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Words of Kindness, Source of Healing

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Cross Radio
December 27, 2021 5:00 am

Words of Kindness, Source of Healing

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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December 27, 2021 5:00 am

Florence Littauer describes how words of encouragement can be one of the most wonderful gifts you could ever give. Through several moving stories, she illustrates how words can literally change somebody's life for better or for worse.

Get Florence Littauer's book "Silver Boxes: The Gift of Encouragement" for your donation of any amount. And when you give today, your support will be DOUBLED to Give Families Hope!

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Focus on the Family
Jim Daly
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly

Family helped me by giving me hope when my marriage was gone apart and gave me a reason to push forward Jennifer almost gave up after her husband's affair.

But today they're still married. There's always more to learn and I'm always go on Jim Daly this season. Help us give families Hope and when you get today.

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One little girl now never forget this little precious child.

She stood up at the end of the row she turned all the people and she said to them what she means is amazing understand. She said what she means is that our words should be like a little silver box with about on top. That's our guest on today's episode of Focus on the Family delete/tower remembering him over the church that led her on a quest to give others the gift of encouraging words. Welcome to our show your hostess book as president and author Jim Daly I'm John Fuller, John the world lost an amazing author, speaker and encourage her when Florence died in the summer of 2020 and our condolences go out to her family. Florence taught communication skills for over 30 years and wrote over 40 books including the bestseller personality plus based on the Hippocratic theory of four basic personality types.

Yet today's content is taken from another hugely popular book called silver boxes. The gift of encouragement and you can get a copy from us here at Focus on the Family when you call 800 K in the word family or you'll find the link shown here supports with Howard on Focus on the Family with a couple of years ago that I was sitting in a chair and I was just one of the people in the congregation and as I was there and the pastor looked down at me. Anything I say Flint now is in our hands this morning that I think it would be nice if we had her come up front and say a few words now for some of you that might be a shock to be called forward to say a few words spontaneously for me. I have never been in the last words and I never mind being brought forth to say a few words. So I got out of my seat and started up the aisle as I started up the aisle. He looked down and he said, in fact, why don't we have lines do the children's sermon this morning and all of the children came up front so that by the time I got to the front.

It was a small group of children in front of me thought I looked at this little group I thought to myself, what am I going to say to them well I thought right off of earth teach them a verse, the verse that came to my mind immediately was a verse that we use with our children in the verse is Ephesians 429 let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto their and they all looked wide-eyed like you think you can understand how they do know they can understand that or not. Let's start right at the beginning it says let no corrupt communication is know what is corrupt communication one little boy spoke up.

He said being nasty to your mother said that's right don't do that and they all agree that was bad. We should try that once they pulled out little things white man all kinds of bad things to say and I said right.

That's what the verse says we are not to do. Now let's look and see what should we do so. It says that we should let no corrupt communication proceed out of my mouth but that which is good as any.

On the good means all yes I think good to the use of edifying, edifying me well they look kinda wide about that.

That's a big word and that one of the boys said build up its right buildup that our words are supposed to build up other people and I went on to the next part of it. It says not only is a good use of edifying money is to minister grace heavy stuff, little children, minister grace may minister grace somebody taken a class somewhere that said that Grace was God's unmerited favor, so this little child spoke up God's unmerited favor. I was amazed at the size the child that they knew that little phrase and of any idea what it meant, but they knew the word I said I that's wonderful that that means that God has given us a favor. That's a grace it's so fun to give you grace I'm to do you a favor. How could I do you a favor. Well, we went from favor into present inching gift and then we came up with yes every word that comes on my mouth should be like the present. I should give you a present with my words and went on with that for a while with them and as I did. One little girl now never forget this little precious child.

She stood up at the end of the row she turned all the people and she said to them what she means. It amazing. Amazing how little interpreted so that I can understand.

She said what she means is that our words should be like a little silver box with about on top for her and I said that that's what I wear should be that we should think of it like that when I words come out they should be like little silver boxes with about on top of what she said it stayed in my mind and I'll never forget. Even though I have no idea what the little child's name on but I'll never forget her saying what she means is your words should be like a little silver box with a bow on top.

