Watching my mouth….

What if every word I have ever spoken is out there incubating and producing something in my life?

In fact, the Bible says that

“Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and he who loves it will eat the fruit of it.” Proverbs 18:21

Even God Himself created everything with the words He spoke, so what am I creating? Obviously, we are not God, but He has given us the power of creativity concerning our own world.

At all times, I am either speaking life or death. Personally, I have always detested gossip and don’t make friends with those who do gossip…so ultimately my close circle is fairly small. I have always thought that if someone gossips TO ME, they will eventually gossip ABOUT ME…so, as a general rule, I avoid gossip and keep confidence when someone shares with me.

…but what about those words that I’ve spoken about my situation? What about the sharp, cutting words that I can use against those close to me when I feel hurt? Is my mouth defying my faith? Is my mouth in line with God’s plan or am I prophesying death where I should be cultivating life? Am I saying what God is saying or am I fighting His will by the seeds I sow through the words I say?

I have heard that if you want to know what’s in your heart, listen to what is coming out of your mouth because

“…out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Like 6:45

(If you want to know what someone is dealing with, just listen to them for a bit, and it will eventually come out of their mouth.)

What I REALLYbelieve will come out of my mouth, and if I have been speaking doubt and unbelief, then what are my words incubating right now?

I also think there is something powerful about the words that come from a woman’s mouth. I am not a “feminist” per se, but I do believe that women have been gifted by God to carry and birth life (as is evidenced by the natural ability to carry children). What if spiritually, we have been given the ability to do the same with our words? Are we using our words to nurture and incubate the promise of God in our life or are we lashing out and speaking death when our emotions get riled up?

If you, like me, have realized that there may be some things coming out of your mouth that aren’t in line with God and His Word and you’d like to get it right today, please pray this with me:

Father, I realize that I have been using my mouth to oppose you and the plan that you have for my life, and I repent. Please forgive me, and put a guard over my mouth to remind me to be mindful of what I say. Help me to fill myself with your Word, so that I am speaking life and incubating Your promises. Draw me closer to your heart as I walk in faith and speak in faith. I give you all the glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Creative Writing Challenge

My husband and I bought the book “642 things to write about” last year. I wanted to share my responses to some of the writing prompts to encourage and challenge myself to do more creative writing. So, without further ado, here is my response to this writing prompt:

“A houseplant is dying, tell it why it needs to live.”

If you really want to know, your survival, nay, you’re blooming is vital not only to mankind, but to every tree and every plant on the earth. Yes, I know she burns the toast and the kids pull on your leaves, but there is something great inside of you….built in the very nectar of your soul….it’s LIFE! The trees in the Amazon long for your comfortable window-gazing and entertainment. I know she forgets to water you sometimes, but it’s not really that bad. Mankind and the earth depend on you…on YOU to breathe life, grow, and bloom….because when you continue to grow, there is always hope.

Samantha Eberly

Season’s end

0a42dd3221072d437690bdbdf8b2d8eaToday I ripped up the remainder of my garden.  Although it sounds malicious, the growing season has come to an end because winter is approaching. It was a fruitful season for my garden and I had an abundance of tomatoes, along with lettuce, kale, jalapeños, onions, garlic and more….but now it’s time for my ground to rest.  It is time for it to stop producing, so it can prepare for the next harvest.  It’s time for winter to prepare the ground for the planting of the spring.

Genesis 8:22 says  that “while the earth remains, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.”

This encourages me greatly because it reminds me that seasons don’t last forever…..in the natural AND in the kingdom of God.  It is also important to be in tune with the Holy Spirit to know when it is time to plow, to plant, to wait, or to rest….or they may be done in the wrong timing or season.  How beautiful it is when Heaven’s timing meets our surrendered effort with rhythms of fruitfulness and grace.  There is beauty in every season, but some become disappointed when they start to see leaves falling but are expecting new fruit to appear.  Please let me encourage you to “hold fast the profession of your faith without wavering (for He is faithful that promised”) Hebrews 10:23. Do not become offended or angry with God when your expectations aren’t matching His timetable.  He knows the seasons of your life….lean in to His grace and become synced with His timetable.

