Covenant Relationships- A Word from Ann Voskamp

From Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience

From Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience

I had an entirely different post scheduled for today….

One about being present and listening to a heart rather than a word.  It was a good post (no worries, look for it next Friday!) But then I read my friend Holley’s blog and it was just so perfect.  It so fit my word for the year and so fit how I am seeking to live my life this year (and for many to come), I just had to share it with you….

We can all find ourselves pulled into negative conversations from everything from the weather to politics to what great aunt so-and-so did last week. The start of a new year always feels like the blank page of a new journal so guarding our words and helping others around us do the same is perhaps more important now than ever.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs,
that it may benefit those who listen. – Eph. 4:29

So if you find yourself in the middle of gossip or a gripe fest, what can you do?

Here’s my go-to list of three kinds of questions to ask to help the conversation get back on track…will you jump over with me to Holley’s to read the rest?  There’s a free printable download of the graphic above in it for ya :)…

And a little song to drive it all home… 

Words by Hawk Nelson

Visioncasting 2013: The Year of the Verse

12.26.12_Celebrate_Success_and_Plan_for_2013

I’m doing something a little different this year in setting my theme for the year.

Generally I choose a one word theme for the year.  This is a popular thing to do, particularly in the blogging community, to choose a word to meditate on that will define the course of your writing for the year.  One year, I chose ‘relationship.’ Another, ‘Sabbath.’ Last year was ‘solitude.’

This year in seeking God’s word for me this year, he brought to me a verse instead.

It really started while I was attending a class at Adullam School of Warriors on Wednesday night.  The instructor, Stan Tyra, wrecked me with a lesson on honor.  And then this morning, in my devotional time one of the verses God brought to me a verse that reinforced his message.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For

“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
11 let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” – 1 Peter 3:8-12

The gist of it is this:  Honor.  That’s it. Period.  Whether you think a person deserves it, whether you think it is fair or not, especially when it requires a supernatural act of will to do so.  Honor because it is what you, as Christ’s beloved, undeserving, grace-lavished child, are called to.

The vision of how living this verse could change my family grabbed hold of me.  I posted it to the refrigerator. I’ve prayed it over me in one way or another every morning since.  So as I prayed for a word, God gave me this verse and so I started out this post thinking to say that I didn’t have a single word for the year, but instead a theme verse. Perhaps even a life verse.  And I do.

But I suppose I also have a word:

Honor.

What’s your word this year?

A little footnote:

I don’t usually read the Amplified version of the Bible (probably because all its paranthetical clauses drive me crazy and remind me too much of my own writing. 🙂 ) But I loved the way the Amp Bible breaks this verse down.  I thought maybe you would like it to:

Finally, all [of you] should be of one andthe same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble).

Never return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing [praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them]. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God—that you may obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection].

10 For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good—whether apparent or not] keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit).

11 Let him turn away from wickedness andshun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. [Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!]

12 For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God), and His ears are attentive to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who practice evil [to oppose them, to frustrate, and defeat them]. – 1 Peter 3:8-12