” O be careful little mouth what you say…”


 
O be careful little mouth what you say
O be careful little mouth what you say
There’s a Father up above

Pretty is as pretty does

And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little mouth what you say
 

I was walking in the parking lot and I heard the most profane comments, including the Lord’s name linked to profanity.  The voice was young.  I stopped and turned around.  Three girls and a boy were  walking behind me; none over 15 years of age.  I looked at the girl with profanity flying off her lips and wanted to tell her how pretty she was … until she opened her mouth.  Her words made her ugly.  Not cool, cute or popular.  They made her ugly.  You can dress up like a princess all day long, but one flow of inappropriate words will destroy that image.

The woman pushing the cart in front of me was on her phone talking loudly.  “Now this is between just you and me.  But, she ….”.   Really?  There were about ten others in earshot listening to her gossip.  If she had been quietly shopping others would have thought her to be a diligent mom out shopping to feed her family.  Her words made her a gossip and she spewed hurt and shame on an unsuspecting audience that may or may not know her victim.

I hear so many words coming out of mouths that grieve the spirit within me.  Parents to children; children to other children.  People lying, calling others names.  Gossiping, half-truths … words, words, words.    I think Christians need to be very cautious in this area and not fall into the world’s standard of speech.  God’s word has a lot to say about our words:
James 1:19 
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;”

James 1:26
“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”

James 3:6
“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”  (You should read all of James 3:1-9).

Ephesians 4:29 
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

God expects us as parents to make sure our children hear the correct things to say.   The shows, video games, computer games that they watch, influence their speech.  In our house I did not allow my girls to call each other stupid, idiot, jerk or other demeaning terms.  We do not say shut up.  Speech is important to developing a Godly character.  Sadly, some parents think it is not anything to worry about.  However, speech is a sign of respect.  God thinks a lot about the words we say.  The verses above are only a sampling of how He wants us to guard our speech.

If we are not guarding our speech then we are not guarding their speech; we are not guarding their minds.  If we are not guarding their minds, we are not guarding their souls.   What they think to say becomes their speech.  Their speech reflects in their actions, their actions in their character.  It all starts with a word … then more words.

“O be careful little mouth what you say …”

♪♫♫♪TRADITIONS! ♪♫TRADITIONS!♫♪♪♫


Ahhh…Mother’s Day!  Brings back so many memories.  Raised in the South meant following traditions.

Happy Mother's Day!

On Mother’s Day all five of us would go out to the rose bushes and select a red rose.  My brothers would get buds and my sister and I would pick open blooms.  Mother would select a white rose for herself and a white bud for my father.   You wore a red rose to honor your mother who was alive, and a white one for a mother in Heaven.  You simply would not go to church on Mother’s Day without a rose on your shoulder to honor your mother any more than you would go to church without your gloves and hat on Easter.  In fact, many (including my mother) would take extras roses and pins for those who did not have roses in their yards.  Flowers and their colors were non-verbal traditions of deep beliefs.  The practice was carried out on Father’s Day, at funerals and of course  in weddings.  It was a way of saying what you could not necessarily say to everyone.

My youngest daughter was married 18 months ago and I made all the silk flowers.  The grandmothers had two white roses to symbolize the two families they were bringing into the union of their grandchildren.   The groom’s mother wore a corsage of two red roses, symbolic of the two grandmothers she and her husband represented.  I wore a corsage of one white rose and one red rose since my mother is in Heaven and Phil’s mother is alive.  No one ever wore black to weddings as that was a symbol of rejection of the bride or groom’s choice in life mate.  Guests could simply look at flowers and know that grandmothers and mothers were alive even if they were unable to attend; and that by the attire of all those present in the family, that it was a happy and accepted union.

