My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. (James 1:19-21)
We live in a culture in which expressing yourself is considered a virtue. Even if what you have to say is obscene or offensive, even if it annoys or abuses a fellow human being, even if it is ignorant or inflammatory, there are people who will speak up to defend your right to abuse free speech, without qualms or consequences. As followers of Jesus, we are called to better. We greatly value the freedom to speak, but do so humbly, eager to speak only the truth, and only in love. That requires listening and patience, both of which involve humility. Yet we have the Spirit of Jesus in us—our incomparably patient and humble God. He embodies the truth, yet is continually listening to us, patiently inserting His saving Word whenever we tire of our own voice and turn to hear His.
“Heavenly Father, make us quick to listen and slow to speak, so that we might not be known as angry people, but as righteous people, implanted with your Word, speaking the truth in love. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
CELL PHONE ETIQUETTE…
After a very busy day, a woman settled down in her seat on the commuter train.
Closing her eyes for some much-needed rest, she barely registered the man next to her.
As the train rolled out of the station, however, the guy pulled out his cell phone.
He dialed a number and started talking in a loud voice: "Hi, sweetheart, it's Eric!”
Ignoring the other passengers, he continued to shout: “I'm on the train!
Yes, I know, it's the six -thirty and not the four- thirty, but I had a long meeting.
No, honey, not with that floozy from the accounts office, with the boss.”
Ten minutes later, he was continuing to ignore the other passengers.
He continued to loudly make his case to the woman on the other end of the call:
“No, sweetheart, you're the only one in my life. Yes, I'm sure, cross my heart…"
Fifteen minutes later, the woman next to him obviously had enough of Eric’s shouting.
Angered by his continuous diatribe, she yelled at the top of her voice:
"Hey, Eric, turn off that stupid phone and come back to bed!"
Eric doesn't use his cell phone in public any longer.
God grant you discernment and sensitivity to others this week! Joy in Jesus,
Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me." "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…” (Isaiah 49:13-16a)
Does God have tattoos? Isaiah says He does—well, engravings, anyway. To His suffering people, conquered by an invading army and exiled to a foreign land, it seemed as if God had forgotten them. So He reassured them, and us, that His care and consciousness exceed that of a nursing mother. It’s as if He has us engraved on His hands, so that every time He reaches out to intervene He is thinking of His people. That’s a comforting thought as schools start and schedules fill up for the fall. Though we may at times forget His care for us amidst the business of our lives, God our Father never forgets us. Though the challenges and difficulties we encounter can cause us to doubt God’s concern, nothing can cause God to act without our best interests in mind.
“Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your memorable love and ceaseless care. Remind us of Your interest in every detail of our lives, and bless both teachers and learners in this new school year. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
He was a widower and she a widow.
They had known each other for many years as high school classmates and at class reunions.
At their 60th reunion, the widower and the widow made a foursome with two other singles.
They had a wonderful evening, their spirits high.
The widower throwing admiring glances across the table. The widow smiling coyly back at him.
Finally, he picked up courage to ask her, "Will you marry me?"
After about six seconds of careful consideration, she answered, "Yes...yes I will!"
The evening ended on a happy note for the widower. But the next morning he was troubled.
Did she say “Yes” or did she say “No?”
He couldn't remember. Try as he would, he just could not recall.
He went over the conversation of the previous evening, but his mind was blank.
He remembered asking the question but for the life of him could not recall her response.
With fear and trepidation he picked up the phone and called her.
First, he explained that he couldn't remember as well as he used to. Then he reviewed the past evening.
As he gained a little more courage he then inquired of her.
"When I asked if you would marry me, did you say “Yes” or did you say “No?”
"Why you silly man, I said ‘Yes. Yes I will.’ And I meant it with all my heart."
The widower was delighted. He felt his heart skip a beat.
Then she continued. "And I am so glad you called because I couldn't remember who asked me!”
God bless you unforgettably this week, in Christ Jesus.
As Pastor at Pilgrim, Kirk is fueled by a passion for God's Word and a lot of good coffee.