LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS

Sherry asked him if the job was starting on the 12th, as scheduled. His face flushed as he tilted his head downward and away from her. He said nothing. Sherry took a deep breath, straightened up her shoulders and confronted him, “It’s not, is it?” He stuttered a bit, “Well… not yet.” There had already been a couple postponements so the tension was thick in the air as her brain ingested those words.

To me it would be like putting a moldy strawberry in my mouth. I’d want to spit it out immediately. But not Sherry. Not one negative word came out of her mouth. She tucked it away and I was amazed.

All of this happened in just a matter of seconds as I stood there mixing my paint, trying to be anonymous. But my mind was going like star bursts, held in breathless wonder at how she was able to keep utterly silent under those circumstances.

Could I do that? Nope, not at this point. I definitely need more practice and help from the Holy Spirit to keep my mouth shut. But, wow, what a goal. Her ability to handle this negative situation so well really impressed me and seeing it in action gave me hope and a vivid illustration I won’t forget.

I’ve always believed that I can learn something from just about everyone, especially everyone in the body of Christ.

We all have our shortcomings, weaknesses and cracks in our souls. Where we lack, there are others who are strong. The Bible calls those who are born again, members of the body of Christ.

We need each other.

The Bible says, “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you” (1 Cor 12:18 and 21).

And Ephesians 5 tells us we are to submit ourselves, one to another. That tells me that we are to look and learn and be observant of those good qualities in other’s lives.

So, Sherry, thanks for your great example. It inspired me and gave me a vivid illustration and model to remember on how to keep my lips locked.

The thing is, Sherry doesn’t even know yet what her actions meant to me (until I send her this).

All the more reason to keep following Jesus the best we can. Because when we do, we inspire others and give them an example to live up to, even when we don’t know it.

Love, Carolyn

Next weekend is a FREE download of WINGS Part 4. It contains great chapters including GENERATIONAL CURSES, GOSSIP AND HEALING, THE PROCESS OF OBEDIENCE, ANGER AND FORGIVENESS and many more. The free offer goes from Thursday July 17th thru Monday July 21st. Enjoy.

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Have you ever found yourself in your normal routine and you’re doing something you used to really like but you realize you don’t like it anymore? It happened to me a couple weeks ago. What do we do?

Step one is to admit we don’t like it. As the psychiatrist might ask: “How does it make you feel?” We’re not going to make rash decisions based on feelings but we’re not going to deny them either. Feelings are just that, feelings. They aren’t good or bad. The devil didn’t invent emotions. God gave them to us. Like a barometer, they’re good for monitoring our atmospheric pressure.

We need to openly admit that something has changed in the activity or something has changed in us to make us feel unhappy with what we’re doing. If we’re going to move ahead with a healthy attitude, there’s no more room for pretending that everything is okay. Step one: How does the activity make us feel?

Step two is to take a good look at the activity and answer a few simple questions. Often we float through activities without giving them much thought. I was involved in a weight loss program for the past three years. I reached my goal weight, kept it off and developed good eating habits. There came a point when I felt like I wasn’t really learning anything new and the flavor of the weekly meetings soured.

My friend Miki kept asking, “Why are you still going? You don’t need to.” I’d give her some lame answer and just kept on going. (It’s funny how sometimes other people see us better than we see ourselves.) Well, I finally took a closer look myself.

In Quantum physics (for you science buffs) there’s something that relates to what I’m talking about. Atoms consist of electrons orbiting around a nucleus. The electrons exist in a wave state, like a cloud, whirling about the nucleus. That is, until someone looks at it. When the scientist observes it, suddenly the electron appears as a dot or particle and no longer a wave. It can be like that with our lives—things, activities, people and ideas all whirling about us. They don’t take distinct form until we actually observe them.

In step two, once we stop to take a good look at the disagreeable activity, we ask a few simple questions.  “Why do I feel this way now, when I didn’t before?” “Has the activity changed?” “Have I changed?” Once we answer these questions we’re ready to move on to Step three.

In step three we ask ourselves, “Even though I’m unhappy with this activity now, is it moving me toward my goals?” If it’s not, then it’s time to pray about dropping it. With the weight loss program, I’d already reached my goals. When I prayed about it, it was okay to drop it right away.

