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Gotta love the mute button!  In these times of boom boxes and headphones, Ipod Touches, Nanos and  1000 inch plasma TV’s, isn’t it great just to press “MUTE” now and then to halt the noise which threatens to drown our lives and damage our ear drums?  If only for a few brief seconds, we are able to think and allow our minds to wander, even to wonder.  Today, we’re gonna get hip (is that still a word?) by allowing a text shorthand into our world of acronyms.  As you meander through the next few hours, allow your mind to focus on the “word” MUTE.  Even if you don’t remember its deeper meaning, at least you’ll have a lifeline for the day and a button to press when everyone and everything around you is screaming for your attention.

So, MUTE:  Manage Ur Tongue Everytime.  I know.  It’s a little corny.  I’d call it an “acronym at a push”, stretching the bandwidth of our acronomyic world.  I had to work hard on this one to extract an application from James 3:3-12.

So…Why is Managing Ur Tongue Everytime so important?  Quite simply, every time we open our mouths to speak, we either build up or put down; encourage or destroy; motivate or deflate; instruct with wisdom or lead astray with words of folly.  James tells us in 1:19 to be “slow to speak”, and  Scripture is chock full of guidelines on the use of words.  Consider Proverbs 10:8, “A chattering fool comes to ruin.”  Ouch!  Or Proverbs 12:22, “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.”  Proverbs 18:6 reveals that “A fool’s lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating” while Proverbs 15:1 provides a recipe for dealing with an argument, stating, “A gentle answer turns away wrath.”  Choice words are called a “rare jewel” in Proverbs 20:15, and a guarded tongue is said to keep oneself from calamity (Proverbs 21:22).

Time and time again we find God’s Word speaking to our hearts on the issue of MUTEManaging Ur Tongue Everytime.   If only Ananias and Sapphire had not had a lying tongue, or Peter a denying tongue.  And what of Jacob’s conniving tongue, Judas Iscariot’s betraying tongue and Thomas’s doubting tongue?  If only they could take their words back.  Alas, once they’d left their mouths, the words spoken in haste could not be retrieved.  The damage had been done and the repercussions were immense.

In much the same way, our words can never be taken back.  We should never buy in to the old saying that, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  Not true.  “The tongue has the power of life and death…”  (Proverbs 18:21).  Words can wound, destroy and yes…kill.

So today, let’s watch what we say everytime, as well as the way  we say it.  And “If in doubt, say nowt” (Yorkshire slang for “nothing”).  Shut up.  Be quiet.  Yes…Be a MUTE!


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“Lord, please make me FAT!”

I want to be FAT!  In fact, I want to be so FAT that people stare at me and say they want to be just as FAT, if not FATTER than I am.  I’d really be living life to the full if I was FAT…You could say I’d be FAT and happy!

Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of One who was FAT.  No, He didn’t struggle with his weight or His self image.  He was just FAT.  Pure and simple, at least from an acronymic standpoint!

Throughout Scripture, Jesus is given many names and titles:  Christ, Emmanuel, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace, The Branch, The Last Adam, The Lamb of God, The Resurrection and The Life, Lord of Lords, Bread of Life, Living Water, True Vine, Savior, Servant, Redeemer, King of Kings, Messiah.  On and on they go; each name emphasizing a specific divine aspect of His Person, Power and Position.

The book of Revelation ascribes to Jesus the names “Word of God” (19:13), “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (19:16), “Alpha and the Omega” (22:13), “First and the Last” (22:13), “Beginning and the End” (22:13), “the Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright Morning Star” (22:16).  And in chapter 19, verse 11, the writer, John, sees Jesus riding on a white horse as heaven opens before his very eyes.  There He is.  The One and Only God.  Creator and  Sustainer of life itself.  Maker of heaven and earth appearing in all His glory.  Magnificent.  All powerful, all conquering.  Triumphant, riding His horse of warfare.  And…FAT!  You read it right.  FAT.  Just before ushering in His thousand year reign on earth, Jesus appears…Faithful And True!  What a marvelous description of our Savior’s eternal nature.

Jesus is contrasted to the unfaithful deceivers of humankind; false teachers; false prophets; self proclaimed (delusional) messiahs and of course, the devil himself, the father of lies (John 8:44).  Jesus proves Himself Faithful in executing the long time program of God.  No more signs.  No more prophesies about His coming.  He is here!  He has come through on His promise.  Acts 1:11 tells us that, “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”  Scripture said it.  Jesus does it!

