Friday, May 22, 2015

Week 6: Friday we are.  Our last post.  I truly hope that this study enriched your life and your journey with Christ.

I would like to close with a prayer the Karen Ehman has for us at the end of her study guide.

"Father, please bring to this sweet reader's memory what we have learned together during this study.  Help them to know what it means to be angry but not sin.  To not let the sun go down while they still harbor even a slight pinch in their heart toward anyone.  To be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to become angry.  May they make it their aim to give a soft answer, thereby helping to stop a family fight before it starts.  Enable them to be selfless and humble rather than selfish and haughty.  May they zip their lips when they know they are beginning to gossip.  Empower them to avoid godless chatter and instead speak only with a reverent purpose.  May their words not become a spark that sets off a wildfire of regret.  Help them to notice the one who least expects to be noticed, changing a life history with their encouraging words.  May they build up and not break down. And most importantly, will you tap them on the heart and remind them of the truth that You see everything, Father?  They so want to please you.  Will you help them do just that?  Assist them in keeping the lines of divine communication open.  May they continue to learn how and when to their mouth shut while they keep their heart wide open to You.  In Jesus' Name,  Amen"

We would be very grateful if you would click the link below and give us your feedback about the study!

Thanks Everyone,

Study Feedback

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Week 6: Thursday

Take the next few days to think about many areas in which you may be tempted to use your words in a wrong manner.  Or to speak when you should keep your lips zipped.  Or perhaps the opposite--to fail to speak up when you should.  Choosing just one or two areas, write out your goals in the form of an honest prayer to God about each area.  Be specific, mentioning situations, places, or people.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Week 6: Wednesday

Of all the stories, examples, Scripture passages, and conversations during the course of our study, which one has clung to your heart and mind?  Why?

Share with us below!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Week 6: Tuesday

Think back on your life before you started this study.  On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being never and 10 being always) what would you have given yourself when it comes to how often your words lined up with the teachings of Scripture?

Has that number changed at all?  Or do you have a desire to see that number change?  Explain...

Let's not let the progress we've made together over our time together just melt away.  Let's aspire to use our mouths with godly purpose.

To build....not to break

To bless.....not to badger

To encourage....not to embitter

To praise....not to pounce

You with me?
Keep it Shut p. 203

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Week 6: As Sweet as Honey: Wonderful Ways to Use Your Words

Wow!  Well,  We made it.  This is the last week of our online study together.  It is so hard to believe.  As we finish up our book this week,  I want you to give you this week's memory verse.
This week we will be reading Chapters 10 &11

On Monday; Watch the video, reflect with the notes on the blog and comment to a question in the comments box.

On Tuesday through Thursday- Respond to some daily questions

On Friday; We close with prayer and please let us know what you thought by responding to our survey.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Week 5: Friday

Let's close out our week with some readings for you to do on your own.

Read the following verses and note your thoughts about the light they shed on anger.  The list is long, but don't hurry through it.  Split these questions over two or three days if you need to in order to let the full weight of each verse sink into your heart and solidify in your mind.

  • Psalm 37:8
  • Proverbs 22:24
  • Proverbs 30:33
  • Ecclesiastes 7:9
  • 1 Corinthians 13: 4-6
  • Ephesians 4: 31-32
  • Colossians 3:8
  • Proverbs 29:22
  • Ecclesiastes 5:6 (The first sentence of the verse)
  • Matthew 5:22
  • Proverbs 15:18
  • Proverbs 17:14
  • Proverbs 17:19
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Week 5: Thursday

What is the most important lesson or fact about anger from this study that you want to allow to alter your thinking, your behavior, or your speech?  How would you say it in a sentence?  Share it below in the comment section.  Once you have your sentence, program your phone or computer to send it to you a week or two from now.  When it arrives, evaluate yourself to see if you have made any progress in this area.

Enjoy this midweek musical snack from LeCrae....(For our "younger" crowd)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Week 5: Wednesday

Have you ever been guilty of being a "gasoline queen" (or king for our male participants)--of drizzling or even dousing gasoline on an already heated conversation, making it even worse?  If you can recall such a time,  jot the details down below in the comment section.

In retrospect, and based on what you have learned in this week's study, how could you do things differently the next time a slightly heated conversation is beginning to combust and flare, threatening to set off a big blaze?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Week 5: Tuesday

Hopefully you have read or are in the process of reading chapter 9 of Keep It Shut.

