The Power of Words
On a broadcast of Love Worth Finding recently, I heard a recording of Adrian Rogers illustrating the power of words by the example of a woman who said to a certain man (Winston Churchill, I think), “If I were your wife I would mix arsenic in your drink!” To this the man replied: “If you were my wife, I would gladly drink it!”
One commentator about Donald Trump’s response to Mitt Romney’s harsh criticism of President Trump gave the idea that if you choose to criticize President Trump, you should realize that you will reap what you sow, and if you dish it out, you should be prepared to take it back (perhaps with interest)! He even indicated if you choose to criticize Donald Trump publicly, before you act, you may want to picture yourself sneaking up on a sleeping junkyard dog to kick him awake! ? There may be several parallels between Winston Churchill and Donald Trump, such as having some very rough edges, yet getting some very necessary things done that no one else dared touch.
All that said, and in the midst of growing strife and hostilities, shouldn’t Christ-followers seriously pray for our Father to fill us with His Spirit to empower us to obey His Word about how we use the power of speech? Please prayerfully consider: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.” Proverbs 15:1-2; “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:5-6 (NKJV). Therefore, we should not spew out venom on anyone who dares criticize anything we think, say or do, but rather carefully pray about and evaluate each criticism and the true motive of your critic. It may be a sincere act of love to help you grow and improve.
Now let’s look at some New Testament passages: “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:19-27; “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:24-26 (NKJV).
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
I wrote the following poem for our granddaughter, Christin, for the occasion of her 18th birthday.
Mirror, mirror on the wall
Who is the thinnest of them all?
Mirror, mirror on the wall
Who is the fairest of them all?
The mirror doesn’t know
And doesn’t care who is fatter,
And there are guys
Who are quick to flatter.
But the mirror can’t think
And the flatterers don’t matter!
Jesus, Jesus – Lord of all
Who has the fairest heart of all?
Jesus, Jesus – Lord of all
Who is the kindest, most obedient
Daughter and truest friend of them all?
Perhaps there are some of the rest of us who need the reminder to focus on Jesus, Lord of all, rather than praying to “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall!” Also, let’s look into the mirror of the Word of God and trust His Spirit to empower us to obey Him! “Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31.
Look Up & Get Better!
I have been sharing Della’s testimony for about 10 years in Ukraine’s schools, universities and churches, plus now in churches and small groups here in America. I like to summarize her testimony in this way: As a lonely teenage girl lying on a hospital bed, Della had lost her mother, her father and her uncle, her home where she grew up, her friends she grew up with, her health, and now her constant contact with Aunt Emma because the TB Hospital in Gooding, Idaho, was about a two-hour drive from their home in Boise, and Emma didn’t have her own car any longer. In these circumstances, Della had a choice to make – she could look around and become bitter – or she could look up and become better! She pondered the words to those great hymns she had learned in the little country church in Minnesota and chose to look up with a song on her lips. She had no way then of knowing that her choice that day would be inspiring people in Ukraine and other places so many years later – but her songs did touch the hearts and lives of other patients and the nurses there and then.
Corrie ten Boom lost her father in the grueling trek to the Nazi concentration camp, lost her sister Betsie in Ravensbrück, and she herself suffered terribly and unjustly in that horrible place. Yet she summarized her experience by writing:
“Look around – and be depressed!”
“Look within – and be distressed!”
“Look up – and be blessed!”
Never Alone, No Never Alone!
The first time I heard the song, “Never Alone, No Never Alone”, I cried—not because I felt alone, but because I knew that God had been there for me all my life!
My mother died when I was 4 years old, but God took care of me by placing me in the care of my wonderful Aunt Emma. She was a widow, who had raised her own children and was now caring for a nephew, whose mother had also died. She could have said, “No way, I can’t take care of any more children!” But she didn’t—she took me in and loved me.
My father and my uncle were killed in a car accident when I was 13, but God was there then too. He gave me comfort, and I knew that He was my loving, heavenly Father.
When I was 15 years old, my heavenly Father spared me from physical death. For a long time, I had been going to a doctor in Minnesota, where we lived at the time, but he could not find out what was wrong. We moved to Idaho at that time because my cousin, Carl, was going into the army and didn’t want Emma and me to stay on the farm alone. Another cousin took me to a doctor in Boise, who suspected what was wrong after my first appointment. He ordered further tests, and it was discovered that I had tuberculosis of the lungs and the kidneys. The doctor told us that one kidney was totally destroyed and would need to be removed, and that the TB had started in my other kidney as well. By this time, I was coughing up blood because of the TB in my lungs, and I was in almost constant pain because of the TB in my kidneys. The doctor said if it had not been discovered when it was, I would not have lived much longer.
My mom died from TB and my dad spent several years in the hospital with TB, so this was a frightening experience for me. As a young teenager, spending six months in a TB hospital in Gooding, Idaho, away from family and friends, I often sang these words.
“Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens, Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, Oh, abide with me.”
I felt His presence, and He calmed my fears and eased the loneliness.
When I was 17, God spared me from eternal, spiritual death!
