"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

November 16, 2011


A while back the subject of having a temper came up. I was discussing it with one of my cousins, then later with my sister. We all started thinking of different instances when one of us or one of our family members showed their temper. Often someone with a temper will quickly fly off the handle and say something they later regret or will react in a way that is unlike their normal behavior. And the hardest thing to do is apologize or admit that perhaps we handled things wrongly. It's much easier to blame the other party or the situation or whatever caused us to lose our cool, than to take the blame ourselves and admit that perhaps we have a problem that needs dealt with. It's much easier to justify our temper by thinking, "That's just how I am," or "Having a temper is a family trait" or whatever excuse eases our conscience.

Even my own sweet Mama could show a bit of a temper at times, although I really don't remember it much, so it must have been rare. My sister remembers one time Daddy had promised to take Mama somewhere, then later decided not to. It must have hit Mama wrong because she dragged Daddy out of the house by the hair of the head. Knowing Daddy, he was probably laughing the whole time! And he knew that the one thing that would get Mama in a snit would be for him to make a critical remark about one of her seven brothers. No one was allowed to say anything bad about any of them! The thing is, Daddy loved Mama's brothers and were close to them, but sometimes would intentionally make a little comment about one of them, knowing that it would get Mama riled. Mama was the youngest girl and the third from the youngest of the siblings, but was like a little protective mother hen when it came to her brothers. Normally, Mama was a very gentle, mild-mannered, sweet lady but she had her moments of being aggravated. So look out Jon! Don't make me mad or I might just grab you by the hair of the head!!

My cousin has apparently been thinking a lot about this and has sent me a couple of emails saying that she thinks perhaps she inherited a bit of the family temper. She remembers when she was a kid her mom telling her to quit throwing a hissy fit. Several years ago, her husband flipped a rubber band at her and that didn't set too well with her and she told him to stop. He did it again, and that hit a nerve. She took off chasing him and he started running down the street with her hot on his heels. She was so aggravated that she didn't care, at the time, what the neighbors thought or how many of them were watching out their windows. And this particular cousin confessed that although her own mom was usually sweet natured, she remembers her mom throwing a few fits of temper when she got mad at the dad.

Janie, my sister, was very hot tempered when she was a teenager. Oh my goodness, she could blow up at the drop of a hat! Apparently, Daddy finally decided that he wasn't going to put up with it any longer and was probably a little concerned about Janie having such a quick temper. We were having a revival at church and he told her that she needed to go up for prayer. God answered, and she never really had a problem with it afterwards.

I remember my nephew, Brian, having a bad temper when he was just a little guy. I can still picture him in my mind when he was just about 3-4 years old and would have a wreck on his tricycle and would get up and kick it and say, "Stupid bike!" He went through a stage where he would not wear pants without belt loops (or belt woops, as he called them) and would throw a fit if his mom tried to make him wear any other kind of pants. When he was in his twenties, he shared a house with his brother while they were both in college and had learned to curb his temper by then. When he or his brother got irritated with the other one, instead of yelling or arguing they'd do something silly like dump the hamper of dirty clothes over onto the bedroom floor or on top of the bed of the one they were irritated with. Now he seems pretty laid back and mellow; at least most of the time.

I've seen tempers cause family dissension, cause grudges, tear down relationships, end up in a feud that will last sometimes for years and cause a lot of hurt. Not only in my own family, but in others I've known. Feuds and hard-feelings are something that can be passed down from one generation to the next, if we're not careful. And offense is one of the most difficult emotions to let go of and forgive.

The thing is, these may be good people. But something happened that caused anger to arise, words were spoken out of that emotion, hurt feelings were the result, and then folks stopped talking and held onto that hurt for long periods of time. My dad had a family situation happen many, many years ago where his siblings disagreed about something, words were spoken out of that anger, and one of the brothers wouldn't speak to my dad for a long time. The whole situation really hurt my dad, and he didn't like having division in his family. Finally, somehow things got settled between him and his brother and they ended up being fairly close. The last several years of my dad's life they would visit in person and on the phone, and go get tractor parts or to the livestock auction together. Sadly, offenses aren't always settled and resolved between family members or friends.

There's a different between having a habitual temper where you fly off the handle every time something angers or upsets you; or having a bad day where something occasionally may aggravate you. And there's a big difference in how we handle our anger. Are we able to control our mouth and actions when we get angry, or do we habitually say things that we later regret and act foolishly?

There are some verses in Proverbs that speak of those who have a temper:

14:17 "A quick-tempered man does foolish things...." (or acts foolishly)

14:29 "He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly."

15:18 "A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel."

19:19 "A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again."

22:24,25 "Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared."

30:33 "For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife."

Knowing you have a temper and doing nothing about it can do great harm, not only to yourself, but to others. Having a quick, hot temper is not something we should take pride in. And we shouldn't excuse ourselves by saying, "That's just the way I am; you can take me or leave me! But I'm going to say what I want to say, when I want to say it!"

