Monday, January 31, 2011

Kindness, a dead virtue?

I try to read a Proverb a day. The Proverb that corresponds with the numerical day. Since there are 31 days in January, today's reading was Proverbs 31. Verse 26 really stuck out to me today. It says, "She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." Okay, well shut my mouth!! No really, I mean it, half the time, I just need to flat shut my mouth if I cannot manage a kind word! Listening to the people on T.V. in this day and age, reading the secular blogs, and hearing different news outlets, I can say with absolute certainty that I am not the only one who is having a problem with this. People have lost all civility, and kindness has become passe`. After the Arizona shooting people just about tied their arms in a knot pointing fingers of who was to blame for this terrible tragedy. The people on the left blamed the right, and Sarah Palin because she had once used a bulls eye target somewhere. People on the right blamed the people on the left for using heated rhetoric. These "so called" reality shows where just everyday housewives (cough) are turning over tables in restaurants, and cursing each other out. You used to hear the phrase " kill them with kindness", I don't think anyone is killing anyone else with kindness now days. I think we as a society have killed kindness.I believe it is dead or just about dead,if it is alive, it's barely breathing!

There is another passage in Proverbs, chapter 19, verse 22 that says" What is desirable in a man is his kindness..." I would also interchange the word woman here also. God says in His Word that this is something that He desires. We should try to do this if we are to be pleasing to God. Jesus was kind, and if we say we are Christians, we should also be kind like He is. Luke 6: 35 says,..."for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and sinful men."

The Proverbs 31 woman is not only kind, the Bible says she teaches others to be kind. "The teaching of kindness is on her tongue". Mother's are you teaching your children to be kind? Are you correcting them when they are unkind to others? Here's the hard part, are you teaching them to be kind, but they hear you being unkind to their Daddy, or the cashier at the store, or the waitress? Have I gone to meddling? Just some thoughts... this is hard in the world we live in today. But I say, let's revive this old virtue, remember the verse you were taught in Sunday School as a child that says " Be kind to one another, tender- hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you." Ephesians 4: 32. Let's give kindness CPR, and revive it back into our lives. It's important to God!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I recently wrote on face book a quote from David Platt's book "Radical", I want to add some more quotes from his book that I think are thought provoking, this is not a book review, but just some interesting things in his book.

"We desperately need to explore how much of our understanding of the gospel is American and how much is biblical. And in the process we need to examine whether we have misconstrued a proper response to the gospel and maybe even missed the primary reward of the gospel, which is God himself."

"The dangerous assumption we unknowingly accept in the American dream is that our greatest asset is our own ability."

"Consider the story of Joshua outside Jericho... But notice carefully what you don't' see.You don't see all the Israelites going up to the trumpet players and telling them what an incredible job they did that day. I can almost hear them now. "Abishai, I've never heard you play that well...No. Instead you see the people of Israel realizing that only God could have done this."

..."We were created by God to enjoy his grace...Enjoy his grace and extend His glory. This is the twofold purpose behind the creation of the human race in Genesis"

"We take Jesus' command in Matthew 28 to make disciples of all nations, and we say, "That means other people." But we look at Jesus' command in Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest," and we say, "Now, that means me."

These are some of the many things in the book Radical that pricked at my heart and frankly convicted me. I hope you will read this book. It truly is "Radical"!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


A friend encouraged us to think about one word that we felt like the Lord was wanting to use in our lives for 2011. I have been thinking about this, and praying about it, and mine is "Reflections".
We had been praying in our new S.S. class about what to name our class, it was narrowed down to two names, "Journey", or "Reflections". I had felt that reflections was a great word for us, but upon prayer, and the class voting, they came up with "Journey". I later realized that the word reflections was actually for my life. This is the one-word for 2011 that the Lord wants me to "reflect" on!
So many times, we hear Pastor's and teacher's say," Let's reflect on these scriptures." But how many times do we hear them say, Let's reflect these scriptures?!

James 2:22-25

(22) But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hears who delude themselves.
(23) For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; (24) for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. (25) But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

I believe the writer here was saying it's just as rediculous for you to not do the word after you have heard it, as it is for you to look at yourself, and forget what you look like! In verse (25)it talks about looking intently at the perfect law. I want to look at myself also, intently, not at my outward flaws, (which by age 50, are many) but at my inward flaws.

A few questions I am asking myself:

Am I really doing what this scripture is telling me to do?

Am I reflecting Christ in this situation?

Am I reflecting Christ's love to this person?

Am I reflecting God's holiness?

Am I reflecting Christ's light, and taking it to the world?

Am I reflecting Christ in how I am speaking to this person?

These are a few of the questions that I am asking myself this year. I pray that in 2011, when people see me, they see the "Reflections" of Christ instead.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Sad Anniversary

When we think of Anniversaries, we think back on happy times, but not so today. Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe V. Wade. This decision has caused over 53,000,000 innocent human beings to lose their lives to voluntary pregnancy terminations (abortions).Our society has spiraled down into a culture of death. In Proverbs 8: 36b "...All those who hate me love death." We do not value life anymore. When God created man, he said He was making this man in His own image.(Gen.1: 26) Because of this, every life is sacred. We have just flippantly thrown so many of these tiny little lives away, like you would throw a piece of trash in a garbage can. In Psalm 138:13-16, We hear wonderful news from the Psalmist,"... You wove me in my mother's womb...I am fearfully and wondefully made." I wonder if the person that was going to find the cure for Cancer has already been aborted? What if Mary was living in today's time, someone may have told her to just "Get rid of it!", after all, you're not even married yet, and you're so young, you have your whole life ahead, of you, or "Joseph may leave you if he finds out!" I pray that we will begin to truly value every life, because it is precious in God's sight. May God have mercy on this Country!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

High Praise!