Ironically, I grew up in a place where it seemed like perpetual summer with just a bit of fall thrown in around November.  The idea of four full seasons was somewhat foreign to me.  However, two years ago, we moved north and I have experienced the fullness and beauty of the changing of every season.  Just when it seems it will be cold forever, winter begins to shift to spring and it’s time to plant.  The summer comes with barbecues, heat, and a fruitful garden. However, just when I  feel that it will be hot forever, the wind comes in with a chill and the leaves begin to change as the harvest is reaped. Although Fall is my favorite season, there is also something stunning about the first blanket of snow that covers the earth. Please be encouraged, that even though a season ends, there is always a new one waiting and His grace will guide you through that one as well.

(season image from: therealwaysmonday.blogspot.co.uk)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before Fruitfulness

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Before Fruitfulness-I have sown many things in my life: some wonderful and some not so wonderful.  Interestingly enough, as I turned my heart toward God, he caused a crop failure on the negative things and has begun growing beautiful things in my life. I started my garden a few weeks ago and have sown many seeds in it. (I didn’t realize my paths were in the shape of a cross until I put down my stones!) I am expecting a harvest of tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, garlic, onions, basil and more….but I don’t have my harvest just yet.  Time and process must have it’s full effect for the seeds to bear fruit.  This post is to encourage those who have sought the Lord and have sown prayer, tears, and are waiting for the harvest. Don’t grow weary in the waiting.  Great things are happening in secret places that you can’t see and one day, you will see with your eyes the reward of your faithfulness.  Don’t let fear cause you to uproot what you have planted in His kingdom.  Keep tending and stewarding the garden  that He has given you.  Be faithful in the small things by watering your seeds and pulling up weeds.  He is the master gardener and faithful father.  May His peace fill your life.

God bless!

 

 

Words.

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. If this is true, then 1,000 words can paint a picture as well. I’ve always been fascinated by words…..reading and watching with delight as the author paints in shades of deep yellow and joy. Just as the artist sweeps the deep blue of a horizon, the author brings us to the horizon of culture, story, and drama. Descriptions so effortlessly paint the silhouette of story in our imagination.
I don’t feel they are opposed to each other, but I wonder if in our image driven world, we have lost the ability to paint with words or even the ability to imagine the picture being painted.
I wonder if in our image driven society, we have left little to the imagination just as a scantily clad woman brings no mystery of pursuit.
I wonder if the immediate gratification of picture and image has reduced us to picture books with very few words reminiscent of a new reader.
I wonder if the reliance on the image, has left us with an inability to see the various shades and hues of personality and conflict and resolution…especially in others….especially on social media.
Our lack of words and over abundance of images has only created one sided, flat characters who really only know one emotion.
If social media and pictures painted the narratives of our lives, I wonder if the reader could really relate to perfection and smiles only.
I wonder if our lack of words in communication, by solely relying on images, isn’t really painting a skewed view of reality.
I wonder if there are depths of creativity that have been abandoned because it takes more time to mine the fields for treasure than to pluck up a dandelion.
I enjoy flowers and dandelions, but are there treasures under the surface that we are missing?
Are there layers upon layers of depth that we are missing in a selfie?
Are there diamonds being mined in an area that we have walked over in an effort to save time and get more likes?
Are there people that aren’t really fully known, because they fear being vulnerable?
Please don’t misunderstand me. I love social media and connecting with others, but I wonder if we’re really connecting, or are merely exhibits in a museum, flat and one dimensional.
I know that there are depths and layers and treasures in my own heart that I have yet to unearth.
I wonder if I have helped anyone else mine for the treasure and gold placed inside of them by God himself.
I wonder if I have painted 1,000 words yet.

Canaan

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The road from Egypt to Canaan is fraught with distraction and unbelief calling you to turn around.

Where you’re going, you may have to fight to possess the land, but it’s better than when you lived in chains.

You’re going to have to press through fear and worry and discouragement because on the other side is milk and honey….and it will be worth it.

