“A Good Word” by Charlie Thomason

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”Ephesians 4:29

 

Good words for sad times

 

“I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?

     My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2)

 

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

     I will fear no evil, for You are with me” (Psalm 23:4)

 

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

     and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

 

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble…

     …Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:1, 10)

 

“Cast your cares on the Lord

     and He will sustain you.” (Psalm 55:22)

 

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion

     and the God of all comfort…” (2 Corinthians 1:3)

“A Good Word” by Charlie Thomason

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”Ephesians 4:29

Those who get a few years of life experience under their belts (or, maybe a few decades) usually come to understand that most problems and even what we would call crises tend to come and go. We learn to say things like, “This too shall pass.”  And most of the time we are right.

But, what if it doesn’t?  What if the problem or crisis comes and stays?  Do Christians then just “resign ourselves” to what seems to be a hopeless situation?  No.  We “resign ourselves” to God who gives us a “living hope” (1 Peter 1:3).

Listen to these words from the Prophet Habakkuk…

Though the fig tree does not bud,

And there are no grapes on the vines,

Though the olive crop fails,

And the fields produce no food.

Though there are no sheep in the pen,

And no cattle in the stalls.

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord!

I will be joyful in God my Savior!

The Sovereign Lord is my Strength! (Hab. 3:17-19a)

Our hope as Christians is NOT limited to this physical world.  It is a hope that springs eternal. Fix your eyes on what is unseen (2 Cor. 4:18). Let the Sovereign Lord be your strength!

“A Good Word” by Charlie Thomason

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”Ephesians 4:29

Can you?  Or, can you not?  What do you think?  Believe it or not, YOU are an extremely important factor in answering that question.

Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, either way you’re right.”

John Assaraf and Murray Smith say in their book The Answer: “By the time you’re seventeen years old, you’ve heard ‘No, you can’t,’ an average of 150,000 times.  You’ve heard ‘Yes, you can,’ about 5,000 times.  That’s thirty nos for every yes.  That makes for a powerful belief of ‘I can’t.'”

So, how do you talk to yourself? (We all do it.  Don’t be embarrassed.) What does your mind repeat to itself over and over? “I can”? “It’s possible”? “I will make it”? OR, “There’s no way”. “It’s impossible”. “I can’t”.

Try coaching yourself mentally by repeatedly saying in your thoughts these ten words that have the power to change your life!  “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

Try it for a day.  Then for two days.  Do it for a week and then for a month.  At some point, you will be able to write ME a story about the difference you have experienced.

Always remember, success comes in cans.

“A Good Word” by Charlie Thomason

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

I am fascinated by the Golden Rule of Matthew 7:12.  “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.”  The more I turn that simple idea over in my thoughts the more facets seem to come to light like a diamond placed on a black velvet mat by a jeweler.

Here is the facet I am thinking of today.  The Golden Rule teaches us to give others the benefit of the doubt.  (In itself, “the benefit of the doubt’ is an interesting turn of phrase, isn’t it?)  I think it means something like this: “That person said something that hurt my feelings!”  But then we say to ourselves, “Maybe they did not mean to.  Maybe they have had a bad day or a really bad week.  Idoubt if they realize how their words came across to me.”

THAT is the benefit of the doubt.

Isn’t that how you would want people to think about you if you were harsh or impatient or rude to them?  Wouldn’t you appreciate it if people wouldn’t immediately think badly of you, but instead had thoughts like, “Maybe they were just pre-occupied or busy or under a deadline.” Or, “Maybe they have a sick child, or spouse, or aging parent they have to tend to.”  Or, “Maybe they just didn’t hear me when I spoke.”

You see, often times we do not know what is going on in the life or in the mind of the other person.  So we misperceive their signals and jump to quick judgments or conclusions about them.  In fact, they are wrong judgments and conclusions.

So, once again, the Golden Rule teaches us to slow down, to be considerate, and to just ponder the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the other person wasn’t intentionally being harsh or rude or whatever.  To give them the benefit of the doubt.

Because, after all, that is how you would want to be treated if the situation were reversed.

“A Good Word” by Charlie Thomason

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”Ephesians 4:29

Here is a quote worth repeating.  It comes from Charlie Brower:

“A new idea is delicate.  It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip, and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.” 

If you have ever brought up a “new idea” to your boss or a group of co-workers or even at a church meeting and had it “shot down” you know exactly what Mr. Brower is saying.

There are dream killers and there are dream nurturers.

The artist Benjamin West is well known for paintings associated with the American Revolution. The story goes that when he was just a boy Benjamin loved to pull out the paints, brushes and paper anytime his mother left the house, but he always cleaned up just before she came home. Then one day his mother came home early and saw what Benjamin had been up to.

What his mother did next completely surprised him.  She picked up his painting, looked at it, and said, “My what a beautiful painting of your sister.”  Then she gave him a kiss.  For the rest of his life Benjamin West said, “With that kiss I became a painter.”

