To Make God Known

Sitting in traffic yesterday after class I had some good thought time… this is what came of that… so let’s have some good introspective time and take a trip into my brain ūüôā …

Being a christian… what is it really all about? ¬†One thing that is held as a calling is that we are to make God known. ¬†So let’s think about that. ¬†Do you agree? ¬†How does one make God known? ¬†What do you think? ¬†What does that even mean? ¬†To prove he exists? ¬†To show what he is like? ¬†Or what? ¬†Here are some things that popped in my mind that may come up in a discussion on how to do this…

  • By showing that he privileges certain people?
  • By using miracles?
  • By telling people they are sinful and showing them their sin?
  • By showing that he loves all people?
  • By liberating the oppressed?
  • By being a social justice advocate?
  • By proving creation?
  • By showing that he’s eternal existing through all times and always seeking to know his creation and reveal himself?¬†
  • By showing his power to destroy or conquer?¬†
  • By teaching the life of Jesus? and preaching the gospel?
  • By showing how he is different than mankind?¬†
  • By demonstrating your life change and holiness? ¬†Using your testimony?
  • Doing the work of Christ and saying that is God’s love and showing that there is another way and there is freedom and salvation and power in that way?

What do you think about any of those?  Are you appalled at anything there?  Do you see yourself in any of those things?  Do you feel convicted by anything when you read these things or think about them on your own?  I think many of those things above need to be wrestled with and examined by people.

 

Then how do you show you believe in and love God? ¬†some thoughts…

  • By worshiping him? If so how?
  • By following Jesus? If so what does that mean?
  • By turning from the things of this world? If so what does that mean?¬†
  • By denying certain things or living a certain kind of morality?¬†
  • By treating people with love and compassion?¬†
  • By liberating the oppressed?
  • By being a social justice advocate?
  • By becoming very political?
  • By proving how much of the Bible you know?
  • By going to church?¬†
  • By living “on mission” and evangelizing?
  • By coming against evil?¬† If so what does that look like? ¬†How do you determine what is evil?
  • By talking about God, using religious jargon, and being religious?¬†¬†

What do you think of those things? ¬†How do any of those make you feel? ¬†Should we even care about showing this? ¬†Why or why not? ¬†If so, is it the highest goal? ¬†If it isn’t, then what is?

Think about the things that you actually do, are they making God known and showing that you love God?¬† Are those part of your focus? ¬†Why do you do them? Because that is what you have been taught and what you know? ¬†Because you’re supposed to? Because that’s just what you do? Because you have some sort of conviction? Because you feel that is what is right? Because you don’t know what else to do? Because you feel you have to? ¬†Because you just feel compelled with desire to?

Then, what is the end of this purpose?  To Glorify God?  To help others?  For self peace and identity?  For the salvation of the world?  All of the above?  Something else?

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What is the Bible to you?

The Bible. ¬†Do you like it? ¬†Hate it? ¬†Esteem it? ¬†Has it been used abusively towards you? To control you? ¬†Has it been used to liberate you? ¬†The Bible is a hot item to debate. ¬†I love it, but it has been used to control and manipulate me. ¬†I hate that it is used in those ways and part of my mission with my work is to help stop that from happening to others. ¬†I believe the Bible is a good thing and should be used in good ways, that it’s purpose is for good and liberation. ¬†What have been your experiences with it? ¬†What are your thoughts? ¬†Let’s chat…

The Bible… What exactly is it? ¬†And why is it here? ¬†Who is it for? ¬†And how should we read it?

Is it instructions and wisdom for life?  Information about history and the world?  Tool for conversion?  Tool for revolution?  Powerful weapon of destruction?  Divisive?  Uniting?  Chain breaker?  Revelations of God and humanity?  Inspirational stories?  Written for specific purposes?  Recording of the Word of God?  Inerrant?

YES!  All of the above, in some form or fashion.  However each one of those can be taken in a multitude of different ways.  Not everyone will interpret those questions in the same way.  Some of those interpretations will contrast with each other.  I think that is key to understand before you embark on a discussion about the existence of the Bible- why it is here, who it is for, and how it should be read.  It can be very dangerous or very liberating.