Symbolism … traditions.  Things we pass on as a heritage to our children.  Unfortunately, many points of traditions and heritage are being scoffed at in modern times and legacies are disappearing.   All the world went gaga over a royal wedding of a couple that had lived together for two years and were already  married in God’s eyes.  The girl wore a white dress and full veil, a slap to the meaning of purity they have stood for all these years.   The last royal wedding was not sanctioned until the bride-to-be proved her purity.   Yet so many Christians got caught up in the fan-fare and glamor of a royal wedding, missing the sad part of how they desecrated marriage and the church.   The church sold out the sanctity of marriage for the sake of royalty.  With so little value placed on marriage is it any wonder that motherhood and the value of an unborn child’s life is also devalued.  The morality level of the world slips each time Christians get caught up in the world’s ways.

Sadly, Spiritual traditions are fading with this trend and children are not the spiritual legacies of their former generations.  Grandmothers are not bouncing children on their knees singing to them songs like,  “Only A Boy Named David”, or “Build Your House Upon A Rock”.    Everyone’s lost time for what matters.    So many feel we have to ‘keep up with the times’ which leaves little time for traditions of Spiritual guidance.  In reality, the times have not changed.  There is nothing new under Heaven.  God has not changed.

The scriptures have not changed:

Deuteronomy 5:16 “‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”

Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”Colossians 3:20 “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”

God’s Word sets the standard for the traditions that lead to a legacy in Christ.   Honor your parents … honor your mother.  Your children are watching to see if you honor your parents.  They will treat and honor you as they see you treat and honor your parents.  Create a legacy in your children by being your parents legacy. 

♪♫♫♪TRADITIONS! ♪♫TRADITIONS!♫♪♪♫

I hope each of you gave your Mother’s a great Mother’s Day if she’s alive and that you were given one by your children in turn.

“Shackled by a heavy burden…”


Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  29 All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” 

We've all had days like this ...

There are so many ‘clichés’ Christians use when going through hard times.  We tie them to scripture, halfheartedly believing them with our heads and not our hearts.  We sing songs like, He Touched Me … buy books, plaques and bookmarks to encourage… all are well and good.  Somehow though, we don’t get to the heart of the matter.   None of these make the burdens go away.  Just because He is carrying the load, the problem, the burdens … it does not mean they are gone.  It means you are trusting Him with your entire life, good and bad and waiting on His time.  The ill may be  healed on earth, but they will be healed in Heaven.  That crisis will resolve, in His time and in His way.  That job will come, in His time … in His way.

God did not let Abraham sacrifice Isaac, but He did allow him to place his son on the altar and raise the knife.  God took Abraham to the brink.  Why?   Abraham knew God is sovereign and faithful; he trusted God.  Sometimes  we go down to the altar kickin’ and screamin’.  Oh if we would only say …

2 Timothy 2:12 “…for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.”

Sounds like the beginnings of another good song.  We allow ourselves to believe with our heads and not walk with our hearts as well.  We are shackled because we talk the talk and do not walk the walk.  All clichés we speak.  Some of us are like, “that’s my burden … and I’m stickin’ to it!”  Some wear their ‘thorn in the flesh’ like a badge of honor,  almost as though they are ‘proud to suffer’ for Him.

The truth is, if we could solve our own problems we probably would not seek Him.  The deeper the problems the more we SHOULD seek Him?  Actually, we should seek Him everyday in every way.  But, being the humans we are … sometimes we need to go to the ‘brink’ for no other reason than He wants to take us to another level of trust.

The way Abraham reacted to where God was taking him taught Isaac truths about God.  Since Isaac was not kicking and screaming, I surmise that Abraham had long since been teaching Isaac to trust God no matter the circumstances.  What do our children see when we are asked by God to do a difficult thing or go through a difficult time? Are you shackled?

Doing what’s right. Right?


Parents try to raise their children to do the right thing.  They say things like, “because it’s the right thing to do”, or “we want to make it right” … “we want to do the right thing don’t we?”   And sometimes even, “two wrongs don’t make it right!”.

Right. Right?

The Bible says in Romans 3:10 (ESV) “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;”

Doing the right thing will NOT necessarily make you or your child right in God’s eyes. 

