Monday, August 31, 2015

August's Favorites - To Encourage your walk with the Lord



I am very excited to be starting a new monthly favorites feature on my blog!  My hope is that the favorites I highlight will be a blessing and encouragement to your own walk of Faith.

So without further delay, here are my favorites for August!

PROVERBS 31 MINISTRIES FIRST 5 APP



This app was literally an answer to prayer!!  As I have shared in previous blog posts, this season of my life finds it very hard for me to spend devoted time with the Lord - in His Word and in prayer.   I was ecstatic when I received an email from Proverbs 31 Ministries describing this new app:

"The vision for First 5 was developed by Proverbs 31 Ministries in order to connect your heart to God's Word the First 5 mintues of your day. First 5 will wake you up with a short teaching first thing in the morning, so you can exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world.

First 5 Writing Team:

Lysa TerKeurst
Wendy Blight
Whitney Capps
Leah DiPascal
Wendy Pope
Krista Williams"

As described in First 5's intro, they are looking to connect your heart to God's Word the First 5 minutes of your day, and they certainly provided a way - an alarm feature!   You can set your morning's alarm through the First 5 app which will wake you up to the day's morning devotion - the very first thing you'll see on your phone each day!  What a wonderful wake-up focus rather than a social media account!

First 5 systematically goes through a book of the Bible.  First 5 just finished up the book of John and will be starting the book of Genesis next.  First 5 goes through a chapter a day with a short related devotional. Within the devotional are links to additional relevant Scriptures and a section called "More Moments" where a further expansion of the day's devotion is provided.  There is a section called "My Moments" where answers to a few short pertinent questions related to the devotion text can be recorded.  I LOVE this aspect because it leaves a history of how the Lord spoke to you during each devotional.  The devotion ends with a prayer to reflect upon.  The First 5 app also gives an option to purchase a corresponding "Experience Guide" which is "designed to compliment each days' teaching as you grow your faith and reflect and respond to what you are learning."

From the very first day I began using First 5, I have noticed a difference in my walk with the Lord.  I trust it will be a blessing to the first 5 minutes of your day too.  :-)

HYMNS RADIO APP
As you know, I LOVE the old hymns!  The richness of the words, which are usually Scripture filled, offer encouragement, comfort and even conviction - all so edifying.

My husband recently told me about an app that he discovered called Hymns Radio.


While he was sharing with me how he enjoys listening to hymns while he takes his Saturday morning walks or while at work, I was quickly downloading the app!  lol.

The Hymns Radio app also has an alarm clock feature.  What a glorious way to wake up - listening to hymns!  And there is still more!  The app has a sleep timer so that you can fall sleep listening to hymns as well!  Such wonderful ways to absorb the Word of God and its tenets.  

THE FRAGRANCE OF GERANIUMS
Author, Alicia Ruggieri

A dear, sweet friend and sister in the Lord, Alicia Ruggieri, has been blessed with a tremendous gift for writing. She has authored several Christian fiction books one of which is called The Fragrance of Geraniums.    

The book's description reads as follows: 

 "In brokeness she found grace...  Told from multiple perspectives, this is a powerful story of three women - of the threads of mercy that connect them - and of heart-wrenching sorrows alchemized by the Heavenly Father's overwhelming redeeming grace."

This was a book I could not put down!  I loved how Alicia weaved a beautiful story depicting how the Lord orders our paths and life situations for His purposes and for our good.  The Gospel message is clearly spelled out through the lives and situations of the characters making this book a very edifying read.  I highly recommend it!

Alicia is just finishing up the sequel to Fragrance of Geraniums called All Our Empty Places.  I am very much looking forward to the book's release.

If you would like to learn more about Alicia, you can visit her blog at A Brighter Destiny.  

THE WOMEN OF DUCK COMMANDER
Author's:  Kay, Korie, Missy, Jessica and Lisa Roberson

I enjoy reading about Godly people's lives.  I call these books, "mentoring books".  I consider The Women of Duck Commander one of those books.

As I began reading, I was convicted by their testimonies of lives wholly, humbly and purposefully lived for Christ.  My walk seemed to pale in comparison to how they live and breathe Christ.  

It was interesting to read about each one of their spiritual journeys and the circumstances the Heavenly Father used to draw them to Himself.  I was most taken with the fact that each one of the women of Duck Commander had someone in their lives that was a strong believer whose Godly heritage ultimately shaped each one of their own lives.

This book was a very easy read.  I highly recommend it!  You will be spurred on in your Faith.