I was reading this scripture this morning, and it leapt out at me!"Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two- edged sword in their hand..." Psalm 149:6. Our God, who is called in the Bible, "Most High" deserves our "high praises". He deserves our praises not only be in our hearts, but in our mouths as well. We need to give to God the offering of our praise. Singing with all our hearts, speaking praise with all our might! How often do we sing in church half- heartedly? He doesn't deserve the measly, half-hearted praise! Think about all the attributes of God, all that He is, all that He has done. Jesus Christ came to earth, The King of Kings and Lord of Lords took on flesh, the great "I Am" left His throne and became Emanuel, God with us, and He died for us so that we would not be without hope of heaven! This God of very god's deserves our high praises, and then we see that this godly person can do two very wonderful things at one time. He or she can present to God high praise, but also carry a two-edged sword in his hand. In Heb. 4:12, the Bible says,"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword..." This person can praise God and fight the enemy with the Word at the same time! Wow, I want to be a person like that, don't you? Come on and sing high praises to the Lord with me, I'll even let you pick the song, and we can fight the enemy together! Now that is a high honor!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Life Interrupted

We start a new study today for the Women at Hocutt. It is a study on the life of Jonah. Entitiled "Jonah, Navigating a Life Interrupted". Some of what I write today comes from Pricilla's introduction, but I wanted to build on it.
Interrupted lives- this is probably an accurate description of all of us, sometime or other in our lives. We each chart out a tidy yellow- brick road of goals, and how we think things will be in our lives. I certainly have, and I bet you have too. Maybe without even realizing it. I've taken my life at times by the reins and asked God to conform to what I want to do, my timetable, my plans.
Your interruptions may differ from mine. A long time ago I would have told you that I would never be a Pastor's wife, never move away from my hometown. Never fly to the other side of the World to go to Kenya and tell people about Jesus. But then... Jesus interrupted my life. Interrupted my plans. I could have let my fear of flying immobilize me.But God was patient with me, he even interrupted my fears and lead me on a journey that I never could have imagined! On February the 13th I go on my third Mission trip to Kenya. One of the happiest moments of my life was dancing in Praise to the Lord with the Maasai women. Just think what I would have missed if I didn't let God interrupt my life! Interruptions come in all different ways, some good, some bad. We are really creatures of habit, wanting our own way. Not welcoming to change. The next time you feel a tap from the Holy Spirit to change course, to break out of your comfort zone. Do it, dive in, it just may fill you with the greatest joy you have ever known, and give you that sense of fulfillment you have been so longing for. Shh, listen, I can almost hear those dear sweet Maasai women singing now!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Who Am I?

Since I am starting a new blog, you may be asking,"Who is she, this JoAnne girl?" Instead of going on and on about myself, I thought I would post this wonderful reminder of who You are in Christ. You will get to know me soon enough!

"understanding your identity in Christ is absolutely essential to your success at living the victorious Christian life."
I am accepted...
I am God's child ~ John 1:12
As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ ~ John 15:15
I have been justified ~ Romans 5:1
I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit ~ 1 Corin. 6:17
I have been bought with a price, and I belong to God ~ 1 Corin. 6:19-20
I am a member of Christ's body ~ 1 Corin. 12:27
I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child ~ Ephesians 1:3-8
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins ~ Colossians 1:13-14
I am complete in Christ ~ Colossians 2:9-10
I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ ~ Hebrews 4:14-16
I am secure...
I am free from condemnation ~ Romans 8:1-2
I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances ~ Romans 8:28
I am free from any condemnation brought against me, and I cannot be separated from the love of God ~ Romans 8:31-39
I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God ~ 2 Corin. 1:21-22
I am hidden with Christ in God ~ Colossians 3:1-4
I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me ~ Philippians 1:6
I am a citizen of Heaven ~ Philippians 3:20
I have not been given the spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me ~ 1 John 5:18
I am significant...
I am the branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life ~ John 15:5
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit ~ John 15:16
I am God's temple ~ 1 Corin. 3:16
I am a minister of reconciliation for God ~ 2 Corin.5:17-21
I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm ~ Ephesians 2:6
I am God's workmanship ~ Ephesians 2:10
I may approach God with freedom and confidence ~ Ephesians 3:12
I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me ~ Philippians 4:13
THE MORE YOU REAFFIRM WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST, the more your behavior will begin to reflect your true identity!

info on this page from the book: Victory Over the Darkness:
Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ
by Neil T. Anderson

Saturday, January 15, 2011

blogger, who me?

Well, I never thought I would be a blogger. I would have thought that I would even be a jogger before I would call myself a blogger. I am surely not a jogger either. But, stranger things have happened! I joined facebook about a year and a half ago, and I love it! I found when I wrote my status that the little facebook guy only gave me a small amount of space to write my thoughts in. I kept having to delete words that I really wanted to say. So, I thought I would try a format where I could type all the words that were in my head and no one could stop me! lol Anyway, I also was inspired by our former Youth Director's wife Nicole (whom I miss terribly, by the way). She had a blog that I really enjoyed, also my sweet Sister-in-Law, Teri (whom I love like a Sister) also has a blog. I have enjoyed going on these blogs and keeping up with them and seeing their pictures. So, I wondered if anyone might be interested in what I have to say. Whether you do, or don't that's perfectly fine. I think this will be cathartic for me. I also want to talk about the Lord and His word, and how He is speaking to me through it. Sort of my ministry musings. I hope you get to know me better, and you enjoy this. So.... here goes! Look Ma, I'm blogging!!!!