That is such an unhealthy attitude. And a person who says such things cannot be at peace or really even love themselves very much. If we have constant turmoil within ourselves that cause us to constantly be on the verge of being angry, that's not healthy. If we become angry instantaneous and are unable to control our temper, we have a problem. And there are repercussions from having a quick-temper, whether or not we want to admit it. Read what the above verses in Proverbs say: A quick-tempered or hot-tempered man (or woman) does foolish things and stirs up dissension. We are not to make friends or associate with such a person, or we may become just like them. That's pretty strong advice, to stay away from those who are hot-tempered.

But the verse that caught my attention was Proverbs 19:19, "A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again." In other words, someone with a temper needs to pay the price for their words and actions, and not depend on someone going behind them cleaning up the mess and trying to cover up for them and apologizing. For if you get into the habit of doing so, then you will have to do so over and over again. If you have a spouse or child with a quick-temper that hurts others' feelings with their words and you are always apologizing for them or making excuses, then you will have to make that your full-time job. Because the one with the temper is never going to learn their lesson or take responsibility for their own words and actions, as long as you go behind them cleaning up their messes and making excuses for them and don't make them do so themselves.

The root of having a temper is pride. Your pride is hurt or offended, so you quickly react and speak. Not admitting that you have a problem mouthing off or being willing to take responsibility for things you say or do when your temper flairs is a matter of pride. And often when someone shows their temper and quickly says things, usually critical and negative, they get embarrassed so overcompensate by acting like they don't care what others think of them; which is also a matter of pride. And honestly, how can you say that you are following the example of Jesus and striving to be as much like Him as possible if you are consistently dealing with your temper and flying off the handle? Being able to control our temper and our words is something we each should strive to do, because if we say we love God and are christians, then we show that by our example. None of us want people to say, "They go to church and say they're a christian, but you'd never know it by the way they act when their temper flies! If that's the way christians act, I want no part of church or God." We need to think about how others perceive us.

If you have a temper, it's not hopeless nor is it something you're just going to have to live with for the rest of your life. You can control your anger. And you can break the cycle of quickly getting upset, then speaking or acting in a fit of temper. But you have to want to change and be willing to allow God to help you. It's time to stop making excuses and ask God to help you overcome this destructive cycle.

Every morning you may need to pray Psalm 141:3, "Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips." You may have to choose to walk away when something happens that causes you to feel anger rising up inside you and say a prayer for God to help you keep your mouth shut, instead of reacting then asking for help after the fact. At times it may be you taking a minute to analyze to situation to see if it really merits a reaction or if it's something that is really not that important and can be worked out later. And it may be keeping you nose out of other people's business and choosing to not become involved in situations that do not concern you.

You may have to ask God for help over and over before you sense complete victory over your temper, but truly wanting to change and taking the steps to do so will bring about great results. You will know more peace and joy in your life than you've ever experienced. Letting go of anger tendencies and choosing to react in a way that will be pleasing to God will help you be an overcomer. Don't settle with excuses and being content with having a temper, but make a decision to break that cycle and change.

There are certain honorable traits that you may want to pass down to your children and grandchildren, but a hot-temper shouldn't be a characteristic you want them to get from you. With God's help, we can all do better at handling anger. Let's make today a day that we choose to get rid of those tempers and act like godly men and women.


Too much pride can be a tough problem. A quick temper is one of the bad side effects. But another side effect of pride is usually refusing to change. The first step to any change, pride included, is to want to change. But when someone has a problem with pride, they probably won't believe they should change.

It's not an easy problem to solve. Of course, others can see our faults, especially a bad temper, or false pride. But it's hard to see in ourselves. The people who we love and trust may be able to tell us, but usually won't. Sometimes we need people around us who are blunt to the point of being rude or even cruel to point out when we're getting puffed up.


Pecan Pumpkin Dessert


2 cans solid-pack pumpkin

1 tsp. vanilla

1 can evaporated milk

1 pkg. yellow cake mix

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter or margarine

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Line a 9x13 baking pan with waxed paper and coat the paper with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In a mixing bowl combine pumpkin, milk and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with dry cake mix and drizzle with butter. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Invert onto a large serving platter; carefully remove waxed paper.


1 pkg. Cream Cheese, softened

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 1/2 cups powdered cheese

12 oz. Cool Whip, thawed

In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip. Frost dessert. Store in refrigerator.


Something that irritates me is when people consistently abbreviate words when writing. In my opinion, we've become lazy and try to find shortcuts for everything. For a long time, it was like a puzzle for me to try and figure out what people meant by their short abbreviated words and I still have no idea what a lot of the acronyms stand for that people use on Facebook and in texting; and I sure don't want to use them without knowing because it could be something off-color. A few days ago Jon and I were reading cartoons and found the perfect example of people using acronyms without knowing what they mean, which can get you into trouble.

Pickles Cartoon: Opal is on the computer when her daughter walks up behind her and says, "You're new to Facebook, aren't you mom?" Opal: "Yes. I think it's fun trying new things." Daughter: "I noticed you replied to your sister's post about her cat being put to sleep." Opal: "Yes, poor Pearl. I wanted to let her know how sorry I am for her loss." Daughter: "That's nice, but I thought putting 'LOL' at the end was a bit harsh." Opal: "Harsh?" Daughter: "You do know that 'LOL' stand for laughing out loud, don't you?" Opal: "Not 'lots of love'?"


Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies. - unknown


We love you!

Loretta & Jon