Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Note on the New Blog "Inkblots"

Several people have asked me about my new blog "Inkblots". So I'll just explain it here...
It's a private blog (well, so is this, but Inkblots is actually a private blog) for authors. It is it share, compare, and edit each other's works. At the present, it is not going to be open to everybody just yet, as I still am getting it started and all, but as it comes together, we may invite more readers.

Friday, March 27, 2009

To the Trembling Warrior

This is no battle against flesh and blood--
This is a fight against th' approaching flood:
Rulers, authorities, pow'rs of this world,
Spiritual forces, their fiery darts hurled;
Grasping and clenching, and blinding men's eyes--
Righteousness, judgment, they fully despise.
Ready for battle to slaughter are they;
Ready to fight 'til the end of the day.

Here you are trembling-- you're but flesh and blood,
Made of the dirt, yet you're feeling like mud.
Frightened and fainting, you think you can't stand,
Holding your sword with a trembling hand.
Look to the sky, fearful warrior, and see
He who has been from all eternity.
Don His own armor and go in His might!
Vict'ry is yours; you can go forth to fight!

Truth is your belt, fastened on, setting free,
Righteousness giv'n by the Man on the Tree.
Shod with the Gospel of God's perfect peace,
With it you run 'til the battle should cease.
When satan hurls flaming arrows of doubt,
Take up the shield of faith with a glad shout.
Clad with salvation and wielding God's Word,
Praying at all times with the faith that you're heard.

Covered with armor not made by men's hands,
But by the One who clothed heavenly bands,
Earth and the sea and the moon and the sun--
Clothed in His strength, you have already won.
Fghting the battle is so you'll perceive
What He can do when you only believe.
Giants will fall and you'll conquer the foe,
When in the might of the Victor you go.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hey, folks! I'm sorry for my shameful lack of posts lately. I have just had too much on my plate lately to do everything that I want or need to... posting, working on the Tuckleberry Times, do my IBE lessons, do my film class lesson, sew, read, write an article for a magazine, write Kim and Sydney, play the piano... etc., etc., etc. A body can only do so much. :-) And since blogging isn't as high priority as some of the other things, I haven't been doing it as much. This morning, though, I had time to sit down and post some verses that have really encouraged me lately (since I don't have time to commentate on them. ;-) ) So make sure you read them-- don't skim! :-)

Good job on the last poll. The answer was Mary Musgrove from Persuasion. Enjoy this next poll... I think you'll laugh! :-)

Hope From God's Word

Regarding the Wicked and the Righteous
(Jeremiah 17:5-8)

"Thus saith the LORD,
'Cursed be the man that trusteth in man,
and maketh flesh his arm,
and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
For he shall be like the heath in the desert,
and shall not see when good cometh;
but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
in a salt land and not inhabited.

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD,
and whose hope the LORD is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters,
and that spreadeth out her roots by the river,
and shall not see when heat cometh,
but her leaf shall be green;
and shall not be careful in the year of drought,
neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

When My Heart is Overwhelmed
Psalm 61:1-4
"Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee,

when my heart is overwhelmed:

lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For thou hast been a shelter for me,
and a strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever:
I will trust in the covert of thy wings."

Psalm 37:3-7, 39-40

"Trust in the LORD, and do good;
so shalt thou dwell in the land,
and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the LORD;
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Commit thy way unto the LORD;
trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light,
and thy judgment as the noonday.
Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him...
The salvation of the righteous is of the LORD:
he is their strength in the time of trouble.
And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them:
he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them,
because they trust in him."

The God of Open Doors
Revelation 3:7-13

"...These things saith he that is holy,
he that is true,
he that hath the key of David,
he that openeth, and no man shutteth;
and shutteth, and no man openeth;
'I know thy works:
behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it:
for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word,
and hast not denied my name.

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan,
which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie;
behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet,
and to know that I have loved thee.
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience,
I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation,
which shall come upon all the world,
to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Behold, I come quickly:
hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God,
and he shall go no more out:
and I will write upon him the name of my God,
and the name of the city of my God,
which is new Jerusalem,
which cometh down out of heaven from my God:
and I will write upon him my new name.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Jesus' Purpose and Commission

"Then opened [Jesus] their understanding,
that they might understand the scriptures,
And said unto them,

'Thus it is written,
and thus it behoved Christ to suffer,
and to rise from the dead the third day:
And that repentance and remission of sins
should be preached in his name among all nations,
beginning at Jerusalem.
And ye are witnesses of these things.
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you...'"