There are many premises one must look at that are involved in a person’s reading of the scriptures. ¬†Is there a God? ¬†If so, what is God like? ¬†Loving? ¬†Angry and vengeful? ¬†Involved in our lives? ¬†Want to be known? ¬†Is there a Spirit? ¬†What/who are humans? ¬†Created? ¬†Children? ¬†Subjects? ¬†Loved? ¬†full of Spirit? ¬†Equal to each other? ¬†Conquerors? ¬†Is there purpose to life? ¬†If so, what? ¬†Is there any kind of order to living? ¬†Should we care about life?

In these things, we will see that the way the Bible is read and interpreted will actually tell us more about the person doing the reading than it tells us about God. ¬†One’s heart and mind can be assessed through the reading of the scriptures. ¬†Are you presently hard or soft hearted? ¬†Is your state of mind open or closed? ¬†full of fear, love, strength, weakness, doubt, faith, pride, humility, desperation, need, or anger, etc.? ¬†What is your status? ¬†free? oppressed? ¬†liberated? ¬†rich? ¬†poor? ¬†young? ¬†old? ¬†In power? ¬†Minority? ¬†Popular? ¬†outcast? ¬†Child? ¬†Orphan? ¬†Educated? ¬†Disabled? ¬†Etc… Why are you reading? ¬†What are you seeking? ¬†I believe all these things affect us and what we see. ¬†The Word of God is, was, and always will be in there. ¬†Whether we see it or not. ¬†Whether we believe it or not. ¬†However, I am convinced that through persistent humbled wrestling in the pursuit of knowing and loving God, that The Word of God will shine through and make itself known and draw us closer to love. ¬†We are all on a journey of that revelation somehow.

If we want to use the Bible as a witness to the revelation of God and of Jesus as the way the truth and the life (this will be unpacked at another time)… then we must acknowledge that A) there is a God and we are not him and he desires to make himself known ¬†B) the genre is theology and spirituality not science or history ¬†D) the human factor, both in the writing of and reading of the scriptures- this is important for many reasons ¬†C) God is bigger than our ignorance, misunderstandings, failures, mistakes, blindness, weaknesses, hate, and pain. ¬†He can still be made known and we are still loved no matter what we do. ¬†His revelation and love are not contingent upon us. ¬†They are always there. ¬†His Word is eternal.

If we want to understand it… the beginning is a great place to start. ¬†It declares a lot of things and answers a lot of questions people are faced with today…

Some words on Genesis to come…

Peace Does Not Equal Comfort

This weekend, after being heartbroken, I became inspired and empowered.  The horrible news coming out of Charlottesville really struck me.  A lot of different things I am experiencing all at the same time as this incident all came together and broke my heart, causing me to dig deep down inside myself and to God in prayer.

-Know when I “preach” here… it is a message to myself as well. ¬†May I be moved to love and peace more and more every day…

“You know what… sometimes peace isn’t comfortable” this was my tweet yesterday with these tag lines¬†#gobethefeet¬†#walkonthewater¬†#relyonChrist¬†#dietoself¬†#love¬†#work.

We all want peace.  Some peace and quiet.  World peace.  Peace of mind.  But what are we really saying when we say those things?  Peace is not sought the same by everyone.  What exactly is it we want?  Why?  What is the peace of Christ?  Did he come to bring peace or a sword?  Peace can be confusing lol.

I can look at peace in two ways: inner peace inside yourself where you feel good with who you are, what you are doing, and your life in general. ¬†It is a peace of stability and sanity and it is very necessary to fully living your best life. ¬†There is also peace outside yourself… living in a peaceful environment not filled with chaos, worry, and stress, desiring the world around you to be at peace, whatever that may look like for you.

