What Did You Say?

Growing up in a Christian family I rarely, if ever, heard profanity.  Expletives were often replaced with “doggone it” “for Pete’s Sake,” or “that honks me off”.  I was taught at an early age not to use “ugly” or vulgar words.

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Apparently I was a good student of what not to say growing up, because even now there are words I just cannot incorporate into conversation.  A certain word that easily flows off of the tongues of my grandchildren makes me cringe.  Before you think poorly of my sweet grands, it is not a horrible word.  Just one for a bodily function that my family never deemed proper for a young lady or gentleman to use.

When I was young television banned the use of four letter foul words and taking the Lord’s name in vain.  There was no cable and Prime Time was a lot more prim and proper.  Comparing shows we watched to those on now is like comparing soda pop and hard liquor.  It is astounding how low the regulations are now.

I can remember a time when men watched their words around ladies.  When a “bad” word slipped out it was quickly followed by an apology.  That is called respect.  Men respected themselves and women.

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So what exactly is the point in using cuss words?  Your sentence should still hold the same meaning.  You on the other hand will sound much smarter, kinder, and polished without them.  My grandmother often said a person’s perceived IQ dropped with each cuss word they said.  Makes sense when you think about it.

What does the Bible say about our words?  In Colossians 3:8 it says “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”  That sounds very straightforward.  No filthy language should come from your lips.

One of the Ten Commandments, the third one, states clearly “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.”  That is not a suggestion but a command.

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So many times I read something on Facebook that I would love to share, but there is a problem.  The message is great, but it contains profanity.  Really?!  A point would have been made without those extra words.  There are some darling shirts, also, until I get down to the last line.  Wham!  An ugly spoils an otherwise nice message.

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How about those shirts that advertise being a Christian and cuss, too?  Hmmm.  Why would anyone want to advertise that? I don’t think that is in scripture.  What is in scripture is “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” from Ephesians 5:4.   Listen to what James 3:10 says “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”

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Sure we all slip up.  I do at times and then wince.  Quickly I ask for forgiveness and try my best not to repeat it.  Like everything on this planet though I am a work in progress.  Aren’t you?  I challenge you to eliminate these “ugly” words from your vocabulary.  Teach you children and grandchildren that they do not need them either.  Lead by example.

Most importantly, I urge you not to take the Lord’s name in vain.  Too many people have forgotten it is a sin.  Let’s work together and not just act like Christians, but let’s talk like we should, too.  We can do this.  Are you with me?

 

 

 

Words for 2020

As I begin each new year, God gifts me with a word or two for that year.  Do you have a word for your year, also?  It becomes something to ponder and work on making or doing better.

In the past I have had family, hope, victory, and other words.  For 2020 my words, there are two, are pray and love.  I was totally surprised.  God will reveal in His time why He gave me each word.  I might not even know until the end of the year when all of the pieces fall into place.  What I do know is that for this year I will make a concentrated effort to pray more and love better.

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Where do you get your word

People have asked me how to get a word for the year.  Since it comes from God the first step is to pray for one.  Then listen and look.  I hear Him gently whisper my word to me.  My best friend is inundated with her word.  She sees and hears it multiple times after praying so it is hard to miss.

What to do with your word

I find it a place to start working, a goal for the year.  Let’s take my word pray.  In an earlier blog I challenged readers to pray for twenty people this year.  I am taking extra time for intercessory prayer.  Everyday I read prayer requests on Facebook or have a phone call requesting it.  Honestly it did not take long to list twenty people.

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My family is always on my list.  Their safety, health, Walk or salvation are prayed for daily.  I pray for my grandchildren, nieces, and nephews everyday, too.  Asking God to watch over their future spouse is another prayer of mine.  When we pray there is no limit to what we can bring to the Father.

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Love is my other word.  I am praying about the significance of this word for me.  Perhaps I do not love my enemies and just think I do.  There are so many types of love that I need to refresh my memory and read up on them.

Jesus has called us to love.  In Matthew 22:36-39 it says: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  That is pretty simple.  Love is what we need to do.  Right?

