Posts Tagged Jesus

FBC – Woodruff, SC Will Celebrate June 6

Carol and I had a wonderful trip to Woodruff, SC where I spoke to the Golden Age Club of First Baptist Church. These wonderful Christian people greeted us with great hospitality. We reconnected with many old friends and made new ones. My topic dealt with the observance of Say Something Nice Sunday on June 6. My talk included some examples of encouragement I had received in Woodruff growing up there. I also stressed the importance of our communication reflecting our belief in Jesus and that our speech should honor Him. I am happy to say that First Baptist Church of Woodruff will join this year’s observance on June 6. If you are in the Woodruff area, you would find a great warm welcome with these folks.

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The Purpose of Say Something Nice Sunday

            The purpose of Say Something Nice Sunday is to urge Christians and Christian churches, denominations and groups to honor God with our sacred gift of communication and to build up the Kingdom of God through building each other up with our speech. We recognize that our speech is a reflection of what is in our hearts and ultimately our goal is that we will grow in our love and knowledge of Jesus and of each other. We may differ in our thoughts, opinions and theology but we recognize that we are all creations of the same God and that we are sisters and brothers in Christ.

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What Is Christian Civility?

            Christian civility is a conscious attempt to use language in such a way as to exemplify the teachings of Jesus. It is a way of bringing wholeness to our dialogue. It is not an attempt to gloss over differences or simply to utter shallow meaningless nothings. Christian civility is a means of letting the light of Christ shine in our every day encounters.

            Our words so often get in the way of our witness.  St. Francis echoed this when he said, “Preach the gospel always and if you have to, use words.” The psalmist recognized this when he wrote, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight Oh God my strength and my redeemer.” The value of the just right word is prized in, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in baskets of silver.” Words have power. They are expressions of who we are and what our values are.

            This approach to Christian communication carriers no hint or suggestion of forgetting who we are and whose we are. Rather it is a way of letting our Christianity shine through. In Colossians we are told, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” Dr. Arthur Caliandro, former pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, said, “People may not always respond to me as I would like, but I can decide how I will respond to them.” We decide whether we take offense at some hurtful remark or give offense in return; however, we can also decide to respond as Christ would have us respond.

            Christian civility is not easy because we live in an uncivil world. We can do our best to turn down the hostile rhetoric and to speak peace to a troubled world. We can do our best to not add our voices to the chaos and to shine a light in the darkness. The ability to communicate is a great gift from our creator. As is true with all of his gifts, his desire is that we use it to glorify him. It is a formidable challenge.

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Stop Talking – Listen – Key 3

Listen Actively – Listening is much more than the absence of talking. Because you are not talking does not mean that you are listening. Listen with your entire body including your eyes.  Listening is a skill. Develop it. It will serve you well. Many of us have developed the talent to look as if we are listening when in reality our minds are some place other than concentrating on the present. Stay with the speaker, the music. Experience the sensation that truly listening brings. Jesus said, “Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.” There is no way to remember what you did not listen to when it was presented. A taxi driver in New York City said, “I am not as smart as people think I am. I have learned to be an intellectual thief. I have learned to listen to everyone.” He has discovered one of the great secrets to a successful fulfilling life. Follow his example.

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