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace are you saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—

9 not from works, so that no one can boast

That does not mean that just because your child and you are saved that you stop doing the right thing.  Salvation is not a license to do as you please and your children need to hear you say that.  You never quit trying to do the right thing just because you’re ‘safe’.   Remind them that God’s word says:

James 2:17

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

There are those that think if they ‘make it right’, either by man’s law or society’s rules, then they are making it right with God.  Make sure your children are taught by you what the Bible says about right and wrong, about making it right with God and others.  Broke a law?  Did the time, paid the fine?  You still have to go to God and make it right and maybe those that were harmed by your actions.  Do not fall into the world’s views and traps of “it’s OK, you tried to do the right thing.”  Doing the ‘right thing’ will not automatically make you right with God.  Paying man’s ‘dues’, fulfilling man’s laws, does not make you right with God.  That is why we read His word and learn what He has to say about every aspect of our lives: Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual.  Do not take the ‘hearsay’ of the world on any issue.  Dig into His word and find out for yourself.

You want to be RIGHT with God, not ‘right’ in the eyes of the world.

Soul Safe … “It is WELL with My Soul!”


Grieving over the recent death of their four-year old son to Scarlet Fever, the family was further devastated by the Chicago fire of 1871 that destroyed much of  their holdings.  The father decided to get away with his  wife and four daughters on a ship back to England where they were to join up with Moody in his evangelistic meetings.  At the last-minute the father had a business complication and sent the wife and daughters on ahead.   Their ship collided with a French ship killing 226 on board.  Nine days later Horatio G. Spafford received a telegram from his wife that read, “soul survivor”.   He booked passage  to join his grieving wife and while passing over the spot where the ship had gone down with his daughters, he penned the following hymn that we sing.

Soul Safe

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well,
with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
Refrain
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
Refrain
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
Refrain:
But, Lord ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!
Refrain
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Refrain

There is nothing new under the sun … nothing has changed since Job’s time in the Bible … day in and day out good people suffer.  Our children should be raised to know that no matter WHAT happens, once we are Christ’s, “it is well with our soul”.  NOTHING can take that away from them … from us .. EVER.  And that is all that matters.

This was true for Job, it is truth on which we can stand.  The Psalmist penned:

Psalm 46: 1-3  ” 1 God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found  in times of trouble. 2 Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple  into the depths of the seas, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its turmoil. Selah”

What happens when you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel?  When the end is not in sight?  When it DOESN’T get better.  How fair-weather is our faith?  Is our faith dependent on our circumstances? 

Twice yesterday I heard “It Is Well With My Soul” played on the radio.   And then at church we sang, ” Great Is Thy Faithfulness” .  The Chorus of this great hymn is also a truth on which we can stand.

Chorus
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

Our needs are provided … the problem we have is that we let our wants get in the way.  Acceptance of Christ =  SOUL SAFE.  That alone is all anyone needs. God, however, provides our needs.  When you look at your life, and when you teach your child to look at their life, each of you realize that you have your needs met and provided for … Know Christ = it is well with YOUR soul.

Influenced or Influential?


How can we be an influence?

Every day I come across parents making hard choices.  They do not want their little children influenced by the world.  We talk about it in S.S., at my job, with family members.  The world has gone mad, it is crazy, it is evil.  How do we protect ourselves, much less our little ones?  Decisions, decisions … what do they watch, read?  Who can they play with and where do they go to school?  Christians are taking their children into protective environments.  If they all leave where will the Christian influence be in PTAs, Boosters, Athletics?  Will we be able to influence them if we are not there?  Will they lose double influence by not seeing our children and ourselves as we interact with the world daily?

The Bible says in Mark 16:15:

Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.”

It is the same prepositional word battle throughout all the ages.   IN the world and not OF the world.  If we and our families are only where we are safe, then how will the world hear?  How will they see the difference in our lives that Christ makes?  Yes, our children are small and innocent and we are responsible for what they see and hear.  But, do we remove ourselves from the world until they are five, six, ten, sixteen?  In protecting our young from being influenced are we becoming influential?  Are we loving the sinner and not the sin or putting a wall between us and them?  Is that what Jesus did?  Jesus walked with all types as Jesus, not as they walked.  Yet He was where they could see Him and how He walked.

