Tasty but destructive

Pr. 26:22:  The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.”

I read an article that was written about one of my great-aunts who passed on a few weeks ago.  She would have been 100 years old this winter.  The author of the article had gone to visit her and asked my great-aunt what life advice she would give a middle-ager.

The 3 things my great-aunt said she would have done differently were to read her Bible more, pray more, and not believe things she heard about others without having first heard their side.

I didn’t see that last one coming.  Not something I would expect to hear a 99-year-old woman saying; however, perhaps a relationship in her life was lost or altered in her middle years that caused her to still think such a thing all those years later.  I’m not sure.

This verse tells us that it shouldn’t be surprising, though.  Words of gossip do not just bounce off of us, but are taken in, savored, digested, and soaked up into our very core.  It then becomes very difficult to erase what we’ve heard, lie or not, because our minds are so hungry to make us feel better about ourselves.

If a 99-year-old woman, knowing she’s passing on to eternity, is still thinking about the effects of a decision like this, it seems it is certainly something we shouldn’t take lightly.

I guess the best thing is probably to avoid gossip at all, whenever possible.  Then, if there is a situation where we do hear something, we can take her other advice and pray more.  We can pray that God would help us be responsible with what we’ve heard and either help us forget it, if it isn’t necessary for us to know or concern ourselves with; or to give us a proper setting to hear the other side.

Remembering that no one is perfect, and that we all fall short of the glory of God and of perfection, we must be careful with not only what we hear, but also what we choose to do with those words.  We can choose to savor, digest, and soak it in to raise ourselves up, or we can choose to protect, love, and build others up.  With God all things are possible.

Soaking in the advice,

jamie

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Keep strengthening your temple!

Pr. 14:1:  “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.”

As I am sitting here reading the word of God, I am now aware of the fact that I am building on to the temple of God.  Each time I read of Jesus’ compassion toward those who came to him on earth, I am adding to the foundation.  Each promise I read of eternal life gives me a new window to let in the light of hope.

When I find the verses on how God hears our prayers and we can boldly approach His throne in time of need, my security system becomes even more protective.  Reading the examples of the times when God, in fact, did not forsake His people, my roof becomes a more solid layer of shelter than ever before.

Knowing the Word makes the doors to my house and my heart impregnable to the lies of satan.  When he tries to whisper his way inside, I am able to recognize that his voice is not the voice of my Father; therefore, I do not open the door to him.

The walls to my temple are made stronger by my obedience to the Word.  Each time I put up a boundary, I build onto my walls.  Every sin I do not commit allows extra support to come from my trust in the Lord.  Strength and protection are found through my faith to choose to follow God.

I am remembering the times when I’ve torn down my temple with my very own hands.  When I have deliberately chosen to put off my reading of the Word and my time with God, I have allowed my foundation to become cracked.  Once I allowed the foundation to crack, my temple began to shift, being then moved to the shaky, unstable foundation of selfishness, sin, lust, and pride.

When my foundation became cracked, it also allowed satan to creep through the cracks instead of coming right to the door.  He found his way inside and began eating away at the solid structure I had built.  I may have looked fine on the outside, but the walls of obedience began to crumble and become unstable.  The door to my heart became virtually irrelevant as the enemy ate away at the Word I had hidden in my heart.

My roof and security system also became inconsequential, as the promises and faithfulness of God began to be replaced by lies from the enemy.

A neglected or abandoned house eventually falls into such disrepair that it must be condemned and torn down.  We must continue to build onto, secure, repair, and strengthen our temples day by day.  Our time with God, in the Word, in prayer, and under the teachings of other men and women of God help us to do those things.

We cannot neglect our temples.  Instead of being condemned, they can stand solid until the Lord returns.  A heavenly palace awaits!

Working on my house,

jamie

Blueprints and sleep

Last night, I slept through the night for the first time in 4 days.  I am so grateful this morning.  Yesterday was an interesting day as I stayed as busy as possible in the hopes that I wouldn’t fall over, while my brain was functioning at what felt like 1/3rd of its capacity.

Over the phone last night, my mother-in-law reminded me of Ps. 127:2 which says, “for so He gives His beloved sleep.”  Yes!!  I hadn’t thought about that.  When I found myself waking up again last night at what must have been 1:00 or 3:00, just like the nights before, I began to pray and remind the Lord of His Word, and He gave me sleep again.   🙂

The beginning of Psalm 127 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”  It brings to mind an important question for us all:  Are you building your life in vain, or are you allowing the Lord to be the master builder?

Who’s blueprints are you using?  Are you using the blueprints you’re making up as you go, or the ones clearly laid out in His Word?  As I quoted this scripture in my prayer last night, I didn’t first ask myself if I was His beloved or not.  I was simply crying out to my Beloved, and to the One who supplies my needs.

His plans for our lives are the only ones that will lead to salvation and the only ones that will stand.  Instead of laboring in vain, we can allow His Word to be the blueprints upon which we choose to build our lives.  Doing this takes all the pressure off.  He will be the One building, not us.  We do not need to lose sleep, wondering how or what to build next.  We can rest in the fact that He is the Master Builder and He has it all under control!

Yes, I am speaking to myself in this blog.  When I awake with worry, ideas, plans to be made, and questions about the next section to be worked on, I can simply remind myself that He has it all under control.  If I choose to follow His plans and submit to His will, I need not worry.  I recall my Savior telling us, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”  It is impossible for Him to lie, so this must be true.  Let’s seek Him, and let Him do the building.  What’s left to do but give Him praise!?

Praising Him!  \o/

jamie

An interesting sermon on sleep:  The Peculiar Sleep of the Beloved, Charles Spurgeon