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Archive for July, 2019

promo photo Kathy C Miller

 

You most likely know the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Our mothers may have said that to us to try to relieve the emotional pain we encountered by our peers, but to believe that lie is to ignore the power of words which God created to communicate with us. He also intended His creatures to give blessings through words, not wound others. Jesus, “the Word” (John 1:1), spoke words to create our world and all the galaxies. That’s power!

No wonder God caused Solomon to refer frequently in Proverbs to the influence, damage, or blessing of our spoken and written language. We can grow in our ability to use words to bless others and glorify God by studying Proverbs.

Death & Life_words--from Kathy Collard Miller (1)

Solomon wrote through God’s enabling, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (Proverbs 18:21). God’s words are a warning that we should be careful and wise with every word we speak. Jesus would later state in Matthew 12:36, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.” If Jesus speaks of such judgment, we can be sure our words make a huge impact.

We may feel compelled to believe everything said to us as if those words are always life.#guardyourheart#proverbs4:23#heartwisdom Click To Tweet

The truth of Proverbs 18:21 offers two important perspectives—the perspective of those who hear the words of others and secondly, who speak words to others. First, Solomon is saying there are words of death and words of life, but when we hear the words of others, we often don’t recognize which is which. We may feel compelled to believe everything said to us as if those words are always life. But Proverbs gives us the other part of wisdom: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (4:23).

I recently shared these truths at a women’s retreat and a woman pulled me aside during the break explaining she was confused because her mentor had said some things that confused her. She felt like she needed to do everything this woman told her including the right time in each day to do her housework. I tried not to be shocked because it was such an extreme example. Yet I’ve heard similar stories of those who feel controlled by someone who believes they know what is best for every aspect of another person’s life. We must be so careful to not be controlled by the words of others and thus make others our God rather than seeking God’s wisdom and discernment.

On the other side of the coin for every one of us who teaches, leads, or mentors others, we must use our words to encourage another woman to seek God as her primary source. And we can also be aware of the wisdom of Proverbs 15:4: “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Is the person we are guiding closer to God and living a more fruitful, abundant life? Or do they seem overwhelmed? Are we talking too much? Are we listening carefully? Do we “hear” the heart or only pounce on the behavior?

Often, we aren’t using wise words because of our motives. We might think our friend’s reactions are a reflection of us and we must control them for our own reputation. Or we believe we should be the only influence. Or she cannot fail. We must trust God enough to allow our friend to make mistakes and have a different opinion.

People may throw the sticks and stones, but we don't have to accept them as true.#dontpickthemup#wordsarepowerful#powerofwords. Click To Tweet

Yes, our words are powerful yet God’s work within a person’s heart through His Holy Spirit’s power is even more effective. We can give, share, and offer wisdom, but only the Holy Spirit can make a heart change within another.

And if we are the one who has heard unwise or hurtful words, we can ask and trust God to heal our wounded hearts. He can reveal His perspective of us as valuable and important to Him. People may throw the sticks and stones, but we don’t have to accept them as true.

promo photo Kathy C Miller

Kathy Collard Miller almost took her life over 40 years ago because she knew her words toward her toddler daughter were destructive. God revealed the solutions for Kathy’s abusive anger and she tells her story in: No More Anger: Hope for an Out-of-Control Mom (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.). She has over 50 other published books including Heart Wisdom: a women’s Bible study on Proverbs. Kathy has spoken in over 35 states and 8 foreign countries. She and her husband, Larry, have been married 49 years and live in Southern California. www.KathyCollardMiller.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KathyCollardMillerAuthor

Instagram: KathyCollardMiller

Twitter: www.twitter.com/KathyCMiller

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda ,Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode, InstaEncouragments

Wednesdays   Recharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire , Blogger Voices Network , Embracing the Unexpected, Fresh Market Fridays

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Women yearn to know, Do I make a difference_ Does my life really matter_ You matter in every area and during each season of every ordinary day. (1).png

Seventy-five pages populated the Amazon queue after I filled in the search box, “books about God and purpose.”

Women yearn to know, Do I make a difference? Does my life really matter? How can changing diapers, or shuttling children from one event to another, or moving out of active mothering and into an empty nest change lives?

Books line self-help sections of libraries and hit best-seller lists in the Christian market as eager buyers scramble to discover their purpose. But, the Father has scribed his purpose for us in his love letters and in the palms of his son’s hands

Remember Our Position

Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (MSG)

The verses above are a key component to the Christian’s calling. They almost serve as a checklist in my own life.

If God was looking for a “somebody”, he wouldn’t have chosen me. I was a premature baby born to teen parents following a shotgun wedding. After a few short years of marriage, they divorced and life swung from one chaotic, abusive event to the next under the hand of my stepfather. But, God? He wiped it all clean. Gave me a fresh start through the wounds that pierced his own son’s flesh. And, now, because of Him I remember my position and humbly bow at the foot of the cross shouting, “Amen! You have rescued me, Jesus.

When you called my name, I heard you. May I remember the beauty and joy of my humble position.” Can you relate to these verses, as well? How do you see yourself in them?

Remain Faithful

“My Child is an Honor Roll Student” stickers adorn bumpers, Christmas letters share the latest news about elaborate trips and accomplishments, and we splash reality as we’d like others to perceive it on social media. Pride can be difficult to defend against, but it is our enemy. Perhaps that is one reason we’re to remember our humble position. Not only that, but scripture exhorts us not to chase after more. More doing. More being. More proving.

Instead, 1 Corinthians 7:20-24 exhorts us to remain faithful.

“Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you. Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you.” (NLT)

Remain.

In today’s high-paced, look-out-for-number-one, keep-up-with-the-rat-race-society, not many of us do well with just, well, remaining. But, remaining doesn’t mean “not doing”. It means continuing to be faithful in all situations–no matter the task. Whether we’re cooking one more casserole or scrubbing another dirty dish. Whether we’re driving to work again in rush hour traffic with a fussy toddler in the car seat. Whether we’re leaning across the table at the retirement home wiping our father’s chin as he asks once more, “Now, who are you?”

Remaining faithful to the calling to love God and to love others is more difficult than it seems.

Receive Power Through Prayer

Paul, Silas, and Timothy passionately addressed the Thessalonians about the power of prayer and its impact on their lives. Consider these words, “So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Calling is not solely about an avocation, although it may involve one’s job. But, it is about the acts of service we are prompted to do for others. It the quickening of our spirit in response to God’s; when we sense him moving our hearts to respond to a hurt, a need, a situation. When we’re burdened to pray, give, weep, love. Those are the moments we become and live more like Christ—glorifying Him. Only through the power of prayer can we accomplish his work and fulfill his calling.

While Amazon may list seventy-pages of books about God’s purpose for our lives, the Bible outlines his purpose for all people. He sent Christ that all might be saved! But, we already know him and are meant to love the world as Christ. We are the workers, scattering seeds of hope in every area and during each season of our ordinary lives.

God will use each of his beloved daughters if we hold to the three truths about God’s calling on our lives.

1) Remember our Position

2) Remain Faithful

3) Receive Power Through Prayer

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays  Sunday Thoughts / InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda Mandy and Michele

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode, InstaEncouragments

Wednesdays   Recharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire , Blogger Voices Network , Embracing the Unexpected, Fresh Market Fridays

 

Tammy Kennington is a writer, speaker, and woman who believes there is hope for healing from the most difficult situations.

Familiar with the impact of trauma, mental illness, and parenting in the hard places, Tammy hopes to lead women toward a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with the God who loves them. Her work has been featured by MOPS, Thriving Family, The Upper Room, Light from the Word, and several other publications. You can meet regularly with Tammy online at her blog

tammykennington.wordpress.com or get a free copy of her e-book Moving From Pain to Peace: A Journey Toward Hope When the Past Holds You Captive

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There is only one thing worth being concerned about ...It will not be taken from her.In a world of selfies and Pinterest-perfect images, it’s easy to succumb to the pressures of who we should be.

Maybe you feel the pressure to be that stay at home mom--every floor spotless,each child neatly combed and perfectly dressed. But, instead? You haven't had time to look at your own reflection since… Click To Tweet

Maybe you feel the pressure to be that stay at home mom–every floor spotless, each child neatly combed and perfectly dressed. But, instead? The dog left a trail of wet paw prints across the family room carpet and you haven’t had time to look at your own reflection since yesterday.

Perhaps you bear the weight of living up to the impossible image of the wife and mother who manages it all...all the while nimbly weaving throughout the day in a pair of kitten heels and a sleek pencil… Click To Tweet

Perhaps you bear the weight of living up to the impossible image of the wife and mother who manages it all. Working the nine-to-five job; carpooling children from one soccer lesson to the next; high-fiving your husband on the way out the door—all the while nimbly weaving throughout the day in a pair of kitten heels and a sleek pencil skirt.

It could be you long for less of busy and a lot more of Jesus.#fewersocialexpectations#fewerchurchobligations#balance#noisnotabadword Click To Tweet

It could be that you long for less of busy and a lot more of Jesus. While goals can be wonderful, they often seem misleading. Misdirected. Misinformed. Instead of taking me deeper into relationship with Christ, they pull me away from Him. Rather than guiding me toward connection with the Father, they pull at from every side. Social expectations. Church obligations. Family needs.

Before long, I'm struggling to find Jesus at the bottom of the pile. I know he's there; waiting patiently.#choosethebetterpart#restinhim Click To Tweet

Before long, I’m struggling to find Jesus at the bottom of the pile. I know he’s there; waiting patiently to push a bedraggled strand of hair from my face. I can almost see him smiling as I kneel at his feet, my head leaning against his knee as I sigh. The sort of sigh you can’t help letting go of once you acknowledge how weary you’ve become.

“You’ve finally chosen the better part.” I know the words. I’ve read them before, but today they’re meant for me. Do you hear his gentle voice speaking to you, as well?

“Choose the better part. Come to me…and I will give you rest. The Lord doesn’t see things the way people see them.” (Lk. 10:42, Matthew 11:28-30, 1 Sam. 16:7)

Take a moment, daughter of Christ. Pause. Breathe. There is no pressure with him. No person you must be or become. He loved you long before you existed and will love you far beyond the day time expires. The pressures of this world will soon pass away, but the promise of His holy presence will fill our hearts forever.

 

Challenge of the Week- This week, I’m inviting you to join me in a challenge! Spend 20 minutes (more or less) every day with Jesus. You might prayer walk, enjoy a praise and worship time, write in a prayer journal, or read the Bible. Whatever it is, I’d love to know how this practice impacts the pressure you feel to perform or be the “perfect” mom or wife. Send me an email at tammy.kennington@gmail.com or respond in the comments below to let me know.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays  Sunday Thoughts / InstaEncouragements/ Anita Ojeda Mandy and Michele

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Recharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/ Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire , Blogger Voices Network , Embracing the Unexpected

Read Full Post »

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