What is your word

I would love to hear your word if you received one for this year.  Please tell me so that I can pray for you as you learn from it.  Let’s make 2020 a year of learning, doing things for the Lord, and helping each other.  Are you in?

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Let Me Tell My Story

Do you like stories?  Me, too.   I love reading novels.  Those fictional tales take me away to places and times that are captivating.  An excellent wordsmith is able to compose the most realistic tale.  Each author should have an incomparable style and storyline.

Not all stories are written.  Do you ever hear stories from someone that happen not to be theirs to tell?  That, my friend, is called gossip.  The dictionary defines gossip as “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.”  Whether true or not, information shared about another is gossip.

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My husband has been ill for a few years.  Recently a friend called to see if I wanted to join a lunch group now that my husband is in a nursing home.  Totally bewildered, I thanked her and explained that he was sitting right beside me on the loveseat.  Someone had told my story and evidently not correctly.

Scripture tells us in James 1:26 “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”  Did that step on anyone’s toes besides mine?  After the gossip incident about my husband, I have been increasingly more careful about not telling someone else’s story.

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We should all be able to tell or keep our stories.  Have you had someone tell something that was only for you to share?  What were your feelings?  Mine ran various directions.  I was upset, embarrassed, confused, humored, and saddened.  The information shared was not malicious.  In fact, it was probably spoken lovingly and possibly even asking for prayer over my situation.  The issue is it is incorrect and was given by a second or third editor and not the author, me.

Do you unintentionally gossip?  Perhaps you don’t realize during an innocent  conversation with your best friend that you are transgressing.  It happens unknowingly and often.  Be on guard with your words especially if you are sharing information about someone else.  Make certain you have facts and they uplift your friend.  Remember, unless you have heard the story from the leading character, chances are it is not a verified edition.

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HeartWings Devotional by Joyce Graves, Caryl McAdoo, Nyla Kay Wilkerson, and twenty seven other Co-Hearts

Today I am thrilled to introduce you to Heart“wings” Devotional, Volume 1, a collection of devotions by Heart“wings” Blog Co-Hearts.  There are thirty contributing authors and I am honored to be included in that number.  Have you heard of the Christian women’s group on Facebook named Heart“wings” – a women’s fellowship?  It is a wonderful God centered group founded by Joyce Graves, and as the group grew an additional companion group page was added called Heart”wings” – our readers’ nook.  These pages or groups provide places for prayer requests, sister support, book reviews, author support, blogs, and other fine things.  It offers prayer support and gives God glory for giving our heart wings to soar.  “As His daughters, we use our ‘wings’ of love to make a difference.”  I am one of the Heart“wings” sisters and Co-Hearts, which are the bloggers.
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Recently our co-administrator Caryl McAdoo, undertook the monumental task of compiling Heart“wings” first devotional from our daily blogs.  It is a beautiful red and white paperback of 281 pages.  Within these many pages are over one hundred messages to help readers deepen their walk with God.  Women from all ages, walks of life, and locations make up the blog team ministry.  There are bloggers, authors, pastors, retired nurses, teachers and many more. The devotions written are personal, transparent, and true. They were written for encouragement and inspiration by women who love God wholeheartedly.
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Each weekday has its own theme in the blog.  Likewise our devotional is divided into Monday Memories & Ministries, Tuesday Testimonies, Wednesday Words, Thursday Thanks, and Friday Fellowship & Focus.  The messages are as varied as the Co-Hearts, but each includes scripture and questions to ponder.  After all of the messages is a listing of the Co-Hearts, complete with a short bio and picture.
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Of course, I loved this fabulous book.  It came from the group that has blessed me in more ways than I could tell you right now.  The prayer support is immeasurable and floods Heaven for those in need.  Often I have requested it for myself or a loved one.  At times a blog seemed like it was custom written for me.  Just what I needed to read on just the right day is never a coincidence.  Instead of giving the author credit, I knew it was God using her as a vessel, and I thanked Him.  The Co-Heart listened to Him and was able to use her “wings” to help me and countless others.
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I hope you will give this inspiring devotional a try and then find that your time with Jesus deepens.  It would make a lovely gift for a woman of any age.  The topics and messages are relevant.  They are meant to uplift, enlighten, educate, and some even to entertain.  These devotions were written by women for women.  Most importantly these were meant to bring Glory to God.  Let me know what you think after you read it.  Maybe you will be moved so much you will be led to write a devotion yourself.  Please check out Heart“wings” on Facebook and message me, Joyce, Caryl, or Becky if you would like to join our sisterhood.
Joyce –  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009154950239
Caryl  –  https://www.facebook.com/caryl.mcadoo?ref=br_rs
or Becky –  https://www.facebook.com/lelandandbecky
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$14.99 at Amazon, released 7/24/18