Just the last year and 1/2 that I've been working with the concept often on it made a difference to me is make me measure my words in a different way.

I began to think back and I said to myself, how have you spoken to your children as I thought about it I realized that to. It was easy for me to give silver boxes to my daughter Marita.

She and I have always agreed on everything she so much fun she's just a laugh a minute and if I ever feel discouraged and disheartened. My husband knows all he has to do is dial Marita and hand me the phone and life brightens up for me no trouble giving silver boxes to Marita. Some of you may have a Marita you may have a daughter or son that just the sight of them lightens your life makes you say good words encourages you was not hard for me to give silver boxes to line she always did everything right lines very choleric and strong and she's done it the right way.

She always knew just how it should be done and she marched ahead, and she did it sometime. She was telling me what to do.

Along the process, but it was easy to thank her and encourage her because she was doing it right. I am I saying that wonderful. She said these two perfect children, but I have an adopted son, adopted son Fred is nothing like me at all.

He and I have never had to thoughts in their entire lifetime. The coordinated when I would say to my daughter's run.

They would run.

I say to him running stop he never seem to want to do what I wanted them to do.

He said to me one day. It amazes me that people pay money to hear you talk is amazing how usually they're reflecting away what we giving and if when I giving out syllabi because chances are they not giving them so I thought about it and I remembered one day when he came home he said to me, Mrs. Johnson said that I have a charming personality not what you parents would've said, but before I even had a hesitation for a moment I shot out with a comment I sure like to see some of the charm around here. Now when you put that in the context of the silver box Mrs. Johnson had given Fred a silver box and what I done. I'd taken it away. I'd thrown away the silver box was gone I wiped out everything. Mrs. Johnson said I is the mother had taken away the praise he received. I look back at my childhood and I wondered where did I get the information how did I go from being a child in three rooms behind the store without a ghost of a chance to amount to anything. Remembering the lady that looked to my two brothers and me during the depression. As we stood in the store as you look today.

She said to my mother. It's a shame there's no hope for those children because they appear so bright that I was a silver box but it was true that the time there was no money there was no hope, and I remember that I remember saying to myself when I heard that lady I can picture a day in which he's doing what you look like. Remember those words. Words that knock my blocks down and I remember them and I remember saying to myself, Lawrence.

You'll show that lady and I work to get there, but I thought back. How did you do it will encourage you and you think about it is you might begin to think about your childhood. I realize that even though my mother never gave me a lot of information and when I asked her why she didn't complement me. She said you never know when you going to have to eat your words. Mother was always afraid she'd update a few words. She felt better not to say any thing to have to eat them. So I thought about that when I get my information. I realize I had a father who was affirming the father was constantly giving us positive words was positive every single day was lifting people up during the depression and I little store.

People would come to our store just to hear my father's encouraging words. I remember back to my senior year in college and I came home at Christmas vacation and my father who was 72. At that time he was 20 years older than my mother and as the I came home. He said to me one day right after Christmas Florence came in the back room. I want to show you something.

So I went into the back room with him.

He never took me there. He never left out of the store and we went back in this little tiny den, which was the only little haven. We had a little jam with two pieces of furniture piano on one wall and a couch on the other that opened up and when you opened it up, you consider the end of the couch and play the piano that the size of the room. So here it was wall-to-wall bed and we went in there that day and my father reached behind that piano. You know those upright pianos that have all alone holes in them. My father reached behind the piano brought out the soapbox little cigar box and he opened it up and I looked and I said once that he sit at the box that I had way to somehow today I felt like showing you this box looked in there because I'm a curious person. If I know there was a box tucked well with looking at but I do know is there any shortage musical clippings and I looked in the newspaper clipping. One of these. These are articles I've written you can write.

My mother would always told me your father didn't have any education you gotta get education so you can do better than your father. My mother had me words like that.

