Tag Archives: love
‘God mocks proud mockers, but gives grace to the humble.’ Proverbs 3:34
I was born and raised in a town where, outside of the university community, there were very few black families. I remember exactly two families whose children I attended school with. But that’s not all there is to the story…
These kids were my friends. And they were my friend’s friends. I cannot ever remember having a second thought about color. Even though we spent the majority of our childhood growing up in the sixties, and perhaps because we lived in the north, we never saw such things as segregation. We all used the same restrooms, the same water fountains, the same entrances and exits at public buildings and establishments. Their homes were not in a ‘black’ section of town. They shopped in the same grocery stores, and went swimming in the same pools, etc, etc, etc. So I did not have any preformed ideas about what we now call the ‘race’ issue.
Believe me, I haven’t been living under a rock! We were all educated in the Civil War, and hence, in civil rights. But it was like it didn’t apply in our town. And being kids, we may not have even been aware of it if it did. But my parents taught me from an early age that God created all men, and they were created in His image. Therefore in my mind’s eye, my friends were merely a different color, not different in any other way.
Some of my favorite memories include these two people, one a gal and one a guy. Funny, smart and very articulate, my girlfriend always kept me laughing, and also taught me a lot about culture in other countries, and about social concerns. No, none of them about ‘race’.
My other friend, who was a guy, was just the nicest person I had ever met. He also brought laughter and joy. The intense feeling of friendship I felt for these two special people remains with me today. If I think back and imagine them not being a part of my life, I can feel a sense of distinct loss.
My point is this: how did race become the new political machine gun? Why is it that in this nation, where anyone with the ability and the want to can get ahead, can achieve their goals, and enjoy equal opportunity in almost anything they choose, we still hear things like, ‘she is a racist’, simply because of a disagreement in the political arena? Yes, of course I know there are still some who are openly anti racial. Just like there are many who are antiChristian, anti-women, anti whatever their chosen thing of the day may be. We will always have haters, or those who simply do not understand, in our society, and every society. But that does not make race an open season target. And it should not be the very first thing someone zones in on when they have no other true weapon to yield.
God did create us all. He loves us all. He gave us all special gifts and talents, and He wants all of us to live together as sisters and brothers. He does not want us to have race lines between us. He only wants us to have love for one another.
Grace is a wonderful thing, while racism is an ugly thing. God’s grace is forgiving. God’s grace is eternal. And God’s grace is right there before us, extended by His loving hand, whenever we simply ask for it.
So if you are tired, like me, of all the race talk, bow your head, and ask almighty God to show us how to stop it. Ask Him to direct our paths of righteousness, and if you are one of those who are propagating this race thing, ask for forgiveness as well. Because people are people, and that is all they are. We are all alike, some blond, some redhead, some fat, some skinny. Some are smart, and some not so much. Some are naturally loving and kind, some are more reserved with their emotions. And obviously, some are of different color. But we are all people, we all have value, and we all, if we are of God, are covered by His grace.
I have been on vacation in the Lower Outer Banks of North Carolina with my four grandaughters and a dear friend and her two daughters this week. Today we return home, but right now, as I am the first one up, I am sitting on the deck, having my coffee, and enjoying the sights and sounds of this lovely island.
I feel complete peace. While there has been much hustle and bustle this week, there has also been the precious family/friend emotions and companionships, which you can never tag with a price. The are simply what they are…precious.
Our lives are so very busy! So we must take the time to smell those proverbial roses along the way…try some REAL roses, why don’t you? I have seen and smelled beautiful wildflowers on this island this week and thus have been reminded that God and His endless wonders are everywhere, and in everything. From the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach, to the sting of the salty spray hitting my face during a fast boat ride on the bay, His presence has penetrated my very soul.
God is with us, as is His peace, no matter where we may be. I know I will still have it in my home, at my job, while stuck in traffic, while waiting in line somewhere. He is ever faithful, and has promised us that His peace is available to us always, no matter our circumstances, no matter our emotional state. It is the balm that will soothe us wherever and whenever we find ourselves in need of it’s refreshing touch.
My choice is to take the time to enjoy that peace, to live my life with it, and to simply rest in it. That’s why God gave it…that we may rest in it, and bask in the sunlight of His love…His peace.
Mine have! First thing this morning. My hubby and I are staying in a hotel, visiting family after a graduation last night. So while having coffee in our room I was reading my devotional. And God got me right where I live!
