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  • Writer's pictureShelia Hart Artt


- Aug.1.2023 - #mamashelia

Have you heard of Hoof-and-Mouth disease? Growing up where agriculture and cattle were common ways of life, I heard that term all my life!

Defined as an infectious and sometimes fatal viral disease, the disease can affect cloven-hoofed animals, including domestic and wild bovine animals.

But once (and only once) my husband said, “Shelia, you might have a case of ‘Hoof-in-Mouth’ disease!” Ha! He made me laugh. Then, it made me cry!

It was too true to be entirely funny! I have often stuck my foot in my mouth and then ended up chewing on old leather that was too “tough to swallow!”

Truly, I appreciated that my husband reminded me to “think before you speak!” He was saying, “Don’t just say the first thing that comes to you head, because Hoof-in-Mouth disease is so awkward and offends and separates people.” Sadly, that is so true!

When much younger, I remember memorizing a little prayer:

"O Lord, Please fill my mouth

with worthwhile stuff, And nudge me

when I've said enough!”

But I’ve only really learned it, through experiences of trying to explain myself or trying too hard to make a point! I think it’s been a life-long lesson!

There are over 350 verses directly talking about the mouth, and many of those are for our edification and encouragement.

The apostle Paul, in writing the Church at Ephesus, wrote: "Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” (Eph.4:29)

The Psalmist referenced the way that we should use our mouth for good and not evil. Here’s a few of those verses:

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, Oh Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” (Ps.19:14)

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Ps.34:1)

“The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, And his tongue speaks justice.” (Ps.37:30)

“I will sing of the graciousness of the Lord forever; To all generations I will make Your faithfulness known with my mouth.” (Ps.89:1)

And a personal favorite in the Psalms is a verse my friend, Lana, shared with me in 1978, when I was told by doctors that the cancer that had attacked my mouth would kill me. I still refer back to this verse often: “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the Lord.” (Ps.40:3)

Yes, we have a choice. Our words can be for good or harm. But, even more than helping another, we get the biggest blessing when we know our words have encouraged and edified someone else.

When we need Him, we can cry out for extra help, when we get frustrated or out of sorts: "Set a guard, Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Ps.141:3)

Now, “The high praises of God shall be in their mouths, And a two-edged sword in their hands,” (Ps.149:6).

And Judah (the voices of praise) went out before Jehoshaphat’s Army. So when they were threatened by the enemy armies, they marched forward singing praises to their Lord and King! (2Chron.20:21-24). And the army of God heartedly defeated those who opposed them!

Salvation comes by the words of your mouth: “… if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom:10:9).

There is great authority in your mouth: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue!” (Prov.18:21) Therefore, we want to speak Life!

Jesus is the Living Word, and it is by every word that comes from His mouth that we have Life - more abundantly! “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”(Matt.4:4)

Do you remember the sing-song we would use on the playground when someone tried to hurt us with their words? “Sticks and stones May break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”

But that’s not really true, is it? Many times, we would have been better to have been beaten, or stones thrown at us, than to have “heart wounds” from words that were said! They are deep wounds that can leave life-long scars.

I, therefore, am asking you, “For those hurtful things I may have said, forgive me.” No excuses, just that sometimes that old disease (Hoof-in-Mouth) that haunted me for years, will find a place to show its ugly head!

But praise God, “He has put a New Song in our mouths, that people may see and fear and trust the Lord!”

When we live in Christ, His Spirit in us is loving, kind and full of Grace. "We reflect the Living Word made flesh, and dwelling among us. And we behold His glory, (the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

Hallelujah! “He heals all of our diseases” (Ps.103:3) … even Hoof-in-Mouth disease❣️ ~ #sheliahartartt

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Anthony Test
Aug 02, 2023



Brad Ward
Brad Ward
Aug 02, 2023

Yes, Lord, help me to use the correct words at the correct time. Amen.

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