April 15

Happy Monday! I appreciate your comments, as I feel your need, along with mine, for encouraging words.

While I was out in my yard the other day enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, I saw this green, luxuriant plant in the middle of my yard. Upon close examination, I found it was a dandelion. I got a firm grip on it and pulled it up, root and all.

Let me tell you about dandelions (as if you don’t know). They bloom with a bright yellow flower that we would say is pretty, were it not a weed.

After the bloom, it makes a seed head with hundreds of seeds that a wind will blow over my yard and my neighbors’. Soon we would see many baby dandelions coming up. Not good!medium_229071550

The writer of the book of Hebrews, in talking about the race we are each running, says in chapter 12 verse 15 to watch out lest even a root of bitterness springs up in your life—troubling you and many around you.

I thought of the story in the book of Ruth where Naomi was returning to Bethlehem after ten years in Moab. She had seen her husband and two sons die.

As she approached Bethlehem, the people asked, “Is this Naomi?” She replied, “Call me not Naomi (meaning pleasant) but call me Mara (bitter).”

The years had changed her countenance, but even more, bitterness had hardened her.

I’m sure most of you have a daily beauty routine—cleansers, lotions, potions, and anything that says, “reduces fine lines and wrinkles.”

Whether you use drug store products or very expensive “high-end” creams, nothing will soften the lines of bitterness on your face. Perhaps we should add to our routine a close inspection of even a tiny spot of a bitter spirit.

One of my living heroines is my sister-in-law, Earlyne Stephens. At age 94, she is still beautiful. Might it be Oil of Olay? Maybe. But I think it is probably the result of love of God and love for life and people. Though she has had hard knocks in her life, I don’t see a trace of a bitter heart. What an example to follow.

You’ve heard it said, “Bitterness is the only ingredient that eats its own container.”

When troubles come, and they will, we have to choose: “Be bitter…or better.”

32 thoughts on “April 15

  1. Oh how I remember Ms Earleyne and often wondered if she were still with us. I remember her condo we
    decorated together and how she loved it.. June my sister-in law is 87 and is so beautiful . Bitter or better
    has been a challenge . So far I have managed with God’s grace and mercy and that I might finish the race
    better than when I started. Connie Brown


  2. I have used the statement “you will be better or bitter ” on so many things. The truth never changes. I know of bitter individuals who are everything but beautiful.. Beauty comes from within. I am aging everyday. I can do little about my wrinkles but my smile can radiate because Christ is shining through. Thank’s for the reminder and illustration.


  3. I want to let you know that it was and is a priviledge to know you. I think of you often and hope that one day I’ll see you again. Thank you for being a godly influence in my life. Just a funny story when I was about 12 yrs old I was going to a good church out in Tacoma Wa. I remember this one service where a man came to preach at my church. All I remember about that man is that he coughed alot and the story he told about meeting Elvis. Well one night sitting in Question and Answer time at First Baptist Hammond someone asked Bro. Hyles to tell the story about how he met Elvis.. I could not believe what I was hearing it was that same story that preacher told that night when i was 12. I sat there listening that story about Elvis and then it hit me that Preacher from way back then is Bro. Hyles. The only reason that i remember so vividly that story of elvis is because I was a huge elvis fan. SHHH a little secret still an Elvis freak.


  4. Thank you for coming by way of phone last night at the Durham Ladies Meeting. I did well until I heard your voice. I cried for the sweet memories of the things you have taught me through the years and the kind things you said to Renee. She needed your encouragement. I just signed up for this to come to my email. Can’t wait to get your weekly challenges.


  5. I can’t believe I waited until Thursday to check my email and read this. It has been a busy week. Thank you for these encouraging words. You are so right about what a root of bitterness can and will do to a life if we allow it. This is a great reminder to guard against it. Thank you, Mrs. Hyles. Have a wonderful week!


  6. I know I could use this reminder just about every week, if not more often!! So often, we allow bitterness to creep in because we do not recognize it for what it truly is. Thank you for the thoughts; but even more, thank you for living the Christian life in such a way that you could share this wisdom with us from experience!