(Luke 24:45-49)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

PDF Downloads

Life Action Ministries has some excellent materials on the Christian walk, available as PDF downloads. Several of them have really ministered to my heart and that of my family. Some that I specifically recommend to you are: "Teach Me to Pray", "Put Off...Put On", and "The Complete Spiritual". Here is the link:


On an extra note, Life Action is the ministry that my mom travelled with as a singer in 1987-88. It has ministered to many individual hearts and churches. I highly recommend these resources to you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Begone, Unbelief

"Begone, unbelief; my Saviour is near,
And for my relief will surely appear.
By prayer let me wrestle, and He will perform;
With Christ in the vessel, I smile at the storm.

"Though dark be my way, since He is my guide,
'Tis mine to obey, 'tis His to provide;
Though cisterns be broken, and creatures all fail,
The word He has spoken shall surely prevail.

"His love in time past forbids me to think
He'll leave me at last in trouble to sink;
Each sweet Ebenezer I have in review
Confirms His good pleasure to help me quite through.

"Determined to save, He watched o'er my path,
When, Satan's blind slave, I sported with death;
And can He have taught me to trust in His name,
And thus far have brought me to put me to shame?

"Why should I complain of want or distress,
Temptation or pain? He told me no less;
The heirs of salvation, I know from His Word,
Through much tribulation must follow their Lord.

"Since all that I meet shall work for my good,
The bitter is sweet; the medicine, food;
Though painful at present, 'twill cease before long;
And then, O how pleasant the conqueror's song!"

-John Newton (1725-1807)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thoughts on Prayer

Last week was a wonderfully refreshing week for me spiritually, but either I didn't have time to post, or I had so many things to post that I couldn't get it all down. I thought I might briefly share a little of my happiness now. :-)

My week began with spiritual depression in my soul. I was struggling with believing that God does hear, does see my needs, does answer prayer. Circumstances in life were bogging me down and satan was very active in making sure I was depressed. I asked God, weak in faith, but hopeful, that He would show Himself to me, and help me to know that I can trust Him. And God heard, He saw, and He answered!! And that, in many, many ways. However, in this post, I will just talk about what He taught me about prayer; otherwise, it would be a very, very long post. :-)

God prompted me to pick up a book that has been sitting on our shelf since a couple Christmases ago, that I had never read. It is a biography about James O. Fraser, entitled Mountain Rain. That was actually the week prior, but it was this last week that I read about James' spiritual depression and how the Lord taught him how to have spiritual victory, and also how he learned about faith and true prayer. So much of it pinpointed very specific things in my life that I had been struggling in. For instance, why weren't my prayers being answered? Reading Mountain Rain showed me that much of it was because I wasn't praying in faith, believing that God would and could answer it; also, many of my prayers did not have much heart in them, as I would go from one prayer request to another almost robotically; or I would not take the time to pray for them as I ought, suggesting that I did not really feel like they were so important. I was blaming God for not answering my prayers, when the problem was really me-- I was not truly asking Him in such a way that He could answer me-- until last Sunday evening when I asked Him to help me out of my depression and show me Himself. Here are some words of wisdom in Mountain Rain that directly ministered to me:

"I feel even when praying alone that there are two concerned in prayer, God and myself... I do not think that a petition which misses the mind of God will ever be answered (1 John 5:14)."

"Unanswered prayers have taught me to seek the Lord's will instead of my own."

"Praying without faith [is] like trying to cut with a blunt knife-- much labor is expended to little purpose... 'According to your faith,' not labor, 'be it unto you.' "

“The aim of Satanic power is to cut off communication with God. To accomplish this aim he deludes the soul with a sense of defeat, covers him with a thick cloud of darkness, depresses and oppresses the spirit, which in turn hinders prayer and leads to unbelief – thus destroying all power.”

