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Respect and Pleasure

I am fifty- one years old.

I have lived the life of the brokenhearted most of those years.

It all boils down to one reason.

I have been disrespected. Greatly disrespected.

It is I who have disrespected myself.

——–
Let me start at the beginning. I was born with a heightened sense of justice. I don’t know where it came from really. My Mother probably. I think she had it pretty bad. God, most likely- He probably did the instilling, in the womb of the woman who spent a lifetime defending herself. And then, in turn, we would defend the disadvantaged together, her and I.

In my youth, I was picked on a lot because we were pretty poor and had…..uhh…”funky” clothes, raggedy hair, and lived in trailers and cars all parked on the wrong side of the tracks. So I knew about pain. I knew where injustice lived and was camped there myself. I have memories of  barrels burning in the street, and all those street people gathered around, trying to stay warm. They were my friends, and they huddled together in affinity with me and mine.

I learned to discern at a very early age, motives, and genuineness:

“It will not take her long to figure out
If you do not genuinely love her.
She has been conditioned to spot this early.”
I wrote in one of my earlier poems.  Of course it was all about me, but I let you think it was about a single Mother of two.

It was a big deal to me- justice.  I didn’t like to see anyone get hurt.  And I especially didn’t like it when anyone hurt me.  I’d had too much of it.  By the time I was 13, I’d already suffered a lifetime of abuse.   I had a mentally handicapped brother who was a year below me. We were children numbers 4 and 5, in our stream of seven.  I was exhausted by him, and fiercely protective of him all at the same time.  Where Len was concerned, I saw a lot of injustice.  Times were different back then.  Everyone was hurling insults at him it seemed.  It wasn’t socially incorrect yet.  They weren’t protected like they are today.  He was my shadow in those days.  I may as well have been him. And they were cruel. But our cruelest enemy was a member of our own family.  Our own flesh and blood doing unspeakable wrongs to both Len and myself.  It was a lot for a young girl to deal with.

So, today when I sense injustice, or if it is done to me, I react.  I know when you are pulling a low blow.  I know when you are twisting things around, and throwing the blame on me, so you don’t have to deal honestly with your own garbage.  And for fifty years, I have always responded in the same way.  I will first get hurt ( a natural response), I will cry, I may yell (at you if you are my husband), and then I will proceed to make sure you understand how you hurt me.  I will verbally let you know.  I will most likely shame you. All in the hopes that you will grasp how phenomenally badly it hurts- what you did. But I don’t feel any better after.  And, you, the perpetrator, you’ll do it again. Here’s how I know you will do it again.  Because I just taught you to disrespect me.  Because I didn’t respect myself.

I tried to talk you (or yell you, or shame you, or cry you) into loving me right, into being kinder, being more honest, and more just. In my desperate attempt to feel no pain, I tried to gain control of you.  Change you.  Mold you.  Mold you into someone who loves  me right. Why?  Because I failed to realize that I AM already loved.  I AM already special.  I AM already worthy. I put all my hope in you to ensure my safety and my happiness….. and that was wrong.

No matter what happens in my relationships with others, God has already assured me that my true worth lies in the love that he has for me and that he continues to demonstrate to me. He has chosen beautiful words to describe this love to me in his precious book (love letter) to me. Words like, beloved, child of God, royal priestess, bride of Christ, chosen one, dearly loved etc.

When I am aware of this- aware deeply on the inside- I can walk away.  Walk away without saying a word.  I have my self(God)- respect, and I don’t have to join you in facing the aftermath of your words and actions.  I, for one, do not have to take the bait.  I don’t have to tell you what you did wrong. You already know.  It is not my job to make you better, kinder, truer.  It is not my job to convince you of your injustice.

When I am able to walk away, I find pleasure in knowing that what I did was pleasing to God.  Pleasure in knowing that I did not sin, in turn.  That I let go and let God.  That I trusted him enough to not feel that I had to control the outcome.  Trusted him enough to take my pain, and comfort me with HIS hand- not mine, and not yours.

So the question then, that must be posed to this fifty-something worn out soul is: Can I walk away?  Can I break 50 years of habit overnight?  And WHAT if I can?  What if He has given me miracle revelation tonight, and what if he has been priming me a long time to receive this truth?  Several decades of priming, perhaps?  Do you think I have learned?  Perhaps you would like to join me in prayer? I’ll pray this prayer of strength for you, ladies, if you pray it for me.  For isn’t this a female problem, more than a male problem?  Aren’t we the ones who get hurt the easiest?  Aren’t we the ones who take the bait more readily?  Aren’t we the ones with all the words?  But hasn’t God called us to a quiet and gentle spirit?