KINDLE APP 

As I've written about in a previous blog post, I believed myself to be a hardcore, hardcover book reader and couldn't imagine reading books on a Kindle.

Well...  After a month of using the Kindle App on my Iphone, I must confess, I LOVE IT!   My number one reason for loving the Kindle App, the fact that I can "steal moments" to read a chapter or two at random times in random places, like waiting at an appointment for example.  In doing so,  I will increase the number of books I read - more books like the ones I described above.  :-)

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I hope you will be blessed and benefited in the same way I have been by these favorites I have shared.

Blessed to be a blessing
Blessed to live Your love
Blessed to share with others every blessing from above.

A stanza from a song written for St. John's Lutheran School in Napa, California to be their theme song for the 2001-2002 school year.  

Let me know if you try out any of the apps or read the books I have shared about, I'd love to hear how you like them. :-)

You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eLivefree Thursday,Everyday JesusSDG GatheringInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryBlessings Counter Link-up Party,Faith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday,Dance with Jesus,Looking Up Link-UpReflect His Love and Glory Friend Sharpens Friend Link-UpWords of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home FridaysSo Much At Home Link-UpLiteracy Musing Mondays



Friday, August 21, 2015

Scripture Saturday



A NEW BLOG FEATURE 
BEGINNING IN SEPTEMBER

A weekly post called Scripture Saturday where I will be highlighting a verse of Scripture that spoke to my heart.


That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all riches of full assurance of understanding and knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ.
Colossians 2:2


Thanksgiving Thursday



A NEW BLOG FEATURE 
BEGINNING IN SEPTEMBER

A weekly post called Thanksgiving Thursday where I will be sharing my blessings from the Lord.


That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all riches of full assurance of understanding and knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ.
Colossians 2:2

Wednesday Worship



A NEW BLOG FEATURE 
BEGINNING IN SEPTEMBER

A weekly post called Wednesday Worship where I will be sharing hymn lyrics and a link for listening.


That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all riches of full assurance of understanding and knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ.
Colossians 2:2


Feature Friday



A NEW BLOG FEATURE 
BEGINNING IN SEPTEMBER

A weekly post called Feature Friday where I will be featuring one of YOUR blog posts from that week's link-up parties.  

Feel free to grab my button if you have been featured.  :-)


That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all riches of full assurance of understanding and knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ.
Colossians 2:2

Tuesday Thoughts



A NEW BLOG FEATURE 
BEGINNING IN SEPTEMBER

  A weekly post called, Tuesday Thoughts, where I will be sharing a short daybook reflection.


That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all riches of full assurance of understanding and knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ.
Colossians 2:2

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Blessings of Blogger Fellowship



My dear brother and sister bloggers in the Lord,

Just seven months ago my blogging journey began.

My purpose for writing a blog -  to further develop the discipline of studying God's Word at a deeper level so that I would grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  My hope for writing a blog - that others might be blessed by the insights shared and would receive them with the humility in which they were intended.  I didn't really think beyond that...  Or really even know how others would come upon my blog...

So I set out to writing as the Lord would lead...

In the meantime, I visited a dear friend's blog where I learned about Christian link-up communities. One by one, I began joining link-up parties, and the blessings began to flow...

Everything related to blogging was new to me.  I had no idea about the wonderful fellowship aspect of blogging, the beautiful friendships that would develop, and the abundant blessings I would receive.

The Lord also never ceases to amaze me in how he uses your blog posts to minister to me in the exact area that I need, week after week.

When I visit your blogs, it's like going to a friend's home for a lovely visit together.   I imagine us sitting across a table from each other in warm fellowship.

I love reading your insights; receiving wisdom and encouragement.  I especially love reading about your everyday lives in the Lord.

In my desire to "pay it forward" and share more of myself with all of you, I am excited to tell you about new daily features coming to Growing Together in Grace and Knowledge that I hope will be a blessing and encouragement.

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NEW TO THE BLOG IN SEPTEMBER!

LAST MONDAY OF THE MONTH
Monthly favorites post which could entail anything!  :-)

TUESDAY THOUGHTS
Weekly post to share a short daybook reflection.

WEDNESDAY WORSHIP
Weekly post to share hymn lyrics with a link for listening.

THANKSGIVING THURSDAY
Weekly post to share about those things I am thankful for.

FEATURE FRIDAY
Weekly post to feature one of YOUR blog posts!  
{Be sure to grab my button if you have been featured!}
:-)

SCRIPTURE SATURDAY
Weekly post highlighting a verse of Scripture that spoke to me during the week.