With other things the Holy Spirit may direct us to wait or take baby steps toward leaving the activity behind. Praying for the Lord’s guidance will be essential. We want to be praying for the manifestations of the Spirit according to First Corinthians 12, especially word of knowledge and word of wisdom.  If we’re in doubt whether we should keep doing the activity or let it go, then we need to go on to the next and final step four.

Step four is the last step. We ask the question, “Are the benefits of this activity worth the pain to stay with it?” Jesus said, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?” (Luke 14:28 & 31). On a piece of paper or the computer we make a list of the benefits, then a list of the detriments to staying with this activity. We prayerfully take the time to weigh the worth.

We’re half way through 2014. It’s a good time to examine our goals and the activities we’re doing in light of those goals. We ask ourselves, “What are my major goals: in relationships, in work, in exercise and health, in religious and spiritual matters, in finances, in entertainment and relaxation, in hobbies and special interests?”

Then we take each category and observe the activities around each. We make those activities stop swirling like a cloud and instead become clear like the electron dots of an atom. If there are activities we’re unhappy with, we carefully go through the four steps. 

Step One: How does the activity make me feel? Step Two: What has changed? Step Three: Is the activity putting me closer to my goal and if not, how do I drop it? Step Four: Is this activity worth the cost?

NOTE: You may want to do this exercise one goal category at a time (bite-sized pieces). That’s what I’m doing, taking one more hefty goal and then the entertainment one, having some fun with it.

Love, Carolyn

PS: This coming Thursday through Monday get your FREE download of WINGS SAMPLE BOOK A. For this sample book I’ve chosen chapters specifically about the POWER OF WORDS to direct our lives. These chapters are true life stories about the tremendous and varied BENEFITS OF CHOOSING WORDS WISELY. There are pertinent questions that go with each story to further help the reader look at his or her life and see HOW to apply the keys for more satisfying and victorious living.

TERRIFYING SUMMER DAY

In the summer the grass on the hillside behind our house was long and dry—perfect for hours and hours of fun for the three of us kids. My sister, brother and I found big cardboard pieces to use for sleds. We crossed the street in back of our house, climbed through an open space in the barbed wire fence, hiked up the hill and got ready to go. Each of us grabbed the front end of our cardboard, pulled it up over our feet and down we’d fly all the way to the… bottom. Then we’d do it again and again all day, until mom called us for dinner. One time I was sledding alone.
 
I got tired early so I folded my cardboard and headed home. I carefully lifted up a section of barbed wire and my foot hit a small log in the path. All of a sudden I was being swarmed and stung by yellow jackets. They were all over me—my face, my arms, my head, even stinging me through my socks—and they just kept attacking. Yellow jackets aren’t like regular bees that die once they sting you. Yellow jackets can just keep on stinging. I must have disturbed their nest and they were mad. I managed to get myself out from under the barbed wire and ran to the middle of the street.
 
They followed me and surrounded me and kept stinging me over and over. I could do nothing to stop them. I panicked and froze there right in the middle of the street and screamed at the top of my lungs.
 
My mom came running out of the house and saw immediately what was going on. She grabbed me and quickly got me off the street and into our driveway. She turned the water on and hosed me down. Then she took me, sopping wet, into the house, where she slathered me from head to toe in calamine lotion, finally easing the pain of over a hundred yellow jacket stings.
 
This memory reminds me of the Bible story about the man from the Gadarenes. He was being attacked by a legion of devil spirits. Most sources say a legion can be as many as 6000 in number. The man was lashing out, tearing at himself and scaring everyone, that is, except Jesus. The man wasn’t in his right mind but Jesus had compassion on him and rescued the man. Jesus set him free from the attacks and the people “found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind” (Luke 8:34).
 
My mom rescued me and calmed the stings. Jesus rescued the man and calmed him. The man regained a sane mind rather than the insane one he got while he was being bombarded. Sometimes we act a little insane too when we get bombarded. Let’s follow Jesus’ example and do like it says in 1 Peter 3:8: “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble” (1 Peter 3:8).
 
Love, Carolyn
This week I have a free download, WINGS: Sample book C. It is 6 true life stories all on different aspects of FAITH. Find it on Amazon under my name.