Silence That Shouts

What?!

Yes, it does sometimes.

You know how clearly you can hear an awkward silence?

At the same time if someone rambles on and on about something that doesn’t interest you, its easy to check out and not hear a word they say.

Right?

So it is possible for silence to speak louder then words sometimes, right?

Yes, I am aware that you can’t actually ‘hear’ something that isn’t audible, but the fact remains that we can convey a lot through body language, our actions and our life. We can say a lot without saying a word.

Our actions speak louder then our words.

This is a quote I always liked because it is 100% true.

Someone can use as many fancy words as they want to convince me to see something their way, but if it doesn’t make sense with what I actually see in life, then…

Well… It just simply doesn’t make sense.

And you will not convince me that it does.

I searched Bible verses on silence and was a bit amazed. The Bible actually has a lot more to say about staying quiet then I realized.

Transgression is at work where people talk to much, but anyone who holds his tongue is prudent. Proverbs 10:19

Whoever guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. Proverbs 21:23

Every time I read these verses, I thought of gossiping, telling unclean jokes, just talking for the sake of talking or you know, anything that falls into that kind of category.

What if we take it a step farther?

What if we use these verses as a guide when discussing our beliefs? Our convictions, ideas or even the things we know someone else is getting wrong?

What if we try silent love, instead of damaging words?

There is a ton of different opinions out there and it doesn’t matter how loudly or how confidently we make our opinion known, we still wont change many people’s minds.

In fact, often… the louder we talk the less people listen.

The quiet words of the wise are more heeded then the shouts of a ruler of fools Ecclesiastes 9:17

On the other hand, if we keep our mouths shut, it gives God an opportunity to simply work through us, to speak to people through our lives.

The devil doesn’t want anyone to get it right, so if you are a true christian who has lots of contact with unbelievers or religious people, what does he do?

First he does everything he can to make them uncomfortable around you and he puts them in defense mode.

Second, he does everything he can to make you say too much.

Think about that…

If you your defenses already go up when you’re around me, and then on top of that all I do is tell you what you’re doing wrong, or how there’s a better way…

Will you listen to me?

I know I definitely wouldn’t listen to myself!

This isn’t just a theory I came up with. This is something that God put on my heart a long time ago, and I have seen it work…

Not once, but twice in a big way. And many more times on a smaller scale.

Prayer and silent love will change more hearts any day then words ever can.

There is also a time to speak though…

a time to be silent and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes 3:7

God can always speak through our lives to people, but sometimes he does need us to open our mouth and speak, especially when dealing with people who know nothing about the gospel.

The key, I believe, is to be in tune with the Holy Spirit and follow his promptings, wether he asks us to speak or be silent.

I think being in tune with the Holy Spirit is actually extremely important because through our words we have the power to turn people toward Christ or away from him.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18:21

Another Perspective…

What about our choice of words?

Does it matter if we walk around with a negative attitude? Carelessly throwing around words such as:  ‘You can’t do it.’ or ‘He’ll never amount to anything with an attitude like that!’

Does it matter if we use all the popular little quips such as: ‘wait till you have teens!’ or ‘wait till she hits those terrible twos!’ or ‘The first year of marriage is hard!’

Does it matter?

Honestly I think it does.

I believe the words we speak hold a lot of power.

I think we have probably all experienced how someone’s words have either made our situation worse or they have encouraged us to keep pressing on.

Then theres the spiritual realm.

Do you know what happens when you say to an engaged couple: “The first year is hard.” Or to the new parent: “Just wait till you have teens!”

It opens doors for the enemy.

As we look ahead we have this unhealthy expectation of bad things happening, and the enemy will play into those expectations to actually make bad things happen!

So we know not to speak these words but what if, someone speaks them over us?

We need to refuse to receive them!

We can literally use the words: “I don’t receive that.”

Because if we do receive them, we just opened the door for the enemy. We just gave him a ‘right’ in our lives and thats a dangerous thing to do because that is one of his tricks, he starts small but then continues to push his way deeper and deeper into our lives.

And it all started with poorly chosen words!

Thats crazy!!

One More Thought…

Praise or flattery?

Praise means: ‘the expression of approval or admiration for someone.’

Praising people for a job well done is always good.

Flattery means: ‘excessive or insincere praise, especially when used to further ones own interest.’

Using flattery is obviously selfish and never a good thing. While praise will encourage someone flattery can actually tear the down.

God is always in control no matter how badly we mess up but he also gives us choices. He gave us the ability to choose our words.

So lets choose carefully.

Let’s chose words that build up without crossing the line into flattery territory.