I'm afraid I would bore you if I was to record all that James wrote that encouraged my heart in that matter, and I would also have to write out almost a whole chapter, so I will refrain. :-) Besides, I overload you on quotes as it is. :-)

Another way God encouraged me in the matter of prayer was by leading me to the verse which I posted about on March 11. I was writing out the verse on a pretty sheet of paper to put up on my wall by my bed, and, like I usually like to do, writing it in poetry form, capitalizing in large, fancy letters the words I wished to emphasize, and that is how I discovered the acrostic: ASK. God wants me to ask Him, believing He will answer and give His blessings; seek Him, believing He will be found; and knock, believing that He will open up His ways and His will to me. I encourage you to read Wednesday's post, if you haven't yet, to see more of what God specifically showed me in that verse.

Something else that God taught me about prayer was in Luke 6:27-- love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who despitefully use you. One of my discouragements lately has been hurt from a family who had been saying things about us that weren't true and breaking confidence that we felt we had in them. In this verse, Jesus taught me, so very specifically, to pray for that family, and to pray for grace and strength to love them as God does. I prayed this in faith and with the knowledge that it was definitely God's will to answer this prayer (practicing what I'd been learning in Scripture and in Mountain Rain ;-) )... and as soon as I prayed, I knew God was answering my prayer-- I do not know about the other family, but I knew He was filling my heart with a spirit of genuine, Chirst-like love and compassion for that family. It boosted my spirits and encouraged me greatly!

On Thursday afternoon, I decided to pull out Nave's Topical Bible and do a little study on prayer-- looking up the references and asking God to teach me through the verses. I am not done with it yet-- not nearly!-- but have already been greatly encouraged by it. Here are some things I discovered and wrote out in my notebook:

"Hebrews 4:16. Boldly has also been translated with confidence. We do not need to come trembling to god in prayer, fearing that He won't listen, hear, understand, or answer. jesus can empathize with our weakness and wants us to come with confidence to Him and know that He does care and will answer.

"Genesis 18:23-32. Never until now did I consider a connection between this account and Hebrews 4:16..... Two things Abraham remembered and prayed according to were

  1. God's character ("just", "righteous") and
  2. God's heart ("[He] is not willing that any should perish", "will not punish the righteous with the wicked")"
On Thursday (which was probably the most encouraging day) I wrote in my journal:

"Mountain Rain" is an overwhelming book and I feel almost overloaded with all he says about what God taught him about prayer. I am realizing how very shallow my prayer life is, and how active the devil has been in trying to discourage me... and quench the relationship and prayer life I can have with God. Read Mountain Rain, chapter 4. That's what's on my mind right now. I am determined to climb out of short, hurried, muttered prayers with no faith or relationship behind them. I want a deep, intimate, strong, personal prayer relationship with my God. O Lord, 'teach me to pray.' Grant me victory over the very real and active forces of satan. Glorify Yourself in me!"

On a final note, I will record what form J. O. Fraser suggested direct, specific prayer to take:
  1. "A firm standing on God-given ground, and a constant assertion of faith and claiming of victory. It is helpful, I find, to repeat passages of Scripture applicable to the subject. Let faith be continually strengthened and fed from its proper source-- the Word of God.
  2. "A definite fighting and resisting of satan's host in the Name of Christ. I like to read passages of Scripture, such as 1 John 3:8 or Revelation 12:11 in prayer, as direct weapons against satan. I often find it a means of much added strength and liberty in prayer to fight this way. Nothing cuts like the word of the Living God. (Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12)

  3. "Praying through every aspect of the matter in detail."

I hope and pray that today you all will be encouraged as I have been! :-)

P.S. Paintings from http://www.allposters.com/. Picture of J.O. Fraser from http://www.jofraser.org/.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Quotation from "Christy" to Wet Your Appetite! :-D

At supper that evening the topic of book-slashing was carefully avoided since it was obvious that I was still tense and upset. But I knew that I had to talk about it, so as we were leaving the table I asked Miss Alice if I could go with her for a chat.

"Of course," she answered. "Why don't you ask David to come too?"

When we were settled in front of her fireplace, I began. "I don't know how much David has told you--"

"Only the bare facts."

"Then I'll begin at the beinning, if I may." And I described it all, beginning with the mud on the steps, through my losing my temper so completely after the buckeye trick.

