Are you ready?

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I am 37 weeks pregnant, and the question I have gotten for a month now is, "are you ready?" Seeing as this is my first pregnancy, I have no idea what I need to be ready for. I keep packing and re-packing our hospital bags with new things people suggest. I don't have our house scheduled to be deep cleaned until next week. However, baby is not born yet and somehow we have child locks on our chemical cabinets. Part of me feels ready because our cabinets are secure from a newborn who can't even access them for a year. We also installed her carseat and her bedroom is ready with a toy bin she won't use for a year or so! The other part feels as if she will arrive before I feel every last detail is done such as making sure our oven is deep cleaned and our baseboards have been scrubbed. 

In the meantime I have slowly noticed changes happening to my body and anticipate labor is near. However in pregnancy, we never know when true labor is going to happen. The signs could be there for hours, days or weeks. Nothing really means anything. It’s all so unpredictable! I don’t know when the real thing will come, so I’ve been living on my toes as if she could come any day. It hit me that is exactly what the Bible means when it says to live prepared for Jesus’ return at any moment.

Matthew 24:42  "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."

The signs of the end times are revealed in the Bible just like google has the signs of childbirth. But neither Christian, nor mother knows when the time will come. Mother doesn’t know when delivery will come and Christian doesn’t know when Jesus will return to deliver us.
It says in the Bible that it is not for us to know the date and time, only for us to live prepared. If we stay prepared, we don’t have to get prepared.

1 Thessalonians 5:2-4 says "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief."

Jesus told the church in Sardis in Revelation 3:3, "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."

Of course I’ve learned about this before, but I have a more clear understanding now. Experiencing what it’s like to go through pre-labor…to think she’s coming and then she doesn’t…to plan for her... To hope she comes when her grandparents are in town but really having no idea when it will be happening! It is 100% certain she is coming. That is a fact and I can’t be off my game any day because it could be the day.

We are in pre-labor end times now. We feel the contractions and the pain of being separated from our true home in Heaven. We get frustrated when we don’t see relief or get deliverance. We are pregnant with expectation. It feels like He is so close, yet still so far. But we know 100% for certain that He is coming. So we can’t afford to be off our game one day either. We want to be ready at any moment. The signs may be there for a while, but He will come suddenly…just like a baby.

How interesting that God created pregnancy, labor, and delivery to be used as significant symbolism for God’s ultimate redemption plan. And even more interesting that He chose women to be the bearers of it. We are life-bearers. We get to show and partner with men in what it looks like to prepare expectantly for the promise.

Just as we prepare for our baby to be delivered into the world, God is hoping we get prepared for Him to deliver us. The concept is so real to me now. Our time is near. It could be today, it could be ten years from now. It isn’t for us to know or try to predict. It’s only for us to live prepared with the assurance of the promise.

Regardless of the pre-labor contractions and having no idea what day it will be, my daughter is coming. Regardless of what you’re going through, the temptations, the disappointment…Jesus is coming. I feel like God is saying it’s time for our generation to stop living like He’s not coming or that the time is far off. It’s time for us to live with the alertness and expectancy of His arrival.

I want to have a clear conscience, caught in the middle of doing good when He comes back. So my question for you is, are you ready?

Don't be a bitter Betty

1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

 

Every November everyone on Facebook for only one month on a daily basis shouts everything they are thankful for! I think it is neat to see and honestly appreciate the break it gives me from the news and constant Internet battles but as we all know we should be thankful everyday. But this blog isn’t about thankfulness, it is about how to be grateful for who Jesus is and the blessing he is by himself alone and not be bitter by what we feel he is NOT doing for us which in turn will make us continually thankful. 

 

When we got married three years ago we had a plan, we knew what we wanted to do and when we wanted to do it, we knew right away we were not ready to have a family but that when we were ready we would decide. Well God found that hilarious, because when our time came to be ready, he had a different plan. We have not been able to have a family as of yet and trying has been quite a process. It has made me personally go crazy, have all kinds of emotions from anger of hearing about a one night stand pregnancy, to bitter of the lady who is having her 7th child, to wondering if really I ever am going to be able to have this desire filled or will it forever be a dream? All the while I cringe to read a pregnancy announcement, loved being bloated after a meal in hopes to get some kind of visual of what I might look like one day if I am able to get pregnant and have a belly, and the mere slight inconvience of a headache or nauseous ness from taking vitamins on an empty stomach gives me thrills that maybe today is the day I become a mom. The constant no on the pregnancy test makes me wonder if it ever will come back positive or if I should just save our money and stop buying them. 

