January 7 – Good Words (Jenny)

boise_valley_wheat_fieldLet me start by saying I don’t get a special letter every day, but I thought these words from a recent note from my husband were worth sharing:   You are truly God’s gift to me. Some days, you are the gentle soft touch that tells me I am loved and cherished. And some days, you are the burr under the saddle that tells me to kick it in gear, it’s time to go! But whatever the day and whatever the message, there is no other place I’d rather be than here doing life with you. You are my wife,  you are my friend.

With encouragement like that, I could climb the highest mountain! Yay!!! Through the process of time, we have lived and learned just a little. There’s been some good, bad, some ‘ugly’ we’d rather forget. We have learned how far gentle words can go. (And make no mistake; a ‘sharp tongue’ has often helped us fall flat on our faces!) No matter what situation we encounter, the tone of voice we choose and the emotions we put to use can make or break each moment of the day.

 In the New Testament, James goes into much detail about the power of the tongue. He really goes into specifics concerning the results of a tongue that’s out of control. I love to see the flip-side of consciously putting our tongues to good use, though. If the product of rough and callous words is unfavorable, how great can the results be when our words are kind?

 I grew up on a cattle and wheat farm. Everything I watched my daddy do involved a complete trust in reaping what he had sown. Our words are like that. The principle of “sowing and reaping” WILL work…for me, for you, for all of us. If you don’t give up, you’ll start to see wonderful results…one “good word” at a time!

A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones. Proverbs 14:30 Message

 A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire. Proverbs 15:1 Message

Biblical Meditation: James 3, Galatians 6:7-9

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November 11 – Heal ’em With Kindness

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24 KJV

Johnny used to give me quite a tongue lashing in my early days of preloading his delivery car.

Route drivers like Johnny had their own system and delivery strategy to get the packages delivered in an efficient and timely manner. And that wasn’t necessarily how our preloading charts laid it out.

At first, his rants caught me totally by surprise and I really didn’t know what to do. I mean if I said what I wanted to say in response to his negative berating tone, I probably would have been fired on the spot. But I needed the job, so I struggled to find a way to endure the abuse. I tried everything.

Then finally one day, I just started making myself say thank you when he told me how stupid my load looked and how ridiculous it was for him to come in early enough to “fix my mess.”
After I got past the fact that I felt like I was being somehow dishonest for not giving him a piece my mind, it became pretty fun.

I would greeting with a overly jovial “Good morning Johnny!” And I started following him around with a smile and a “yes sir, you are right and I will get right to work on it.” Pretty soon, ol’ Johnny didn’t have much to say in the morning about his load or anything else.

When harsh words or attitudes mount an attack on you, it makes for a pretty miserable existence. And you won’t last long if you don’t learn to counter with kindness. I’ve witnessed the powerful hand of God come on the scene when I chose kindness over justice.

May today’s proverbial wisdom help us all do a little healin’ in our neck of the woods!