"Well, don't condemn yourself for that," David protested. "Who wouldn't have lost their temper? I certainly would! Miss Alice, I wish you could have seen that scene. Priceless! Christy, so fragile looking, wading into that hulk of a boy. I'm proud of you, Christy. And believe me, I intend to stay clear of that strong right arm of yours!"

I laughed a bit shakily. ""Thanks, David, but let's talk about the real problem. Who would make a special trip to the schoolhouse for the deliberate purpose of tearing up new books? And why?"

Miss Alice's gray eyes beneath the shining blond braids were thoughtful. "Perhaps because to a certain type of person back here, anything new and strange poses a personal threat."

"I don't understand how new books pose any threat."

"New schoolhouse... new books... new starry-eyed teacher wtih a head full of plans for the future who's constantly talking about them. I don't know-- I'm only guessing. But for some, that may add up to a threat to the only way of life they've ever known."

"Then is it wrong to have so many new ideas?"

"Of course not!" David said quickly. "Stop condemning yourself. I like you when you're fired up."

Miss Alice only smiled.

"But how can we find out who tore up the books?" I persisted. "And I did lose my temper today. So how can I get order and discipline back in my classroom now?"

"You already have it back," David answered. "You saw how good everyone was for the rest of the day. Even Lundy was docile."

"Not docile. Surly."

"Well, manageable, at least. It won't happen again. But if there ever should be any more episodes, then 'm for asking Lundy Taylor to leave school. I'm not sure he has the brains for school anyway."

"But David, I wouldn't like to expel anyone. That really would be a failure."

All at once I realized that Miss ALice was saying nothing at all. I recognized one of her quiet moments; that was when she had her best thoughts. "I'd like your comments," I prodded.

"All right, Christy. You've mentioned your anger. I disagree with you, David, that Christy should be applauded for what she did. Christy's own deepest instinct tells her that the anger didn't finally solve aything. Perhaps it would help, Christy, if you recognized why you got so furious. Do you know?"

"Well, I guess because-- No, I really don't know. What do you mean 'Why'?"

"I believe it was because the new books were the product of your latest brain, child, thoughtfully conceived, brought to birth with flair and success. Those books are a tangible token of a triumph of self-- therefore dear to your heart. True, you undertook the trip to Knoxville to help other people, but self went, self wore a ravishing hat, self sold her cause to an interesting wealthy man. Therefore, when the books were slashed, it was as if you yourself were slashed."

David was looking at Miss Alice in amazement-- as if he wanted to argue with her. But her words had hit home. In my heart I knew she was right. Yet that only made me feel more despairing. I wondered again if I really belonged here. I had thought that love was the answer for Mountie O'Teale, for all my classroom. Perhaps love had not solved anything after all.

"Don't look so woebegone," Miss Alice smiled at me. "No need to be so discouraged, Christy," she continued. "Have you ever watched a baby learning to walk? He totters, arms stretched out to balance himself. He wobbles-- and falls, perhaps bumps his nose. Then he puts the palms of his little hands flat on the floor, hikes his rear end up, looks around to see if anybody is watching him. If nobody is, usually he doesn't bother to cry, just precariously balances himself-- and tries again."

I smiled at the picture.

"Well, the baby can teach us. What you've undertaken here in Cutter Gap in your schoolroom isn't a state of perfection to be arrived at all of a sudden. It's a walk, and a walk isn't static but ever-changing. We Friends say that all discouragement is from an evil source and can only end in more evil. Wallowing in self-condemnation or feeling sorry for yourself is worse than falling on your face in the first place. So-- thee fell into a temper! So thee is human. Thank God for thy humanness."
-Taken from Christy, by Catherine Marshall; Chapter 18, pages 222-224

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Christy is a powerful, historical fiction novel written by Catherine Marshall. Since its publication in 1967, it has remained a beloved classic and has also been the inspiration for a popular television series in the 1990's.

In 1912, a young lady's life was changed forever. Nineteen-year-old Christy Huddleston grew up in a sheltered home near the Smoky Mountains with her father, her mother, and her brother George. One day at a church conference, she heard an elderly man tell about the needs of the people in the hidden regions of the Great Smokies. Stirred by the words of a man with a true heart of service, she volunteered to go to mountains to teach and to minister to the needy people who walked for miles through the snow without shoes so that they could get an education.

