Monday, March 23, 2015

Theme Reveal for A to Z Blogging Challenge!

Beginning April 1st, I will be taking part in the A to Z Blogging Challenge! I will be blogging every day in April (except Sundays) and the topic of the blog will begin with the letter of the alphabet for that day; April 1, it will begin with the letter "A" and so on. 

The theme of A to Z Blogging on this blog will be "Words Matter" and many entries will be based on excerpts from my book "What to Say: The Right (and wrong!) Words and Deeds for Life's Sticky, Tricky, Uncomfortable Situations." Select entries will be based on what God's Word says about what we say. 

To receive blog posts via e-mail, sign up at the "follow by email" prompt on the right side of this
page. Throughout the month I'll be hosting giveaways and FREE downloads! 

I'll also be blogging, with a different theme, at Home is Where the Mom Is; A Christian Mom's Guide . Check it out!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

March Scripture Memory Challenge

"Talking Points"
by Shelly Burke, Editor

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” 
Ephesians 4:29

“Corrupting talk” is easy to define—gossip, criticism, put-downs, negativity about a person or situation. Unless you’re paying attention to what you’re saying, however, it is easy to slip into the habit of “corrupting talk”, especially if others around you are doing the same thing. 

What can you do to avoid corrupting talk? First, pray that God will make you aware of any negative talk before it even comes out of your mouth. As your mother probably told you, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” 

What can you do if negative talk is all around you? 

Point out the positive about the situation. “This might not be the perfect job, but at least we have jobs!” “It is cold—but at least we’re not having a blizzard.” “I’ve always enjoyed working with he; she’s always very helpful.” “Let’s talk about something positive.” 

Change the subject completely. When attempts at being positive haven’t worked, or an uncomfortable or inappropriate topic is being discussed, a comment like, “How about the Huskers?” usually makes people laugh and breaks the tension and changes the subject. 

Share your values. “I made a resolution to not talk negative about anyone or anything.” “I’d rather focus on the positive.” “There’s so much good in the world and I’m going to talk about that.”

Hand the person a verse card! Request your FREE verse cards to help you memorize scripture, and share the cards as appropriate (see details below). 

We aren’t just to avoid corrupting talk, but to use our words to build someone up. It only takes a few words to build someone up, make them feel valuable, loved, important: 

“Good job!”
“I’m glad to see you today!”
“I can see how hard you’re working—and it’s paying off!”
“It was nice to work with you today; thanks for all your help!”
“Thank you for showing me how to do that.”
“It’s fun to be around you!”
“I appreciate your help.” 
“Good morning!” 
“Would you like to go with us to lunch?” 

Talk that “fits the occasion” can be words to  encourage,  congratulate or express sympathy.  If you don’t know what to say, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the words; “For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us …” (Romans 8:26). 

And how can you “give grace to those who hear”? Accept apologies, congratulate others—even if you wanted the job. 

Take the high road-- be the first to say “good morning” to someone who is normally grumpy first thing. If someone seems to ignore you or says something that could be taken as an insult, instead of reacting by immediately becoming offended or angry, consider: Maybe the person is having a bad day. Maybe he or she didn’t mean the comment as it sounded (I know I’ve said things to a person and realized that the words did not come out at all as I’d intended!). Either ask the person what he or she meant or, in the famous words from the movie “Frozen”, “Let it go!”
To request your FREE verse cards, e-mail with your address, or call (402) 750-3496. Suggested donation, $6 to cover postage costs for verse cards for the whole year!

March issue and Scripture Memory Challenge!

Scripture Memory
Challenge verse for
March 2015
The March issue of the Nebraska Family Times has been mailed and is available at sponsor locations! Pick up your issue, or request a FREE sample issue, to read "A Theology for Fifty Shades of Grey", "From New Year's Resolutions to March Madness", "5 Ways to Help Keep Your Marriage Spark Alive", "The Reverse Lent Challenge", "Finding God's Purpose in a New Season" and many more articles that will "inspire, encourage and motivate you on your Christian walk." To subscribe to the Nebraska Family Times and receive devotions and encouragement in all areas of Christian life, click the "subscribe" button on the right side of this page.

Take part in the Scripture Memory Challenge and instill God's Word in your heart! Details below.