By Jodi Whisenhunt –
James said it best, “But no human being can tame the tongue” (James 3:8). That silly little muscle can stir up more trouble—or in my case, embarrassment—than walking down a high school corridor in front of the entire football team with toilet paper stuck to your shoe. Yes, I speak from experience.
Not long ago, my sister came to visit. We got together at my brother’s house, ate some delish barbecue, swam and caught up on each other’s happenings. My sister said she was looking for some good glue to repair jewel embellishments on her shoe. I knew of a great one and launched into the whole tale of how my friend discovered it when she needed to embezzle her kids’ dance costumes. You saw that right. I said my friend embezzled dance costumes.
My brain didn’t catch the slip, so I kept right on talking, but my sister cocked her head, looked at me strangely and giggled. I was confused. I didn’t think I was telling a funny story.
“What?” I asked.
“How do you embezzle costumes?” she asked. And I felt like a dunce. It wasn’t the sun that reddened my cheeks.
“Well,” I said, “You do need sticky fingers to nab jewels!”
Oh, the tongue! “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech” (1 Peter 3:10). I don’t think my mixed up words conveyed evil, but they were a bit deceitful and certainly conjured up an interesting visual. I guess that’s why James advised us to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19). Always be careful not to bedazzle your speech!
On a side note, it has nothing to do with language, but to this day I still check my shoes before exiting the ladies room.
By Jodi Whisenhunt –
You know it’s too hot when…
1 ) You fry your morning eggs on the front walk.
2 ) Your neighbor brings over cookies she baked in her car.
3 ) Your swimming pool turns into a hot tub.
4 ) Your hot tub is bubbling and it’s not turned on.
5 ) Your aerosol sunscreen shoots flames.
6 ) Your dog sheds her coat bald when she steps outside.
7 ) You drop two pounds in perspiration just by walking out the door.
8 ) You get a second degree burn when you touch the handle of your car door.
9 ) The hummingbirds are fanning the squirrels.
10 ) The ice cream truck melts.
Temperatures have soared across the country this summer, breaking longstanding records in several states. I live in Texas, and you’d think I’d be used to the heat, but I am longing for the cooler days of fall. Until they arrive, however, I must keep in mind that the God of creation sets the earth’s thermostat.
Although I don’t recall Ecclesiastes mentioning a time for sweltering heat, the Lord reminds us in Job 38:22-35 just who does ordain the weather: “Have you entered the storehouses of snow or seen the storehouses of the hail…What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm…Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?” God basically slams Job with tell me, man, do you control all this? Job’s reply, of course, is, “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand” (Job 42:3). I’d be quaking in my boots too, Job!
God knows what He is doing, even with the heat, so I will be grateful that the seasons change, and I will thaw my chills in the summer sun. Before I know it, leaves will blaze with autumn color and snow will again fall. You know, it’s only four months till Christmas!
By Jodi Whisenhunt –
Three teen girls giggled late into the eve of youth camp. They talked of hairstyles and makeup, fashion trends and boys. Ah yes, boys! Carly already had a boyfriend and Cyndi was shy, so the question hanging in the air alighted upon Me.
“So who do you like?”
Without hesitation, “Richard Whisenhunt,” escaped my lips. We didn’t know each other well. In fact, he was more a friend of my brother’s than of mine, but an overwhelming peace sifted through my entire being that assured me he was It. I knew in that moment Richard would be my life mate, and the spark of passion ignited.
Twenty-seven years have passed since that night, and as you can guess from my last name, I married Richard Whisenhunt. When my husband is passionate about something, he becomes almost obsessive. Take for instance, cycling.
Inspired by Lance Armstrong’s seventh Tour de France victory, Richard began road bicycling. Let me tell you that’s a world of its own, and Richard dove right in. Through trial and error, he learned proper riding techniques, assembled top performance components, and learned necessary maintenance workings. He rode with experienced riders, studied online and print tips, and asked lots of questions. Oh yeah, and he rode (and still rides) an average of two hours a day, trekking thirty to forty miles or more each ride. Occasionally, he participates in pay or charity rides, and recently he took up racing. Riding is Richard’s passion. Through dedication to the sport, he has become confident and masterful.
For nearly nineteen years, without hesitation, I have been honored to say, “I am Richard Whisenhunt’s wife.” An overwhelming peace still permeates my soul in knowing he is It. I’m awed by my husband’s commitment and I’m inspired by his passion. But even his devotion does not compare to that of our Lord!
