Thursday, July 9, 2009


"Loose lips sink ships."
-WW II Poster slogan

"Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time."
-Proverbs 15:23

It's 4:35 A.M. on Thursday, July 9th. In less than an hour a crew of ten of us will leave for Monticello, Utah. Our goal is to assist Pastor John Williams and the folks at First Baptist Church in a week of Vacation Bible School. Yesterday was a hectic day so I put this off until the last minute, not knowing the last minute yesterday would become the first minute today! You probably have heard the quote . . . "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part." Yesterday was my lack of planning. Because of that I am making this short and using another proverb.
I spoke with a friend of mine in Amarillo, Texas last night and he told me that he had chaperoned one of his church's mission trips and on the way home people were ready to kill one another. That can certainly happen, even among Christians. There have been times when I've seen that happen. My goal, of course, is that it will not happen as we travel. That's why I have chosen Proverbs 15:23 as a verse for today: "Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time."
Another translation says it like this, "A man has joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good it is."
Here we go again! It seems like every way you turn in Proverbs you bump into "tongue-tamers." This one says, "Say something good and do it at the right time."
What we say can totally ruin an otherwise really good day for someone. Did you ever have that happen to you? Everything's going fine and all of a sudden Mr. or Mrs. Caustic Tongue drops a line on you that makes you feel lower than a snake's belly! There are those among us who think sarcasm, negative remarks, and gossiping are spiritual gifts! They're not! Maybe another spirit but not the spirit of God.
Today, let's decide to be bearers of joy, "A man has joy by the answer of his mouth . . ." Let's say things that encourage, things that cause joy, laughter, and smiles. And let's watch our timing too . . . "a word spoken in due season."
A person with a sensitive heart will be sensitive with his words. He'll not only know what to say, he will know when to say it and when you put the two together you'll have a word spoken in due season: " . . . it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time."
Remember, the tongue is a multi-purpose tool and can be used to build up or tear down. It can bring discouragement or joy. Let's use it to spread words of joy, encouragement, and love today and every day that follows.
See the photo above? In a Friendly's Restaurant, somewhere in the midwest, our waitress took Proverbs 15:23 one step further, "A waitress has joy by the answer of her bill: and a word written in due season, how good it is."
Spoken or written, right words do right things.


  1. We'll be praying for you guys as you travel and then do VBS--also, all the folks there. I'm sure they need the encouragement.

    Thanks for continuing your blogs. I know they started out to be a log of your bike ride, but somewhere along the way they found a different mission. You are a great devotional writer. You see the extraordiary in the ordinary and make a spiritual application. That's the reason a number of us want you to continue.

    I was thinking along the same line the other day as I worked in our garden, which I have to do everyday. The beautiful blooms on the vegetables is not their main function; it's the "fruit" they produce. Just like Christians, huh? Also, I have to weed it everyday or it can get to be quite an ordeal. Same with the Christian life, keeping short accounts with God, "weeding" out sin through confession makes none take hold.

    I heard Adolph Coors give the following quote on Focus on the Family last week. It meant a lot to me: "We wouldn't worry nearly so much what people think of us if we knew how seldom they actually do."

  2. I do not know what Bible you are reading Mr. Smarty Pants, but sarcasm is most definitely a spiritual gift, given to use for the good of mankind to a select few. Also hatefulness is a spiritual gift, but you already know that. There is no reason for anyone to be up at 4:30 in the morning unless maybe you are a drug dealer. Is there something you need to tell us? I will go back to sleep today to help you make up your shortened sleep cycle. While you are in Utah, please visit the Smithsonian Museum, particularly the Air & Space Museum. It will be a fun-filled trip, I can tell you that.

  3. What was the "Happy Ending" that didn't cost a thing?