Ten Years Later!
A decade after Heartlight first began, this very first article still is applicable — we find ourselves in another drought with horrible problems with wildfires in northern and west Texas. Here's a trip down memory lane we hope you enjoy!

I had just gotten back from the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. All around the metroplex, fires had burned uncontrollably for three days. Most of the fires had been started out of sheer carelessness. Tens of thousands of acres went up in flames. People lost homes, livestock, farm equipment, cars, trucks, and a lifetime of possessions and memorabilia.

We had been on fire alert for over a month here in Texas. Imagine my shock as I'm pulling onto the interstate highway one evening and a car blows by me on the access road. Out of sheer habit, the passenger tossed out a cigarette. I couldn't believe it. The cigarette sent up a shower of glowing embers with each bounce. Each bounce brought it closer to the dry grass on the shoulder.

How could anybody be so stupid? How could they risk disaster for so many people with such carelessness? With all that had been on the news, I couldn't believe anyone would still be so brazen. I slowed to make sure the grass didn't catch fire before I made my way home.

Then it hit me. Daily we carelessly toss around inflammatory words — thoughtless sarcasm, ugly teases, downright put down, intentional cuts, deliberate shaming, and rash emails. These words, thoughtless or intentional, do as much damage to the hearts of those we know as those carelessly started wildfires.

I was convicted that I have done much the same thing.
By the time I made it home, I was no longer indignant with the careless act of a commuter. Instead, I was convicted that I have done much the same thing with the hearts of those I love. Words are such a precious gift. I vowed to be more careful with the words I use. There is too much at stake in the hearts of those I love to hurt them in needless and careless ways.

So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! (James 3:5-6 NAS)