Her heart was set on adventure then, but now she realizes that she didn't really know the reality of what she was getting into. Upon her arrival at Cutter Gap, she instantly comes face-to-face with the struggles and darkness of the "highlanders" whose clocks had stopped somewhere in the 1700's. She encounters superstitions, fears, poverty, unsanitary conditions, and feuds between "clans". Babies' needless deaths caused by mountain superstitions, secret blockading and warped and murderous views of justice, a tragic typhoid epidemic, and other oppressions of satan's stronghold in the mountains cause Christy to want to flee back to her home, to her "ivory tower", and forget it all. But does God have something more for Christy to do? Can the light and power of Jesus Christ break through these rock-hard strongholds and change lives for His glory? Will Christy learn for herself what it means to truly trust and know God? At the same time, as she is "confronted by two young men with unique strengths and needs" (quoting the back cover), will she learn the difference between true love and false?

Christy was truly one of the most incredible, heart-impacting books I have ever read. From this book I gleaned such a wealth of spiritual encouragement and instruction that are very applicable to my life right now. I learned how I, like Christy, am so ready to "hide in my ivory tower" and close my eyes to the tragic-- and yet very real-- needs around me. I learned with Christy about praying and going forth with faith, and about seeing beyond people's appearances or ways and loving the people themselves. This book also taught me the truth of, "If any man will do His [the Father's] will, He shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself." This is no fluff romance novel (though it also deals with the topic of true love.) This is a book to read with a fully active mind, drinking in the truth and then taking it with you after you close the pages of the book and living it!

The only disclaimer I must make for this book is that I do not recommend it for younger readers, due to some descriptions of factual life that might disturb young minds. I do, however, highly, highly, highly recommend it for girls in their later teens or early 20's-- which (I am finding) is an age full of questions and doubts, when they are needing to make the choice for themselves what direction they will take in life-- in their faith in God, in service, in marriage... Christy is a very real-life person (her character and the events in the story are actually based off of the life of the author's mother) and throughout the whole book, I found myself identifying with her thoughts, ideas, fears, dreams, and perspectives. I found my faith very challenged and edified, and have found my life very impacted by this book. I would wish the same for you as well!

Images are taken from www.erasofelegance.com and are of the TV series Christy, adapted from (though not entirely faithful to) the novel and starring Kellie Martin.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Since I am running out of first lines that don't mention a person's or town's name that would be a dead giveaway, I am going to revert to my favorite thing: quotes. :-) I'm going to challenge you all as to what book or movie a quote is from. There are a lot more lines total than first lines, so we'll see how this goes. :-)


Note the acrostic!!! I never noticed this until last night!!!

"And I say unto you,

  • Ask, and it shall be given you;
  • Seek, and ye shall find;
  • Knock, and it shall be opened unto you. "

(Luke 11:9)

This verse really ministered to me last night. I think we get the idea that because we need to be humble, we shouldn't ask God for anything. We think that is pride. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Here Jesus invites us to come to Him with our petitions and seek Him so that we can see Him work-- so we can know His faithfulness. Prayer is the pathway into the heart of God; if you do not pray, you will never see an answer to prayer from the God who holds everything in His hands. I have seen that for myself-- when I pray, and I see Him answer, I draw all the closer to Him because I see how true, how good, how faithful He is!! So take your needs, desires, and dreams to the Lord, and see what He will do!!

P.S. I am sorry I haven't been posting much. I am actually working on a couple of reviews which I hope to post soon. I'm also trying to figure out what to do about the poll. :-)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Service... Today!

I'm aware that I have been posting a lot of quotes lately, but sometimes the Lord brings along little things that others have written that truly minister to my heart and speak in a way that I couldn't if I tried, at least, not at this point. The following quotation from Mountain Rain by Eileen Fraser Crossman really hit home in an area that I have been struggling with and becoming very discouraged under-- the monotony of daily life and the burning desire to move on, to do something else, something exciting, something great. Even now, I still need to chew down the following truths and allow them to encourage my heart. Please pray as I battle discouragement-- satan knows I'm very prone to it and tries to pile all sorts of things up to bring it about. But God is more powerful than satan, and He has the power to uplift our downtrodden hearts. :-)
Enjoy these words of wisdom from one of God's humble servants: J.O. Fraser, missionary to China.

