Machine Gun Tongues

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Sometimes….you just feel that way.  Where nothing else seems to calm your nerves but the thought of firing off an M-16 with no control or remorse while the tongue just hangs….OK….vision is over!  Now on to the real subject of discussion at hand!

I am worn out.  I am at my wits end.  I feel lost with no map in sight.   Just like the song Worn by Tenth Ave North says,

“I’m tired, I’m worn; my heart is heavy.
From the work it takes, to keep on breathin’.  I’ve made mistakes, I’ve let my heart fail.  My souls been crushed, by the weight of this world….”

I love my wife, I love my daughter, but I dislike greatly listening to them together.  Never in my life would I think to admit these feelings; but my spirit is tormented by their constant battling and mouthing.   Sure you might say, “It’s normal Chad, relax and give it time….she’s only 8-years-old.” But to that I would respond, “Oh yeah? Live around them for one normal night!”  My daughter is the Muhammad Ali of ADHD girls. She’ll float like a butterfly to presume innocence; then sting ya like a yellow jacket when your guard is down!

I remember being told when I was a bit younger that I would understand one day the challenge I gave to my parents; boy they weren’t kidding!  She’s a good girl and Amber is a good mom; but in my opinion they are so much alike that it’s a combustible situation daily!  I admit, with this occurring as much as it does, my tongue becomes a machine gun of frustration towards them and that doesn’t help.

I’m trusting that God will help me tame the tongue towards them both to help encourage them and not add to the fray of chaos.  The whining though….oh the whining is worse than nails on a chalk board to me!!  “Angel, if you can’t _____ or stop doing _____, then you will have ______ happen. ”  “NO!!!  I don’t want ______ to happen!”  The concept of NOT doing the behavior before earning the warning or consequence seems to not register!  Thus the uncontrollable whining begins and then this occurs within me:

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Amazing how the tongue, however it’s used can cause so much strife in one’s life.  You would think of all places to have the tongue lavish our ears with the most positivity and love it would be from God’s children….right?  We are called to love another and lift each other up with our words.  Like the Apostle Paul says:

“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
Ephesians 4:15, 25, 29, 32 NLT

That’s unfortunately not always the case huh?  Putting a body of people together with supposedly the same belief systems and heart will bring with it a multitude of temptations for judgment, criticism, and hurt feelings.   Yeah, we know family seems to hurt us the most because we are with each other the most; yet the church family?

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Just like I have the temptation to duck tape my dear sweet Angel’s mouth; I would like to hold stock in duck tape for the church’s use!  It’s amazing to me the leniency the church members have in what they feel is OK to say amongst one another about others.

In the course of my time as a pastor I have seen and heard the lashing of gossip’s tongue.  What is the drive behind people’s desire to place others in the limelight and not work on themselves?  If one sees another struggle with sin that doesn’t fit within their saintly mold; should we not love instead of talk about the sin?  Giving it more power to destroy that brother or sister and in turn, bring you within the sin trap too?

In Psalms 78:35-37 NLT:

“Then they remembered that God was their rock, that God Most High was their redeemer. But all they gave him was lip service; they lied to him with their tongues. Their hearts were not loyal to him. They did not keep his covenant.”

It starts with the tongues of expression.  The interpreters of one’s heart.  How you speak in secret is reflective of your heart’s intentions.  We become liars to His covenant by disgracing the ones He loves most.  In James 3:5-8, James puts in perfect description the tongue’s effects:

“And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.”

Lies, deceit, blasphemy, hypocrisy, decension, and mockery are a few of the fires of hell that the tongue of gossip causes.  One simple lack of communication and mere nosiness of another in something NOT their business becomes sin’s voice amongst God’s people.  It breaks His heart.  It takes all the whipping, beating, spitting, piercing, and blood shed and makes shere mockery of it when we allow words not of His speak amongst His children!

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To what part, are you in all this child of God?  Does your tongue burn with flames of bitterness, jealousy or mere denial of your heart’s condition?  Does your problem start with how you treat your spouse or children?  As a child of the one true King, and continual sinner within the human skin; I am admitting to you that I have failed. I am a machine gun tongue with my family and God save me from the pain within me that I have still left unconditioned. 

May these confession words of a leader in God’s flock bring light to the world of sin’s flames that spew from our lips everyday.  Pray for forgiveness and a purifying of heart so that your tongue can quench the hurting heart instead of burning it alive….

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God’s Will or Freedom’s ILL?

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It started out like any other day.  Where I was driving down the road enjoying my day when I just got captivated by the beautiful sunshine above me.  As I gazed into the Sun, trying not to get the spots upon my eyes, I felt myself just drifting into a stare. 

Where was I going exactly?  Did I even know at that moment?  Not where I was driving to, but where my life was leading me?  Ever pondered that thought?   I’ve been working many different types of jobs since I was 15 years old and now being 38, I feel a clearer vision of what my heart is leading me towards.  But…why am I not there yet?

I’ve already come to terms with my job at Terminix and am content with serving the Lord where I am and how I am….until He calls me elsewhere.  Which brings about an age old question:  How do we know when it’s right to transition on?  What is God’s will and what is my freedom’s ill? 

Freedom’s ill being defined as my sinful condition of selfishness making what I WANT the most dominate over what God NEEDS from me!

I want to be full-time in ministry again for many reasons; but the biggest reason is having full time with God in His word and more time with my family.  Is that desire wrong to have?  The longer i dwell in the world as my career roots, the more I feel it’s poison seeping up into my being!

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Our selfishness as humans blur the clarity of God’s desire for our lives.  Why do I want this so bad?  Is it the Holy Spirit,  or is it for selfish ego boosting?  I know I am at my greatest peace when I am in His word, doing His work for His people.   I KNOW that I can do all these without having to be in His church. But I desire to be around His work 24/7 not just whenever there’s time.

God’s word tells this that if we knock the door will be answered and we seek we can find…I want to be able to seek and find your will Lord!!

Matthew 7:7-8 NLT

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Jeremiah tells us,

“Pray that the lord your God will show us what to do and where to go.” Jeremiah 42:3 NLT

So am I just not praying enough? Am I seeking not deep enough? What chiseling do I still need to experience in my life Lord? I’m confident that none of the things I’ve been through have been a mistake. None of the paths that I’ve chosen to walk though, many with potholes that could swallow me up, have I not meant to travel down. I do not desire my free will’s ills Lord, just desire you!!

The tingles and the chills that my body feels when I do the things that you wish; makes me fall into the temptations Father of whether or not this is just another covenant’s lisp.  In layman’s terms I’d wish to say that this is a feeling Father that you won’t let go away. I want this to be more than just my self esteem’s lift; I want it to be a non-returned deposit of a servant’s faith-lift.

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So I continue to wait patiently and open to your guidance.   I wish sometimes it was easy to know which direction you want me to go.  Until the clarity is seen by these human eyes, I will press on in a servant’s stride.  I love you Lord with all that I am, please hear my heart and know it seeks your will.  Protect me please from the decay of my free will’s ills!