Only Words

Today is Thursday (why can’t it be Friday) April 26, 2018. Day 21,959.

Two more days until our next Night of Worship.

Carol Burnett turns 85 years old today. She said, “Funny is funny. I dare anyone to look at Tim Conway and Harvey Korman doing the dentist sketch, which is more than 40 years old, and not scream with laughter.” BrainyQuote

The word for today is frugivorous, an adjective which means, “fruit-eating.”

C and I made it to the Y again, last night. I spent the whole time on the weight machines, while she split the time between weights and cardio. We may go back tonight, as I want to try a tai chi class. Tai chi is a slow, “graceful” (haha!) form of exercise that has, by some, been referred to as “meditation in motion.” It is supposed to be a great way to reduce stress.

The Red Sox broke their losing streak last night, beating the Blue Jays 4-3 behind two Mookie Betts home runs. Good to see him hitting again. This puts them at 18-5 on the season, and four games ahead of both the Yankees and the Blue Jays in the AL East. They remain the best team in MLB, two games ahead of the D-Backs, 2.5 ahead of the Mets and Astros. The have one more game against the Blue Jays tonight.

The Rangers also won their game, last night, finally beating Oakland 4-2. This puts them at 9-17 on the season, still in last place, eight games behind the Astros. They have an off day today, and will be in Toronto, where the Red Sox leave off, on Friday night.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:2

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. Of Asaph.
Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob! 
Raise a song; sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp. 
Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day. 
For it is a statute for Israel, a rule of the God of Jacob. 
He made it a decree in Joseph when he went out over the land of Egypt. I hear a language I had not known: 
“I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket. 
In distress you called, and I delivered you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah. 
Hear, O my people, while I admonish you! O Israel, if you would but listen to me! 
There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god. 
I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

Psalm 81:1-10

When, in our distress, we call upon God, he is sure to answer and deliver.

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Proverbs 15:4

In today’s Daily Guideposts reading, Carol Knapp reminds us how powerful words are. We, all too often, allow careless words to come out of our mouths, words which can cause irreparable damage to people whom we claim to love. For years I watched C’s father spew words of condemnation and criticism at his wife and children. I’m not sure he ever realized the damage he was doing.

But have I done the same? I’m pretty sure that I haven’t toward C. I try to make it a point not to speak critically to her, and I most definitely never say anything critical or derogatory concerning her in public. But what about to my children? I fear that I have, in my frustration, said hurtful things to S many times. Who knows what kind of effects words can have on autistic people? It is, quite honestly, impossible to tell how they take things that are said. They certainly, for the most part do not understand sarcasm.

I’m also sure I have muttered words, at work, that can be hurtful. Who hasn’t, right? But that’s no excuse. Even when my words are not meant to be heard by anyone else, they might be heard.

Those of us who call ourselves by the name of Christ should be much more careful with our words. Jesus had a few things to say about words.

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
Matthew 12:36-37

That, right there, should strike fear into all of our hearts, shouldn’t it?

Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.
Matthew 15:17-19

So, we see here, we should be much more concerned about what comes out of our mouths than what goes into them.

“They’re only words.” Oh, but they are so much more . . .

Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
Psalm 141:3
From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.
Proverbs 12:14
Therefore thus says the LORD: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.
Jeremiah 15:19

Father, keep me mindful of the words that come out of my mouth today. As I walk through this day, may I think carefully before speaking anything, and may I speak more uplifting and encouraging words than the opposite.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

“O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God,
who hast safely brought us into the beginning of this day:
Defend us in the same with thy mighty power;
and grant that this day we fall into no sin,
neither run into any kind of danger;
but that we, being ordered by thy governance,
may do always what is righteous in thy sight;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.” (The Book of Common Prayer)

Grace and peace, friends.