Pen Pals and Posts

Searching His Word
 Seeking His Heart

Have you ever had a phrase you just couldn’t get out of your mind?

A few months ago, I noticed that every time I tired to register for a writing conference or pay for other things, the vendors kept asking for Pay Pal. So, I decided it was time to sign up. However, every time I mentioned it to my husband, I kept saying “Pen Pal” instead of “Pay Pal.”

I guess I had a pen pal somewhere in the past or “pen pal” just seemed to go together in my head. Every time we talked about it, I still said “pen pal” instead of Pay Pal. It just rolled off the tongue before I knew it. What was worse he had to correct me over and over. He would just say, “Pen Pal.”

Okay, hold that little story in your head for a moment. Here’s another story.

For years, our family had a breakfast item that we enjoyed from time to time. We called it “eggs in toast holes.” Here’s how it goes. Butter a piece of bread on both sides, then cut about a two inch circle in the bread to form a hole. Lay the bread and the circle in the skillet, put a dab of butter in the hole, and when it melts, break an egg in the hole. After it cooks a bit, put another dab of butter down and flip the bread and egg over.

It’s kind of like a fried egg in the toast hole. Plus you have the circle (the hole) to flip, too. We put jelly on the “circle.”

Well, the other morning my husband rolled over in bed and said, “Let’s have eggs in toast posts.” I blinked awake and said, “You mean toast holes?” Not to be undone by this correction, he said, “Pen pals.” I chuckled, but got the point. Don’t dole out criticism when you make mistakes too!

It was a subtle way, a humorous way, a gentle way to say “I’m not the only one who makes mistakes.”

It reminds me of some of Solomon’s proverbs.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

A man finds joy in an apt reply— and how good is a timely word! Proverbs 15:23

When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7

A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction. Proverbs 16:23

Pleasing words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24 (The funny bones, too!)

My husband majors on happy words. People are set at ease with his good, spontaneous humor. Thank you, sweetheart, for prompting these thoughts that led me to search out these wonderful proverbs in Scripture.

Hope you enjoyed the lighter touch this week.

~ Joyce ~


Searching His Word
 Seeking His Heart

I’m looking out at the clear blue sky and bright sun as it shines over the waters in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The sun rays are creating a myriad of sparkling diamonds dancing across the gulf. It reminds me of the thousands of characters who have walked across the pages of history in our Bible.

I’m still working on my book about Matthew—89,000 words at this point. I’ve thought about many of the people who crossed Jesus’ path, but particularly the disciples with whom He spent much time.

We know the disciples were in the boat and on the shore or in the towns and in the upper room when life happened with Jesus, but what did they say? How did they react?

We can read many comments and incidents that involved Peter, but we hear only one or two sentences from a few disciples and nothing at all from others.

Some of the one-liners spoken from these men are positive, some questioning, and a few are quite negative.

We will look at some of these statements in the coming weeks and try to glean what we can of each man and his personality.

As I thought about these few comments, the thought occurred to me; what if only one or two things I have said were written down for posterity? How would I be remembered?

Do you have someone you haven’t seen for several years? Maybe a childhood friend with whom you’ve lost contact. Maybe a school teacher or a buddy from college. Do you remember one thing that person said? Or one thing they did that stuck with you?

One of my roommates in college was a Physical Education major. She had a thing about “table tennis.” You were absolutely not to call it “ping-pong.” To this day, I have a hard time saying “ping-pong.”


I played with a little curly-haired blonde in one of the many cities I lived when I was growing up. We were about six years old. Mary had the unique “gift” of being able to walk on her toes. She would push her big toes forward while the others tucked underneath. That’s all I remember about her.

Of course, we likely remember more important words and actions, whether inspirational or negative.   

So what sticks with people about me? What will they remember that I said or something I did?

What will people remember about you?

An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. Proverbs 12:25

A gentle word turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

Kind of makes you want to go back and erase some of the things you said or did, doesn’t it? Well, of course we can’t do that, but we can be more mindful of our words and actions now and how they affect others.

We’ll take a look at the words some of the disciples said.

So you see, I’m still wondering. (See Making Scripture Real)

~ Joyce ~