Speak Life ~ Our Words DO Matter


It is no secret that I am a Toby Mac fan. When I first saw this Christian artist in concert, I was not sure that I really enjoyed him, but then I heard him in a talk back session, and I realized that I liked what I heard from his heart. The more I see Toby, the more I like him and appreciate what he is doing to build the Kingdom of God. It is always with great anticipation that I attend his concerts.

His very short testimony of one of his songs speaks to my heart in a new way. I have been enjoying his song entitled “Speak Life,” but during one particular concert he told us the story behind the writing of the song. Toby had read the Raggamuffin Gospel when he was younger. He says he remembers reading Manning’s words, “When you speak to someone you either speak life or you drain life, there are no neutral exchanges.” Hence, the song that Toby wrote was birthed.

I’ve been thinking of this quote for a long time, “There are no neutral exchanges.” What about me and my words? Sure it is easy for me to speak life when I am doing the work of the church, that is easy. But what about when I am running into the grocery store to buy something quickly or as I move about my busy day in the world? When I am doing errands I have a purpose and I move through that purpose quickly. To be blunt and honest, people who are serving who are not on my same page when I am rushing around irritate me.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not mean, I am not impolite; but I don’t speak words of life. I thought these were neutral exchanges. Toby’s words, “There are no neutral exchanges” have been haunting me. I can do better, I can be better. Maybe these exchanges have a divine appointment for me or for someone else. Maybe I am the one to speak life into someone else’s life who is drowning. After all, I know the Good News, and maybe I can speak enough life to allow a person to trust me so that I can share that Good News which is what really matters.

Meanwhile, this week I have been practicing speaking life into the lives of those who would otherwise be “incidental” in my day. They have been wonderful exchanges. I am learning and growing.

How about you? Do you speak life or do you drain life? Are you the one from which someone will remember the conversation or are you the one they wish they will never wait on again? As for me, I am trying to practice new habits.

Thanks Toby, for giving me a new perspective on the way I speak in common everyday exchanges of words.

An Alaskan Psalm ~ Psalm Study

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This Alaskan Psalm was created by Andy, Melissa, Carol, Frank and Sarah. It was written in the style of Psalm 140. Enjoy.

Praise the Lord
The mountains praise you
Your creation is just a glimpse of Your majesty
We have only a taste of the buffet of your glory
Great is the Lord.

Before the mountains existed
Before the Kenai ran turquoise
All this was in your mind
The complex harmony
Unseen in your thoughts alone.

Seward lies at the height of Resurrection
Surrounded by ice and rock
Sea otters cradle their young
Floating on the mattress of their own bellies.
Killer whales remind us of your ferocity
As we gaze with fear and awe.
Sea lions cling to the island stone
Showing us how we must stand on our Rock.
The salmon are your bounty
That You have provided for Your children.
Silver and swift
They dwell in the deep
As the ocean waves pass over,
The dark teems below.
The heavens are full of your creatures,
Puffins and bald eagles and seagulls
Bridging the gap between the waters above and below.

Cooper Landing sings your praise.
The mighty bears look to you
To give them their salmon at the Run,
Fireweed shouts your beauty
As the bees drink Your nectar.
You sustain the moose
And shroud it in the cover of your forests.
The pines reach up toward you
And the falls tumble down.
Mountains rise up in grandeur
And valleys bow down in submission to You.

I want to flee to the North
When the earth quakes and the mountains tremble
Where the cold holds us at bay,
Your creation is safer
And the animals play.
Even though much is extinct
and the rest is in decay
still the immeasurable beauty of it all
takes my breath away.
Man has brought the curse
Upon your good world
How then can we stand
And still give you praise?
You use creation both good and broken
To draw us back to you in wonder.

This was your wise plan
That in your great mercy
You did not utterly wash us away
For our iniquity and pride.
Though justice was on your side
You absorbed it all in our place
Your mountains and rivers of wrath
Fell on Him instead.

Therefore we praise You!
Creator of glaciers and eagles
For You have brought forth all this
Even more, You have washed us of our stains
To make us as white as snow-capped mountains
Praise the Lord!
Let all Alaska praise Your Name!