On Mondays I will continue to share my weekly blog post delving deeper into the Word of God.
At the end of that post, I will include links to the previous week's daily feature blog posts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith,
 but I also want to be encouraged by yours.  
Romans 1:12

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11


My hope for the entirety of my blog is that God will be glorified, and that we will continue to grow together in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ

I esteem all of you and the thoughtful, diligent work that you put into writing your blog posts.  I am blessed beyond measure to visit your blogs.   It is an honor and a blessing to call you friends.


That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ.  
Colossians 2:2


*Blog Notes*

Next week I will be taking a "blogging vacation".  Monday, August 31st I will be posting my August Favorites.  The first Monday in September the new daily features will begin!  :-)



You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eLivefree Thursday,Everyday JesusSDG GatheringInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryBlessings Counter Link-up Party,Faith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday,Dance with Jesus,Looking Up Link-UpReflect His Love and Glory Friend Sharpens Friend Link-UpWords of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home FridaysSo Much At Home Link-Up

Monday, August 10, 2015

Is it well with your soul?



Have you ever had someone ask you, "Is it well with your soul?"  Or maybe you have asked someone that very question.

I have always been taken aback by this question.  I confess I don't often think about my soul as an active part of me that needs to be addressed, but more as God's jurisdiction.  My focus is more on my physical, emotional and spiritual wellness.

The word soul in the Old Testament comes from the Hebrew word nepes.  The Bakers Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology states that the two most common renderings of nepes is "soul" and "life".   Nepes in the Old Testament never refers to an "immortal soul", but to simply the life principle or living being.  The Bakers Evangelical Dictionary went on to say that the Old Testament shows a mortal as a living soul rather than having a soul.  Instead of splitting a person into three parts, Hebrew thought sees a unified being; but one that is profoundly complex, a psychological being.

The Bakers Evangelical Dictionary stated that in the New Testament the counterpart to nepes  is psyche which appears infrequently, but usually denotes life.  Some usages of psyche in the New Testament shows expression of emotion such as grief and anguish...

Then He said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death..."
Matthew 26:38

Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say?  Father, save me from this hour?  No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.  
John 12:27

My soul is in deep anguish.  How long, Lord, how long?  
Psalm 6:3

Why, my soul are you downcast?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.  
Psalm 43:5

and of exultation and pleasure...

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.  
Luke 1:46

He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul.  Psalm 23:2

Before researching the meaning of the word soul, I had read the verses above and was quite struck by the emotions described.  The Holy Spirit then brought the following verse to mind.

...but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings to deep for words.  
Romans 8:26

The Holy Spirit is often described in Scripture as having deep emotion, like the verse above.

Curious about the relationship of emotion with the soul, and the soul with the Holy Spirit, I sought to find answers.

I came across a blog called Holding to Truth where a post was written called, What is the Difference between the Soul and Spirit of Man written by Tom Smith.  He shared some interesting insights...

He discussed the two schools of thought regarding whether we are made up of three parts, body, soul and spirit as the following verse seems to indicate:

And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit, soul and
body be preserved complete.  
1 Thessalonians 5:23 

Or, the thought that the soul and spirit are practically the same.  However, he feels that the following verse would say otherwise:

For the Word of God is living and active, sharper then any double-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow.  
Hebrews 4:12

Mr. Smith broke down body, soul and spirit as follows:

"Our body is the outer part containing our five senses with which we contact all the things of the physical, material realm."

"Our soul is our inner part containing our mind, emotion and will with which we contact the things of the psychological realm."

"The spirit, our innermost part with which we contact God and substantiate all the things of the spiritual realm."

I found Mr. Smith's description of the soul quite interesting in light of the observations I had made regarding the emotion described when the soul is referenced in Scripture; from feeling anguish to exultation...

But I was still left wondering about the Holy Spirit's emotion and possible connection with our soul's deep emotional activity.

The following excerpt from the Vine's Dictionary explains Hebrews 4:12; dividing of soul and spirit...

"The language of Hebrews 4:12 suggests the extreme difficulty of distinguishing between the soul and spirit, alike in their nature and in their activities.  Generally speaking, the spirit is the higher, the soul the lower element.  The spirit may be recognized as the life principle bestowed on man by God, the soul as the resulting life constituted in the individual, the body being the material organism animated by soul and spirit..."

The Vine's Dictionary's description of the soul was very helpful in answering my questions about the soul, it's origin, activity and relationship to the Holy Spirit.

I found this word study interesting as it brought to light how we are created to be emotional beings; not in the bad sense of the word, but in the passionate sense.  Just as the Holy Spirit is passionate about us, God created His children to be passionate about Him.

