“Did I say that?” (Are you listening to the words coming out of your mouth?)

A few years ago, I’d gone into Staples to pick up some office supplies, and happened to be there at the same time as a young mom with two small children.  I remember those days, that season of life when you need an extra set of arms, and eyes in the back of your head.  Those years when you seem to function in a constant state of tired.  To all mothers of young children – take courage for this too shall pass!

Surely, I must have caught this mom on an ‘off day’ and what I observed was not representative of her typical engagement with her children – for there in plain view for all the world to see, this frazzled mom was trying to ‘discipline and rally’ her children into better behavior by very loudly telling them how stupid they were and how disgusted she was with them.  And my heart broke for them all.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”  (Proverbs 18:21)

Faith Like A Seed
Faith Like A Seed

I lead a women’s small group, and for the past few months we have been studying the power of our words to bring forth blessing or cursing into our lives, into our families, and into our every day circumstances.    As we explore the simplicity, and the complexity of ‘changing our confession’ so that the words we speak out of our mouth come into agreement with what God has to say about a subject/concern, we discover that ‘speaking life’ over ourselves is not about releasing magic words as if they were part of some sort of spiritual incantation.  But what we do learn from studying our Bibles is that there is power in the spoken word, power to bless and power to curse.  James has a lot to say about the power of our words.   Bible teachers like Kenneth & Gloria Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer and Charles Capps have also had great impact on my life and radically changed my thinking on the power of our words.

 “Today I am giving you a choice of two ways. And I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses of your choice. You can choose life or death. The first choice will bring a blessing. The other choice will bring a curse. So choose life!”  (Deut 30:19)

We know from Matthew 12:35 that the words we speak reflect what we believe in your heart.   If we want to know the condition of our heart, or of our spiritual health, all we really need to do is to pause and listen to what’s coming out of our mouths.

Are we speaking words of encouragement, of hope and compassion?  Or are we speaking words of fear, judgment and hatred?  Are we speaking of our confident expectation in the promises of God?   Are our words agreeing with the words of the enemy who wants to steal our dreams, rob our resources, and utterly destroy any positive impact we can have in a hurting and broken world?

If the words that a man speaks are like seeds planted in the ground which will yield their harvest at the appointed time, whose word-seeds are you planting?

Blessings,
Jenny

 

 

Seeds planted, with high expectations for the harvest!

I love to garden – to slip on my gloves and green rubber boots, and get out there to play in the dirt.  Especially in the spring, when gardening energies run high.  The blackberry patch invites me in to cut back last years fruit vines, and stake the canes that will bear this summer.  My Weigela is already budding out and is sure to be overtaken with blooms by late June.  And this year, I am absolutely certain I have cracked the code for a high-producing vegetable garden.  The seeds are planted, and I am anticipating a bounty large enough to keep my daughters and their families fully stocked with berries and vegetables for most of the summer.

But I like gardening for more than just the fruits and vegetables.  I like it because it reminds me of two beloved passages that have transformed my life.

Luke 8:11-15
“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.
Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

 

Faith Like A Seed
My “Faith Like A Seed” craft project (summer vacation 2011)

Mark 4:26-29
He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.
  Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.

In these two passages, I’m reminded that the Word of God is a like a seed that a farmer plants into the soil of his heart, which if it is held onto and tended will produce of its own kind.   In other words, just like those Kentucky Pole Bean seeds I planted are guaranteed to sprout green bean and not orange trees, I can be certain that all those “Word-of-God Seeds” that I have planted into my heart over the course of my lifetime, and most especially over the last few years, will produce for me from the type of seed sown.   It’s the way the Kingdom of God works, just like Jesus said it works.

And so as I carefully planted my zucchini, green beans, beets and other veggie seeds a few weeks back, I was also reminded of the “Healing Seeds” I’ve got in the ground for the healing and full restoration of family members.  Oh, and over there, I’ve got some “Provision Seeds” for financial blessing upon my income and retirement accounts.   I’ve even got me some “Husband Seed” planted, and I’m waiting in faith for that godly man to come along.

And guess what!  The “Career Seed” I planted two years ago is just about to start producing fruit, just like those berry vines will later this summer.   Yes indeed, for two years I’ve been callin’ in my harvest for that ‘perfect, well paying, and satisfying job’ to manifest … and in May 2014, after months of prayer and multiple confirmations from the Lord, I launched my own small business!   Turns out my perfect job wasn’t one that someone else was going to give to me, but one that the Lord Himself called me to create.   I’m a small business owner! 

HOPEWELL Companies, LLC
HOPEWELL Companies, LLC

Friend, if you’ve got some “Word of God Seed” in the ground … don’t give up on it!  Keep on tending to it by making sure you keep those ‘pesky critters’ of doubt and fear out of your garden and off of your seed.  And keep your seed watered, by continually reminding yourself of His faithfulness to you, and His faithfulness to His Word .

It may not look like anything is happening right now … but you can’t see all that’s going on underneath the ground.  So keep taking care of your seed, and believe (trust in) God.  With faith, patience, and a little TLC … that seed will produce!

Blessings,

Jenny