 

The time we have spent trying has given me a totally different outlook on my relationship with Christ though, basically it has been my time to grow up! I have learned that Jesus gave us salvation which is gift enough. In the Bible as far as our daily needs he only promises food and raiment 1 Timothy 6:8 “And having food and raiment let us therewith be content.” So why do we always feel entitled to more? Society has a lot to do with it, the social status of you get married, have kids, have grandkids, that’s the circle. While the family is important to God and he instituted it, Christ died for us to have a relationship with him and he never promised us a family, Paul never had a family yet he was blessed not bitter about it and did so much for the Lord out of his willing life and being truly, solely content with salvation alone and just serving Jesus. Bitterness will creep in any way possible if you allow it. We must learn to be content solely with Jesus and the victory we have through him. Instead of constantly being bitter or annoyed, I now am seizing the day and doing all I can for the Lord in areas I might not be able to if I was a full time mom, I am just also learning that my days are numbered and short and he could take me home before I ever have a family and do I want to meet him knowing I chased my tail , pouting about not being a mom or will I meet him excited for all those I got to meet along the way and tell about him in my time of ample availability. When you’re thankful you have no time to be bitter. No matter what the situation that brings on bitterness or disappointment in this life, the love of Jesus can cover your heart and mind so that you can be free. By remembering and meditating on the love of Christ for you, you will long for his presence and peace. In the forest of bitterness, we forget how much we are loved. This love of God not only sent his Son to die for you, but his love also wants the best for you in this lifetime. So my question to you is you may not be struggling with wanting a baby, but is there something you are battling God with in your mind and your thoughts or can you truly be content if all he ever gives you is salvation and a home in heaven with him for all eternity?

 

Safe and Secure

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Philippians 3:20 “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” 

 I can’t speak for all women but for myself I know I want security! I am very stuck in my ways at times and want a sense of security in knowing what my typical routine will be. I often say I would love to be a Wal-Mart greeter because I know exactly what the job would be and how much I would be getting paid. I don’t like change too much and am often more times than not wanting something that is permanent. Case in point 11 years ago when I moved to Los Angeles I got a P.O. box for my mail. To this day I still have it and pay $9 a month to have to drive to another location to get mail, which sounds ridiculous now that I type it out. I got it because I moved a lot and did not want the hassle of having to update my address each time and lose missing important items (such as bills, just kidding…. I didn’t want my Amazon packages to get lost.) J I often wonder if one day we will have a permanent home to where we can save that $9 a month and no longer need a place to store mail. 

I also think about these past two years our church has been on a citywide tour! Sounds more exciting than it was, but we were in temporary locations until our building was ready. We are now in our new building Praise God and guess what? It is temporary, for now at least. We are in a lease and do not own the building, we may own it one day or we may not, that isn’t really up to us, it is up to God. 

The house we live in is very small and literally my husband is a pro at using every inch of square footage frugally and we often get asked “Why don’t you move to Ohio or someplace cheaper where you could have a savings account and you could have nice things and no debt?” We get that question probably on a weekly basis. You see my husband is ministry focused, he started a ministry based out of Los Angeles but alongside that he is super involved in our church. Whenever I am having a pity party he reminds me that I did not marry a career driven man who can provide this elaborate life while on earth but what he can offer me is Godly leadership, treasures stored in heaven and lots of quality time. That all sounds great so why at times am I not content with that? Why do I need a Chanel bag to go in my grave one day because yes I can enjoy it temporarily but we all know that I can’t take it with me when I die. The Bible says Job 1:21 “And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. I am not saying don’t have nice things; I just am saying that do not allow items or situations to give you a sense of security.

You see the world teaches us to live like it is our last day on earth, yet on the contrary we are taught to save as if we will outlive Noah! It is so confusing it can mess with our mind and cause our flesh to overtake the truth and what we know is truth. We must remember that this world is temporary so if God reminds us over and over again that this world is not our home and it is temporary, why do we struggle so bad with wanting permanent security here? 

