Listen for the clicking…look for the twinkle…

September 20, 2021

In his Jack’s Winning Word blog today, Pastor Freed commented on a recent finding in a  BBC study that plants apparently “talk” by clicking when they are being talked to. Reportedly, they click faster and louder if being talked to nicely. That led Freed to use this quote from an unknow source –

“If speaking kindly to plants helps them to grow, imagine what speaking kindly to humans can do.” 

I’m pretty sure that I haven’t heard anyone that I was talking to clicking away, but I also know that you can see a certain twinkle in people’s eyes if you are saying nice things, especially about them. I think children in particular need positive reinforcement to grow. Speaking kindly to children and find ways to praise them for the good things that they do helps them build confidence in themselves and keeps them headed in the right direction. Even in times when less friendly words must be used to correct a misbehavior, parents should find a way to add some encouraging words of love and forgiveness to reassure the child of their love for them. Speak kindly to them and look for the twinkle in their eye.

In our day-to-day lives there ae many instances when the easy thing to do would be to criticize someone for their actions; but, what good would that really do? Finding a way to correct a mistake or change someone’s behavior without using harsh or belittling words is tougher than just blurting out an admonishment; however, it is worth the extra effort. “Putting someone in their place” may seem to be the thing to do, but it just puts them outside of your reach. You lose the ability to help them see the correct behavior when you alienate them by placing yourself in the roles of judge and jury. It is better to suggest that a different behavior might bring a different result – one that is more beneficial to them. Speak kindly to them and look for the twinkle in their eye.

Every so often we encounter bad behavior from someone who is angry at the moment. In those situations, acting and talking kindly is the thing to do One can commiserate without agreeing with the position of the angry person and try to calm them down enough to let reason take over again. I have noticed over time that remaining calm and collected while those around you may be in a frenzy has a calming effect on everyone else. Sometimes that is called “the calm voice of reason.” So, when you encounter that person who is being driven by anger, speak kindly to them and look for the twinkle in their eye.

I’ve tried to imagine sitting in a field of flowers and listening to them clicking away as I speak kindly to them. I haven’t been able to hear that yet, even in my mind; however, I have experienced the positive impact of choosing to speak kindly to people and I have seen the twinkle in their eyes. Have you? Try it today. Choose to speak kindly to people and look for the twinkle in their eyes. And if you happen to hear some faint clicking in the background that is probably just some happy nearby plants that overheard your kind words.

Have a great and kind week ahead. Look for the twinkles and listen for the clicking.

Find your calm…

December 16, 2020

In a recent Church Council meeting our Pastor used the following quote –

 “Fear sees a threat, anxiety images it” (Max Lucado from his book Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World)

Lucado is a Christian author and speaker who used that phrase back in 2017 as part of a Bible study presentation about Paul’s letter to the Philippians Chapter 4 verses 6-7, in which Paul said “be anxious about nothing.” You can read all about Max Lucado and see the books that he has written at

He went on to say, “The presence of anxiety is unavoidable, but the prison of anxiety is optional. It’s the life of perpetual anxiety that Paul wants to address. Don’t let anything in life leave you perpetually in angst.”

How prophetic were Paul’s words (and those of Lucado) when viewed from the context or our current pandemic environment. We can’t see the threat that the COVID-19 virus presents, we only see the results in the nightly news show; so our anxiety takes over and we imagine the threat as it might apply to us personally.

I have often written here about what I called “the dungeon of despair”, which Lucado calls the “prison of anxiety”. This is a mental prison, not a physical one; but it is a bad place to allow yourself to become trapped, nonetheless.

Lucado talks of the key to being calm in the face of a chaotic world is found in one’s faith. If anxiety imagines a threat where none can be seen, faith provides the calm place to go in the midst of that anxiety. Anxiety tries to cause us to see nowhere to turn in the face of the threat, but the Bible tells us –

“Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)


“He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

Sometimes we need a simple way to envision God’s love and care for us. Maybe you can find that by visualizing this passage from Isaiah 49:16 – “I have written your name on the palms of my hand.”

Just imagine God walking around with your name tattooed in the palm of his hand. Find comfort and calm in the thought that God is holding you in the palm of his hands and then say to yourself – If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

Don’t let fear take over and lead to anxiety; rather, find your calm in the midst of the current chaos by using your imagination to strengthen your faith. Visualize your name written in the palm of God’s hand. Imagine that!

Be at peace.