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Thoughts for the Week
— by CHANCIE MARTIN CHANCIE MARTIN
I have so many things running through my mind at this moment which makes it hard for me to decide what it is that I am suppose to write. My husband and oldest son, Hunter are on a missions trip to the mountains with some of our youth all this week. All last week our wonderful, God-filled church hosted Vacation Bible School. Our youth helped out all week so that they can take what they learned and put on a similar VBS at a church that would not have been able to do it otherwise. Isn’t that a perfect example of what Christ Jesus wants for us as Christians to do?
 
     “The Great Commision” Matthew 28:18-20  Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. 19- Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20- teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

It’s so comforting to know that Christ Jesus is with us always. One thing I never put together in the Old Testament that our pastor talked about was when God wanted Moses to bring the people out of Egypt into a land good and spacious, a land flowing with milk and honey. Exodus 3:11 But Moses asked God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12- He (God) answered, “I will certainly be with you,” the verses goes on giving Moses instructions and Moses, like most of us, questioned and gave reasons why he should not be the one for the job. Moses told God that he was not a good speaker. Exodus 4:14-17 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses, and He said, “Isn’t Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, he is on his way now to meet you. He will rejoice when he sees you. 15-You will speak with him and tell him what to say. I will help both of you and him speak and will teach you both what to do. 16- He will speak to the people for you. He will be your spokesman, and you will serve as God to him. 17- And take this staff in your hand that you will perform the signs with.” God gave Aaron to Moses to speak to the people for Moses however Aaron rarely spoke for Moses. Why? God was with him. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.

One of the songs sang today really touched me and got my mind to thinking about every time I sin and what Jesus might go through when we do. It is called "Feel the Nails" and I can tell you a bit of what it said. It was a person that talked about sinning and wondered if every time s/he sin if Jesus relived the pain on the Cross? While I don’t think he does, it sure is something to think about each and every time you sin!

This week has been a time of mind shaping for me as I read out of several of my books: ‘The Resolution for Women,’ ‘not a fan’ and the journal that goes with it. I must admit that I picked up reading ‘not a fan’ and ‘The Resolution for Women’ at the same time. At the point I picked both of them up, ‘The Resolution for Women’ won out and spoke to me more. I was not too thrilled with ‘not a fan’ at first, however it has grown on me and I do like it now. Plus, I’m helping out with Bible school on Sunday mornings for our youth girls and that is what they are reading. I find myself reading ‘The Resolution for Women’ then picking up ‘not a fan’ and as weird as it might seem they go together for me! One of my biggest struggles is being a parent and how I just don’t know sometimes (most of the time) is what to do with them or how to handle them. Not anything specific but in general. It’s so scary to think that God gave me theses perfect little babies that grow up to be adults and everything I say or do or how I live my own life shapes them. One wrong turn and I can do some damage however God knew this when making the little ones. He made them to endure crazy parents!
 
My lesson this week in ‘The Resolution for Women’ hit both at home and at work. Double whammy!! For those that don’t know what I do, I along with one other person are over all 12 of our Nursing Homes Business office managers along with billing and collecting money for our company. We are both passionate about our jobs and sometimes we tend to show that passion in our emails. The funny thing is the one I finally send out has been retyped several times before I hit send. It’s not retyped due to misspelled words either. I’m human and I’m passionate about my job. If it involves money or charges that will impact our company in a negative way, it is my job to speak up and get my point across! Or so I thought! It wasn’t until we had a family meeting with just my parents and my three bothers that I heard something that struck my heart as bad as when I went to go see a movie that I really shouldn’t have gone to see. One of my family members commented on an email I sent out with several replies sent by the person I sent them to and myself. The comment was, “He will not reply back against you because your words tend to cut them down.” Wow! My comment back to that, as ashamed as I am to repeat, was  “He should put his big boys pants on. My email was not that bad.” Although, I really think my email was not as bad as it could have been, but it’s from my past emails that lead up to that comment I received. I do agree with my behavior and emails in the past has led me up to my reputation of “being just like my dad,” or “she’s her daddy daughter.” I am a very passionate person and I like to prove my point if I’m right and someone else is wrong. Big fault of mine.
 
