Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chocolate Hearts Valentine's Day Card
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Friday, January 14, 2011

Be Kind to Jerks

You have heard it said, "Be kind to others," and "Treat others as you would want to be treated," and other things like that. Have you ever heard it said to "Be kind to jerks?"

Welll...maybe not in those exact words, but you have probably heard, "Love your enemies."

We are called to do good for everyone, not just the people that we like. I read a Bible verse recently that made me chuckle.

"If you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that." Luke 6:33 (In context.)

It is such an obvious statement, yet it is so sagacious at the same time. For those of us who strive to shine as a light of Christ to the world, this especially rings true. What kind of an example of His love are we if we play favorites and only love those who love us?

Wait a moment....

Now, as I type this, my train of thought is wandering to Casting Crowns' "If We Are the Body."

Since that is on my mind now, rather than continuing to type my thoughts, I am going to sign that song for you. Soo...this post started with the intention of talking (err...typing) about being kind to jerks and is ending with a song about being jerks. It may not be exactly where I had in mind to go originally, but it is where I am going now.

If you want to watch the video larger and with some more clarity, you can see it on YouTube by clicking here.

"But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it."

-1 Corinthians 12:24b-27 (20-27)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It Figures

You know about what I am talking.

You pick what you thought was the shorter line at the supermarket, and the cashier has to call a manager for help for the person in front of you. You watch the next line over go through three customers before the manager even gets to your cashier. It figures.

You are running late to something and seem to get every red light on the way there. It figures.

You get a telephone call and forget to take supper out of the oven, and it gets overcooked. It figures.

Something happens that is not what you wanted, and you say, "It figures."

This is one of those expressions that annoys me. Yes, it annoys me. You may ask me why it annoys me. I may ask you, "Why does it figure?!"

Is your life so miserable that it just figures when something does not go your way? Do things go wrong in your life so consistently that you just figure that that is what is going to happen?

I would be surprised if you answered, "Yes," but if you did, and if that much is truly going wrong in your life, then perhaps it is time for you to make a change.

Is it your outlook that needs to change? Is it your attitude that needs to change? Is it where you put your focus that needs to change? Is it where you put your faith that needs to change?

Personally, right now in my life, I do not think that I know anyone who has it as bad as Job had it. Job was a wealthy man. In Job 1 and 2, in one day, he had more go wrong than one might imagine could happen in one day. Job's oxen, donkeys and camels were all stolen. A fire killed all of his sheep. Did Job say, "It figures?" No. In Job 1:21b, he said, "...the Lord giveth, and the Lord has taken away."

On another day, Job was afflicted "with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head." (Job 2:7b) At this point, in verses 9 and 10:

His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”

He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?


This man's had a faith in the Lord that got him through the worst of times. Job lost just about everything possible, yet he maintained the right attitude and a strong faith in God. Does that make you think?

The next time that you are getting frustrated because you let someone pull out in front of you, and then you wind up getting the red light or because you are baking a cake for company in two hours and it comes out lopsided or.... When your instinct is to say, "It figures," maybe instead you can say, "Well, if that is the worst thing that happens to me today, I am doing great."

Maybe you could say, "Hey, at least I am not Job."

Oh, and if you are wondering what ever became of Job after all of that, check it out!

Deed 12: We were at a restaurant this week, the kind where you take your trays back and throw away your own garbage. A group of men had left three tables with their trash on them, so I decided to clean off the tables. A friend who was with me helped me. The people working at the restaurant did not know that we did that, and that is just fine.

Deed 13: We went to the grocery store, and when we went to return our cart, I took a few minutes to gather the scattered carts and stack them neatly to make it easier for the person who would have to bring them back inside.