This is the time of the year that we emphasize love. Generally we think of romantic love, but true love is so much more than kisses and flowers.
Romans 13:8-10 says, "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not covet,' and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."
My husband is a great guy but he doesn’t have rhythm. One night we turned on some music and danced in our living room. We weren't in sync at all. But then I had a thought: What if I just let him lead?
He didn't gain perfect rhythm in those few minutes, but I became a better dance partner.
If we could have coffee today, I’d say: "A lie our hearts often hear is, 'You're alone.'" But the truth our hearts need comes from Jesus when he says, "Surely I am with you always."
We all have moments when we feel alone. In a world where everyone seems to be connected, it seems ironic that studies show we're more isolated than ever before. That sense of separateness can create cracks that let lies slip into our hearts.
Many years ago, I used to sit on the front row at church on Sundays. I know what you are thinking, "Who does that?" Well, that's for another day. But one day upon arrival, I noticed I was getting a cold shoulder from the Pastor and his wife. I ran through the check list of all the possible things I could have done to deserve the attitude. It was only a matter of time before I learned their 5 year old son was the source of their frustration. You see, a short term trend (at least among my friends) in that small corner of Arkansas was that no matter how dressed up you were, you didn’t where socks. So that morning, their young son decided that he wasn't going to wear socks either. So as most parents would do, they checked off all the people they know who did wear socks. At the end, he said, "Well, Mr. Doug doesn't wear socks." I had no idea.
When my daughter was an infant and I was an exhausted young mother, I was completely baffled as to how I could find time for prayer.
My spiritual mentor at the time was a deep woman of prayer, and she said to me (in her warm southern way), "Honey, your care for that baby is a prayer. When you are diaperin' that baby, let that be a time of gratitude to God."
If we could have coffee today, I’d say a lie our hearts often hear is, “I need be everything for everyone.” But the truth our hearts need is, “I only need to be who God made me.”
What if our words were gifts? What would that look like?
At Christmas we have countless opportunities to begin our conversations with words like this.
If we could have coffee today I'd ask, "Do you ever feel like your life needs to be perfect?"
If you answered yes, I've got a secret weapon to share with you. It turns out gratitude can actually help us beat the pressure to be perfect. Here's why.
In an October 7th article in the BBC News, it was reported that, "Many Volkswagen cars being sold in America had devices in diesel engines that could detect when they were being tested, changing the performance accordingly to improve results."
What apparently happened was that VW Engineers decided to make the cars temporarily change its emissions when it was hooked up to something that tested it so it would pass with flying colors. However, once the testing unit was no longer connected, the car reverted to a more powerful but much more pollutant process.
An old man was gravely ill, so the pastor went to call on him. The man was not receptive. As soon as he saw the clerical collar, he turned away and refused to speak. The pastor suspected that the man’s food supply had run low. So when he left the house, he stopped at a local butcher shop and had two lamb chops sent over.
He called again in a few days and the old fellow was a bit friendlier. On his way home, the pastor left another order with the butcher.