So when my father said he'd written something I was dumbfounded. I know my father was very bright and I look at you about the things he said yes why didn't you tell me you can write it was almost like I deserve to know. I had a smart father when he told me before. I wanted to tell me that and he said because your mother always said because you don't have an education, you shouldn't try to write one if you try and it wasn't any good. We all be humiliated. My mother was always afraid we'd be humiliated, so she never encouraged us to do anything to take any risks of any chances, so my father he said I knew I could write she's I knew inside me. There was an ability to write so he said I would write when you mother was out and I would write and send it into newspapers and I watch the newspaper until it came out and then I cut it out on this box. Somehow today I want to give you the prox to Box and I look through.

I couldn't believe all the things my father had written important things and as I got to the bottom. There was a letter in there from the United States that I always have been interested in politics have always been interested in personalities and it was from Henry Cabot Lodge senior and I open up this letter and it was to my father and I said Cabot Lodge write you for any said well I wrote him a letter telling him how you should run his campaign better more efficiently and effectively. Next time because of that he wrote me back a letter. It was a personal letter to pages type and it said dear Walter Chapman, and then it went down this idea was very good. I will implement that in my next campaign. This idea I cannot use for this reason any enumerated everything two pages answering my father's letter sharing with him what he liked about what he said and how you thanked him and appreciated what he done for him. I father had written silver boxes to a senator and he replied I was so amazed I put that back in the envelope put all the clippings back in the and I said to my father. Let's put it back behind the piano. So we did. We put that behind the piano. But I'll know it's there. As we left that little room to go back in the store. My father put his hand on my shoulder and he looked at me, said Florence I think I tried for something to think this time and I said with that is what I wrote into our denominational magazines and I told them how they ought to change the way they chose the nominating committee for the national convention that my father didn't write tribute to get the big picture and he said I wrote him and told him how they should do it differently. Good suggestions and he said it's been three months now and they haven't published it yet and they looked at me again and he said Florence I guess I've tried for something to be this time because of the last words my father ever said to me, because the next day my mother and he took the first day off it had in 20 years I stayed home to care the store with my two brothers my mother father went into Boston at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, walking through the subway station in Park St. in Boston. My father dropped to the pavement at the morning of the funeral I was sitting in the store opening up the cards that come for those days many cards it, because you see everyone left my father because he can't him encouraging words as I opened up these cards of sympathy from all the people that come into our store, I noticed the magazine our denominational magazine.

I never would've looked at it. Such atomic that my father told me I open up that magazine and looked through it and inside there was my father's article for more democracy. Walter Chapman. It came the day the funeral. I'm so grateful today that my father showed me that box because you see I have this clippings and I have framed on my wall at home. I have the article from that magazine in a picture my father and also have the letter from Henry Cabot Lodge senior I went back to Boston. I got a picture him and I have Henry Cabot Lodge in his letter and my father in his article, and I have those framed on the wall in my study, so that every day as I pass by. I remember the value of an Encouraging Word because you see, my father had a box of broken dreams things he if only someone you're listening to Florence with tower focus. We get her book silver boxes. The gift of encouragement as well as a CD of this entire presentation when you call 800 K in the word family 800-232-6459.

We can donate request those go ahead and returned out tomorrow from Florence with 110.

I sat down with my husband's mother. We never had anything much to say to each other. She seemed to be a superior being, she seemed to be above everybody else. He was elegant and beautiful said the right things did the right things had to bring home new out of 14 out of silver pots all the things I never learned I looked at her with envy. All my life I was afraid of her because she was so put together because she knew how to do anything with such silent flare and I wanted so much to do that so I never really had a one to one conversation with her until this one night just a number of years ago when I sat with her in her living room and I didn't know what to say to her and I asked one of those trite questions I sent mother. What was it like when you were young you know you getting older people as you people start asking me that my grandchildren got me what was like when you were young, they think I knew Abraham Lincoln personally so I asked my husband's mother. What was it like when you were young, not knowing what I get for an answer. She said all immediately. She's all I remember when I was in college I had this boyfriend that I was so in love with and we were going to get married.