If we are not careful, we can become too self-focused in the pursuit of peace.  Are we really seeking peace?  or comfort?  When you think about it, many times we are lacking peace because something hard is present, which means there is some action that needs to take place in order to push through or remove that something.  We may instead seek to run from that something and seek out comfort disguised as peace.  Now this could be a necessary action to first gain some internal peace but if we are not careful this can turn into apathy, selfishness, and laziness or even bitterness, hate, and domination.  Our peace could silence or control others in oppressive ways.  We must always check and guard our hearts.

We also must realize that we can have peace and storms at the same time.  Peace does not equal comfort!  We can be incredibly uncomfortable and full of peace at the same time.  And many times, God will call us out of our comfort and onto the  stormy sea in order to bring peace to ourselves and others.  There is a reason the scripture has our feet as the ones fitted for peace.

I wrote something last year during some self evaluation and it is fitting for this conversation: “I don’t want to shrink away and hide out from the world in a little bubble.¬† I don’t want safety, I want freedom.¬† I don’t want fear, I want life.¬† I don’t want comfort, I want peace.¬† I don’t want fame, I want impact.¬† I don’t want to worry so much, I just want to be, know I am being and doing my best, and loved and supported for who I am- imperfections and all.” ¬†This is still my heart and prayer.

I desire peace and freedom and love and joy. ¬†I hate hate and the oppression that comes with it! ¬†I reject white supremacy and all forms of racism and bigotry and discrimination! ¬†I don’t hate any person, but I hate ideologies of any kind that are hate based and the actions that people take under the power of those ideologies. ¬†I see it every day. ¬†We all have it in us, this sin. ¬†We all struggle with it in some form or fashion, and many times we have no clue. ¬†We are blind to so much of how we think and act. ¬†I am constantly being made aware of things in myself and I am working hard with the Spirit to change. ¬†I see it as a parent with my children and I can get so angry. ¬†It breaks my heart every day to see them being hateful to each other, my kids, in my home, under my teaching: in fear of scarcity, jealousy over things or gifts and abilities, not feeling equal, fear of being alone or unloved, fear of missing out, the desire to control and lord over others… the lashing out they can do to each other is ridiculous. ¬†Ugh! ¬†I wish it would all stop and love would shine through 24/7 and everyone could be at peace and joy and get along in supportive community. ¬†In my home, community, and the world at large.

But we are humans, with the eyes of pride, judgment, and fear, and we are lost in these lies of “you are not loved” “you are not good enough” “you are ugly” “you are less than” “you are not capable” “you are not valuable unless” “us and them” “you are better than” “you should live for praise and glory” “the goal of comfort living” ¬†“domination thinking” “the right to condemn people to death” “God hates you” “God desires to kill you” “you deserve…” “divide and conquer” etc… and so these are the things we live with and contend with in this world. ¬†Lord restore us! ¬†Spirit lead us!

However, because we are humans made in the image of a relational loving God, we can love! ¬†I see this in my children too: feeling bad for someone who is left out, sad when others are hurt, wanting to share when someone is lacking, desiring to help someone, loving to snuggle and laugh with others, sharing themselves with no fear, encouraging each other, loving life, full of hope, etc… that love is in us too!

We can be people who perpetuate the hate or we can be people who perpetuate the love.  What are we living and teaching and striving for?

Love is bigger than hate!  Light overcomes the darkness.  Sometimes we just need a little help turning it on or opening our eyes.  God does not leave us in the lies to drown.  He comes to us over and over again to reveal himself to us (whether we understand that or not).  To show us love and truth.  To show us grace and mercy.  To show us our worth.  To show us he will never give up on us.  To show his compassion for our ignorance and fear.  To show us he is not against anybody or anything other than this hate/fear/evil/sin.  And he desires all to come to this understanding.

He teaches us the way: that Love is the way, the truth and the life and this is seen and known in Christ Jesus who fought hate with love.  Who did not seek to kill those filled with hate and fear, but instead to show his love for them in his death which saves them from it.  For none of us know the extent of the hate/fear we carry and what we do with it, and he compassionately forgives us in our ignorance desiring us to be filled with life and love.

