Filter Through Life

Taming the Tongue

When words are many, sin is not absent,
but he who holds his tongue is wise.  
Proverbs 10:19  


A fool shows his annoyance at once,
but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
 Proverbs 12:16  


A man of knowledge uses words with restraint,
and a man of understanding is even-tempered.

Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent,
and discerning if he holds his tongue. 
Proverbs 17:27-28  


I am convicted by these words today.  God has been dealing with me for the last several weeks about my mouth.  I boast too much.  I gripe too much.  I gossip too much.  I just flat out talk too much.  I have a hard time controlling my tongue and I want to change that starting today. 


I want to be a godly man, husband and leader in my community and church.  I have to start with the small things.  I must love God and my wife.  I have to be faithful with my prayer.  I have to read my bible.  I have to go to church and I have to tithe.  But that isn’t enough.  If I do all these things yet cannot control my tongue then I am not godly at all.  James asks us in James 3:12, “can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?”  Certainly not.  Neither can a man leave his tongue unbridled and expect to have influence. 


I know I can’t do it on my own; I’ve tried.  I am glad I don’t have to. 


      But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,

      for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

                       2 Corinthians 12:9


Thank God for grace.


Ever Taken The Lord’s Name in Vain?

I try so very hard to not break any of the Ten Commandments.  Some of them are easy.  Some of them…not so much.  There is one that I have always considered pretty easy; taking The Lord’s name in vain.  I can’t say I have never done it but it’s not something that is part of my everyday language. 


Cheri and I went to Houston to visit my Dad in the hospital yesterday and on the trip home we decided to listen to a sermon on CD that my brother had given to me.  The message was Ray Comfort’s “Hell’s Best Kept Secret.”  The message is an absolute must for anyone that is, has or is going to be a minister, pastor or teacher of God’s Word. 


Anyway, about half-way into the message he recaps a hypothetical conversation he might have with someone that is not saved.


“Have you used God’s name in vain?”


 “Yeah…I’ve been trying to stop.”


“You know what you’re doing? Instead of using a four-letter filth word beginning with ‘s’ to express disgust, you’re using God’s name in its place. That’s called blasphemy.”


You know, I have thought about the fact that it is blasphemous to say the name of The Lord in vain.  That was a pretty big motivating factor in why I stopped doing it.  However, I never really thought about it this way.  I never thought that I was equating the most holy of names with something as filthy as excrement.  It hurt my heart.  I mean, not only is He my savior, He is my lord.  I wouldn’t call my boss a piece of poop why on earth would I do that to my God?  He didn’t just give me a job, He has given me life, salvation, my beautiful wife and everlasting life. 


I am sorry.  Please forgive me.

Someone Get Don King on the Phone!

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday, which is to say I screwed up.  We had our monthly Wednesday night meeting with the youth that we affectionately refer to as Youth on the Loose.  Seven kids showed up.  Seven.  I am not complaining too much as we only had five last month.  As a matter of fact, mathematically we had a 40% increase from last month.  That looks fantastic mathematically.


It’s not the kids fault really.  It’s my fault.  I need a promotions director but since we are in no place to hire one I am stuck with, well, me.  I need to get the kids pumped up and excited about coming to our monthly meetings.  We actually have fun.  I even think the kids have fun.


So, why aren’t they inviting kids?  Is it the building?  Is it the games?  Is it the food?  No.  It’s all me.  I am the reason they haven’t invited kids.  I haven’t promoted enough.  I need to talk to them individually, en masse, via email, via myspace (I hate myspace…but I have two, mine and the youth one), via postcards, text-messages (they love that junk), phone calls and I need to give them cool invitations to give to their friends. 


Am I missing anything?  Help me out people.

Shut My Mouth

I went to my friend’s house the other day only to find him working.  It was about eleven o’clock at night.  My friend is a bit of a workaholic to say the least.  I would recon that he stayed in his temple worshipping office working for another hour or so.  I even said as much but even less Jesus-like and a lot snider. 


I thought about this for a while and realized that I have a major character flaw here.  I prayed this morning for my friend and while I was praying I told God that I knew for certain that I was jacked up too and I hope some jacked up person out there was praying for me too. 


As I prayed and prayed I resolved to stop being such a jerk.  People think sarcasm is funny; the people using it.  The people at the butt of sarcastic jokes don’t think they are that funny.  I’m relatively vertically challenged and have been the butt of several jokes about it.  For years I hated the jokes but learned to not care grew thick skin. 


I am supposed to be a Godly man.  I don’t want people to learn to put up their guard when they see me coming.  I want them to know that I am not going to bring up their character flaws and/or sin and throw it in their faces.  I want them to know that I will certainly pray for their problems.  I want them to know that I don’t consider myself any better than them. 


How on earth am I going to do this?

Do I Really Care What You Drive?
May 2, 2008, 8:06 am
Filed under: conviction, Daily Living, Friends

I had breakfast with an old friend the other day and we were talking about cars.  He has this theory about cars and it is why he drives his until the wheels fall off. 


I’ll paraphrase here because I can’t remember exactly but here goes:


If I am so concerned about what kind of car I am driving and how I look while I am driving it then I am not really focusing on what other people are driving, am I?  I have a good feeling almost everyone on the road is like me and thinking about themselves and how they look too.  If that is the case, then nobody really notices me and my car so why should I care so much about it?”


Good theory.  If we all thought about this a little would we really care about the car we drive or the clothes we wear or what we have in general?  I don’t know, I just think we should take the focus off of ourselves from time to time and bless others with what we are spending on ourselves. 


I am talking to myself here big time.