Those who are careful about what they say protect their lives. PROVERBS 13:3 NCV

After failing in business, Paul Gavin attended an auction of his own company. He was “down” but he wasn’t “out!”

With his last $750 he bought back the department which later became – Motorola! How’s that for a comeback story? The Bible says, “In … prosperity be joyful, but in adversity consider [examine it and see what you can learn] God has appointed the one as well as the other” (Ecc 7:14 NKJV). Whenever we

face new challenges like changing careers, going back to school or starting a new relationship, our old programming kicks in and tells us we’re not equal to the task. Look out! The Bible says, “Those who are careful about what they say protect their lives … whoever speaks without thinking will be ruined”

(Pr 13:3 NCV).

The wonderful thing about being the person God created you to be, is that He pre-programmed you to handle new situations, to change and to grow. Don’t build a case against yourself by listening to old voices without or within, or speaking words that undermine your confidence. Doing something you’ve never done before usually involves an anxiety-induced learning curve that follows along these lines: “There’s no way I can do this … I suppose I can try .. .I’m doing it, but not very well .. .I’m still doing it but I’m scared .. .I’m doing better … Oops, I made a mistake, guess I can’t do this after all. .. Maybe I’ll try again .. .I’m not doing much better this time … I’lI give it one more shot … Hey, I’m doing pretty good .. .I can do this!” The Bible says you’ll “be rewarded for. .. how [you] speak” (Pr 18:20 NCV), so turn all those “I cant’s” into “I cans” and get your self-talk in sync with the Scriptures.



This true story is told about a sheriff in a southern state in a small town.

This sheriff and his deputy stopped a motorist driving through the town.

The sheriff asked the driver for his license and registration of his vehicle.

He asked the driver where he lived. He responded by saying, “I live in Chicago.”

Then, the sheriff walked around and looked at his license plate and came back to talk with him.

The sheriff was very angry and said, “You told me that you are from Chicago, and your license plate has

Illinois on it. I think I will lock you up in my jail. Don’t you lie to me!

Fortunately, the deputy intervened, “Sheriff, I am sure that you know, Sir, that Chicago is a city in the state of Illinois.”



He who invokes a blessing on himself .. shall do so by saying, May the God of truth … bless me.


Did you know you can bless yourself by what you say? The says: “He who invokes a blessing on himself … shall do so by saying, May the God of truth … bless me … because the former troubles are forgotten.” Two important truths are taught in this Scripture: (1) Your own words have more power to affect you than anybody else’s. Ultimately it’s not what others say that counts; it’s what you say to yourself after they get through talking! You always have the last word. (2) You’ll never enjoy what God has for you in the future while you’re still living in the past. To enter the Promised Land, you must first leave the wilderness. So come into agreement with God; begin to say what He says about you. This is no small matter. What you say from the time you get up in the morning until you go to bed at night not only influences your day, it influences the entire outlook and direction of your life. If you’ve been praying and

asking God for specific answers, you can affect the outcome by making sure what you say lines up with what He says. In other words-get in harmony with God.

Your body is God’s temple, so be careful what you allow to come out of your mouth (See .l Co 3:16). Faultfinding and negativity destroy and tear down, but scripturally-based, faithfilled words open the door to God’s blessings. That’s why Paul writes: “Let no                worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth,

but only such     as is … beneficial” (Eph 4:29 AMP). So before you sound off, ask yourself-is this beneficial?



A man is overweight so his doctor puts him on a diet.

 “I want you to eat regularly for two days, then skip a day and repeat for two weeks and you’ll lose at least five pounds.

“When the man returns, he’s lost nearly 20 pounds.

The doctor exclaims, “That’s amazing! Did you follow my diet?”

The man nods.”I thought I was going to drop dead every third day from all the skipping!” …



Do all things without complaining. PHILIPPIANS 2:14 NKJV

He comes home flustered. “Honey, I’m late for a meeting and all my shirts are dirty!” Now, he believes he asked reasonably for a clean shirt. But she, hearing herself criticized, fires back, “If you’d fixed the washing machine like you promised, you’d have a closet full of clean shirts!” “I only asked for a shirt,” he says. “You didn’t ask, you complained!” she replies. Did he?

We complain, imagining we’re asking reasonably that our partner change something we’re upset about, then we’re frustrated when it backfires. Why not adopt the biblical principle, “You do not have because you do not ask” James 4:3 NKJV). You’ll be amazed how much you’ll get once you learn to ask, instead of assuming, demanding or complaining.