When Horatio G. Spafford penned, It is Well with My Soul, it was while he was in a ship stopped over the area of the ocean where his four daughters had perished tragically in an earlier shipwreck...

"When peace like a river attendeth my way, 
When sorrow like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul..."

Whatever school of thought one might have about the soul and the spirit, Scripture has shown us that the soul's activity does indeed work with the emotions of our hearts and minds.  The peace of Christ which guards the believer's soul, is the same peace which moved Horatio Spafford, in the midst of inconceivable loss, to say "It is well with my soul..."

And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7

Is it well with your soul?  

God's Word tell us, indeed it is!  Amen!  Amen!

And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit, 
soul and body be preserved complete.  
1 Thessalonians 5:23 


This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,
 and one which enters within the veil.  
Hebrews 6:19

 Our soul waits for the Lord, He is our help and our shield. 
 Psalm 33:20

Yes, my soul, find rest in God, my hope comes from Him.
Psalm 62:5


I don't know about you, but I found this study quite interesting and learned a lot!  It just goes to show that when we think we know something about a certain subject,  there is always something new to learn.

Please share your thoughts.  I'd be curious if any of you have ever pondered the soul.  :-) 


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eLivefree Thursday,Everyday JesusSDG GatheringInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryBlessings Counter Link-up Party,Faith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday,Dance with Jesus,Looking Up Link-UpReflect His Love and Glory Friend Sharpens Friend Link-UpWords of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Lost Art of Conversation



I always find it curious... the paths the Lord leads me down on any given day...

And so it was this past week while catching up on my Twitter feed that I saw a tweet about a devotional that looked timely for this season of my life.  Researching the title, I discovered I could get a Kindle version of the book, but would need to download the Kindle app to my Iphone.  I was hesitant at first, but had read another blog post the week before that inspired me to read more books. One of the suggestions for accomplishing this was to download the Kindle app to your cellphone allowing for more opportunities to read at random times when you ordinarily couldn't unless you were in the habit of always carrying a hardcover book around with you.  {And I must say, I am an avid hardcover supporter.  I LOVE holding a book and seeing how many pages I've turned.  Yes, I am very results oriented!  So this was a tough sell for me! lol}  I took the leap and downloaded the Kindle app.   It was then that I began to discover the vast amount of books contained within the Kindle app.  In my excitement, I thought about all the books I always wanted to read, but never got around to.   (Yes, I admit I have never read, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, etc., etc...)  Searching enthusiastically, I began downloading the classics on my "bucket list".  The first book on my list to read, Pride and Prejudice!  {You may be wondering why the Lord would lead me to read a classic like Pride and Prejudice.  A lesson in the area of the tongue would be the product of this endeavor.}

At first it took me a bit to become accustomed to the dialogue of the time period for the storyline of Pride and Prejudice, but I am now thoroughly enjoying it!   So far, I have read through Chapter 14 where the author's main focus has been on the conversation between the characters which I found a very interesting approach and was surprised by how drawn in I became!  

In pondering the characters manner of speaking which conversations were eloquent in delivery, but held like a sport, I did some research about Victorian conversation, and was quite fascinated with what I discovered on a website called Victorian Etiquette...

"To be an excellent conversationalist is a very desirable accomplishment.  We talk more than we do anything else.  By conversation we may make friends, we may retain them, or we may lose them.   We may impart information; we may acquire it.   We may make the company with whom we associate contented with itself, or we can sow disharmony and discord.  Our success in life largely rests upon our ability to converse well; therefore the necessity of our carefully studying what should and should not be said when talking."

"How to please in conversation.
  • Be cool, collected and self-possessed, using respectful, chaste and appropriate language.
  • Always defend the absent person who is being spoken of, as far as truth and justice will permit."
  • Beware of talking much about yourself.  Your merits will be discovered in due time without the necessity of sounding your own praises.
  • Recollect that the object of conversation is to entertain and amuse; the social gathering, therefore, should not be made the arena of dispute.  Even slight mistakes and inaccuracies it is well to overlook, rather than to allow inharmony to present itself."
  • Aim to adapt your conversation to those with whom you are conversing.  Be careful that you do not undervalue them.  It is possible that they are as intelligent as yourself, and their conversation, can, perhaps, take as wide a range as your own.
  • Remember that people are fond of talking of their own affairs.  The mother likes to talk of her children, the mechanic of his workmanship, the laborer of what he can accomplish.  Give everyone opportunity, and you will gain much valuable information besides being thought courteous and well-bred."
"What to avoid in conversation.
  • Do not manifest impatience.
  • Do not engage in argument.
  • Do not interrupt another when speaking.
  • Do not find fault, although you may gently criticize.
  • Do not talk of your private, personal and family matters.
  • Do not appear to notice inaccuracies of speech in others."
These are just some highlights from the webpage.  I encourage you to read more about Victorian conversation etiquette here if you have a fascination with that time period.  It really is quite entertaining! 

