Don’t Let Hate Ruin Your Love

A friend of mine posted a photo of her two youngest grandchildren giving each other a kiss.  It was a adorable photo of the three year old sister giving her one year old brother a kiss.  It was wonderfully pure and innocent love expressed.

The photo gave me joy, in a world of division and hate, many people have let the desire to show love go, replacing it with a position of “my way or the highway!”  A thought process of if we disagree on a subject, one of us must be destroyed and that type of thinking must be terminated.

When I was in high school, hippies were very popular and their message of love was prominent.  While I didn’t embrace their lifestyle, I have always thought that loving one another was the right thing to do.  But how do you do that?

When I was twenty-six years old, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ.  It was through that act of surrendering that I was shown how to love my fellow man.  Jesus spoke these words:

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 ESV

He said, “just as I have loved you.”  How did He showed that He love me?  What did He do?  Well, the first thing was that He died on the cross to pay my sin debt that I could not pay.  Then He, through the Holy Spirit working within me, began to change me from the inside out.  Innumerable times, He has been patience with me.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.1 Peter 4:8 ESV

In marriage and in a family, we know we must be patient with one another to keep things together.  There has to be give and take.   Could we extend what we do in a family to those outside our circle  and show love/respect ?

with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  Ephesians 4:2-3 ESV

Did you notice what Paul wrote in Ephesians, “bearing with one another in love,”?  Does the word “bearing” suggest to you that it takes some effort and work on our part to accomplish?

Perhaps that could be as easy as sharing a smile with someone you pass on the street or in the store.  In 1967, The Youngbloods had a hit song called, “Get Together”.   The chorus of the song was this, “Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another, right now”.

You may think my approach, which is implementing what the Bible teaches, may be simplistic, but I believe it will work and it is the right thing to do.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.  Romans 12:9 ESV

Let’s be genuine.  Let’s not let hate ruin our love.  Think about a pure and innocent love for one another.  Let’s get together!!

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A Sweet Memory

I was on my way to work Friday morning and I was praying for a lady in our church who had just had a brain tumor removed on Wednesday.  She had posted on Facebook about being in ICU and not being able to get any sleep or rest.  Having spent my share of time in hospitals, I said “Amen” to her statement.

I was thinking about how kind and gracious the Lord was to her, that she was able to even do a simple task like posting on Facebook.  In the simple things, He gives us hope.

I was reminded of one time that I was in the hospital.  After a major surgery that required the doctors to place a tracheotomy in me, due to my throat swelling.  I could not talk.  I was given a white board and a marker to write my thoughts.  It helped, but it left me frustrated, because I could not write as fast as I wanted too.

One day, about a week after the surgery, my team of doctors came into my room to do a follow-up.  It happened to be a time when Terrie wasn’t there yet.  The doctors began to question me and I was trying to write and I was unable to keep up, when a doctor from Belarus, with agitation said,”Why don’t you just put your finger over the tube opening and speak!”  I did that and said, “Because no one told me that was an option!”

And so when they left, I reached for the telephone beside my bed and called home.  Terrie said, “Hello?” and I said, “Hello, Baby.”  We both immediately began to cry.  How sweet it was to experience a little headway as we were going through this great trial.  How sweet it was to be able to speak.  How sweet was God’s grace to allow the simple things to become great things.

It was from that time, that I knew I would not go home with the tracheotomy.  I told them that I would not go home with it.  They didn’t believe me, saying I had to accomplish X, Y, and Z before that would happen.  Again, by God’s grace, X,Y, and Z did happened and the trach was removed before I went home.

Our God is able.  He is can create a sweet memory for you as he created a sweet memory for me!

2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.”

A Greater Cause

Before the Apostle Paul converted to Christianity, he was a zealous and a devoted Jew.  The scripture says he was extremely devoted to following the Jewish customs.  A Jew among Jews.

After his salvation, Paul was a zealous, devoted, and bold preacher of the gospel.  He would reason in synagogues and many were converted to Christianity.  But there were many who did not accept his message.  He eventually expanded his message to the Gentiles.  As a result of his faithful proclamation, Continue reading

Surrendered To Singleness

I hate being single and alone!

