All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.
I am amazed at the power of words—and not just because I’m a wannabe writer. Language conveys ideas. When a thought gets stuck in my head, I use language to put it into yours–transferring my ideas to you.
Sounds simple right? But no other creature on this planet can transmit ideas in this way.
Certainly, animals communicate. If my dog wants to go outside, she scratches at the door and gives me the I’m-going-to-die-if-I-don’t-go-pee look. But could she explain to me how existentially freeing it is to pee in the outdoors? I think not.
God continues to impress on me every day that words are mighty. We may write or say something, then forget what we said or wrote, but many times those words are still out there. If they were spoken words, they likely still live on in the mind of the listener.
If they were written words, they may impact even more people. When someone tells me one of my devotions has touched them, I may not know which one, but I’m always in awe of God who uses those words in a specific time and place. He knows the journey those words will take before I’ve written one of them.
With great power like this comes great responsibility. For those who write, but also for all of us who speak into the lives of other people. As someone who was born without a brain-mouth filter, I’ve had to work on my speech more than any other part of my life. Usually, the only way for me to have a pure mouth is to have a pure heart, but it’s worth the effort. When we practice pure speech, we speak life into a dead world.
Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of language. The words we say or write are out there living inside the people who hear or read them. Let them be Your words, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.
In 1942, a squadron of American fighter jets (six P-38s and two B-17s) took off from a secret base in Greenland. They were headed to England to join the fight against Hitler, but on the way over the polar ice cap, they ran into a blizzard. The whole squadron was forced to turn back.
By the time they reached Greenland again, the planes were low on fuel and had to make desperate crash landings on the icy east coast. All of the pilots survived and were rescued by dog sled nine days later. The planes, however, were abandoned for more than 45 years.
In 1988, U.S. airplane dealer Patrick Epps convinced his friend, architect Richard Taylor, to join an expedition to retrieve the planes. Epps thought they’d have to brush off a bit of snow and the aircrafts would be like new.
How wrong he was.
After several failed attempts at locating the aircrafts, Epps and Taylor hired a geophysicist to search beneath the ice. The radar indicated massive shapes more than 250 feet down.
Using a heated coil mechanism to melt the ice, they discovered all the missing planes. The fighters were found in the same orientation as when they crashed, but three miles from their original location (due to glacial flow).
Epps and Taylor had it in their mind that glacial ice builds up slowly because that’s what a gradual, slow-process view of the earth would expect. That was certainly not the case here. In 45 years, a mere blip of geologic time, 250 feet of ice had accumulated.
Without the WWII airplanes stuck in it, scientists would have claimed that same ice took thousands of years to form. Who says your world view doesn’t make a difference in your work as a scientist?
Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/natematias/200496951/”>natematias</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>
This week, everybody in the Boekhoff household is fighting the stomach flu. The funny thing about illness is that it seems to bring so much into perspective.
As I wipe puke from the carpet, I think about the sacrifices that I never imagined I’d make for my kids. Like holding a puke bucket, wiping a dirty bottom, going without sleep, enduring the whining, complaining and crying (usually at dinner time from my picky eater), and let’s not even talk about the money (if only they could stay in one shoe size for a couple of months). Most parents wonder at some point, why, oh, why do I do all this?
Every parent knows the answer—love (and lots of it). We keep rooting and cheering and cleaning and cooking and wiping because of a love greater than it all. And yet, even with our love we cannot love them perfectly.
I’m selfish. Sometimes, I whine, complain and cry myself.
Who has perfect love, except for God? Matthew 7:11 says:
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
That was the perspective that illness brought to me this Christmas. I love my kids, but God loves them more. My husband loves me, but God loves me more. He has already brought me the greatest gift that He could offer—Himself.
Jesus (God in the flesh) literally died so that my sins won’t separate me from God. Because of His sacrifice I can live in heaven forever with Him.
All the sacrifices I make for my family can’t compare to what Jesus has already done for me. And all the gifts under the tree can’t compare to the real meaning of Christmas—the coming of a baby boy who is still changing the world one life at a time.
Do you know how much He loves you?
Dear Lord, help me to live every day as if it’s Christmas and I have just opened the best gift in the whole world. The gift of eternal life with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.