32 "If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much!34 And
if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get
credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. Luke 6:32-34
I heard a preacher once say that you can measure the way you love by looking at how you treat the person you love the least.
It's an interesting thought. Often when we think about out ability to love, we measure ourselves by the way we treat the people we love the most (our kids, our spouse, our friends). But Jesus said even the sinners love those who love them.
The real test is how you treat the people you don't like. The person that sits next to you in class that no one likes. The coworker that gets on your last nerve. Your ex-husband or ex-wife (ouch!). Someone who really hurt you.
Jesus went on to say
your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be
repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will
truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those
who are unthankful and wicked.36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Luke 6:35-36
For Christmas Uncle Max bought Elijah a drum set and Graham a keyboard. We set it all up in the room farthest from our living area (Elijah's room). PF even brought down his old Paul Reed Smith and amp (not pictured below). Boy have we had some fun (anybody know where I can get some good ear plugs?)…
So yesterday slipped away from me but I couldn't not blog about this week's message. It was a simple message, one that probably most of us have heard before, but so often there is a gap between what we know and what we do. The message was challenging, convicting and encouraging. It was a message about sowing and reaping based out of Galatians 6:7-10.
The points were simple…
1. You always reap what you sow.
2. You always reap more than you sow.
3. You always reap later than you sow.
I think the point that spoke to me the most was the first one, you always reap what you sow, or as they say in Moncks Corner, you pick what you plant.
My husband had so many great thoughts on this. He said, so often we want to blame God that we didn't get of of life what we never put into it in the first place. We get bitter that we didn't get God's best but we didn't do it God's way. Then he summed it all up with this, stop complaining about the fruit on your tree and start controlling the seed that you're putting in the ground.
It looks like this…
- You're unhappy with your relationship with your spouse, start planting intentional seeds of encouragement and love instead of discouragement and nagging. Go out of your way to meet his/her needs.
- You are frustrated with your kids attitude, start planting seeds of respect, care and discipline instead of neglect and anger.
- You're feeling down, start sowing seeds of worship and reading the Word rather than filling your mind with tv, movies and music that bring you down.
- You are lonely, start pursing intentional relationships with those God has already placed in your life.
You get the idea. Remember, you always reap later than you sow. You are not going to see immediate results. But one thing is for sure, the same old seeds produce the same old weeds! If you want to see change, you have to change your seed.
You can listen to the message here (part 3 of New Thru 30).
loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full
of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. James 3:17
I hope you are hanging in there with your reading. You're almost half way done. I have the YouVersion Bible app on my phone and have been doing most of my reading there (its free and an excellent resource) in the New Living Translation (you can select whichever one you prefer). The app also allows you to bookmark verses and tweet them as well.
James 3:17 was one verse that I bookmarked. I especially love the phrase, willing to yield to others. The next verse goes on to say, "And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness."
My husband and I love the concept, your greatest weakness can often become your greatest strength. We talk about this all the time. When I was a teenager, by far, my greatest weakness was that I was a people-pleaser. This can get a teenager in a lot of trouble. The interesting thing is, as I have matured in my relationship with the Lord, I have turned my people-pleasing ways into peacemaking ways.
Being a peacemaker is not easy. You often have to be willing to yield to others. But it comes with the promise of righteousness.
Just wondering if you have any relationships today where you need to be a peacemaker? A friend, sibling, parent, spouse? Yielding to others does not mean you are a doormat, it means you are willing to give up a desire of your own for the greater good of your relationship.
Its about selflessness. Letting others go first or choose first. Being willing to not have the last word. Not because you let others take advantage of, but because you sincerely love the person and you put their needs, wants, desires above you own, at the appropriate place and time.
I will leave you with the words of Jesus.
first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." Mark 9:35
Did you miss me yesterday? Sorry! I spent most of the day cleaning out my closet and boy does it feel good to be done with that. I also went to boot camp with some our church staff and is my body feeling that today. Thanks Body by Buck.
