looked beautiful in those picures, holding Abigail.
Paul looked incredibly proud, grasping his tiny swaddled baby girl in his big Dad hands.
And their little Kaylynn...sweet big sister...holding her sister so carefully, her face lit up.
But as the slideshow continued, new pictures came.
There were tear streaked faces. Becky's eyes were swollen. Paul's smile was gone. They held their baby, saying goodbye, church members around them.
I have never had to do this and just feeling their pain today hurt too much. My head wanted to explode as I tried to cry quietly.
We sang songs about our Great God, who knows all things even when we don't understand. We sang about His faithfulness. We can trust Him. We can cling to Him.
We sang about Him coming again "O glorious day!"
I could only think about the fact that this is not our home.
It never will be. Our lives really are fleeting. But our eternity awaits!
Because Paul and Becky know Jesus Christ, without a doubt, they will see Abigail again.
They know she lives. She's already at home.
Praise God that Paul and Becky are so grounded in their love for God! They really and truly know Him and live for Him. They will receive strength, they will have peace, but it won't be their own. I know they'll draw it straight from the source of all strength, joy, and peace.
God is more than able to carry them and hold them through this.
He is near to the broken hearted.
They will hurt, cry, experience deep grief, but they won't do it alone.
Our world is broken.
Sickness and disease will always reign here.
But if we know Him, we'll go home...to a perfect place where we don't endure sickness...where we don't bury baby girls.
Our church wants to rise to the challenge of loving this family the way we should.
I was glad to receive the challenge from others that even if we don't know them very well, we are still their body. We all need to rise up around them, not only in prayer, but by personally being with them.
I have heard from people who have experienced deep loss that we often avoid them after a while. We don't know what to do...what to say.
Once we've brought them a green bean casserole to eat and attended a service and hugged them, we're at a loss as to how to grieve with them.
I feel like I'm apart of a real family in this church. I want to love them as such.
Please pray for Paul, Becky, and Kaylynn.
They will all try to sleep tonight...they'll all have to learn to get through each day and have joy again.
They'll never forget Abigail! None of us will!
Pray that this family feels God's nearness and peace right now.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day Rusty!

Our Daddy:
Fun Dad
Professional Tickler
Pusher of four swings at once
Hunter of bugs & frogs
and pacifiers
and lost stuffed animals
Master of teachable moments
Interpreter of scripture on our level
Communicater and Explainer
Knows all things
Fixes all things
Faithful, Loving Daddy
That's our Dad!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kung Fu Awesome

I have not blogged in forever. Not because I haven't wanted to.
My blog's been calling my name. There have been many times I have been
on vacation the last few weeks, and I've been blogging in my mind,
hundreds of miles away from my computer.
Instance #1- When I was in Hot Springs Arkansas, at a "swimming hole"
that was adjacent to a trailer park...IN ARKANSAS. The Arkansas stereotypes
were completely fulfilled, and then some, and I was just blogging away in my mind,
sitting on the shore of the lake, filtering cigarette butts out of the sand
for my kids to dig in. Where was my computer then?
There is much to catch up on, and at least two slide shows to make:
1. Camp Ozark
2. Seay Family vacation in Galveston
But tonight, all I am here to tell you is that Kung Fu Panda was awesome.
Jack Black is the best. The absolute funniest guy ever.
My favorite quote of the whole movie was in the first 30 seconds.
"There is no charge for awesomeness...or attractiveness."
It was great. Granted I missed bits and pieces so I could take my three-year-old
out to spank him, and I was tag-teaming with Rusty taking my one-year-old out
who is, for some reason, totally opposed to movies.
But it was great. Worth the dent in your budget to take the kids.
Slide Shows to come...I promise, even though it takes me three weeks to make them.
I will get it done after I catch up on my life, 3,000 e-mails, about 6 loads of
laundry, a white board full of to-dos, etc.
I'm glad to be home!

*Emma started her own blog tonight and she wrote about Kung Fu Panda also. (We haven't ironed out all the kinks yet, but it's a blog in progress.) Check it out and give her a comment! www.emmasblogging.blogspot.com

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Flip Side: Wise Speech

Don't you wish there was an occasional no talking rule.
Like when you get yourself into a situation and you've said something horrible; you could go back, rewind, and somewhere...maybe in your head...a buzzer would go off, and instantly the no talking rule would go into effect. This would prevent us from saying terrible, humiliating, insensitive, or hurtful things.
Unfortunately, this would still not work for me. I know sign language. I would start signing.
The rest of us women, we'd start playing a killer game of charades. Sometimes we just can't seem to stop ourselves.
Proverbs 16:28 says a truly wise person uses few words. Ouch.
But there's good news. Even though there are times we need to stop talking, we also can learn to put on wise speech.
We don't have to become mimes!!! Yay! Those people are so annoying and scary!

Take Off/Put On
When we take something off, we need to put something on to replace it. You will see this pattern in the New Testament a lot now if you look for it. It will say 'stop doing this, and INSTEAD, start doing more of this!' Voila!
This verse illustrates it best, and I'll tell you how we teach it in Her Hands.
Rom 13:12
Get rid of your evil deeds. Shed them like dirty clothes . Clothe yourselves with the armor of right living, as those who live in the light.

Heather always tells the girls, when you take off a sin or sin pattern, your dirty, nasty clothes, you will stand there, naked, cold, unsure of what to do.
You can only stand there like that for so long. So then we just do what we know to do. We put back on the dirty clothes.
In reality, there are beautiful, clean, shining clothes for us to put on in their place. We just have to learn how to do that.

No Running!
We've been hitting the pool hard now that summer has arrived! It's so great!
My kids have to learn the rules of the pool though.
Rule #1 for the public pool. No running.
I realized in the last few weeks, when I tell my 1 and 3 year old "No Running!" They don't really get it.
Kids run wherever they go. They run to their room. They run to the bathroom.
This is their regular form of travel. To get from point A to B, they run.
I don't think they even realize they do it. So when I'm telling my energetic boys "No Running!" they look at me like "How do you expect me to get there?"
So I've started telling them "Walk Slowly!" And I'm trying to practice walking slowly with them at the pool. Treston hasn't quite caught on yet, but by August I'm certain he will.
Instead of yelling out to them what not to do and explaining the dangers of running while slippery wet(completely lost on them, of course) I'm telling them what TO do.
I think that computes in their brains a little better.
We know what NOT to do, but what do we do?

Why are we doing this in the first place?
Ps 15:1-3
Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
2 Those who lead blameless lives
and do what is right,
speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
3 Those who refuse to slander others
or harm their neighbors
or speak evil of their friends.

Are we doing this so that we can eliminate those embarrassing moments when we say moronic things? Or to make ourselves better Christians?
No. We want to walk more intimately with the Father.
I want to enter His presence daily and worship in intimacy with Him.
When habitual sin is stuck on me, I feel distant from Him.
I want to walk in holiness.
In the Old Testament, when someone entered the Temple's sanctuary unpure,
they were killed on the spot! (Numbers 18:7)
We need to confess this sin to God, and let His Spirit do it's powerful work in us to change us and make us look more like Him!
I want to speak the truth in love, like this verse says, refusing to slander others, harm them, or speak evil of them.
I want to be what Ephesians 4:29 tells us to be, building others up according to their needs with my words, always encouraging them.
Do you know anyone like this?
I can think of a few people, and they've always amazed me.
But we do this not to be admired by others, but out of REVERENCE for Christ.

