I say NO to grey and YES to PINK!
Happy early Valentine’s Day – may your days be filled with those people who prefer PINK over grey.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Surely, Lord , you bless the righteous;
Psalm 5:11-12 NIV
This is a great reminder. The phrase, “…you bless the righteous” can sometimes be thought of as self indulgent. Does God really bless the righteous, more than those that say, aren’t? At least those that are not righteous according to our standards.
Who then is righteous? Who is not? Is it right that God blesses those He wants to? Should there be equality even in this?
What if I’m doing everything right, have my life in order, believe in Jesus, am involved in my local church, give tithes and other monies to charities – but it’s the other person that is the one “blessed”.
This verse talks about protection. Are the righteous blessed by protection? Yes. Blessing is in no way talking about anything monetary. Nor is it talking about favor. Although I personally believe that when we know Jesus – we have His favor and protection.
Instead it is talking about being glad – having JOY! Knowing that the God of the universe is choosing to cast His love and protection all around us. We should SING, DANCE, REJOICE!! As we take refuge in Him – we have His blessing.
So when other believers say, “I am blessed” think about this verse, nod and agree. For we all are blessed by the great almighty arms of God.
Smile today – for you too are blessed.
With every problem restated
struggles for daily peace
second guessing resolutions
At the end of the day
and the end of the road
give me Jesus
Is there any problem
He can’t solve
or any dark place
He can’t light
You can have the whole world
give me Jesus
I’m always amazed by the talent on reality shows like “The Voice”. This season has exceptional voices. Here is my favorite duet so far –
Yesterday morning our pastor spoke about kindness in reference to one characteristic of the “fruit” of the spirit.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galations 5:22-23
If you are like me – this is something I used to take for granted. Especially Christian kindness. But more often than not, kindness is a lost art.
While he was speaking, I found myself feeling sad because of this lost art. Like “common courtesy”. Is it really so common? Where has true kindness, concern and respect gone? I myself have been a victim of unkind things spoken or done to me. And mercy – they were by Christians.
Christians tearing down Christians. In person, by email and lately on social media. Yikes.
Lately there has been an tidal wave of things sent around to slander, cut down or at very least to cast doubt about another person – all in the name of Christianity for other people to read about! Well known people. Christian Leaders.
Now maybe you think, “FINALLY – someone said something!” Or maybe you would not be bold enough to write that or even admit that out loud. But maybe inside you think, “They are getting what they deserve”. And like so many people on social media who tend to believe most everything they read about – you pass it along.
This is a problem. No – it’s an epidemic. Christians are called to be kind. To be gentle. To have self control.
Pastor Gerry said it right when he said, “If you disagree with someone you should go to them privately. You could write them an email explaining ‘this is what I heard” but it troubles me and I want to know if you really said or did that” This would be the kind thing to do. It is the biblical thing to do.
Is it kind to write articles exposing someone we feel is wrong? Or off in their theology? Or differing in their interpretation of the Bible? What if some of the things you’ve heard or passed on are not entirely true? Or there is an element of truth – but mostly it is hearsay? What if it is true? Is it our responsibility to expose and broadcast? Should these things make us sad? Or glad? At times I admit that I may have had suspicions about someone and there it is in black and white right in front of me! I think to myself, “well it’s about time someone said that!” Shame on me. Instead this should grieve me and cause me to pray.
I believe that Christians are caught between being too forgiving, looking the other way, winking at sin and seeming soft. But often times the alternative is being overtly passionate and even being a bully for the sake of God’s truth and justice. There are times when we need to stand up for justice, those that are weaker and need someone to stand in the gap, help others who cannot help themselves, show Christian love. But I’m not referring to these cases. I’m referring to gossip, slander and judgement”.
Here is a simple kindness test:
1. When you read something negative about a leader, Christian or not – are you happy about it?
2. When someone you disagree with hurts you or says something unkind, do you want to retaliate?
3. Are you quick to cast judgement on events you know very little about?
4. Instead of praying for those in leadership, like our president – do you look for ways to undermine them or him and spread negative things?
If you answered yes to any of these – you probably need to practice a little more kindness.
When we practice these qualities of kindness, gentleness, and self control we will have to listen more and talk less. Bite our tongue in some cases. Be willing to look foolish. Pray for God’s wisdom and say nothing.
I am a work in progress. I have said plenty of unkind things over the years. I’ve had many unkind things said to me. I’m learning that I do more harm than good by stating my opinion. I try to weigh everything before I speak – or pass things along for others to read. I’m not perfect. I still mess up – but I’m trying to be more sensitive to the things that grieve the Holy Spirit and harm others. I try to treat others like I would like to be treated. I am learning that my opinion most of the time is not important. I realize that we all make mistakes and mess up and that it is God who is the final judge. I pray for others as I would hope that others would pray for me. My job is to be more like Christ. If this means that I say less and pray more – and look foolish for not having an opinion about someone – then so be it. I’m willing to risk it. And I am praying for the same thing for you.
Are you kind?
Here is a great throw back Thursday!
Enjoy and God Bless!
Would I know You now if You walked into the room
If you stilled the crowd–If You light dispelled the gloom
And if I saw Your wounds–Touched Your thorn pierced brow
I wonder if I’d know You now
Would I know You now if You walked into this place
Would I cause You shame–Would my games be Your disgrace
Or would I worship You–Fall down upon my face
I wonder if I’d know You now
Or have the images I’ve painted
So distorted who You are
That even if the world was looking
They could not see You–The real You
Have I changed the true reflection
To fulfill my own design
Making You what I want
Not showing You forth divine
Would I miss You now if You left and closed the door
Would my flesh cry out “I don’t need You anymore”
Or would I follow You–Seek to be restored
I wonder–I wonder
Will I ever learn
I wonder–Would I ever know You now
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