That looks like annihilation to the human eye. But Paul had changed his way of viewing death. He looked at it from God’s perspective. The Greek word that is translated “departure” is a word that is also used by soldiers in the field striking his tent, packing his gear and heading for home. Departure. The same word is used also for sailors who are in foreign port who cast of the moorings and sail for home. Paul got it right I think. Death is not the end. Only a departure for home.
Some of the greatest books and movies ever written involve the joining of unlikely friendships. They fascinate us. We watch these seemingly misplaced characters wrestle out their differences and in the end we celebrate their success.
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.