The Sin in Our Words
By Pastor Manny
Words are powerful. Words have been used to start wars and bring peace; to encourage the growth of some of the world’s greatest influencers and helped create some of its most violent criminals. We have a responsibility as followers of Christ to use our words in ways that will edify and build up others, but do we really pay that much attention to our words?
Recently I read this quote, “Gossip is simply saying something about someone that you wouldn’t say when they are right in front of you.” Wow! That’s pretty cut and dry, and yet most of us have probably said something about someone that we’d rather they not hear or know about. “But Manny, I wasn’t gossiping, I was venting, or praying, or sharing my frustrations.” Well, I’m sorry, scripture doesn’t allow for this kind of behavior. We can’t simply wave off the sins of our tongue because they are therapeutic. As a matter of fact, there is a great passage about how to handle frustrations or concerns we have with others:
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17)
James, Jesus’ brother, reminds us that, “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” How can we praise God with the same tongue that we curse others with? Paul goes a bit deeper, giving a list of the sins that result when God finally gives those who choose to live their own way instead of the way He calls them to.
They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:29-32, italics added)
Did you realize that the sins of our tongues are on the same playing field as murder? What about that part that says, “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death?” That’s pretty extreme isn’t it? When we decide that Jesus is what we want and we accept his sacrifice to ensure our eternity isn’t one of damnation, we are also saying that we’ll live our lives the way God meant for them to be lived, not to earn grace, but because of grace. Our speech is one of the best indicators of that reality. How we choose to use words is a great way to see if you truly have the Holy Spirit dwelling within you and whether you are allowing Christ to be Lord.
Words are powerful. They can be used to share God’s love or they can be used to turn someone away from the only thing they were created for…a relationship with Christ. How are you using your words? Do you find yourself bad mouthing, complaining about, gossiping about, slandering, tearing down, or belittling others? If so, I urge you to spend some time in reflection. Ask yourself where those kinds of actions come from? They certainly aren’t the work of the Holy Spirit and are quite possibly a sign of a deeper spiritual issue that needs to be dealt with.
When you need to speak, take into consideration the following questions:
Is it Thoughtful?
Is it Helpful?
Is it Inspiring?
Is it Necessary?
Is it Kind?
Notice that these questions spell out the word think. It’s really that simple. Think before you speak. Not everything that pops into your head needs to be said. Not every frustration or little complaint needs to be heard by an audience. Our culture tells us that we should speak up when we don’t agree or like something or just plain feel like being snotty. But, Jesus’ brother, James teaches quite the opposite; he teaches us to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19). If this is a struggle for you, ask God to help you. A simple prayer to offer control of your tongue to Him can be more powerful than you might imagine. So use your words to build up, edify, give hope, give life, and show the love of Christ.
“Remind them … to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people … by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”
(Excerpts from Titus 3:1-7)
Karaoke for a Cause!
Help Support the House of Compassion on Saturday, October 25, 5:30-9:00 pm, at Knights of Columbus Hall, 201 W High St. in Marshalltown. A pulled pork meal begins at 5:30 pm, $10 ages 13-adult, and $5 ages 3-12.
Reverse Karaoke begins at 6 pm.
Put your money down to make your friends get up and sing! If your friends don’t want to sing they have to match your donation to get out of singing! Enjoy regular karaoke too!
Silent Auction - bid on baskets filled with a variety of items, including ISU, Iowa and UNI memorabilia!
Stained Glass Window Raffle - Raffle tickets - 1 for $10 or 3 for $20. The window is an original window from the church building that houses the House of Compassion. Approximate size is 18” W x 20” H. Tickets will be sold in advance at the HOC, Trinity Lutheran Church, or KXIA/KFJB radio station front desk.
HOC Meal Report
On September 25, 20 from BLFC were involved in preparing, serving & cleanup for at least 88 guests. Our meal included chicken & noodles, a leftover Italian pasta casserole, baby corn, leftover baked beans, raw carrots, mixed fruit, cheese bread, angel food cake with cherries & whipped topping or scotcharoos or donuts and milk or coffee.
Thanks to: Levi & Ramona, Bob & Veronica, Scott & Mary, Diane R., Dani & Larry, Bill & Rosalee; and Vi, Diane T., Chuck, Scott, Mary, Darla, Mike & Charlene who helped at the House. Our next meal is Oct. 30.
From Iowa River Hospice
Iowa River Hospice will be offering a weekly 5-session fall/holiday season grief support group called “Grow Thru Grief” beginning on Thursday, October 30th from 5:30-6:30 pm in the lower level at 502 Plaza Heights Road in Marshalltown. Classes will continue November 6th, 13th, 20th and December 4th. Parking is available in the lower east side staff parking lot.
Topics covered include the facets of grief, getting through the first year, and how to survive the holidays. Anyone who has suffered a loss in the past several years may find the group helpful.
Grief support is offered to all hospice families as well as anyone in the communities Hospice serves. There is no cost but Hospice asks that you pre-register. If you have questions please call Iowa River Hospice at 641-753-7704.
Ladies Fall Retreat
Mesquakie Friends Church, Tama
10:00 am, Saturday, October 11
Native American dancers &
Blessing Basket Auction
Registration $10 - pay at the door
HOC Fundraiser at
Ladies of Liberty USFW will meet at Colleen Welch’s home on Thursday, October 16th at 7 pm. All women of the church are welcome to join the fellowship.
Bangor USFW ladies will meet October 21, 1:30 at Betty’s home at Glenwood Place. Shirley Landt will provide the program. All ladies are welcome.
Special Night - DEEPER
On Wednesday night, October 29th there will not be any DEEPER activities at the church. We will take our night of ministry to Mesquakie Friends to serve the children and youth (60+) a meal and to help lead them in their classes.
