Word Power

Word Power - Do you know how powerful your words are? | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Life and death are in the power of the tongue.

Proverbs 18:21

Words are such a powerful tool in this life. Songs, poetry, prayers, sermons, news articles, novels, blog posts and so much more have the power to sway our opinions, to move us to action and to inspire us to change. Even little things like comments on a social media page have a huge impact on our moods, our self-worths, and our views of the world around us.

Words are power. And we’ve all been gifted with the ability to wield it.

Oh, but as Aunt May so wisely warned Peter Parker, with great power comes great responsibility. (Mom of boys here. My references are limited! 😉 )

Think about the words you’ve spoken over the last 24 hours. (*Oh, you had to go there, KJ?!?* Hey, I hear ya but God really convicted me this past week about this. I’m just looking for anyone else out there who’s flubbed up, too! 😉 )

Ask yourself these questions about your recent comments or conversations:

  • Did my words build up others or tear them down?
  • Did my words encourage or discourage?
  • Did my words bring joy or did my words bring sadness and pain?
  • Were my words truthful or were they lies?
  • Did my words emphasize the good in others, the world and our current situation or did my words add to the negativity, the darkness and the hopelessness?
  • If my every word that I have spoken was read aloud for the world to hear, would I be proud or ashamed of myself?
  • Has my every word glorified God and pointed others to Him?

(Do your toes hurt? Cuz God is really doing a number on mine! Ouch!)

The responsibility to use our words wisely should not be taken lightly. Our words, like our actions, have consequences – both good and bad. And if any of us cannot handle the responsibility, it’s best we heed the advice of every grandma everywhere in the world:

 “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!”

So, as we go about our week, let’s remember the great power we’ve been given and ask God to help us wield it. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all used our Word Power for good and not evil?

I’d like that kind of world, wouldn’t you?

“May the words of my mouth

and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable to you, Lord,

my rock and my Redeemer.”

Psalms‬ ‭19:14‬

 

**Looking for more Biblical references about the power of our words and how we should use it? Check out Colossians 4:6 Proverbs 15:1Ephesians 4:25 & 29James 3:5Proverbs 10:19Colossians 3:8Matthew 15:18 and there are so many more!

His vs. Mine

His vs. Mine - How does your faithfulness compare? | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

He will cover you with His feathers;

you will take refuge under His wings.

His faithfulness will be a protective shield.

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:4‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

Did you catch that?

HIS faithfulness will be my protection.

Not MINE.

Because my faithfulness is fickle. It fluctuates with my circumstances. It wanes as dark times invade. It swells when the winds of good favor blow.

My faithfulness falters in the midst of a battle. It must be bolstered by the prayers of others. It must be stoked and fanned into mere sparks.

No, my faithfulness does not shield me from my enemies or push back the darkness.

HIS faithfulness does.

His faithfulness is never changing. It is not determined by my merit or my righteousness. It is not biased or self-serving.

His faithfulness cannot be measured. It has no limits. It’s reach is higher than the heavens and deeper than the depths of the oceans.

HIS faithfulness offers a shield of protection, a refuge in the storms of life, and warmth and security in times of trouble because this is who God is.

But mine?

My misplaced, feeble faithfulness so often does not accept His offer because this is who I am.

Whoever rests in the shadow

of the Most High God

will be kept safe by the Mighty One.

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1‬ ‭NIRV‬‬

Reason to SMILE #162: Change

Reason to SMILE #162: CHANGE - For the times you wish everything could stay the same... | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

I do not like this thing called change.

I do not like to feel so strange.

I do not like to try new things.

I do not like the fear it brings.

 

I would not like it even if

You sent it to me with a kiss.

I would not like it with a SMILE;

You can’t make me with your guile!

 

“Oh,” you say, “Change may be good

You should embrace it if you could.

Change may be just what you need.

You will like it. Try it and see.”

 

Yes, I know it may be time

To mute this stubbornness of mine

And keep my mind open to

The SMILES that wait for me and you.

