Love Never Fails

I have been binge watching Glee on Netflix. One of the issues addressed on the show, that I have a difficult time watching, is the bullying in the school. I was bullied in school but never said anything. It wasn’t as severe as it is in the show where I was fearful every day, but I had my fair share of people calling me names, threatening to beat me up, and making fun of me. The thing is, just as it appears in the show, I never did anything to bring on the bullying. No one who is bullied does. We just seemed to be in the wrong place at the right moment.

We, as parents, have failed our children when they are bullied and we don’t know about it. The school system has failed our children when they are bullied with no consequences for the bully. Children’s feelings and minds are so fragile that when we do not intervene they live the rest of their lives insecure or fearful. Something in them breaks and it takes a higher power to fix it.

Life is hard enough as it is without someone raining hate down on us. We think too much of ourselves and not enough of our neighbor. I am one of the worst when I go to church and pray that God helps me to love my neighbor and then I yell at another driver or don’t help the homeless or those in need. We can get so wrapped up in our own issues and problems, and sometimes just our busy lives in general, that we fail to see the problems of those around us or we are too busy to help. And when we do this, we turn our backs and let the enemy have them.

Thankfully, the characters in the show realized they were damaging those they were bullying and they stopped. Unfortunately, that rarely happens in real life. The bully grows up continuing to bully and the victim grows up continuing to feel like a victim. And they pass it onto their children thus perpetuating the vicious cycle.

The solution? Love. Love to the bully to let them know they are not alone in the problems they are facing and someone loves them. Love to the victim to let them know they are not alone and they are loved and wanted.

There is an old song by dc Talk called “We All Want To Be Loved.” Later Toby Mac, one of the members of dc Talk, sang a song called “Made To Love.” I don’t think it is a coincidence that at one time he sang a song talking about how much everyone wants to be loved and then he sings a song years later that says we are made to love and be loved.

God is truly in control.

God Without Compassion

Some friends and I are studying the book of Isaiah. Today’s reading was from chapter 27. It says in verse 11 “Therefore their Maker will not have compassion on them. And their Creator will not be gracious to them.” Read that again…”their Maker will not have compassion on them…will not be gracious to them.” Can you imagine? I mean even when we don’t acknowledge God He still cares for us. Even those in the world who openly reject Him, He still loves. Who are these people that God does not have compassion for or holds back His grace from?

Those who follow and worship false gods (Rev. 13:8,14). Why would God choose to withhold compassion and grace from those who are deceived? Because they have had ample opportunity to listen and follow Jesus. Whether these people are those before the Second Coming of Christ or after, depending upon how you believe, these followers of the Beast will have the Creator against them. God is not happy with those who lead others astray (Luke 17:2), and that is what followers and worshipers do, they encourage others to do the same. So they are encouraging others to worship false gods, to turn way from the one truly living God, and they are proud of it.

Imagine yourself as God. And your children are your children that you brought forth and love. And one of your children commits murder. But not only that but encourages another of your children to commit murder. And they are proud of it. Yes, you still love both children just as God loves everyone, but you have to put a stop to it. And God does exactly that.

Scripture says God is just and if He is holding back His compassion and grace…it is for a very good reason. I just don’t want to be on the negative side of that equation.

The Gospel In A Word…

I just finished watching a movie on Netflix called “Finger of God.” It was about a guy who heard about some people receiving miraculous signs at their church. Signs of gold, gems, and manna being delivered into the hands of the believers. Out of nowhere. At least, nowhere on earth. The gems given to the people were examined by gemologists and they are flawless and couldn’t even be identified. Gold dust was found being sprinkled on people out of nowhere and manna appeared in bibles.

In another part of the movie, the narrator went to Zimbabwe and found a woman who was using the orphaned children to heal the people in the country. She said children believe fully that God can heal. It is adults that knock that belief out of them. She prayed with them but the orphan children laid their hands on the people and they are healed. Blind people given sight, deaf people given their hearing, crippled people made to walk, and even the dead were given their lives back.

One of the men being interviewed who was a missionary in China said the people didn’t fight about politics, or the government, or petty things. All they wanted to do was to spread the Gospel. That is all.

America is a great nation, but we have lost our way. We tend to not be able to see the forest for the trees. It took me forever to understand that phrase – Can’t see the forest for the trees. Imagine the Gospel is the forest and each tree is every belief of every person. Do you get it? We are so concerned about every tiny thing everyone believes that we forget that the whole thing is about the Gospel of Christ. The greatest command of love the Lord your God with all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. And the second command to love your neighbor as yourself.

So what if you want instruments in your church! So what if you want to worship for five hours! So what if you don’t have a bus ministry! So what if we don’t agree on every tiny thing! So what! We have made our love conditional. We only give it to those who we want to or who agrees with us. This is a shameful thing and we will be judged by these actions.

We get so wrapped up in what we think God is telling us that we are becoming like the Israelites so long ago…”every man did what was right in his own eyes”…Judges 17:6

What Is Happening?

One of my “friends” on FB shared a news feed about some guy who refused to help someone on the side of the road simply because they didn’t share the same political views as him. The guy said that God was telling them not to help the person. I’m sorry, but I really think that voice he heard and misinterpreted as God’s was really Satan’s. In John 10:27, Jesus said His sheep hear His voice and follow Him.

What happened to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18)? And what happened to the Samaritan who showed mercy to his injured enemy (Luke 10:36-37)? Okay. I know that to expect light from darkness will leave us sorely disappointed, but shouldn’t we expect light from light? Shouldn’t we expect for Christians to act like Christ? The last time I read the bible Jesus didn’t turn His back on those seeking His help. The ones He did chide were the hypocrites in the church!

Don’t get me wrong. I have a difficult time doing for those who are rude to me or cut me off in traffic or who cheat the system so I have to pay more in taxes. But if someone needs help, I don’t care if they have a sticker on their car or a tattoo that says “I hate Christians”, I’m still going to help them! Do you know why? Because they are the ones who need the most help! They are the ones we were told to witness to!

Jesus said it best…”By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”…John 13:35

Motivation!

During my creative outpouring while on our cruise, I was listening to Daniel play the guitar and sing songs. I had my head down during most of his session because of all the words that came pouring out of me onto the notepad. As I was writing, he sang a song about being someone’s support and being there for the girl. I found out later the song was “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain. It is a beautiful song. Just as he was singing it I was writing a scene about my characters and how the singer was comforting the main character. I couldn’t help but laugh while I was writing because the song was perfect.

Since being home, I have been listening to Daniel’s song sessions and have been looking up all the songs he was singing so I can listen to them while completing my revision of the book. It truly was an amazing experience because his artistic outlet was helping me with mine.

So many times we surround ourselves with those who either zap our energy or who make us doubt our abilities or who just simply do not believe in what we are doing. My challenge to you is to surround yourself with those who believe in you, who have the same goals, or if they are family and you just can’t get away from them, then remind yourself that you can do it. Every time they say you can’t, tell yourself ten times that you can!

I used to get discouraged very easily and I didn’t try because I was listening to those who told me I couldn’t. When I stopped listening to them and started putting myself out there, I found that there were more people who wanted to see me succeed than there were those who didn’t. But it took me fighting through all the din of discouragement to get into the clear sounds of those who really love me.

Do you have a dream? Is it something you have been dreaming since you were little? Then reach for it! Don’t let others rob you of your dreams! Don’t let them take from you what God gave to you!