Ok, on to the good stuff… The recipe I am about to give is the hands down the easiest recipe I have ever cooked, and very delicious too. You really need to try it (even you single male lurkers out there). The picture is not mine (mine has black beans and corn in it), I snagged it off the internet for effect :).
2-3 frozen chicken breasts
1 can corn (drained)
1 can black beans (drained)
1 can of Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chiles) or one small jar of salsa (if using rotel, drain half the water)
1 packet of taco seasoning
-Sometime in the morning, place all ingredients in your crock pot (yes even the chicken frozen solid).
-Cook on low for 8-10 hours (6-7 may do the trick if you have a good crock pot)
-Sometime in the afternoon, go in and shred the chicken using 2 forks
-Stir and let cook until time to serve
-Serves at least 4 adults
-Serve on whole wheat tortillas topped with your favorite toppings (sour cream, shredded cheddar, green onion, avacado etc…)
-I also serve with Rice-a-Roni whole grain Spanish rice
That's it!! Let me know if you try it! Enjoy.
Well its Monday. I had a very busy weekend full of traveling, family, friends, and I topped it all off with a great Sunday at Elevation church. I am here, as I faithfully am every Monday (sometimes earlier than others), equipped with a cup a freshly brewed peach oolong tea, Martin Luther King Jr. talking about freedom in the background and my notes from yesterday's message ready to blog.
I am wondering how you are doing with your daily Bible reading. Its a big commitment, I know, but well worth it. You will be so proud of yourself when you complete it. Keep going! (Gee, I sound like Beth Moore, all I need to do is slip in a "Beloved")
Yesterdays message was one of the most practical and helpful messages I have ever heard on prayer. Based out of the disciples prayer in Acts 4:23-31, my husband gave us 10 ways to Pray Like a Juggernaut. Or, for you baptists out there, How to build a powerful case to God in prayer.
I loved each point so much, but I think I want to focus on the last point: If You're going to ask, be ready to act. I love this. As my husband put it, "Its called the book of Acts, not the book of concepts!"
To break it down more practically…
-God's not going to answer your prayer and send you a godly man at the club, you are going to have to get involved in church and be a godly woman.
-God's not going to magically make your debt disappear, you are going to have to put some healthy spending habits into action.
-God may ask you to improve your diet and exercise before he removes your depression
-God wants your kids grow up to make right decisions and follow Him, but you're going to have to get them to church more than once every 6 weeks.
-God may choose to use you and your resources to answer your prayer, "Lord help the people in Haiti!"
So the question I have in my mind is, "Lord, what are you calling me to do to bring this prayer to life?" This can change your whole outlook on prayer.
You can listen to the message (part 2 of New Thru 30) here.
Hope you have a great Monday! Tomorrow I will announce the winners of the book giveaway (yes, winners, I found out I had more than one copy to give!)
I am not usually moved to tears by disasters. I don't know, call me hard-hearted, it all just usually seems surreal to me in my comfortable American life.
Until this morning. I went to CNN's site to see what was going on in Haiti and came across this video. Anderson Cooper reports on a scene where a girl is stuck underneath some rubble and a handful of men are using their bare hands to dig her out.
I cried. I wanted to jump on a plane and go help these people. They lack even the simplest physical need, water. I can't jump on a plane to Haiti, but I am a part of a church that reaches out to others in need.
We have a partnership with Samaritan's Purse and they are already over there. They need resources to continue to meet the needs of the Haitian people. It feels great to know that when I give to my church, I enable them to be able to reach out to the needs of people all over the world. Our church will be giving big to Samaritan's Purse this weekend that will go towards their efforts in Haiti. I love my church.
Oh and they do pull the girl in the video out of the rubble and she's ok. Its a very bright spot in a very dark situation.
I know Christmas has come and gone, but I thought you might like to see a few pictures. For each of our worship experiences on Christmas Eve, my husband and I did a welcome. We brought our boys out on the stage the at the final experience. They both wanted to hold the microphone (I don't know where they got that??)