 

Change – it’s a fact of life no matter how hard we try to ignore and resist it. Which is exactly what I’ve done for the past few weeks knowing my older son would be moving into his own apartment this weekend – away from home, away from me, out of my reach, on his own, fending for himself, in a strange city, where he knows only his roommates, where he has no one to call on in an emergency, and if he called me, it would take entirely too long for me to get there. That’s it! I’m going back to get him!

<SIGH>

No, like I said, change is inevitable. And although change can seem like the devil in disguise, if we give it a try, change could be the catalyst that pushes us toward the great and wondrous works that God has waiting for us. I know my kid is headed in the right direction and God has great things in store, says the sobbing mom as she desperately tries to reassure herself that God will take care of her firstborn!

<SOB, SOB, SNIFF, SNIFF>

Change – it may be hard but the SMILES you’ll find on the other side of it are worth every chance you dare to take.

P.S. I seemed to be channeling Dr. Seuss with this SMILE. Oh, well. It’s been a rough day! 😉

The Small Stuff

The Small Stuff - What to do when the small stuff becomes huge stuff | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

As my younger son was growing up, I had to find creative ways to deal with his, well, let’s just say, “antics.” Social media was my outlet and I would “vent” by posting daily updates on what my kid was up to. Most of the posts were about his behavior at school, for example:

2nd Grade Saga: Day 80 – Morning Conversation
ALEX: Maggie was Model Student this month. Do you know who the model student was last month?
ME: Nope. Who?
ALEX: Maggie’s best friend. You know, mom, model student doesn’t go in order.
ME: I know. You have to be on dark green every day to be the model student.
ALEX: Yeah. I don’t know how to do that!

 

Such was the theme throughout his entire elementary school years. <SIGH>

Other times, the posts were about my child’s unique perspective on the world around him:

3rd Grade Boys and Pizza:
Alex opens up a box of pizza and sings “Aaaaaaaah” in his best angelic voice.
He closes the box and opens it again. “Aaaaaaaah,” he sings.
“It would be cool if it did that every time you opened the box, wouldn’t it?” he asked. “I wish there was an app for that!”

 

I learned to truly enjoy how his little brain thought!

This kid always kept me on my toes. He challenged me to see the silver lining in every situation, to turn what could be worrisome mom moments into opportunities to enjoy my child’s rough edges and pointy corners and to laugh when everything was telling me to give up.

And many times, his crazy antics ended up teaching me much, much more:

Alex’ Summertime Antics:

Tonight at church, we learned that if Jesus can calm a terrible storm by saying three simple words, “Peace! Be still!”, He can surely calm the storms of our lives (help us through tough times). So, I asked the kids to tell me some tough things that they go through that God can help them with. The kids gave great answers – school, losing a friend, the death of loved ones, breaking an arm or leg, parents getting divorced.

Then, Alex raised his hand…

“When you drop your iPod on your bed and it bounces up and hits you in the eye!”

One of the other teachers looked at me and said, “That’s YOUR kid!”

Yes, he is my kid! And he had a very good point – whether he realized it or not.

There is absolutely nothing too small to take to God in prayer. If it matters to you, it matters to Him. He cares about everything that is going on in your life.

We tend to believe we don’t need to waste God’s time on the small stuff, like our child’s behavior at school or loosing our car keys or getting hit in the eye with a bouncing iPod. But it’s often the little things like these that weigh us down the most. We throw these small troubles over our shoulders and say, “I got this.” Then, when the next little thing comes along, we throw it over our shoulders, too. And we keep adding and adding and adding until all those little problems that we thought for sure we could handle become a huge burden that we can no longer bear.

We could save ourselves a whole lot of heart (and back) ache by just taking each little trouble to the Lord. You’re not going to offend God by bringing what you think is a tiny matter to Him in prayer. No, God will say “Peace! Be Still!” to any size storm – even a little rain shower. That’s how amazing our God is!

So, what are you waiting for? Take Alex’ advice about the small stuff and start unloading those shoulders of yours. Then, get ready to enjoy God’s peace!

