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    The Importance of Words Pastor Steve Ellison   The first 11 verses of James chapter 3 tell of the...
The Importance of Words
by STEVE ELLISON
Jun 25, 2016 | 102 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The Importance of Words

Pastor Steve Ellison

 

The first 11 verses of James chapter 3 tell of the power of the tongue.  Mostly they describe the wickedness and destructive power of our speech.  Sadly, these verses point out our inability to keep our tongues in check and the wretched consequences of our words.  These ideas were not original with James.  He was only reiterating what he had certainly heard from Jesus.  In Matthew 12, the Pharisees accused Jesus of doing miraculous things by the power of Satan.  The rebuking response from Jesus is stunning.  He points out that what the Pharisees are doing is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and declares that this is the unpardonable sin which will not be forgiven throughout all eternity.  Our words seem to be important, do they not?  Jesus went on to point out that our words are absolute indicators of the condition of our hearts.  If my words are good, then so is my heart.  If my words are evil, then so is my heart.

Lest we think that we only need to watch out for this terrible, terrible sin, Jesus, as He usually did, took the opportunity to up the requirements.   Other less evil speech must be avoided as well.  Jesus shocked his listeners and us by saying, “I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.  For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37, NASU)  If Jesus’ declaration does not give you occasion for sober reflection, I do not know what will.  Each one of us will give an account not just of the vile and evil things that we say but also every “idle word” we speak!  I am sobered by that.  I have spoken a great many “idle words” during my lifetime.

From the beginning of time, humans have had opportunity to speak idle words.  The modern technology explosion has greatly increased our opportunities to be judged for this sin.  Try these on for size.  Every email, every text message, every Snapchat post, every Facebook post, every blog post, every Instagram post, every tweet, every conversation, every comment attached to every article, blog, etc. will be examined.  We the authors will give an accounting for every single word in every one of them.  I am humbled.

We seem to have grown very calloused to the destructive power of our words.  It appears that we are much more willing to put things in writing on social media that we would never say. It seems to be much easier for us to write things on our phones, computers, tablets, etc. that we would not say face-to-face.  Our frankness often spills over into attack and sometimes vicious attack.   Without opportunity for face-to-face rebuttal, our claims and accusations are prone to be baseless.  We would do well to remember that our idle words sometimes drive people away from the Savior we claim to love and serve.  We ought to remember that our idle words often invalidate our testimony of the Savior.  We should remember that our idle words often keep people whom we have invited to church from ever responding that invitation.  Furthermore, unbelievers tend to apply the shortcomings of every Christian to every Christian, so your idle words very well convince unbelievers to reject invitations to all churches.  In any case, we will stand at the judgment seat of Christ one day. Jesus said that we will give an account for every idle word.  You may want to make that the screen saver on all of your devices.  ..……….pastorsteve8800@gmail.com

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PHILLIP WILLIAMS

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Gilmer City Council again discusses food service establishment ordinance
by PHILLIP WILLIAMS
Jun 25, 2016 | 160 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Gilmer City Council recently again discussed revising the city's food service establishment ordinance in order to regulate mobile food operations, such as moveable hamburger, Mexican food and sno-cone stands. The matter was on the June 14 agenda only for discussion, not a vote, but City Secretary Kathy Davidson Hoover later said it was expected to be on the agenda for possible approval at the June 28 council meeting. City Attorney Mike Martin, who drafted the proposed revised ordinance, told the council it provides that mobile food unit permits are valid for only 30 days, and that they would be "site specific." Mayor Tim Marshall added the revision would ban such businesses from locating on vacant lots. Martin said the proposed law is directed at temporary establishments which lack rest rooms, and that it would ban portable "potties." Under his proposal, he said, such businesses must be located in a commercial lot within 500 feet of a building which has both a certificate of occupancy and rest rooms. However, Hoover pointed out that under the proposed revision, "people that already have those permits are grandfathered"--exempt from the new regulations until their permits expire. At least some establishments' current permits are good for several more months. The council on May 10 banned issuing any more such permits for 60 days. Before the council discussed the issue at the June 14 meeting, Glenda Davis, who said she lives on East Harrison Street behind a mobile hamburger operation, complained to the council that she is on oxygen 24 hours daily and "the smoke (from the hamburger business) is killing me." At night, she said, it is "in my house and I can't breathe." Davis also complained that since the nearby moveable food businesses have been established, traffic on Harrison has worsened and her driveway is being blocked. She asked her neighborhood be considered, adding "Y'all think about us when you do that ordinance." Replied Marshall, "Yes, ma'am, we will." Later in the meeting, Martin said his proposed revision would address the situation Davis raised. At that point, Davis additionally complained that a generator was running 24 hours daily and that everyone in the neighborhood could hear it. Replied Martin, "This new ordinance would take care of that." City Manager Jeff Ellington quoted city Community Development Coordinator Fred Lawton as saying the generator operator had agreed to cut it off. Councilman William Hornsby--who complained at a previous council meeting that moveable food service establishments were an "eyesore"--said that while the proposed revised ordinance "has teeth," the council could do nothing about the smoke anytime soon. However, Martin said, "There's other things we can look at to alleviate the smoke problem." The city attorney told the council he wanted it to review the proposed ordinance, and Ellington asked the council do so for possible approval at its next meeting.
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The Rise of "Placism"
Jun 25, 2016 | 1695 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brexit is just one part of the rise of a broader movement - the rise of "Placism." Simply put, people are saying -- "This is our place, and that is your place. We want to live as we best think in our place as defined by our borders, and you may live as you please within yours. You are welcome to visit, but we will not permit you to stay. We have certain economic resources, and we want to use them for the happiness of our people. We do not want you to come here and compete with our people for those resources, nor do we want to dissipate them in attempts to improve your situation. If there are trades of our resources, goods and services for yours, we will agree to trade when that is mutually advantageous. We will decouple our markets and financial systems, so that a sneeze in your market does not cause ours to catch cold. We will order our society's laws, political organizations, customs, culture, religious observances, family structures, business practices, and so forth as we decide, and we will not reorder them according to yours nor according to supposed international norms. We will communicate with you and exchange information, but we will not permit the corrosive and incompatible emanations of your society to penetrate ours. We will maintain the integrity and security of our information systems and the privacy of our data independent of you. In short, within our well-defined borders, we wish to live our lives independently of you." http://www.discussionist.com/1015873806
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