Get Off the Gossip Train

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Let’s start off with a firm grasp of what gossip is by defining the word itself. Gossip: Casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.

I find that there are two reasons to gossip; #1 being to share some shocking or exciting news about a friend or acquaintance, usually embellished with exaggeration. #2 Is to spread or share in rumors in order to talk down someone you don’t like in order to get others to dislike them as well.

Let’s talk about #1

In the Bible it says, “A perverse man stirs up dissension and a gossip separates close friends.” (Pr. 16:28)  and in Proverbs 11:13 it says, “A gossip BETRAYS a confidence but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” So what is the first thing we see? Gossip destroys friendships or the hope of one. And in that last verse, not only can we call that person a gossip, but a betrayer as well. If you betray a confidence, rest assured that the person you hurt will tell other people about it and being a betraying gossip will become your reputation.

Whenever you get done having a juicy conversation with a pal, do you ever wonder if they talk about you? Do you talk about them? Or perhaps you’ve been talked about and you were hurt to the point where friendship was not an option; or maybe there was forgiveness but your friendship could never be the same because you no longer trust them. And what is a friendship without trust? Not a friendship at all, or at least not a good one.

In Proverbs 20:19 it says, “A gossip betrays a confidence so AVOID a man who talks too much.” Now I’m not telling you to not be friends with someone because you feel they have loose lips. What I’m saying is that if you do feel that way about them, be very choosy and careful about what you share with them. Don’t go sharing deep things or things close to your heart with just anyone.

Now let’s move on to #2

Ok, we all have that person that drives us up the wall right? Now what makes us “feel better” or “less guilty”? Finding someone else who feels the exact same way about them. And what do we do? We talk about that person…we talk smack about that person! We can go on and on about being annoyed with what they post on Instagram or shocked about all the drama they put up on Facebook or Twitter. Or perhaps there can honestly be reason to be concerned but we have taken it to an extreme because we have allowed our emotions to exaggerate everything. The question is, why talk about it? It’s just gonna make us more irritated and it will firmly set us against that person.

Now it says in Proverbs 18:8 and also repeated in 26:22, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.” When we talk with a friend about someone we have a mutual dislike for; it’s like watching our favorite chick flick with a giant tub of ice cream. It’s dramatic fun, even though we don’t like to admit that it’s fun. But how do we feel after these binges? Do we feel even a little bit of guilt? Or do we justify our actions by saying, “Well now I don’t feel so bad now that I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.”

Gossiping in this manner will take your irritation and grow it into anger and/or jealousy, which will then grow into bitterness, which is not an easy thing to get rid of. It says in that verse that it goes into a man’s inmost parts. The influence of whatever we watch on tv, read, listen to, or talk about, makes its way into our hearts. And what’s in our hearts eventually makes its way out. It could manifest itself in general moodiness or we’ll keep talking about that person and it’ll finally get to the very person we speak of. And that of course will cause intense friction or even an argument.

Proverbs 26:20 tells us, “Without wood a fire goes out. Without a gossip a quarrel dies down.” All of that would never happen if we simply choose to take our feelings to Christ instead. I mean who would you rather talk to? God, who can help you with your feelings and forgive you for unjust anger? Or your Friend, who will just fan the flame and make it worse?

Unfortunately gossip runs wild in the Church but God does not want His bride to be a gossip and a betrayer. It grieves His Spirit. 2 Corinthians 12:20 says, “For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions (cliques), slander (worse form of gossip), gossip, arrogance (thinking yourself better than everyone), and disorder.” All of those things can stem from gossip alone! It is not harmless or meaningless conversation. It’s never ok.

God’s desire is this: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”(Col.4:6) Salt is a preservative that is tasty, it intensifies flavors, and makes everything delicious. Our conversation should be wholesome and decadent. It should be encouraging, honest, gentle, and kind. There may be times when we need to keep each other accountable, but we can do so with love. Let them know you are advising them in this way because you sincerely care for them.

Now there is a difference between gossip and venting. There are times when our hearts are heavy and we need to talk to a trustworthy person for prayer and advice. That’s totally fine and good.

So let’s keep our conversation full of light and glory for the Lord, so we can have the reputation of a trustworthy person!

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“I Will Send Rain”

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California is in a drought; this not only physically but, even more so, spiritually.

In 1Kings God uses a drought as a form of judgement over Israel for turning away from Him and worshiping other gods. In chapter 18 He sends His prophet Elijah to the king saying, “Go and present yourself to Ahab and I will send rain on the land.” 

God did not want to cut the drought short because Israel repented but because He dearly loved His people, and through His sovereign compassion, desired to reveal Himself to His children in a fresh and profound way.

Elijah instructed the king to bring the people of Israel up on a mountain where Elijah challenged the prophets of the other gods saying, “call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire– he is God.” The prophets performed their various ceremonies to no avail, after which, Elijah said a simple prayer and fire came and consumed not only the sacrifice, but the wood it was on as well as a trench of water dug around the altar! The Israelites then fell face down and proclaimed “the Lord– He is God.”