"It has come home to me very forcibly of late that it matters little what the work is in which we are engaged so long as God has put it into our hands...

"The temptation I have often had to contend with is persistent under many forms: 'If only I were in such and such a position' for example, 'shouldn't I be able to do a great work! Yes, I am only studying engineering at present, but when I am in training for missionary work things will be different and more helpful.' Or, 'I am just in preparation at present, taking Bibles courses and so on, but when get out to China my work will begin.' 'Yes, I have left home now, but I am only on the voyage, you know; when I am really in China, I shall have a splendid chance of serve.' Or, 'Well, here in the Training Home, all my time must be given to language study-- how can I do missionary work? But when I am settled down in my station and able to speak freely, opportunities will be unlimited!' etc., etc.

"It is all if and when. I believe the devil is fond of those conjunctions... The plain truth is that the Scriptures never teach us to wait for opportunities of service, but to serve in just the things that lie next to our hands . . . The Lord bids us work, watch, and pray; but satan suggests, wait until a good opportunity for working, watching, and praying presents itself-- and needless to say, this opportunity is always in the future...

"Since the things that lie in our immediate path have been ordered of God, who shall say that one kind of work is more important and sacred than another?"


"I am no more doing the Lord's work in giving the Word of God to the Chinese than you are, for example, in wrapping up a parcel to send to the tailor. It is not for us . . . to choose our work. And if God has chosen it for us, hadn't we better go straight ahead and do it, without waiting for anything great, better, or 'nobler'?"


"Why should I, in the hot, close, rainy season at Tengyueh, long for the dry months when things are more pleasant all around? Didn't God intend me to put up with the discomfort of heat and mildew? Why should I look forward to the time when I shall be able to speak Chinese more freely? Didn't God intend me to serve an apprenticeship in learning the language? Why should I look forward to a little more time for myself, for reading, etc.? Though it is the most natural thing in the world to have such thoughts, I feel they are not at all Scriptural. There is more of the flesh about them than the spirit. And they seem to be inconsistent with the peace of God, which, it is promised, shall guard our hearts and our thoughts through Jesus Christ . . .

"The apostle Paul said that he had 'learned', in whatsoever state he was, 'therein to be content,' implying that he had reached that attitude through discipline. And I suppose it must be so with all of us; the ntaural tendency is to be always straining after something in the future."

-All quotations above by J. O. Fraser, recorded in the book Mountain Rain, by Eileen Fraser Crossman, pages 28-30

:-) !!!!And a bonus quote!!!! :-)

"A little thing is a little thing, but faithfulness in a little thing is a great thing."
-J. Hudson Taylor

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Good job, everyone, on the poll. You all got it right! The answer was Heidi.
Happy March a few days late, by the way! :-)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Edifying Speech

"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
"Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
(Ephesians 4:17-32)
In the passage above, Paul compares two lives: the old and the new. One is the life we had before we were in Christ; the second is the life we now live through Christ. This thought really puts the rest of the passage into perspective for me. A lost person cannot truly follow these guidelines because they are the work of "renewal in the spirit of your mind." Our new self is created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness, so this is what will happen in our new lives. We will
  • Put off lying
  • Put on truth-speaking
  • Put off sinful anger
  • Put on Spirit-control/self-control
  • Put off stealing
  • Put on diligence
  • Put off hurtful speech
  • Put on edifying speech
  • Put off bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, and malice
  • Put on kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness

It's so easy to fail in the area of putting off/putting on. Even last night I made an unkind comment at the dinner table about another girl. Those things just don't need to be said! My heartfelt desire is to never ever say anything negative about anyone, ever, if I can help it ("so far as it depends on you...") That includes gossiping about one sister to another, or about one girl friend to another... It's just not necessary!

Today I decided to try an experiment... one that I've already failed in, but have picked myself up to try again... to not say a single unkind word about anyone today. I'd like to try for tomorrow too. I want to make edifying speech a habit in my life. I'd like it to be said of me, as it was said of Eric Liddell, "I never heard him [her, in my case] say a bad word about anybody." Do you want to join me in this experiment?


Each person you know was, like you, made in the image of God, is loved by God, and Jesus died for that person. If you have this perspective, you will not be so ready to speak ill of them.