Did you know that you are God’s passion? It is His great desire that none should be lost; that all should be saved by His grace. He knows you inside and out. In fact, He knew you before you were born (Jeremiah 1:5)! He searches your heart. He studies you. He sees when you sit and when you rise. He perceives your thoughts. He knows your comings and goings. And He is there with you wherever you go. The depths cannot separate you; darkness cannot hide you (Psalm 139). He rejoices over you with gladness and singing (Zephaniah 3:17). As my friend Gina told me, He is crazy for you!
I am no longer a giggling teenager, but I do get giddy when I think of how God loves me. A few days ago, I awoke from a restless night with Matthew West’s “More” running through my head. What peace overcame me to know my Father loves me more than the sun and the stars that He taught how to shine, that I am His, and I shine for Him too. He loves me more yesterday and today and tomorrow. I am His passion! And so are you.
Next time you dive full-force into a project, assignment or hobby and you feel the drive and the desire ignite, be awed by the Lord’s commitment and inspired by His passion…for you. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1).
By Jodi Whisenhunt –
An old maxim states that laughter is good for the soul. Proverbs 17:22 agrees, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” So what do you do when life just isn’t funny, when your spirit is crushed and your bones dried up? Take to Facebook, of course, and let your friends deliver a dose of delight!
Here’s a joke from my friend Holly:
Two nuns were driving through Transylvania when a vampire jumped out and blocked their way. The second nun said to the first, “Show him your cross!” The first stuck her head out the window and shaking her fist said, “Get out of the road you toothy jerk!”
Get it? Very punny?
How about this one from John:
A duck walks into a hardware store and says to the clerk “Got any grapes?”
The clerk says patiently, “No, this is a hardware store. We don’t have any grapes. Try a grocery store.”
The duck leaves.
The next day the same duck walks into to the same hardware store and says to the clerk (who is, coincidentally, the same clerk), “Got any grapes?”
The clerk says, a little less patiently, “No! Like I told you yesterday, this is a hardware store; we don’t sell grapes here.”
The duck leaves.
The next day the duck walks into the store again and says to the clerk, “Got any grapes?”
By this time the clerk is thoroughly put off with the duck and says, “No! We don’t have any grapes! This is a hardware store! If you come in here and ask me again I’m going to nail your feet to the floor!”
The duck leaves.
The next day the duck walks into the hardware store and says to the clerk, “Got any nails?”
The clerk, relieved, says, “Finally! A sensible question! But no, I’m sorry. We’re all out of nails. I just sold the last package.”
And then the duck says, “Good. In that case…got any grapes?”
Oh, that’s funny! Are you laughing?
This was a clever caption that circulated recently:
If you fall, I’ll be there. ~Floor
Are your sides splitting yet, or do I need to head over to Twitter too?
Here’s one I just made up myself:
I’m fighting a battle with my bathroom scale. I must be winning, because I’m sure not losing!
In all seriousness, though, the burdens of our daily lives can carry great weight. Giggle off some stress and lighten that load a little. It’ll carry oxygen to your brain, release some endorphins, and may result in solving long-suffered struggles. Who knows? You may even find whirled peas.
By Jodi Whisenhunt –
Mine is a three-dog family. The neighbors to our west are a two-dog family; to our south, one-dog; southeast, another three-dog home. Our adjoining backyards are bound by six-foot tall, wood-slat privacy fences. However, none of these nine guardians believes those fences adequate security from the mangy mongrels on the other side, so they insist on barking and snarling and gnashing their teeth at each other, unseen adversaries that they are.
Many times I have pleaded with my poochies, “Seriously, dogs! You’ve been neighbors for years. Stop trying to eat each other through the fence!” To which the two little Germans respond with a smug dachshund look and the Aussie blue heeler’s hair stands higher on her shoulders. (If you haven’t spent much time around dachshunds, just imagine a teenager being reprimanded. OK, you now know the look I’m talking about!) With a farewell gnashing of teeth, my three usually cower to my bidding and saunter back inside.
Now, you would think after many years of residing in close proximity, that these animals—a species known for its scent recognition skills—would be quite familiar with each other. But no, each encounter is a new and fresh adrenaline rush, littering the air with loud shrills. And each time, I shake my head and think my dogs are like Pooh, “a bear of very little brain.” I love my dogs, but they cannot seem to love their neighbors. They continue to consider them enemies.
As humans, we are called to love both our neighbors and our enemies. Yet sometimes we do no better than these dogs.
Matthew 5:43 says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’” Many people stop right there and ignore verses 44-48. They find fault with their neighbor, whether the neighbor be a nearby resident or a regular acquaintance, and they camp out in resentment. They disregard the remainder of Christ’s advice, “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Do not smile and wave if inwardly you resent. Do not feign friendship, then slander when out of earshot. “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:18). Stop sneering through the knot holes. “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink” (Romans 12:20). And above all, love one another.