Let’s choose words that will further God’s kingdom and tear down the kingdom of darkness.

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Good-Bye Y’all!

So this is just a warning…

I’m leaving Facebook.

I No…

I’m sad to see me go too. 🙂

Is this for Good?

Maybe?

Probably not.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be back sometime, but for now I’m absolutely exhausted by all the social media drama.

I mean, seriously…. it wears me out, day after day trying to figure out if I should own a gun, shop at target, buy plexus, follow my dreams or fall for whatever the latest fads are.

And then there’s the part where its easy to let fb take too much of my time.

So there’s my ‘getting rid of fb’ speech, and I say all this to let you know…

If you enjoy my blogs and would like to continue receiving them…

You can sign up for them! 🙂

If you have a laptop or computer and you are on my webpage, there should be a little thingy that pops up on the bottom that says ‘follow.’ you can click on that and then put in your email address and you will be notified via email every time I post a blog.

If you are on a phone… Well to be honest, I’m not sure how to guide you through signing up…

Sorry! And good luck! 🙂

If you want to sign up and can’t figure it out, just leave your email address in the fb comments and  I will sign you up, however after I sign you up you should get an email that will ask you to confirm it and you will not receive my posts until you do.

Also you can access my webpage any time at http://www.graciking.wordpress.com

Or if you are totally not interested, well… then I’m assuming you didn’t read this far but if you did… Well, you don’t need to do anything. 🙂

So, here’s to wishing you all some happy facebooking while I proceed to live a drama free life 🙂  🙂 🙂

Hymns Or Drums?

Raising your hands or not?

Loud music or quiet?

Instruments or A capella?

Hymn books or a projector screen?

Who’s right and who’s wrong?

Or maybe we are simply missing the point?

Why does such a simple thing as ‘worship’ cause so much contradiction among churches? The many different churches are not the bodies of Christ, but the body of Christ.

Got that?

There’s only one body not multiple ones, so why can we not get along? Why do we so often think that our church is better then theirs?

Don’t worry.

I really am talking to myself here.

I would love to use the popular phrase: ‘Let’s just agree to disagree.’

In this situation, however, I don’t think that’s the best plan of action.

Honestly though, that would be a much better solution then looking down our noses at other churches.

Or would it? Are you seeing the problem here?

Once again, it’s not so much an issue of if its right or wrong but rather it is a heart issue. We think this is how it needs to be done without taking into account that another church is doing the exact opposite but is bearing much more fruit!

It is the enemy trying to tear apart the body of Christ because united we can do great things in his name but divided we lose our ‘force.’ Picture the ocean, a tsunami wave can do some serious damage while the mini waves are harmless.

Imagine if the church(es) stood together like a tsunami wave, imagine the damage we could do to the kingdom of darkness!

Instead we’re just over here trying to decide if we should wear boots or flip flops.

Each church will have a different calling.

1 Corinthians 12 is talking about individual people in a church but in my opinion it also works to describe the ‘different churches in one body.’ Reading the whole chapter would be so worth your time if you have a few extra minutes, but in the meantime here’s a few snippets of it starting at verse 12.

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says: “I am not part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body.

If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear?

But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand:  I don’t need you.

So, you see each church has their own part to play and it might look a bit different then a neighboring church, but thats ok because they might be two different parts of the body. Instead of accusing them of getting it wrong, maybe we should focus on the part where they might simply be called to a different mission.

This is not to say, though, that a church can’t get it wrong, because they can. And they will.

And sometimes it matters.

Matthew 7:16 says: ‘By their fruits you will recognize them…’

So be cautious, dare to question and consider ‘what fruits are they producing?’ Don’t just fall for anything but at the same time…

Can we just stop making mountains out of molehills and not make such a big deal out of little things?

Like Worship. (I’m finally getting around to the actual topic of this blog 🙂 )

Since there’s such strong opinions on both sides here, I could never quite decide what to think about it. I read a book written by a guy who had been a worship leader but ended up leaving his position and finding a church that practiced the traditional hymn singing.

He had seen both sides so his theory was pretty convincing, but the one thing that bothered me was the fact that he had no biblical back up. In his book he even wrote a couple different time that he can’t back it up with the Bible.

And this bothered me.

Because if Jesus didn’t say it and the Bible doesn’t back it up…

It hold’s no weight! 🙂

It’s then just man’s opinion, and there will always be someone else with a different opinion.

This was one of those lightbulb moments for me, when I suddenly realized:

We are missing the point!

It’s not about which way is right because worship is not a physical act, it’s a heart condition.