 

Matthew 6:19-21 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” 

 

1 Chronicles 29:15 “For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on this earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.” 

 

1 Peter 2:11 “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” 

 

You could have the house you own, the car paid off, the no debt, the purses, the Pinterest worthy décor and God could still one day take it all away. Or the day after you finally get what you have been saving for the unexpected could happen. Where is our faith in security? Security and faith can’t go together, it is like oil and water, they won’t mix. If you have security in the world’s eyes do you have strong faith? Maybe you do, and there are wealthy Christians to who are very faithful. But for most of us, the less security we have the closer Jesus has to our heart. He wants our security and hope to only be in him. Let us remember he only promises to provide for today, just today! I know we have plans for the weekend but some of us may not live to see that weekend. God promises to give us our daily bread and for the future and the wondering of what permanent place we will have the only place he has promised is heaven! If God asked you to give it all up tomorrow and not know where your next meal was coming from would you be secure and safe or fearful and frantic?

6 steps to success in your single-ness

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Serving alongside my husband in the Singles Ministry for over 7 years had its challenges, but it was also a space to positively impact those moving through young adulthood. I carried some life lessons into my twenties.  I also learned some crazy life lessons during this important time in my life. Serving in singles ministry gave me the opportunity to help alongside my husband to  develop and encourage others who are sizing the shoes I once wore. Looking back, I can recognize a few crucial things that I’m so glad I learned that now help me live life in a way I never would have considered before. 

 

1. RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD NOT RELIGION

Focus in on learning and internalizing who God says He is. We spend so much time listening to what other people say about him, but what we really need to dive into scripture and find out for ourselves who He is and what God really is all about. So many singles feel as if because they are single they have a Scarlett letter on their forehead and God can’t use them because they don’t have a spouse. Honestly as a married woman can I just say that as a single you can do so much more for God! Paul never was married and he said in 1 Corinthians 7:8 “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I.” Paul knew what he could accomplish being single, it is NOT a crutch, it is a strength that God can use your life in so many ways if you stay close to him! You have that availability, you have the flexibility to do exactly what God wants you to do when he needs you to do it. So with that said, discover a relationship with God and develop that through daily prayer, diving into scripture, and connecting with others to hold you accountable. Don't just "go to church" or "do the right thing" all the time. 

 

2. FIND YOUR IDENTITY

When you know you are somebody, you will quit wasting time trying to be somebody. Colossians 3:3 says, " For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. "  So often we try to identify with a group or circle of people. We do this to be accepted. When we gravitate to being accepted by others we start losing who God created us to be! Everyone is created uniquely to complete different things for God’s kingdom. You can't  effectively do what God created you to do if you are trying to change who you are. When you know who God created you to be , you begin to identify the “labels” that limit you, and you begin to know yourself. Knowing yourself will launch you into #3..

 

3. DISCOVER YOUR CALLING

Consider corporate calling (Why do we exist? What are we here for?) Why? Because when you see the big picture clearly, it becomes easy to use that as a filter for the smaller picture of your personal life. We complicate God’s calling on our life too much! It is simply this: use how God’s wired you (gifts, skills, personality, experiences) to further “the big picture”. The reality is that you can do anything with your life. But if you have the blessing of living a long healthy life, toward the end when you look back , will you be able to say it was time well spent for what is coming next? I used to think I had all the time in the world. Now, as a woman in my thirties, I realize how fast my twenties actually went. I can never get that time back. Find out what God is calling you to do, start ASAP, and stick with it! 

 

4. DEVELOP SOME CHARACTER

Character development is a life-long process, but during young adulthood your character is being formed in a way that can set the tone for the rest of your life. Invest your time and thought into this. It will open up doors for you. It will lead you into knowing your personal gifts and into your calling. It will define relationships and it will become your greatest gift to others.  I think of David in the field tending his father’s sheep. He spent a lot of this time wielding a sling , doing basic shepherding , and farming before he became a King. However, these years shaped his heart in a way that would set him up to be an incredible leader. Looking back I’m thankful for my parents and people in my life who showed me tough love over the years. I am also thankful for the people spoke many words of wisdom in my life that have stuck with me.  Your character is what makes you, you. 

