• Harvest Blessings
    Heartprints

    A Holy Harvest

    Fall is finally here and with it the harvest.  There are many kinds of harvests. One of them happens, not in the fall, but because of the fall, the fall of man into sin. Words are like seeds. Once spoken they are planted in the hearts of the hearer. They too produce a harvest. Words can be a harvest of blessing but unloving words produce a harvest of hurt.  I remember running to my mom crying, just a little girl hurting inside, crying because of ugly words. I was broken hearted by caustic remarks. My mother, taught me a little rhyme that she had used as a child: “Sticks and…

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    A Theology of Writing

                The Hebrew word katab means to engrave or inscribe. In Exodus 31:18 God engraved the Ten Commandments onto stone tablets with His own finger. He created permanent records of His Words lest people forget what He said. Even after Moses broke the first set, God had Moses make new tablets so He could rewrite the same commandments. (Exod. 34:1). God values His words—so much that He wants them written on human hearts. (Prov. 7:1-3).             The Greek word logos means word, spoken or written. John 1:1-3 refers to Jesus as "The Word," affirming His deity and oneness with the Father, along with His hand in…

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    Silver Boxes with Bows on Top

    The 18th Century preacher, John Wesley, dressed sharp in his day. One Sunday morning he wore a bow tie with long ribbons that hung down. After his sermon, a lady approached him and asked if he was open to some criticism. He said, “I guess so.” She said, "The ribbons on your tie are too long and inappropriate for a man of God." And she took out her scissors and cut them. A hush fell over the crowd. Then Wesley asked to borrow the scissors. As she handed him the scissors, he asked, "Ma’am, are you open to some criticism?" She answered, "Well, I suppose.” He said, "Good. Now stick…

  • Heartprints

    Christian Parenting Mistakes: #3 Giving Stuff Versus Giving Myself?

    What does love look like? How do we teach it to our children? For some families, it is expressed through encouraging words or the giving of lots of stuff. For other families, it looks like a vacation in amusement parks or exotic places. The Bible teaches that love is not about giving stuff or even just spending time together, it is about giving self.  Little in this world is satisfying long term. Words can be empty and time together isn’t always productive. Quoting Isaiah’s message from God, Jesus said, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” Time without investing our heart will never…

  • Heartprints

    Harvesting our Words

      Fall is finally here and with it the harvest. Words are like seeds. Once spoken they are planted in the hearts of the hearer. They too produce a harvest.  I remember running to my mom crying, just a little girl hurting inside, crying because of ugly words. I was broken hearted by caustic remarks. My mother, taught me a little rhyme that she had used as a child: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” I can’t tell you how many times I used that little taunt. It did make the words stop. But words do hurt and I have the scars to prove it.…

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    Integrity, Words and Social Media: Three Principles

    Are you like me? Controlling my words is an area where I have to be vigilant. This year, violence in our world and lately in my own city, as well as election coverage, means that negative social media posts are on the upswing, and lies and exaggerations are not uncommon. The “share” button is another potential pitfall. I am convinced that words matter—whether spoken or written. Psalm 34:12-14(NET) challenges me: Do you want to really live? Would you love to live a long, happy life? Then make sure you don’t speak evil words or use deceptive speech! Turn away from evil and do what is right! Strive for peace and…

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    The Paradoxes of Christianity

    “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Now that is a contradiction! Please do any and all children a favor and let them know that sticks and stones, as well as sarcasm, shouts, and silence, hurt. We live in a world dominated by hate crimes, hate speech, hate mail. We live in a world of hurt, yet God calls Christians to remain vulnerable and kind. This played out in real time when recently I was hurt by some of the aforementioned hate. As the Lord ministered to me, I realized that I had two choices: withdraw, retreating from the possibility of getting hurt again,…

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    How inaccurate words hinder our evangelistic efforts with women

    For months Sharon prayed that her co-worker Stephanie might accept her invitation to visit her church. Sharon was sure that if her friend experienced the beauty and depth of their authentic fellowship, she might look deeper and find Jesus. For months Stephanie resisted, giving all kinds of reasons. Church people were phony, judgmental, hierarchical, and too political. But when Stephanie's mother passed away suddenly, she decided to accept Sharon's invitation. Sharon was elated, and during the first part of the service her friend seemed open and interested. She sang; she prayed. But then the pastor read Philippians 4:1: Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy…

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    Danger in Digital Dust

    In our electronic world of texts and instagram, conversation tends to get left in the digital dust.  Condensing relationships to tweets and texts often shortcuts the heartfelt encouragement or support of friendship.  Yet this is the world we live in and simply dismissing or dissing it doesn't truly address practical reality. Can we capture the convenience of instant communication and couple it with the deep realization that conversations matter because people matter? In the past several weeks two friends entered eternity unexpectedly and I was reminded again that only two things last forever: people and the word of God. People matter to you and me and to God.  How we…