He is called “True” for in Him there is no lie (Hebrews 6:18).  Not only is Jesus “The Way and the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6), He is also the perfect standard of Truth itself:  That which is true for all times, for all people and for all places.  Bottom line: Jesus can be trusted.  His words are not tainted with propaganda.  He tells it as it is.  In John 18:38, Pontius Pilate asked Jesus the question on everyone’s heart and lips, both then and now, “What is truth?”  Ironically, Jesus had already provided THE answer by stressing that, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (John 18:37).  Today, the world desperately needs truth, not sentiment; honesty not self serving lies.  A vibrant relationship with God, not a sterile religion.  The world needs Jesus.  The only One who is perfectly Faithful And True!

So, if Jesus is FAT, shouldn’t we also strive to be FAT like our Lord?  After all, as Christians, we are to become more and more like Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  We are to be sanctified – made holy through our relationship with Him…

Faithful And True: Faithful in keeping our promises.  True to our word.  No contradictions or exaggerated claims.

Faithful And True: Faithful to the ones we love.  We show up.  We commit. We follow through.  We love unconditionally.  We forgive and we extend grace, not judgment.  We are true to ourselves and to others, even when the truth hurts.  We are held accountable and we urge others to hold us equally accountable.

Faithful And True: We prove ourselves, time and time again to be worthy of another’s confidence.  We are consistent, unwavering, steadfast in our faith.  We have a clear conscience before God and man, “so that those who speak maliciously against your (our) good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander” (1 Peter 3:16).

I am eager to become FAT, aren’t you?  I’ll be pleased if (from an acronymic perspective) if I am yelled at, ridiculed for, or persecuted because I am FAT.  Because by being FAT, I’ll acquire a good name, and  “A good name is more desirable than great riches” says Scripture, “to be esteemed is better than silver or gold” (Proverbs 22:1).

This week, let’s make a concerted effort to be FAT.  Let’s commit to being Faithful And True in all aspects of our life – in public, in private, yet always before the eyes of the Lord.  After all, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

So, let’s thank the Lord that FAT people are God’s people…That He wants (and expects) us to be sold out for Him, and to be FAT…all at the same time!


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Today’s ATLB (Acronym To Live By) has a double meaning.  On the one hand, IWIN spells a “word” (or 2 words) which are characteristic of a mindset brimming with pride and inflated ego.  I WIN.  You lose.  Everyone loves a winner.  Nice guys finish last.  Second place is the first loser.  All that stuff…and nonsense.  It represents a boastful attitude; “Look at me!  Look how impressive I am.”  Such arrogant and self promoting words are fit only for the immature; for those who know no better than to tell the world how great they are.

IWIN is also an acronym.  It stands for I Want It Now.  In these days of instant gratification, our “needs” (or rather our “wants”) must be satisfied right here, right now, without delay.  If patience is a virtue, then our hurried world is a vice.  Waiting is a cause of agitation.  A red light becomes a source of stress and road rage.  Food is consumed from the microwave with a fork in one hand and a cell phone in the other.  Gotta be available.  Gotta seal the deal.  No time to waste.  We’ve become experts at multi-tasking, and whatever IT is, We Want IT Now – Power, prestige, possessions, but rarely patience.

In the fourth chapter of the book of James, the question is posed, “What causes fights and quarrels among you?”  The answer is then given, “Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight” (James 4:1-2).  Thank you James!  You’ve hit the nail on the head (what else would we expect from Scripture?)

We want something.  We don’t get it.  We fight and fall out.  We envy and throw a pity party.  Even our prayers are self centered as we go to the Lord with the impure motive of satisfying our own pleasures.  In the process, we grieve the Holy Spirit living in us because the “ITS” have become more important than the “WHO” we profess to serve.

So today, let’s swim against the tide.  Instead of proclaiming “I WIN you lose” in the office, the classroom, at home or at play, let’s humbly, graciously, un-begrudgingly thank God for any successes that come our way.  Remember, we serve a jealous God (James 4:5) and any and all glory belongs to Him (Psalm 115:1).

Secondly, let’s put away the selfish attitude that runs contrary to the “others centered” charge of God’s Word.  Philippians 2:4, reminds us that, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  Be interested and active in the lives of a neighbor, a friend or loved one.  Maybe even someone the Lord lays on your heart you barely know but who is in need.

And thirdly, may we pray with the right heart and intent: That we’ll put our Lord on a pedestal and not ourselves; that He will receive the honor, glory and credit due Him.  Now that is worth doing.  It is something I want to do.  I want to feel His pleasure.  I want His approval and praise, and I Want It Now!