Reflections from a Word Nerd

Since I have been young, words have fascinated me.  Numbers do nothing for me, but words are exciting and powerful.  Okay, I will admit to being a word nerd.  Reading, writing, even listening to meaningful lyrics move me and put me in my sweet spot.  Even if you are a numbers person, words affect you.  Some words or phrases bring certain people to mind.

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My dear mother has a quaint way of terming kisses.  Our family doesn’t kiss each other we “give sugar.”  My hubby does not decide or conclude, he “reckons.”  When Dad is sincere about something, he states it “quite frankly.”  Pappaw Reeves was never hindered but “stymied.”  According to him, planets were never just in a straight line but in a “sygyzy.”  My Granddaddy was a Lockmaster at Dam 43 near us and my hubby worked in Engineering in a ship building company.  Many times both men replaced left and right with port and starboard, the nautical and aeronautical terms for left and right, respectively.79193B57-AC0C-44EA-9510-0B1FBE551571

Just think how important they are and moving in weddings.  In our wedding we had the song “Whither Thou Goest” sung.  Just hearing that phrase or the word whither takes me back decades to a church altar where I plighted my troth to my husband.  Isn’t that more romantic than saying at my wedding?  Words can be magical when used correctly and thoughtfully.  They have power to transform and transport.

For me, I love poetic, old fashioned words and Southern phrases.  Women in my family swoon over thing and say “I swan or swanee” because no proper lady should ever say I swear.  We don’t sweat but perspire.  One does not simply hug my Auntie June but must “hug her neck.”  Most importantly, never did I nor have I heard my grandparents, parents or aunts and uncles say what my Grandmother deemed “ugly words.”   Never.

 

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Ugly words or swearing abound in society today.  Using the Lord’s name in vain, cursing, and horrible four letter words are rampant.  Even name-calling seems to be at an all time high.  Tattoos are permanently imprinted on bodies with words that should not be written, spoken or seen.  14BC4EB3-1B26-459A-95DC-A93412EF1357Clothing prominently sports things that are “ugly” and offensive.  Even some “Christians” have attire proudly proclaiming “Yes, I am a Christian and I cuss a lot.”  What?!  So, I wonder how our Father feels about that?  Or if these people consider the example they are setting?  Ugly words take away from a person’s beauty.  They can sting and hurt.

When I think of my Savior there are many words that come to mind.  Beloved is the first and means dearly loved.  Definitely Jesus loves us dearly.  No doubt about that.  Redemption is another one.  It means being saved from sin or evil.  Christ sought us out before we were born and bought us with his blood on the cross.  He paid the entry fee to eternal life for us.  That fee was his own life.  Absolutely, freely given to us in love is our gift of salvation, which means deliverance from harm or destruction.

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Tell me about you?  What words do you relate to people?  Better yet, what words do you think people relate to you?  What if our words appeared on our skin?  Make them pretty words to inspire, bring about happy memories and smiles.  Don’t leave behind ugly words as your impression or influence on this world.  Let your children and grandchildren read “hug my neck” and “give me sugar” or remember you when they hear nice, virtuous, sweet words.  Don’t let #*@$ or worse be your legacy.

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