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emotional and spiritual struggles, sparkle inspiration, Uncategorized

The Worshiping Tongue

This will be the last in my blog series on “taming the tongue.” And, of course, it is probably the most important.

Worship involves a lot of things, not the least of which is our lives and how we choose to live them. But it also involves “proclaiming the excellencies of God” as Peter wrote in his epistle.

Joyce Meyer talks about “confessing.” When we think of confessing we may think of confessing our sins, but more broadly, it is simply saying with our mouth what is true.

Sometimes when I am afraid or doubting or confused, I say out loud (and usually no one is around to even hear me, save for the angels of God and God Himself), “Lord, I confess that you are able; you alone are God; you love me; you have not nor will ever forsake your people. I confess that everything you say in your Word is true, and that my feelings that doubt You are false.”

There is such power in confessing the truth! And it is using our tongue to worship. I believe such confessing and worshiping is sparkle to the invisible world around us.

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There is also a “confession” before men, women, and children that God loves and cherishes in His people, as spoken by Jesus in Matthew 10:32: “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.”

So we can use our tongue to sparkle before God, and that is the best kind of sparkle!

Inner Sparkle, sparkle inspiration, Uncategorized

The Gracious Tongue

The kind of speech that most amazes and inspires me to do better with my own mouth is the speech that is gracious. That is, the opposite of an accusing, critical, fault-finding, defensive tongue.

I think the most amazing gracious words are those that are spoken by someone when they themselves have been insulted or rudely spoken to, and yet they come back with kind words. Doesn’t that just blow you away?? That kind of gracious speech is powerful, you might even say, it sparkles.13507175_10153903434998773_3829397258382135009_n

I know the times that I have been on the receiving end of such gracious and undeserved kind words, it has stopped me in my tracks. It has made me feel ashamed of my big mouth. It has inspired me to be a kinder person.

Here is what Deborah Smith Pegues says in her book 30 Days to Taming Your Tongue:

If we claim that God is our Father…We will deliberately choose words that are warmhearted, understanding, and sympathetic. This does not mean that we are to bury our heads in the sand and refuse to deal with problematic situations. However, before we approach anyone, we must go to God and get His words…

3e5579dc2b13d7fdbb08f66d505002f3Oh, to think before I speak, to pray before I open my mouth, that is my goal. If God can give me a gracious tongue, He can do anything. And guess what, He can do anything!

Here’s an encouraging quote:

“With the help of grace, the habit of saying kind words is very quickly formed, and when once formed, it is not speedily lost.” Frederick W. Faber

 

 

sparkle inspiration, Uncategorized

The “Listening” Tongue

Going along with our series on “Taming the Tongue”…

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James, thought to be the brother of Jesus, wrote, “…Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger” (James 1:19). Oh my, if only I could get down just this one verse in the Bible, my whole life would change! Wouldn’t yours?

A “listening tongue” is a tongue that holds its peace long enough for the two ears that God gave us to listen to the one speaking.

Mike and I went to a memorial service of a man named Jan a while back, who died from cancer at a pretty young age. We didn’t know him, but went to the service in honor of his sister with whom we are good friends. The thing that blew us away was the number of people who commented on Jan’s listening ear! One man felt compelled to leave his seat and go up to the front of the chapel. He got on the stairs to demonstrate Jan’s body posture as a listener. He said, “Jan would hunker down, like this. Then, he would lean forward on an elbow, look me in they eyes, and say, ‘So what’s on your mind, brother?’ ”

And then Jan would actively and intentionally listen. And person after person testified of the same thing concerning Jan. Why? Because listening is so very, very rare.

We live in an interrupting society. Everything has to be fast. If the person speaking to us doesn’t say what is on his or her mind fast enough, we might finish their sentence, or worse yet, give an answer before we understand what the person is saying. Solomon, in the book of Proverbs addressed that kind of person, “If someone gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him” (Proverbs 18:13). That’s pretty clear!

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Haven’t you noticed that when someone listens, really listens, to you, that your soul finds a kind of peace and well being? It’s like, “Someone in this world cares enough to practice slow listening, without being in a hurry to finish my sentence or to judge what I’m saying before they understand me.”

