Posts Tagged ‘love’

  

“My child, don’t reject the LORD’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you.” (Proverbs‬ ‭3:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

Just when you thought that you’ve heard it all…

According to a report in the International Business Times on 8.28.15, two sisters in India, one of whom is only 15-years-old, have been “sentenced” to rape as “punishment” after their brother had an affair with a married woman. An unelected all-male village council in Baghpat district, Uttar Pradesh, ordered that Meenakshi Kumari, 23, and her teenage sister will also be paraded through the streets naked, with blackened faces, as they are made to pay the price for their brother’s alleged transgressions. And this is the norm for how this council has operated for years. Ugh

According to our text, God does bring punishment for sinful behavior, but never a heinous thing like this! Our God is a loving Father that desires for all His children to do right, like a good Dad should. While His correction fits the sin, it has an ultimate goal: not to bring suffering, but restoration of relationship. 

Good parents and right government should both have fair and firm corrective policies. You can’t love without it, otherwise you are only enabling. But I’m grateful that our wonderful Father cares enough to do it the right way and bring our hearts back home! You are loved! 

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“John said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.'” ‭‭(Mark‬ ‭9:38‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

On May 29, 2015, Tavin Terrell Price was fatally shot in front of his mother as they were headed to a beach near Los Angeles. According to KTLA 5 News, LAPD arrested 3 men and a woman as suspects in the murder. Their reasoning for the brutal slaying of the 19-year-old mentally challenged man? Because he wore red shoes, the apparent sign of a rival gang. Red shoes…

It’s never an enjoyable experience to be treated badly because you’re not a part of a certain crowd or believe like some group. Even Jesus had to correct His disciples for falling into the trap of excluding people. Jesus, however, was the opposite, desiring for all to come to the Master’s Table and belong. 

Take time today to make sure you aren’t prejudiced in your own thinking. While we may pride ourselves for being color blind, we often fail because we withhold our friendship because someone is from another denomination or religion. Let God’s love help you to build bridges, not burn them all down! There’s room at the table! You are loved today! 

  

“My child, never forget the things I have taught you.” (Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭1‬ NLT)

As I stood by the bathroom counter, I watched as my youngest teenage son lathered up his face, as I taught him. He wiped off the foam in sections so he won’t one day grow a beard that edges up underneath his eyelids, just like I told him. He gently pulled the sharp edges of the new razor across his face, not too soft or too hard and cut himself, as I instructed him. Then with a final rinse, we both looked into the mirror at a job well done. 

Having been a Youth Pastor, Substitute School Teacher, and a Little League Coach for quite a few years, I have noticed an alarming trend: Children being raised by absentee parents. Barring the exasperated single parent that works multiple jobs just to make ends meet, there are still too many children with present parents that rarely interact with their children, thus depriving precious young minds of needed wisdom and reinforced self-esteems. 

It’s not hard to find where they are turning for role models and life advice; those great pillars of genuine knowledge like Facebook, Instagram, the locker room, or whatever worthless Hollywood icon is opening their mouth to sound wise because they once portrayed a smart person in a movie. It’s no wonder that crime, suicide, drug use, violence, and pregnancy is continuously rising in this segment of American society! 

Children need parents and good role models to mold them into solid, virtuous adults. If you have a child, please pour as much of yourself into them. You’ll only get one shot to watch them grow! There was probably many things I needed to do today, but none more important than teaching my son how to become a man. Do right by your kids! You are loved today! 

  

“Honor your father and…then you will live a long, full life…” (Exodus‬ ‭20‬:‭12‬ NLT)

Mikhail Abrosimov and his family were fast asleep when a fire broke out in their apartment in the west side of Moscow in late January 2015. A Christmas tree, decorated with fairy lights fell, causing a short circuit, which led to the fire. He awoke to find the smoky blaze but couldn’t contain it.

After getting the rest of the family out, Abrosimov returned for his 4-year old son, only to find their escape route cut off. So, in heroic fashion, Dad used his body as an airbag for the child and leaped out the window – 7 floors above the ground! While both were in critical condition for quite some time afterwards and the family lost everything they owned in the fire, the Abrosimov’s had the most important thing: Each Other!

Your Dad may not be a freefalling superhero, but hopefully he’s your hero nonetheless! Take time on this Father’s Day to share your appreciation for all the Dads and Father figures in your life. And if you’re the Dad, rejoice in those that gave you that honored distinction! We are loved today! Happy Father’s Day! 

  

“Love each other as I have loved you.” (John‬ ‭15‬:‭12‬ NIV)

I stood at the chain link fence, watching the football coaches work the high school boys hard. I say “work”, but my sons might say “punish”! It was a grueling workout. But the coaches knew how to win, themselves having been “punished” by their coach years ago that turned them into champions. 

God loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to do so. Now He commands me to show that same love to others, to those that can be hard to love. It’s easy to love those that are easy to love. But what about those that act towards you the way you act towards God, good at some moments but not so much most of the time? Like the coaches, we must give as it was given to us, if we would see Christ truly exemplified. 

As you start your week, do it with God’s love in mind. We deserve nothing but punishment for falling short of God’s reachable marks of holiness. And yet, He bears with us, not wanting to destroy but to refine, having seen in us the true champion caliber of Christian we can be. Love & be loved today! 

  

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭8‬ NLT)

June of 1986 was when Jesus died for me. A rebellious Church kid, the raised-right child of solid Christian workers, I wanted so badly those things that were denied me. So, on the night that school got out for Summer Break, I went to a party and rejected God. As my Mom and brother carried me in the house, reeking of alcohol, smoke, mud, and vomit, too drunk to stand, I hit bottom. Jesus died to save me that night. 

Many moments of failure dot the rugged landscape of my life, just as it does yours. But that was the lowest. This Sunday, I’ll be dressed in a suit, sharing the love of Jesus from a pulpit to whoever will listen, having the privilege to be a rural church Pastor. But none of my part of the Christ Life would have happened had I not acknowledged my low state that night, realized how lost I was, and been willing to turn my failed life over to a Savior that wanted the best for me, not to beat me with condemnation. 

As you prepare your heart for this weekend that we celebrate God’s great love for a people that don’t deserve it, remember that you are loved. It’s a love that will never quit and will always be reaching for you. Life won’t get better as long as we are in charge, just splattered with new messes. Let God have your life now so that your new & better life can begin! You are loved! Happy Easter! 



Feel my pain and see my trouble. Forgive all my sins.” (Psalms‬ ‭25‬:‭18‬ NLT)

I read a story yesterday of a Civil War tragedy. A father in Philadelphia had 4 sons; the older two moved to New Orleans to start a business, the younger two stayed home. When the war broke out, the older two fought for the South while the younger ones enlisted with the North. At the Battle of Fredericksburg, the two younger brothers were killed, the youngest possibly even at the hands of the oldest. A Union chaplain shared that when the older brother realized what happened, he surrendered himself to the North, and was admitted to a hospital in Virginia, a broken man having lost his mind to grief and self-hatred. 

Sometimes the hardest sins to forgive are our own. Nobody hates us like ourselves, so when we fall short of God’s mark, we take the Lord’s tender convictions and use it as whips against our own heart. But God’s design was for us to be free from bitterness and hatred. Just because the object of our hatred and loathing is ourselves doesn’t make it right in God’s eyes!

As you spend time in prayer today, let God show you where you allow this to happen in your own life. If you don’t forgive and learn to love yourself, you’ll eventually unleash that same unforgiveness onto others. Be free to be forgiven! Learn to love by first loving and forgiving yourself! Have a blessed weekend!