Sure you can use your physical body to worship. Psalm 134:2 says: ‘Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the lord.’ but you can also lift your hands and not worship, so the lifting of hands isn’t actually worship in itself.

However, you can worship without lifting your hands.

You can worship anywhere, anytime no matter what the atmosphere is. You can worship God as you simply go about your day.

You can stand in a mega-church with flashing neon lights and extremely loud music and you can worship.

You can sit in a small, quiet church and sing from a hymn book and you can worship.

Because worship comes from the heart, not from our actions.

Does God prefer one over the other?

God cares about our hearts.

I think, he’s probably more offended by the person who sits in church dreaming about other things, then he is about the style of a true ‘from the heart’ worshipper.

I’ll leave you with this little quote I read awhile back that I thought was really cool. 🙂

A religious person sits in church thinking about kayaking, while a spirit-filled person sits in a kayak thinking about God.

 

Peace? Or Just the Absence of Turmoil?

The definition of peace:

  1. Freedom from disturbance; a state of  quiet and tranquility.
  2. Freedom from, or the absence of war or violence.

When I looked up the definition of peace I came to the conclusion that peace as the world sees it, does not compare with the peace of heart that God talks about.

Not even close.

Peace, when described by the world seems to occur only when there is absolutely no turmoil, no wars, no conflict, nothing that disturbs the quiet and tranquility.

However…

The peace of heart that God talks about is so much more then that! This is a deep inner peace that stays even when the storm rages.

It stays even when there is wars and rumors of wars.

It is bigger then the storms that come your way.

Which peace do you have?

Do you have the peace of the world that seems to diminish more with each clap of thunder as the approaching storm threatens to overtake your perfect little life?

Is your peace dependent on life happening according to your plans? Is it dependent on everything remaining quiet and tranquil?

Or…

Do you have the peace of Jesus that tells you it’s ok, the peace that tells you it doesn’t matter how close the storm comes, or how dangerous it is, it will not touch you without his permission?

Do you have the peace of Jesus assuring you that even if the storm swallows you whole and destroys your entire life, it is ok because you belong to him who is in control of every single storm?

I have tried (and failed) to judge my spiritual condition by the amount of peace I have. I thought if I was at peace and all was well in my world, I must surely be where God wants me.

On the other hand, if there was turmoil in my heart then I needed to change something! I mean surely I was doing something wrong!

Think about this…

The enemy brings condemnation, but God brings conviction.

Condemnation means: ‘The expression of very strong disapproval.’

This is the devil’s tool, he enjoys making you feel like a failure, like you aren’t good enough, he wants you to feel like your friends, loved ones and even God himself disapprove of you and your life.

Conviction means: ‘The feeling of being sure that what you believe or say is true.’

This is God’s tool, he places on you heart a certainty that this’ in your life needs to change, or he gives you a feeling of certainty that you know what you believe even if your friends and loved ones disapprove.

If you are not only seeking God’s will, but also living in his will, walking where he asks you to walk and doing what he asks you to do…

Then the enemy will do everything in his power to stop you!

He will cause turmoil in your heart, he will try to take your peace!

On the other hand…

If you are not walking in his will, but taking your own path, living your own life and not really caring about what God wants…

Then…

Then there’s a very strong chance that you are ignoring the voice of God!

And then…

The enemy doesn’t care and he will let you go, because if you’re getting it wrong then he has nothing to lose.

So, do you really have peace?

Or are you so busy with your life, your goals, and your dreams that the enemy sees no need to cause turmoil in your heart because everything you’re working towards has little or nothing to do with the advancement of God’s kingdom, so he simply doesn’t care! 

So if life throws a curveball your way and you find yourself in a situation where you have no idea what the outcome will be…

Do you lose your peace?

Or, do you know, with a certainty, that no matter what the outcome is, God is in control and his plans are always better then your own?

I fully believe that if you follow Jesus, go where he asks and do what he says, it will be an uphill battle. You will overcome one obstacle only to find a bigger, more difficult one to get through.

And the bigger the mission from God is, the bigger the roadblocks of the enemy will be.

He doesn’t want you to win, so he definitely doesn’t want your life to influence others to the point of them winning as well, so even if he knows that he lost you, he will still do everything he can to stop you from reaching others.

Again, on the other hand…

If you make your life about yourself, he has no reason to try to stop you.

So, make sure that you aren’t mistaking the absence of turmoil for peace.

Instead, let’s step up to the plate, lets fight this battle!

Let’s win!!

Not with our dreams, or with our goals and not by making the life for ourselves that we want to live.

