Saving Face

This morning I was reading about the beheading of John the Baptist. It’s quite an interesting story in that the reason for his beheading was simply because Herod wanted to save face with his family and didn’t want to cross his hateful wife. He did something he knew was wrong just to look good in front others.

He had sat and listened to John, perplexed by his words and even though he didn’t like what he had to say, he didn’t want to kill him. He knew he was just and holy man, so he imprisoned him. His wife, who was actually his brothers wife beforehand didn’t like John. She didn’t like the fact that he was always telling her what she was doing wrong and John’s call for her and Herod to repent. She took it as a personal attack, when it was just John preaching truth boldly and unapologetically.

Herod had a huge dinner on his birthday and Herodias’ daughter came in to dance for them, he was so impressed that he told her that he would give her whatever she wanted. That must have been some dance. Well, let me just say it was probably something immodest and inappropriate, but scripture doesn’t say. She went back to her mother, who said, “Tell him you want John the Baptist’s head on a platter.” That hussy knew what she was doing. She knew that he would give her what she wanted, even though it was wrong. He couldn’t go back on his words in front of all his friends.

It says that Herod was exceedingly sorry, but couldn’t refuse her. So, he sent for John the Baptist to be killed and his head was delivered up on a platter for Herodias. How sad. How can we look at this story in this moment? As I was reading, these are the thoughts that come to my mind:

How many times do we sin against God to “save face” with those around us?
How many times do we speak idle words and give someone “whatever they want” forsaking everything we know to be right?


Those are hard questions that I asked myself and will probably ponder on them for the rest of the day.

I don’t really know what to say about those two statements that were pressed deep into my spirit, so I am just going to leave them at that and get dressed to tackle my day, but keeping in the back of my mind the importance of two very important things:

When it comes to sinning just to “save face”, we are in a dangerous place. No matter what anyone else may want us to do, if it doesn’t line up with The Word, then we must be willing to stand our ground and not cower at the expense of “saving face”.

We must mean what we say and say what we mean. We must refuse to not forsake what we know to be right, just so someone can get what they want. That goes for ourselves and for others. Quick words based on emotions will often come back to bite you. We are often left with regrets, just as Herod.

No saving face, but sharing the saving knowledge.
No idle words, only what is true and right.

Be okay and stop worrying about what others think. Stop worrying about looking good in front of others and make sure you are right before God.

Just so you know, my toes hurt…and let’s hope my face doesn’t stay that way.

Senseless Mules

When it comes to our relationship with God, why do we feel the need to be a like senseless and stubborn mule that only does what it should when it has been guided by some rather rigorous training, afflictions or trials?

Let’s read Psalm 32

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

There is great blessing for the man or woman who knows the forgiveness of God. If we want to be blessed, we must make a full confession and repentance of sin. We live in an age of fence riding, lukewarmness and wishy-washy Christians who are afraid of offending those around us. We don’t want to speak truth (which is The Word of God) because it may hurt someone’s feelings. David in Psalm 32 was quick to let us know how harsh unconfessed sin was in his life.

Let’s look at this scenario.

You and your friend are out shopping for a dress. She told you before starting the try on process, “Tell me the truth and let me know what dress will be right for me.”
She tries on a dress and it isn’t right for her. And you say, “That not right.”
She looks at you and she starts saying, “You just called me fat!” You said, “I am too short for this….you think my shoulders are too broad?” “I can’t believe you would tell me that it makes me look bad!” She even says, “you judging me!”

You tell her, “What a minute, friend…you told me to tell you what was right and this dress isn’t right.”

You immediately tell her the truth and she finds things to get offended about within herself and you are immediately judging her because you are telling her the truth.


Everyone wants the truth, but most people can’t handle it. When they are faced with the truth (the Word of God), it makes them immediately see the things wrong within themselves and they immediately believe that you are judging those insecurities and/or sins that they have within themselves. Just because you speak the truth and say that something isn’t right, doesn’t mean you are judging your friend, you are just telling her that the dress isn’t right for her.