Your attitude will either push you forward, drag you back to Egypt, or leave you wandering in the wilderness…..but you make that choice. YOU decide how much of God you want, not your circumstances.

You decide if you want to go up on the mountain and see Him or hang around in the valley and make golden calves.

Jesus made the way for us to see God.
The power that raised him from the dead lives inside your spirit……if you’re His.

A fire by night and a cloud by day inside of you guiding you from Egypt to Canaan. Just believe, and trust, and stop complaining.

The blood of Jesus protecting you, the love of the Father inside of you, and the Spirit of God directing you will bring you to freedom….stop running from Him and worrying about where you’re going.  Rest and trust in Him.

Applesauce

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14

Our 2 year old son REALLY loves applesauce.  This morning, he repeatedly asked for some.  In his sweet little voice, he would say, “owlsauce…owlsauce.”

So, I opened the refrigerator door and saw that we were completely out.  My industrious husband decided to make him some.  He cored and peeled an apple, and put it in the blender.  This whole process took some time…a little too much time for a two year old.  He grew impatient because He couldn’t see exactly what his father was doing in the kitchen.  Eventually, the coveted “owlsauce” was made and all was well with the world again.

You know,  sometimes our Father God is working on our behalf, and it may take some time.  Our time table and His aren’t the same.  You may not know exactly what it is that He’s doing, but please don’t lose heart.  Please know that your Father is making something wonderful….just make sure you don’t throw a fit in the process.  You’re Father hasn’t forgotten you and the wait will be worth it.

Christmas wish

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When I was younger, I remember a Christmas where all that I wanted was a bicycle.  Other gifts would be great too, but I wanted nothing more than a bicycle, so I could cruise around our neighborhood after school.  I remember waking up and running to the living room on Christmas morning looking around for my bike. My eyes were still half-closed with sleep and in my excitement, I even tripped on some presents.  I had gotten it!  My little seven-year old heart was full of joy!

As I grew older, my desires for things shifted into grown up mode.  The American dream tells us that to be happy we need a big house with a white picket fence, a great job, 2.5 kids, and yearly vacations to Disney World.  Now please don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with ANY of these things.  However, I have seen some pretty miserable millionaires and some poor people who happen to be content.  Regardless of what side of the fence you rest on, we can’t escape the fact that we all desire SOMETHING. 

Let’s take a look at a story in the Bible about the desire of a man named Solomon:

7That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

8Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. 9Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

11God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

What?!? Solomon could have asked for ANYTHING, but his greatest desire was to have WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE. He went on to become one of the wealthiest kings in the Bible

Proverbs 8:11 tells me that wisdom is better than rubies and NOTHING that I desire could compare to it.  Wisdom trumps the Corvette.  Wisdom is greater than the big house.  Wisdom is greater than a diamond ring.  Wisdom is greater than___________ (Fill in the blank with your greatest desire). 

The fruit of wisdom is “better than fine gold” (Prov. 8:19).  Proverbs 8:10 tells me to receive instruction rather than silver.  Rubies, gold, and silver….King Solomon, one of the wealthiest kings in history, is telling us to cherish wisdom above treasure. That wisdom is, in fact, the greatest treasure.

How do you get wisdom?  Simply by asking and seeking God for it!

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.”  James 1:5 HCSB

God GIVES it freely when we seek Him for it. 

There are many things that I have placed on my Christmas wish list over the years, but I’m pretty sure that wisdom wasn’t one of them.  At first glance, wisdom seems boring and should be something that only older people have.  However, looking back over my life, there are plenty of situations that if the wisdom of the Lord had been prized, I probably wouldn’t have walked through them.  Obviously, as they say “hindsight is 20/20,” but moving forward, I want to embrace the wisdom of God.  I want to receive a “spirit of wisdom and revelation” as Paul refers to it in Ephesians 1:17.

This is my prayer for you too this Christmas season.  May our desires be in line with His as we seek His wisdom

It’s been an honor to spend this time with you.

Thanks.

-Samantha

Deep Roots.