As I mentioned earlier, I was raised by my Aunt Emma. She was a strong believer in God and taught me to believe in and love Him too. My best friend in high school was the daughter of a minister. She invited me to come to church with her, and later her father, Kenneth Beckman, came to our home and taught me more about God’s Word. It was then that I made a personal decision to repent and give my life to Jesus. I was immersed for the forgiveness of my sin and was born again as a new creature in Christ.
When I was 20 God spared from making a very poor choice! Sometimes, even though we are Christians, we do not take seriously the warnings that God gives us, and because of our choices, we can end up reaping very serious consequences.
A young man, who worked at the same place as I did, began asking me for dates. I turned him down many times, but he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. So, even though I knew the danger of dating someone with very different values and beliefs, I finally gave in, thinking if I went out with him once, he would quit asking me. But that didn’t happen. Instead we dated more and more, and I found myself compromising and skipping church activities to go out with him.
Eventually, it came to the point where he was asking me to marry him, and I wanted to say “yes”, but I still had doubts that it would work. Many of my Christian friends were very concerned about my relationship with this young man, and they pleaded with me to break it off. I remember thinking many times, “Why don’t you mind your own business?” But they finally got through to me.
After asking some of my closest friends to pray with me, I got the courage to tell him it just wouldn’t work because he was an alcoholic and because our faith was so different. He told me, “I could quit drinking if you were with me as my wife.” But God was there, keeping me strong in my decision, and I said, “Good-bye.”
I believe that when we make the right choices, God blesses us in special ways. Soon He sent a godly young man from Colorado to Boise Bible College and to the church where I was attending. To make a long story a little shorter, Rick and I were married about a year and a half later, and we have served our Lord together ever since.
We all go through times of trials and heartaches throughout our lives, and I can testify to you that God has ALWAYS been there for me. I am so grateful that He has never left me alone to struggle through these hard times. He’s been there to comfort, to give guidance and protection, to heal the hurts and the illnesses, and to show me that He cares about everything that concerns me.
“I’ve seen the lightning flashing, I’ve heard the thunder roll,
I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing, which almost conquered my soul;
I’ve heard the voice of my Savior, bidding me still to fight on;
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone!
No, never alone, No never alone,
He promised never to leave me, He’ll claim me for His own.
No, never alone, No never alone,
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone.”
God has promised the same for you. If you haven’t already done so, why not accept His love and His precious promises today. He’s waiting with open arms, and He will never leave you alone.
“The Fellowship of the Unashamed”
“I am part of the “Fellowship of the Unashamed.”
The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made. I am a disciple of
Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down,
back away or be still. My past is redeemed, my present
makes sense, and my future is secure.
I am finished and done with low living, sight walking,
small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams,
chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position,
promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I now live by
presence, learn by faith, love by patience,
am uplifted by prayer, and labor by power. My pace
is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven,
my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few,
my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought,
compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back,
diluted, or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the
presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy,
ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander
in the maze of mediocrity.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go until
Heaven returns, give until I drop, preach until all know,
and work until He comes. And when He comes to get
His own, He will have no problem recognizing me.
My colors will be clear.”
The Author of this work is a Rwandan man in 1980 who was forced by his tribe to either renounce Christ or face certain death. He refused to renounce Christ, and he was killed on the spot. The night before he had written the commitment “The Fellowship of the Unashamed” which was found in his room. Bob Moorehead had written this in his book “Words Aptly Spoken” c. 1995
Paul had said: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Romans 1:16 (NKJV).
From Our Mailbox
“Dear Rick & Della,
I always enjoy receiving your newsletters. I appreciated this one especially. It held so much information.
The article on 9/11 was spot-on. I spent that day reflecting on and thinking about the events of that terrible day. And also how it brought our country together – for such a short period of time. And then – back to usual. Maybe it’s because I’m old and have been through so much the last few months, but the remembrance of the day really hit me hard this year. And now to see what’s going on in our country is really heart-breaking. I just keep remembering – God is in charge!
I really enjoyed your articles on your travels – and what all you’ve been doing. As to your retirement – with all you’re involved in – how did you ever have time to work? Ha – ha!
I was so glad you got to meet up with Joe Garman. Our church has supported him since he began A.R.M. In the early days, Joe used to come and give a report on their work every 3 – 4 years. The last few years someone else has come. I last saw him and Linda in Lexington in 2016 at ICOM. He didn’t get to ICOM last fall, as his mother was so ill. I most highly respect the work he and Linda are doing, and all the ways God is working through you to touch so many people to change their lives.
Your prayer list is right beside my prayer chair. So many important prayer needs! I hope you’re feeling better, Della. I’ve been praying for your health concerns all along. I hope David is doing well also.
Love in Christ,
Note: One of our Overseas Outreach donors sent an extra donation, designated for the needs of destitute families in the war zone. We passed this gift on to Mulberry International and received the following letter from them:
“Thank you so much for your contribution.