Do we believe enough?  Do we really believe that His love is enough?

Respect & Pleasure.  Remember where your self respect comes from.  (my new word to myself is God-respect). Remember how much pleasure we get out of pleasing our God with our actions (walking away and not sinning).

Respect & Pleasure ladies.  What do you say we try it?

praisepraise

WAITING

There is something beautiful about waiting.

When a man and a woman, who are deeply in love, decide to wait, several other-worldly relationship experiences begin to happen. Firstly, that intense love feeling, as strong as it first was, begins to multiply and grow upward taking you to a whole new level.  Where most relationships begin to wane in their acuteness, this one deepens and intensifies in ways you never thought possible. Intimacy takes on a whole new meaning.  This is because sex too soon- sex before marriage- blocks true intimacy. It stills pure communication.  It offers a mask and a cover-up.  When we are in the glory of our exploring and sexual experience, we don’t have to (and we do not) deal with the real issues- the things that are really going on in our relationship.  We are blinded from even seeing them.

Our focus (especially for the male), becomes centered around that sexual act as the climax of every evening. The goal for which to be obtained.  A prize to work for.  And the more he gets the more he wants.  This is a purely physiological response of the male body, and in no way should he be faulted for this.  This is how God made him. Women often experience these same responses, but usually to a lesser degree.

Entering into this sacred ground too early, and before it is time, takes the focus off of what we should really be concentrated on achieving:

WHOLENESS with one another. Thus allowing the relationship to be all that it can be.  Thus having a relationship this is planted firmly on solid ground. Here are just a few of the immense blessings that couples experience when they make the decision to wait:

YOU GIVE RESPECT TO ONE ANOTHER.
Because you decided to wait, you are saying to your partner that you respect them enough to get to know the real him or her.  You have decided to get to know them on a friendship level first. And, realizing that friendship is the very best kind of relationship in the whole world, you want to offer this to your partner and to the relationship.

After the two of you are married, you will remember how much the other respected you, and this respect carries over into your marriage!  If you do not wait- you will always wonder if you were truly valued or not.  This is the same for a male or a female.  The male actually feels more respected when the woman cares about their relationship enough to say No.  The undercurrents of sex before marriage have far reaching ramifications that we do not readily see.  These undercurrents subconsciously mess with our mind.  And the graffiti splashed across our souls spells disrespect. That is why many marriages are troubled.

YOU GIVE HONOR TO ONE ANOTHER.
Essentially you are saying to the other person, You are special above all others.  I recognize this and I am humbled before you. I acknowledge your greatness in all ways, and I will not try to take anything away from your innocent and organic beauty.

YOU GIVE VALUE TO ONE ANOTHER.
This is especially ground shattering for a woman.  There is no greater sense of safety on the face of the entire earth for a woman than having a man who says, I want to get to know the real you, and you are worth waiting for.  It blows our minds.   You can hear us sing! This man doesn’t just want my body.  He wants my heart, and my mind, and my soul!!  That can sustain us an entire lifetime.

Ladies, you show value to your man when you esteem him as a child of God, and you do not try to tempt him.  You are saying to him, You are a child of God and He has something better for you, and I value you too much to try to take that away from you.  You value him and encourage him when you join him in the waiting.

YOU IMPROVE YOUR SELF ESTEEM.
You feel like superman or superwoman.  Look what you have done!  Look how strong you are!  Look how good you are! Although- I have come to realize that this sort of thing cannot be done on our own strength alone. It takes diligent prayer and meeting with God about it.  But, oh the phenomenal confidence and self esteem it affords us!  We can look anybody in the eye. We walk more boldly.  We proclaim our own faith more confidently.  Our teaching is not hindered, and we have so much more to give to others.  When we respect ourselves, everyone around us respects us as well.  It’s just a natural occurrence having to do with the Newton’s third law: for every action there is a reaction.   Don’t kid yourself; your actions always produce a result one way or the other.

YOU IMPROVE THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION WITH GOD.
Sin hinders our prayer life.  We are too ashamed to get in the presence of our Maker, so we avoid it.  And then, when we do pray, our lack of repentance hinders God from hearing us.  When we come clean before God and stop doing what we know we ought not to, there are fresh meadows of peace and release, and plenty of area to romp and talk with the One who wants to commune with us daily.  He hears us, and he touches us in ways that enrich every area of our lives.

