Promise Keeping by Bombi

 

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My husband and I have the tremendous opportunity to raise two precious children. I know I’m not the only one that has said or thought this, but being a parent is one of the most rewarding and challenging things on the planet. Recently an opportunity arose to talk about telling the truth and keeping your word. My husband ended the discussion by saying, “You need to keep your word, because your word is your bond.” That sounded so familiar to me, I could almost hear that same sentence coming out of my father’s mouth when I was our kids’ age.

I wonder what would happen if everyone one in the world kept their promises? Or what if everyone were honest with their limitations and decided to simply say “no” to something instead of hastily saying “yes”, only to end up not keeping their word? I bet we’d have some pretty nifty politicians in office, less divorce, happier kids and parents, and we’d pretty much have a heavenly earth.

Unfortunately this fallen world doesn’t operate on promise keeping. So we have jails, and prisons, and divorce courts, and other things in place to try to keep the order. I’m bringing this up not to be your mama or your judge. I’m bringing this up because being a promise keeper, and woman or man of your word should still be a part of the life of the believer. Yes things come up that can keep us from following through, but more often than not, let’s be honest with ourselves and others, they’re just excuses.

In a world of broken promises I’d like to challenge you today to rethink the promises you make, the little and the big. If you’re not going to make that salad for the potluck next Thursday, don’t say you will. If you have no intentions of meeting up with that person for coffee next week, don’t say it. If you say “I do” or “yes” to the one you love, then mean it. Others may not keep their word, but you can. You can bring healing to this broken world, one kept promise at a time.

“ But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” ~Jesus

(Matt 5:37 NKJV)

 

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Gossip Girls by Trish

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Ladies, we get a bad wrap. Many think that just because we’re women, we are automatically prone to running our mouth. The truth is we’re not all gossip girls.We have been given such an incredible gift by the use of our words!

Years ago, I was sitting among a group of ladies who were dishonoring their husbands by their conversation and complaining of all the things they were doing wrong. As a young, single lady I became frustrated because I looked at marriage as a gift and the image these ladies were painting was horrid. In fact one lady told me, “Don’t get married, just be single and stay happy and free.” One of the elderly ladies sitting amongst the group kindly spoke up and stated, “You know my husband doesn’t always do things right, in fact he’s not even a believer, but I have a responsibility to love him all the days of my life.” She further went on to say that God had spoken to heart saying, “If he doesn’t surrender his life until his dying day, can you love and serve him in the state he’s in now?” Her response was, “Yes, I can and yes, I will.” Her story shut down the tone of gossip. Was she painting a picture perfect image of marriage? No, but in the same token she was reminding everyone in the room in such a gentle way that we have a responsibility to honor people in how we speak about them.

Taming the tongue is truly an ongoing battle! How can such a tiny thing be so difficult to restrain? It’s as though the brain and the tongue have this undeniable, unbreakable connection that allows thoughts to be instantaneously translated into words spoken.

Gossip includes conversations of mindless chatter or divulging information regarding the personal affairs of another. Oh, what a trap gossip is! What starts off as an innocent conversation can quickly turn into the “Up Close & Personal Life Of…” and before we know it, we can be enticed by rumors of another and find ourselves repeating what we’ve heard, seen or witnessed about the life of another. Gossip destroys friendships. It betrays loyalty at all cost.

Be careful of the ones who run their mouth easily. If they talk about others, there is no security that your business isn’t being broadcast as well. Be just as careful of the information you share about another and keep in mind that the words you speak are connected to the life of another, the heart of a person. I’ve caught myself recently in conversations that I knew were not beneficial and I’ve had to redirect my thoughts. The best way to avoid gossip is to excuse yourself from those caught up in it.

Everything that we do plants a seed and brings harvest. You plant seeds of gossip and you can expect to be talked about. Now, I know that people are going to talk about me no matter what and that does not move me. But why would I INVITE more drama by perpetuating such foolishness? Life is valuable and so are people. Let’s build one another up, speak truth in love and honor people by how we speak about them when their backs are turned.

Ladies, we’re going to have moments when we need to “vent” and “keep it real,” but please use common sense and consideration when doing so. My sister, Maria, is so fabulous at being my sounding board. There are times when I go to her and I say, “Safe place, right?” and in that moment I’m letting her know I’m about to go off on whatever is bothering me and for however long I need, I can vent and she just listens without judgment. Ladies, we so need those “safe places” to vent (Can I just add that social media is NOT the best option to sound off?). After doing so, we have to quickly remind ourselves what our mission is and get back on course. Not every day is perfect but there is a provision of grace for every imperfection!