His spirit us ever with us. ¬†When we awake to this, and feel this, we start to see and understand truth and love. ¬†We start to change. ¬†He is patient with us as we learn and grow. ¬†We see His power working in us and we are empowered. ¬†We grow in compassion every moment we experience the grace of God in our lives (more so when we understand and acknowledge it). ¬†We are filled with hope and the more we go through this process the more we see that hope for a better world is not an empty pursuit. ¬†We can see Him coming and filling the earth. ¬†We believe in love and peace and joy and freedom… that it can come in this place… that people can experience it and change… that it is not pointless to speak up and live for truth, justice, and love… ¬†NO! ¬†We learn instead how important it is that we do so…. more and more filled with this urgency… we want to see hearts changed, broken and softened, filled with love and sorrow… hate, fear, and pain regenerated… a new creation that produces good fruit… bent on Love… willing to be uncomfortable and vulnerable in order to bring true peace to the world.

How to rejoice through suffering

Sometimes I have so much going on in my head that I want to say… but trying to work it out to make it make any sense in something to write and speak to the world is another story. ¬†I am working on finding the best way to harness that Word inside me and make it known in the clearest way possible. ¬†Hopefully I can do that today…

It seems I have been writing a lot lately about change and conflict. ¬† Now I know there was a recent upheaval in my little world and so that could be why that is the case… yet when I really think about it, I think it is always something that is dear to my heart to talk about. ¬†Conflict or discomfort is almost ever present in our lives in some form or another. ¬†We may be able to handle some forms better than others and we probably know those well. ¬†Or at least I hope we do. ¬†It is important to know where we struggle, have fault, and/or need to grow. ¬†And growing we must!

We are told in scripture, that in this world we will suffer. ¬†I see this happening in two ways. ¬†One, we can fall into hard times/things outside of us. ¬†Two, we can find ourselves dealing with hard things within us. ¬†We want God to help us out of the hard times and stuff, to take them away so we don’t have to deal with them and suffer from them. ¬†I mean who likes pain? ¬†Earlier I wrote about there being good pain that we should embrace, growing pains. ¬†How is this pain different? ¬†We feel the pain in things that are not fun, uncomfortable, hard, evil, etc. ¬†What should come of that pain? ¬†What do we do with the spiritual, emotional, mental energy that is involved in that pain? ¬†Do we let it consume us? ¬†Do we let it propagate fear which holds us down? ¬†Do we let it make us weak and defeat us? ¬†Can we use that energy in a positive way? ¬†Can we learn from it? ¬†Can we become more Christlike through it?

When we understand the gospel, we understand that true life overcomes death.  We believe in the power of resurrection, life after death.  We believe that pain is not the end and that suffering can not stop love- it can actually make love more visible.  We believe in restoration and healing.  We believe in being made new, being reborn (and childbirth is quite painful, matter of fact so is raising that said child lol, but so worth it).  We believe in the power of love to bring things to life.  We believe love endures.  We believe in purpose.  The Bible says that with God, joy comes in the morning.  When you make it through the dark of the night, the sun will rise and fill you with light.  When we grasp this, we can overcome the dark side of pain and fear.   We can trust and move fwd.  We can press through.  We can be honest and brave.  We can change.  We can grow.  We can be lights in the world.  Oh the power of the Lord!

What is this joy in the morning? ¬†In the Bible, Paul says that¬†“we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,¬†and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5. ¬†What does that mean and how it this true? ¬†Do you feel this? ¬†Have you ever tried to understand this text? ¬†It popped into my head today as I was thinking about this topic today., because the things I was thinking fall right in line with it. ¬†I was talking to a friend about change this morning and saying how great it is. ¬†Growing is good! ¬†I love it! ¬†It feels good afterwards. ¬†I stated that I believe it is a great way to grow closer to God and feel his love and desire to worship him even more. ¬†To feel his spirit moving you and pushing you and working in you, to overcome something, to feel your heart get softer, to gain understanding and wisdom, to be humbled and in awe… OMG it is so great! ¬†To have your heart broken in such a way that it moves you to do something different, to be different, to desire to be a better lover, to push through that which is hard because you see the love and light on the other side, and not just in how that benefits you but how it benefits others. ¬†That is life! ¬†That is joy! ¬†That is where God desires our energy to go when we experience this hard ugly dark world. ¬†And it is LOVE that motivates us and strengthens us and changes us. ¬†

