[forthright] Think Before You Speak / So Loved

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 2010 06:20:13 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine 
http://www.forthright.net 
Straight to the Cross

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COLUMN: REALITY CHECK

Think Before You Speak
 by Stan Mitchell

Has this ever happened to you? Before your mind is in
gear, your mouth is running? Me too! Look before you
leap, think before you speak!

"The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but
the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things" 
(Proverbs 15:28, ESV).

In West Texas, by the late 1920's the drills plunged
into the earth with expectation more than hope. As the
powerful bit chewed into the soil and tore the rocks
and sand that lay beneath the surface, owners and
foremen stood back and waited.

Sooner or later it would come. The drill would cut
beyond the rock and dirt and plunge into the thick,
rich crude oil and the next thing you knew, "black
gold" would shoot into the air.

Then it would form an arch that fell back to the
ground. "It's a gusher!" the men would cry, and yet
another fortune was assured on the windswept Texas
plains.

The Wise Man of Proverbs uses a similar image to depict
the words of one who thoughtlessly gushes out words
without thinking. Can you imagine a person whose words
are ill-considered and thoughtless, whose rash
statements spew out without regard to other people's
feelings and reputations?

Can you see their black statements splattering
indiscriminately on whomever was below? Such a man is
contrasted with the one who "ponders," or "weighs" his
answers, thinking about the benefit they will bring,
the healing they will cause.

This week, before you say something, think about it;
because if you speak before thinking, you might have a
"gusher" on your hands, and a gusher isn't always a
good thing! 

----
Read this article online, write your reaction, and read
others' comments as well. Click here:
http://tinyurl.com/38c4g54


COLUMN: ENCOURAGING WORD

So Loved 
 by Paula Harrington

To say the morning had been hectic was the
understatement of the year. By the time lunch rolled
around, I seriously needed a quiet room to enjoy
twenty-five minutes of downtime.

The elementary school cafeteria, during lunch hour, is
one of the busiest places on earth and getting from one
end to the other takes the skills of a Nascar driver.

Children are everywhere, some balancing their meals on
full trays trying desperately to get to their seat.
Others headed to the trash can, leaving empty milk
boxes and sandwich wrappers in their wake.

I gripped my tray in one hand and my full cup of iced
tea in the other and dodged the students when a
kindergartner, across the room, frantically began
waving her hand.

I was relieved when I saw another aide, who was closer
to the child, go to her. I continued on my way to the
silverware in the back of the room when I was met by
that same aide. "She wants you," she said.

Great. Another problem to fix or another errand to run
before lunch, I wondered, a bit begrudgingly. I
strolled that way, asked her what she needed, and
tensed up when she motioned for me to come closer.

After finding a place to set my things where they
wouldn’t be spilled, I went back to her. She grinned
wide, leaned toward me and whispered, "I love you."

Ever had an impromptu attitude check? You're tired and
frustrated and God slips in to redirect your focus.
There's never a warning when or where we might meet
him.

It could be in the genuine adoration of a child's eyes,
a song on the radio, a bulletin article, or the opened
pages of a family Bible. It could be in the strangest,
most absurd location.

Regardless of the way God decides to get our attention,
it will stop us dead in our tracks, bring tears to our
eyes, and remind us of what’s important.

We need to stop being so busy that we forget who we
are, who we belong to, and where we're going. It's okay
to get stressed out, fed up, overwhelmed, and run down.
It's not okay to stay that way.

Take a break from your crazed, hectic schedule and
drift back to the words, "For God so loved..." because
that verse has the power to change your day, your
attitude, and your entire life.

"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." John 3:16 (NIV)

----
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http://tinyurl.com/2v8tgr3

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