YOU CREATE IMMENSE ANTICIPATION.
You realize that with every moment that you wait, you are improving the future quality of your sex life.  You allow yourself little glimpses of how beautiful it will be: running your hands gently along his crevices, holding his hands gently in yours, looking into those intensely kind and respectful eyes.  There is NO doubt.  You know he honors you and he loves you.  He knows that you are a one of a kind woman and that you belong to him alone.  You got through the tough times together.  You cared enough about one another to lay the strong foundational stones. You know what the other is made of.  You know her love is more than skin deep, and you know God is blessing you both beyond your wildest dreams.

I honestly believe all of this. I believe something else is true also.

Even if you and your partner have fallen in the past, even if you failed to wait, you can begin again fresh.  You can begin now to show just how much you love one another.  You can begin today to have an honorable and respectful new beginning. You can repent together before God, and sin no more.  God will honor that.


Psalms 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Hebrews 10:17, “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

There is something beautiful about waiting!!

hairGrey

I had a child ask me last week, “Why’d you do it?”

I replied, “Why did I do what?”

Child shot back, “Why’d you color your hair white?”(I took that as a huge compliment.  Obviously I still looked a little too young to have grey hair, or at least that is what I preferred to think he was implying) :)

“I didn’t color my hair white, sweetie, it’s naturally white.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”  (I didn’t take that as such a huge compliment, but smiled just the same, knowing I had a wonderful story to tell).

So I began to tell him what I have been telling everyone else who’s felt the unction to ask.  For him, I put it in young people language.  For you, today,  I’m  putting it in big people language.

We tend to go white (or grey) in our family early.  It’s not just me.  It came from Mama.  All of my siblings do so as well.  Here’s my handsome brother Matt:

matty

Distinguished looking right?  It’s distinguished on guys.  Society accepts it.  Makes them look even more handsome to some.  I’d have to agree with that assessment.

But women?  Not so much.  I knew that, and was in my thirties or forties (memory is not serving me well, but I think in my mid 30′s) when I first started to dye my hair to its natural chestnut brown color at first and then experimented with different shades of red later.

My hair was starting to lose its luster with each new application, but I didn’t care.  Anything was better than those dreaded roots.  Photos started to look phony as hell, especially next to my daughter’s lovely profile.  I started to experience frequent migraines, and spent money we didn’t have every month on a new box.  Ah, well, but we do what we must.

Then one day, while reading my Bible, I came across this verse in Proverbs:

Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness~ Proverbs 16:31

I’d read it before.  Mama had pointed it out to me years ago.  Well that was good for her, but I certainly wasn’t ever thinking of adopting it into my set of priorities.

But this night as I read it again, I heard God speak.

“Do you understand what you are reading?  Read it again.  I value it! Me,-God,  I see it as a CROWN- a splendorous crown.” And then I heard him plain as day: “Who would you rather impress?  Your friends?  Other women? Men? Or would you rather please Me? 

“Read it again.  Do you not see that I give it to you as a gift? You get it along the way of a righteous life.  …it is attained in the way of righteousness. ‘ ” (Now I aint saying I’m Ms. Righteous, so that part of the scripture still puzzles me a bit).

“Kathleen, when you insist on coloring your hair, you are telling me that you do not appreciate the gift I have bestowed upon you. You are telling me that the gift I am telling you is so valuable, is not good enough for you.  You are, essentially, throwing my gift back in my face.”

Gulp.  I read the verse again, just like He asked me to. And then I read it one more time.

“I look too young to have grey hair, (okay this was seven years ago folks….lol) people won’t get it.  They’ll do a double take.  I won’t be attractive to anyone anymore.  Women won’t know how to take me.  Goodness only knows what the men will think. ” I hadn’t even factored in all of the precious reactions from children that I would get- and yes, there has been some most precious honesty from the children.

“But you know what God?-  You matter to me more than all of that.  If You are asking me to leave my hair in it’s natural state to glorify You, then I will do it. ”  And I got down on my knees and worshiped and never looked back.  Perhaps the one good thing I did in all my life.

My husband of only a few months was nothing short of amazing when I told him my decision.

“You must do what you feel in your heart God is asking you to do and I support you one hundred percent.  AND you will still be beautiful.”  Sigh…what a doll.

Well God has a way of blessing our sacrifices.  I have never, in all my life, gotten so many compliments on my hair as when it finally all grew out and I got a really nice cut.

One such compliment stands out above all the rest.