As you are reading or reflecting  Think about this quote from the book.

Will you commit with me to answering annoying questions in a soft and gentle way?  To refuse to throw gasoline on a small spark that could ignite a fiery family feud or cause a ruckus with your coworkers?  Will you work to defuse the fight before it even begins?  Your family and friends might notice your effort and reward you by responding in kind.
Keep It Shut, p. 164

In chapter 9 of Keep It Shut, Karen recalls how her friend's daughter once scribbled in permanent marker all over the Ehmans' newly purchased children's plastic picnic table.  Though Karen held it together and didn't use an angry tone with the young doodler, it might not have been the same scenario of one of her own dear darlings had played Picasso with that picnic table!  Why do you think it is easier for us to control our tempers--and our tongues-- with those outside our immediate family?

What little pep talk can you give yourself about how this reality should not be?  Write your thoughts in the comment box below.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 5: Monday

When the actions of others threaten to make us angry, we need to learn to mind our own sin.

James 1:19-20 urges us to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry because our anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.  However our natural tendency is to be slow to listen, quick to speak, and faster than Usain Bolt to become angry!

Ephesians 4: 26-27 instructs us: "In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."  We can observe four principles from this passage:

  • First, we are going to get angry
  • We should not sin (Learn to attack the problem, not the person)
  • We need to deal with our anger, and PRONTO! (The longer we stew, the more likely we are to strike.)
  • Finally, beware of the Devil's sneaky wrestling moves.  He wants to get a foothold.

Proverbs 15:1 says, "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (ESV)  We need to learn to give a soft- even Snuggie like answer!

Giving a soft answer doesn't mean I don't give a truthful one.

Don't be a gasoline queen or king, throwing fuel on a small spark that could ignite a fiery feud.

Before interacting with others, sometimes--in a spiritual sense-- we need to utter the words Karen's son spoke when playing his video game:  "Hang on a second.  I gotta die."  We must learn to embrace and adopt the practice the apostle Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 15:31,  "I die daily."

Enjoy this week's video...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Week 5: Pause Before You Pounce: On Cultivating Soft Speech

Wow!  We are coming down the home stretch!  Let's begin week 5 with a quote from James....

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
James 1: 19-20

This week's agenda includes:

Reading Chapter 9 of Keep It Shut.

Monday: Watching the video segment and responding to a question in the comment box on the blog.

Tuesday through Thursday: Digging deeper into chapter 9 and responding to some questions and think points.  (I will be sure to include a musical snack on Thursday!)

Friday: Some "on your own" reading suggestions.

This week's Bible Verse

Friday, May 8, 2015

Week 4: Friday

Happy Friday everyone!

As you head into the weekend,  I want to give you some Scripture to read and think upon.

  • Proverbs 11:13

  • Proverbs 16:28

  • Proverbs 20:19

  • Proverbs 26:22

  • 2 Corinthians 12:20

  • Proverbs 26:20

Which of the preceding verses most challenged or convicted you?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Week 4: Thursday

By this point,  you should be working your way through chapters 7 &8 of Keep It Shut.

Ecclesiastes 5:2 urges us, "Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.  God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few."  How does this verse relate to the subject of people-pleasing?  Can letting your "words be few" help avoid the trap of flattery and people-pleasing? How so?

Post your comments below.

Enjoy this musical reminder about your words being few....

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Week 4: Wednesday

We are going to deviate off our book reading this week.

Instead we are going to read Psalm 31.  You can do this in your Bibles OR you can click the link below to get a printed copy.

As you read....

  • Circle any references to people who were either talking about David or plotting and scheming against him.
  • Draw a box around any verses that mention what David is thinking or feeling or what action he is taking or will take.
  • Place a star next to any verses that tell what God is doing or thinking during this incident in David's life.
  • Go back and put a :) (smiley face) next to your favorite verse or section of this Psalm.
Note-  You may also choose to use three different colored highlighters for the three different marks. (helpful when using and digital Bible)

After you have finished:  What has this little markup exercise taught you?  What principles can you draw from Psalm 31 when you are facing enemies or are the victim of gossip?

