Peacemaker or Hatemonger?

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” -Proverbs 15:1

I have been working on a Bible study  in the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament. This was one of the Proverbs we studied. I thought about this verse for a couple of days. How many times have you bitten someone’s head off with a response? How many times have we all barked words at someone and then regretted it promptly-as in, as soon as the words were out of our mouths? Answer softly, gracefully and we miss the wrath of someone, whether they be close to us or not.

Social media has many benefits, but the one down side to it is that because one is not standing in front of the other person, the one person feels powerful enough to say things they would never say in person. Social media affords some type of anonymity. No one is looking in our eyes saying something. No, they are behind their keyboard spewing hateful words, bringing the other person to anger. Harsh words, that are often found on Facebook stirs our anger, fueling the fire against those who would be our friends. Remember, on Facebook, you’re contacts are your friends! Friends ought not be spewing hatred and discontent. Yet, there have been those who have. And it angers most. How many times have you seen someone post, “There is such a thing as an opinion, but if you want to be uncivilized and call names, then I’m unfriending you.” (or something similar) Well, that’s because the words have not been gentle and they have generated anger.

I am going to make sure my words do not generate anger, that they do not generate hate. I want to be a good influence in the world, a gentle speaker, don’t you?

 

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Arctic Cold Front in Texas

The funniest oxymoron I can think of is the one about the Arctic front coming to Texas. The reasons are many, but mostly because we don’t often have a winter to speak of. We might have a single “snowstorm” in a winter and those are usually in February. But, already this year, we’ve had two Arctic fronts and one snowfall. That happened yesterday.

I was at work yesterday when the flurries began. Yes, at first, it was so light and there was nothing for me to worry about. But, little by little, those beautiful, one of a kind snowflakes began to get bigger and bigger and heavier and heavier. I began to panic. Unlike most Texans, I will readily admit that I have no clue how to drive in the ice and snow. Just none! So, I began to panic with each passing minute until I almost reached a sheer anxiety attack. How was I to get home? Should I stay or should I go? I texted my husband, who thought I’d be okay to drive home safely and I talked to my clients who are from Wisconsin. I’m sure they thought my panic was ridiculous as seasoned as they are in driving in the snow and ice. Still, I rambled on and was served some hot chocolate. Hot chocolate cures everything and as the snow slightly slowed down, so did my panic attack.

This is not the climate for an Arctic front! It’s hot here, even unseasonably warm sometimes in the winter. So, when the temperatures hang around 21 degrees Farenheit or less, people begin to panic. It’s not just me. I used to work in a grocery store and everytime cold or the mere mention of snow was uttered, people would go to the grocery store and clean out the shelves. It was if they wouldn’t have anything on hand for just a day or two. No! They bought enough food, water and supplies for two weeks! It was amusing.

Funny how certain things bring on panic. For me, it’s the thought of driving in the snow. I just don’t know how and I’m not about to start now! So, now that the temperatures are going back up, I fondly bid the Arctic front adieu and hope not to see you back soon!

As the sun rises over the horizon, I am still in bed, sleepily hitting the snooze button time after time, until there is no more time to waste. My husband dutifully feeds the animals – dogs, chickens, donkeys and horses. He lets the inside dogs out and lets them roam in the backyard for a bit. After all, they have been sleeping too and need to get up and stretch their legs and play. He lets them in, and they all clamor to get in the door at the same time. Suddenly, there is a rush of dogs in the house and they beg their dad for their treats.

Meanwhile, the inside dogs are put up so he can feed the outside dogs and get ready to take his beloved Twig, and her daughter, Red for their morning walk. I walk through the house and by this time, Stephen has leashed Twig and started their morning walk. In the front of our house is a field in which he walks the two dogs. In the spring and summer, it is waving with green grass, but this time of year, the grass is brown and dying. Still, the dogs love to run and play in it. As I walk through the house, I stop to look out of the bay window. There, frolicking, are the two dogs and my husband. He watches the mother-daughter team play and I can see him talking to him, his arm gesturing with his words. Twig, leashed for her own good, is able to go a pretty good distance with the leash on and Red runs off , sniffing here and there. She might stop and look around and then runs to her mother , as if Twig was going off  without her. She is very much a momma’s girl and lives to be with her mom. My husband is patiently waiting for the two to play and run and wear themselves out.

This has to be my favorite thing to watch. My husband  has such patience during the walk and I know he enjoys it every bit as much as they do. He looks at his charges with loving looks and handles them with gentle leadership. It reminds me of how God must watch over us, His children. Yes, there are times Stephen must gently discipline the girls, as God disciplines us. The dogs run from Stephen only to come running back. Just like we do.

It is my favorite time of day and my favorite  thing to watch. What is your favorite thing to see each day? There must be something you love as much as I love this. I’d love to hear from you.