Kindness

A BEAUTIFUL LIFE

One beautiful morning this week my doorbell rang and as I opened it I suddenly realized that flowers were being delivered to my door!  Oh, wow--that doesn't happen just every day.  But, beyond that these were not just ordinary flowers being delivered by a regular delivery person.  No, I was receiving a foxglove plant with the roots recently pulled from the ground and the blossom end appearing to be looking down at those little roots. 

What made this flower delivery most special is that it came from the chubby little hand of one of my two year old grandsons.  His eyes sparkled with love and joy as he proudly presented his gift.  Just today I came across an entry in my journal from six years ago when Mark and I were returning from our trip to Ireland and I was thinking about life.  "It doesn't matter--rich or poor--to have fine character makes life beautiful;  humility, kindness, compassion (the fruit of the Spirit of God, really).  The opposite of fine character brings misery no matter one's station in life."  And so, I see this little delivery of flowers to be a good illustration of the unfeigned love, joy, and kindness we all need to show toward other people.  Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law"  God always leads us to a life of beauty.

What made this flower delivery most special is that it came from the chubby little hand of one of my two year old grandsons.  His eyes sparkled with love and joy as he proudly presented his gift.

Just today I came across an entry in my journal from six years ago when Mark and I were returning from our trip to Ireland and I was thinking about life.  "It doesn't matter--rich or poor--to have fine character makes life beautiful;  humility, kindness, compassion (the fruit of the Spirit of God, really).  The opposite of fine character brings misery no matter one's station in life."

And so, I see this little delivery of flowers to be a good illustration of the unfeigned love, joy, and kindness we all need to show toward other people.  Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law"  God always leads us to a life of beauty.

OUR WORDS--BITTER OR BLESSING

Encouraging words for my little Noah.

Encouraging words for my little Noah.

Have you thought much about the effect your words have on those you talk to?  Words can easily cause long lasting pain, as well as, enduring encouragement.  In our self-centered culture there is a strong tendency to say things bluntly without a care as to the damage that might result.  Many relationships have been tragically ruined by such thoughtlessness.  And yet, we also can recall times we have been cheered on in some difficult situation by the words of a loving and caring person.   

As I prepare to teach a workshop this weekend at our annual Women's Retreat on the subject of our words,  I've been convicted and encouraged once again about what God has to say.  Our souls are really the source of what comes out of our mouths.  So, if we have a mess going on inside of us, then we are pretty likely to broadcast that mess with our mouths.  If we have the peace and joy of God in our souls, then we are bound to spread encouragement and happiness with our words.  "There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing."  Proverbs 12:18