May God give us a “listening tongue” and two caring, listening ears. It would surely make us sparkle in the eyes of the one who is speaking!

 

healthy food, Outer Sparkle (Health for the Body), Uncategorized

Health-Giving Cookies

SONY DSCAs fall approaches, and yummy food becomes more and more a constant temptation, here is a recipe that is both yummy and health-giving. I combined it together from this and that recipe…as I usually do!

These cookies contain no white sugar or white flour, rather they are made with honey and whole-grain flour, as well as whole oats.  I think you and your family will love them, and you won’t have to subject your body to ingredients that stress your immune system.

I took this picture when my friend Judy was over for tea.  Right after I took the picture, we dove in and ate cookies to our heart’s content over good conversation and steaming herbal tea (“to our heart’s content” was two cookies a piece, but they are filling!). It was a nice way to ring in a chilly fall season, which seems to have come upon us suddenly. Don’t know if I’m ready for our Colorado winters, but maybe if I keep a good supply of health cookies, hot tea, and good friends around, the wintry days will seem a little warmer 🙂

Here’s the recipe:

Bev’s Honey Oat Cookies

Preheat oven to 375

1 stick butter (soft but not melted)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I use Jif Natural)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Combine the above ingredients.
You can mix by hand, but using a hand mixer
on low works best.

Then combine these dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cup whole spelt flour (You may substitute with whole wheat)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. of ground cloves and/or nutmeg

Bake for about 9 minutes or until there is
just a little golden brown on edges.

If the consistency doesn’t seem just right, feel free to
add a bit more flour.

Inner Sparkle, sparkle inspiration, Uncategorized

The Encouraging Tongue

Continuing on with our theme of “taming the tongue” in order to sparkle…

There are a lot more discouraging words in our world than encouraging words. Maybe that’s why when someone gives me genuine and heart-felt encouraging words, they truly sparkle in my eyes! It’s like they are an angel sent from above.

Proverbs-15-4You probably feel the same way. Oh, how we need encouraging words!

Our encouraging words can literally bring healing, or conversely our discouraging words can crush the spirit of another human being.

Proverbs 18:21 says “death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Truthful, loving and encouraging words are like life-giving and refreshing water to the soul of the person who receives these words. But discouraging, careless and insensitive words are a death-blow to the heart and soul of the recipient of such words.

Join me this week in practicing encouraging words. Let’s ask God to give us wisdom and strength to care enough about our friends and loved ones “bring healing” into their lives. I don’t think that means we have to be sugar-y sweet or phony. It simply means we ask ourselves, “What can I say that is genuine and that will bring healing and life to this person’s soul?”

 

Inner Sparkle, sparkle inspiration, Uncategorized

Taming the Tongue: A Grateful Rather than a Complaining Tongue.

I bought a little book one of the times that my son was in the hospital. It has 30 short devotionals on different aspects of “taming the tongue.” What can make a woman sparkle more than anything? An encouraging, wise, and kind tongue. And conversely, what can rob a woman of her sparkle faster and more than anything else? A critical, self-centered, run-off-at-the-mouth type of tongue!

So for the next…little while (I’m not going to make a commitment 🙂 ), my sparkle blogs will highlight one aspect of having a tongue that makes us attractive and helpful to people, rather than…the opposite.

imagesHere’s the first one: a tongue that adds sparkle to a woman is a grateful, non-complaining tongue. I don’t really need to tell you what that looks and sounds like, I think we all know. We just need to call on the One each day who is able to give us grace to choose a thankful heart rather than a complaining heart. God is honored and people around us are blessed when we do!

emotional and spiritual struggles, Inner Sparkle, Uncategorized

Stress

My life is filled with stress right now.
Stress that is almost beyond my control.
I try to grab hold of my thoughts
But they grab hold of me.
Yet, my God says “Be still and know that I am God”
King David said his soul was like a weaned child,
Resting against his mother.
And so, my soul, be still,
know that He is God.
Rest, yes rest.

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