HOC Supply Closet
Did you know that only 5% of Marshall County residents are unemployed, but 13% live on or under $23,850 for a family of four? The notion that people in poverty aren't working hard enough simply isn’t true. About one in 10 adults in Marshall County are living in poverty. (Statistics per MICA.)
Each month well over 500 households can choose 3 items from the Supply Closet that cannot be purchased with food stamps. Needs are growing while donations shrink. In October we join other churches to fill the shelves at HOC.
This time let’s concentrate of items used in a bathroom: bar soap, shampoo, toilet paper, toothbrush & paste, over the counter meds, tissues, etc. To stretch your funds shop at the dollar stores or use coupons – buy one get one ½ price or free, or purchase the store brand. Leave your donations in the entryway box by Oct. 26th.
Annual Fall Family Fun Festival
November 1st, 6:00 pm, BLFC
All ages welcome - FREE event!
Carnival type games & table games
Costumes welcome, but not necessary
Bring your friends!
Papa Murphy’s pizza & drinks provided
Join us in celebrating the season of Fall!
This last week the youth groups had the opportunity to see some fairly big names in Christian music in concert. We saw Jon Bauer who is a singer/songwriter and worship leader. Sanctus Real is a five-piece band from Ohio who sings “Lead Me” and “Audience of One.” They have a new CD, “The Dream” coming out on October 14th. Finally, the headliner of the concert was Francesca Battistelli. She is a major Christian pop star and just put out her “If We’re Honest” CD.
I had a really great time at the concert. But I was thinking all night about something Francesca Battistelli said talking about David, when God helped him defeat Goliath. She said, “God didn’t see a small boy. God didn’t see a person who had no military experience. God just saw his heart. His heart was willing” (not word for word.) Are our hearts willing? Do we say, “God can’t be calling me to do that because I’m not qualified.” Rev. Michael Beckwith may have said it best when he said, “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.”
Think about it. God used tax collectors, diseased people, fishermen, and even murderers to tell others about himself. I sometimes think to myself, “If God can use that person, He can use me too.” God doesn’t look at the outside of who you are, He looks inside and sees your heart. If your heart is willing, even though you think you might not be qualified, God can use you. In no way am I saying furthering your knowledge of God is a bad thing. I’m just saying that you don’t have to be a scholar and theologian with 2 PhD’s for God to use you. Your life and your heart needs to be moldable to what God would have you do. When Jesus called the disciples, the Bible says they followed him “at once” and “immediately.” They were merely fishermen trying to make a living. They left everything they ever knew to make money to support their families to follow a man called Jesus. (Matthew 4:18-22) Do you think they were theologians? Probably not. They weren’t qualified (to our standards), but Jesus didn’t see the outside. He saw their hearts and their willingness to follow Him.
What are we willing to give up to follow Jesus? Are our hearts willing to follow Jesus? When Jesus calls us, are we willing to leave everything “at once”? It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like. It just matters if you are willing to follow and be called by Jesus. Is your heart willing?
-Kris Smitherman, Youth Pastor
Library Ledge - Book Sale/Survey
Watch for our book sale in October!
What type of books would you like to see in our library? More fiction, Prayer, Quakerism, Christian Living, Devotions? More of certain authors, CD’s, DVD’s? To help me build your library, please email your ideas to tkdaroseheartofiowa . net or drop a note in my box.
In the meantime, check out Living Beyond the Daily Grind 1 & 2 by Charles Swindoll, Dangerous Surrender by Kay Warren, or Holiness in Hidden Places by Joni Eareckson Tada. -Kristy Albright
October Mission Emphasis:
Robert Wafulu, FTC
Robert Wafula is a Friends pastor, a scholar of religion and an educator. He is an alumnus of Earlham School of Religion and two other universities. He holds master’s degrees in Religious Studies and in International Affairs and has published in the fields of cultural studies, Quakerism and comparative religions.
Robert states that he is looking forward to returning to Kenya to give back to the community by serving as the principal of Friends Theological College. He plans to “equip pastoral ministers who will be thoughtful listeners, effective evangelists, dynamic preachers, informed educators and models of integrity.”
In order for Robert to serve FTC, he needs our prayerful and financial support. Please give generously to the 3rd Sunday mission offering taken October 19th. Monthly pledges are still needed for Robert’s support during the next three years. If you feel called to do this, please make a note on your check or envelope.
Remember in Prayer
~Agape Ames Ministry
~Robert Wafula, the new Principal at
the Friends Theological College in
Kenya, our mission emphasis in Oct.
~Nathan, Brianna, Caleb & Jonah Martin
back in Cambodia; for their transition
period; furthering their language skills
~Spencer & Mary Thury as Wm. Penn
University is cutting the Campus
Minister's position at semester's end;
& how to move campus ministries forward.
New! Ladies Group
All ladies of the church are invited to join a new study group that will meet twice a month on the 2nd and 4th Thursday evening from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the church. The group will use the book, "The Best Yes" by Lisa Terkeurst. The first meeting will be on Thursday, October 9th. Orders for the study book will be taken at that meeting. Childcare will be provided each Thursday. If you have any questions, please contact Jenalee Garcia.
1st Annual Kickball Tournament & BBQ Contest!
Due to cold and blustery conditions on October 4th our Kickball tournament turned into a single game and time spent playing games and fellowshipping inside the church. At 5 pm the BBQ meat entries were ready to be sampled, along with numerous side dishes and desserts. All adults voted for their favorite BBQ meat by placing dollars in baskets in front of the entries. All were very tasty but Mike Martin's BBQ ribs were voted #1. A total of $543.82 was raised for those planning to attend the SUMMIT Conference in San Diego in December. Thanks to Chris Evertsen for planning and promoting this event and to all who participated or contributed!