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Surrounded by Words

Have you ever wondered, from
all the words you have ever heard, which one is your favorite?  Or which phrase is pleasing?  And why do you chose those words?  Which word stirs imagination and sees beyond
what we most often see and leads us to think? 
Which words cut deep into our hearts and which words raise us from the
depths of despair to glorious heights of encouragement?
It is delightful to listen
and watch children as they explore their world. 
Such as the young mother who explains the purpose of ‘deer crossing
signs’ to one little girl.  She promptly
asks where the Chicken Crossing signs are because “Chickens have to cross the
road, too!”  (One too many Why does the
Chicken cross the road stories?) The same little girl explained to her mother
why her eyelashes are so long – “I’m letting them grow out!”  One 6th grader wrote the lyrics to
The Star Spangled Banner for a music assignment.  The teacher was astonished to find out that “The Robin’s red breast”, replaced “The rocket’s red glare”. One young child
had an amazing change to the chorus of Trust
and Obey
. “Jump and Obey….for there
is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to jump and obey”
.
Although I learned the
“Sticks and Stones” quote.  Through the
years I have learned that words cut and the wounds may never heal no matter how
hard we try to forget.  It becomes a
wound that is spirit-deep.  When a
teacher declared my question ‘stupid’, I learned three lessons, patience – for another student would ask
my question soon, silence is golden
and how not to teach.
Unthinking, unfeeling words
like stupid, fat, ignorant, dumb or ugly create a world of forever-hurts and
the heart closes, eyes grow dull. Meanwhile the words forgiveness, wonder,
amazing, creative and lovely give freedom and the willingness to flourish.
I learned that someone besides
me had an intense desire not to participate in the Red Bird Reading Group in
the first grade.  When once learning to
read, and the story begins to lure the reader to another world, it is extremely
difficult to will the mind to trudge back ten pages to read out loud with the
group.  Freedom to learn and to think –
now how can we find this?
In 2013, I followed through
with Thanksgiving Bible verse posts on Facebook.  This year this small exercise grabbed my
heart and made a difference in my life. In the morning I let someone else
choose the verse through an app.  In the
evening I choose a word and find a Bible Verse that speaks to me.
One evening I had a Facebook
Chat with a friend I haven’t spoken to except briefly once since 1997, after I
posted this verse: “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait
patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret
about their wicked schemes.” Psalm 37:7 
Reading His Word matters in
so many ways.  It helps us find answers
to who and why we are in this world.  It
gives us purpose, strength and most of all faith in the who God is.  God’s Word is to reprove, rebuke and a love
letter to those who love God.  If we were
able to take God out of our world, we would find it devoid of law and emptiness.
 Consider these words – sexual immorality, impurity, lustful
pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts
of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild
parties – from Galatians 5:19-21a.
These
are ugly words to me.  They are filled
with unrest and of the world.  The words
that are beautiful to me come in the next few verses of the same chapter.  These are the words that provide reasons for
living – love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
These are the words that
paint a sunrise of hope.  These are the
words that create trust.  These are the
words that build a life that serves God.  
A life that ripples across the horizon through many generations and is
remembered with a heart love-legacy.
Though we live on this earth
a short while, we leave a legacy of words and impressions with those around
us.  The tongue tells others who we are
and what we are about. The social media flings our words across the world in
sound bites.  Do these words encourage or
show a critical spirit? 
Are words important to
God?  Yes. Consider these four
scriptures:
Genesis 1:3-5Then God SAID, “Let there be light,” and there was
light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light
from the darkness. God CALLED the light “day” and the darkness “night.”  (God used words to create the universe)
John 1:1-5
In the beginning the Word already
existed.
The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing
was created except through him.
The Word
gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to
everyone.
The light shines in the
darkness,

and the darkness can never extinguish it.
Matthew 3:6-7After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the
heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove
and settling on him.  And a voice from heaven SAID,
“This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
Hebrews 1:1-4Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our
ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken
to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance,
and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own
glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by
the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat
down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in
heaven. This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as
the name God gave him is greater than their names.
How magnificent is our
God.  His Word is Mighty.  His Word is Jesus Christ, the One and Only.
  May the words of my mouth and the meditation
of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.  Psalm19:14

  Be joyful.
Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God
of love and peace will be with you.  II
Corinthians 13:11

Comments? eacombs@att.net

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