I’ve known a handful of people who know just what to say in any given moment. Their words are refreshing and fitting. Afterall, “The right word spoken at the right time is as beautiful as gold apples in a silver bowl.” (Prov. 25:11) But I’ve also known people who definitely do not have that skill. So, it’s reasonable to conclude – your words matter. Thanksgiving is an opportunity to express words of strong gratitude to family, friends, to God, and into your own soul. Today’s content explores how your words matter.
I want to share an incredible story about a man who figured out – To Fail Is Not To Be A Failure. See if you can guess who this person is. He failed many times, yet had critical impact on history.
Marvel Comics puts lots of money into movies about superheroes. And – based on success at the box office – lots of people connect with these superheroes at some level. Not everyone is “into” superheroes. But most people can pinpoint at least one superhero they admire. Who is that superhero for you? This list will give you a start –
- Captain America
- Iron Man
- The Hulk
- Black Panther
- Doctor Strange
- Black Widow
- Batman (Well, Superman and Batman are really D.C. Comics)
- Director Fury
- Someone not in this list?
- Maybe a person in your life!
Many people feel invisible today. Some work hard and long to do the right thing – often behind-the-scenes – not for recognition or glory, but because it must be done. As a result, many folks with noble commitment go unnoticed. You’ve likely felt invisible in your hard work, faithfully doing what God asks each day. And “they” don’t seem to notice. But God notices. In fact, He says – “I Am They.”
Surely you’ve wondered at least once – “what’s the deal with God’s timing?!” He seems to be on a completely different time schedule. Admit it with me: there are times you’ve wondered when God is going to answer your prayers. Whether it’s personal or global tragedies that happen without warning, waiting years for God’s intervention in a difficulty, healing a relationship, providing for a need, or personal matters of the heart – all certainly involve God’s timing.
In graduate school, I had a stark realization as first semester syllabuses were handed out in class. It reminded me of a similar eye-opener in college-level classes after high school – but this was definitely a step up. As I began to digest graduate school expectations, I noticed a panicky feeling inside. There would be no reminders, no pace set for us, no little “clues.” Set your own reminders, pace, and “get a clue!” The level of expectation was much higher. There was no option except to tear into it, and hope for the best!
Narrative is a word that has “ticked up” in usage recently. We’ll explore that. But this content is about God’s narrative of you. What is that narrative? Because you hear many different messages daily about your life and value, it’s tricky to determine which narratives are true and which are lies. So – do you know the truth? Comfortingly, God’s narrative about you is based in truth – and love.
What you think about what God thinks about you – matters! God is interested in you, in blessing you, and in your friendship.
I remember a season a couple decades ago when I felt things were falling apart. By that time in my life, I’d already noticed an interesting development. Despite a lot of hard work, regardless of best intentions, even after applying good counsel and working to apply Scripture – things don’t always turn out. That’s when you discover the value of a fresh start.
Have you ever been lied to? I’m guessing you have. I have, too. It’s a devastating experience. You don’t know who to trust going forward. Consequently, that’s the power of a lie. It tears down trust and ruins what could otherwise be healthy and dependable. Although it’s become more common – even normal – to lie, all lies come from one place. Jesus identifies that source.
I remember as a kid how excited I was when school let out for summer. That meant – freedom and fun. Then there’s the happy childhood memory of when I received a beautiful “Little Girl Lotion-Perfume” set from my grandmother at Christmas. As an adult, I’ve been thrilled when I owe less taxes than I thought – or get an extra bonus day off work. And at any age, there’s the joy of seeing new daffodils, tulips, and lilacs starting to share color and fragrance in spring. But nothing compares to how thrilled I was when I discovered a “Thinking Grid” in my Bible – a resource for better thinking! Read More …