Words With Friends

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It’s good to have friends.

Especially on those days when the rest of the world seems to be giving you a hard time.

It’s good to know you have those few rare people in the world you can lean on, and tell anything too.

Except when you can’t.

Friends are people too, after all, and that means you never know…

You might say that rare sentence that triggers your friend’s ire.

Or you might lean a little too hard, expecting support past the breaking point.

Or they might catch you cheating at Word’s With Friends.

Or you might say something critical of your friend, not expecting to get a rise out of them.

But you do.  And suddenly you’re having words with your friend.

Now some friendships are built on these kind of discussions, folks used to scrapping it up with each other.

Others, though, find themselves in unfamiliar waters, risking real damage to the friendship.

If you find yourself in a fight with your friend, here’s what you can do:

  1.  Have faith that all will be well!  Remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?  These three friends found themselves facing truly dire circumstances, but their faith kept them okay.
  2. Misery loves company.  Psalms like 41, 55, and 88 speak about the pain of being rejected by a friend, but Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
  3. Jesus was a friend to tax collectors and sinners.  Surely you and your friend can put up with each other.
  4. You may not like each other right now, but don’t forget that you  love each other.  1 John 4:11 says “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
  5. And if none of that works, remember Matthew 6:15:  “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Yikes!

Friends are special and rare and not to be taken for granted.

So when the time comes that you find yourself having words with your friends, swallow your pride, remember what’s most important, and hold on tight.

(Wanna be friends?  My Words With Friends name is Toddmit)

Have a good week,

Mitch

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You are what you speak

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Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. –2 Timothy 2: 16

It sure is a blessed day.

God willing, it will cool down.

As my savior lives, I could go for some ice water.

. . . . .

I’ll tell you what.  Avoiding godless chatter is harder than it sounds.  Especially if that means we’re suppose to pepper our speech with as many religious references as possible.

I’ve actually known some folks that do that — that insert God language into much of what they say.   “Praise Jesus it’s a glorious morning”…

Well, maybe that’s not what the scripture has in mind.

It doesn’t say “talk Jesus-y” as much as possible.

It seems to say, “Avoid language that somehow demeans or disrespects God.”

I probably don’t need to give any examples of that.  I’m guessing you know what that language sounds like.

Not just cussing, although that sure counts, but language that goes against Grace.  Language that tears down the Kingdom of God.

Bad language is a bad habit.  As the scripture says, it can become more and more destructive.

You are what you speak.  If you talk trashy, that’s what you’ll become.

The converse is probably true.  If you speak Holy, you’ll become Holy.

Yes, that’s it.  As Psalm 19:14 says it:

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

A little meditation before you speak could change your life.

(Jesus willing)

Have a good week,

Mitch

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Some new Church Words

I’ve coined a few new Church Words.

(Who knows, some of them may already exist…)

Use them freely!

Catholic church in New York“PEWNY”:  The state or condition of having
fewer people than usual in the pews on Sunday morning.

.

.

corneliaumc_1_1“TRADIGITAL WORSHIP”: Old-time hymns
projected on new-fangled screens.

.

.

159235441_eccumenical-desk-wax-seal-stamp-of-william-temple-“ECCUMANIACAL”:  A community worship service
planned by severely dysfunctional churches/pastors.

.

.

simpsons-in-church_thumb[10]“MARGE”:  Designation for a church too big
to be medium-sized and too small to be large.

.

.

tithe“LITHE”: 1/3 less giving than a regular Tithe.

.

.

Evangelism-oh-no-300x233“EVANGERATISM”:  Spreading the Good News, but only to people you like.

.

.

A free flying white dove isolated on a black background

“LENTECOST”:  When you feel the Holy Spirit before Easter.

.

.

Pasteurized-Milk-Processing-Line-From-Jouyu-Group“PASTORIZED”: When the preacher’s sermon is
good enough to last you a whole week.

.

.

Adam Hamilton Photo and Book 03062014“HAMILTONNE”: The collected weight of all of a church’s
Adam Hamilton books and video series.

.

.

eggs benedict“EGGS BENEDICTION”:  When you want the pastor to hurry up
so you can go get brunch.

.

It took a while to come up with ten!   Vote for your favorites in the comments.

And if you’ve created some of your own church words, add those too!

In the meantime…Have a great week,

(and a non-pewny Sunday)

Mitch

Magic Words

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I long to find the perfect words.

Words that will open every door.

Words that will make sense to folks on the left and the right of me.
Words that will keep a Church from the threat of schism.
Words that will bring the world to its senses.

“OPEN SESAME!”

(Nothing).

I wish God would put magic words into my mouth.

Isn’t that what the Holy Spirit is supposed to do?

Words that will bring people back to Love.
Words that will make things clear.
Words that will cut through every artificial barrier.

“PLEASE?”

(Nothing.)

. . .

I spend so much time trying to choose my words,
trying to search for the right thing to say,
trying to be eloquent,

And so little time trying to JUST BE.

Hmm.

Maybe I should try THESE words:

“SPEAK, FOR YOUR SERVANT IS LISTENING.”

(Welcome to Lent)

 

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Have a great week,

Mitch

Nocabulary

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I guess you could say I make my living on words.

I write a sermon every week, and teach a class or two.

I write this devotion.

And it’s all based on words.  My ability to take an idea and translate it and convey it.

I’ve wondered what it would be like if I were sent to Korea.  Or China.

Some place where my vocabulary was suddenly a no-cabulary.

Would I be able to convey the awesomeness of God to someone who spoke another language?

Or what if I sat down with someone who was deaf?

Could I explain a life in the Spirit with crude hand gestures?

Hmm.  Have you ever thought about this?

You may or may not think of words as your bread and butter, but what if you were at a loss for them?

Could you testify to your faith?  Could you express what Christ means to you?

Paul says, in 2 Corinthians 9:15,  “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!”, so apparently even Paul reached the limits of his words occasionally.

He’s describing an encounter with the ineffable.

“Ineffable:  too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words.”

Yes, more than a language barrier or an inadequate thesaurus, there are times when what God has given us is simply more than we can say.

The depth of that kind of connection with God cannot be explained, only experienced.

That  means no sermon or devotion or caring conversation will ever sufficiently capture the ineffable, unnameable, indescribable God of my life, or yours.

That doesn’t mean we can’t try.

Poets, philosophers, theologians and musicians have dedicated their lives to weaving words together that at least point towards God.

So, for me, I still think it’s a worthwhile calling.  Language can at least point in the right direction.

But if the inability of words to fully describe God’s Love has you feeling a little disillusioned…

Would you like a hug?  🙂

Have a great week,

Mitch