CELEBRITY BABY NAMES

BabiesShe will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

 

Celebrity couples seem to think they must choose the strangest and most unique baby names, as if the monikers they give their children will help them follow their parents’ path to fame more quickly. Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale named their second child Zuma Nesta Rock. The parents are mum on where the name came from. Bronx Mowgli is Pete Wenz and Ashlee Simpson’s son’s name. The middle name is the main character in Disney’s movie Jungle Book. Elon Musk and Canadian singer Grimes take the strange prize with their new son’s name, X Æ A-12. Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, tweeted an explanation of the child’s name. The X is a math reference to the “unknown variable” in every formula. Æ is Grimes creative spelling of AI, which can refer to the couple’s love for each other (?) or “artificial intelligence” (take your choice, I suppose). And A-12 is a reference to the couple’s favorite aircraft, the Lockheed A-12 Archangel 1960’s spy plane. “No weapons, no defenses, just speed,” she wrote. “Great in battle but non-violent.” But their home state of California has a law requiring names use only the letters in the English alphabet. So the child might never be able to get a Social Security card or a driver’s license or find a personalized backpack. So much for fame and fortune.

 

I greatly prefer the divinely inspired names we find in the Bible. The most important one is Jesus, which means “Savior.” God’s angel told both Mary and Joseph (Jesus’ stepfather) to give the Child this name. “Christ” is a title more than a name, from the Greek word “Christos,” meaning “the anointed one,” also called the Messiah. Jesus is referred to as “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6); “the Almighty One” (Revelation 1:8); “the Alpha and Omega, the First and Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13).  My favorite references is Hebrews 12:2, where Christ is described as “the Author (or Pioneer) and Perfecter” of our faith. There are many more names for Jesus, and all of them fit Him perfectly.

 

Holy Father, remind us of the meanings of Jesus’ many names as we praise You! Amen

 

Alone on a Colorado mountain, Meg Corrigan faced the unthinkable, a situation that almost ended her life. Hear the details of her astounding rescue from the hands of a gun-wielding attacker and how she walked off that mountain. Hers is a story of tragedy turned holy, a journey of sorrow and healing, a powerful message of hope in the darkest hour. In her memoir, Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child, Meg credits her resilience to the grace of God. She is also the author of Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist, tales based on her years as a drummer in a Hawaiian show band; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. The sequel, Saints With Slingshots TWO, will be released by the end of 2020. Meg is a retired college counselor, author, speaker, trainer and sexual assault survivor. She speaks to churches, civic groups, college students, mental health professionals and law enforcement personnel, as well as youth in juvenile facilities. Corrigan lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota with her husband, Patrick and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. She loves to coax seemingly dead plants out of the soil in her yard. The couple have four daughters, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Contact her at MegCorrigan@comcast.net or www.MegCorrigan.com .

 

A HARD JOB

 

Basque SheepherderThe Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23:1

 

The Elko, Nevada area is home to Basque immigrants from Spain who came here in the 19th century to work as sheep herders. When I played drums in a Hawaiian band, we spent time in Elko. Many of these herdsmen would come in to hear our band play. We learned from a Basque named Mercedes Hoyos that their life herding sheep was not easy. From my book, Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist:

 

“You don’t have to know anything about sheepherding to recognize one of the northern Basques who (had) spent about three months out on the range, all alone with his sheep, until somebody finally came and relieved him of his duties so he could go into town for a few days. He would usually stay at a Basque boarding house…where he would have a long bath while his clothes were being laundered. Then, he’d be ready for a home-cooked meal of marmitako (Basque tuna stew) and Chacoli wine, maybe a Catholic mass or two, and certainly a quick confession with one of the local priests, to relieve himself of the burden of his sins…He’d had a bath and put on clean clothes, (but) there was still a strange odor about this man. He wore a long-sleeved red wool shirt, even though it was warm outside. His brown pants, also wool, were tucked into work boots and held up by suspenders. A San Francisco Giants baseball cap graced his full head of grayish brown hair.

 

“’Those mountains are called mata hombres. “Man killers is what they are! I was pretty much ready for a visit to town,’ Mercedes said….(‘I tend) ‘bout nine hundred sheep, mostly ewes. A few rams…and the ewes have dropped their lambs, since it’s summertime ….I have to stay right by the sheep, especially at night. There are lots of coyotes….I really care about each one of ‘em. If I find a dead lamb, well, I just start to cry.’”