But rather, by fulfilling his dreams, meeting his goals and living the life he wants us to live.

Let him flood you with his peace that will stand strong through any storm.

Let your legacy speak of Jesus rather then a life lived for self.

 

 

Submissive Body. Rebellious Heart.

“What’s in the heart comes out.”

This statement is true, but I always hated hearing it.

Why?

Because people often use it in a judging way.

They look at something in someone’s life that they disagree with and proclaim: “Well, what’s in the heart shows on the outside.”

I wish I could explain to you how much this infuriates me. Just because I don’t agree with someone, doesn’t mean they are wrong.

With that said, I will also be the the first person to tell you that I don’t think the christian walk is half as complicated as we try to make it.

While I believe that God might convict people differently on some things, I still think the ‘what’s wrong for me, might be ok for you’ mentality is way overused.

It simply doesn’t make sense.

Why would God bless one person and curse another for the exact same thing?

Ok, back to the original topic…

“We must break their will.”

This is a phrase thats often used in reference to raising children, and I wholeheartedly agreed with it at one point in my life.

It sounds right.

We as parents need to bring our children into submission. We need to teach them to obey us without question.

We need to break their wills so they learn to give up and be obedient the first time we tell them without asking why.

Right?

Wrong!

What if we teach them submission without breaking their wills?

What if we allow them to ask why?

What if we tame their hearts and watch their bodies follow, rather then forcing their bodies into submission and letting their hearts unguarded for the devil to plant whatever he wants.

I feel like I need to backtrack a bit here…

Have you ever wondered why the most rebellious teenagers often have the strictest parents?

Or how about the person who wears the right cloths and uses the right ‘christian’ phrases, all while hiding some dark sexual sin. The percentage of pastors (conservative and nonconservative) who fall into this category is staggering.

Why?

Because they have learned the art of bringing the physical into obedience, but have left the heart untamed.

On the other hand, if we tame the heart, the body will follow.

There’s parents who ask their child to obey once, after that comes punishment. I admired this because it definitely creates a well behaved child.

Now, I question this.

I don’t think this tactic is necessarily wrong, but I think it can be.

If we raise our kids this way are we still reaching their hearts?

I think we can still reach their hearts this way but I think theres also a very strong possibility that we are keeping the flesh in line without reaching their hearts.

Kenzie is very strong-willed, so we must break her will.

Right?

No.

No we don’t need to.

What we need to do is construct and direct that will. The devil would love to take her ‘fight’ and her passion and use it against God and his kingdom.

However, we as her parents can, with God’s help and through the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ  direct that fire that she carries into something good. We can fuel it to burn with a powerful intensity to farther God’s kingdom, to speak out against evil, to break through strongholds, to make a difference in this sin filled world.

No, we definitely don’t want to break her will.

She needs it.

She can use it to change things, and it will also carry her through hard times.

If she’s told to do something she asks why and if she’s told not to do something she asks why not.

So our job is to teach her complete submission to authority without question.

Right?

Nope, wrong again.

Do we really want her to grow up to be a blind follower, or do we want her to grow up to ask questions before making a decision?

(BTW we still need to teach our kids respect and that we the parents are in charge.)

If we allow her to ask questions and then take the time to explain to her why…

Won’t that help her step out into this world with a bit of knowledge standing between her and the temptations that will be thrown her way? Instead of having her reach that step still asking why and then finding answers through ungodly sources?

We can’t shield our children from the world forever, so we might as well equip them to live in it.

Each day holds many opportunities for us to teach our children about Jesus, but in the busyness of life we often miss them, so maybe the many ‘whys’ of a child are a reminder from God to…

STOP.

And take a moment to look into their eyes, see their hearts, remember that we are raising them to be disciples of Jesus and make the most of every moment to teach them and to demonstrate the love of Jesus to them.

Religion is another great example where the physical is contained but the heart runs wild.

Religion says you must do this and this and this and this and this before you can be saved.

Oh and don’t for get about THIS or you definitely don’t stand a chance!

Man made church rules = religion almost every single time.

If Jesus didn’t say it and the Bible doesn’t back it up…

It holds no weight!

The only thing it holds is a very strong possibility of becoming something you cling to as a way of ensuring your salvation.

Which isn’t possible…

For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; and this is not of ourselves, it is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8

So forget about controlling the physical, it isn’t worth your time.

Instead ask Jesus to search your heart and to bring to light the things that are hidden there that are ugly, damaging and a hindrance to your walk with him.

Ask him to help you get rid of all unnecessary baggage, ask him for transformation in your heart.