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http://bible.com/1/col.2.7.KJV

When I lived in Jacksonville, FL, there were some trees near our apartment that were hundreds of feet tall.  Tall and thin, their boughs swayed at the slightest whisper of the wind.  Sometimes in the middle of a storm, I would go out on my porch and watch them dance as the wind whipped them violently to and fro….it was somewhat mesmerizing.

After a bit, I realized that although the storm was intense, the wind served to make the tree’s roots grow deeper.  In that moment, I remember God whispering to me that deeper roots make a stronger and taller tree.   

So many times, I rail against the storms of life and get caught up in trying to just get the wind to stop.  Those storms that threaten from the horizon….those storms that bring freezing rain and make me look for shelter….those storms that make me question the path that I am on.  I want to learn to dance and sway in the middle of those times:

…to move and grow and change as my roots grow down deeper and stronger in Christ

…to let the rhythm of the wind sway me closer to Him

…to laugh at the storm that tries to destroy me knowing that I am capable of not only surviving, but thriving! 

So, in your life, may any looming storm make you smile as you prepare to dance in the wind.  Deep roots make great trees.

It’s been a  honor to spend this time with you.

Thanks and God bless!

Samantha

If King David had a Facebook page

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If King David had a Facebook page….

Sounds ludicrous right? I can hear all the minds of theologians saying “Are you kidding me?” Just stick with me for a moment and you will see where I am going.

King David, even with all of his foibles and hang ups was STILL chosen by God and anointed and called “a man after His own heart.”

How!?

Acts 13:22 says “And when He had removed him (Saul), He had raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘ I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’”

David was authentic and didn’t let the opinion of others or their approval (or lack thereof) keep Him from following God’s plan for his life.  He brought all of His issues to God and leaned on Him even when others didn’t “get” him.  He was David, and when he screwed up, he sought God.  When things were going great, he sought God. David wrote many of the Psalms and what he wrote could possibly be summed up like this:

God this thing stinks and that thing stinks, BUT God I praise you.

God this thing is awesome and that thing is awesome, and I praise you

for it.

Over and over, he praises God, even if he’s in the middle of the struggle….but I find it interesting that his writings in the Psalms are real about the struggle.  That’s what makes his life so powerful to me.

I LOVE Facebook because I LOVE people, but here’s what concerns me….that maybe we (I included) so quickly share our victories but rarely share our struggles.  I know I appreciate it when someone opens up to me and shares how God got them through something. There seems to be a disconnect somewhere….eveyone’s life can’t be as perfect as it seems on Facebook right?

Well, I’m prone the think that they aren’t.  I get it, I really understand.  We want people to see our pretty side and not the ugly things. I get it, I really do….but how is that real?

It takes COURAGE and SECURITY to reveal ourselves.  Sometimes on Facebook, I wonder if I will know literally allllllllllll about someone…what they ate, what they’re doing, etc.  It’s so easy to reveal surface stuff and rarely delve into the nitty gritty of life……which obviously requires wisdom.

Here’s my point:

Revelation 12:11 says “…they overcame him (the Devil) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their TESTIMONY; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” How can we share Jesus if all we ever share is our tip-toe through the tulips side of our walk with Him?

I have stared Hell in the face many times, been tripped up, messed up, and broken….sometimes to the point that I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get up again. I also have overcome many, many battles that I’m pretty sure lots of people don’t know about.  I have also had AMAZING mountain-top moments with God.

When we only share our mountain-top moments though, those hanging out in the valley might wonder if they are disqualified for some reason.

David is a pretty good example in that he was transparent with his struggles, but always brought it back to God.  I think that is where the difference is.  On Facebook, many share their struggles, but rarely point it back to God….OR they just share their mountain-top moments with God.  Jesus is in the middle of ALL of those moments and is with us in the valley and the mountain-top even if we don’t understand and THAT is what makes us relatable and THAT is what brings hope.  We are all in different seasons and places.  Be courageous and don’t be afraid of your struggle and what people will think…God isn’t.

Thanks for that post David.

It’s been an honor to spend this time with you.  Thanks.

-Samantha