If you would like,  share these thoughts in the comment box below.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Week 4: Tuesday

So this week you should be reading along with chapters 7 & 8 of Keep It Shut.

In chapter 7 on pages 117-118, Karen outlines what she feels are examples of what gossip is and also what gossip is not.  Choose one statement from each list- both what a gossip is and what it is not- that most jumped out at you when you read it.  Write those two statements below in the comment box.  After each, explain why you selected it.  Can you think of any other examples that fit in either category?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 4: Monday

The video for week 4 is below.  As you watch consider the following:

"If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me." - Alice Roosevelt, President Teddy Roosevelt's daughter

"He who gossips with you will also gossip about you."- An old Irish proverb

"Gossiping isn't just a personality trait.  It is a sin."

In Scripture, the word sin was originally used by archers of arrows that "missed the mark".  Anything other than dead center bull's-eye is sin.  Romans 1:29-32 lists many sins, such as murder and envy but it also mentions gossiping with them.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me?  No!  Bruises fade and bones heal, but a scorched heart may take years to mend.

It has been said that gossip is saying something behind someone's back that you would never dare say to the person's face.  However, flattery is almost the opposite.  It is saying something to someone's face that you would probably never say behind his or her back.

So.....what do we do to stop gossiping?

  • Adopt the revers Nike slogan:  "Just DON'T do it!"
  • Know when to eat your words and admit your fault (see Proverbs 6:1-5)
  • Make a promise to yourself and to others
  • Remember, the closest exit may be somewhere behind you.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Week 4: Gossip, Flattery, and People-Pleasing: How to speak the truth in Love

Hello Everyone!  Welcome to Week 4.

We are half way through our book study and this week we will be reading chapters 7 & 8.

The Title of this week's study is Gossip, Flattery, and People Pleasing- How to speak the truth in Love.

No doubt that everyone in this study has either been the victim of gossip or has at least one time in their life gossiped about someone else.  Most likely both scenarios are true.

The word gossip appears at least a dozen times in both the Old and New Testaments.  The Old Testament Hebrew word is rakil, which refers to one who travels about speaking slander or telling tales.  The New Testament Greek word is psithurismos, which describes a whisperer who goes around revealing secrets in order to paint someone else in a bad light.  Throughout the Bible, a gossip is never spoken of highly.  Gossip is always treated as something that does damage and is to be avoided.
Keep It Shut, page 118

This week's schedule:

Monday:  Watch the video and respond to a  question via the blog comments.
Tuesday: Read chapter 7 and respond to a question.
Wednesday: Read Psalm 31 and complete a focus activity about it.
Thursday: Read chapter 8 and respond to a question.
Friday: Partake in some scripture study passages.

This week's Memory Verse: 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Week 3: Friday

Well....Here we are at another Friday!  As you go off to enjoy the weekend and to probably post on social media,  I want to give you some statements for self evaluation.

Read the statement below and then evaluate yourself based on the following scale.

"Never Ever"    "Once in a great while"    "Okay, I do this sometimes"    Yep, This describes me often."   "Yikes! I do that often."

I spend time each day on the Internet or social media sites.

I enjoy "liking" posts, leaving comments on blogs, or replying to what others have written online.

I enjoy posting and sharing my own thoughts online or on my social media accounts.

I say things privately online to someone that I probably would not say in person.

I type words publicly online that I probably would not say to someone's face.

I type a comment or thought online but then delete it before actually posting it because I am convicted it is wrong, or I am afraid it might look unkind.

I have had to delete Facebook comments, tweets, or other content I have put up online because I become convinced I shouldn't have said it in the first place.

I participate in online "fights" where people are commenting back and forth about an issue, opinion, or person.

*Not an online poster?  Think this doesn't apply to you?  Click here for an alternative self evaluation.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Week 3: Thursday

Moving right along to chapter 6.  If you haven't read it yet,  take some time to read it and then check back.

Reread the section of chapter 6 in Keep It Shut about the various properties of salt (pages 106-110).

We briefly covered these in the video outline from Monday and they are repeated below for your convenience.  As you read through them,  select your favorite finding and then post a few sentences about why it is meaningful to you.

  • Salt enhances flavor.
  • Salt preserves.
  • Salt is valuable.
  • Salt purifies and softens.
  • Salt melts hard ice.
  • Salt prevents infection in a wound.
  • Too much salt destroys the dish.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Week 3: Wednesday

Let's continue on with chapter 5.

