Did You Know?

Two men and zero women have been

executed in the United States in 2019.

5 Killed in Aurora, Illinois
Five individuals were shot and killed at a manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois. Five police officers were injured and the gunman was eventually killed by the police. On the day of the shooting, the shooter was being fired from his position at the plant, where he had worked for the last 15 years. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for healing for the injured. Please pray for peace.
4 Killed in Kashmir
Four Indian soldiers have been killed in India-administered Kashmir, following a clash with militants. Recently, in the same region, over 40 others were killed in a suicide attack. Pakistani and Indian forces have been battling over the area. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for peace.
Flooded Gold Mine in Zimbabwe
Nine miners have been rescued alive from a flooded, illegal gold mine in Zimbabwe, while the bodies of 24 others have been recovered. Flooding occurring after a dam burst. While nine have been rescued, dozens of others remain missing and are feared dead. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for the missing miners and for their families.
9 Killed in Chittagong, Bangladesh
At least nine individuals have been killed, and over 50 others injured, after a fire in a slum in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The cause of the fires is suspected to be a short circuit. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for healing for the injured. Please pray for all those affected.
Force Withdraw Agreement in Yemen
Government and rebel forces have reached an agreement to withdraw forces around the port of Hudaydah. The withdraw is part of a ceasefire agreement reached last year. The conflict began in 2015, and has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths and injuries. Please pray for peace in the region. Please pray for the families of the deceased and for healing for the injured.
7 Killed in Haiti
At least seven individuals have been killed as a result of protests against the government in Haiti. Protesters are protesting the soaring inflation and accuse the government of corruption and misappropriation of funds. The protesters have also asked for the resignation of President Jovenel Moise. The President has rejected the idea. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Pleas pray for peace.
17 Killed in New Delhi, India
At least 17 individuals have been killed after a fire in a hotel in New Delhi, India. Thirty-five others were rescued from the fire and 19 were taken to the hospital for injured. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for healing for the injured.
Heat Wave in Australia
A record heat wave, following a record drought, in Australia have farmers, and others, worried. The drought and heat have caused animals to die and worries that crops will not be able to be planted. Across the globe, the United States is experiencing record cold temperatures. Please pray for all those affected by extreme temperatures. Please pray for their safety and health.

In today’s social media obsessed, 24/7, instant access society, judgements are formed immediately.  Decisions made rapidly.  Words, written and spoken, delivered without thought, sometimes anonymously.  There is always so much to be done, that there is no time to stop and think about what we are doing, what we are saying, what we are typing. 

 

Of course, this problem is not limited to today’s society.  Peter often had a problem of speaking and doing without thinking.  He jumped out of a boat to meet his Lord, only to start drowning when he actually thought about what he was doing! (Matthew 14:28-30)  When asked a question, Peter would often say the first thing he thought, without actually thinking about the question (Mark 9:2-6).  Peter swore he would never betray Jesus, yet did so three times just a few hours later, not realizing what he did until after it was over (Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75).   Are you noticing a pattern?

 

When we understand the power words hold, we must be careful how we use them.  That means going against the tide of the world and stopping to think about what are words are saying, how they are being used, and how they might be interpreted.

 

Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving];  (James 1:19, AMP)

 

Peter went on to become a great leader of the early church (Acts 2:36-41).  He learned from his early mistakes and started thinking before acting and speaking.  He learned to admit his mistakes.  His growth from fisherman, to disciple, to church leader, is one from which we can all learn and aspire.  His words were no longer impulsive and unthoughtful.  He developed his speaking skills, became an effective and efficient speaker, wielding words as the weapon they are, for the glory of the Lord!

 

Thinking before speaking is a learned trait that requires time, patience, and discipline, especially today!  Most people are connected to internet and social media at nearly all times.  A tweet can be fired off in seconds.  A story commented on the moment it is read.  A Facebook post shared immediately.  Do any of these actions demonstrate carefully chosen words?  Are these the actions of a careful, thoughtful listener?

 

We never have to stop and think about what we are saying, or double check the information we think is correct.  This ability to speak, or write, without thinking has lead to destroyed friendships, workplace squabbles, and has contributed to the increased violence seen throughout the world.

 

It may not be popular to be slow to speak, to stop and think about what you are saying.  Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?  There is more hope for a fool than for him.  (Proverbs 29:20, ESV)  But it does not matter what the world thinks.  As Christians we are not to concern ourselves with their thoughts.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  (Romans 12:2, ESV)   Our concern is to live a life pleasing to the Lord!  And learning to control our tongue, being slow to speak, is pleasing to Him!

 

Words have power!  Words have the power to create!  Words have the power to deceive and manipulate!  Words have power in silence! Words should be used carefully!

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Daily Reading 

Only through a relationship with Jesus Christ can anyone hope to separate themselves from the power of sin in this world. Through Him, all things are made new. For a complete listing of readings, please download our Bible Study.

 

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