Keep it Shut

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Sunday morning fights. Ugh…

Kids fighting, shoes missing, and Dale and I who are usually in crazy love- nearly ready for separation before we walk inside the church on Sunday morning. Yikes!

This past Sunday wasn’t a lot different. I wanted to go in late and leave early so as not to touch any of the “sick” folks carrying that horrible flu bug. Yeah it’s the one with the high fever and has been going around lately.

I’m speaking at a retreat this coming weekend and can’t get sick. I gave my rules before entering…  “When the last song starts- we leave. Agreed? We can’t talk to or touch ANYONE.”

The last song started… I texted him to remind him of our plan and asked for the keys. He didn’t give them!  I gave him the look.  It didn’t work.

By the time the car doors shut we were arguing.

Why do I do that? The poor man had barely done anything wrong and I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. Have you ever had a fight so uncalled for that by the end of the day you can’t remember why you were so mad?!

Oh my goodness- my fight with Dale was just wrong.

That afternoon I was opening my mail and got a package from one of my most precious friends and prayer partner, Karen Ehman. It was her newly released book, Keep it Shut.  

How appropriate was that? I needed to learn to keep it shut and here was the tool to help me.

I started to read.  Oh my goodness… the book is full of wisdom and practical help for mouths like mine. I don’t know about you but I need to learn to Keep it Shut! 

Here are a few of her guidelines for choosing words more wisely.

1. Trade Places. Imagine you are hearing rather than speaking your words. How would you feel if what you are about to say
were addressed to you?

2. Leave some things left unsaid.

3. Temper your tone. What we say may not be wrong, but if the tone is off, harm can be caused and the meaning misconstrued.

4. Consider your countenance.

5. Believe the best before assuming the worst!

6. Don’t get historical, rattling every offense off the person has done.

7. Choose Your Timing!

You’ve got read this book. I’ve only got two copies to give away.

Dale and I made up before the night was over…  We’re in love again. Thank You Lord. I learned several invaluable lessons on keeping my mouth shut! I hope you win- so that you can too!

You can even take a “test drive” and read a chapter- for free!  Just click here! The book is about the power of our words in every area of our life.

To enter to win the book, just describe a situation in the comments below that makes it hard for you to “keep it shut.”  If you’re in a hurry- just say, “I’m in!” I’ll announce the winner next week!

In Michigan this past June at the 6 week video Keep it Shut Bible Study recording! w/ Melissa Taylor, Lindsey, KAREM EHMAN, me and Kim

In Michigan this past June at the 6 week video Keep it Shut Bible Study recording! w/ Melissa Taylor, Lindsey, KAREM EHMAN, me and Kim

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

Buy Keep it Shut HERE!  RANKING #1 best seller in Christian living on AMAZON!

Love- The Antidote for The Poison of Unforgiveness

A Path on our farm where I sometimes walk and talk to the Lord

A Path on our farm where I sometimes walk and talk to the Lord

If you are visiting from P31’s devotion today, welcome!

Raging anger morphed him into someone I’d never seen.  It was horrible. Just minutes before, we were having a civilized conversation.

His body racked with pain.  Morphine,  alcohol, and other drugs were his best friends.  Doctors couldn’t find the source of his pain.  He looked desperately to me. “Help me, Sharon, I can’t live like this anymore.”

I prayed with him and when I opened my eyes, asked him the question that led to his rage, “Is there someone you need to forgive?”  He became fidgety.  His voice got stronger and assertive.  “Well, yes but that has nothing to do with, anything.

I asked, “Who can’t you forgive?”  He rolled his eyes, got out of his chair, and morphed into a mad man. Profanities shot from the secret place of his heart.

Gently I said, “Can you forgive them?”

“NO!”  He screamed. “Leave me the %^%$# alone! You have no idea what you are asking!”

With tears in my eyes, I said, “Yes, I do. I’ve had to forgive. . .”

When Satan gets a foothold (a door) into our life through anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness- it’s destructive.

He (Satan) wants to kill, steal, and destroy. Give him the opportunity and he’ll wreck our life; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Even the secular world knows that unforgiveness and bitterness can cause untold physical and mental issues.

What lives within the secret place of our soul, ultimately defines our life.

Every day, many times (even hourly) I have to go before with the Lord and give Him my burdens, grievances, and hurt.  I open the Word desperately searching for answers and He always provides.  He’s faithful.

The more time I spend in the secret place with Him and His Word, the more His attributes become mine.  I see others through His eyes and not my own. I can forgive as He forgives because He gives me His ability.  His love consumes me and I am able to live above my circumstances and not be controlled by them.

Oh, love- His love “is as strong as death. . . Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it” (Song of Songs 8:7a).  Bitterness, unforgiveness. . . can’t live in the presence of Jesus’ love.  It conquers all!

His love is the antidote for the poison of it.  The secret place of our heart is sacred to Jesus. We can’t let unforgiveness reside there.  It can cause serious issues.

In Matthew 15:18, Jesus tells us, “ what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart. . .”  If we bury resentment in the secret place of our heart, it will come out one way or the other.  What lives within the secret place of our soul- ultimately defines our life.

Is there someone you need to forgive?  Someone you can’t love?  Get alone in a room. Shut the door.

1. Ask Jesus to help you by the Helper, Holy Spirit 2. Forgive (meaning to release from judgement) them 3. Tell Satan (out-loud)- “In the Name that is above every other name JESUS… The Accuser (Satan) has no power over me and I’m free.  FREE INDEED!”

There’s also a test I use on my heart.  Think about the person that you may have an issue with. Pray that God will pour bountiful blessings on them and that He will prosper them in everything they do.  If you can’t pray that, go back to step #1.

If they live near by, bring them a plate of cookies (8 of my favorite recipes)or invite them to a homemade German Pot Roast dinner with all the trimmings! If they live far away, send a card or call them on the phone in a kind, humble spirit.  An act of love is powerful.

None of us are exempt from hardships with difficult people.  Injustices are worthy of anger.  It’s healthy to get angry over injustice.  But, anger can never be allowed to rule over us.  We can’t open the door of bitterness and unforgiveness to dwell within.  We must guard the secret place of our heart from everything that pollutes.

Now, to get back to the story with my friend…

He FORGAVE and is a new man!!  He was tormented for 40 years and is now free!  What lives within the secret place of his soul, now gloriously defines his life. He’s a new man with a peace that passes understanding!

Do you or someone in your life struggle with anger, bitterness or unforgiveness? Leave a one word comment below and we will pray. Your comment will enter you to win three of my favorite books, a DVD, the glass candle holders shown and seeds from my zinnia plants here: The Unburdened Heart  by Suzie Eller, A Tale of Three Kings  (A Study in Brokenness) and The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond and DVD Les Miserables. gift

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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