The Search for Wisdom
We want wise speech, so where do we start?
There's so many good verses, not to mention the book of Proverbs as a whole.
I'll give a few of these to get us started.
Reverence for the Lord is the fountain of true wisdom. The rewards of wisdom come to all who obey him. Psalm 111:10
Reverence could be defined as a feeling of profound awe and respect because of God's holiness. God arouses a feeling of reverence in those who worship and serve Him!
Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." Proverbs 11:2
Pride is the enemy of wisdom!!!
Job talks about the value of wisdom in Job 28:12-28 "...The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom. And to shun evil is understanding."
The fear of the Lord is mentioned in conjunction with wisdom over and over and over.
Read Proverbs 2:1-11 in how to attain wisdom.
So we've got a jumping off point, and as always, int points to our hearts, not our actions.
-Fear of the Lord
Prov 28:26

26 Trusting oneself is foolish, but those who walk in wisdom are safe.
Sometimes I just need God to save me from my own, man-made, worldly wisdom.
It's not wisdom at all unless it comes from the Lord.
It is amazing to me to read the Word and realize His wisdom is so freely given to us!
1 Cor. 2 talks about God's secret wisdom, that once was hidden, but is not revealed to us by his Spirit.
True wisdom comes from God's Spirit! Time and age won't garuntee it. But we can have the mind of Christ, as talked about in 1 Cor. 2!
And I just LOVE Ephesians 1!
Eph 1:6-8
7 He is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of his Son, and our sins are forgiven. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.

And Colossians 2...
Col 2:2-3
2 My goal is that they will be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have full confidence because they have complete understanding of God's secret plan, which is Christ himself. 3 In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. NLT
ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in Him!

As always, James says it plainly.
James 1:5
5 If you need wisdom — if you want to know what God wants you to do — ask him, and he will gladly tell you.

James 3:17
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no partiality and is always sincere.

I could go on, because there's so much good stuff to tell us what wisdom is.
I want to put on wisdom, in my heart, searching for it desperately at all times, so THAT is what comes out of my mouth.
I want to eliminate my idle words.
I'm not going to lie. I feel incredibly distant from that goal.
But God promises to grant us wisdom, and understand, if we will ask Him for it.
I'm asking.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Words of My Mouth

In my "Cleaning House" post, I mentioned that I still needed to grow in the area of glorifying God with my speech, so JUST IN CASE anyone else needs this as well, I'm going to write my study on this here on the blog.
This is all directed to me! God has done great things in my life in this area in the past, but I need to keep growing! I want him to keep changing me!
A verse we quote daily in our house is Ephesians 4:29.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Is this convicting for anyone else? Everything I say...EVERYTHING...should benefit those who listen. It should build others up. I say this to my kids constantly, but it needs to be the rule for me as well. Our words should build each other up. Does that mean we never say the hard things? No! Speaking truth in love can certainly build someone up. Giving them truth from the Word when needed can build them up. But we should be fortifying others with our speech.
Let me hit you with another whammy!

Ps 19:14
4 May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Anyone wish it just said words there?
Even if we could rein in our tongues...that's not enough! We need to cleanse our thoughts. Jesus came to tell us actions are not enough. Our hearts are what matters.
If we commit adultery in our heart, we have committed adultery. If we hate our brother, we are guilty of murder in our heart. (Matt. 5)
So what we think and allow ourselves to meditate on is EQUALLY important.

Need a filter?
I used to think I needed a filter. You know, something would come out of my mouth that, at some point, I wish hadn't (this used to happen to me A LOT!) and I would literally say "If only I had a filter between my brain and my mouth."
I could give you at least 5 humiliating stories off the top of my head of me saying the worst possible thing at the worst possible time. They would amuse you, but it was not a good thing.
If only I'd filtered that first! If I could have purchased one on the internet, I would have payed good money for it.
When I said I needed a filter, what I meant was, it was okay to think those things, as long as I didn't say them outloud. Or if I said them outloud, I should have just said them to someone else that I trusted with my malicious talk.
I was wrong.
In general, we women talk too much. I've heard it said that we say like 10,000 words a day while men say like 4,000. I believe it.
We like to talk. But this gets us in trouble. Our sinful inclination is often gossip and speech that does NOT build up and fortify.
Where does this come from?
Our heart.
People know us from our words. We represent Christ with every word that comes out of our mouth.
I can't get this right without asking him to purify my HEART.
Ugly words come from ugliness in our heart.
Instead of filtering the impurities from what I say, I need to filter them from my heart.
Matt 15:18-20
18 But evil words come from an evil heart and defile the person who says them. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all other sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.