 

5. COMMIT TO DISCIPLINE.

Discipline is a characteristic that comes at a price. It requires pushing and stretching yourself in ways  that will be uncomfortable. Since I was kid , I remember being taught that it takes discipline to reach goals and improve my life. My secular job apart from serving alongside my husband in ministry is a work from home position. I need discipline daily to do my tasks as I don’t have an office to report to and am far from micromanaged so it takes discipline to daily accomplish the personal goals I have in my workplace. For years, I have woken up early in the morning to plan out my day. For one hour every morning I sit with my coffee and do nothing but personally develop. I read, pray, meditate, and strategize. That time is strictly devoted to becoming better at figuring out how I can use that precious 24 hour day. I saw a meme once that said “Oprah has the same number of hours in a day you do so what is your excuse?” I am not saying we should strive to be Oprah, but it is so true, she has tremendous amounts of discipline to achieve what she does on a daily basis. Discipline is what is going to set you apart from everyone else. It is what is going to make rise to the next level of excellence in life, and in your relationships. 

 

6. FIND YOUR VALUES.

Determine early on what matters most to you and write your goals down. Ask yourself what matters the most to you, and then ask yourself , "Does this matter the most to Jesus?" Look at Jesus’ life as an example. Study what He valued in His earthly ministry. Pick some role models who value the things that line up with God’s principles. Remember that goals are always time-specific, but values are timeless. Your values will guide you through the major times in life. What you value will determine your outcome in business dealings and personal relationships. Values also align your priorities, priorities will determine your habits, habits will determine your lifestyle, and your lifestyle will determine your destiny. 

 

Selfie

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Proverbs 31:30 "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain but a woman who feareth the Lord shall be praised."

 

Psalms 139:14 "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."

 

Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

 

Kim Kardashian recently wrote a book called "Selfish." I wouldn't exactly call it a book for reading, it was a picture book of yes you guessed it, selfies of her. She initially made it for her husband than decided the rest of the world would be curious of all her angles too so she published it. Can't hate the girl for cashing in on opportunities. We live in a world that is all about outward beauty. I have boxes upon boxes of pictures of me from middle school back when you had to take a picture and wait for CVS to develop them a week later and pay for each print! I would say half of what I printed and paid for were selfies. If you can do a selfie on a disposable camera you have skills and back in 1998 I had skills because that is what I would do all day. Selfies were not even a thing back then! So when they became popular I remember thinking, wow society you are so far behind, I have albums of selfies!

 

Self image is a huge thing in society, not just with women, men deal with self image issues as well. I have always had self image issues. Not because my parents didn't love me or because I had some awful experience. I think mostly it was because I remember always looking different from everyone so I always wanted to prove to others I was beautiful. I have distinct features being of middle eastern descent and not to give her any more publicity or name drops but once Kim Kardashian came out and society accepted her as a gorgeous, middle eastern woman (because she really was the first middle eastern famous woman) I felt as if one of my types of people were finally considered beautiful. Most people in the media viewed beauty up until that point as All American type people with button noses and perfect facial features and here came Kim with distinct, not perfect features and today is considered one of the worlds most beautiful women. A lot of women's self esteem worth especially those who may not know the Lord come from the celebrity, magazine  and tabloid culture.

 

I remember as a young girl doing beauty pageants in hopes of winning to prove I was pretty, I remember doing cheerleading for that same reason. I refused to let the cheerleaders be blondes or brunettes with straight, gorgeous hair! It drove me nuts so I did everything I could to make it on the team! When I moved to Los Angeles a decade ago every Thursday I would go to Santa Monica and do a test shoot at the Playboy headquarters. I would literally pose nude with a stranger, usually an older man was who they hired as photographers in hopes of being picked as one of the 12 most beautiful women in the world. Society told us that if you were a playmate you were perfect. In God's divine work he never allowed me to get picked as a playmate and I remember resenting him for it but now that I am saved I couldn't be more thankful for his hand in my life during that time.

 

I remember when I was young, in high school a friend saying "you won't have this body forever so why not wear next to nothing?" Back in that day Britney Spears was huge and crop tops and Spice Girls high heels were the in thing! Hugh Hefner himself has been quoted as saying "we were born naked, there is nothing wrong with nudity." Again more self image distortion.

