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

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WAITING WITHOUT STRESS

Here’s the problem: I would like to be writing full-time. I currently work as a painter and I like it, but eventually I’d like to do painting as a side job, and do my Christian writing as my main job. I think I’m trusting the Lord but why is it taking so long?

I recognize the problems. I can see what a possible solution might be. But what do I do with myself while I’m waiting?

The Bible says trust. But what does that mean and how do I do it consistently without doubting? Yesterday I realized that even though I think I’m trusting, sometimes I don’t act like it. I have faith and trust one day and then discouragement and doubt the next. James 1:6-8 says: “For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

So there you have it. If my trust level is wavering, then I’m not going to receive what I need from the Lord. That’s harsh! But it’s true, so I have to find a way to keep my trust level up and stable.

The only way I know of is to continually say, out loud, what the Bible says and write it down. I didn’t make this formula up. It’s in God’s Word in several places. Daniel 6:8 says that the way to establish something you say, is to write it down and sign it: “Establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed.” And Romans 10:17 says, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It doesn’t say “faith cometh by reading,” or “faith cometh by thinking,” or that “faith cometh by talking to a lot of other people about your problems.”

But faith comes by hearing and the best source of that hearing is our own mouths. We’re more likely to believe and act on something we say than something someone else says. If I say, “I’m going to the restroom,” I’m more likely to go than if someone else says, “Carolyn, go to the restroom.”

From the scriptures we see that the winning combination is to write down the decree, say it and sign it. With this combination, we’ll be able to be stable and decrease the doubt or wipe it out. We will not be wavering, but trusting and we will receive from the Lord the true desires of our hearts. With the frenzy of life these days, I suggest saying our written decree every day at least one time, if not more, to confirm our trust and stability. The Holy Spirit will definitely help us with our efforts.

Proverbs 3: 5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Some of us who have grown up to be independent and learned to take care of ourselves have relied on and trusted in our own reasoning. We want to know why, when, how, and who. We want to get the facts up front and then trust, but that’s not the way God works. We need to leave all the reasoning behind for a while, and just trust Him. Reasoning gives us stress. Trust gives us rest.

Trust is love without having to know the details.

Here is my decree, as I got it from the Lord yesterday (with the scripture back-up listed at the end): “I trust the Lord. God is working in me to will and to do of His good pleasure. My times are in His hands. I cast my care on Him because he cares for me. It’s going to work out because God has a GOOD plan for my future. I do all things without murmuring because the Lord Jesus is with me and I’m following Him. I am complete in Him.” Proverbs 3:5, Philippians 2:13, Psalm 31:15, 1 Peter 5:7, Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 2:14, Matthew 28:20, Matthew 4:19, Colossians 2:10.

If you want, you can use this decree as a guide when you prayerfully write your own.

Have a wonderful week.

Love, Carolyn

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