Monday, April 28, 2008

The Seed Must Lead

Galatians 6:7 says, "Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." If we want to reap good things, we must sow some good seeds according to chapter 28. The seed always has to if we want happiness, we need to sow some seeds of happiness. If we want anything in this life, we must be willing to give it first. II Corinthians 9:7-9 says, "God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work." Our Sunday sermon was about sacred service, which the speaker called anything we do for someone or give to her/him. I love that....sacred service. I'm inspired to do my best to serve God and His creation, including everyone I meet.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Keep Your Heart of Compassion Open

It's hard to be compassionate sometimes, but I like the way chapter 27 begins. Joel tells this story of when his dad and he were traveling overseas, and the plane had to stop to refuel on this small island. On the island, Joel's dad discovered a young man who was stranded on the island and gave him money to fly home. Joel's dad thought about his own children and how he would want someone to help them in they were in that situation. I would do anything for my kids so I would hope that I could be compassionate to someone who had a situation similar to what my kids have gone through. The other day a woman, who is one of my facebook friends, was telling about how she lost her 25-year-old son a year ago. I felt such compassion for her because I remembered how close I came to losing Tori when she was 27 to a motorcycle accident. Sometimes I wonder if God allows things like that to happen so that we will have compassion for others. I thank God every day that he spared Tori. Here is a picture of me holding Tori's oldest daughter Sierra when she was a baby.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Showing God's Kindness and Mercy

My baby granddaughter Kaya turned two today, and here she is kissing my mom, her great-grandma Joan. Happy birthday, Kaya! Her name came from a Hopi Indian word meaning "wise child", and I think she's lived up to the name. Of course, since I'm her nana, I might be a tad bit biased.

It's time to start discussion of chapter twenty-six, "Showing God's Kindness and Mercy". "See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always aim to show kindness and seek to do good to one another and everybody," says Paul in I Thessalonians 5:15. Joel says, "When you are placed in awkward situations where somebody doesn't treat you right, you have the golden opportunity to help heal a wounded heart....hurting people often hurt other people as a result of their own pain. If somebody is rude and inconsiderate, you can almost be certain that they have some unresolved issues inside. They have some major problems, anger, resentment, or some heartache they are trying to cope with or overcome. The last thing they need is for you to make matter worse by responding angrily." Amen! Help me to remember that, Lord. Help me to be kind to people no matter how they treat me. Help me approach others with the innocence of Kaya, who is non-judgmental, loving, and accepting of everyone.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Joy of Giving

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk! Those of us from Kansas know what I'm talking about. Tonight is the National Championship basketball game with Memphis, and it is beginning NOW. Go, Hawks!!

Tonight I'm also starting the discussion on giving. Rozan presented some good thoughts about it on the last post so I'll just continue from there. "Giving and receiving are the same, and all that I give, I give to myself." says Jerry Jampolsky. Sometimes we think that when we give something away that b/c we don't have it anymore, we will suffer scarcity and loss. Actually, though, when we give, we will experience such an expansion and extension of joy and love that we will feel like we've gained much more by giving than we would have gained had we received. Jerry Jampolsky also says, "Become a love giver instead of a love seeker." The gospel in Luke 6:38 says, "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put in your lap, for the measure that you give will be the measure you get back." I used to think that verse was talking about money, but I've come to realize that it is referring to everything in life.