Tag Archives: love

Hope

God still likes you. 

Anybody who says differently is wrong. 

 

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Help

I want to keep this short, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for awhile now.

I should preface this by saying that I’m really addressing Christians here, so I’ll be coming from that perspective. And I’m nervous to write about this subject, but like I said, I feel like it’s time.

Here goes: Christians, if we are going to be anti-abortion, we need to consider the fact that we then have a responsibility to be really and truly pro-life.

This means advocating for and supporting programs and resources that will help to provide medical care and support for women who find themselves in the position of having to make such a decision.

It is unconscionable to say to the terrified sixteen year old who has no idea what to do: “Hey, don’t have an abortion!” if you are unwilling to lift a finger to help her.

A teacher at my school once had a baby shower for a courageous student who decided to keep her child. This teacher was criticized by some parents for her generous behavior.

This teacher was exhibiting the generous spirit of Christ, plain and simple.

Let’s do the same.

Give $5 or $10 a month even to an organization of your choice. Pocket change to save a life and help support a new mom. Places like this: http://www.portlandprc.org/home

Also consider helping to fund grants to families who would like to adopt: http://www.lifesongfororphans.org/adoption-funding/

That’s pretty much all I had to say. I implore you to think about it.

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Highlight Reel

Don’t judge your self-worth based on what everyone else posts on Facebook.

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” 

~Steve Furtick

 No matter how perfect their life looks, they are hiding their crap, just like you.

 Remember:

 People post the adorable, cute pics of their babies and kids. They don’t post pics and videos of public temper tantrums and meltdowns.

 People post how wonderful that latte was, complete with the stylistic Instagram pic. They don’t post about the fight they had with their spouse that morning.

 People post pictures of the beautiful, idyllic sunset they saw from their porch, not pictures of themselves screaming at people in traffic.

 Hear me: I’m not saying don’t post pics of happy things. That stuff is great.

My point is that they are all human, too. I guarantee it.

 Truth: God loves you and thinks you’re smashing.

 Take that, Fakebook. 

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Simplify

I’m still working through parts of the Old Testament. Last night, I hit Hosea 13 again and I just couldn’t let it go. I really, really don’t like that chapter, and it makes me upset every time I read it. So Ben and I both did some research, which produced some historical context that helped it to make a little bit of sense, but some of it still didn’t compute.

I probably won’t ever completely get it.

So after all that, I did something really spiritual:

I stayed up until about 2 a.m. researching Disney stuff. Did you know there used to be pack mule rides and fake geysers in the area where Big Thunder Mountain Railroad now stands? Or that a sky ride used to go right through the Matterhorn and that there’s a tiny basketball court inside of it? (Inside of the Matterhorn, not the sky ride. I had to clarify that or be shamed in front of all my grammarian relatives.)

Well now you do. Whether or not you wanted to. Apparently, Disneyland history helps me to cope with theological quandaries.

Okay, there is something else that helps me to deal with the parts of the Old Testament and the Law that I don’t understand:

Matthew 7:12  “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

I can do that. Well, I’m working on it, anyway.

I guess my point is that, even though it is important to wrestle your way through the Bible (in my opinion, this should be a lifelong process), it’s also important to keep your eye on the big picture. Love God, love everybody else. Treat them the way you want to be treated.

It’s easy to focus on theological minutae, but the truth is, people around us are starving for love and kindness.

So while theological study is important, it can’t be the main focus.

Like I said, I’m working on it.

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Be loved

Awhile back, I wrote the following post:

Not much to say tonight…except this:

Claim grace.

It’s extended to all of us, but we don’t always take it.

We have to punish ourselves first. Make sure we earn that forgiveness.

But then…we’re trapped.

You know what keeps Christians from being effective? Refusing forgiveness. Bowing our heads to the ground. Crawling, scraping, trying earn our way back to the Father. (As if we need to!)

And while we do that, we are utterly and completely focused on ourselves. No good to anyone else.

So yeah, you did that thing. Whatever it was.

Ask forgiveness, get over yourself, and start being useful again. Get back out there.

That’s all.

After writing this and reading back over it, I had a thought.

Christians are often perceived as graceless, and more concerned with finding fault than extending love.

Why is that?

It’s discordant with the Bible. Jesus summed up the two greatest commandments when he said that we were to love God with everything we have and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

But what if we don’t actually believe that God loves us?

Maybe most of us don’t, not in our heart of hearts. At the very least, we have significant trouble accepting it. I know that I do, because I daily prosecute myself for my thoughts and actions.

But there’s a bad, bad consequence to this kind of thinking:

If we are consumed with finding fault in ourselves and refusing to accept grace until we have sufficiently done whatever penance seems right to us (self loathing, mental flogging, etc.), we are going to project that mindset onto others.

If we prosecute ourselves, then yes, we will prosecute others.

However, those who accept grace are far more likely to extend it. Learning to love others begins with accepting love from God.

So accept it.

I hope you all have a fantastic week.

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Love is…

…going to Whole Foods after work to buy almond meal so your wife can make weird sugarless pumpkin muffins, discovering they’re out, then buying sliced almonds, bringing them home, and wrestling with the blender to help her make homemade almond meal.

I’ve got a good one.

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Stark raving

As I read back over my posts, I sometimes wonder if the image I’ve painted of myself here is authentic.

Of course, it wasn’t ever going to be, completely. I had no intention of subjecting the world to my unedited thoughts. What I’m thinking of specifically, though, is my faith.

I come off as a bit of a cynic, but I don’t think that’s altogether accurate. Understand that I do love examining Christian culture and turning my own beliefs inside out over and over again.

But the truth remains: I believe in God. I believe that Jesus Christ is the way to the Father. I believe he sacrificed himself for my sins (my criticism, anger, distrust, fear) so I could be saved and live forever in heaven with him. I don’t even completely understand all the implications of this, but there it is.

That might sound insane to you – it sounds insane to me sometimes. But the thing is, I no longer have the luxury of not believing he’s real. Because I’ve met him – I’ve heard his voice. And accompanying that voice was something I can only describe as an all encompassing powerful wave of love that cut to the very core of my heart.

God is a God of love, and he exists. You can call me crazy, and I’ll understand.

But no matter what you think of us flawed Christians, don’t let that color the way you look at God. Forgive us our flaws, and don’t allow us to obscure him from your view.

He is. And he is good. He exists outside of time, outside of your expectations and your ideas. He’s so much better than any concept you or I could make up.

You might be angry with him. (I’ve been there.) You might be upset because he doesn’t seem to believe in the same things you do. Or maybe you struggle with some parts of the Bible (again, me too).

Instead of simmering, ask him. Talk to him. Pray out loud in the car. Ask the questions you want to ask. YELL at him if you want. He can take it.

Then wait and see.

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