Luke 6:45
45 A good person produces good deeds from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil deeds from an evil heart. Whatever is in your heart determines what you say.

This is pretty plain, isn't it? Whatever is in your heart determines what you say.
In Matthew 15, he jumps from evil words and thoughts to murder, adultery, sexual immorality, and theft! Whoa! We were just talking about unholy thoughts! What happenned? All of these sins are born in our thoughts. They can start with a seed of impure thoughts, and they grow and flourish, take root in us, and become more than we ever thought they would.
We must examine our hearts!!!

What's the root?
Nothing comes out of our mouths that hasn't already been meditated on in our minds.
We've said it in our inner monologue.
What are we allowing ourselves to meditate on?
Do we allow ourselves to harbor anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness, brewing on it until we erupt?

Eph 4:31-32
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

What's the root sin?
So often for me it's pride. That's at the root of most of my sin.
Sometimes it is just self-satisfying to say and think things. It's gratifying to my self-absorbed way of thinking. I can make myself look good and others look bad.
I can feel a little justified when I've been wronged.
Sometimes it's really funny! I might want to say it purely for the entertainment value.
But it's not fortifying. It's not building anyone up...except me. (So I think.)
But Jesus was very plain in telling us how seriously God takes this.
Here's another whammy. Brace yourself. It's a big one.

Matt 12:36-37
36 And I tell you this, that you must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak. 37 The words you say now reflect your fate then; either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned."

Idle words. I think I have a lot of those. A high percentage of my 10,000 daily, I'm sure.
But how could we be justified or condemned based on our words?
Because they reflect our hearts. What is in our hearts has a direct and swift expressway to our mouths.
Sometimes, there's not much traffic to slow them down.
They're in the HOV lane, flying at high speed, and we allow it.
We've got some construction work to do.

Backdoor slander

Prov 10:11
11 The words of the godly lead to life; evil people cover up their harmful intentions.

WARNING: We are good at finding backwards ways of saying what we want to without it seeming malicious. Wow! We're tricky!
You know, how sometimes "prayer requests" are shared for the purpose of sharing information, not really with the intent of anyone praying about it?
Also, an old church lady way to do this is to start a statement: "Bless her heart..."
You know? We have a way of wrapping harmful speech up in a pretty package and trying to make it seem okay.
I hate that I'm this crafty with my sin! But it's true.
We all do it. We need to recognize sin, even when wrapped up with a bow on it.
What's inside is still ugly.

Take Off/ Put On
Anyone feeling crappy about themselves now?
Don't! There's hope for us all.
God tells us what sin to strip off, but He also tells us what to put on in it's place.
Isn't His Word good?
So as we ask Him to cleanse our thoughts, we first ask the Holy Spirit (if we know Christ, He lives in us!) to help us recognize sinful thoughts. We replace them with the thoughts of the Spirit.
Rom 8:5-7
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace.

We take captive those thoughts and make them obedient to Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5) We lasso them with a giant rope and throw them in the trash. We discipline our minds as soon as we learn to recognize it.
This takes practice. When I first started doing this, I would start to say things and stop often. I still do.
I don't stutter. That's me hearing the Holy Spirit.
And sometimes I choose to sin and just keep talking or thinking. I'm not done with this yet!
At first, we may just need to learn to be quiet.
I have prayed this verse so often.
Ps 141:3
Take control of what I say, O LORD,
and keep my lips sealed.

We can ask the Holy Spirit to stand guard over our hearts and minds. He will!
The more you do this, the quicker you learn to hear Him tell you to shut it down or shut up.
But we simultaneously learn to put on wise speech.
My next post will be about that.
In Proverbs 31, it says that "when she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instruction."
I want that to me ME!!!!
So that' what I'll go over next.
Comment if God is speaking to you and changing you as well.
Let's encourage each other.