Well, the two things weighing on my mind when I pick up my book to read is my parenting, how do I do what am I suppose do with my kids and that comment I received in the family meeting. I turn to my next Chapter, “My Blessing,” A resolution to esteem others with my time, concern and full attention. ‘This should be good,’ I thought to myself! The first thing that runs through my head when I think about blessing anyone is not giving them the gift of my time. After all, it’s my time that could quite possibly ruin them! She opens up the chapter with talking about her listening to one of the eldest and most accomplished speakers on her team deliver a message. It wasn’t as much as what he said throughout the message but how he ended his message that affected her. He ended with “I’m aware that the greatest gift you can ever give someone is the gift of your own time. Thank you for giving me that gift today.” Then she affected me with more of what she said that I didn’t put together or rather that I took for granted. She said “When people give you their ear, they are offering you a sliver of their life they can never retrieve again----one of the few gifts that can never be returned or retracted.” I don’t know what just went through your mind but my mind had flash backs of all the times my children have wanted to share something special with me and I told them that I needed to get the clothes done real quick or they wanted me to read to them and I got carried away with cleaning something else in the house and they had fallen asleep waiting on me. Waiting on me, they thought I was special enough to want to give me their time. All this time I have been searching for what I could do or how I can change to be a better parent when it was right under my nose! Time!

My next section hit both home and work. It also explain what I did wrong on my emails at work. This section title was “SHHHHHH!” I can hear my husband laughing as he is proofreading this paragraph. He knows me too well! Well, actually he’s probably not the only one that knows me that is laughing at this! Ok! I love to talk just like Forest Gump loved to run! But, there comes a time when even he has run as far as he can go before he realizes it’s time to go home. Wisdom: knowing what to say and not saying it. I got the first part down pat however the second half I’ve been steady working on! You would be interested in knowing that it’s also in the Bible. Proverbs 10:19  When there are many words, sins is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise. (HCSB translation) or Proverbs 10:19 (NIV) When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. On a brighter side, all those times my husband was being silent in our/my arguing, he wasn’t ignoring me, he was being wise to not say the wrong thing in the heat of the moment. She also went on to telling of a story where she just could let it go she was right and in the end she caused embarrassment, hurt and regret to not only her but the other person as well. How many times have I done that just to get the last word in? How many of those times have my children witnessed it?

In closing, I started last week with a heavy heart. Hearing that your words have cut deep to others at work totally goes against what I believe or does it? Doesn’t the Bible say your actions speak of what’s in your heart? That’s not in my heart because if it were then it would not have convicted me to be conscious of my words that come out of my mouth. That’s the gift God gives each and everyone of his followers. The gift of conviction to turn away from our sinful self. Luke 9:23 “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.” Not only does God give us the gift of conviction, he also gives us the gift of time. One of the greatest listeners in the Bible was Jesus and he really did know it all! He chose on many times to stop, to wait, to listen, to give attention to others before he spoke himself. I know it’s hard because I’ve been working on it all week along with being quiet. A couple of times, I almost bit my tongue to stop it from working. How can you stop being so selfish and take your own focus off of your own self and needs? Start with listening to the person talking to you. Remember how it felt when you knew someone was truly listening to you. You felt valued, important, accepted, loved and that what you said actually meant something to someone else. Wow! All that by just listening.

This is straight out of her book that I wanted to end with.

So Choose to listen. Resist the urge to criticize, insult, laugh or make sarcastic remarks. Battle the press of time and urgency and the hunger to get away. Just lean in, quietly, emphatically, purposefully. And Listen. It’s your gift. Your blessing. Give it to whomever you can.

Please being in prayer for our youth and the adults that are on a mission trip to the mountains all week.
Have a great week!
Love,
Chancie