Wednesday, August 29, 2007

P4E.037 - Sound Effects 2 - Defiled!

"Hear and understand. Not what enters into the mouth defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man....the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man." Jesus

I realize that I have skipped over the whole area of cursing when things go wrong. Knowing that I'm coming from a Believer's perspective and that I believe that most of you are Believers, I expect that we can rightly assume that my flesh is completely in control if I'm cursing when things go wrong. That's not where I want to be at all. I would hate to be like one of those pilots whose last recorded words are "_ _ _ _" before their plane crashes. So, I'm talking about another, higher level of personal accountability and credibility here....One that we should rightly be held to as Believers in Christ.

It may be urban legend, but I've heard that doctors and surgeons are trained not to say things like "oops," or "uh-ohhh," or any other utterances that might give their patients cause to become concerned. Instead, I've heard they are trained to say "therrrrrrrre," with confidence when things go wrong. I like this. I don't look at it as though the doctor is trying to cover anything up, but that they don't want to unduly concern their patients. I look at it as though they are confident that whatever mistake they've made can be remedied and there's no reason to fuss and fume over it and distress their patient's spirits. If a doctor can be trained thus, then so can I!

I have a close friend who once described going to the refrigerator, looking for mustard. Instead of finding the old stand-by mustard, he found a different brand. His response was "awwwwwwwwww." Unbeknownst to him, his wife was in the kitchen. She asked him "what?" So he told her that it was just that there wasn't his old favorite mustard in the 'fridge. This opened up a whole area of conversation where my friend learned that these verbal outbursts were a "drain" on his wife's spirit. Her spirit would sink when these utterances would escape his mouth because it caused her to worry "what now?"

I know that I do exactly this same thing to Gwen. I'm not supposed to be a drain on her spirit, but rather I'm supposed to be strength. This has really been a revelation to me. My attitude, personality, words, actions, thoughts, even the sounds that I make have a real physical effect on those around me, especially my wife and children. I can be a drain or I can be a source of strength. I choose. With some self-discipline, I choose wisely. How about you?

Peace, Kim

Monday, August 20, 2007

P4E.036 Sound Effects - The Voice of the Flesh

Last time I wrote about how many wives see their husbands as "wimps." This is nothing new. Gwen and I recently watched an old episode of I Love Lucy (1952) where Ricky gets a sore throat and acts as if he's going to die. Lucy and Ethel discuss how men are such babies when it comes to getting sick. And Ethel brings up what a double standard men have in that Fred has told her to get up and make him lunch the second day after she broke her ankle, telling her that walking on it would help it to heal. These things are funny because they ring so true in real life.

Gwen has helped me to see an area where I am "wimpy." I'm still working on it. I make sounds when I get exasperated or frustrated or upset or agitated or edgy. Gwen refers to the sounds as the "flesh leaking through." It goes like this:

I'm pouring something to drink and I spill some..."exploding exhale" (this is accomplished by constricting the throat at the base and letting it go quickly while breathily exhaling)

I can't get the printer to print..."tsk" (placing the tongue against the back of the top teeth, gritting teeth and sucking the tongue away sharply)

Something I'm looking for is not where I think it should be and I have to go looking for it..."grrrrrr" (constricting the base of the throat and exhaling while keeping the throat partially constricted...makes a growling dog sound)

These sound effects have a similar effect on Gwen and my son, Ben, as my previous rantings and ravings (which have reduced greatly, but still occur occasionally). That is, the sounds make them uncomfortable and on the defensive. They don't know if I'm directing the sounds towards them or not. It's never comfortable to be around someone who is fuming. I know that myself and yet I still fume......So, Gwen has a rule: "NO SOUND EFFECTS." I break it when I'm in the flesh.

I guess these sound effects of mine expose the fact that at the moment I have no self-control (a fruit of the spirit). That I'm giving in to circumstances and letting them get to me ( a sign of weakness or "wimpiness"). Usually, it's also a sign that I'm not in a good place to begin with. I'm not at peace (another fruit of the spirit) because I'm letting circumstances and the feelings they generate build up; I haven't discussed them with a friend or with my help (Gwen) or with God. Again, I'm reminded of the Scripture that says "...the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart."

There's more to come on this...Do you struggle in the same way?

Peace, Kim

Monday, August 13, 2007

P4E.035 Tough

Here's the lyrics to a song sung by Craig Morgan currently #20 on the Country charts:

Monty Criswell/Joe Leathers

She's in the kitchen at the crack of dawn
Bacon's on, coffee's strong
Kids running wild, taking off their clothes
If she's a nervous wreck, well it never shows
Takes one to football and one to dance
Hits the Y for aerobics class
Drops by the bank, stops at the store
Has on a smile when I walk through the door
The last to go to bed, she'll be the first one up
And I thought I was tough

She's strong, pushes on, can't slow her down
She can take anything life dishes out
There was a time
Back before she was mine
When I thought I was tough

We sat there five years ago
The doctors let us know, the test showed
She'd have to fight to live, I broke down and cried
She held me and said it's gonna be alright
She wore that wig to church
Pink ribbon pinned there on her shirt
No room for fear, full of faith
Hands held high singing Amazing Grace
Never once complained, refusing to give up
And I thought I was tough

She's strong, pushes on, can't slow her down
She can take anything life dishes out
There was a time
Back before she was mine
When I thought I was tough

She's a gentle word, the sweetest kiss
A velvet touch against my skin
I've seen her cry, I've seen her break
But in my eyes, she'll always be strong

There was a time
Back before she was mine
When I thought I was tough

I wonder how many of us husbands can relate? I know I can. Because Gwen and I minister to married couples in crisis, I can't tell you how many times I've heard the wife express that she sees her husband as a "wimp." Gwen has said the same thing about me and I acknowledge that I have been. "Wimpiness" takes the form of whining, complaining, shirking responsibilities, weakness, giving up, not facing up to difficult relational tasks. In short, all the excuses for not exercising leadership. We recently heard about an exhibition of horsemanship where three people were in the ring doing an intricately choreographed routine with their horses. Not unusual except that one rider had no legs, one had no arms and one was blind....What was my excuse again?

Our role-model as husbands to our wives is Jesus to His people when He said,

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Can I be that for my wife? That's my goal... Peace, Kim