The devotional was all about judging others. Being critical. Finding fault. Making myself feel better because someone else messes up.
Guilty as charged! ‘Judge not lest ye be judged.’ Jesus knew what we do. So He spent a fair amount of time during His ministry teaching on this, usually by example.
He ate dinner with a tax collector, perish the thought. He allowed a not-so-ladylike woman to pour oil on His feet and wipe it off with her hair. He chose disciples from among everyday, run of the mill sinners. What was He thinking?
He was thinking of His love for them. He placed value on each one. And He knew their hearts.
No human is perfect. And never will there be a man or woman on this earth who will be. But Jesus will always be perfect. Yet He gives us opportunities to shine, to stand up and be counted, to accomplish much in His name. The talented and those who are not are equal in His eyes.
So, next time I make fun of someone who does not dress quite how I think she should be dressed, or dismiss a person’s importance because they don’t think like me, or simply because I’m jealous of them (yes, I have those bones too! ), I pray I will repent to the Father, ask Him to forgive me, and to help me in this sin. Because we are overcomers in Christ Jesus.
So today my toes are sore, and I am broken…I am right where I should be, and I intend to stay here! Praise be to He who reveals His truth through the power of His Word!
If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to hear the negative all the time. It seems like day in and day out that’s all we hear when we tune in to the TV, or the radio, or even a lot of the movies now that are full of it.
I was raised to respect one another, and each others property, opinions, and religion. If someone dressed differently, was from a foreign country, or had a speech impediment, I had always been taught to be patient and kind. My mother would have slapped me simple if I had ever bullied someone, or even just picked on them once in a while. I never sent nasty notes to others, or told lies about someone. I never set out to completely destroy another human being’s reputation, their family, or their living. But I know many who have.
I want to feel happy every day! Yes, I want to dance and skip and laugh and just smile continually, and feel safe and warm and loved. I know, that’s silly, and if I tried any of those things I would most likely pass out from the effort. But it’s a nice thought, and I so like nice thoughts!
I guess I am saying that I am tired of hearing one set of people putting another set of people down. The reasons are usually so minor in importance that it amazes me. I admit to being a staunch conservative, even though I do pride myself on having an open mind, but at the same time I have my standards as well. And I won’t violate them. I won’t compromise them. Sometimes I have difficulty defending them, but defend them I will. But I will listen to the other side, be respectful of the person speaking, and then may offer my opinion of the subject being discussed. All the time, I try to be gentle and again, that word, respectful. But I must say, even being that way has not stopped someone else from belittling me for my beliefs. And there lies the problem.
Somehow our country, our culture, our society, has lost its gentleness, its tolerance, it’s willingness to let us agree to disagree. Where at one time we were known as the great melting pot of ideas and the like, now we are ostracized if we dare to voice our opinions in some circles. And there is nothing I hate more than to have to skirt an issue, or ‘walk on ice’ around certain people.
When God put us here on this earth, He gave the command to go forth, multiply and have dominion over the earth, the fowl of the air, and just about everything else. He gave us life, the world we live in, and all of our resources. We have all we could hope for. Then why are so many people so very miserable? Why do they have what appears to be that natural need to lash out at those whose ideas differ from theirs?
Because they are looking for satisfaction, and they are looking for it from the world. Like that old country song, they are ‘looking for love in all the wrong places.’ They fail to see that the world cannot give them what they want. They are still struggling, still searching, and still discontented. They may have beautiful homes, wealth, neat toys, all kinds of luxuries and no money worries, but somehow that is just not quite enough.
True Christians, on the other hand, while many do not have wealth and the very best in material goods, have something else. They have the Holy Spirit of the Living God residing in their hearts. They have a God who loves them more than can be described in human words. They have hope, they have provision, they have life eternal. They have every thing a human being really needs. The Bible is full of the promises of God. He does not hold them back from us. He delivers all that He promises. He is our portion, He is our defender, He is the author of our faith, and our salvation.
So, when faced with the negativity that is so rampant these days, let’s respond back in love, with smiles and laughter, and with dancing and skipping, and with joyful hearts. Because we are to be the salt of the earth, and if we are that, then we will be sharing Jesus simply by loving and living as He did…with great joy, with great expectation, with great results. Others will not be able to resist us when we are sincere, real, true to our calling.
The Power of Positive thinking…no, I don’t pretend to be a reader of the book, but I do know the Book that is the most positive of all! The Holy Bible. If you’ve read the end of the book, how can you be anything BUT positive? Smile, and change the world!