The rules in the youth center at Holy Cross were fairly simple; no cursing, stealing, bullying, fighting, play fighting or personal displays of affection. We had a code that we tried our best to teach and live by:
"Positive Words Only - Are Spoken, Negative Words Make People Feel Broken."
The young lady had uttered a few curse words after being taunted by some guys. She lost her cool and defended herself in the only manner she knew how, by throwing curse words at immature young boys. It was normal in our culture for people to use what we once considered foul language. As soon as the words left her mouth, the realization of her guilt and subsequent penalty brought about instant shame and remorse. Some things don't go together very well, like anger and cursing in young girls or a skunk in a rose bush. The story of Jesus standing by a woman about to be stoned came to my mind. He questioned the would be stoners until, one by one, they put their stones down and left.
“Is there anyone here who has never sinned?
The person without sin can throw the first stone at this woman.”
Then Jesus knelt down again and wrote on the ground.
Those who heard Jesus began to leave one by one.
The older men left first, and then the others."
John 8:7-9 International Children's Bible
Jesus did not condemn the woman and I couldn't throw this girl out of the youth center either.
I stopped her as she headed for the door and said, "Maybe there's a better way to handle this." We talked about what happed and how she reacted to being teased by the boys. I told her that sometimes women have to rise above the taunting's of men. I opened a Bible to the story of a Judge named Deborah who lead a nation when men wouldn't step up to lead. I asked her to take it home and read it. For the rest of the day at the youth center she helped younger children make positive signs with their crayons. I told her my new name for her was "Deborah." I still call her that today because I believe in her as a leader for God.
DAY 21 WORD
and the heart of
to love the Lord
and with all
thou mayest live.”
God's Love is conditional. Circumcision is the spiritual cutting away of anything that separates us from God. Recognition of our sin is only the beginning of receiving His Love. God's regenerating grace will remove and renew our hearts after the sin has been removed. It's like taking death out of a cemetery as all of the dead bodies are raised to life (keep this in a spiritual perspective.)
When conviction comes from the Holy Spirit, it's the beginning or our realization that something is wrong in our hearts. We don't feel right in our inner selves. Yes, there's a skink in the rose bush of our lives. God wants to circumcise us with His love so that we "mayest live." He has promises for us, and our children of showing us the greatest lives we can possibly live.
“We have become the unmistakable aroma of
the victory of the Anointed One to God--
a perfume of life to those being saved
and the odor of death to those who are perishing.
The unbelievers smell a deadly stench that leads to death,
but believers smell the life-giving aroma that leads to abundant life.
And who of us can rise to this challenge?
For unlike so many, we are not peddlers of God’s Word
who water down the message.
We are those sent from God with pure motives,
who speak in the sight of God from our union with Christ.”
2 Corinthians 2:15-17 The Passion Translation
DAY 21 PRAYER
You gave us a world that is corrupted and yet,
You have planted Your incorruptible Seed in us.
Prune away our selfishness.
Cut away anything that separates us from You.
Make us into a pleasing aroma of Life
That leads others to know Christ.
In Jesus Name.