In the video, Karen said, "Our human default setting is to have hard hearts and thin skins.  We need to flip that script and be tenderhearted and thick-skinned."

While we should be careful to examine our motives carefully- making sure we aren't trying to poke a hole in someone's happiness or make another person feel bad-  we shouldn't always jump to conclusions about the motives of others.

Can you think of an example from your life when you were thin-skinned (let an offense rattle you)  and it hardened your heart?

How might possessing thick skin in that situation instead have led to a tender heart?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Enjoy a midweek musical break below....

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Week 3: Tuesday

So hopefully you have read chapter 5 of Keep It Shut.  If you have not,  you may want to go back and read it before continuing.

In chapter 5,  Karen shared a story of her unkind words delivered with wrong motives to a woman who was at her home.  Did this story spark a memory of when you may have said something that was technically true, but you said it with a wrong motive--in order to make someone else feel bad or guilty?

Food for thought....

Read Proverbs 16:2 in as many Bible versions as you can find. (You may want to use an online source such as  Then in the comment box below, summarize this verse in a sentence that is applicable and memorable to you.

"If we want to become people who not only utter words that are true but also say them for the right reasons, what are we to do?  How do we train our brains and tame our tongues in order to make sure that our motives and manners line up with God's Word?  Whenever I need practical wisdom like this, one of the first places I look for answers is the book of Proverbs."

Keep It Shut, page 81

Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 3: Monday

As you watch the video below,  record or make a mental note of any thoughts or concepts that stand out to you in the outline that follows:

There is a new national pastime these days: online opinion-slinging!

"I used to wish I could read minds.  And then I got Facebook!"

Sometimes instead of being "friends" on social media, we have frenemies:  someone who appears on the surface to be our friend, but stealthily, they are really an enemy.

Colossians 4: 5-6 serves as a grid to run our words through before speaking them, especially online:

  • Is this comment wise?
  • Will writing this comment help me display God's love to outsiders?
  • Is this comment full of grace?
  • Is this comment seasoned with salt?
  • Have I asked God if this is the best response?
In Matthew 5:13 Jesus tells believers that we are "the salt of the earth."    What might this mean?  Here are some facts about salt:
  1. Salt enhances flavor
  2. Salt preserves.
  3. Salt is valuable.
  4. Salt purifies and softens.
  5. Salt melts hard ice.
When dealing with other people and wondering about their motives, believe the best before you assume the worst.

Our human default setting is to have hard hearts and thin skins.  We need to flip that script and be tenderhearted and thick skinned.

Enjoy the video and when you are done,  Share in the comments box about what part of the video had the most impact on you!
Having trouble viewing the video in your email?  Click here to visit the blog.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Week 3: Opinion-Slinging and Salty Speech: Assessing our Digital Tongues

Welcome Back Everyone!  Ready to start with Week 3?

This week we will be focusing on Chapters 5 & 6 of the Keep It Shut book.

Monday: We will watch a video and respond to some questions.
Tuesday: We will dive into chapter 5 of the book and engage in some discussion
Wednesday: We will continue on chapter 5 and further our learning responding to some questions
Thursday: Chapter 6 and some questions to go with it.
Friday: Time to do some self evaluation:  I will pose some statements and you will reflect upon them and evaluate yourself.

Memory verse for the week:

Friday, April 24, 2015

Week 2: Friday

Well...Let's wrap up another week with some Bible study on your own.

As you read through and study these verses,  take a moment to create a summarizing statement that applies specifically to your life.  For example:  Ephesians 4:26 declares, "In your anger do not sin."  It could be summarized specifically by a stressed-out mom to read "When my kids leave their toys out AGAIN--even though they've been told several times to put them away--it might make me angry, but I shouldn't let it make me sin by screaming at my kids."  Ready?

  • Proverbs 10:19
  • Proverbs 29:20
  • Proverbs 18:13
  • Proverbs 17:28
  • Proverbs 18:2
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Week 2: Thursday

In chapter 4 of Keep It Shut, Karen tells about her college experience of trying to spend an hour in prayer. (That one didn't end well, did it?)  Have you ever spent a long, concentrated time in prayer? Or do you find obstacles that pop up that keep you from focusing and praying to God while all alone?  In the space below, list what you think are your three greatest hindrances to spending time connecting with God through the practice of prayer.  Share them below in the comment box.

