Love Tested by our Darkest Sins

“Lord I love you” is a powerful statement.  How do we protect ourselves from the hypocrisy of declaring it on Sundays, proclaiming it to receive affirmation on social media, but failing to hold fast to that commitment in the hard moments of our lives?

The proof of our commitment always comes in testing.  My commitment to love God has been tested again and again:  through the miscarriage of two of my precious children, through watching a sweet friend die of cancer, and through Satan’s destruction of God ordained relationships I held dear.  But trials have mercifully driven me to seek after God and to desire to know Him more.  God speaks often in the Bible of how testing and tribulation grow and mature our faith. (Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2-4)

While all trials test and grow us, I think there is a special significance and precious proof of our love of God in the devastation of dealing with our own sin.  Grieving over, confronting, and laying before Jesus my own sin has done more to strengthen my relationship with Him than any other type of testing.  These excuses reveal my failings, my inability to strengthen that relationship on my own, and my deep need for Him.  The truth laid bare is hard to handle, but it is freeing.

King David is a gloriously God-ordained example of clinging to the love of God in the face of our darkest sin.  The story of David’s horrific sin and the unshakable love that rescued David is laid out in 2 Samuel 11 – 12.

David lusted after Bathsheba, committed adultery, and then had Bathsheba’s husband Uriah- who was an unfailing loyal servant to David- killed to conceal the fact Bathsheba had become pregnant from their tryst.  None of his schemes worked.  God used the prophet Nathan to reveal David’s unthinkable shame.  Nathan proclaimed, “You are the man!” and exposed David’s worst sins.

This was a defining moment for David.  When confronted with guilt, our natural reaction is to fight back and rage against the exposure of the truth.  David’s love for God conquered all those impulses, and he instead turned to the Lord and lamented:

I have sinned against the Lord. (2 Samuel 12:13)

David would later write several beautiful Psalms, including Psalm 32, in acknowledgement of what God had done to rescue him from his iniquities.  What defined David, a man the Bible would call a man after God’s own heart, was not his worst moment, but his reaction to his worst moment. His action was rooted in a deep love for God.  He repented because he loved God more than he loved himself.

Sin separates us from the love of God.  But our love of God means we are willing to lay aside the encumbrances of this life and the sin which so easily entangles us and run to Christ.  We die to self, stop the justification, explanation, and minimization of sin and say, “I want Christ more, I love Christ more.”

Love God today.  Lay your sin before Him.  Turn from sin and say, “Lord, I’m depending on You to free me from the deepest, darkest corners of this sin.” We can count on the Lord’s grace, mercy, and unfailing love.  He honors those who love Him and nothing proves that love more than confronting our sin and casting it off.

About the writer:
Caroline is a wife and mom who loves Jesus. She also has a career in commercial real estate investing. God has given her a heart for encouraging other women. She and her husband, Eric, are the directors of the Fellowship Class, a young married Sunday School class, at First Baptist Dallas.

 

 

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I Don’t Want Your Love

I love being a mommy. My little girl, soon to be four, is the apple of my eye. When she chimes in with an unsolicited “I love you, Mommy,” from the backseat of the car or while I’m cooking dinner, my heart melts. Lately she has been asking for more and more hugs, and I am more than contented to oblige her with that! However, sometimes I have to remind her that, as much as I treasure her affection and heart-warming hugs, words, etc., what I really want is for her to obey me because that is what God asks from her (Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:1).

For example, I ask her to put up her shoes or toys or come sit down at the table and she, in response, asks for a hug. Or she knowingly chooses not to follow my instruction and asks for a hug instead of coming clean with a confession. I can definitely see how a hug would be a nice alternative to other forms of discipline, but last time I checked, hugs were not compelling enough to encourage her to change.

Each time I am met with my daughter’s choice of affectionate “love” over “obedience,” I am reminded of the commonality of our human struggle — to express love how WE want to or to love as GOD wants us to love.

 Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great. Luke 6:46-49

 

Though I cannot guarantee that my daughter will accept the truth that God equates obedience with love (1 John 5:3), I can pray and remember that for ME to love her well, I must remember how important it is to teach her that love and obedience go hand in hand.

These are my steps to action:

  1. PRAY-Pray that our children will know Christ and have the heart change to want to obey God because of His love in their heart.
  1. BE FAITHFUL-Faithfully train up our children in the ways of the Lord according to the Bible.
  1. KEEP IT MATTER-OF-FACT-Keep anger and rejection far away during times of discipline. Keep it matter-of-fact: remind children that the best thing they can do to show their love for us as parents is to honor God and us, because when we ALL obey God (children and parents included) God promises it will go well for us.
  1. MEMORIZE-Memorize Proverbs 21:3 with your children: “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” (NIV)
  1. SHOW LOVE-Pray like crazy that my actions, attitudes, words, and YES, even hugs, would come across as those of our loving Savior Jesus Christ.

 About the Writer:
Lyndsay has been many things in her past, but no career, experience, or calling define her more than the desire to follow after Christ in response to His gracious work in her life. At present, she teaches movement classes and works as a wellness consultant in addition to loving her amazing husband and raising her daughter to know and love the Lord.

Love is a Choice

 As Christians, we know that love is far more than those butterflies someone might feel on her wedding day. It’s much more than romance or a mere “feeling.” The ultimate sign of the love God had for us was demonstrated on the cross.  It’s the first verse we memorize, the one we all know by heart:

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

Love is something we can experience as a wonderful, happy feeling, but it’s much more than that. Love is sacrifice. Above all else, love is a choice. God reminds me of that on a fairly regular basis.

When I entered into the covenant of marriage 18 years ago, I was feeling the love. It was warm and happy.  My beloved and I were surrounded by family and friends before God, declaring our promises to each other. It was easy to love my husband on that day. There are still many moments when it is easy to love him, but plenty when it isn’t.

When people in my life behave in a way that bothers me, it’s more difficult for me to love them.  When they are grumpy or argumentative, love becomes a chore. God has to remind me what Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-45:

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. 

If Jesus commanded me to love my enemies, then that love should extend to grumpy family and friends as well.  Sometimes that’s really difficult to do. Sometimes I’m the grumpy one and have to ask forgiveness.  But when I choose to love, even when someone is grumpy, it always turns out better.

Doing so isn’t easy, and it requires asking Jesus to show me the way in every moment. When I start the day asking how I can show Him to others in my life, He inevitably gives me the opportunity. When I have the discipline to choose love, even when it isn’t easy, I allow Him to shine through me. And, when I feel like it’s just too much to bear, I remember the cross and make the choice, one moment at a time, to love – even when I don’t feel like it.

About the Writer:
Wendy is a wife and mother who works full time in Risk Management.  Here at First Dallas she serves in Sunday school, helps coordinate Angel tree, and teaches at Discipleship University.  Her greatest joy comes from discovering how following Jesus can greatly impact her daily life and the lives of those she cares about in innumerable, practical ways.

Please Don’t Bruise the Fruit!

