Are Your Words Like Fresh Water?

Nicole Headshot in blue shirt

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

When I turn on the faucet, I expect water to pour out. If I plant an apple tree, I expect apples to be produced. No mystery in what is expected from either of these vessels. So, how and why then, do words of blessings, complaining, criticizing and cursing come out of the SAME mouth? Shouldn’t it be consistently one or the other (preferably blessings and words of goodwill, especially for those in the Body of Christ)?

The Bible provides several scriptures on the words produced by our tongue, and the affects thereafter. Here are at least four scriptures on the subject:



  • Proverbs 18:21- The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit (one commentary says “shall receive either good or evil according to the quality of their speeches”).
  • Matthew 12:34-37- “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35- The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36- But I can tell you that men will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37- For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
  • James 3:6, 8- The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 8-but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
  • James 3:9-12- With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10- Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11- Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12- My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. 


spring water

What fruit does your speech produce in your life and in others’ lives? Does your speech speak life and light over those created in God’s image? How are your words used (or not used) when addressing challenging issues—through complaining, criticizing, cursing or with quiet trust, praise, uplifting and thanksgiving?

Our words are conditional to our heart and thoughts. For those of us in Christ Jesus who have truly yielded to His ways, the sanctification process (us being transformed and perfected into Christ’s likeness) is just that: a process. Thankfully, as we desire to be more like Him, He renews our mind and transforms our heart, and thereby, our responses to situations. For me, He is replacing my complaining/grumbling with quiet trust, praise and thanksgiving. Whether waiting for a delayed train while sweating in the smoldering heat and humidity, or extending patience to the person ahead of me who is proceeding slowly, I choose to not complain. I have more gratitude in all situations.

As he continues to transform my heart and mind, my words, my tongue will produce His desired intention of those words springing forth.  I am grateful for His merciful and patient striving with me.

We are reminded as His vessels to use our words in such ways that we “are joyful always,” and to  17-“pray continually, 18- give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

From your one mouth, may words of light, restoration, blessing and thanksgiving flow in your life and others.

Proverbs 16:24- Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

God bless you,


Nicole D. Hayes is the founder of Voices Against the Grain, a bold teaching ministry launched in May 2013. Nicole’s purpose in creating Voices Against the Grain is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amid confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.

Learn more about Nicole D. Hayes here.





What’s Next for the 100-Yr-Old Christian?

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

The official word is “centenarian” for someone who has lived to age 100 or older. Praise be to God, for earlier this month, 175 family members and friends who traveled near and far, gathered to celebrate my grandmother, Thelma F. Hayes, on her 100th birthday. Truly a blessing!

A sweet-spirited woman, she has jokes and likes to laugh. A sports enthusiast, she enjoys watching KU men’s basketball (GO Jayhawks!) and Kansas City Chiefs football. She also stayed up into the wee morning hours to watch the Kansas City Royals take the crown as 2015 World Series champions!  She reminisces on the times she played baseball with her children when they were younger.

In the years I’ve been blessed to lovingly call her “grandma,” and her children who have called her “Momma Hayes” and dear friends who know her well, we can attest that she daily lives out 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: 

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.


I’ve honestly never heard a foul word or grumbling from her lips. She birthed eight children, losing two shortly after birth. Of the six children that remained, one son passed a few years ago. She suffered a serious illness in her early years and nearly died, but recovered. She has witnessed the cruelty of human rights denied to Blacks; enduring the Jim Crow laws of racial segregation, not being considered equal to her White peers. She watched as her fraternal twin sister Zelma Bell daily took the train from Topeka, Kansas to Lawrence, Kansas (about a 30-minute trek one way) to attend classes on the University of Kansas campus. Because Zelma was black, she was not allowed to live on campus like her white classmates enjoyed. Thelma encouraged her sister Zelma, as she obtained her bachelors and masters degree.