Therapist and author Bill O’Hanloll calls this “turning your complaints into action requests.” Instead of telling your husband or wife what you don’t like about their actions, ask graciously and clearly for what you’d like them to do. Be solution focused, action oriented, concrete and specific. Instead of, “John, we’ve got guests in thirty minutes and you’re still watching TV!” try, “John, they’ll be here soon. Would you mind bathing the kids while I finish cooking?” No complaint, just a request. Instead of, “Nobody lifts a finger around here but me,” try, “Sweetheart, I’m really exhausted, would you help me clear up the dishes?” Accept responsibility for turning your complaints into action requests, then make them concrete and specific. Saying “I need you to be considerate” is much too vague. Ask yourself, “If he or she were being considerate, what would they be doing?” Then kindly request that behavior-and always show gratitude when you get it!




There were two evil brothers. They were rich, and used their money to keep their ways from the public eye. They even attended the same church, and looked to be perfect Christians.

Then, their pastor retired, and a new one was hired. Not only could he see right through the brothers’ deception, but he also spoke well and true, and the church started to swell in numbers. A fund-raising campaign was started to build a new assembly.

All of a sudden, one of the brothers died. The remaining brother sought out the new pastor the day before the funeral and handed him a check for the amount needed to finish paying for the new building.

“I have only one condition,” he said. “At his funeral, you must say my brother was a saint.” The pastor gave his word, and deposited the check.

The next day, at the funeral, the pastor did not hold back. “He was an evil man,” he said. “He cheated on his wife and abused his family.” After going on in this vein for a small time, he concluded with,

“But, compared to his brother, he was a saint.”



Speaking the truth in love, we will … grow up. EPHESIANS 4:15 NIV

There are two ways to tell the truth. The “give them a piece of your mind” style, which only drives the wedge deeper. Or the Bible way: “Speaking the truth in love,” which resolves conflict and strengthens relationships. Suppose a couple is fighting because he’s habitually late. How can she speak “the truth in

love” and get her message heard? Here’s a five-step process that’s effective in marriage, friendship or work.

She could say to him: (1) “I feel frustrated.” No blame, no attack; just an honest expression of her own emotion. (2) “When you are late.” No judging, name-calling or labeling; just a concrete description of his action. (3) “It seems to say to me that my time is not really important to you. ” No moralizing; just honestly sharing her feelings. (4) “Please try to be on time, or call and let me know when you’ll be here.” Instead of focusing on past actions he can’t change, she’s telling him what she’d like him to do differently next time. (5) “Would you be willing to do that for me?” No demanding or taking for granted; just asking for consideration and cooperation. When he agrees, they have a “contract.” She thanks him sincerely and rewards every effort he makes to keep his word. She has effectively realigned the couple by making him her ally, not her enemy, and redefined the focus as a shared one, not something she “does to him!” The Bible says we can “walk together” when we have “agreed” to do so (See Am 3:3 NIV).



When the store manager returned from lunch, he noticed his clerk’s hand was bandaged, but before he could ask about the bandage, the clerk said he had some very good news for him.

“Guess what, sir?” the clerk said. “I finally sold that terrible, ugly suit we’ve had so long!”

“Do you mean that repulsive pink-and-blue double-breasted thing?” the manager asked.

“That’s the one!”

“That’s great!” the manager cried, “I thought we’d never get rid of that monstrosity! That had to be the ugliest suit we’ve ever had! But tell me. Why is your hand bandaged?”

“Oh,” the clerk replied, “after I sold the guy that suit, his guide dog bit me.”







Watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. GALATIANS 5:15 NIV

Healthy relationships aren’t conflict free; they’re conflict resolving. The problem is: we fight for victories instead of fighting for solutions. The result is: one wins, one loses, and the relationship suffers! Here are some practical insights for fighting so that the relationship wins:

(1) Differences are inevitable, normal, and potentially beneficial. They’re inevitable, because relationships bring together very different people. They’re normal, because all relationships, including great ones, realizing experience them. They’re potentially beneficial, because handled effectively, relationships

grow through them. (2) Here are three conflicting handling styles: (a) The avoid style. These are the “don’t want to rock the boat” and “let sleeping dogs lie” people. They fear confrontation, so they bury their feelings, not they’re buried alive and will rise again down the road. They go from clam-up,

to build-up, to blow-up, inviting physical and emotional illness.

Meanwhile offenses accumulate, unaddressed issues multiply, and unfinished business erodes the relationship. (b) The attack style. These are the “get them before they get you” people; ruthless fighters who refuse to give in, they inflict terminal wounds on each other. The Bible says, “If you keep on biting

and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Attack begets counterattack, both sides “dig in” and nothing gets resolved. (c) The approach-assert style. These

are the “no price is too high for a good relationship” people. They’re sensitive to the feelings of others, yet insist on dealing directly with important issues. They avoid blaming, confront the issue, not the individual, and invite others to partner with them in solving the problem and saving the relationship!