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.   Galatians 5:22-23

 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Galatians 5:25

 On a late afternoon in September, my mother had just passed away at the age of ninety.  My sister and I had the privilege to be with her during her final hours in the emergency room.  Watching her peacefully fading away with no fear or evidence of panic or struggle, I felt remarkably calm, almost as if I could sense that she was actually seeing Jesus reaching out for her hand to take her home.  It was a beautiful experience to witness a faithful child of God embracing the next step in her journey of faith.
Leaving the hospital, we saw a couple we knew from our church with another couple we did not know and who had come to attend to someone in crisis there in the hospital.  Our friends asked us why we were there, so we told them our mother had just passed away.  We expressed our confidence in the knowledge that she was with the Lord, joy because of that assurance, and thanksgiving for the life she had lived.  Instead of screaming hysterically in grief or despair, we controlled of our emotions praising God even in the midst of our sorrow.  Our friends extended their sympathy to us, and we left.
Later on, I received from my friend a note of condolence, in which she added another chapter to this story.  She said the friends who were with her that day were not believers in Jesus.  But, because of our demeanor and words of faith, hope, and joy, the non-Christian couple were amazed, asking how we could behave that way immediately after our mother’s death.  Our friends were happy to report this experience had given them opportunity share the love and grace of Jesus!  Not knowing whether or not their friends chose to accept God’s forgiveness through faith in His son, I loved having a small part in their hearing the gospel of salvation!
How could this be. . . joy in sorrow. . . calm in unexpected circumstances. . . faith and thanksgiving in loss?  It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can exhibit these qualities even when it seems impossible.  Every Christian receives the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Risen Christ, the moment he or she trusts Jesus as Savior.  He is our Comforter, our Teacher, our Enabler, The Seal of our salvation, the Guarantee of our resurrection— and the One who brings the very expression of God’s nature to fruition in our lives.
The Bible often refers to seed-planting and fruit-bearing.  In Genesis 3:15, the “seed of the woman” is Jesus.  Therefore, since we are indwelt by the Spirit of Jesus, we can expect the “seed” to produce the “fruit of the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)  But we have a choice about that! Paul admonished the Galatians to “walk by the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25) Wow!  This means that we are to be purposeful in choosing to behave in a way that pleases God’s Spirit, allowing His attributes to be displayed.  Paul warned the Ephesian believers not to, “grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” (Ephesians 4:30)  Evidently, if we do grieve Him, He does not work in our lives as He desires.  But how do we grieve the Holy Spirit of God?  We grieve Him by being ungrateful, refusing to obey Him, neglecting to read His Word, and failing to pray.  If we choose to do the things that do please Him, then His character will be made manifest in our behavior.  Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16)  Others have said our circumstances do not determine our true character, but bring out the character that is already in us.  What good is it to enjoy the fruit of God’s Spirit only inwardly?  How we live our lives is how others know that we are Christians.  They can’t know that if our actions contradict our words.
In the upcoming months, some Spirit-led women will share how the fruit of the Spirit has been meaningful as they have “walked in the Spirit.”  I hope it will be a source of encouragement in your own daily walk.
I am reminded of the old hymn “Have Thine Own Way, Lord.”  The final verse goes like this:
“Have thine own way, Lord!  Have thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me.”

 

About the writer:

 Diana is a former high school teacher, Sunday School teacher, and Women’s Bible Studies teacher. For many years a stay-at-home wife and mother, she is now also a grandmother to three young Oklahomans, who call her “Gigi” and currently serves as editor of Yada Yada.

The Parent-Child Relationship

As a parent, I am often cognizant of the responsibility that God has given me as a parent to train up my child in the ways of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6). All throughout the Old Testament the Lord reminded HIs people of the importance of passing on the chronicles of Israel and what happened when His chosen people were careless to pass on the ways of the Lord. Destruction, chaos, and great weeping were always the result of a generation who did not know the ways of Yahweh.

I grew up in a Christian home where my parents and grandparents were faithful to teach the Word of God and who were living examples of believers becoming more like Christ in their attitudes and actions. I trusted Christ as my Savior at a young age. However, many years later, I found myself considering turning from the path of Christ alone as the way to God. Christ didn’t seem to have importance if I was able to perfect myself in my own strength and become one with God by just being more conscious, healthy—pure in mind/body/spirit. My reasoning had become much like that of the Church in Galatia to whom Apostle Paul wrote the book of Galatians to (Galatians 3:3).