As I read the Victorian rules of conversation, which in many instances mirror commands found in Scripture concerning conversation and the tongue, it saddened me to think that in an age of texting, emailing and social media, meaningful conversations are no longer commonplace.  Civility and respect can be lost through misinterpretation of faceless words, and speaking to each other on the phone or in person is an inconvenience compared to a quick text...

We find ourselves in an age of fast and dazzling information which onslaughts us from every direction training our minds to be easily distracted and unable to sit for long periods of time to focus on one thing.  Sadly, many churches have shortened their sermons for this very reason.  As a result, even our actual face to face conversations suffer.

Several of my pet peeves surround situations I've experienced in my own conversations with others. First on my conversation pet peeve list, talking to someone who is just looking around or over my shoulder, KNOWING they are not at all interested in what I'm saying to the point that I end up just trailing off...  Second, when people talk over me like I'm not even there, let alone the fact that I was already speaking!  Lastly, when a person interrupts me over and over again to the point that I forget what I am saying!

But sadly, I can be guilty of these very things!  

I was quite taken by the quote I recorded earlier of how people are "fond of talking about their own affairs such as children or work".   

I was convicted because too often I will "tune a person out", if they are telling me another story related to something they repeatedly talk about.    Husbands especially are wired to be respected and valued for their work.  It is important to be a genuine and intentional participant in a conversation when our husbands tell us about their day at work.  And, of course, we also have those things we are fond of that we love to talk about.  I know I appreciate it when someone is genuinely interested in hearing about what matters to me.  How much more should I show the same respect to them.

Just this week, I came upon a painting of a cozy scene, probably set in the early 1900s, of a family sitting around the fireplace; mother sewing a quilt which lay on her lap; father sitting with the paper, and child on the floor with a toy; all of them looking at each other in a conversational way.  I crawled into that picture!  I imagined what they were talking about; what a closeness they must share, intentionally talking with one another, learning from one another, enjoying one another, loving one another...

You shall teach {these Words of mine} to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 11:19

I fear husbands, wives, children, and families struggle to hold meaningful conversations due to the many modern day distractions from countless activities, cellphones, internet, and social media. How fulfilling and enriched our daily lives would be if we intentionally took part in the art of conversation...

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The King James Dictionary definition of "conversation" says: 

"This word is another illustration which time makes in a living language.  The modern sense of the word is mutual talk, colloquy, but in the King James Version it never means that, but always behavior, conduct.  This broader meaning, at a time not much later than the date of the King James Version, began to yield to the special, limited one of today, perhaps as has been suggested, because speech forms so large a part of conduct."  

Indeed, the tongue is such a powerful member of our bodies.  It can build up, tear down, or by it's very silence, break hearts...

He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from trouble.  
Proverbs 21:23

For the one who desires life, to love and see good days, and yet does not bridle his tongue,  must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
1 Peter 3:10

So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.  See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!  
James 35

If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless.  
James 1:26

One of the ways we tear others down is through gossip.  I may be mistaken, but I think as women we can fall prey to gossip more easily, and even justify it!   Participating in gossip destroys our own character.

A friend of mine has a painting which is called "The Gossip".  As my friend and I studied the painting, it was interesting to note how the artist portrayed the two women.  Dressed in finery from the late 1800s, sitting at a table, leaning in close toward one another, appearing to not want to miss a word of what was said; savoring every morsel...  A very sad, but true depiction...

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Our great God has given us His Word, Wonderful Words of Life.  Oh that our conduct and conversation would mirror the Scriptures.  Let our "fondness for talking of our own affairs" primarily be the affairs of God!  Let us speak Life into those we come in contact with.  Let us speak with humility and respect.  Let our speech be intentional and genuine.  Let us think others better than ourselves.   

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, 
so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
Colossians 4:6

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29


And above all let our conversations be filled with Praise, Glory and Honor to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

From the rising of the sun, to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!
Psalm 113:3

You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eLivefree Thursday,Everyday JesusSDG GatheringInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryBlessings Counter Link-up Party,Faith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday,Dance with Jesus,Looking Up Link-UpReflect His Love and Glory Friend Sharpens Friend Link-UpWords of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays