A time to be silent, and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes 3:7
When words are many, sin is close by. Those who restrain their words are wise, or so Proverbs 10:19 says.
I haven’t had many words these days. There’s a time to be silent.
But words from a student of mine have recently come to my mind. As a school counselor I was asked the following question from a twelve year old boy of color, “Mrs. Yoder, how did you live to be an adult.”
That question has shaped my understanding of national events more than anything. It was an honest question based a child’s reality. I was speechless, but gave him words only the Holy Spirit could provide. I urge you to seek the Holy Spirit’s words for hard conversations around racism and other complicated topics.
I’ve had to be a student of what I don’t know. As U.S. History teacher teaching racism and the black narrative to a classroom that was 98% Caucasian, I had to be quiet and learn before I spoke. Books and media that informed by understanding include:
- The Slave Narratives gathered from the WPA project. You can read many online or purchase books.
- Black Boy and Native Son by Richard Wright
- To Be A Black Woman by Mel Watkins
- Our Town: A Heartland Lynching, A Haunted Town, and Hidden History of White America by Cynthia Carr
- Killers of the Dream by Lillian Smith
- Help Me Find My People by Heather Andrea Williams
- Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
- Twelve Years a Slave the movie
Celebrity Christians and The Bible
As a Christian author and speaker, I’m grieved at yet another Christian celebrity figure whose life is not guided by Scripture.
Friends, nothing replaces the Word of God for truth and guidance. For marriage, raising your kids, personal integrity.
The Bible is living and active, sharper than a doubled-edged sword, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12-13). Life, peace, guidance, and repentance are the fruit of reading God’s Word, abiding in His presence, and being obedient to God’s precepts.
As the world is full of words, disillusioned leaders, hopelessness and chaos, I implore us to go back to the Bible and God’s principles for guidance. I’m saddened at the drop of countenance when I say this when speaking or talking to someone one-on-one. We’ve fallen short in making the Bible relevant to our lives. We’ve failed in discipleship.
How can you engage more with Scripture?
- Read a Psalm or Proverb daily.
- Read a chapter of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.
- Pray Scripture.
- Read the book of James. It’s short and direct. You can’t read it without being changed if you ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you.
Do you want to be changed? I do. I desperately need it. I want to be conformed to the image of God through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Power of Community Engagement
My podcast co-host and I are passionate about being sound voices in a celebrity culture. In our recent episode, we talk about community and how engaging in our community is one way to live out faith and relationships in the COVID culture. Join us on On the Front Porch. If you haven’t listened to this series, you can do so here. Subscribe to it via iTunes or Stitcher so you don’t miss an episode.
Where I’m Going
I’ve accepted a new job as a part time school counselor for the coming school year in a multicultural public school. I can’t change big things like institutionalized racism. But I can serve Kindergarteners through fifth graders and their families from cultures different than my own. I’ve felt an urgency from God to be a problem solver in the culture, not just an observer, contemplator, or on the sidelines of social media.
God says, “It’s time to go!”
I believe we as Christ followers are called to be the light of Christ to our communities and families. If Jesus came today, have we been faithful to the call of bearing His image to our world?
Where can you make a difference?
- Local non-profit agencies that need volunteers. My husband has been serving weekly at our local food and clothes basket.
- Writing letters or delivering a treat to the elderly or forgotten in your neighborhood or church.
- Starting a small group. I mentor a group of moms in my local community. What group can you offer an hour or two of your time each week or month?
- An online Bible study in your sphere of influence. I serve with Stonecroft ministries who have an incredible library of Bible studies. Learn more about our mission and work!
- Prayer and faith. My faith journey through the desert has taught me how powerful prayer with faith is. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we can’t see (Hebrews 11:1). Friends, people need prayer. Our nation needs prayer. God is calling us to act and to pray.
The Fledge Parent Forum on Facebook has had incredible teaching this month from our co-leaders Melissa Fagan from Memphis and Meribeth Shierbeek from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- Melissa shared her powerful personal story of struggle as a teen and how it impacted her parenting.
- Meribeth talked about marriage through these hard COVID times. Meribeth is grounded in that biblical truth I referred to early in this post. It’s convicting!
- I’ve been talking about our collective emotions, hormones, and grief with the national events and how these things impact our homes and families.
Join us in the Forum if you haven’t for FREE weekly teaching, community, and personal prayer!
What about you?
- Where is God calling you to speak His truth? To your friends, family, in private conversations with people you love?
- Where is God calling you to engage in your community? Is He prompting a change in you?
- Where is God calling you to impact your family with truth, a listening ear, and honest dialogue about hard topics? Are you to listen? Or are you to speak?
I’d love to hear from you. What is God stirring in you as you are quiet, as you prayer, as you listen to others and Him. It’s important. Now, more than ever.