As a guy who needs social involvement, it is aggravating to be alone.  I don’t seem to know how to function without someone I feel close to in my life.

I really don’t need a lot of involvement from others.  Just one will do.  Throughout my life, I have found one was about all that I did have.

As a child, my sister was the one.  We played together and hung out together.  We were about the only ones we knew as a result of moving so often.  In high school, I had a one friend at different times, Continue reading

Surprised or Awed?

 

I don’t know which word describes how I feel.  Maybe it’s both.  When you pray for something and God answers that prayer with what you asked for, do you ever feel surprised?  Or are you in awe that He did it?

A week ago, we began another cycle of GriefShare  (www.griefshare.org) sessions at my church.  Interested people may pre-register online on our church website.  As of the eve of the first session, no one had pre-registered for the class.  That’s not too surprising because our society does not like to sign-up for things anymore.   I understand that, but it does make it difficult in knowing how to prepare materials, drinks, etc. for the class.

In the first session, I knew my facilitator would be absent due to a work conflict.  So, I went to the church wondering if I would be the only one there.  I was surprised when two young ladies walked in to join the class.  As I talked with them, it was apparent they were both hurting deeply and I was glad that my church has this ministry to help the hurting.

Last night was our second session.  I knew my facilitator would be joining me and a lady from the church said she would be there.  When they arrived, I was pleased to have them.  And then the two young ladies came and right behind them were two more people that was a complete surprise to me.  The last two drove about 25 miles one way to be there.

I was asked what was the minimum amount of folks required to have a class.  My answer was one, but even if no one signed up, we would be there each week to pray and to study and to be available if someone should walk in.

Is it a matter of faith or lack of faith?  Is it a matter of being available to be used by God?  Or is it an excitement to seeing Him in action?

“Jesus said to him, “If you can believe all things are possible to him who believes.”  Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”  Mark 9:23-24 NKJV

 

In Need of Grace

I have been concerned about a spirit of intolerance in our country.  I’m aware of the political differences and the impatience of even listening to a thought that may be different than your own.  I’m aware there is a movement to restrict our free speech by attaching labels (racist, misogynist, xenophobic, etc.)  to someone in order to try to silence a discussion. Continue reading

Do I Have His Heart?

I’ve been pondering a question that was asked by Dr. Paul David Tripp in his video series entitled “JONAH: You Can’t Outrun Grace”.  His question was “Do you share God’s heart?”

 

I’m sure I’ve heard the question, in one form or another in my nearly forty years of being a Christian, but in the context it was presented, which was Jonah running from God and God not giving up on him, the question seemed to germinate in me and forced me to examine how I look upon and react to others. Continue reading

Crying Out

“In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.”  Psalm 18:6 ESV

I had gone through a few hard days physically.   I had a weekend of aching (glowing) arthritic knees and sinus pressure that was effecting my vision.

So, the following Monday, I went to my doctor to get help.  He told me to take Musinex and Flonase for the sinus pressure and gave me a shot to help my knees.  It was suggested that I take my annual flu shot, so I got a flu shot.

The next morning, I had a CT scan to make sure I was Continue reading

A Helping Hand

I was teaching my Sunday school lesson yesterday, speaking on God’s miraculous grace.  It is not uncommon for me to remember an event that relates to a given subject while I am teaching.  This is the memory that came to me while I was teaching.

When I was going through chemotherapy, I was in a weakened state.  It was in January, I believe, and the left front tire of Terrie’s car was low and needed air.  If it had gone flat, I would not have been able to exchange the tire on the side of the highway.  She would have been unable to change it.  So, picking the lesser of two hard positions, we went to the corner gas station to add air. Continue reading

The “Unlikely’s”

 

I was listening to my pastor preach and he said something about someone in the Bible that would have be unlikely to be used by God.  I began to think on that subject and began recalling some names that would make you think that they were not qualified as we might see them, but were perfectly qualified from God’s point of view.  Here are a few of the ones I thought of:

How about Abraham and Sarah?   Continue reading