Abide in Love ~ Abound in Thanksgiving ~ Work in Joy...
Live Fully ~ Suffer Rightly ~ Trust Deeply ~ Bless Truly!


"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths,
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."
~ Psalms 25:4,5

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Saturday, February 25, 2012


Continued from original "Lent" thoughts...

I have two friends whom I banter with like sisters.  This is an email I wrote to one of them regarding my Lent Sacrifice.  

So today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season.  "Giving up
something for Lent" may be baggage you have from your Catholic background.  I have my own baggage on it from my Methodist background, but  in the past several years, choosing something as a sacrifice to remind me of the sacrifice of my savior is a spiritual practice, I have found freeing,
humbling, and rewarding.  I wanted to share my sacrifice of this season with you.  I recently had Ephesians 4:29 laid on my heart, "Do not let any
unwholesome talk come out of your mouth but only what is useful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen."  I want to sacrifice my words to Jesus for the next 40 days and pray that each time I am tempted for something that is unwholesome, not building up or benefitting someone that it refines my tongue in such a way, that after 40 days my lips will flow with the words Jesus would have spoken more naturally!

I tell you this for three reasons:

1)      This commitment will affect the way I speak with you and you will
probably notice and I wanted you to know what's up with that.  I have been especially convicted lately that my words have been way too loose with you.  I am committed to only speaking words that build you up and benefit you!  So no more engaging in banter with you

2)      As one who I speak with regularly, I ask for your accountability,
dear sister.

3)      I invite you to join me.  I understand this is my conviction and not
yours, so I leave it between you and God.  If there is something else he
wants you to sacrifice, that is great.  If He shares a reason He doesn't
want you to give up something for Lent, I will respect that, too.  I just
know building habits like this is like working out - sometimes easier with a partner

Love, Jill
And her response was that she would pray about it; then that she didn't feel a strong leading; she's got a spiritual formation book that keeps bringing up stuff; and she's not sure what I mean by banter.  When I used the specific example from a recent evening of our bantering, she seemed shocked.  In her mind it was harmless teasing. In my heart sarcasm usually has a root and it's more healthy for me to avoid it completely, for when I start getting sarcastic my words too easily fly into words that tear down rather than build up and hurt rather than benefit (or I end up on the receiving end of it.)

So then I got off the phone and felt like I failed at fulfilling Ephesians 4:29 because my explanation itself made her feel guilty!   AHHHHHH!!!

So this was my response...

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