Speaking Life

What does it mean to “speak life” to someone? This is what we discussed at The Well last Monday.

Speaking life means to bring hope, positivity, and encouragement to someone. We use words that uplift and inspire. The opposite of speaking life would be to “speak death”. We use words filled with hurt, deceit, disrespect, and negativity.

In every encounter we have with someone, we are faced with the decision to speak life or speak death. Words are powerful and can leave a lasting impression–good and bad. I am sure all of you can think of things people have said to you that have left deep scars and still make you sad. Or, things people have said to you that have stood out and made you feel awesome!

Now, this doesn’t mean we need to be perfect and eloquent in what we say all the time. That is probably next to impossible. We are human, after all, and we say things we regret or wish we hadn’t later on. It happens, and that’s okay. But, recognizing when we did hurt someone and then owning up to it is part of speaking life too.

The words you speak, whether to a friend or stranger, have the power to change lives! Isn’t that incredible?!! Maybe it’s just me 🙂 You never know when your words can have a profound effect on someone…and you may never know for the rest of your life!

So, the next time you’re in an argument with a sibling, or feeling the need to talk back to your parents (I know none of you ever do that!), or are tempted to be part of the gossip mill with your friends, think about how your words will impact the other person(s)!

If you want, share something that was said to you that really made a positive impact on your life! 

 

 

Advertisements

“How have you been?”… “Busy”

A few years back, when I was working with a youth group in Salem, we did a devotion series on “time”. We spent several weeks talking about how we fill our weekly schedules with school activities, practices, games, and homework. For many of the youth, every day was filled with something else other than classes at school.

We asked them, “do you like being busy all the time?”

Surprisingly, majority of them said “no”.

One youth, who was an 8th grader, said that he practiced gymnastics 28 hours a week. That’s ON TOP of school and any hours spent on homework assignments. He was also involved in the youth group band which practiced every Sunday after church, and an hour before youth group on Mondays. He said he was always tired, stressed out, and felt like he never had any time to just “be”.

Other youth said that being busy is how it’s always been since they were little, and only got worse over time. They couldn’t remember the last time they had a free weekend to hang out with friends and not have anything planned.

When you ask someone “how have you been?” and they answer “busy”, notice that most of them say it with a sigh. Or, as if they wish that wasn’t their answer. Do you ever hear people say “I’ve been relaxed and peaceful, and free of stress!” Not often!

And, in the midst of our busyness, we rarely make time for God. If we can fit God into the 15 minutes of free time between last period of school and practice, maybe (just maybe) we can count that as our attempt to include God in our lives.

Why is that true for so many of us? We claim that God is important, and the reason we are believers, yet He gets the least amount of time from us. He gets our “leftovers” after we’ve expended all of our energy on everything else that was more important.

Being busy does not define whether you’re successful, smart, or capable. Being busy probably means you are stressed out, overwhelmed, hungry for rest, and needing a break. What do you think?

 

What are you waiting for?

“Advent” comes from the Latin word meaning “coming”. Advent is a season of waiting for Jesus’ birth and preparing for his arrival. Advent starts four Sundays before Christmas, and there are changes that happen around the church. An Advent wreath is often displayed  in the sanctuary, and each week we light a candle to remember the different pieces and people who are part of the Christmas story–the prophets, the Holy Family, Mary, and the Magi.

We often put up greenery and other decorations around the church, all in preparation for Jesus!

Advent is often forgotten as we are rushing around, buying presents for friends and family, fitting in Christmas parties and gatherings, and finishing up school projects and finals before break! We secretly hope our parents get everything off of our Christmas wish list, and our excitement builds as we see the presents multiplying under the tree.

If we were honest with ourselves, we are probably more excited to tear into our presents on Christmas morning than we are to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. How often do we forget that Christmas exists because Jesus was born!? It’s HIS birthday and yet we’re the ones getting presents.

So, what are you waiting for this Christmas? Are you waiting to open presents? Or, waiting for Jesus’ birth? Think about it 🙂

Walk as Lions

There is a popular Christian song being played on Christian radio stations called “Lions” by the band, Skillet. The band has been around since 1996 so you’ve probably heard one of their songs at some point.

Here is the chorus to the song, Lions:

“If we’re gonna fly we fly like eagles–arms out wide!

If we’re gonna fear we fear no evil, we will rise.

By His power we will go.

By His spirit we will know.

If we’re gonna stand we stand as giants,

If we’re gonna walk we walk as lions!”

 

Reflections: 

What does it mean to stand as giants?

What does it mean to walk as lions?

Have you ever felt like you were either of these (giant or lion) in a situation or circumstance in life? What did that feel like, and what did you learn about yourself?