I believe that God uses natural phenomenon (drought, earthquakes, hurricanes etc.) to get our attention. It’s unfortunate that we have drifted so far from Him that, that has to be the case, but it is also comforting to know that He would do such a thing  to say, ‘Hey remember Me? Come back!’

Today it rained. I know the drought is not yet over but it is my prayer (and the prayer of many) that with the bad conditions of land and weather, as well as unexpected blessings of relief, we will see and seek the Lord with new hearts. And that this land will be swept with the fire of revival!

If you would like to know a little more about Jesus feel free to check out my post here.

A Word On Pessimism: For All My Fellow Debbie Downers

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Though many may not know it, I can be very pessimistic. The grass on my side is never greener, my future isn’t always bright, and the cup is never ever half full.

I believe that pessimism stems from worry, and fear of disappointment (at least mine does).

I mean no one likes disappointment, but there are those who never look toward or count on anything because they’ve had too many incidences where things were cancelled or they just didn’t make the cut. Sure it happens to everyone, and yes we do just need to let go. But for some, these things cut deep making it difficult to let go and keep moving forward in confidence.

As a follower of Christ, worry should have no place in my life. The Bible says in Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. So when it comes to dealing with worry or disappointment that is exactly what you must do! Run to God; tell him your struggles and worries, your fears and heartaches. Once you place your trust in Him, you will see your heart and life perspective change!

Here are some verses that have been a huge encouragement to me:

Phil 4:6 (above)

Matt 6:31-34 So do not worry saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom (which is His reign in your heart) and His righteousness (to live rightly before Him), and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Jer 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I hope this post has given you that nudge needed to move toward the sunshine and/or reset your eyes on Christ!

If you don’t yet have a sweet relationship with Jesus feel free to check out my post to see how you can become a member of His family!

Meeting Jesus

This is for the curious, the lost, the grieving, or the tired and heavy burdened.

Here you will find a summary of the account of Jesus, Bible verses to reference to, as well as how you can gain new life through His saving grace. Well, here it goes!

Jesus was a simple man. He was not lofty or proud, selfish or vain; in fact His humility, love, and kindness was unlike any on earth.

He left heaven and laid down His power that He may dwell on this earth like any other human; tempted and tried.

He never did anything wrong and yet He was hated. His own people did not receive Him; but, after being swayed by the religious leaders of the time, demanded His death.

He was arrested and placed on trial to which no basis for death was found, only to be handed over to be crucified by the insistence of the chief priests.

He suffered a death that satisfied the wrath of God and made atonement for all sins. He was afterwards laid in a nearby tomb.

On the third day His tomb was found empty for He had risen and later returned to heaven where He is preparing a place for those who follow Him.  A place where there is no sorrow, pain, or death, but endless joy in His presence.

Philippians 2:7…but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.

John 15:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”

John 1:11 He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.

John 19:6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw Him, they shouted, “CRUCIFY! CRUCIFY!”

John 18:12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus.

John 19:4 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, “Look, I am bringing Him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against Him.”

John 19:16 Finally Pilate handed Him over to be crucified.

John 19:42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Luke 24:6 He is not here; He has risen!…

John 14:2 “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain…

If you wish to receive Jesus as your savior, I suggest finding a solid Bible teaching church (ex: Calvary Chapel). Attend a service and they will ask if you would like the opportunity to receive Christ. You will be prayed for and most likely given a Bible to take home!

I hope this is your game changer!

~Blessings

Bloodline: Seeing the Church as Family

“Turn around and say hi to someone!”

That’s a phrase every church is familiar with regardless of denomination. It doesn’t matter what service or where you sit, there is always a few minutes of meeting and greeting.

Some people jump to their feet with a huge grin, ready to say hello, usually because they surround themselves with their usual crowd. Others are more reluctant, shake 1 or 2 hands, then spend the rest of the time looking around awkwardly. Some don’t even get up, and instead turn to their phones for a suddenly urgent text, or find they need to grab something DEEP inside their bottomless purses. Then there are those who have no clue who you are and yet are genuinely glad to see you; leaving you feeling welcome.

So why all the awkward tension?

God’s Word says…. ‘He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will — to the praise of His glorious grace , which He has freely given us in the One He loves (Jesus). In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace’. (Ephesians 1:5-7 NIV)

In Church you meet people from all walks of life; some people you may have things in common with, while others are your polar opposite. But for those of us there, who have turned to Christ and repented of our past sinful ways, we have one thing that unifies us…JESUS!

The blood of the Lamb is what seals our adoption. His sacrifice has become the bloodline of the church, linking us together as family.

I’m encouraged to see the few minutes of meeting and greeting quite differently now (and I hope you are too). A new comfort comes when I’m surrounded by church members; they’re family. And one day we’ll rejoice together in paradise!