 

Images of a fluffy lamb in the arms of Jesus disappeared as I listened to Mercedes Hoyos describe his hard life. The image we carry of our Lord as our shepherd must include the hard work, deep caring and responsibility a sheep tender brings to the job.

 

Lord, we are Your lambs and You care for us as a Good Shepherd. Amen

STRONG WILL, STRONG WON’T

Walking God's PathYour will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10

 

“We often think of God’s will as a thin, barely visible line drawn with chalk that blurs in bad weather,” writes Alicia Britt Chole, Christian speaker and author of many works including Pure Joy. This quote speaks to my heart, because I often feel I am playing a game of Hide and Seek when I try to imagine God’s will for my life or even my moments. Such an illusive thing, to be following the will of a God I can’t see with my very naked eye, One Who does not converse with me audibly on a daily basis, and all of this with my humanness and my ego blocking the way much of the time anyway. I read the Bible every day and pray with some regularity, but still I feel I don’t have a grasp on that mysterious thing called “God’s will.”

 

I know that God’s will is strong, but many times my won’t seems to be stronger! Frequently, I come back to my theory that the only way to stay really close to God and follow Him all the time is to move to a cloistered monastery where the only thing to do is worship God. But even that’s ridiculous because people who live in monasteries have to do stuff every day too. They have to cook and wash dishes and do laundry and fix the place up and take care of the animals if they have them. Even in a silent monastery, there has to be some kind of communication. Otherwise, how would they call the paramedics if one of them gets hurt? (But I digress….)

 

So when the apostle Paul says, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), he is really talking about learning to multitask: develop that “attitude of prayer” so well that you can do it while you are answering the phone or walking to the bus or getting gum out of your child’s hair. If we can “do” God all the time, while we “do” life, His “will” becomes ever more apparent to us.

 

Lord, I want to do Your will, but I am weak. Help me with my “won’ts.” Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan finds ideas for her devotional blogs in everyday places and events, from comic strips to magazines and books, comments on the fly from people she meets, ancient memories of her childhood, and nigglings from God. To date, she has written nearly 700 different devotions, filling one book of daily readings, Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, published in 2015. Meg is working on a second book (Saints TWO) which she had hoped would be completed by now. She posts once a week, which means in seven years, she will have enough entries to fill a second book. Sometimes life gets in the way of writing, so Meg is pacing herself, enjoying spending time with her husband, their four daughters and spouses, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, as well as their rescue dog, Bassett/Beagle mix Ginger. Meg is involved in volunteer work at her church, Christ Lutheran in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, and also with sexual violence/sex trafficking prevention and education. She speaks to groups whenever she if offered the opportunity. She is a voracious reader of other people’s writing, which gives her lots of ideas for more devotional blogs. Read more about her at www.MegCorrigan.com or contact her at MegCorrigan@comcast.net .

AN ASTONISHING THING

Jesus Healing the Bling Man“Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where He comes from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but He does listen to One Who worships Him and obeys His will.” John 9:30

 

It’s as if this blind man cannot contain his joy at having his sight restored. Some are saying this cannot be the same man who was so recently blind, begging for alms at the temple doors. “Hey, it’s really me!” he proclaims (v. 11). Later, the religious leaders question him too and he repeats his story. But it is the Sabbath, the leaders cried, so this Jesus must be of Satan because no one who believes in God and heals on the Sabbath (vs. 14-15). And they even bring in the man’s parents, but the story still doesn’t change. “Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind,” he proclaims. “If this (Jesus) were not from God, he could do nothing” (v. 32).

 

I imagine John Newton reading this passage when he penned his beloved hymn, “Amazing Grace.” Newton was an 18th century British slave trader who had a soul reckoning during a violent storm off the coast of Ireland. When the ship miraculously landed safely, Newton took that as a sign from God. His conversion came slowly following such a dramatic event. He eventually renounced his occupation and wrote the pamphlet Thoughts Upon the Slave Trade. “It will always be a subject of humiliating reflection to me,” Newton said, “that I was once an active instrument in a business at which my heart now shudders.” His efforts eventually led to the British Parliament outlawing slavery in 1811. Newton wrote many hymns, the most famous one, now known as “Amazing Grace,” in 1779.

 

When John Newton, a cruel and heartless slave trader, thought his end was near, “an astonishing thing” happened. In the words that echo those of the man born blind in Jesus’ time, Newton wrote, “I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” Newton, the same man who took freedom from so many African men, women and children, was moved by God to help end the slave trade in England.