  7. Thank you, Mrs. Hyles for this reminder. We do need to keep ourselves in check. It’s so easy to become dissappointed in others actions and then allow bitterness to creep in. This is a battle we all need to conquer and give to the Lord. Also, thank you for mentioning Mrs. Stephens, what a great lady she is. I had the privilege of working with her in the business office as a student, it was a blessing. I remember walking with her to chapel one rainy, “dreary” day. She said she loved it, the Lord was washing the world today. Never a negative word out of her. I’ll never forget that. Love you, Mrs. Hyles and love this reminder. Thank you again. I needed it!


  8. I pray that I can live up to this incredible advice…..from you and the scripture! I’m constantly reminded of how much we need to walk with God EVERYDAY…..even if is just for this reason only! I want to be BETTER not bitter! I love you, Mrs. Hyles!!!


  9. Mrs. Hyles, I am LOVING this blog! I’m so glad you mentioned Mrs. Stephens today. I’ve wondered how she’s doing. She came to the Hammond Baptist Business Office every Monday when I worked there. How we enjoyed her visits. She is delightful. Your comments are light a breath of fresh air to me. Thanks so much for sharing…and thanks to your “administrator” for bringing this to us.


  10. As Always…your words of wisdom and love are life-giving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😉 Love you too!!!!!!!!!!!!! Truly!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a wonderful Day!!! as it is…Jesus and you for EACH tomorrow!!!!!!!!” 😉 Hallelujah!!! WHAT a Savior!!!


  11. =) I enjoy these weekly posts…this is the second posting I have seen today regarding bitterness. I can’t help but wonder what is about to happen in my life that I needed to see them. Whatever it is, I’m thankful to have the reminders to be diligent to keep out that root of bitterness in my life!


  12. Thank you, Mrs Hyles, for this reminder. My husband, Ed, experienced a mild stroke on April 7. He is recovering well. He has regained the use of his left arm and is regaining the use of his left leg. I needed this reminder to not become bitter in the midst of our current circumstance. I greatly appreciate and enjoy hearing from you each Monday!


  13. Thank you for taking the simple and applying it to the wisdom of our precious Savior! God bless you, Mrs. Hyles! God is indeed enough, and ALL that we need! Life is too short to be bitter!


  14. I’ve read these verses & heard this subject taught many times. I too am older in age & in The Lord. I never want to become bitter.
    Lately, I’ve had my share of bad things to happen. The easy thing to do would be run away & pretend it’s not there. I know however, I should be still & let God do His great & mighty works! Thank you Mrs. Hyles for starting this blog! I met you years ago at Trinity Baptist in Arlington, Tx. at a ladies meeting . My daughter Jeanine was the president of our ladies that year. She was the one who had a brain tumor along with Cushings disease. She’s battled Cushings twice since we’ve seen you! Please pray for her. I now attend Fort Worth Baptist Temple – Fort Worth – Before Bro. R.A. Smith ‘s dear wife passed away , I heard many beautiful stories of her playing piano at First Baptist in Hammond! Bro. Smith still tells great stories of back in the day when him & her attended college at Hyles Anderson.


  15. Thank you again for a wonderful article. Thank you for sharing your heart and keeping the bitterness out. We love you and pray for you. God bless you and your family. We love you all.


  16. Wonderful reminder for each of us! I do remember Mrs. Stephens with a lovely and sincere smile each time I saw her! Joy gives such visible beauty. Thank you for sharing your heart of encouragement with us today!


  17. Good Morning, Mrs Hyles!. I look forward to “Monday with Beverly”. Thank you for this one–I will “cleanse” with it daily. 🙂


  18. SO truly stated. How many of us have faced many back stabbing Christians. It is so easy to remain bitter and angry at them. In the end it is I who is harmed. When forgiveness comes the “SONLIGHT” is able to shine. Thank you for sharing your heart, Mrs. Hyles. I know you have had your share of troubles, but it so precious to see your sweet spirit. May God continue to bless you and use you. 🙂


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