The war in Ukraine has claimed over 13,000 lives and every other day of this protracted war brings casualties. This summer, we called on our partners to help us raise funds for suffering families in the war zone of Eastern Ukraine and the buffer zone in between Ukrainian and Russia-Occupied side. Thousands of families live in villages and small towns destroyed by shelling. Banks, stores and businesses are closed, people cannot find jobs and have to survive on what they can grow in their gardens. Almost every building shows signs of war: holes from bullets, boarded windows that were blown out by shelling, leaking roofs. The residents cannot afford repairs on their houses when they have limited means to even buy food. The poverty in this region is overwhelming.
Mulberry’s volunteers visit these forgotten villages every week. They deliver food packages, medicine, firewood, etc. to sustain these destitute people. On rare occasions, a Red Cross truck would bring bread, but other than that, no organizations and missions can get to these places. Since Mulberry partners with local churches, our Ukrainian volunteers have proper documentation to travel past military checkpoints into these villages and are able to share the Gospel by sharing physical blessings.
Thank you for all who gave to these families! We have purchased two sets of geese and chickens and bee-hives to allow several families to grow poultry and bees to sustain themselves. We want to bless more and more people as it costs only $100 per family to set them up with a chicken coup or bee-hives. This model makes a lasting change in their lives as they have an opportunity to provide for themselves.
The work in the buffer and war zones is giving amazing fruit. Several house churches have been started and dozens of people worship and learn about Christ weekly in areas where there are no churches at all! Jesus told us to witness to others through our actions: ‘that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven’ (Matt. 5:16). This is exactly what is happening in Eastern Ukraine!
The harvest in Ukraine is ready! Please be our advocate in your community and ask your friends and family to pray and give to impact more people for Christ.
P.S. Thank you for supporting our families in need!”
“With Whom Will You Walk?”
By Joe Garman
“I heard of an incident that shows the power of God even among the gangs in prison. The chaplain of a maximum-security prison preached a Sunday morning sermon that converted a notorious gang member. The inmate accepted Christ and surrendered his ‘patch of gang affiliation’ to the chaplain. Some of the inmates became concerned about his safety.
Correctional Officers were also worried about the potential fallout. He was confident he had made the right decision, but he was transferred to solitary confinement for protection. Meanwhile, the leader of the gang called an emergency meeting. Later, a message was sent to the new believer telling him what they decided. ‘Walk the walk and talk the talk and you will be safe!’
No threats …no retaliation. You never know when or where the word of God will land, but we can rest assured it does not return to Him void. Give praise to God that not only was a man convicted of his sin, but even those who did not have His faith, respected God enough to leave His anointed alone. The Lord of the chapel was also the Lord of the solitary confinement cell.”
- Please pray for an end to the war in Ukraine, and for God’s provision for the multitudes of hurting people.
- Praise God for the new house churches in eastern Ukraine and pray for our Father to continue to give beauty for ashes.
- Please pray for the help and funds for the transition of Northwest Science Museum Vision Center to the Eastgate Center in Nampa (into the building behind Penney’s).
“Islamic Infiltration in the U.S.A.”
“The opening invocation in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 9, 2019 was given by Muslim Imam Omar Suleiman, a popular imam from Irving, Texas. He was invited to give the invocation by Democratic Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson from Texas. The imam has defended Ilhan Omar, Minnesota’s Democratic Representative, and the anti-Semitic comments which she made earlier this year. Ilhan Omar also spoke very dismissively of the attack on the World Trade Centers carried out by Islamic jihadists. It is very troubling to see increasing pro-Islamic sentiment in our country. Is it not time for us Christians to pray fervently for our country and its leadership? Be sure to read 1 Timothy 2:1-2.”
In the bond of Christ,
“When was the last time you were amazed by God? Perhaps it’s time to stop and ponder – to pause and consider the works of God.
“Ponder the wonders of creation. Have you really looked at the details in a leaf or the intricacy of a butterfly’s wing? Have you closed your eyes and relished the smell of the earth after a rain? Do you experience joy when you hear the melody in a young child’s voice? Have you pondered the magnitude of a rushing waterfall? Does your breath catch at the simple beauty of a newborn’s fingers as they clasp you own?
“We live in a culture that tends to pull us away from recognizing and responding to God’s work in our world. Dr. Randy Guliuzza encourages us to ‘consider the way the doctrine of biblical creation and the historical challenge from natural evolutionism affect our thoughts about the function of worship’…..ICR exists to counter evolution and promote biblical creation, and that’s why we built the ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History…… In every event and resource we produce, we seek to highlight the wonders of God’s creation to inspire worship and draw others to Him……
“But knowing about God’s work does little good if we don’t take time to recognize its significance. So as we encounter God’s creation, let’s pause in awe that He spoke everything into existence. Let’s remember He breathed life into humanity and His very breath gave us a beginning. And let’s celebrate the work He did on the cross so that we can know Him and enjoy His work forever.
“Psalm 46:10 encourages us to ‘be still and know that [He is] God.’ Maybe it’s time for a break from the routine – to pause and ponder. Consider His wonders, works, and words, and be amazed.”
(Excerpts from an article by Jayme Durant, Executive Editor – in the September 2019 “Acts & Facts”)
Durant, J. 2019. Be Amazed. Acts & Facts. 48 (9): 4. Copyright C 2019 Institute for Creation Research, ICR.org. Used by permission.