To take captive everthing that enters my mouth and to take captive everything that comes out of my mouth so that I can give my mouth to God for His good pleasure

Monday, February 22, 2010


Respect. What is it anyway? It is to feel or show honor for someone or something. It is to hold that someone or thing in high regard. It is to esteem. What or who do you esteem? Some respect money, political figures, sports (and heroes in sports), Holywood figures, education, beauty and the list goes on. What should we all esteem, but we fail to do so justly?

Isaiah 53:3 says, "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not."

Christ our Lord, who gave up heaven to be nothing among the selfish and greedy beings, who gave his life for the most unworthy sinful man, deserves our respect. He teaches us to respect others. The word of God tells us to show proper respect to everyone (1 Peter 2:17). We are to respect the aged and our parents (Leviticus 19:3 & 32). We are to respect our spouses and employers (Ephesians 5:33 & 6:5). We are to respect those who serve and lead us in God's church (1 Thessalonians 5:12) We are to respect governing authorities (1 Peter 2:13).

How do you show respect? The idea of respect sounds great, but sometimes it is a bit confusing. When we say that we respect someone, yet do not show love, submission, kindness, or honor; then how is this respect? Respect isn't something we just offer with our lips. "Mom, I respect you, now get out of my life and let me live it my way." "O, darling, I respect you, but I want you to be different." "I respect the president, but he isn't my president. I didn't vote for him. He shouldn't be in office." "I respect my elders but they could have done a better job. If they had done it this way, everything would be better." No. It goes beyond our lips and must be in our actions.

I googled how to show respect and found a webpage titled 100 ways you can love your husband. Wow. Here are 100 ways I can offer my respect to Michael with my actions. After I quick glance at just a few, I felt ashamed at my lack of respect for him. Maybe I should spend the next 100 days offering him 100 ways of respect. I have noted a few and I am trying to add them to my life.

Again, I googled respect for our country. I even considered the respect we as Americans are supposed to offer to the flag. If you look while driving down any road, you will find flags that are torn, weathered, or just neglected. The American flag is disrespected regularly and mostly from negligence and possibly ignorance. Maybe we have failed to learn about respect and how to show respect.

Can you teach respect to your children just by telling them to show respect? I think not. It must be taught by example. Respect is not a concrete thing. It is an idea that helps to establish unity and comes from a heart of love.

My mom just told me about her vacation to St. Thomas. She told me how she met a woman who knew my mom was a christian just by the respect she showed by standing in honor to the national anthem. My mother loves God and loves America, she esteems God by offerring respect to those God has called her to esteem, even her country. God empowers us to respect even the least respectable.

I'm not suggesting that I know about respect. I am just beginning my journey in understanding my call to respect God, the church and its elders, my parents, my husband, my country, the authorities that govern me, and the aged. I have a lot to learn about respect. I want to become a person who offers respect and is worthy of respect as well. May you join me in this effort to give proper respect to everyone as our Mighty God has called us to do.

One last thought from the Word of God and a good reason to offer respect...........
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 says, "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your won business adn to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that yo will not be dependent on anybody."

Friday, February 5, 2010


Over the past month, I realized one thing I neglected: prayer. Eventhough I have been talking to God, I have forgotten to ask Him to bless me with a spirit of self-control, praise, confession, and meditation. So this week, I've been asking God to give me gentleness. Everyday I see my daughter and immediately realize the neccessity to be gentle. She is so innocent and beautiful. I don't want to harm her.

However, she isn't the only reason I want to be gentle. I want to be gentle with my husband who is more often gentle with me than I am with him. I want to be gentle with my sisters who are kind and beautiful women. I want to be gentle with my mother, who has loved me and been gentle with me for almost 30 years. I want to be gentle with my father who has provided not only my needs and wants until I married Michael, he taught me about the One who is gentle and humble in heart.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your weary souls. For my yoke easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

Just to be clear: my life is not what I consider burdened or weary. But this week has been one tough week. God has heard my call for gentleness. Most of the week I felt His gentle spirit guide me. Today has been a different story. I have felt burdened and weary.

Michael has been working a different shift for two weeks (with a small break over last weekend). The change in schedule has really taken its toll on all of us. We are all weary and burdened. Add a cold weather and a dreary winter, potty training a two year old, history of depression and the desire to grow closer to God (satan attacks when we want God). You got it, its been one tough week...and today, a disaster.

I have cried and exclaimed words that I am ashamed to admit. I have slept when Michael should have been sleeping instead. I lay around with pity and loneliness. If only I would kneel before the Lord, my God and Creator. He can shield me and lift my head so that I will see His glory and know that I am not alone. (Psalm 3:3)

How many of you have found yourself just a little less gentle than you want to be? Why is it so difficult to be gentle? A gentle spirit is beautiful and desirable. I want to be gentle. 1 Peter 3:4 says that a gentle and quiet spirit is beautiful and never fading.

I fall at my Lord's feet begging to give me rest. Lord, teach me to be gentle and humble like you. May others who find themselves in a similar situation, look to you for rest. Your yoke is easy and your burden is light. Forgive me for being less than gentle. May we all see your glory and be gentle like you.