Friday, January 13, 2012

Walk In Love

"Walking", Bing

“And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command

but one we have had from the beginning.

I ask that we love one another.

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands.

As you heard from the beginning, his command is that we walk in love.”

2 John 5-6 (NIV)

John returns to the command given by the Lord Himself. We are to love one another. He explains when we are to accomplish this we obey God and His commands.

As we go through 2012, we need to remember that we are commanded to love one another as God loves us. What does this mean to us? God loves us as we are, He loves us not because we will do great things but because of we belong to Him.

I saw her when she was in the hospital. She was a relative but we had different lives. She told me she didn’t approve of the way either of her children lived their lives but they were her kids. As she said it I felt scolded but later I realized she wasn’t defending them but loved them because they were hers. She made no pretense about trying to justify the behavior of her children, she loved them anyway. That day, I saw how unconditional love worked.

Recently, I saw unconditional love displayed by an older couple. They had had been victimized by a younger member of their family. My friend spoke of their concern about this young relative being placed with hardened criminals while being retained by the authorities. I took the time to tell my friend that she had reminded me what unconditional love looks like.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

“A New Command”

“A new command I give you: Love one another.

As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another

John 13: 34-35 (NIV)

Jesus has just told the disciples that he will not be with them much longer. Simon Peter is distraught by the news.

Our Lord tells the disciples He is giving them a new way to look at each other. He tells them to ‘love one another.’ Jesus must have thought it important because He tells them three times.

Earlier in this chapter, Jesus serves the disciples in a humbling way-He washed their feet. After he finishes, Our Lord tells them they should do for another as He has done for them.

Another example of God’s love is the familiar passage, John 3:16. God gave something precious to us and for us because He loved us so much.

We are to do love others as Christ has loved us.

In our 21st Century world, we still read of our need to extend grace and mercy to those we meet. How do we manage to show God’s love to those around us? We do deeds of kindness when we see a need. We honor people’s positions and try not to betray another’s trust or cause a friend to do so, either. We respect boundaries others have set.

People watch what we do. Even those closest to us-our neighbors, those with whom we do business, and our family members monitor and evaluate our behavior. I once had to tell a lady she had mistakenly paid me for a story that was a simple e-mail forward. As we ended the conversation, she thanked me for my honesty and then added, “I would have expected nothing less from you.”

I once gave a negative verbal reference on a friend who used my name on a job application.  My thinking was she was not right for the job. She had too many personal issues in her life.The hiring lady wanted to hire her very much. The lady called the other reference, a relative of my friend for whom she had worked. In a matter of minutes my phone rang and my friend wanted to know when she offended me. She ended the conversation with, “If that is Christianity, then I want no part of it.” I called the hiring lady and let her know what had transpired. Because of what she did, I lost a friend. I also learned a lesson about life. We can do what we think God would want us to and still have to face issues because of our actions. But we must love others as God loved us.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New In Attitude

"The Thinker" by Rodin, Bing Pictures

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life,
to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires,
to be made new in the attitude of your minds. And to put on the new self,
created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)

“It’s all in how you think about it.” “It’s all in how you look at it.” These are expressions we hear about the weather, being too hot or cold. My husband and our son have this phrase when I complain about the winter weather. It goes something like this, “It’s (insert appropriate month); it’s supposed to be cold.” When it’s July and August, they have a summer version of it.

When we, as Christians, hear about an event or a behavior that is less than appropriate we need to remember this passage and ask God to help us look at it through eyes He gives us. Our newspapers are full of stories about man’s atrocities to man. Most of these happenings are too vile to be discussed on a Christian blog. One of the ones I heard about recently was first mentioned on a newscast my husband caught. The segment ended with a statement to the effect of, “There is a part of this story that is too gross to talk about when children might be watching.”

We have to ask God to guide us through these times and allow our thinking to reflect Him.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

It's My Turn to Be "It."

Dawn, over at tagged me to share eleven things about me that you think you would like to know. (Maybe you wouldn't,'cause if you did, you wouldn't like me anymore.) Here goes:

                 #1. I am one that likes the quiet of the early morning.
                  #2. I have a few very close friends. One I was acquaited with in high school. We don't tell people how long ago. We recently told someone we had been friends "forever." She used to babysit our son. She's interested in his well-being. Another one and her husband have always been there for me when I have had some rough times. (And, yes, I have had them.)

                    #3. I am very sensitive about certain aspects of God's calling me away from certain issues in life. There are conversations I chose not to enter into with people.  It saves me from having to apologize to God for my behavior.

                    #4. I am a mystery movie buff. I like to watch reruns of certain movies to see what I missed the last time I saw it. We watched "Rear Window" several times before I realized that the story took place in about a week.

                     #5. I color my hair. I do this because Hubby doesn't like seeing my 'silver threads.' I also have red highlights. My stylist grew up across the street from us.  I have know her almost  "forever."

                    #6. I enjoy writing the short plays for our church's drama ministry. Right now, I am working on the Easter drama. The head of our Drama Ministry and I met with our pastor today to show him what I have come up with for Resurrection Sunday. He paid us a nice compliment. He said we have an outstanding drama ministry.

                    #7. My husband and I have been married a little over 43 years. No, he didn't rob the cradle. Even after all these years,I sometimes find that he still does things that amaze me.

                    #8. I have dealt with depression off and on all my life. I had to give up a job in the 1980's in order to try to deal with certain issues in my life and my marriage. God was there for me and He still is.

                     #9. We have one son, whom we love very much. He moved 600 miles away from us because he found work. (Couldn't find anything here.) I didn't realize how much I missed him until Thanksgiving Day.

                      #10. I love words. My favorite subjects in high school were English and History. But when I went to college, I couldn't write the way the professors wanted.  If I would have transferred to another school, I would have had to retake four semesters of English, Rhetoric, or Composition.

                      #11. Stress literally makes me sick.  Sometimes, I can't leave our house for fear I have an episode.

Dawn Asked Me These

1. The first three things you do in the morning

                  Read my Bible, Have Devotions, Consult my list for the days activities.

2. When was the last time you exercised and what did you do?
                   The day after Christmas,I started cleaning house. I hurt that night like I'd run a marathon.

3. One thing you will do (or try) this year that you have never done before?
                     Maintain a 'company ready' house.( Long story.)

4. If money were no object what is the one thing you would buy for yourself?
                     A more modern home.

5. If you could go anywhere in the world to explore and visit, where would it be?
                      Germany, or the United Kingdom, especially Ireland.

6. You can interview 3 people (they have to be living) - who are they?
                       Jan Karon, Beverly Lewis, Max Lucado

7. Describe yourself in 7 words or less.
                        Deep Thinking, Concerned for others, Joyful.

8. Favorite fruit?
                        Cherry,Bing Cherries. (We have a memory about them.)

9. One historical person you want to talk to who is not alive.
                          Mother Theresa or Corrie Ten Boom ( I know, I can't count.)

10. Your favorite movie?
                           Sleepless in  Seattle- a good story and a minimum of foul language words.

11. What is the best book you would recommend for 2012
                            The Bible, the best book for any year.
Now I get to choose some others to tell about themselves. I choose any of you who read my blog.
Give us eleven things we don't already know about yourself and answer the eleven questions I received from Dawn.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...