She went on telling me about this and I looked at her, why not. I never thought of my mother.

Not having a boyfriend somehow just make sense. And as I looked at her and so I said to her, well, tell me about a mother and she told me that he was going to get married and when I graduated from college and she graduated with Cornell when she was 19 and she said when we graduated college we went to separate directions for the summer.

He was going to call me in the fall and we were going to get married. I said well what happened is when the fall came, he never called me as he never, I looked everything to me, never called you because he never called. I never heard from him again. What did you do as well. I cried a lot. Tears came down her cheek. I never see my mother in law relax. I'd never seen a real and you may have some person that you deal with it. You know, is not real. You never really gotten in there behind what they appear to be behind the wall like around themselves and for protection.

I never noticed it or realize that was what it was but as I talk to her. She cried and she said he never called me.

My mother didn't like him anyway because he didn't come from a rich enough family and her mother's theory always was. You can marry and fall in love with a rich man as well as a poor man that was a family motto she's in my mother like him anyway just after while my mother introduced me to friendly towering. She said I married him on the rebound. Then she looked at me and she said I never was in love with him.

This is Fred's father looked at her and I said you weren't.

She said no. I did the right things.

I played my role and she said I had the five children and I was the good wife and she said that she is crying and she said, but I never was in left make me feel about my mother-in-law that I been judgmental and negative about that. I thought this is a cold lady I never knew she had a problem like that before and I looked at her with a different feeling and then she said, but that's not the end. She said a couple of years ago I went to a party in her 70s and went to this party. As I looked across the room and there was this man standing there. As I looked at him and she looked like that young man that did so in love with it as I walked across the room to get a view so I can look at him and she's when I got near him. He turned and he looked at me and he said you and Marita. She said I looked up at him and said Georgia and she said I started to talk with him as I looked at him and I said which answer me one question why did you have a call. She said he looked at me and he said oh I called many times and each time I got your mother and each time your mother said she doesn't love you. She doesn't want to hear from you again.

Please don't call any said the last time I called your mother said she's engaged to marry someone else. Don't ever call she looked up at me and she said in tears. My mother's words ruined my life different feeling I had about my mother-in-law that day how bad I felt for the judgment that I put upon that lady in years past, how aloof I felt she was, how cold, how artificial all the time she was hiding a broken heart. I schedule mother.

What would you think it could've been anything you wanted to be in your life. She said all I would've been an opera singer and opera singer in you know you could think. She said that's because I never son since I got out of college. Did you sing before she's I majored in music and on that because I never asked her she said.

I majored in music and she said I wanted to be an opera star wanting to go and do it. She said because my mother said is no money in that you'll never make you don't have enough talent coming to the family business and that way you'll be secure. That way you have money and she said, so I gave up singing and she said, but inside always wanted to be an opera singer. I never knew that about her.

I didn't know she had any hidden desires and then she got up from the chair and she went down the hall to get back with a box big suit box. She opened up the box and pulled out some pictures and it was this picture. She said I want to see this picture. She said this is a stage set.

She said because I want you to know that I did once have the lead in my senior year in college is here I am right here in the center. She's on that one in the wing chair and she said these are all the cast around me. She's I had the lead in the opera.

Now she gave it to me.

She said here you take this picture.

Your daughter is named after me. Give this to Maria I wanted to have it.

I want her to know that her grandmother could have been something if you ever had the chance. If you ever had an Encouraging Word if someone it given her a silver box Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, many of us die with the music still in Fred's mother died with the music still in my father died with the music still in him.

Each one of them had a box of broken dreams, a box of clippings, a box of pictures, memories of what they'd done that no one knew about that and never become fulfilled both of them died with the music still in during Fred's mother's latter years when Fred and I went to visit her mind totally left her. She could not communicate. She couldn't say a word. We had no idea what she could hear what we were saying about whether she understood anything she was unable to articulate a word.

I asked the nurse one day when I was down visiting her in Miami here in Florida and I said as mother ever talk.