Now, for each of the hindrances, list a possible solution.  If you have trouble coming up with a solution yourself, contact a trusted friend committed to the practice of prayer to see if he or she can offer any solutions.

It has been said that if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.  That is an immensely accurate statement when it comes to the spiritual discipline of private prayer!

Enjoy this musical reminder....

having trouble viewing in your email?  click here to go to the blog.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Week 2: Wednesday

Has your mouth ever got you in trouble--yes, even made you sin--all because you talked too much?  In your conversation you started to ramble.  The more you spoke, the more your speech dug a deep hole, tripping you up and trapping you inside.  Soon you were in a mighty tangled mess.  It's certainly happened to me.
Keep It Shut, page 49

In chapter 3 of Keep It Shut, Karen tells the story of talking to her friend at the basketball game.  Because her "words were many", things got confusing and a conflict arose. 

Describe a situation in your life-- either in the distant past or sometime more recent--when talking too much got you or someone you know into a heap of trouble.  Now, jot down a couple of sentences that you can use as a go-to phrases when you know the conversation is heading south due to your excessive words. (Example:  "I'm sorry.  I'm talking too much.  I'm gonna just hush up now.")  Use the comment box below to share.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Week 2: Tuesday

Chapter we go.

On page 48 of the book Keep It Shut, Karen lists four verses from Proverbs as Old Testament tweets.  They are printed again here for your convenience.  Take a look at them and choose the one that you think you need to remember most in your life right now.

  • "When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise." (10:9)
  • "Do you see a man who speaks too soon?  There is more hope for a fool than for him." (29:20)
  • "The one who gives an answer before he listens-this is foolishness and disgrace for him." (18:13)
  • "Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues." (17:28)
Can you think of a specific reason or situation that prompted you to choose the verse that you did?  Post the reason in the comment box below.  What change would you like to make that could change that situation?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 2: Monday

Check out this week's video....

As you watch consider the following notes:

Some people are verbal "gap fillers".  When there is a break in the conversation, you can count on them to fill the slight gap of silence.

We sometimes suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out).  We just have to say something! If we suffer from FOMO and just have to keep talking to add our two cents' worth, saying, "But...but...but," we need to learn to "Shut the But"--Shut it down!

Talking to God before we talk to others will allow the Holy Spirit to empower us to live life in a godly manner, processing as we pray.  Then we are better able to break the habit of sinning with our mouths.

The Bible is full of examples of men and women who spoke filled with the Holy Spirit, some even when they were in a tight spot.  When the did, Scripture never records them then sinning in what they said.

Having trouble viewing the video in your email?  Click here to visit the blog.

Which of the 4 pieces of advice found in Proverbs- The Twitter of the Old Testament- did you most need to hear? (Don't speak too much.  Don't speak too soon.  Don't speak without first listening. Don't speak at all.)  Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Week 2: On Filling Gaps and Zipping Lips: Listen to Others, Talk to God

Welcome Back!  Here we go with Week 2!

Remember that an important part of this study is sharing what you have learned from reading the book and from completing the activities/discussions.  Don't worry if you weren't able to cover all the material.  You are still welcome and your input is valuable.

This week we will be focusing on Chapters 3 & 4 of the Keep It Shut book.

Monday: We will watch a video and respond to some questions.
Tuesday: We will dive into chapter 3 of the book and respond to some questions
Wednesday: We will continue on chapter 3 and further our learning with some discussion on the blog
Thursday: Chapter 4 and some questions to go with it.
Friday: Time to delve into some Scripture.  Verses to look up and reflect upon.

Memory verse for the week:

trouble viewing in email?  click here to go to the blog

Friday, April 17, 2015

Week 1: Friday

Whew....We Made It!  Friday!

What a great week.  I hope it was filled with learning and God's Grace.  Speaking of grace,  in chapter 2 of Keep It Shut (pp. 38-39), Karen explains the concept of grace and gracious speech as taught in the Bible.  Does the clever way her husband was taught to remember just was grace is (G.R.A.C.E.= God's Riches At Christ's Expense) help your understanding?  Or does it equip you to better explain it to someone else?  How?  Share in the comment box below.