There was a moment during that particular season of my life, that I most vividly remember, sitting on the cold rock floor of a world-renown “guru”. The man himself was not alive anymore, but I sat by and watched a room full of pupils become unconscious and loose control of themselves at the sound of his recorded lecture. They laughed, cried, chanted, fell to the floor and moved as he dictated—like puppets. When they came to at the sound of his cue, their hypnotic trance ended and they were completely unaware of what had just transpired. I remember in a room of several hundred, there were just a handful of us who did not respond and remained uncontrolled by him.

During those moments, the Holy Spirit reminded that I belonged to HIm and to no one else. He said I was His chosen child—set apart and sealed by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22). He reminded me that I wasn’t a Christian because my parents taught me to be—it was the personal decision I had made in response to the grace of God to offer me forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ.

For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ…But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me…  Galatians 1:11-12, 15-16a

He reminded me that He had no intention of letting go of me (2 Timothy 2:13) . Such comfort  we can have for ourselves or when believing children, spouses, or loved ones are living in disobedience or denial (Philippians 1:6).

What a blessing to know that God holds His children with an eternal grip and remains their Lord. What a blessing to know that our salvation isn’t a knowledge-based faith that we subscribe to or are born into, but a relationship with God through faith in Christ’s gracious forgiveness that has NO end.

About the Writer:
Lyndsay has been many things in her past, but no career, experience, or calling define her more than the desire to follow after Christ in response to His gracious work in her life. At present, she teaches movement classes and works as a wellness consultant in addition to loving her amazing husband and raising her daughter to know and love the Lord.

Lost Laughter

boys-on-beach“I don’t know what your laugh sounds like.” These are the words my 5-year-old son said to me the other day. I brushed it off when he first said it. Of course he knows what my laugh sounds like. He was just being silly. Right? When was the last time I laughed with him?

“Where is that joyful and grateful spirit you had then?”  Galatians 4:15a.(NLT)

I have joy. Do my boys see it? Unfortunately, they probably do not. They don’t see the light-hearted, joy-filled, easy-going, full of laughter me. They see this stressed out, overly frustrated, high strung, over committed shell of a mom. Where did the real me go? In my mind, I’m the mom I want to be, but, in reality- I’m barely surviving, struggling to keep my head above the waves of our hectic lives and full schedules. And I’m not doing a quarter of the “Things Good Moms Do” to have well rounded, happy, morally sound children, or whatever is trending now. Read to them, get them into sports, let them create, challenge them, let them read to you, listen to them, feed them (at least 3 times a day, every day), encourage them, help them with homework, humble them, comfort them, set boundaries for them, teach them manners, pray with them, teach them how to become responsible and productive members of society…and the list goes on. My own personal list-the one in my head-goes on. I dwell on so many expectations, so many ways I am failing as a mom. I have hidden my joy under this list. I have prioritized this list over my joy- over my kids’ joy.

Feelings of guilt and inadequacy are red flags. I need to check my focus. Am I living by faith in Christ or by trying to exceed the expectations and demands of this world? I seem to spend all day on the toils of life, without enjoying the rewards of the toil.

“What profit is there to the worker for that in which he toils? … moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor,—it is the gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 3:9,13

Without God, I find no relief from the toils of life and have no direction to guide me through life’s complications. Satisfaction and joy are lost.

With God, I realize that each day is a gift. I can find pleasure in what I am doing now because this work comes directly from God’s hand. He has given me this life, my husband, my children, and our home. He will also give me the strength to complete the work before me and the wisdom to discern priorities. I will serve Him through my work here at home and through the rearing of my boys. I will find satisfaction and joy, and I will laugh again.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

About the Writer:
Meghan is a former art teacher who feels blessed to now be a stay-a-home mom to her two boys. She loves volunteering at her sons’ school and with the First Baptist Dallas Women’s Ministry and First Impressions Team. She is passionate about art, cooking, working out, and playing volleyball.

Lessons From the Garden

When my husband and I moved into our first home together, I was eager to garden. I knew that it would take a little hard work, but I was enthusiastic about the opportunity that each dry, forgotten flowerbed carried. From a distance, I had watched how my mother’s garden developed over time into a beautiful oasis. Every year she would add a few new plants, and continue to tend to those she had already established.