​Sunday school teacher to a class of young boys–“Who went into the lion’s den and came out unhurt.”​Answer–“Tarzan!” …


​The president of a company is interviewing a prospective secretary.

President: We’re looking for someone who can do the work of six men.

Woman applicant: That’s a shame, I was looking for a full-time position. …



Love others as much as you love yourself. MATTHEW 22:39 CEV

Only by loving yourself in a healthy way, can you love others the way God intended. When you don’t love yourself you live with insecurity, and you keep looking to others for approval. When you don’t get it, your self-worth shrivels. As a result, you live far beneath your potential. You are the only person you can’t get away from, so unless you learn to accept yourself, you’ll be miserable. Stop and think about the last time you were around somebody you didn’t enjoy being with-how did it feel?

Whether good or bad, you project onto others the thoughts and feelings you have about yourself. So if you want people to think well of you, have a good opinion of yourself- one that’s based on God’s Word and nurtured by the right relationships. No question, the Bible cautions us about having an overinflated opinion of ourselves. But don’t go to the other extreme! Living with continual self-rejection is an open invitation to Satan, who is always “sneaking around to find someone to attack” (IPe 5:8 CEV). Don’t play into his hands!

Paul writes: “Nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature” (Ro 7:18 NIV). That means the good qualities you do possess, are evidence that God is at work in your life. So be sure to acknowledge them. The Bible says, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be

of God, and not of us” (2Co 4:7). Instead of focusing on your flaws and feeling bad about yourself, recognize the “treasure” of God’s presence, power, and potential that lives within you, and build on it.



​A fellow was playing golf with his priest, and he noticed that before every shot the priest would say a prayer.

“Father, would it help me to pray?”

“No. I’m afraid not.”

“But why?”

“Because you are a terrible putter.”






Bring … (the whole tenth of your income). MALACHI 3:10 AMP

Whether you believe tithing to be an Old Testament law or a New Testament truth, one thing is certain, giving God the first tenth of your income demonstrates that He’s first in your life. To those who practice tithing, God promises two things:

(1) His blessing. God said He will “Open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” (Mal 3:10 NKJV). A fanner, who was a faithful tither, was prospering while others around him were barely getting by. When one of his neighbors asked, “What’s your secret?” he replied, “No secret, I just shovel it into God’s bin and He shovels it back into mine-but God’s got a bigger shovel!” By tithing, you partner with God. Think what God’s blessing could mean to your business, your family, your ministry or your future=-your possibilities are out of sight!

(2) His protection. “I will rebuke the devourer … he shall not destroy” (Mal3:11). “What’s the devourer?” you ask. Anything that devours your blessings. The dishwasher breaks down for the third time in a month. The kids are ill and have to be taken to the doctor all the time. The day after the warranty runs

out on your car, the transmission goes. One of the Hebrew words for tithe is charam, which means “marked for destruction.” Your tithe literally becomes a force in the hand of God to destroy the works of the enemy. It puts a hedge of protection around you. “Is God after my money?” you ask. No, He’s after

your lack! He wants you to be blessed and protected every day of your life.



At a dinner party, several of the guests were arguing whether men or women were more trustworthy. No woman, said one man, scornfully, can keep a secret.

I don’t know about that, answered a one of the ladies who was listening in on the conversation. I have kept my age a secret since I was twenty-one, she said with pride.

You’ll let it out some day, the man insisted.

I hardly think so responded this lady. “When a woman has kept a secret for twenty-seven years, she can keep it forever.”




You have taken off your old self .. · and have put on the new self. COLOSSIANS 3:9-10 NIV

Some of us are perfectionists when it comes to our physical appearance, yet we think nothing of running around spiritually threadbare. We’re more concerned with how we look to others, than how we look to God. What’s the answer? Spend more time in front of the mirror! James writes: “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-he will be blessed in what he does” (Jas 1:23-25 NIV).

Your old carnal clothes must be discarded, not hung in the closet for the next time you want to wear them. Your focus each day must be to “Clothe [yourselves] with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about bow to gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (Ro 13:14 NIV). Chuck Swindol says: “The number

one enemy of change is the hard-core, self-sustained sin nature within you. Like a spoiled child it’s been gratified and indulged for years, so it won’t give up without a temper tantrum. The flesh dies a slow, bitter, bloody death-kicking and struggling all the way. Lasting change takes place in first gear, not overdrive. So expect occasional setbacks, and don’t let them derail you. When you feel like throwing in the towel, get down on your knees and ask God to help you get back on track. He’ll do it.”



“Dad, will you be able to get me a car?” Asked the boy, having just passed his driving test.

