Showing posts with label love people. Show all posts
Showing posts with label love people. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

What Can We Do?

My daughter Maggie took this photo about thirteen years ago, 
and it has spoken to my heart ever since. 
I love how my granddaughter reaches her hand out to her cousin,
and the look on her face says "I care."

Isn't that how God wants us to react to others, with an 'I care' attitude?

Every person is going through something. 
Some on a small scale, others with overwhelming magnitude. 

What can we do to love people better?


 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Knowledge and Wisdom

Philippians 1:9-11
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

I’m a life-long learner.

I confess, I didn’t like school. Elementary school was okay, but by the time I reached junior high and high school, I wasn’t a fan. Not being a social butterfly, I was quiet and everything kind of overwhelmed me. I did like having friends and going to basketball games, but I preferred to stay home and read or wander outside.

The funny thing is, I loved learning and I still do. After high school, I attended college for two years, but it took me until I was forty-eight years old to complete my bachelor’s degree. In the meantime, ironically, I worked in education. In the library of the elementary school and in a college library, I encouraged students to read and learn.

Even though I wasn’t a fan of school, I loved gathering knowledge and wisdom, and I do believe school is extremely important. As I tell my grandchildren, whether you enjoy school or not, you need to do your best.

The apostle Paul is writing to the Philippian church and reminding them to keep learning. He prayed they would grow in knowledge and insight. Knowledge of God’s word and insight into the people God called them to love. He encouraged the people to discern or consider what was best when it came to loving people as Jesus loved them, and he reminded them they would grow in the fruit or righteousness, or the fruit of the Spirit.  

God wants me to keep learning and use what I learn to love people better. As I seek the truth in His word, I grow in His love for other people. As a result, I glorify my heavenly Father through my actions.

Are you learning more about Jesus every day?

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Nothing Greater

Mark 12:30-31
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." The second is this: "Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."

Seagulls swooped around the pier.

At Huntington Beach in northern Ohio, the seagulls flew about in search of food. A heron rested on the rocks and watched. Before long a seagull padded over to squat beside the heron. The bigger bird didn't move, he allowed the little fellow into his space without quarrel. Side-by-side they perched on the rocks, two very different, yet beautiful birds.

As I watched these two, I thought about how God created people as unique beings who populate the same planet. I'll admit, I've come across a few folks I didn't want to share space with. Yet, God called me to love.

I've heard Jesus' words in Mark many times, but some days, I need reminded. I might be the heron minding my own business, when the seagull pops in and sits beside me. Or the other way around. No doubt someone out there doesn't want me sitting beside them. That's okay.

My mom told me years ago, "You don't have to like everyone, but you do need to love them." That's what God calls me to do. I may not agree, but I can love. I may not like, but I am called to love.

Is it always easy? Nope. But who said life, as a follower of Jesus, was easy? Does it take patience? Yes, and kindness, gentleness, self-control and all of the fruit of the Spirit God gives me.

When I love God with all my heart and soul and mind and strength, I will love my neighbor. Not just my physical neighbors, but the people I interact with on social media, too. Jesus also says to love myself. He wants me to care about my physical, spiritual, and mental being.

Love God. Love neighbors. Love ourselves. God created people to care for each other. Let's do this.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Movies Parallel Truth

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” Jesus in John 16:12-15

I love a good movie. So far this holiday season I've watched two; Frozen 2 and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

Frozen 2 is a fictional story about two sisters who want to save their kingdom. As Elsa seeks to solve the problem in the movie (no spoilers here) she's encouraged to listen for nature's voice in order to do the right thing.

Lloyd Vogel, a journalist, struggles in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood with angst against his father. Mister Rogers, a children's show star and minister, shares love and encouragement with Lloyd. In his own fashion, Mister Rogers teaches Lloyd about listening for truth and making the right choice. If you know Mister Rogers' story at all, you know he was a kind man who loved people and encouraged children to recognize and understand their feelings. He also loved God, prayed and read the Bible.

As I watched both movies, I couldn't help but find parallels with some biblical truths. Living life as followers of Jesus, we strive to pay attention to the Spirit's lead and share Jesus' love and kindness with the world. We're called to hear, not nature's spirit but, the Holy Spirit. He carries our prayers to God, connects us to Jesus, and gives us encouragement and advice. By listening to the Spirit, we can make a prayerful, spiritually informed decision to do the right thing. By loving people in the kind, gentle way of Mr. Rogers, we show the world the love and grace of Jesus. Both movies reminded me of God's truth, to love Him and love people.
As you go along this holiday season and interact with others, seek the Spirit's guidance and pour God's love over the folks who cross your path.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

Friday, October 30, 2015

Won't You Be My Neighbor

Matthew 22:36-40
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Farmers Mural in Wilmington, OH
I didn't grow up in a neighborhood, but I knew my neighbors. We lived in the country on five acres where I could roam the woods, fish in the pond, and read on the front porch. More than a few times I remember my dad welding machinery for the local farmers who lived nearby. A couple of times I helped bale hay. I learned about sheep and goats from the farm on the hill. When we weren't working on something, all the kids got together and played softball, tag, and hide and seek. We were neighbors who watched out for each other, visited, and cared. We loved the folks around us.

Jesus knew about neighbors. He loved the people who surrounded him. When asked which commands to follow, he was clear in his answer. Love God, love people. This is not just an Old Testament law, but also words spoken by the prophets, reiterated in the New Testament. Love God with all I have and have compassion for the people around me. Not just neighbors who live next door, but people who weave in and out of my life. It's not easy sometimes, as I'm sure it's not easy to love me at times. Never-the-less, I continue to obey Jesus. Praise God for his love and for his commands.