Hookers and church ladies

This past weekend I had the pleasure of speaking to our ladies at King’s Way Church’s 10th annual Mother Daughter Tea.  What a blessing these ladies are.  I love our church so much because when I look out over our congregation I see an awesome cross section of the body of Christ.  We got so many types at our church.  And I’m so glad we aren’t all the same.  In one section we have a grandmother, a teacher, a felon, hospital executive, a world weightlifting champion, and a lady from the battered women’s shelter.  We are far from perfect, but we are an imperfect people who love a perfect God and are sitting perfectly in the center of His will for the season He has us in.
I love that.
So when our pastor’s wife asked me to do this year’s message at the tea, I was pumped.

Then she told me that this years theme was on the “lips.”
Now, I’d like to say that the first thing I thought of when told of this topic was something super spiritual and holy…but I didn’t.
The first thing that came to mind was the scene from Pretty Woman. Edward, Richard Gere’s character asked Vivian, Julia Robert’s character, what was on her “menu.”  With her being the good little hooker that she is, she states that she’ll do anything, but she won’t kiss on the lips. She won’t kiss on the mouth because it’s too intimate. Now I’m not recommending that we take up prostitution, but I think ol Vivian was on to something.
pretty woman

Because I believe God thinks of our lips as intimate too.
He said from them can come life or death.
Blessings or curses
Justice or injustice.
Proverbs and Hebrews 13:15 say that we will be tested by the fruit of our lips.

What kind of fruit are we producing?
For others?

For ourselves?

Hebrews also says we are to continually offer a sacrifice of praise. That means even when it’s not easy to say something nice about someone or a situation.

Over and over God says to offer praise up to Him, He even promises in Isaiah 57:19 that He will hear our praise and heal us.
Now who doesn’t want to be a part of that?

Because when we do, our sacrifice of praise will generate more strength to praise which will generate more praise.
It’s a wonderfully beautiful cycle.

So how do we do it?
1) Get into a habit of thankfulness and praise–focus on what’s good and not bad. Write three of them down everyday. Focus on the goodness of God and what you think you’re lacking will become shadowed by His bigness.

2) Be our own fruit inspectors–judge our words before they come out–if you talk about that person at work to another coworker, is what you are about to say change the opinion of that person?  Is what you are saying something you are comfortable with them sharing with the person you are slamming?  Is what you are about to say painting them in a positive light?  Building them up?

3) What kind of mark will it leave–when I was little sometimes my mom would leave for a conference and before she would leave, she would sneak in during the wee hours of the morning and with a fresh coat of lipstick on her lips, she would bend down and gently kiss me on the cheek.  When I would wake up the next morning I knew for a fact that my mom had been there.  How?  She had left her mark on me.  Physically I had evidence that she was there because her lipstick had left a mark on me.  Our words leave a mark–will they leave a mark of blessing? Or of curses? Encouragement or discouragement? Turn every thought you have into a positive one.

4) Pray–pray that God uses the Holy Spirit to put a guard over your mouth, a crossing guard so to speak over what you say to yourself and others.

So let’s start now. Get in the habit of doing these exercises every day.
Start each day with a thankful heart.
End each day with a whisper of a prayer of thanksgiving to God.  Don’t ask Him for anything.  Just thank Him for what you have.
Even if you had the biggest crap hole of a day.
Even if you yelled at your kids.
You ran out of gas.
Were late for work.
The printer ran out of ink.
You dropped a jar of spaghetti sauce all over aisle 6 at Kroger.
Even if your kid had a nuclear meltdown in aisle 9.
You got a HUGE unexpected bill in the mail.
Left the clothes in the washer wet all day and need to rewash them for the SECOND time.
And your kid will.  not.  go.  to.  sleep.
As you lay down with a body that is so tired and achy and a mind that is racing like you did shots of Red Bull.
Just breathe in and thank God for the thing that went right.
I dare you to find one thing that was good about your day.
When I was little, my mom’s lipstick print eventually faded.
And one day her lipstick shade was even discontinued.
But the mark that God is calling you to make will never fade and never go out of style.
And the garment of praise He wants to drape on you will look good with everything you wear.

I’m a book-shelving, former tap dancer, wanna be writer, singer,
and banjo player, mother of 4, wife of 1, follower of Christ,
walking in the shadow of the Proverbs 31 woman
and redeemed by the grace and love of an Almighty God…
just living the dream.

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