People are People

I don’t know about you, but when I’m delving into various concepts within The Word, nothing helps drive the point home better than a little classic, 80s New Wave.
For me, lately, the concept has been better learning how to love.  Amongst many other things, this is one thing Jesus said about love, which I think I will always be able to work on just a little bit more…
Matthew 5:43-48  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
A challenge if there ever was one.  If Christ could find it within Himself to embrace all of us, why shouldn’t I do the same?  If I were to draw a line, there would be Almighty Jesus on one side, and the rest of us on the other.  Alas.  Christ didn’t adhere to any such line, and decided to join all of us, instead.
That never ceases to amaze me…
And now, without further ado, the lyrical and musical genius of Depeche Mode; helping to convict me to Christ’s morals since my lovely days as a melancholy youth…
People are people, so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully?
People are people, so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully?

So we’re different colors and we’re different creeds
And different people have different needs
It’s obvious you hate me though I’ve done nothing wrong
I’ve never even met you, so what could I have done?

I can’t understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand

People are people, so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully?
People are people, so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully?

And now you’re punching and you’re kicking and you’re shouting at me
I’m relying on your common decency
So far, it hasn’t surfaced but I’m sure it exists
It just take a while to travel from your head to your fist

I can’t understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand

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Charles R. Swindoll

People who soar are those who refuse to sit back, sigh and wish things would change.  They neither complain of their lot nor passively dream of some distant ship coming in.  Rather, they visualize in their minds that they are not quitters; they will not allow life’s circumstances to push them down and hold them under.
This was quoted in Candace Cameron Bure’s book, Reshaping It All.  Had to share.

Being the mother they need and deserve

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 
Kids are messy, try your patience, and some of them even excel in the art of the meltdown.  Sometimes it’s accidental.  Other times, not so much…  I know that if I don’t ask God for help with how I compose myself throughout the day (and ask Him several times…), then I am rarely the mother I want to be for them.

Even at two years old, it’s amazing to see how differently my boy responds to me when the day has had its tough moments, but I choose to respond with kindness and understanding in place of anger or annoyance.  Usually, at the end of those days, I get the biggest hug he has in him.

His appreciation is clear, and it’s one of those precious things that help remind me of the kind of mother I’m meant to be.

What helps to remind you to be the person God means for you to be?

Can you feel the love tonight?

Edward’s latest project has been building his Megablok car into a thing of grandeur.  Kyra’s latest project has been thinking of creative ways to smack the thing down.
I was able to Instagram this particular transaction, and have since named it Thrust of Heel.
See how she casually points out what she has done?  Bless her little soul, sometimes this little girl just wants to see her big brother cry.
Honestly, we’re working on sharing, and when to keep our hands to ourselves.  But that takes time.
Suffer the little children in the interim, right?

You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling

Recently, I’ve got that not-so-lovin’ feeling.  That feeling of simply going through the motions, and I sometimes ask myself, “Just what is it that you’re doing?
My faith is the biggest part of my life, and has been for a long time.  It’s not about wavering dedication or devotion toward God.  No, my commitment is fully intact.
It has more to do with not knowing exactly where I am supposed to be, or what I’m meant to be doing.  Certainly, I have my own notions of what I’d like to do.  At some point, I usually end up telling myself that it just won’t work.
Basically, I’ve been waiting for that lightning strike of an epiphany to tell me what I’m supposed to do with my life.  To be quite honest, I’m not sure that that storm is coming.
And you know, perhaps waiting on it would be an insult to God, anyways.  He didn’t give me talents, ideas and notions just to sit around and wonder what to do with them.  Oftentimes I’ll be thinking about how cool it would be to write books about Christianity.  Or to be a youth minister.
Alas.  If I delve too deep into those notions of a religious education and career, I start asking myself the same old questions.
You want to write a book about Christianity?  Who are you to do such a thing?
Making money off of God?  How could you?!
It’s thoughts like these that point me to the most harrowing thought of all.
I do not feel consumed by Him as much as I think I should be.
That is to say…  All. The. Time.
Granted, I realize that not every single moment can be one of intense religious fervor.  Somewhere along the line I got it stuck in my head that by not having an around-the-clock spiritual tingling, that I’m not meant to serve in certain capacities.
Perhaps it’s time to acknowledge reason.  No, I’m not going to feel emotionally raptured every second of every day.  If it were that easy, we would all be Christians.  Instead, we rely on our Faith in Christ to get us through the day-to-day.  Adhering to the Bible helps us find the discipline we need to keep our lives focused on God and His will.  Keeping an open dialogue with God–praying and listening for His response is what will lead us in the right direction.
It might not be the makings of 24/7 excitement, but it is the foundation for a lifetime relationship with our Creator.  I think, for me, that is comfort enough to simply get up and Go.