 

Jesus, You can make “an astonishing thing” happen in the lives of those who believe in You! Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger, to the delight of all who read her work and hear her speak. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work.  She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com    MegCorrigan@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where He comes from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but He does listen to One Who worships Him and obeys His will.” John 9:30

 

It’s as if this blind man cannot contain his joy at having his sight restored. Some are saying this cannot be the same man who was so recently blind, begging for alms at the temple doors. “Hey, it’s really me!” he proclaims (v. 11). Later, the religious leaders question him too and he repeats his story. But it is the Sabbath, the leaders cried, so this Jesus must be of Satan because no one who believes in God and heals on the Sabbath (vs. 14-15). And they even bring in the man’s parents, but the story still doesn’t change. “Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind,” he proclaims. “If this (Jesus) were not from God, he could do nothing” (v. 32).

 

I imagine John Newton reading this passage when he penned his beloved hymn, “Amazing Grace.” Newton was an 18th century British slave trader who had a soul reckoning during a violent storm off the coast of Ireland. When the ship miraculously landed safely, Newton took that as a sign from God. His conversion came slowly following such a dramatic event. He eventually renounced his occupation and wrote the pamphlet Thoughts Upon the Slave Trade. “It will always be a subject of humiliating reflection to me,” Newton said, “that I was once an active instrument in a business at which my heart now shudders.” His efforts eventually led to the British Parliament outlawing slavery in 1811. Newton wrote many hymns, the most famous one, now known as “Amazing Grace,” in 1779.

 

When John Newton, a cruel and heartless slave trader, thought his end was near, “an astonishing thing” happened. In the words that echo those of the man born blind in Jesus’ time, Newton wrote, “I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” Newton, the same man who took freedom from so many African men, women and children, was moved by God to help end the slave trade in England.

 

Jesus, You can make “an astonishing thing” happen in the lives of those who believe in You! Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where He comes from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but He does listen to One Who worships Him and obeys His will.” John 9:30

 

It’s as if this blind man cannot contain his joy at having his sight restored. Some are saying this cannot be the same man who was so recently blind, begging for alms at the temple doors. “Hey, it’s really me!” he proclaims (v. 11). Later, the religious leaders question him too and he repeats his story. But it is the Sabbath, the leaders cried, so this Jesus must be of Satan because no one who believes in God and heals on the Sabbath (vs. 14-15). And they even bring in the man’s parents, but the story still doesn’t change. “Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind,” he proclaims. “If this (Jesus) were not from God, he could do nothing” (v. 32).

 

I imagine John Newton reading this passage when he penned his beloved hymn, “Amazing Grace.” Newton was an 18th century British slave trader who had a soul reckoning during a violent storm off the coast of Ireland. When the ship miraculously landed safely, Newton took that as a sign from God. His conversion came slowly following such a dramatic event. He eventually renounced his occupation and wrote the pamphlet Thoughts Upon the Slave Trade. “It will always be a subject of humiliating reflection to me,” Newton said, “that I was once an active instrument in a business at which my heart now shudders.” His efforts eventually led to the British Parliament outlawing slavery in 1811. Newton wrote many hymns, the most famous one, now known as “Amazing Grace,” in 1779.

 

When John Newton, a cruel and heartless slave trader, thought his end was near, “an astonishing thing” happened. In the words that echo those of the man born blind in Jesus’ time, Newton wrote, “I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” Newton, the same man who took freedom from so many African men, women and children, was moved by God to help end the slave trade in England.

 

Jesus, You can make “an astonishing thing” happen in the lives of those who believe in You! Amen

 

 

MY PERSONAL SOUNDTRACK

Music Notes ColorfulBe filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts. Ephesians 5:18-19

 

I am not one of those people who hears clear messages from God. He doesn’t whisper in my ear very often. But He does speak to me, daily, bringing to my mind the lyrics of Christian—and sometimes secular—songs. Most people get tunes stuck in their heads sometimes—they are called “ear worms,” and there are even scientific studies about why we can’t shake them from our brains. But the lyrics that I hear seem to match the mood I’m in, or the circumstances I’m experiencing at any given time, and I just don’t believe they pop into my head randomly. I’ve been playing drums and singing in various bands since I was a young adult, first professionally and now as a volunteer on our church’s contemporary worship team. I’ve played a lot of different kinds of music and memorized many lyrics, and snippets of those lyrics weave in and out of my conscious awareness and visit me when I’m asleep.