This life is HARD! ¬†We need the endurance to make it through. ¬†So we rejoice when hard things are thrown at us to keep us on our toes, reminding us of who we are and what we are to fight against, giving us resistance so we can be activated to push back with this amazing love. ¬†Each time we do so, we gain that endurance for next time. ¬†This in turn gives us character as we are growing into Christlikeness, we are being filled with more and more of the fruits of the spirit and being perfected in this love. ¬†When we see that growth, it fills us with life and hope. ¬†Not because our circumstances got better, were fixed or removed, or because we did something right and look more holy or anything… but because we were filled with life when we were surrounded by death. ¬†We see God is good and he provides and saves. ¬†Our faith in him and this whole gospel grows. ¬† Our hearts are filled with joy and we are not disappointed because feeling the spirit alive in you is everything!!! And we desire for others to experience this! ¬†So each time we deal with hard things, we have this opportunity to turn darkness into light, pain into joy, death into life. ¬†Do you know and trust and walk in this love?

God desires we have life to the fullest.¬† “I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.‚ÄĚ John 16:33. ¬†May we remember this and hold on and press on and walk close to Jesus in all things. ¬†Let’s not let fear and pain hold us back from experiencing life, joy, freedom, peace! ¬†The gospel wants to flow through you. ¬†Let it! ¬†It will change you and it will change the world! ¬†Glory to God!

“Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    thou hast loosed my sackcloth
    and girded me with gladness,
that my soul may praise thee and not be silent.
¬†¬†¬†¬†O Lord my God, I will give thanks to thee for ever.” Ps 30:11-12

Discipline is not Abuse

In one of my discussion classes last fall we were discussing some things in the OT in which many were coming to the conclusion that God is abusive. ¬†The conversation at hand did not have me agreeing with that thought. ¬†It made me start thinking about how I have seen many in the world saying things like that about God and in general about dealing with “sin” in the world. ¬†I see many people out there calling for the “crucifixion” of these hard core evil people who murder, rape, abuse kids etc. ¬†Yet at the same time these same people don’t think they themselves need any sort of discipline or suffering for the sin they commit in the world. ¬†I mean God loves, so he won’t bring anything bad or hard into your life in the consequences of your choices, right??? ¬†Wrong! ¬†Because God loves you, he will! ¬†Love does not always look “nice” and “sweet.” ¬†He desires the best for you, and this requires discipline. ¬†Discipline should be like saying, I care about you. ¬†Apparently experts say kids love boundaries, even though they fight them, because they feel safe and loved in them. ¬†It is sort of the same thing here. ¬†I am not so sure how many people believe in this type of thing anymore. ¬†Do you see discipline as love? ¬†Is American culture lacking in real love and discipline as of late? ¬†Do you believe in the right of experiencing consequences? ¬†Can you admit when you are wrong? ¬†Shouldn’t we all take responsibility for our actions and words and hurting of others? ¬†Do you realize you are lacking in ways of love? ¬†Do you want to grow? ¬†Are people having these conversations today?

Anyway… in class, I brought up the point of discipline vs abuse just to test some waters. ¬†I compared it with being a parent and God being ours. ¬†(Being a parent has probably opened my eyes up to who God is and his amazing love more than most things in this world have.) ¬†I didn‚Äôt explain myself very well or go into it too much so the conversation pretty much died out and it was a killer, lol. ¬†That doesn‚Äôt happen often. ¬†But later it made me start thinking more about God as father and us as children and how he is God and we are not and we need discipline and how hard it must be to look at us kids acting how we do against each other. ¬†So what do you do with that? ¬†Sometimes it seems some people think God can never be ‚Äúmean‚ÄĚ, like any type of discipline is bad and so, God can‚Äôt do it. ¬†I want to know what they think is ok? ¬†What do you believe God is allowed to do and not do to his people? ¬†Why? ¬†How do we stop the evil in the world? ¬†How do we protect people? ¬†How do we correct things that are wrong and teach and lead in the direction of love? ¬†How do you best discipline those you love in a way in which they feel the love and grow from it? ¬†(This is so hard as a parent)