She said no she never says a word and then she looked at me she said. But that's the strangest thing that every once in a while she'll stand up and she will sing opera always into the amazing what still in our minds. Many times our minds have forgotten what a heart still remembers her heart still wanted to be an opera singer in the last night before she died. She stood up at the dinner table and the nurse told us that she stood there and she sang opera and she said when she finished, I clap for her and she held her hands and she found in sheep you see the opera was still in her and she said when I went in the next morning she was asleep with her hands like this and a smile on her face. She died with the music still in the song of Solomon.

It says in the winter is past, the rains are over and the flowers appear on the earth. The season of singing has come. Is there someone at home waiting for you to give them a season of singing.

Is there someone there was just waiting for silver box was waiting for word of encouragement from you.

Yes, there may be somebody you know who has a song waiting to be sung. Perhaps Sue has a race waiting to be run, maybe a piece waiting to be played. Perhaps a scene waiting to be staged a tale waiting be told or a book waiting to be so a rhyme waiting to be read her speech, waiting to be set if you know such a person. Don't let them die with the music still delete Florence with our today's Focus on the Family, Jim, what a good reminder to reach out and spend time encouraging those around us.

It really was John and what a great way to bless others. You know the Bible talks a lot about the power of our words, especially the book of Proverbs. Here are just two examples. Proverbs 1821 says death and life are in the power of the tongue. In Proverbs 1218 says rash. Words like the thrust of the sword but the tongue of the wise brings healing and you know these are great versus to post on the refrigerator on your bathroom mirror. As a reminder to use encouraging words rather than critical one just a really good idea Jim. And as we've noted before, being careful about her words is especially important in marriage. Fruits are true job and supporting marriages is one of our primary goals are Focus on the Family our surveys tell us that over the past year, over 600,000 couples build a stronger relationship.

Using focus resources and an additional 100,000 couple say the focus help them through a major crisis in their marriage. Here's one example from a man named David.

He wrote after I admitted to having an affair. My wife was devastated and turned to alcohol to escape our broken marriage. We lived like strangers for two years while the devil urged me to get a divorce. Fortunately we started listening to the Focus on the Family podcast which was like a healing balm if it wasn't for the hope you provided I would be a divorced husband and strange father. Thank God for your ministry you save my marriage and my family.

God bless you. Well, what story that's a great example of what the Lord is doing through art collective efforts. So let me ask you if you've benefited from the ministry. Focus on the Family would you please consider making a generous donation today. We are a nonprofit ministry and we rely on your support as we continue our mission to provide help and hope to families around the world. And when you make a donation of any amount I would like to send you a copy of Florence's great books silver boxes which has much more encouraging content than we were able to share on this program. It's hard to believe that Friday marks the end of the year so please get in touch with us this week. Today, as Jim said, call 800 the letter a in the word family 800-232-6459 or you can donate online and request the books silver boxes the link using the episode notes next time. Another of our top broadcasts of the year as we hear from Deborah for later shall explain the different seasons of marriage, like spring is the season of planting good seeing and uprooting the things that we don't want to see in our relationship. So in nature and in relationships.

The season of spring is really important Jim Daly in the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for this Focus on the Family podcast. We appreciate it if you take just a few moments for some iTunes work wherever you can guess that helps others find our encouraging John Fuller inviting back next time.

As we once more help you and your family thrive.

I was shocked when she gave me the divorce papers.

I was so done I had reached my breaking point. I was desperate for a shred of hope. So I called the hope restored team. It Focus on the Family they they listen to me and they asked about what was happening in my marriage. They encouraged me and my wife to attend one of their marriage intensive's for couples in crisis and they prayed with us. They help me believe that my marriage could be saved agreed to go but was skeptical that anything could help us but the whole environment was so safe and nonjudgmental. I felt my heart start to open up as we work with the counselors. Both of us still have work to do in her marriage but for the first time in a long time we have hope again Focus on the Family's hope restored marriage intensive program has helped thousands of couples who thought that their marriage was over. Find out which program is right for