As we close out our week one study, Look up the following Bible passages.  Contemplate how it speaks to the concept of having gracious speech.

  • Proverbs 145:8
  • Proverbs 15:26
  • Proverbs 16:21
  • Proverbs 16:24
  • Ecclesiastes 10:12
  • Colossians 4:6
Have a great weekend everyone!  Next week's overview will come out on Sunday!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Week 1: Thursday

Here we go!  Chapter 2.

In chapter 2 of Keep It Shut, we encounter an example of someone who used his words---and sometimes his silence---wisely and strategically; the Old Testament character, Joseph.  Glance back over this portion in the book (pp. 26-37) and then answer the following questions:

What stands out to you most about the way Joseph behaved when it comes to the words he uttered or even the times he remained silent?  Did you learn anything new that you hadn't discovered about him before?

Karen listed several cues we can take from Joseph's life.  Which most resonated with you?  Reflect on what is happening in your life currently that made that particular cue/statement speak to you.

  1. Beware of bragging--and the impact of your good news might have on others
  2. Say what honors God, not what other people want to hear
  3. Realize that lies are the minuscule snowflakes in a monumental snowball
  4. Give God credit where credit is due
  5. Watch your words in the workplace
  6. Just because you have a reason to retaliate does not mean you're justified in doing so
  7. Don't be God
  8. Do be nice
Now go back and consider which one of these statements you most want to work on this next week.  Share it with us below in the comment section.  Then for added effect, write the statement on a stick note and post it somewhere you will be sure to see it.  Or set a calendar reminder on your phone for a few days from now with the particular phrase that you chose.  When it pops up, do a quick self evaluation to see how you are doing with regards to that principle from the life of Joseph.

Tomorrow is Friday!


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Week 1: Wednesday

Here we are in the middle of week 1:  We are also going to wrap up Chapter 1.

A survey through the Bible reveals that God places great importance on the way we use our speech.  In fact, the words tongue, talk, speak, words, mouth, and silence are used over 3,500 times in the Bible.  The pages of Scripture are full of people just like you and me.  Some of them serve as a great example of how we should use our words to build up, encourage, and speak for truth.  How ever, there are others who seem to be the poster children for just how not to use our mouths.
Keep It Shut pp. 15-16

Now...Enjoy this midweek musical break by Toby Mac!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Week 1: Tuesday

Welcome Back,

So hopefully you have already started your reading assignment for the week.  Tonight let's consider chapter 1:

In this Chapter Karen writes this about James 3:6:

The passage in James also talks about how the tongue can corrupt our whole body.  I myself know very well from the times I have wished I could take back my words; often my whole body is affected.  My mind races with regret.  My heart pounds.  My stomach churns and becomes tied up in knots as I fret and stress over what now might happen.  My fingers fidget, and I can't seem to concentrate.  Sometimes my feet pace as I ponder what I possibly can do now to get myself out of the royal mess I now find myself in.  p.14

Have you ever felt this way?

Let's Chat.... (use the comment box below to discuss any or all of your responses to these questions)

  • How does the concept of our whole body being affected when we misuse our tongue tie into what James says in chapter 3, the last part of verse 2? 

  • The ESV and NIV versions of the Bible use the word perfect in James 3:2.  The HCSB translation uses the word mature.  The original Greek word used here is teleios. It is an adjective that means full-grown, complete, having reached maturity, especially as it relates to character.  Does knowing the background of this word shed any new light on what you think this verse means?
Have a great day!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 1: Monday

Alright Everyone!  Happy Monday and Let's get this party started!

Please watch the video for week one below.

As you watch , use the following notes as an outline to help you record your thoughts.

  • Words are powerful and they have consequences
  • What starts as a little spark can become a booming blaze, as in the Colorado Black Forest Fire of 2013.
  • James 3:2-12 Tells us this about the tongue:  It can corrupt our whole body, It cannot be tamed & It cannot pour out both what is bitter and what is sweet.
  • Luke 6:45 states that the mouth speaks what the heart is already full of.  We need to learn to "mind our spillage"
  • In our homes, often the problem isn't how we talk about our family members but rather how we talk to them.
  • Our tongues are fire.  From where will they be lit: above or below?  Are our words a sword or a salve?
  • Let's learn to pause before we pounce: to not say something permanently painful just because you are temporarily ticked off.
  • Perhaps we need a "force quit" feature for our mouths.

