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On road trips I have until the last 4 years primarily functioned as navigator.  Keep in mind, we are talking WAY before GPS, Mapquest, ON STAR…we are talking Atlas and those fold up road maps that never fold up like they are supposed to…and despite my tendency to chase rabbits down holes in my mind, my skills at map reading and keeping track of where we were on the Map and correspondingly on the road were not bad….UNLESS, Terry spotted something off in the distance that looked interesting and off we’d go with me trying desperately to keep up with us on the paper map.  

Today, the On Star Voice interrupts and announces “You have left the charted course, On Star will resume when you return.” or “Recalculating, directions being sent to your car.”  Unfortunately, my internal GPS could get pretty confused pretty quickly.  We endured, I mean, enjoyed many unscheduled scenic side trips.  Years later, when I wrote my unpublished novel, Braking Points, I used some of those side trips as inspiration for Octogenarians, Max and Lilly’s road trip and the title became my Blog.

With all that being said, this week I have really tried to stay on course.  Doing my Bible Study Plan with #She Reads Truth on 1 Peter and Doing my Blog on the Revised Common Lectionary Texts, but yesterday evening when I finally got to the She Reads Truth study, I took the first exit and have not been able to let go of all the comments, the devotional, the scripture.  

So in keeping with “Braking Points” tag line, please pause, ponder, pray and find footing with me as I share from God’s Word, Diana Stone’s devotional, and my own musings.

There are days when I open the Bible and am quite sure God chuckles in the background, that ALL those scriptures about the mouth, the tongue, the words, even the thoughts are there just for me.  The Lord knows I struggle to bring every thought under the control of Christ before they drop out of my mouth or these days out of a text or email.  He knows and he chooses not to let me get too far away from the mirror of His word, not wanting me to drift away and do harm.

Yesterday, these scriptures, some from #She Reads Truth 1 Peter Study, others that found me as I considered response versus reaction.

Finally, all of you should be in agreement, understanding each other, loving each other as family, being kind and humble. Do not do wrong to repay a wrong, and do not insult to repay an insult. But repay with a blessing, because you yourselves were called to do this so that you might receive a blessing. The Scripture says, “A person must do these things to enjoy life and have many happy days. He must not say evil things, and he must not tell lies. He must stop doing evil and do good. He must look for peace and work for it. The Lord sees the good people and listens to their prayers. But the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:8-12 NCV)

Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ. (Ephesians 4:31, 32 NCV)

We use our tongues to praise our Lord and Father, but then we curse people, whom God made like himself. (James 3:9 NCV)

What you say can mean life or death. Those who speak with care will be rewarded. (Proverbs 18:21 NCV)

Diana’s devotional further touched and challenged me.  When attacked, insulted, put down we have a choice and that choice can bless or curse.  What we say next, type next, can make all the difference in our walk with Jesus.  She writes:

“It’s the next step though, that shows us and others watching how mature we are in Christ. On a scale of 1-10 in Christian maturity (Jesus being an 11) I’m probably a 1.5. I have a very, very hard time keeping my fingers from typing every angry, sarcastic, vengeful thought that crosses my mind as I read words directed at me.
Peter writes, “Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing.”

This theme of grace is repeated in the Bible in so many ways. Turning the other cheek. Love your neighbor. Yet, it’s so hard to obey, because it brings up quick emotion and reaction.

Instead of instant rage – we should turn to instant prayer. Who better understands betrayal, hurt, angry words, and vile acts upon Him that did no wrong – ever – than Jesus? He has been there”

Diana recommended the following response pattern:

Stop.
Breathe.
Pray.
Pour it out to the Lord.
Tell Him how much it hurts.

Then wait for a response.

There it was so succinctly phrased.  It moved me and within my head as I considered her words, I heard a waltz and typed these words in 3/4 time:

The words formed on the tip of the tongue 
The retort typed with “Send” under my thumb 
No question, your words have hurt me 
No excuse for the words you have said 
No reason on earth I shouldn’t press “send” 
But plenty of reasons in heaven. 

And so I stop, breathe, pause for a moment 
Breathe, Pray, Exhale all the torment 
Breathe, Wait, Inhale God’s blessing 
The urge to rebuke is now lessening 
As I stop, breathe and choose not to “send.” 

For this is the message from heaven 
To use words to bless and not curse 
Even when others don’t get the message 
Even, when they choose to curse 
For this brings us closer to heaven 
And brings heaven closer to earth. 

And so I stop, breathe, pause for a moment 
Breathe, Pray, Exhale all the torment 
Breathe, Wait, Inhale God’s blessing 
The urge to rebuke is now lessening 
As I stop, breathe and choose not to “send.”

For this brings us closer to heaven
And brings heaven closer to earth.

Go be a person who Blesses even those who curse!

Carolyn

Good Morning
Good Morning

 
 

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