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Words Shape Worlds

Our choice of words shape worlds. We bring out the best or the worst in others through our words. The Bible lays this truth out with great clarity. The book of Proverbs (25:11) says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” The other direction of the truth is found in James 3:8 which says the opposite, “No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” Which choice of words sounds more like us? Building up or tearing down? Eloquence or dissidence? Our words and the tone of our words do matter.

We live in times where there is careless use of the tongue. Culture today thinks nothing of tearing people apart with spoken words or words printed on twitter. So much harm is done with our words. We see the words of James lived out when the writer says, “But no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil and full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). Irrespective of whether we are referencing words on the national stage of politics or locally in everyday conversations, the use of destructive words can have both intended, unintended, and lingering consequences. James compares the tongue to a spark that begins a forest fire, and quickly spins out of control. And, also, he compares the tongue to a tiny rudder capable of steering a large ship. One of the most clever sermon titles I ever heard regarding this text was printed, “Loose lips sink ships” and they do! We have all likely witnessed “loose lips” hurting so many people. What is a more preferred way than “loose lips?” Here are some gems I try to remember:

Listen to your grandmother, “If you cannot say anything good say nothing at all.”
“Always speak as if the person you are speaking about is in the room.”
“Bad words that are never spoken do not have to be taken back.”
“Walk away when you hear others begin to gossip.”

The truth of the Proverbs passage of “words fitly spoken” are like “apples of gold in settings of silver” has a 180 degree meaning. Words can build, heal, and even change lives. When we say a timely encouraging or positive word we change the whole “vibe” or atmosphere. One kind or hopeful word usually prompts others to join in and give everyone a lift. Who does not like to be encouraged or hear words fitly spoken? Would it not be best to envision the church at its very best to be a gathering of people where our words are so encouraging, uplifting, and hopeful that we cannot wait until we gather again!

Also, I envision the Shalimar United Methodist Church being at the center of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus. Gospel means good news. In two weeks, we will be in Holy Week, Good Friday, and Easter. We will hear the “best words” that changed the world forever! Let us be in this time a Church of “words fitly spoken as apples of gold on settings of silver!” Consider our words; they shape worlds.


Posted by Philip McVay with

Written in Red: What is Love?

Jesus said we could sum up everything we do on earth with Love. Let's look into that deeper this week.

Read Mark 12:28-31.
- What does it mean for you to Love the Lord with all your heart? Your soul? Your mind? Your strength?
- How do we love our neighbors?
- Which of these two do you think you are doing more efficiently?
- How can you improve the one you are weaker at?

Read Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Leviticus 19:18.
- Do these verses help you gain any insights into what Christ was saying?
- What did Christ gain by quoting the Old Testament Law?

Read Luke 10:25-28.
- How is Luke's account of this story different?
- Could the man in the story love purely without Christ?

Read Luke 10:29-37.
- How does Luke's telling of the Good Samaritan help us better understand who
our neighbor is?
- What ways has your understanding of love deepened?

Prayer for the Week:
Lord, help me to love others in a new way this week through my love for you. Show me places that I can increase my love and people whom I can draw closer to. Father, help me find areas in my life where I do not love you fully either. Amen

Posted by Faith Parry with

Time Change Sunday and Changing Our Time

The funniest encounter I ever had about the time change was with a former church member many years ago named Travis Letlow. Mr. Letlow was very conservative. Time change did not affect his life one way or the other. He went by sun time anyway. He would wake up with the sun and go to bed when dark. When the time change came each spring, he did not change his clocks. He just remembered to go to church one hour earlier.

The time change is getting more attention this year than normal in the state of Florida. This Sunday, March 11th, is the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. There is a possibility with the legislation in the state of Florida this could be the last one. Is this the last time we will change the clocks forward or back? We shall see.

What the State of Florida will do is not yet certain. One thing is for sure, we may not control whether we add an hour of daylight or leave it the way it is year round, but we can still choose how we spend our time. How do we spend our time?

Consider where our time is spent over a lifetime. If we take the number of hours we spend doing various things each day and multiply over a lifetime it accumulates into years of time. For instance, a person who lives an average life span of 77 years may spend twenty-five years sleeping, fifteen to twenty years working, fifteen to twenty years with family, six years eating, three years with a hobby, and maybe six to ten years with entertainment, tv, phones, and computer. A person’s priorities could change these numbers significantly one way or another.

The biggest unknown of our time; how much time do we spend with God? The irony is in our Biblical teaching this is the best use of our time. The Fourth Commandment spells this out in saying, “Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.” If we just kept the commandment each week, this would amount to eleven years of our life. In addition to the Sabbath, if we spend time with God each day, this priority would be our greatest time allocation of all. And, the balance of our time would be spent so much better. Our relationships will win, work will win, and our life purpose will win.

So on this time change Sunday, that could be our last time change, I would like to invite us to consider how we choose to spend our time. We will never regret spending more time with God.

Thank you for choosing to spend your time at Shalimar United Methodist Church. God is at work at Shalimar UMC! In our worship, we seek to worship the God who holds both the present and the future in His Hands.

We look forward to hearing our Chancel Choir and Orchestra today and worship our God who holds all time!


Posted by Philip McVay with

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