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬

Opportunity

Opportunity - How’s your tomorrow shaping up? | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

 

Every new day affords us with opportunities.

Every opportunity presents us with a choice.

What we choose today will affect our tomorrow.

 

Understanding this concept is a sign of maturity.

Not wasting any opportunity is a sign of wisdom.

 

How is your tomorrow shaping up?

Desolate Sanctuary

Desolate Sanctuary - One last prayer changed her life forever... | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

She sat alone in the back of a quiet sanctuary. It was her spot. She would sneak in the back every Sunday just after the morning service began. She’d listen as the songs were sung and the sermon was preached and then slip out during the invitation – a quick “pick me up” for the week.

The problem is it never worked.

For some time now, her heart has been hurting. She’s been walking through life as if in a fog – a fog that would never lift. She’s been searching for answers, for an escape from the shadows that smothered her hopes and dreams. She’s been longing for an end to her desolation but hasn’t been able to find it.

As far as she was concerned, there was only one way out – only one way to end her burdens and suffering. She knew the darkness, the sadness, the dreariness of her life was a result of her own choices. She had thrown away her dreams. She had caused her own misery. Only she could end the pain.

She made her way to the back pew of the church one last time. Tears were streaming down her face as the pastor invited the congregation to pray. She had not prayed in years but she wanted to pray one last time. The weight of her burdens was so heavy she almost couldn’t stand. She struggled to her feet and made her way to the altar. She didn’t know what to say but as her tears drenched the altar, her heart began to plead with the Father:

“Lord, bring your favor to this desolate sanctuary.

Lord, shine your light into this darkened tomb.

Lord, pour your spirit on this tattered and broken temple.

Lord, may your presence fill this life anew.”

She thought this would be her last prayer so she held nothing back. She poured out her soul and laid the broken pieces of her life before the Lord. She cried out in anger, in desperation, in brokenness. She expected nothing but in the midst of her tears, she found everything. The Father that she had walked away from so many years before was waiting for her with arms open wide. He picked up her broken pieces and opened her eyes to the hope that only He can give. He wiped away her tears, picked her up and filled her with the light of His Love.

One last prayer changed her life forever.


What about you? Are you living in a fog, in the shadow of your regrets? Do you feel like your life is a desolate wasteland? Are you haunted by the choices of your past? Are you pursuing things of this world, things that are leading you away from the Giver of abundant life? Are you ready to give up?

It’s time. Give it up today. Take it to our Heavenly Father and give it all to Him. You may have walked away. You may have made all the wrong choices but you do not have to remain in desolation. He is waiting for you with open arms. He wants to restore you. He wants to take the broken pieces of your life and make them into something beyond your wildest dreams. He wants to heal your soul and love on you today. Don’t wait any longer! Go ahead and Pray!


 

Reason to SMILE #122: A Colorful World

Reason to SMILE #122: A Colorful World | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

What if all the blue crayons

In your color case

Decided all the green crayons

Were simply a big waste?

 

“You’re too green,” they might say.

“You’re not like us at all.

We don’t need your kind around.

Get out!” they’d say with gall.

 

Pushing the green crayons out

Of the color box,

The blues would then settle in

Their spacious, comfy spots.

 

“Ah!” the blues would then proclaim.

“This extra room is nice

But the reds might say it’s theirs

And that will not suffice.”

 

The crayons blue would soon begin

To push the reds out, too,

Along with every other shade

Til all was left was blue.

 

“Oh, what freedom! We’ve so much space,”

The blues would then shout.

Now, we can color everything.

Our hue’s the best, no doubt.”

 

Upon this declaration,

The crayons blue would jump

From their box to color the world –

Ev’ry rock, ev’ry road, ev’ry bump.

 

They’d first begin with the sky.

Oh, what wonderful hues!

They’d paint the sky almost as bright

As God himself would do.

 

Dark blue, light blue, gray blue, teal-

Endless shades there’d be!

Blue cars, blue pants, blue, blue, blue

As far as one could see.