Speaking words of FAITH encourages us, build us and creates an atmosphere for the miraculous to take place. Choose to speak words of life! Positive affirmations and faith-filled words are powerful and lead to a life of victory.

If you’re a wife, you have the ability to EMPOWER your husband with strength to conquer any challenge presented to him by the words you speak over him before he faces his day. If you’re a mom you can INFUSE your children with inspiration that stands against whatever insults may be waiting for them in their day. As a friend you can INSPIRE someone to not give up hope by speaking words of life.

Let’s choose to empower, infuse and inspire with our words!  Let’s encourage one another and bust the myth of being a gossip girl!

 

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Did You Create A Monster? by Kenika

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Have you ever met Mini-Me? Not the character made famous in the Austin Powers film, but that kid that looks, acts, and even talks just like their parents. Even if they don’t physically look like either of their parents, they can twist or contort their faces in reaction, laugh or cry, and they become their mom or dad before your eyes. I’ve even seen this be the case with adopted kids.   People will often tell them they look just like their mom or dad, not knowing they are adopted. Even though that is biologically impossible, it’s quite possible when you understand scripture.

Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Children are like little sponges, they simply absorb. They take in what they see, mimic behavior, and become what they hear. The Proverbial writer is saying that if you want your kids to be something in particular when they get older, you have to train them or teach them when they are younger. It doesn’t say they’ll get it right away, or that you’ll see the fruit of it when they are in infant or younger stages, but good training guarantees that they won’t depart when they come of age.

What baffled my mind about this is that in this version it says, “In the way they should go”, and other versions say, “in the right direction”, but it doesn’t outline what the “right” way is. Is that whatever you as the parent perceives is the right way? The right way based on your opinion or belief system? Does this work even if someone thinks his or her “right way” is actually the wrong way? The writer is speaking to an audience that is well versed in the “right way,” but I would argue that this verse is correct even if considered from a person-to-person perspective. For instance, if you train your child to be a neo-Nazi, more likely than not, when they get older they will not depart from that way. On the contrary, if you train your child to be a philanthropist, when they get old they won’t depart from that way.

The older I get the more I realize just how much my mother and father have imparted into me. There are some wonderful daily habits and regimens that I am so grateful to have but, if I’m completely honest, there are a handful of less positive outlooks on life that I could probably do without. When you come to age and realize some of the wrong ways your parents showed you, it is truly a hard battle to fight those tendencies! I have a sibling that fought a relationship with God their entire life, but that’s what was instilled in us as kids, so guess what? They have surrendered to Him. Why? Because that’s what we were trained to do.

When thinking of your own children, or children in your life, what are you training them to be? What example are you setting before them? To be loving, kind, respectful, gentle, humble, Godly, seeking peace with all men? Or are you showing them how to be gossiping, backbiting, mean, evil, rude, condescending, and smart-mouthed, insubordinate little monsters? Whatever direction you point your kids in is the way that they’ll follow even when they get older. For that sweet mom trying to show her kids the way and finding resistance on every side, know that when they get older, they will not depart from the right way. For the mama that may have slipped up here and there, it’s never too late! You can get back on track and show your kids the proper way. They will grow up and make you proud to be their mom.

 

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Daddy’s Home by Sonya

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“Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.”

 

“Daddy’s home!” I hear my four kids shout when my husband comes home. What a sweet sound that is! They get so excited for him to come home because of how much they admire their daddy and love him to the moon and back. He is one of the greatest influences in our kid’s life and kids look up to their daddy to find security and stability. Without a father figure security and stability are so hard to find, but thank God our Heavenly Father can fill that space in a child’s heart. Our daddies are super heroes to our kids. My daughter commented recently about how big and strong daddy is. My oldest wrote down on her school project that her dad was her hero. Our children look up to them and see our Heavenly Father through the eyes of our earthly fathers. Fathers leave a legacy for their children and kids will not forget what their dads have done for them. Proverbs 13:22 says, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” This Godly inheritance is left with our children when the father steps up and leads his family like God called him to. What a gift you can give your children in regards to a loving father.

My dad is still today one of the greatest influences in my life. I look up to him for spiritual guidance and wisdom. My dad is my rock and strength. The influence of a dad is so powerful that our children are lost without a strong, Godly male figure in their life. I am so thankful I had that, where I can see the loving arms of my Heavenly Father through my earthly father. There is no greater assignment than to be a dad of influence to your children. If you don’t have a great father figure, then I challenge you to pray for them and if you don’t have an earthly father then cling to your Heavenly Father. He won’t let you down and will always be there. God will fill that void in your heart and lead you! This Father’s Day celebrate your father and thank him for being there and guiding you.

“The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who sires a wise son will be glad in him.” Proverbs 23:24

 

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