“The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; and you will be called by a new name which the mouth of the LORD will designate.”

Isaiah 62:2

 

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What’s in a name? Brings me back to my elementary days and the homework assignment to research your own name. My deskmate already knew hers and leaned over to enlighten me that the German variant meant beautiful and, in Icelandic, meant princess. After that, boy oh boy, I couldn’t wait to learn mine. It had to be just as good, if not more wonderful!

 

Well, noble was too lame a word for a 2nd grader when it was pitted against the beautiful princess sitting to my right. And my middle name? Meadow. I couldn’t believe it. A grassy field? As if I needed an identity crisis at age 8. My face was rightfully red in utter embarrassment when I had to present my findings to the entire class the next day.

 

After that, I kind of gave up on the whole “what’s in a name” thing. That is, until recently, when I had a son to name. I belabored on google searches, skimmed every baby name book I could get my hands on, and talked with trusted family members about their opinions and ideas. I didn’t want to decide on Rudolph, Bing, or Troy just because it settled well, like I would with a dinner menu and a slab of meatloaf. I wanted meaning. I wanted SIGNIFICANCE. I knew I turned out fine with the equivalent of meadow as my name, but what if there was something more for our baby?

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Is it possible to commit to sexual purity, even in today's world? This week on Connecting Faith, Jo Bender talks with Abby Ludvigson on how to remain sexually pure until marriage.

 

Abby is an author, speaker, and teacher who discovered she had a deeply rooted desire to better understand the issues bombarding our young people today and a passion to be an active role model for sexual purity. In 2015, she produced a film series entitled Sex by Design and is a contributor to the book by Dr. Juli Slattery Sex and the Single Girl.

 

Click here to listen to the podcast of Jo's show, or join Jo live every Friday afternoon at 12 noon on Faith Radio Network on AM 900 KTIS.

As we prepare our hearts for autumn...

I thought a reprise of this old devotional I wrote might be would be just the ticket we need to refocus our thoughts as the blustery winds blow in.

 

I am like a deaf man who cannot hear…

Be not silent. Do not be far from me, O Lord.

Psalm 38:13a / 35:22b

 

The wind blew strong all through the night, rattling windows…and my nerves…and today it blusters still. Even as I sit here, it howls and hollers. Our neighbor’s screen door slams open and closed, being pushed and pulled with each stiff gust. Leaves scurry and scatter across our lawn in every direction. The typical sounds of a neighbor’s dog barking or of traffic hurrying along the nearby highway are muffled, if not silenced, by the wind’s boisterous behavior. 

But, it is not just the wind that has been blustering of late. My mind feels tumultuous as well. Unsettled thoughts have been clamoring noisily in my head; yet, the more I try to pull them together, the more strewn they become. The worst part of it is I cannot seem to make out God’s voice over all the confusion. I cry out to Him, but my words just echo off the walls. 

“What’s wrong with me, Lord?” I ask. “Is there some sin issue in my life that is separating us?  Is that why I am struggling so?” I lay my heart out before Him and confess my sad propensity to stumble; yet, the tumult continues. I wonder then if the enemy of my soul is behind this menacing disruption between my Savior and me; perhaps he is the one creating this disturbance in my mind. I whisper a prayer of protection and thank God that He is greater than anything the enemy can hurl at me…still the blustering continues.

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Have a blessed and rest-filled weekend dear readers!

 

LuAnn, Heidi, Jo and Julie

 

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A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.

—Proverbs 16:28

 

Recently I watched gossip about two people sweep through a group of friends.

 

It reminded me of the tornado that passed through our town a month ago. In the tornado’s wake I observed mangled tree limbs hanging precariously from tree trunks, yards littered with leaves and branches; thick roots from stately old trees and surrounding ground uprooted, laying on their side like opened lids on cans; medium-sized trees lay in power line hammocks, docks’ metal twisted like candy canes, pontoons doing back floats and torn-up roofs were letting heaven’s tears fall into its rooms unprotected.

 

The gossip tornado left behind destruction in its path also: distrust, loss of friendships, disappointment, anxiety, and anger. It was just as mangled a scene.

 

I even got swept up into the wind’s current for a moment. I thought the person speaking to me was doing so out of deep concern and love for another. Thankfully, some choice words revealed a deeper motive of self-interest that woke me up and gave me the insight to turn the conversation around and then leave the starting storm before I was swept up in it.

 

Unfortunately, this person just went on to the next person and then the next, and the next, and soon a tornado was in full force.

 

Words have no wings but they can fly a thousand miles.Korean saying

 

Words have the ability to speak life...or death. 

 

Gossip damages not only the person who it is directed at, but it damages our spirit when we get involved in it. We are shading someone’s view of someone else without that person’s say or explanation. And I think deep down we know this is wrong. We are grieving Holy Spirit residing in us when we use our tongue this way.

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