 

Take the tune that’s whirling in my head today: “We Are Refugees” by John Bryant (written for Up With People, an educational organization whose mission is to inspire young people to make a difference in their world). The song’s lyrics speak of those who are forced from their native land because of war, famine, or strife. When I see the news these days about migrants at our southern border, the lyrics of this song pop into my head and move me deeply, bringing me to my knees in prayer. Last winter when I received a diagnosis of melanoma and was facing surgery (which thankfully revealed the cancer had not spread beyond the offending mole), I prayed that God would give me peace and the ability to sleep until the results were in. I sang my favorite hymns at night when I could not think of words to pray: “Blessed Assurance,” “It Is Well With My Soul,” among others. And when I am full of joy, Bret Hesla’s contemporary “Justice Like A Base of Stone” provides me with a true shot of spiritual adrenaline with its message of fairness and equality for all.

 

Lord, You bless me in countless ways, and I especially like my personal soundtrack! Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors.  Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

WHAT BACK DOOR?

what back doorI pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-18

 

Recently, I was asked to participate in a group about groups. A number of folks apparently stood out as potential leaders for small groups at our church, and the pastor invited us to spend six Wednesday evenings together discussing what small group leadership looked like to us. During one of the initial meetings, the topic of shrinking attendance at all mainstream Christian churches in the United States came up. Someone said, “We need to close the back door so people won’t leave.” I wasn’t sure if that was meant as a joke or not. Perhaps I’m not the person to ask about closing the back door.

 

You see, I’m a “new” Christian. I only accepted Christ as my personal Savior forty-four years ago, when I was twenty-eight, so I don’t consider myself a “life-long” Christian. I didn’t grow up in the church. I never had parents or grandparents or pastors or Sunday school teachers who tried to “raise me right.” I didn’t go through confirmation until I was almost twenty-nine, long after my teenaged-self thought I knew more about life than church could teach me, for heaven’s sake! You see, I’m still excited about church, and I have no intention of leaving, by the back door or the front door or the window. I’m here for the long haul. They are stuck with me, warts and all.

 

So I can’t get into a discussion of “closing the back door” to retain current members or ensure new members stay. All we have to do is get them so excited about Christ that they won’t leave. Ever. If there is anything I will have to say about it, I plan to share my faith in a way that gets other people excited too. God doesn’t want us perfect. He just wants us excited to know Him.

 

Lord, I pray that each member of our church…“may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work. She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com   MegCorrigan@comcast.net

MULTITASKING

Professor and Baby (2)Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

 

Professor Bruce Johnson was surprised the photo went viral. As a math teacher at Arkansas State University, holding a baby while lecturing to his class was no big deal. He and other profs at the college often encourage their students to bring their children to class when childcare arrangements fail. “A student brought her two-year old son and we played for some time,” Johnson reported enthusiastically.

 

My husband and I experienced a similar situation at an orthopedic symposium in Hawaii several years ago. We were invited to a dinner put on by what I call a “body parts” company (medical implants manufacturer) and a surgeon was giving a presentation. When the infant son of a couple attending began to fuss, the doctor kept lecturing while he went over to the parents and collected the child, and cuddled him while continuing to lecture. I think it is refreshing when a potentially serious, no-nonsense situation can become a delightful experience for all involved because someone decides to multitask so another person can relax. Both the students at Arkansas State University and the young couple at the orthopedic symposium absorbed more information, and some child-loving lecturers got their “baby fix.” What’s not to like?

 

God is the ultimate Super Multitasker. He can hold each one of us in His loving arms and make us feel that we are the most important person in the history of the whole human race. He is so close, if we listen carefully, we can hear Him breathing. At the same time, God can orchestrate the migration of a million Monarch butterflies, keep the water flowing in all the rivers on earth, and touch the hearts of worshipers around the world, all on a Sunday morning. He can mend the broken heart of a sixteen year old boy when he is rejected by his first crush, help an oncologist save the life of her patient, and whisper in the ear of a dying man in his own language on the battlefield in a faraway country in a war that breaks His holy heart. God is there for each of us when we need Him, in our finest hour and our worst nightmare.

 

We thank You, Lord, that Your love is everlasting, large enough to simultaneously meet each of our needs. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work. She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com   MegCorrigan@comcast.net

LIQUID RAINBOW

Cano Cristales RiverWhenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth. Genesis 9:16

 

The Caño Cristales River runs through Colombia’s Serranía de la Macarena national park, in the province of Meta, and is known as the “River of Five Colors.” Translated to English, the “Crystal Channel” is a 62.1 mile-long river that flows bright red, green, yellow, blue and black when conditions are right, with the brightest colors from June through November. The colors are produced during the reproductive process of a certain type of river weed. This “liquid rainbow” is one of Colombia’s most amazing natural wonders, drawing visitors from all over the world.

