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Defining Life with Our Words

I recently attended a memorial service, and it reminded me of

another one I experienced many years ago. My take away from

the two services was the power we have to define our own lives.

The first service was for the mother of two men who had grown

up in the church we attended. Both of these brothers were

leaders of a N. California, First Nation’s tribe. They made

powerful stands and are the only native tribe that has said no to

casinos and no to producing marijuana. Although they both

became strong leaders, they voiced such different views of their


Their mother was loved by everyone who knew her. But as the

boys grew up and left home, they chose very rough, gang lives.

Both of them eventually remembered the ways of their mother

and gave up their violence, but they came to their mother’s

memorial with very different perspectives. The first son

attributed his return only to God’s mercy and the prayers of his

mother. The second son cursed Jesus, blasted his mother’s blind

faith in God, blamed the foolishness of God for her death and

stormed out of the service.

The second memorial was for an East Indian woman I had

known for many years. Esther was a mighty woman of God

who had suddenly lost her only daughter, Susan, at the age of

13. Susan was the pride and joy of Esther’s life. I still

remember being in the hospital Emergency Room with Esther in

the wee hours of the morning when the doctor came to the lobby

and told her there was nothing he could do. Her daughter had


The first words from Esther’s mouth were, “The Lord gives and

the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job

1:21) Now, I had 4 little children at the time, and I knew those

could not be the words of a mother overcome with unexpected

grief, unless she had already established the truth of God’s

goodness deep within her soul.

Through these two experiences I was reminded how important is

the WAY we speak when we are in our valleys.

Prov 18:1 says,

“Life and death are in the power of our tongue.”

We can define difficult experiences by cursing them - or with words that

proclaim the goodness of God that is unchanging and available

to us in every circumstance.

I used to tell our children, If a dog goes to the bathroom in our

front yard, you can leave it there, and it will not only look ugly,

but it will also stink and draw flies. Or, you can shovel the foul-

smelling stuff into the soil and make it become fertilizer for your


Ask yourself now, Will I choose to curse the times and blame

God when life is full of sorrow and seems to be falling apart, or

will I choose to trust him? “And we know that in all things God

works for the good of those who love him, who have been called

according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28) If we don’t allow faith

to define our trials and valleys, our enemy will use our ill-

conceived words to put his label on them.

I believe our nation is crossing a threshold into great things

never seen before, but not without some huge battles. Like the

testimonies from each of the memorials, we will choose how we

interpret and how we speak of what is already behind us and

what is ahead of us. It’s important to decide now to see with

eyes of faith and to use our mouths to speak life and the

goodness of God over every circumstance.

As we stand in the doorway of a challenging season, God is

opening new horizons for us to seek him for the blueprints and

strategies to conquer these frontiers with great vision, greater

capacity, great courage and boldness with the mind of Christ.

If you are struggling to see God’s perspective for your life, this

might be your time to contact Signet Ministries. It is our

commitment to hear God’s words for you and speak them over

your life.

Carol Skandera

Signet Team Member

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