Deceiving ourselves, but not Him

While reading through the Gospel of Matthew this morning, it occurred to me how easy it can be to get caught up as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Really, the proverbial wolf doesn’t have to start out with bad intentions.  If those intentions are not of God, however, it’s possible for honesty and goodness can be derailed, and replaced by the mentality that we’re serving the Church of Me.
Matthew 7:15  Watch out for false prophets.  They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Even the best of intentions can sometimes go awry.  At the end of the day, I am not the wolf, but unchecked feelings of being owed, being too proud of my works…
Hidden feelings like these are the sharp, but quiet wolves that lie within, and they can keep us from God.  As tough as it may be, we need to try and not get caught up in ourselves.  If we are to be like Christ, we need to not worry about pleasing others.  There is no waiting for praise and pats on the back that we may think we’re owed.
Is it more important to look like a, “good Christian,” or to have an authentic connection to God?  Are you checking to see if you’ve met the criteria of your peers, or are your looking to see if you’ve allowed Christ to walk alongside you?
I think it’s important that throughout the day, we ask ourselves who it is we’re trying to emulate.  Who are we trying to please?  Does the current path lead toward the ultimate title of Christ Follower, or False Prophet?
Striving to put God and His will first is a beautiful and gratifying way to live our lives.  It’s also worth mentioning, that as long as you’re sincerely aiming for Him, you’re doing alright.  He’ll light your way accordingly.  God is not going to ask you to be someone you aren’t meant to be.  With Him, there is no need to try and save face.

It’s been a while

My internet dormancy might make it seem as if I’ve gone away, but the actuality is that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

No, I haven’t abandoned yet another blogging endeavor, but have instead been using my time away to get all introspective on my intentions, and where I’m at in life.  I’ve also been fruitlessly trying to keep a diaper on my two year old, but this is neither here nor there…

We’ve been in and out of church for most of January, which seems to be the one month of the year where all of us get slammed with some rendition of the flu.

Somewhere in the midst of  dirty tissue, vomit buckets and Lysol, I decided to try my hand at working with teens at our church.  The more I delve back into church life, I’m better able to recall the zeal and enjoyment I find in enveloping myself in that world.

There was a time years ago when I toyed with the idea of making a career out of working as a youth minister, or something along those lines, though for several reasons I dismissed it.  Still, I’ve never ceased to feel gratitude toward my youth minister, and the young college women who volunteered to make our Wednesday nights worth remembering.

Ours is a society that tends to discount teenagers.  Existing in the limbo between childhood and adulthood, no one seems to know what to do with them.  Alas, if only we would stop and remember how impressionable and thoughtful teenagers are.

I’m praying that these feelings and notions root themselves further within me, in hopes that my own kids’ teen years might be more bearable for them.  I’d much rather them realize that their mother is not their misunderstanding parent, but rather as their biggest advocate in life.

Everyone deserves to be viewed in such a way.  Considering my children have quite a way to go, I think I’ll just relish each of their life stages, and see about being there for others, along the way.