 

This idea of poor self image grew into my adult life and caused me to make poor choices such as sex before marriage and coaxing men into continuing to sleep with me in fear of being alone even if they no longer wanted to court me. Through our non profit I have seen many women come through our doors from the sex industry, some were sex trafficked and say they just can't stop because they don't know what else they will be good at!! Society has groomed us that outward beauty matters.

 

Now all of the sudden a woman has a visible 6 pack stomach while being 9 months pregnant and another woman only has 8 pounds to lose after birthing full term twins. Talk about pressure!! Women constantly are now feeding into society that if you don't look how people (who only show a portion of their life via social media) do than you are failing.

 

May I encourage you that God sees our heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 "But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looked on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

 

Notice through most of this devotion I referenced the world? What would Kim do if she lost her outward beauty? What could she sell? Her entire brand and lifestyle is based solely off of IF her looks stay how society expects. That is what makes being a daughter of the King so magical is the blessing we have by knowing how he sees us. So if we know how God views us why are we constantly trying to view beauty like the world does? By constantly being disappointed with how God made us perfect in his image we basically are saying he failed in doing his job. Now I'm not saying to let yourself go, but don't be so consumed with keeping up with the Jones or Kardashians in regards to outward beauty. Beauty will fade or you could get into a wreck and your entire physical appearance is changed forever. But inward beauty and finding our worth in Jesus and how he sees us will stay with us forever. The most beautiful woman in the world may not look like Kim, Britney or even Princess Kate, but the most beautiful woman is a woman to whom lives with confidence knowing where her worth lies and that is with the one who created her.

 

Daily tip: In a self absorbed, beauty is skin deep world be the difference that might lead someone to Jesus by seeing something different about you in how you carry yourself with confidence that can only come from your security through a personal relationship with your savior.

God Change

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Genesis 17:5 "No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations."

 

Genesis 17:15 "And God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name."

 

Genesis 32:28 "Then he said, "Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel, for ye have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed."

 

We also know in Acts 9 on the road to Damascus we know God changed the apostles name from Saul to Paul.

 

I bring up these verses to share a simple point. God changed their names. Why didn't they just go and change their names at the courthouse or take things into their own hands? Because God is in charge of everything when it comes to change, even down to something small as changing a name. I am blessed beyond blessed to be in a healthy, balanced church. I'm even more blessed it is the only church I have known because I got saved in that church.

 

I remember my first Sunday in church I was in high stilettos and a short short skirt. I was heading to a bar after because I was a beer girl so I thought hey I'm in a skirt, that is church attire, I will just wear it to service then go to work after. (I wasn't a Christian yet) One Sunday a lady in the church pulled me aside to correct me in what I was wearing. I remember that made it worse, it made me just add way more eyeliner, higher heels, and brighter lipstick the next time I came. That was out of a rebellious heart and not something I am boastful of. My point is that it caused me to start questioning this whole church routine I was trying. I began to wonder if God was really unhappy with my dress or if the woman trying to critique me was just a distraction the enemy placed to try to throw me off course.

 

I started being untrue to myself and trying to conform to church members and their standards, it hindered my relationship strengthening with Jesus because I was becoming religious. Now I know we all have convictions, but let me tell you unless those convictions are CLEARLY covered in the Bible than it is simple YOUR conviction. I would encourage us as women to let God do the changing and convicting in people. Don't be a Christian who feels it is always your job to change others.

 

I remember only being saved 90 days when my pastor and his wife moved to California to take over our church. I took his wife out to Starbucks a week later and point blank said to her face..... "Listen sometimes I wear short skirts, and I'm still working on cussing and not using Gods name in vain so if you don't want me to do anything in your church until those issues are fixed than just let me know now."  I remember her face of shock just staring at me for a few seconds as she gathered what just happened, me being blunt and kind of rude on our first meeting. Then she kindly said "Ranae it is not my job to be your Holy Spirit. It also is NOT my church, we won't be doing religion here. You do what you feel you need to between you and the Lord because you have to answer to him alone one day and I won't be there. That is between you and him. If you pray and ask him to show you he will but don't be so hard on yourself, give yourself time to grow. Just keep coming to church and growing and the rest will follow."

