Wellspring

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23

Kind Words and Patience and AWANA is coming!

Yes, I know there is a lot in that title, but I’ve not been around here so I must make up for lost time. Do you believe that AWANA starts next Wednesday?!?!? I barely do. But it is. So here are some thoughts on this upcoming event in a “Let’s take a Sunday drive through the country!” kind of way.

This summer several women have been meeting at 6:30am, on Tuesday mornings at McDonald’s for a Bible Study. (We’d love for you to join us!) Because most of us have to go on to work from there, we keep it brief – about a 1/2 hour or a little more. Even though our time is short, we all come away with conviction and a deeper understanding of what we studied. At this time we are studying about how to handle the pressures we are dealt in life.

Two of these pressures that will apply to the upcoming AWANA year are about controlling our words and patience. Whew! Those are two heavy duty subjects. We could study on those two things alone for the rest of the year if we wanted. In both of these lessons, we’ve learned that it is not in our power to control these things. If we leave it up to our power, disaster is bound to strike sooner than later. It is only through transferring our control to the Holy Spirit that we can be right with our words and maintain patience in sticky situations.

Shall we speak of kind words first? I think so since it’s first in the title. Words are powerful. The Bible tells us many things about words of encouragement, wisdom and slanderous tongues. Oh that pesky tongue! It is hard to tame and James 3:1-12 tells us all about it. It is little but mighty and can “set the course of life on fire”. Fire is powerful and sometimes unpredictable, just like our tongue. Have you ever unleashed your tongue of fire on an unsuspecting soul Maybe you’ve loosed it on someone who wasn’t so unsuspecting? Oh boy have I. I’ve unleash my tongue like a wild untamed beast on my husband, children, my mother, a couple of coworkers and a few people who have waited on me or checked me out at a store or two……..or three…….maybe. I have sometimes apologized for my behavior and sometimes simply left bad witness and impression. How sad that I thought “setting someone strait” was more important than being the light of Jesus. It makes me pause and roll those sour thoughts around on my palate.

Then there is the matter of patience. (I saw you roll your eyes……for shame.) Really, though, we act like patience is a gift that will be dropped in our lap and all will be right with the world. This is not at all true. Patience is not a spiritual gift. It is a fruit of the Spirit. Remember those? Love, joy peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

I used to sing a song to my kids about the fruits of the Spirit. Let me share a few fun words. “The fruit of the Spirit’s not an apple. The fruit of the Spirit’s not apple. So if you want to be an apple, you might as well hear it, you can’t eat a fruit of the Spirit. For the fruit is love, joy, peace, Patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Repeat”

Wasn’t that fun? If you ask me, I’ll even sing it for you the next time you see me. 🙂

What does the song have to do with this. Not a whole lot other than patience, a fruit of the Spirit, that becomes present when we are in the His will. And the fruits of the Spirit are to be exercised……practiced…….not in our power, but His.

Now I’m going to be slick and tie this into AWANA. These things are all things we need to put into practice every Wednesday night when we get the privilege and blessing of sharing our Jesus with all the little darlins’ that descend upon Marshall Missionary Baptist Church during the school year. The kids need, not want, but need us to be Jesus. They don’t care about what kind of rotten day we had at home or work. They don’t need to know what is ailing us and how we busted our buns to be there on time. They just need to see Jesus, in us. They need to see Jesus in how we treat each other and how we treat them. Isn’t that why we invite them into our church home?

And we don’t need to bring out the best behavior on Wednesday night only. We can put it into practice on a daily basis. Just think of how God could move through us! I’m getting goose pimples thinking about the possibilities. 🙂

If you are not a participant in the AWANA program, then pray for us all. Please pray! We will need it. Truly. 🙂

Hugs and Blessings,
Elizabeth

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