Sweet Words or Bitter Breath?

bluebonnets-793x526Even though I’m Kansas born and Kansas bred, I was a resident of the bluebonnet state of Texas for about ten years. Texans are proud of their state’s scenic beauty, its abundant natural resources, and the tasty Tex-Mex cuisine.

Texas is also a state that is rich in history. Long before cowboys herded their cattle across the vast expanse of West Texas, and the ancient trails became the thoroughfares of highway 84 and Interstate 20, the Kiowa Indians cherished an enclave for its water. Because the water at this oasis was much more refreshing than the bitter-tasting gypsum streams that surrounded it, the natives christened it Moabeetie—their word for sweet water.

Whenever I drive through Sweetwater, the city’s name reminds me of the words of James: Praising and cursing come out of the same mouth . . . these things should not be this way. Does a spring pour out sweet and bitter water from the same opening?

While the answer to this question is obvious, people live as though it’s dubious. In a matter of seconds, some people proclaim the sweet water of God’s goodness with one breath and profane His name with salty language with their next breath.

I encourage you to think about the words of James, and this companion verse in the Psalms” Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer (Ps 19:14).

Are the words of your mouth and the thoughts of your heart acceptable or detestable in the eyes of the Lord?

Chief Joseph Medicine Crow

Grandpa_JoeChief Joseph Medicine Crow died yesterday at the age of 102, and an era of history died with him.  He was the last living War Chief of the Crow Tribe of Montana.

To be considered a War Chief by the Crow Tribe, an Indian must complete four tasks:

  • Lead a successful war party
  • Disarm an enemy
  • Touch an enemy without killing him
  • Steal a horse that belonged to the enemy

Chief Joseph Medicine Crow did all four of these and more during World War II; however, instead of stealing 1 horse, he was able to sneak behind enemy lines and steal 50 horses that belonged to the Nazi SS.

Over 44,000 Native Americans, Indians like Chief Medicine Crow, served during the second world war.  The story of their service is one of bravery, and I give thanks for their sacrifice.  Several of these men were awarded the Medal of Honor. NavMar

Herman Viola, curator emeritus at the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian, said it was hard to overstate Mr. Medicine Crow’s value as a link to history: “Joe personally knew four scouts that had been with Custer . . . it was unbelievable to meet someone who could really give you insights into that time period.”

As I read Viola’s statement, it reminded me of another eyewitness to historical events—the Apostle John:

[I am writing about] what existed from the beginning, what [a]we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life [the One who existed even before the beginning of the world, Christ]— and the Life [an aspect of His being] was manifested, and we have seen [it as eyewitnesses] and testify and declare to you [the Life], the eternal Life who was [already existing] with the Father and was [actually] made visible to us [His followers]— what we have seen and heard we also proclaim to you, so that you too may have fellowship [as partners] with us. And indeed our fellowship [which is a distinguishing mark of born-again believers] is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.  We are writing these things to you so that our joy [in seeing you included] may be made complete [by having you share in the joy of salvation] ~I John 1:1-4 Amplified

Historians like Viola get excited about Chief Medicine Crow’s “eyewitness” account, and rightly so, but shouldn’t they also give credence to other “eyewitness” of history like the Apostle John?