Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: BOOK(S) - Begins January 4 / Ends January 11 (01/04/18)
TITLE: Be Careful What You Say
By Judy Ewald
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My sister was introverted like my Mother and I was outgoing like my Dad.
My sister was always an A student without much effort, she had a photographic memory. I would get distracted and forget my homework, or late in turning in assignments. This frustrated Mom to no end. Later in life I found that part of my problem was my being a creative personality and not good with details. Also Mom admitted they never expected much from me.
By the time I was nineteen I wrote in my diary in big letters, “I AM A FAILURE.” My main struggles in life were not thinking I was very smart and beating myself up for not being perfect and messing up a lot.
The saying, “Sticks and stones my break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is a lie. God’s word says the tongue may be small but it has the power of life or death by the words we speak. We can encourage and build each other up or we can spew hate, lies, and cruel words that bring others down.
I don’t believe that some people realize the power of the words they speak. When I was about twenty I took painting lessons from a friend of the family, a very fine artist. After a few lessons he said, “Judy, you have a good eye for color but you can’t draw worth a hoot.” Now fifty five years later I remember the exact words. I gave away my paints and thought I had no talent. By God’s grace I met someone that showed me I did have talent and after going to art school, I became a fine artist. And for 33 years I made a living painting cartoons on kids as Hugs the Clown. I wrote an article many years ago,”It is Never Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood.”
One of the turning points in my early years as a Christian I went to a seminar with Florence Litthaur teaching how to be a speaker and writer. She also explained in depth about our different personalities the strengths and weaknesses. That was such a relief to find out that what I had been beating myself up for things that were not great sins but weaknesses in my personality. I still work on improving weaknesses, with God’ grace and mercy.
One of her talks she shared a time when she was invited to speak at a church one evening. She decided to attend the service in the morning. When the pastor saw her he invited her to do the children’s sermon. So she quickly searched her memory of what she could share. She taught Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
As she was explaining what that meant a little boy stood up and said, “What she is trying to say is the words we say should be little silver boxes with bows on top.”
This was so profound, that she wrote a book titled. “Silver Boxes,” and gave many talks about it. People would say they made up little silver boxes to reminding them to speak more graciously to their teenagers, and many more stories. I made a prop with different size and shapes of boxes painted them silver and put bows on them. When I performed it, I took a small object like a ring put it in the little box and hid it. As I opened each box I told the kids of different ways they could be kind and encourage others, then reveled the ring in last box.
I love God’s word and He says to not be conformed to this world but be transformed my renewing our minds to prove what is good and acceptable to Him. When we do then our minds will be filled with good words to share with others.
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