She has witnessed technology’s evolution, yet not overcome by or attached to it like most of us. She has seen triumphant and tragic world events, lifting up prayers and praises respectively for each. She’s prayed fervently for the salvation, healing, comfort and mercy for others, witnessing God’s favor as she has interceded for many. As told in James 5:16, “the prayers of the righteous availeth much.” The last living sibling of her family and seeing her husband, loved ones and friends go before her, whatever sorrows she has she doesn’t visibly wear them. Neither do those sorrows disturb her peaceful countenance. Still able to do for herself, she usually wears a smile and raises her hands in praise to the Lord…the Lord Jesus Christ, Our Savior and Redeemer, who has proved Himself faithful, loving and trustworthy over and over again.

For all that my grandma Thelma Hayes has seen and been through in her 100 years of living she says, “I have a lot to be thankful for. I cannot tell it all. Praise His Holy Name. I give all the praise and glory to God. I won’t complain.”

Grandma Thelma F. Hayes, 100th Birthday Celebration, November 7, 2015 in Topeka, KS.

Grandma Thelma F. Hayes, 100th Birthday Celebration, November 7, 2015 in Kansas.

So what’s next for the 100-year-old Christian? Is there a spiritual conquest? Is there more to learn? Are there still areas to grow?

Whatever God’s plans for my grandma and those who are now centenarians, it’s certain that like those of us in Christ Jesus, the future is good. She won’t lack any good thing. She will continue to be blessed and her family will call her blessed. She will remain unmoved by disturbing events, as she has seen it all and her faith has carried her through. She is secure in her salvation and eternal home. And within her small frame stirs the power of a mighty prayer warrior that brings relief to those who seek her prayers.

She will continue to start her days as she as for many years, in prayer for others. She’ll continue to thank God for His goodness and faithfulness. And knowing her, she’ll still eat a cheeseburger and slice of apple pie.


Nicole D. Hayes is the founder of Voices Against the Grain, a bold teaching ministry launched in May 2013. Nicole’s purpose in creating Voices Against the Grain is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amid confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.

Learn more about Nicole D. Hayes here.

God’s Will For You Is On-Point

Good Day! Be grateful that God doesn’t want to leave you or me the same as we came into this world! What He has planned is better than we could imagine for ourselves. We simply need to be obedient to His will and His way. Sharing with you this devotional from Minister Dracy Jenkins, our brother-in-Christ who writes for web-based Christian think tank, Freedom Squared.  His devotional and their team member writings can be found on  -Nicole

“Rejoice in knowing that you belong to God and that He is conforming you to the image of His Son. See every event of this day as part of that process. Yield to the Spirit’s prompting, and take heart that God will accomplish His will.” — John MacArthur

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Romans 12:2 NLT Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Point 1:  We are to rejoice because God’s Will for us is good, pleasing and perfect!  Hallelujah!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT 16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Point 2: We are to be joyful and thankful in and through all things, because that is His Will for us.

Hebrews 10:10 NLT  For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

Point 3: We are to live differently than what the world says is acceptable and politically correct.  Because of Christ, we have been made holy and provided the righteousness of Christ. Which also is God’s Will for us. It is in and through the power of Christ that we’ll no longer have to conform and fit into the world’s decaying morals and values.  We can remain above it because we have been called and empowered to. Hallelujah!

Hebrews 10:36 NLT 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

Point 4: Because it is God’s Will to deliver to us everything He promised in His Word, we are to patiently wait and endure the test and trials that come our way.  Our reward for following Christ and surrendering all is already reserved for us.  Its ours and cannot be taken away.  We simply need to remain focused on Christ and all that His life and sacrifice on the cross has made available for us.

Father, we thank you that your Will be done.  Nothing can stop it; nothing can change it.  We are yours and you are ours.  We praise your Holy name today and give thanks for Your Son and Your ever-present Spirit.  Thank you for loving us so.  It’s in Jesus name we pray and praise you, Amen.

-Minister Dracy Jenkins
After God’s Own Heart Ministries, and