 

Caño Cristales is a fast-flowing river with many rapids and waterfalls. Small circular pits known as giant’s kettles can be found in many parts of the riverbed, which have been formed by pebbles or chunks of harder rocks. Once one of these harder rock fragments falls into one of the cavities, it is rotated by the water current and begins to carve at the cavity wall, increasing the dimensions of the pit.

 

This “liquid rainbow” reminds me of God’s covenant with His people in Genesis 9. The Lord said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth” (vs. 12&13). To me, every natural wonder that God has created is a covenant between God and all the people of the earth. This planet is our only home, the one God gave us on which to live. The Scriptures are full of references to God’s mighty works and how human beings are not only in awe of them but charged with their care. The psalmist says, “One generation commends Your works to another; they tell of Your mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4). It is our covenant—agreement—with God to pass on to the next generation the beautiful natural wonders such as Caño Cristales, intact and preserved as God intended.

 

Creating God, we thank You for the mighty works of Your hand. We promise to care for them for You as long as we live here. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors. Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

GUARD MY TONGUE, LORD!

Watch Your TongueI said, “I will guard my ways that I may not sin with my tongue; I will keep a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence.” Psalm 39:1

 

Okay, I will admit, by mouth gets the better of me sometimes. I’m improving as I age, but once in a while, I say things that I really shouldn’t have or didn’t mean to. Then they are just out there and I have to live with the consequences. Sometimes it’s just embarrassing, but occasionally, it’s downright painful. I am usually my own worst critic, and most of the time amends are made and things are fine. But we can’t take back the words we say very easily, and in spite of the old saying, words do hurt. Ask David. He talks about the tongue and his lips and his words on numerous occasions in the Psalms. Sometimes he says he’s watching himself around those who are “wicked,” as in Psalm 39:1. But other times, he takes full responsibility for his actions: “While I mused, the fire burned;  then I spoke with my tongue” (Psalm 39:3).

 

James has pointed words to say about the tongue too, describing it as “a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!” (James 3:5). He continues: “And the tongue is a fire…placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell” (v. 6). And James says, “no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (v. 7). Who among us can win with such a wicked thing in our mouths?

 

I heard a wonderful saying recently about when to speak: “Does it need to be said? Does it need to be said now? Does it need to be said by me?” Surely these are words to abide by! In fact, I can just imagine Jesus whispering them in my ear. If, when my little fiery tongue is ready to lash out and make a fool of me, I could slow my mind long enough to repeat these three questions to myself, things would go much better.

 

Patient Lord, help me ask myself these important questions before I open my mouth! Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors.  Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

POLITICAL PRISONERS

Jerusulem During Christ's LifeIn Him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:15-16

 

Most of us overlook the importance of the occupation of the Romans in Israel during the life of Christ. The Roman emperor Caesar appeared to hold complete power over the citizens of Israel, including the Man Jesus. The Jewish leaders had made their peace with the Romans and were able to direct the activities of their church only at the whim and the will of the Roman emperor and his designated officers. We don’t often consider the political climate during Christ’s life on earth and how that environment impacted his crucifixion. Think about Pilate’s custom of releasing one prisoner at the request of the Jewish people during their Passover celebration. Pilate must have thought he was being such a benevolent leader, to allow a benevolent departure from his iron-handed rule. But Pilate got a real surprise when the Jewish people demanded that he release Barabbas, a known rebel leader, instead of the mild-mannered and clearly innocent Jesus. Pilate answered to Caesar and Caesar believed he alone was god.

 

In the first chapter of Colossians, Paul makes it clear that Caesar was no god. The one true God is Christ, above “thrones or dominions or rulers or powers” (v. 16). Caesar was a fraud, a paper tiger, a puffed-up politician who ruled his empire without mercy or compassion. His empire, too, was phony. When Caesar died, another man took his place.

 

We can embrace many kinds of empires in this world. We can be loyal to politicians, parties, positions and philosophies. We can pledge our allegiance to the darker things of this world, and we can give up meaningful lifestyles for crippling addictions and bad habits and poor judgement. But nothing in this world will ever come close to the power and majesty of the reign of Jesus Christ. He is reality. He bears the full glory of the King of the universe, and He will be with us forever. “In Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17), and He will keep us in His careful care throughout eternity.

 

Lord of the Universe, we thank You that You are above all the powers of the earth and under the earth. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work.  She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com    MegCorrigan@comcast.net