When it comes to us with others, how do we deal with or stop evil behaviors? ¬†I believe so much of it rests on authority. ¬†We are equal people. ¬†God is above us. ¬†This must be a premise or we will never get there. ¬†We are not God. ¬†We can not be Gods over each other. ¬†We must realize that we are not the judge, we do not know everything or understand everything, we are not to condemn anyone‚Ķ ¬†But we have to be active in restoring this world. ¬†We can’t just ignore the evil. ¬†It is not how the world is supposed to be so we have to deal with all kinds of horrible things and people hurt each other and people die. ¬†Would God really have everyone sit back and do nothing but love and pray? ¬†Can we discipline each other? ¬†How? ¬†Are we not to have a part in fighting evil physically? ¬†How do we do that lovingly? ¬†How did Jesus do it? ¬†¬†Are we not to protect ourselves and others? ¬†Isn‚Äôt there a time when evil must be stopped? ¬†Is that solely God‚Äôs job? ¬†We just pray for a turning and lament the loss of life if some have to be taken out? ¬†How can we discipline each other lovingly and in a way that promotes restoration? ¬†We create law and order and prison systems. ¬†Do they work? ¬†Much of it is corrupt and evil… how can we make it righteous? ¬† On a grand scale… Is war ever just? ¬†Can we ever truly say as Jesus followers that some person deserves to die and we don’t? ¬†How can we best keep things from escalating to such a situation?

We should never be happy about people dying in their sin. ¬†We are never happy about life having to end; about love not being known! ¬†We desire evil to be stopped and eradicated, but the ultimate goal is people restored into love. ¬†What does God really do with these people who don‚Äôt care, don‚Äôt love, perpetuate evil, etc? ¬†What are his thoughts? ¬†They are his children too. ¬†I would never want any of my children to suffer forever. ¬†But isn‚Äôt it their choice to suffer if they choose not to enter into love? ¬†I can‚Äôt control my children‚Äôs minds and emotions and choices. ¬†I can‚Äôt make them choose joy and love. ¬†I can‚Äôt make them forgive and love. ¬†I also can’t allow them to treat others or themselves badly. ¬†I need to love and protect those affected by their actions. ¬†I can’t allow them to be hateful. ¬†They need to understand that those things are not okay. ¬†Their poor choices require discipline in order to train them up in love. ¬†It is not easy. ¬†I feel ‚Äúmean‚ÄĚ and they call me so many times, they may even say that they hate me and wish they had a different family, but I know I am loving them with it. ¬†(It is not abuse. ¬†Pain sucks, but certain kinds of pain need to be felt! ¬†Growing pains.) ¬†When they continue to choose poorly, they continue to miss out on things, good things. ¬†It breaks my heart! ¬†I hate to hear them suffer in their hate of the discipline, but I know it is good for them to experience it and learn and grow from it. ¬†My hope is that they do, and that they grow softer, wiser, more understanding hearts that can love people better and stand up against the evil in the world with more strength. ¬†It angers and hurts me when they do not make good choices and then choose to sit and stew in the hate and bitterness. ¬†I desire for them to be filled with love, peace, and joy for themselves and others. ¬†I really think it is the hardest thing to deal with as a parent, children hurting or them being hateful and causing hurting in others. ¬†God as parent is such a wonderful perspective to be able to grasp how he relates to us. ¬†God sees this all the time in Every. Single. One. Of. Us. Every. Fricking. Day!!! ¬†He is such a good parent! ¬†I am exhausted from it with my 5 kids every day, I wish I had his full capacity of perfect love. lol ¬†I mess up all the time in it, but I too am being disciplines and growing. ¬†Thank God for loving grace! ¬†

Are you allowing God to discipline you effectively? ¬†Or are you fighting the work he desires to do in you? ¬†Don’t fight him, listen, feel his love, and look inside yourself to see where he is attempting to push you into a deeper love and a more christlike character. ¬†Then be moved to worship him in that! ¬†God is good! ¬†God is love!