Having trouble viewing the video in your email?  Click here to visit the blog.
Thought provoking, huh?  Now consider...Is it time to flip your thinking?  Instead of just "unloading" the next time you might be angry or frustrated,  give yourself a little pep talk while you pause and ponder.  Use the comment box below to list some things that you might say to yourself to avoid saying something permanently painful just because you are temporarily ticked off.

Have a great Monday!


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Week 1: Trial & Error


I am learning new things about blogging everyday.  It seems that there is some confusion between when the blog post is scheduled to go out and when feedburner emails all of you subscribers.

Hopefully, I have fixed that for future posts but it seems that today's entry went out without an email.

Please click the link below to go to the blog and see an overview of this week's book study.

Keep It Shut Blog

Have a great Sunday,


Week 1 Sparks, Squabbles, Spats, and Such: Our Words Matter

Welcome Everyone!

I am so glad that you decided to join us.  Each Sunday, I will post your reading assignment, memory verse, and overview of the week's activities.  Then each night of the work week (M-F)  I will make a daily post pertaining to that week's topic.

You can choose to follow along each night,  or if you get behind, you can go back and complete several activities in one sitting.  It is entirely up to you.

Remember,  this study is about what you make it.

This week's reading assignment is chapters 1 & 2 of your Keep It Shut book.  If you have not ordered or downloaded your book,  you can do that by clicking on the amazon link in the sidebar.  (If you have an electronic device,  you can have your book in seconds)

This week's memory verse is  Proverbs 10: 12-13a

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.  Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning.

This week's overview

  • Monday: Watch the Session 1 Video  and comment with your response to the question on the blog post.
  • Tuesday: Read the blog post and comment with any or all of your responses to the Let's chat questions
  • Wednesday: Read the blog post wrapping up chapter one and then enjoy a musical message from Toby Mac about using your words to Speak Life!
  • Thursday: We will dive into chapter 2 and learn to take some cues from Joseph.  Read the blog post and comment with your responses to the Let's chat questions.
  • Friday: G.R.A.C.E.  & Sharing some Bible passages for you to read and reflect on over the weekend.
Looking forward to an exciting week!


Monday, April 6, 2015

Getting Excited?

Well folks,  I hope you are getting excited!  We are only 1 week away until we start up our online book study of Keep It Shut!

Hopefully you have purchased your book but if you have not,  you can purchase the book by clicking on one of the links below.

Paper copies or e-readers are fine.  Whatever is most convenient for you.  You do not need to purchase the study guide or supplemental materials.  Just the book will do!

Looking forward to chatting with all of you soon!



Christian Book Distributors Hard Copy only


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Check out this video trailer about our upcoming book study!
Hope you will join us!

Having trouble view the video on your email?  Visit the blog site at

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Welcome Everyone!

I am excited to try our very first Online Book Study.  I hope you are as well.  We will begin the week of April 13, 2015 and we will be reading and studying the book, Keep It Shut, by Karen Ehman.  Here is a blurb about the book:

From Bible times to modern times women have struggled with their words. What to say and how to say it. What not to say. When it is best to remain silent. And what to do when you’ve said something you wish you could now take back. In this book a woman whose mouth has gotten her into loads of trouble shares the hows (and how-not-tos) of dealing with the tongue.

As we prepare,  you can begin by subscribing to this blog. Enter your email address in the bar to the right of this post.  It will allow you to receive weekly blog posts right in your email!  Simple, right?  If you don't want to subscribe but still want to participate you can just visit the blog site each week at or you can visit the church website for the link:

Next,  use the amazon bar on the side or go to amazon and order your copy of Keep It Shut.  You can order a hard copy or download it to your kindle.  I believe it is available in ibooks as well, if that is your thing.

The study will last about 6 weeks.  Each week there will be certain chapters that we will read and there will be blog posts for you to read that will help you along with your reading.  Your reading and posting can be done at your convenience when you have time! You can comment back online to each post to help make this an interactive learning experience.  This is encouraged but not required.  We are also considering more interactive "meet ups" on twitter or facebook but that is in the works right now.

I really hope you will join us as we consider how God expects us to control our wayward little tongues!

Much Love,