Never criticize.  Always Encourage.

My second grade teacher, Mrs. Workman, said to me, “You are a polite young man.” One of our children’s directors at Northside Baptist Church said to me, “I am surprised at your behavior. I expected better from you.” Two very different statements about my behavior at about the same time. It is a vivid example of our ability to make choices about what side of ourselves we choose to share. We are in control of us.

Each of us has the power within us for good or evil. We can choose to be truthful or to lie. We can choose to be kind or unkind. We can choose to be polite or rude. We can choose to build other people up or tear them down. Our words reveal what is in our hearts.

The temptation is to blame others when we show our more unattractive side. “The devil made me do it,” is an easy out. I was being attacked or I had to defend myself are often cited as reasons. for revealing our darker sides. In today’s toxic climate it is easy to fall into the victim role or to lash out. It takes determination to stay the course. That does not mean that we will get it right every time. There are no pills to take that will insure lifelong success. We can only try each time the opportunity to show our better side presents itself. The more we succeed increases our chances of success next time.

We are all works in progress. We are under construction. Finding the right words never becomes easy; however, it does become easier with practice. Words are powerful instruments for good or evil. “Loose lips sink ships.” “I no longer call you servants, but friends.” “We the people.” “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” “Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy.” “You lie.”

Words are powerful. Use them wisely.

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Beautiful Celebration at First Baptist Church of Charleston

Sunday June 4 was Pentecost Sunday as well as Say Something Nice Sunday. Pastor Marshall Blalock wove the themes together in a masterful way as we also celebrated Communion. Communion is always a beautiful, meaningful service at First Baptist.

Rev. Blalock read the winning essay from the first Say Something Nice Essay Contest at First Baptist School. It was a deeply felt essay that fit beautifully into the sermon, but that also demonstrated the need for Christ-like speech. Lori Lethco prepared attractive inserts for the bulletins. There were Say Something Nice buttons for everyone and members of the congregation left with daisies to give to others along with a kind word. There was also a commissioning for two members headed to the mission field. The music is always worshipful and Sunday’s was no exception. It was a full and heartwarming service.

We encourage other congregations from all denominations to join us. First Baptist Church of Charleston celebrate on the first Sunday in June; however, other churches are free to celebrate on the Sunday of their choice. Cross and Crown Lutheran Church in Florence, South Carolina and Providence Baptist Church on Daniel Island will celebrate it on June 11.

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Celebrate 11th Annual Say Something Nice Sunday

The book of Hebrews tells us, “Not to neglect to show kindness to strangers.” When members and visitors exit the sanctuary of historic First Baptist Church of Charleston on June 4, they will be given a daisy, the symbol of friendship, with the instructions, “Give it to a stranger and say something nice.” Mayor Tom Tait of Anaheim, California said, “Acts of kindness create a vibration that extends out like the ripples from pebbles and brings people together.”

Sunday June 4, 2017 is the 11th. Annual Say Something Nice Sunday. Every church, denomination, religious organization or group fostering greater harmony and goodwill are encouraged to join. There are no fees or anything to buy. “We are just trying to make the world a safer and happier place to live,” according to Mitch Carnell, Chair of the ecumenical committee.

The movement began at First Baptist Church of Charleston and was adopted by the Charleston County Baptist Association. The Charleston/Atlantic Presbytery joined followed by the Disciples of Christ and the Catholic Diocese of Charleston which includes all of South Carolina. Many American Baptists, Episcopal, Lutheran and Methodists churches around the country joined. Recently Green Lake Conference Center in Wisconsin and Louisiana College have joined the movement.

The Most Reverend Bishop Robert Guglielmone of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston said in support of the movement, ”Our words should be used to express love not hatred. What better way can we express this belief than to celebrate a day devoted to healing with our words? I heartily endorse the mission of Say Something Nice Sunday and urge all Christians to participate. In Corinthians 13:13, St. Paul tells us that the greatest virtue is love. What better way is there for Christians to express this virtue than to participate in Say Something Nice Sunday?”

Everyone can use a word of encouragement, a smile or a pat on the back. That is our purpose. Everybody is somebody. You are unique, one of a kind. You make our lives better. That is the message we want to send.

Free materials are available at www.fbcharleston.org. Click on Messages/Resources at the top of the page then scroll down to Say Something Nice Sunday. You will find, Bible verses, devotionals, suggestions for use, art work and the purpose of the celebration. You are encouraged to create your own materials and share them. Send to lori@fbcharleston.org.

 

 

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A Push For Civility

Tuesday was a great day for the cause of civility. Not only did Mayor John Tecklenburg of the City of Charleston issue a proclamation declaring June first as Say Something Nice Day, Charleston County Council following the leadership of Chairman Vic Rawls did the same. Mayor Keith Summey of the City of North Charleston issued a similar proclamation last week.

This is the 12th year of the event which started when Mayor Summey issued the first proclamation in 2006. Chairman Victor Rawls made reference to the beginning in the proclamation. He went on to say, “Charleston County urges its citizens to fight against unkindness and the lack of politeness that sometimes dominates society in the hopes that one day of pleasantness will grow until people are nice to each other every day.”

First Baptist School of Charleston conducted its first Say Something Nice Essay Contest as did Harborview Presbyterian Church.

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