 

Then stepping back to survey

All that they had colored,

These lofty blues would be pleased.

They didn’t need the others.

 

Somewhere, then, I’d like to think,

From in the crayon box,

An old and used up blue crayon

Would climb up to the top.

 

“Hey!” he’d shout. “What about

The sun, the grass and flowers?

The wondrous beauty of these can’t

Be captured by mere blue power.

 

“Yes,” another blue would chime,

“How shall we color these?

The sun is not a shade of blue

Nor is the grass or trees.”

 

“We pushed out all the colors that

Could have done the job.

A brighter place this world could be

If their beauty, we did not rob.”

 

Nodding in agreement, I suspect

Each blue would then slump

Knowing they had slighted the world

By being such big chumps!

 

Imagine how boring our world would be if God had not chosen to paint it with a multitude of colors. Even more, imagine how dull the world would be if God had not chosen to fill it with such a magnificent variety of people! And just like every color is needed to create a beautiful sunset over the ocean, so also is every person needed to create a beautiful and better world and to fill that world with bright and beautiful SMILES.

One Wish

One Wish - Can peace truly be a reality? | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

We were driving home from church. It was a stormy night and from the silence in the back seat of the car, I could tell my soon-to-be 5th Grader’s wheels were spinning.

“If I had fairy godparents,” he began, “I would wish for this storm to go away. You know what else I’d wish for?”

“What?” I inquired.

“I’d wish for world peace!” he declared with great conviction.

Wanting to take advantage of this opportunity to teach my kid a little something, I replied, “You know, if you want world peace, you don’t have to wish for it. It starts with you and me.”

Reminding him of his behavior toward some of the kids at church, I continued, “You can’t have peace by telling everyone to ‘be quiet’ all the time or by tattling on others.”

I paused to see if I’d get a response but after hearing nothing, I concluded my mini lesson for the evening, “We all have to play our part if we want to have world peace.”

Without even the smallest moment of reflection, my son piped up again, “You know what else I’d wish for? I’d wish for the game, Lego Jurassic World.”

So much for that teachable moment!

I really think I should get extra “good parenting” points for trying! Don’t you? 😉

<SIGH>

That’s ok. I’ll keep trying. I MUST keep trying! It’s what we all must continue to do.

We must continue to teach the next generation that the pursuit for peace is a worthy endeavor, that peace is worth the fight.

Yes, the fight.

You see, it’s easy to talk the talk, to make our wishes and preach our sermons about living peaceably with all men. Words come easy.

But when push comes to shove, when we’ve logged off of social media, when those that we hate are standing right in front of us, this is where our words are put to the test. This is where the pursuit for peace is accomplished. This is what our children are watching and what the next generation will emulate.

Oh, friends. Peace must be more than a simple wish.

Peace must be an action.

And peace must begin with you and me.

 

Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness —

without it no one will see the Lord.

Hebrews 12:14

 

A Wallflower’s Perspective

A Wallflower’s Perspective - The joy of knowing your worth | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

We tend to go unnoticed.

“I didn’t see you there,” we often hear.

But that is our intention –

The spotlight is what we fear.

 

We mostly like the distance.

It gives us room to breathe, to think, to see

What’s going on around us –

Learn what separates you from me.

 

There are those times, however,

The separation leaves us in the cold.

We’d seek out your attention

But would never be so bold.

 

We hope for just a moment

You’d look beyond the crowd and walk our way.

We know you’d like what you find

Once you hear what we have to say.

 

We have so much to offer.

It’d only take a glimpse for you to see

Our kindness, smarts, our humor,

Our fierce creativity.

 

You might find it surprising

To stop and realize what you’re missing

By ignoring the margins,

Not widening your vision.

 

Now don’t mistake or mishear me.

We don’t need rescuing or pushed to change.

Just let us know you see us

With a nod, a SMILE or wave.

 

You see, we know our value

Even though we shrink back along the wall.

The reason we’re called flowers –

Well – it’s ‘cause we’re beautiful!