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.

BLACK ICE

I was driving to a friend’s house when it started to rain. As I turned into the far lane of the freeway on-ramp, the wheels on my pickup hit the grease in the road and it started to hydroplane just like hitting black ice. I turned into the skid but then I was sliding in the opposite direction and out of control. The whole truck slipped one way then the other, then toward the cement easement.

I heard the forceful sound of crushing metal as my front end smashed into the cement. I heard the garish crunch but I didn’t feel it. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion and I was the spectator watching a movie of myself.

This happened to me before in Michigan when a big truck jackknifed across the freeway right in front of me and I nearly hit it but suddenly stopped only about five feet short, and once when I hit black ice at an intersection in Ohio.

I am convinced that God actually slows down time in these kinds of situations. In Isaiah 38:8 God said, “Behold I will bring the shadow on the sundial ten degrees backward.” That was about forty minutes. God can and will do this for us. And I pray for protection every morning and truly believe that angels surround us so that we don’t get hurt. Psalm 5:12 promises, “with favor thou wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” I believe that with all my heart.

The back end of my truck jutted out into the oncoming lanes. Fortunately there were only a few cars coming and they were able to go around.  I managed to scrape my way across the two lanes and into the hotel parking lot.

A tall good-looking man came over. He asked if I was hurt and I said I wasn’t. He said, “I saw the whole thing and I can’t believe you weren’t hurt and that you can actually drive your car!” He pulled a tool out of his shirt pocket, “I always carry this with me.” It looked like a pair of pliers, but then he began to cut into the metal bumper with it and was able to bend out the bumper and use the tool again to loosen the last bolt holding it on. He put the piece in the bed of my truck. Then he used the tool again to pull the fender away from the wheel so it wouldn’t scrape. After a little effort on his part and testing on my part, I was able to drive freely. All I had was twenty dollars with me, which I gave him and thanked him profusely for the help.

A couple more miracles took place around this incident: my roommate found a place to get parts at the most discounted prices in America and my neighbor offered to put them on for free. What I’ll end up paying is less than half of what I’d pay with a deductible.

I’m not trying to say that all of this was a delight. Not so. After the accident I had to grab my mind and mouth many times to keep out the negatives of worry, stress and despair. But thank God I was able to do it. I’m learning to keep quiet and trust Him even in the negative situations and He comes through every time.

If His eyes are on the sparrow, He will surely watch over me. (Luke 12:6-7)

Love, Carolyn

Check out my books on Amazon under my name and have a great week!

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.