That’s what we are to do with scripture and sin. As I read through Psalm 32, I see a picture of someone who knows the truth and the blessings that come from repentance and walking with the Lord. David says that he acknowledged his sin under God and confessed it and He forgives. We are preserved in Him and God will instruct us and teach us in the paths that we must go. We can’t be like a senseless mule who constantly has to be “yanked” back in line. We shouldn’t need that as believers…we should be easily guided by God to walk in righteousness. We may not like the truth, but we know it and we must be willing to say to ourselves and others that any unconfessed sin in our lives is “not right for me.”

Sin brings destruction and we have seen that time and time again in scripture and maybe in our own lives. We must always speak truth in love and guide those that are living in sin, or struggling with sin toward the Father…not jerking the reins. You lead them to God, He will take care of their sin.

We must remember that in Christ, we are no longer senseless mules. Our sins are covered and we are led by the Spirit of God.

Fruitful Words

This past weekend, I had someone be rude to me for no reason. They haven’t always been what you would call a “friend”, but we have worked together, shared meals together and have lots of mutual friends. I know this person loves the Lord, but their rudeness caught me off guard and it was totally uncalled for, in my opinion. I was so shocked by it, that I made a joke and tried to shake it off, but by the time I got home and talked with a couple of people about the encounter, I was hurt as I retold the story several times.

Listen, I have extremely tough skin. The ministry and being self-employed has given me the ability to handle hard and heavy things that might be dropped and shattered by others. That’s not to brag on my own abilities, but just to say that I am not a whiner that gets my feelings hurt over silly things.

This wasn’t silly. This really hurt.

I was hurt because this person calls themselves a Christian.

Now, I know what you are thinking…so I will say it for you.

Ashlee, you’re not perfect. You’ve been rude before. You have probably hurt someone’s feelings, too.

Yes, you’re right. I sure have. However, her response did not match my cordial greeting and light-hearted conversation. I have decided to file it under “she was having a bad day” in my mind and move on. But, in the midst of that situation, it got me thinking about the power of the tongue, because I was so affected by the tone of her speech and the words that she expressed to me.

I have a lot of power that can come from my lips.

I have the power to encourage or discourage.
I have the power to lift up or tear down.
I have the power to speak life or speak death.
I have the power to heal or harm.

I’m not perfect, but I never want to be rude. I don’t ever want to hurt someone’s feelings, either. I don’t want anyone to feel what I felt this weekend after walking away from a conversation with me.
I am responsible not just for my words, but how they are perceived.

They matter to others and they matter to God.

I was hurt, because this person calls themselves a Christian.
But, what if I wasn’t a Christian? What if I was needing the encouragement…the life…the hope…the healing of Christ through her words in that moment, but was met with the opposite? The hurt wouldn’t just be physical, it would also be spiritual.

There’s a lot of power inside my mouth.

I don’t want something I say to keep someone from seeing Christ.
Guard my tongue, Lord and keep it gentle…’cause even when I am “having a bad day”, my words must tell of the goodness of God.

Let it always produce the fruit of Your Spirit.

My Bible Journaling Supplies

I am not a fancy “Bible Journaler”. I like to keep it simple with easy and relatively inexpensive products, but wanted to share a few things that I use daily and most can be found on Amazon or at your local craft stores.

I enjoy my interleaved Bible, which has a blank page between each page of scripture. Here’s a great one and actually the one I use! This isn’t a Bible that you would want to carry around, ‘cause it’s thick…but is great for those that do not want to write over the scriptures.

I also am very fond of Prismacolor Colored Pencils and here is a great deal on a nice 36-piece set to get you started! Just remember to be careful and keep them in their case, as they can break on the inside of the pencil if dropped. That becomes a problem when you go to sharpen, as the end will break off while you sharpen!

Lastly, I love my Sharpie pens! They do not bleed through the Bible pages and offer amazing lines for outlining and details! These pens are different from regular Sharpies!

If you want to use watercolor on your Bible pages, which I like to do sometimes, too…you can place a piece of card stock behind your Bible page and then paint with a set of inexpensive cake watercolors. This set is one similar to mine and these brushes work great for Bible pages and even watercolor paper to practice!

You can also combine colored pencils, watercolor and pens! The options are endless and so is your creativity!

I hope this helps you get started with Bible Journaling and illustrating your faith! It’s always good to “draw from His word”! 😉

*Please note I receive a commission if you purchase through my links. Product prices and availability are accurate as of date/time posted and are subject to change.