Thursday, August 09, 2007

Only a spark

I live in Montana ... it's one of the prettiest places on earth, except during fire season. Even though the fires are miles and miles from my home, the sky is filled with smoke. In fact, it's so gray and dark it's hard to see the HUGE mountains from my window.

This reminds me of something I read recently:

"It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.

"This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can't tame a tongue—it's never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!"

I love that ... by our speech we can send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it. It's a great passage from The Bible.

The Bible? Did that sound like the Bible to you? Where are the thees and thous and hard language?

I was asked this question by some of my teen friends who heard me read this passage. They didn't read the Bible much, and this isn't what they expected.

The verses are actually, James 3:5-12, The Message version. I LOVE the Message because it is the Bible is today's language.

If you don't have this version on the Bible, don't worry. Check it out ... go to:

See that box next to Quick Search? You can change the version. Just go down a few and find "The Message." Then you can enter in some of your favorite passages. Here are a few of mine:

Isaiah 40: 27-31:

"Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,

or, whine, Israel, saying,

"God has lost track of me.

He doesn't care what happens to me"?

Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening?

God doesn't come and go. God lasts.

He's Creator of all you can see or imagine.

He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath.

And he knows everything, inside and out.

He energizes those who get tired,

gives fresh strength to dropouts.

For even young people tire and drop out,

young folk in their prime stumble and fall.

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.

They spread their wings and soar like eagles,

They run and don't get tired,

they walk and don't lag behind.

Psalm 119: 9-16:

How can a young person live a clean life?

By carefully reading the map of your Word.

I'm single-minded in pursuit of you;

don't let me miss the road signs you've posted.

I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart

so I won't sin myself bankrupt.

Be blessed, God;

train me in your ways of wise living.

So how about you? What are some of your favorite verses? How do they read in The Message? I'd love for you to share!

Oh, yes, and remember. It only takes a spark! Don't I know it!


Timothy Fish said...

The spark of our words can take on more than one form. We would like for our word to spread with a good message, but it seems like it is much easier for them to spread with a bad message. I have noticed that on the Internet there is a tendency for our words to spark and create a fire that we did not intend. We may have intended for our words to mean one thing, but someone who reads them takes them to mean something totally different. Once the fire gets started, there is no way to stop it or even say, you took it the wrong way. Some of the people take things the way they want to take them and refuse to believe us when we tell them that they are wrong. It is much easier when we speak with people face to face because we can see how they will take what we say prior to our making the comment. On the Internet this is not the case. It is possible to create an enemy that we have never met.

Timothy Fish - Author of Searching for Mom

Tricia Goyer said...

I agree. It's easy to spread a rumor via email, one click and there it goes. It's also easy to forget that the people we communicate with aren't real people ... with real feelings. Good thoughts!