And so, with this quaint memory, I began to work on my own garden. I first began with a charge of energy. Daily I would spend time turning over the soil with my hands, fertilizing and preparing it for the plants to come. By transplanting cuttings from family members’ gardens and gathering a few freebies on Craigslist, my garden slowly began to take root.

After just a few years in our home, I have watched a story take place in our garden that can be reflective of our lives in so many ways. Within a year of being in our home, my eagerness to garden was replaced with the sleepless nights that arrive with a new baby. It was no longer my priority. The plants became an afterthought and weeds began to set in.  ‘At least they are green’ I would tell myself as I walked past the window.

In looking back on my mother’s garden, I see now that it was with continual and tender effort that she reaped a beautiful vision for all to enjoy. She cultivated her garden daily, and her diligence and hard work was evident. In order to grow and develop in our spiritual lives, we must continually water, prune and tend to the gardens of our hearts.

So, here are just a few of the spiritual lessons that I’ve gleaned from the garden.

  1. Some plants will take over your garden, so be cautious what you choose to plant.

For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:8-9

                   2.  Pruning allows the plant to focus its energy and growth in fewer places.

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. John 15:2

                    3. Gardening takes patience first before you will begin to see the rewards.

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11

About the Writer:
Audra has a passion for encouraging women in their roles at home in both marriage and motherhood. She enjoys sharing her journey of refinement and learning through these important transitions on her blog called The Homegrown Project.

Eight in 2018 – Virtues to Sow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will never forget the time I heard my daughter use one of my slang words when she dropped something getting out of the car at only three years old.  It was not necessarily a bad word, but one I used frequently whenever something unexpected happened, yet it was shockingly inappropriate for a young girl, and, honestly, for me as well.  In fact, this was one I had learned from my grandmother many years earlier. Our minds are like a computer, what goes in, will eventually come out.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.  Galatians 6:7

As an adult, I have heard preached more than once “you reap what you sow, more than you sow, later than you sow”.  If we sow gossip, others will gossip about us, if we sow immorality, we may see our children live immorally, or if we sow an undisciplined lifestyle and recklessly squander our finances, we may reap the stress of debt and lack of necessities in life.  On the other hand, if we give of our tithe, we sow blessings. He promises to open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing until it overflows (Malachi 3:10).  With these thoughts in mind, here are 8 virtues which we might try to exercise for 2018.

Dr. David Jeremiah reminds us if we are not growing in God’s Word we can become incomplete, ineffective, insincere, and nearsighted; and we can also lose our Christ-like perspective. When it gets right down to it, as we read His transforming Word, His convictions are motivating our actions.  It is not just focusing on doing the right thing, but allowing the Holy Spirit to work using His Word to “grow us up”.  Then we will be more likely to speak the truth through our deeds, and our testimony will be strong and clear. Reap his Word in 2018 to sow righteousness and bring glory to God, in order to be a shining light in a dark world.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12:2

About the writers:
Diana is a former high school teacher, Sunday School teacher, and Women’s Bible Studies teacher. For many years a stay-at-home wife and mother, she is now also a grandmother to three young Oklahomans, who call her “Gigi” and is serving as editor for Yada Yada.

Beverly has been an administrator, educator, and Sunday School teacher; now is a wife, mother, and grandmother, who currently serves at First Baptist Dallas as Coordinator for Yada Yada.