 

I remember I was now in shock. Not saying a pastors wife can change your life because she is a human like us all but that nugget of wisdom from her I credit to one of the reasons I am still in church today. And I use her advice on young women who come to me with the same questions. A few years later before I was getting married my pastors wife who was now one of my bridesmaids came with me to pick out my dress. I remember my dress was a halter top, showed my shoulders and I paid extra to have a push up bra in it. Again I turned to her and said "is this modest enough?" She said "I don't know, is it? That's between you and God but it looks fine to me. But please remember it doesn't matter what I think because I'm not the standard, let God show you." And I will be honest at that point I was annoyed, I was like why does she just keep pushing this off on God, why can't she tell me yes or no. But now looking back I am so thankful for her answers, because her simple, yet loving response allowed me to grow in ways I never would have. She taught me to depend on Jesus not a human (which was her) and to fully trust him in changing and molding me how he needs to.

 

Daily tip: "It is not your job to grow or change people. Don't be someone else's Holy Spirit. Always lead ladies to the truth of the word of God and a personal relationship with Christ and then sit back and enjoy watching him perform miracles in their lives as they grow in grace with him."

 

DON'T Think Before You Speak

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“Say what you want to say and let the words fall out, honestly I wanna see you be brave!”
NOTE: I wrote this one in 2014

If you sang that first line instead of reading it then you know that is a new hit song on the current radio stations by Sarah Barillas. The entire song is about speaking what is on your mind and I honestly think the intent of the song is supposed to be an encouragement to those being bullied, which is great. I am very anti-bullying, but what is not great is the message that you should say whatever you want without thinking about it first.


However that is how our world operates and sadly the only way some people know how.

First let me explain to you that I am writing this message as a bride-to-be and I’m less than 50 days away from my wedding! I am up at 4 am talking to a vendor in China pleading with her to mail 5 bridesmaids dresses that were ordered 5 months ago! Yes guilty as charged, I am the bozo bride who ordered dresses from China off of Etsy! Even though I am sure this lady has given me a fake name, keeps pulling my leg on when the dresses will be shipped and will probably never meet me, I should still watch my tone via email. Why? Because meeting someone in person or not we still are to be a representative of God.

Our tongue….. Our greatest weapon! As a stand-up comic for many years in Los Angeles and all across the country, I never thought about what I said before I said it, hence why I was successful. Well after I had hurt almost everyone I knew and started going to church, I realized that I was living the opposite of what is in God’s beautiful word. If I was going to experience a full life, I couldn’t do or say whatever I want and still live a life that is pleasing to God. Now I will never be perfect in this area. I literally have to wake up each morning and pray for Him to help me with my mouth, even at 4 am!

One thing I have had to learn about the tongue is saying whatever we want is wrong because it makes a huge impact on the people around us, especially the ones we love the most. You can either kill someone or give them life through your tongue.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
The problem with saying whatever we want and not having to think about it are the consequences. Words hurt way more than actions.

I do not even remember what Elliot Ramsberger looks like, but I remember clearly sitting in class when he asked me what “zitty” planet I was from because my face was going through horrible puberty. The tongue. A deadly weapon. I don’t know about you but it scares me sometimes that the Bible says we will give an account for what we say because honestly I have said some pretty nasty things that I am extremely embarrassed for. Things that happened AFTER I became a Christian. Don’t let Christians fool you into thinking we’re perfect after salvation. Far from it. Through grace we are saved, not in and of ourselves. He even tells us that we are indeed wise to hold our tongue and be slow to speak.

Proverbs 10:19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
Proverbs 21:23 Who so keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
Proverbs 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life.

The world and society teaches us to say what is on our mind and not to worry if people don’t like it. You have the right to freedom of speech! But let us not forget that when Christ was mocked, when he could of called 10,000 angels to take him from that cross, or when he could of spoken a foul word to the King, he kept his mouth quiet. For his obedience and holding his tongue is the reason we are here today and able to no longer be separated from God and are able to be saved and have a personal relationship with him! That alone makes me want to think before I speak.

How about you? Remember, don’t conform to society’s standards, be obedient to God so that one day when you stand before Him, He can truly say, “well done my good and faithful servant.”

Matthew 25:21 His Lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter into the joy of the Lord.