November 18, 2008

Are Your Words Vitamin C?

Tuesday morning.

I am listening to the new study on Esther in my car. As I wrote yesterday I am waiting for my peeps to do the homework portion when we watch the video series at church in January. So I am missing a lot without doing the homework along with the presentation. I am on the 3rd session and Beth is bringing it home, she is talking about all things womanly. It always amazes me how God brings Beth to a subject to study then how she can find such relevant topics to today through something that happened thousands of years ago. Yesterday's lesson was my favorite so far, but with her studies they always seem to get better and meatier as she gets the footwork laid out in the first couple. So what did she talk about yesterday? Many things, but one that stuck out to me was "mean girls." This is the first study where she took surveys on her LPM blog to ask the people answers to questions which she placed in a book to refer to. One of the questions she asked was what are the 3 hardest things about being a woman. Many of the responses came back that one of the toughest parts about being a woman were other women. Beth went on and listed areas where our gender can be harsh to each other. One of the topics she talked about was that when a mean girl rises up out of our own self towards another girl, whether we show our teeth or not, was when we feel threatened. We need to figure out why on earth we feel threatened and work through that with God, be ready to confess that if we need to...
The first two bullet points from lessons one and two...It's tough being a woman in another woman's shadow, it's tough being a woman when beauty is a treatment.
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I can't find my bible. I have many, but I have one favorite that has all my markings in it. I feel sure it is in my house, so after work this morning I will be on a cleaning mission to locate my trusty friend.

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Yesterday was my last Christian Spiritual Formation class. There is one more for the non-audits, but it is evaluation stuff. So yesterday was Denise's and I last class to be blessed with.
We shared our Rule of Life yesterday. It was so cool to hear what everyone had worked up.
Several of the people in class are in their early 20's, time when things start to morph and when you are trying to find your personal God not your parents'. It is a difficult search and is filled with growing pains but so very worth the search. I just wanted to open my heart and let Him spill forth so they could see how much they need HIm, but my experiences with God is not what they need. They need their own, but I can remember being in their shoes and it is a journey, well worth the blood, sweat and tears. It made me think that my kids could be sitting in that chair saying the same thing in 10 years.

I can't recommend this class enough to elders, ministers, and those of us that are pew warmers. For me it deepened my spirituality with the Lord. It showed me avenues where I could practice spiritual disciplines, it helped open my eyes to how little "my" God was. He truly is the Ancient of Days. It will be offered again in the Fall I think, there is a Maymester class that others have told me about, but fitting all those lessons into one week I think would lose a lot because you wouldn't have time to think about one topic before you had to move on to the next. $35 and a bit of time, so worth the journey. This class is generally taken by graduate theology or ministry students. I have not met one person recently who took this class and did not say that it changed their life.

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My rule of life I spoke about yesterday if you want to look back. But there is another rule of life that stems from following God to the ends of the earth, it is to allow His light to shine through. One of the ways that I see that is done is to speak words of life into people. No matter who we are, what position we hold, where we live, we probably feel a bit run down. Life is stinkin' hard. We have a choice we can be someone who breaks others down or we can build them up. Our words can shrivel a heart or give refreshing water. We can take these opportunities for granted and not see the value. We could finish the day and not have said anything harsh, but have our watering can still full because we haven't shared words of life along the way. I have asked God to show me who needs His words, who needs a smile, who needs His comfort, who needs some word vitamin c to clean out the toxins. I don't have this mastered by any means, far from it actually, but I can see where God is working and He has been generous to guide me in this.
This will be very hard if your mouth is used to take life through gossip and slander. The more I allow God to purify that area the more useful I become. It is a beautiful gift.

One of the girls in the class yesterday made the comment "You are as holy as you are at home." So my words of life need to start in my home, then let the rivers flow out.

I grew up in a home where harsh words were often spoken. Maybe that is why I am so sensitive to this. Words that shrivel can tear a child up. It very literally hurts my heart to hear those words.

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