I just went back and re-read yesterday’s Jesus Chick post. Oh. My. Stars. And. Garters! The grammatical errors and typos were beyond. I really should go back and fix it, and I really need a proof reader, but neither of those things are likely going to happen because when I write these blogs it’s often in the wee hours of the day, or I’m typing at lightening speed (the way I talk.) Mouth engaged. Brain not so much. Which is how I do life. Fast and furious, hoping nobody get hurt in the process. This morning that caused me to slow down and ponder the intents of my heart.
It started when a prayer request popped up on my social media feed for someone who no longer attends our church for reasons I know not why. The flesh took hold of me for a split second until the chastisement of the Lord took a stronger grip when I allowed the thought to enter my head, “You’re going to seriously pray for them after they hurt you like they did?” Yes, I’m that wicked. I don’t play church. So when someone leaves my congregation for questionable reasons I’m hurt. I’m hurt for the Pastor. I’m hurt for God. I’m hurt for me because I miss them. It’s a character flaw that God’s working on.
Typos and character flaws have a lot in common.
Both are unintentional. Both are often caused by no brain engagement. Speed is a factor.
The Unintentional Faux Pas
Paul said it for me in Romans 7:19 KJVS
 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
I would never intentionally hurt someone. I have many flaws, but being mean isn’t one of them. As a matter of fact, I’ve been told that I could be a little harsher, I just don’t have it in me. Nor do I think it’s what Christ would have me do. But I can’t say that I haven’t hurt people without intent. It probably happened when I was speaking without thinking. While I know I’m forgiven, it still may come with regret and consequences. And just because I’m forgiven, and aware, doesn’t mean that this blog won’t have just as many typos and my life still won’t have regrets. Being human is a harsh reality.
So my thought for today, that perhaps you’d like to ponder as well is “How can I slow this train down?” How can I be more intentional about doing good, and less unintentional about doing bad.
As I write this I’m sitting on my porch and it’s a brisk 59 degrees this morning. But that doesn’t stop the critters from entertaining me, especially the hummingbirds. They’re fragile little bodies are so tiny you’d think that they’d still be huddled in their nest. But no, they’re flitting about the feeder going a hundred miles an hour and my first thought is, I’ll bet that’s how people see me. Lighting here, lighting there. Never anywhere for long.
Slow this train down Shari.
I wish I were like the lightening bugs. They also fly, but ever…so…slowly. And they light up! I’m always looking for ways to sparkle. The problem is I’m more like a lightening bolt than a sparkle which isn’t always bad. Eleven verses in the book of James summed up my dilemma this morning.
James 1:17-27 KJVS
Destined to Sparkle!
 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Nobody is any more surprised than me when God’s word fits so cleverly into my train of thought. It’s like the question, “Which came first the chicken or the 🥚 egg?” The answer is God. He is the Almighty Awesome Creator! Of both the gift and the giver. He creates us to be who we are, and even though we mess that up, He even built into the plan an agent of forgiveness. His own Son. He made this Jesus Chick to sparkle and spoke me into being just as He did that little zippity zip hummingbird!
Designed to Listen
I love the quote that says “The reason God gave us two ears and one mouth is because He wanted us to listen twice as much as we talk.” Boy o boy do I have issues with that!
 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:  For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.  Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
I’m relatively sure any wrath I feel is likely because I didn’t take the time to listen and study the situation out. When David and I have what I call a “Mr. & Mrs.” (aka disagreement) it’s more often than not because one of us didn’t listen and consider the other’s side. How much sweeter life would be if before I judged someone’s intentions I’d consider their reasons. Hmmm… God’s word is so faithful!
The latter part of that verse brings up the mirror and the fact that when we walk away we forget what we look like. A fact for which I’m happy about this morning with my crazy hair and yesterdays make up. But it’s not good at all when we walk away from he word of God, which serves as a mirror to our soul, and like this word this morning reminds me of where I need some serious attention.
Dealing with Deception
 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Satan’s strategies from the garden of Eden was deception. It’s still his weapon of choice when dealing with the children of God. If he can capture our attention with the mirrors of earth which only show our earthly image, he can change our focus from God’s design to a self centered diva. Then we’re not listening and visiting those who need visited or taking care of the afflicted but rather we’re just taking care of us. Which is what this “me” generation is all about.
Once again I have a dozen things on my agenda today and only 6 or so will fit. I’m glad for this morning’s study which reminds me to slow this train down and enjoy the opportunities I have to serve. I hope it helped you too! Please let me know if you’ve been encouraged by this word. And if you have please share this blog with your friends. Perhaps they need to sparkle today too!
Love ya. Really mean it. Shari.
Please ignore any typos.