Pastoral Relief and Retreat

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Wethersfield, CT, United States
I am Pastor at Poquonock Community Church, Congregational (CCCC) in Windsor, CT. My wife Jama and I live in Wetherfield, CT. We'd like to invite you to Terre Haute -- High Ground -- That's what Jama and I call the retreat space on our property. We offer free intentional get-away retreats. We'll feed you and house you and give you space to be with the Lord. All are welcome; no questions asked. This blog is my daily devotional journal. I write it because it is so easy to go for weeks without ever taking the time to be alone with God. Writing helps me develop a discipline I need.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

February 23, 2009 Defiled

READ: Matthew 15:10-20
10 And he called the people to him and said to them, Hear and understand:
11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.
12 Then the disciples came and said to him, Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?
13 He answered, Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up.
14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.
15 But Peter said to him, Explain the parable to us.
16 And he said, Are you also still without understanding?
17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled?
18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.
19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.

One of the hardest things I've ever had to face has been taming my own tongue. I've been a believer over 30 years now and I'd have to say I'm just now grappling with all the things I've said. The really dangerous stuff has all been things I thought and then put voice to. The worst part, I guess, is that when you are defiled in mind -- dirtied by your own mental dirt -- just like any other sin you justify it. Well, I'm done with that. In these last months I have found myself for the first time able to rest in the repentance that always eluded me. I think it may be a combination of being older and of receiving a call to a new place. Mostly I think it is simply God in his grace and glory telling me now is the time. Now is the day of Salvation, as the Scripture says.

Wow. Praise God for HIS inexpressible gift!

Jon

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