As your heart changes, I promise you, the outside will change as well.

I can also promise you that this outward transformation looks nothing like most people expect it to look because its not an earthly transformation but an out of this world transformation (literally).

People may be disappointed but that’s ok because we answer to God not man.

So, instead of focusing on the outward appearance of yourself and others (their christian act, their talk, dress etc).

I dare you…

To really, truly see their hearts.

To see them through the eyes of Jesus instead of through the eyes of the world.

 

 

Kenzie Moments

I am totally convinced that my life was extremely boing before Kenzie was in it.

She totally takes my lines and says some of the craziest stuff.

When I threatened to paddle her one time she informed me that ” No, you can’t because I’m sitting down!

After we came in from mowing the yard one day she let out a big sigh and says: “My feelings are hurt from mowing ALL that yard!

Kynaston was crying but I was set on finishing what I was doing. Kenzie walks over to him and in a sing song voice says: ” Kyyyyyyynaaaastooon….”

He kept hollering…

Kenzie yells: ” GRRRAAAACCCE!!!! Your Kynaston is yellin!!

She absolutely adores him but at the same time he can’t have any of her toys. Doesn’t matter what toy I place in front of him, trust me I can dig out something from the bottom of the toy box that hasn’t seen the light of day for weeks and he can’t have it because she was suddenly playing with it.

This wasn’t too bad at first but he is starting to realize that: “I had that and you just took it away from me and I am not ok with that!”

So, he yells. VERY  loudly.

I tried too tell him that he’s too little to have such an attitude but he’s not convinced. He just wants his toy back.

One day I heard him complaining about something so I went to investigate. Kenzie was no where to be found. Kynaston was sitting on the floor with all his toys pushed onto a pile…

Just out of his reach…

Interesting…

I’m pretty sure they didn’t run away from him on their own…

One night for supper we had soup with veggies and beef in it. Kenzie stared at her plate in horror and proclaimed: ” I am NOT hungry. After she was told in no uncertain terms that she still needs to eat she pointed to a string bean that was slithering along the side of her plate and with a horrified look she exclaimed: “But, there’s trees in it!” 

Poor thing, no wonder she doesn’t want to eat if she thinks I would put trees in her food. 🙂

She loves noodles. One night we had a noodle casserole that had parsley flakes in it. Kenz was all excited to dig in but stopped short when she saw the green specks. “I didn’t want beans on my noodles!” she exclaimed.

Rosie ( my sister) gave Kenzie some two M.Ms.

“Kenz say thank-you.” I said.

She got this look on her face that told me right away that she wasn’t going to say thanks.”

“Kenzie, you can say thank you or give me one of you M.M.s”. I told her feeling pretty proud of myself that I came up with such a good solution. I mean, surely she wouldn’t give up a M.M. She only had two to start with.

Imagine my surprise….

When she walked over, very nicely gave me an M.M, popped the other one in her mouth and went on her merry way.

Seriously?!

Is it that hard to say thank you?!

My mom was asking Kenzie what she got for her birthday. She would ask what did (someones name) give you? Kenzie would get all excited and tell her. Then mom would ask what did (this) person gave. Again Kenzie excitedly answered. Then mom asked what did ____ give you. Kenzie in a very disappointed voice sighed a little and said: “Oh, she just gave me pencils.”

It was color pencils but when you’re 3 I guess it might as well be a pack of regular pencils 🙂

She still calls me Grace. She started when we did our DTS and I ignored it thinking she would just stop eventually.

Well, here we are a yr and a half later and I’m still Grace to her….

more then ever actually.

One day when she asked me if she can (I forget what she wanted to do). My answer was no and this is what she had to say:

“Grace. This is the plan” (and she proceeded to tell me what she wanted to do) “This is not the plan: you saying no!”

She also keeps me straight.

I was cleaning and she was playing with Kynaston but she was being a bit rough and I just knew he’s going to be crying soon and I was cleaning so, you know, I didn’t have time for that! So, I kept telling her: “Kenz you need to let him go!”

Sure enough soon he squeaked a little… (just a bit)

“Kenz! You need to let him go. You’re making him grumpy!”

“No, Grace. I’m making YOU grumpy.” She said very seriously.

She was right, you know. He was at least partly enjoying her shenanigans and I was making  a lot bigger fuss then he was. :/

She’s also very wise…

She informed me that the light switch in the bathroom is to pee and and the fan switch is to poop. 🙂

Well, there’s just a bit of Kenzie’s life.

We love her to pieces and like I said before, we must have been very bored before we met her. 🙂