There are dream killers and there are dream nurturers.

As often as I can, I know which one I will try to be.

“A Good Word” by Charlie Thomason

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”Ephesians 4:29

Love.  A tender mother and father looking in on their angelic sleeping children one last time before they go to bed themselves.  An elementary aged child hugging and squeezing mom and dad so tight that it’s obvious they never want to let go.  A couple in their 70’s celebrating 50 years of marriage together with all their friends.  All these and a million other examples could be given to describe love.

What is it to be loving?

To love is to be involved with others.  It is difficult to be loving by yourself.  Jesus said the two greatest commands were to love God and to love others.  Of course, to be involved with other people is to risk being hurt.  But love can deal with that.  In fact, love goes right on loving in spite of hurt.  (Please note: that’s easy to type; not so easy to do.)

To love is to behave in loving ways.  Acts of kindness.  Acts of service.  Listening.  Helping.  Smiling.  Speaking.  Protecting.  Sharing.  Doing these things with compassion in our hearts toward others – this is love.  After telling the story of the Good Samaritan Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.”

To love is also letting some things go.  Love lets go of hard feelings.  It lets go of resentment, anger and the desire to “get even”.  Love covers a multitude of sins.  The determination to love others caused Jesus to say from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Can you imagine being so loving that you would ask God to forgive those who were putting you to death?

The only way I know for me to become more loving is to keep in mind the love of Jesus.  He was involved with others.  He behaved in loving ways.  He let some things go.  He is the best example of love that ever lived in our world.  And He said, “Follow me.”  So I am trying.

Please love me even when I fail.

“A Good Word” by Charlie Thomason

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”Ephesians 4:29

I love words that inspire.  And one such word is “hope”.  Someone has wisely pointed out that a person can live forty days without food, four days without water, four minutes without air, but only four seconds without hope.

Many years ago off the coast of Massachusetts, an S-4 submarine had an accident with a ship which caused the submarine to sink to the ocean floor.  It lay there powerless.  The entire crew was trapped in a prison house of death.  Every effort was made to rescue the submariners, but ultimately nothing could be done.  During the rescue attempts a scuba diver thought he heard tapping from inside the sub, so he placed his ear up to the metal and listened to a message spelled out in Morse Code.  “Is … there … any … hope?”

Poet Emily Dickinson wrote about hope this way: “Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops – at all…”

In worship we sing, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”  How true.  A Christian’s hope is in Christ alone.  Jesus, our Savior.  He is the ladder reaching from heaven to earth.  The only One capable of returning people from captivity to sin back to God the Father.  Peter the apostle said we have “a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

My friends, that is a hope that enables us to face any circumstance!  For that is an eternal hope, perched in the soul, that never stops singing – at all.

“A Good Word” by Charlie Thomason

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”Ephesians 4:29

Okay, I will admit it.  I am a chicken when it comes to needles.  I don’t like getting shots and I don’t like giving blood.  (In fact, I never willingly giveblood – they have to take it from me!)

This morning was one of those occasions.  The nice lady called me into the lab and I sat down in the chair of doom.  I made my request as usual, “Please use a butterfly needle on the top of my hand.”  Butterfly.  Sounds like a sweet, gentle needle, doesn’t it?

I can never watch.  So, I had my eyes closed and began using my new secret weapon.  In my mind I was repeating over and over the words from Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”  “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”  I did that throughout the collection of 3 vials of blood.  Good grief, I thought I was going to need a transfusion by the time she was finished!

Not really.  But, I like the idea of having those ten words to repeat to myself during stressful situations.  I think I will try to remember to do that more often when tensions rise in my life.

Try it for yourself and see if it helps.  Enjoy your day!

“A Good Word” by Charlie Thomason

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”Ephesians 4:29

New.  What a wonderful word.  Please do not think I’m talking only about new things.  No.  No.  No.  I’m referring to something MUCH more important than new clothes, a new car or even a new house.  I am talking about a new birth, a new mind, a new creation, and a new life!

Today I saw someone become new.  Her name is Yam.  She was born and raised in Thailand and WOW was she excited about committing her life to Jesus Christ in baptism!

I asked her if she knew what getting baptized was for.  She said, “It makes you brand new!”

Romans 6:3-4 agrees.

There is a wonderful Bible verse in 2 Corinthians 4:16.  It says, “Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

In other words, on the outside we are getting older and older.  But, on the inside we are becoming newer and newer.  Isn’t that a wonderful thought?

I will remember Yam’s new beginning for a long time.  For eternity I think.

The Esene Hut

We are a family of five that serves with the Honolulu Church of Christ. While in training at the Memphis School of Preaching, we started our home on the web called “The Esene Hut.” On the Hut, our focus is to preach the message of Christ to all. We want to show the world that the Bible holds all the answers to the problems we face and that God has given the solution where one can have joy and hope in this life. Follow us in the link below and if you are on the island, come visit our church ohana.

The Esene Hut