Sleeping With the Enemy

O Lord, how my adversaries have increased!
Many are rising up against me. Psalm 3:1

How many are rising up against you? Have you ever felt that there was an army surrounding you with one mission: your destruction?  David did.  In fact, he didn’t just feel it; it actually happened.  Was it his fault?  Yeah, ultimately, it was the consequence of his sins with Bathsheba and against Uriah, as well as his complacency when his daughter Tamar was raped and ruined by his son. Those are heavy-duty sins in our eyes, but there is no difference to God between those sins and our little “embellishments” here and there or reading that trashy romance. David, however, looked at his sin and confessed it before God and repented. Not only that, but he forgave himself and moved past it, in his life and in his incomparable relationship with the Lord. That’s right, ladies:  he moved on! Because of his ability to do that, he was able to pray this prayer of trust in God when he was at a staggeringly low point.

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
I was crying to the Lord with my voice,
And He answered me from His holy mountain. Psalm 3:3-4

If you haven’t yet felt a rising up against you, you probably will.  Psalm 3 can sustain you and give you the hope you need until the Lord gives you rest in the midst of the battle and lifts up your head to see your victory that is in Him. So those gossipers’ tongues, let them wag on, but don’t be afraid to drag their dark lies into the light of Truth. That wayward child, pray until he or she wanders back.  Don’t hesitate to get before that Throne repeatedly, boldly and loudly for our Father is a loving Father who cares more for that child than you can imagine. That uncaring husband, love him to the Lord, and count each rejection or snide remark as fertilizer for that wonderful time that is coming when he turns to the Lord. If they are all happening at the same time, you just get your trusted prayer partners set to battle with you in prayer that you will see His Glory through your circumstances because His Glory is your glory.  That’s the Awesome, Loving, and Immutable God that we serve! He hasn’t changed one whit since David’s time and He’s not going to change EVER. Read that Psalm, memorize it and live on in the promise of your salvation.  Amen!

About the Writer:

Cindy loves being an RN, wife, mom, and CiCi (that’s a grandmother but I’m way too young and hot for normal terminology) to one sweet little 5 year old girl. She loves the Lord with all her heart and wants to serve Him with gladness til her dying breath. Cindy plans on starting seminary very soon. She can hardly wait for Wednesday and Sunday to roll around so she can sing with the choir and experience just a sliver of the joy we’ll have when we all get to Heaven!

Put Your Jesus Where Your Mouth Is

When I look back on the times in my life I have found myself in a deep, dark hole, the path into that hole almost always started with something I said. I have allowed my thoughts to cross the barrier of my lips and pave a path to destruction.  I’ve done this so many times I’ve lost count, and yet it’s possible to effectively communicate without saying a word.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the end of the world. Psalm 19:1-4

If the skies can communicate so clearly without speaking, why do I allow my mouth to get me into so much trouble?  The thoughts come – thoughts that lead straight to pride and judgment. I instantly see what someone, usually my husband, has done that isn’t pleasing in MY eyes and the thoughts hurl me down that path. When I follow those thoughts and allow them to come out of my mouth, the result is never pleasant. I’ve done this for years, and then I was finally shown a better way. That way involved me moving over to God’s side and listening to His way.

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.  
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. 
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Psalm 19: 7-8

That wasn’t fun at first. It’s still a daily struggle. It takes discipline, which is not a word I like to hear. The thoughts come a hundred times a day, and I have a split second to stop them from coming out of my mouth. What God has shown me is that, if I will take time to line up my words with my heart, and align my heart with what He would have me say, then the result will always be more peaceful. His words lead to peace, not into that hole I’ve so often made my home.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

These words have been expressed as a prayer at the beginning of almost every Sunday school class I’ve attended over the past two years. It took me a long time to understand truly what they mean.  It took discipline and experience to learn that holding back the words until they were no longer mine but His would bring the greatest peace in my life I ever imagined. Now I realize that in addition to keeping him in my heart, sometimes the best place for Jesus to be is right behind my lips.

About the writer:
Wendy is a wife and mother who works full time in Risk Management.  Here at First Dallas she serves in Sunday school, helps coordinate Angel tree, and teaches at Discipleship University.  Her greatest joy comes from discovering how following Jesus can greatly impact her daily life and the lives of those she cares about in innumerable, practical ways.