“I suppose a car would be in order if you can raise your grades from C’s to B’s, you study your Bible, and cut your hair.” Replied the father.

After contemplating for many hours, the boy decided it was a good and fair compromise. Six weeks later, the father is astonished. His son was excelling in school, he studied his Bible every day, but his hair was still long and shaggy.

“I am very impressed with you” said the father “you are passing all of your classes, and you read the Bible every day. But why won’t you cut your hair?”

“After reading the Bible, I have noticed something.” Said the boy “Moses, Samson, and Absalom all had Long hair. There is even evidence that Jesus may have had long hair!”

​The father replied back “Did you also notice how they had to walk everywhere too?”



Love the Lord your God with all your heart. DEUTERONOMV 6:5 NIV

Modern life is custom made for role playing. We live in a neighborhood all our lives yet we hardly know the family next door. We commute to a church miles away, walking in and out, never getting known, never getting involved or serving. We work with one crowd and play with another. The opportunities for undercover activity are almost limitless. Since no one knows us in any other context, we can reinvent ourselves in each one. Someone has said that our life is like a chest of drawers: a separate one for each interest, value or pastime- one for work, one for play and one for church. For each we have a separate set of values and a different language. With each new situation we add another drawer to ensure complete appropriateness and safety. Rather than having a oneness and integrity of character, we role play.

But God doesn’t see us as a cbest of drawers or a collection of separate performances, He sees us as a whole person. Who we are when no one is looking, is just the same to Him as who we are when we’re standing in plain view. God asks for integrity in our lives. That’s because life doesn’t work any other way! God made us with one will, one mind, one heart, and one spirit. It’s Satan’s lie that we can “have it both ways,” which leaves us mentally and emotionally fragmented, and worse – distant from God! “What is the answer?” you ask. The Bible says: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength.” In other words, refuse to role play!



Tom had this problem of getting up late in the morning and was always late for work.

His boss was mad at him and threatened to fire him if he didn’t do something about it. So Tom went to his doctor who gave him a pill and told him to take it before he went to bed.​

Tom slept well and in fact beat the alarm in the morning. He had a leisurely breakfast and drove cheerfully to work.

 “Boss,” he said, “The pill actually worked!”

“That’s all fine” said the boss. “But where were you yesterday?” ..



Grace was given me. EPHESIANS 3:8 NIV

The word “grace,” is so important that Paul mentions it three times more than any other writer. Remembering the violent life he lived, he writes, “Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach … the unsearchable riches of Christ.” The word grace comes from the Greek word charts, meaning “pure joy.” Although you didn’t deserve it, God considered saving you a “pure joy.”

How about that? In John, chapter 8, a woman is caught in the act of adultery. The law is unmistakable about her punishment. The Pharisees are ready to stone her. She knows that Jesus, being righteous, must agree. She has no lawyer to defend her, not even a character witness! Suddenly Jesus stoops and begins to write in the sand. Some scholars have suggested that perhaps He wrote down their sins, times, places, etc. Ouch! When He looks up, her accusers are gone. J:-Ie says, “Neither do I condemn you … Go now and leave your life of sin” On 8:11 NIV). Jesus lifted her from a position of undeniable guilt to one of unconditional pardon. She didn’t deserve it, and didn’t know it was possible. And that’s your story too, isn’t it? One day Abraham Lincoln watched a plantation owner bidding for a slave girl. Figuring he was going to buy her and abuse her, Lincoln paid the price to set her free. “Does this mean I can say hatever I want to say?” she asked. Lincoln replied, “Yes.” Again she asked, “Does this mean I can go wherever I want to go?” Again Lincoln responded, “Yes, you’re free!” With tears streaming down her face she replied, “Then, sir, I will go with you.” That’s grace!



There was a little old lady who was nearly blind.

She had three sons and they wanted to prove which one was the best son to her.

So son #1 bought her a 15-room mansion thinking this would surely be the best any of them could offer her.

Son #2 bought her a beautiful Mercedes with a chauffeur included thinking he would surely win her approval.

Son #3 had to do something even better than these so he bought her a trained parrot. This parrot had been trained for 15 years to memorize the entire Bible. You could mention any verse in the Bible and the parrot could quote it word for word. How useful his nearly blind mother would find that!

Well, the old lady went to the first son and said, “Son, the house is just gorgeous but it’s really much too big for me. I only live in one room, and it’s much too large for me to clean and take care of. I really don’t need the house, but thank you anyway.”

Then she explained to her second son, “Son, the car is beautiful, it has everything you could ever want on it, but I don’t drive and I really don’t like that driver, so please return the car.”

​Next, she went to son number three and said, “Son, I just want to thank you for that thoughtful gift. The chicken was small, but delicious.”



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