(My brain on paper… sorry if some of that was rambling lol)

Conflict, Confrontation, and Change

As I read study, think, etc I often come up with many questions. ¬†It looks something like this… from some writing straight out of my journal from school last year…

I believe so much in being humble and holding your tongue and not judging your neighbor (though I am not a pro at this in any sense of the word).  As well as comforting and loving on those in pain and anguish and hard times.  However, how do you remain humble and worried about own sin, love and comfort people, AND still address the sins in the world that need to stop?  Just acknowledging ourselves does not help to change this world (though it is an incredibly necessary step); are we not called to help usher in the kingdom of God (the Spirit transforming our minds and hearts into a state of being dominated by love under the lordship of Jesus)?   Are we not suppose to make disciples (draw others into this place of love and mature in it)?  Are we not supposed to do this with ALL people, even those who are partaking in the sin/offense/hurting of others?  But confrontation is hard!!!  And messy!!!  And uncomfortable!!!

How do we solve conflicts? ¬†How do we admonish someone without condemning them or speaking wickedly against them? ¬†How do we make sure they see the love in us and for them? ¬†How can we help each other grow in reflecting the love of Christ? ¬†How much are we to train and correct and lead each other? ¬†When do we do that? ¬†And how? ¬†How do we make sure we are not imposing our own thoughts and ideas and judgments and pains onto others? ¬†When something wrong or hurtful is coming from our brother/sister, how do we address it? ¬†How do we get sinful behaviors in our society to stop? ¬†How do we make changes on a big scale and make this ‚Äúkingdom of love‚ÄĚ more prevalent? ¬†How do we not get negatively active about our anger at so much injustice and hatefulness? ¬†Change must come, and change takes words and action. ¬†How do we best trust the spirit in the work of our brother‚Äôs/sister‚Äôs life, but also be a messenger of love and change?

Here were the answers that came to me after pondering those that day…

-Change the tone of how you talk and the words in which you say.  Do not label and attack people.  Speak from the heart and cause and effect realities.  Talk about the good of humanity.  Show them how they are not alone.  Enter into the place of fault with them.  Ask about their feelings and perspective.  Help them to see the plight of their brother/sister.  Help them to admit that they have sin- something harming in their life that is bad for them or others.  Help them to see how they also have capability of goodness… and so does their brother/sister.  Show them that condemning each other is not what will make things better.  Yet encouraging each other in the goodness we are able to take part in, is what will change things.  Help them to know you don’t expect perfection and that mistakes are okay.  We all will mess up and hurt each other, but we can all overcome that and press on and be good and do good and promote goodness within each other and the world.   We should not desire to humiliate each other and bring each other down.  Relate.  Speak more testimony.  Only speak into those lives in which you have a place to.  Walk with people and earn that right because you are there and know them and have experienced part of their journey.  Or be vague and help point them to Jesus and the holy spirit, to connect w God and find the path that is right for them, to be convicted within and at peace.

It was good to read this over again today… great reminders for me. ¬†I hope it can speak to others and be of some help too.

Thoughts on Love

What is love if it can’t be shown, known, shared, or felt?  Love just existing, isn’t really being love.  It is pointless without action or purpose.  It ceases to realistically exist when it does not come alive and make itself known to something that is able to see it and receive it.   So love is a live power, it moves and communicates, and is a presence that breathes life into people- which is part of it’s purpose.   It fails when it can’t be comprehended… so part of love is that it knows how to reach its intended target. Part of what makes love so amazing, is that it desires to speak to us and be with us as we are and makes us come alive.  Love not only fills the lover with joy but it benefits the recipient.  It sees the beauty in us and pursues us.  It knows our capability and builds us up and brings us to our best self.  It wants to see us full of life.  What makes us want to glorify love, is that love first imparts glory unto us and we feel amazing.  In it we are validated, deemed worthy, seen, heard, felt… it brings us life.  This love moves us to love in return.