We are told in Proverbs 22:6 to:

“Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Have we forgotten that evil is WEAKER and that satan* has lost?  Do we live like he is weaker and lost the battle?  What do we fear and why?  Training ourselves and our children in the ways of the Lord while IN the world will only make us stronger.  No one would go into a championship game with years of training yet not one game under their belt.  It is the day to day interaction in the world that God uses to influence HIS world (it is NOT satan’s* world even if he is running around like he is in charge).  We can complain all we want about politics, school boards, etc. but, if we as Christians are not in the arena, how can we complain about what went on at the fight or the outcome?

“Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’),and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. ~ Matthew 16:18

Nothing is more powerful than God.  You have nothing to fear of the world.  Let us get out there and be an active influential part of the community where you live.  Be the ‘trouble maker’ that takes back the ground surrendered to satan* in the public venues.  One Nation Under God, NOT under satan*.

“Some wish to live within the sound of Church or Chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.” ~ C.T. Studd

*satan – I know people capitalize the “S” but, I don’t.  I refuse to give him any status of importance.  He’s a snake, so satan, devil, etc. are lower case, as he is one.

G.R.I.T.S.


My sister-in-law from Chicago taught my niece and nephews to call me “Aunt Scarlett”.  Being raised in Atlanta, you were considered a Georgia Peach, a Southern Belle … and the fact my last name was “Belle Isle” added to the stereotype.  I enjoy being Southern … the gentile way of life, the courteous speech, the hospitality and the way the men treat the ladies.  It is a sign of respect to be called “ma’am” and “sir”, to open doors for ladies and the elderly, to remove your hat in a woman’s presence or stand when she enters the room.  I think in today’s hustle and bustle, we have lost so much and I believe the lack of respect for others stems from our lack of respect for ourselves, which is simply disrespect of God, the creator.  It is funny to me that the ‘spell check’ wants me to change my word ‘ladies’ to ‘women’.  Even the computer wants to do away with gentile-ness.

As Christian parents we need to raise our children in the gentleness of the Lord; teaching them respect for others and themselves.  We have to teach them to respect God first though.  To do this we need to understand all that He gives us.  We need to get down to the basics, the nitty-GRITS-y.  With that in mind I would like to submit for your consideration another meaning for the acronym G.R.I.T.S:

Grace – God’s grace is sufficient.  Teach a child that and they have security for a lifetime.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

Righteousness – God’s righteousness is infallible; you cannot hedge on righteousness.  Things are righteous, or they are not.  There is light or there is darkness.  There is right and there is wrong.   Teach a child that and they have integrity and wisdom to take them through their life.

Romans 3:9b-12
“There is no one righteous, not even one;  11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

Intercessor  = God gave us the Holy Spirit as a guide and Jesus as our High Priest.  You need nothing else.  Once you teach them this truth, they can face life’s circumstances in His Power, not their own.

Hebrews 4:14
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let hold fast our confession.”
1 Timothy 2:5
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…”

Talents – EVERYthing they have is from God.  Just as they are God’s gift to you, your children need to be taught they all their talents, spiritual gifts, material processions …. EVERY thing they have in this life, IS FROM GOD.  We are stewards, raise them to be stewards.  When they learn this truth they will allow GOD to be in control of their life with no strings attached.  Take care of what He gives you and give back your first fruits.

Psalm 24:1
“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”
Deuteronomy 26:1-15
First Fruits; tithe.

Salvation – God sent His son … a gift of salvation given freely.  When you lead your children in the ways of the Lord and teach them about Jesus, you have not only given them a lifetime of truth and guidance, you have given them eternal life.

John 3:15-21
“15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

I am a G.R.I.T.S. girl and proud of it and I pray that God uses me in my husband, children, grandchildren’s lives, as well as all those I come across, as an example of God’s G.R.I.T.S. of spiritual living.