I was using the ladies room in an upscale restaurant and in walked the most drop-dead gorgeous black woman I have ever seen.  I mean, she was like perfect.  Beautiful skin, eyes, hair, and the coolest wardrobe.  Just really great taste all around.  I just couldn’t help but admire her.  I finished drying my hands, gave her a smile and started to walk out the door.

“Ma’m, I’m sorry,” she called from behind.  “I just have to tell you before you leave that your hair is truly stunning.  It’s the nicest thing I have seen in a long time, and you wear it so well.  You’re really a beautiful lady.”  Those were her words to a T.  I gushed my thanks and swept out the door.

“Awww, God, you are soooo good to me!”  Thank You, Thank You for that!  I know that came straight from You!”

Beauty is so much more than what we perceive it to be isn’t it?

My Saturday was especially enchanting this week.

Timothy was busy in the garage all morning getting the motorcycle he’d rescued from a sedentary storage life road worthy again, so I ventured into our lovely little town on my own.

As is our Saturday custom, I searched for the less fortunate to see if there was anyone the Lord desired me to bless.

I like venturing out with Tim.  He seems unafraid to strike up conversations with people and, in turn, gives me the vast courage of the uninhibited. But this – being on my own- is quite a different story.  It takes me a while.  An introvert who can quickly morph into the life of the party makes me a puzzling study in extremes.  Puzzling to me at least.

It was truly a lovely day.  We are in the middle of January here in Texas, and by noon temperatures were already in the 70′s as I pulled into the city park.

There were people out.  Many and various at the basketball court, the tennis court, and down by the water.  I am drawn to water, so naturally first headed toward the sparkling lake lapping into shore.

That’s when I saw the two native women walking together.  One was about my age, the other probably in her 60′s or 70′s.  They didn’t appear too well off.  And I thought it was sweet to see them together.  I could tell by their body language that they had a strong bond.  I have been blessed with looking at people and immediately being flooded with dozens of impressions of the unseen.  It happens to me all the time, always proves accurate, and in the Bible is called the gift of discernment.

These must be the ones, I reasoned.  I had money in my pocket and today somebody was going to get it.  I don’t always like to bless with cash.  In fact, I prefer to buy people fruit and vegetables, help with an outstanding bill, put gas in someone’s car etc.  But today I knew that I was supposed to actually give someone money.  No judgements about how they might spend it.  Just an unreserved giving.  By now I trusted the Holy Spirit in me enough to know it was the thing to do.  And so I followed, to do.

As I watched the two women approaching, their intensity with one another suddenly made me feel  that any attempt to interrupt would be an intrusion.  So I  moved on.  I walked back up toward the tennis courts with a tinge of guilt:  Probably it was them I was supposed to give it to.  And my shyness, my self protection, had just thwarted God’s work.

The family of four drew me in immediately.  Why does this happen?  Why is there an immediate Spirit of safety, familiarity, and comfort around some people, while with others there is not?  So it was with this family.  Mom and kindergarten girl on one side of the net, Dad and grade school boy on the other.  Papa was so kind.  Every attempt at a swing from his boy gained both praise and instruction.  While Mama’s over-zealous swing careened far above her husband’s reaching racket.  “Sorry Babe!” she offered politely.  I wanted to stay.  I just wanted to stay and watch.  Soak them all in, and receive some of the joy.  But honestly, I felt nosy and like I’d stick out like a sore thumb.  That, of course, is the adult in me.  It had taken years of conditioning to get this way.  A child would have plopped down and stayed.  The child in me wanted to stay.

But of course, I moved on, passed by some serious father-daughter one on one basketball finesse, then departed the park entirely, walked to another nearby outdoor recreational area, observed many people, started conversations with a few, but no one jumped out as my beneficiary that day.  But I didn’t mind.  The sun was glorious and I was alive with wonder on this beautiful day.

Once back in the truck, I headed to one final outdoor playland in hopes of finding someone to give the Lord’s money to.  And lo and behold there were the two women I had first seen around noon.  They were picnicking at one of the city-donated tables.  And me, what did I do?  Drove into the parking lot and drove right back out again.  Just blew them off, like they weren’t even there.  It didn’t make any sense.  You can only imagine my self loathing.

I drove past a cool little place I’d never noticed before.  I saw a sign that read, “The Helping Center.”  The truck went into U turn mode and I was back in the Helping Center’s lot writing down information, their hours, their mission statement, “Ecumenical Christian Service in the name of Jesus Christ.”  I liked that.  How did they help, I wondered?  And then I saw the gardens.   Raised beds out back.  Joy!  We used to have a ministry in Washington state where we grew all of our own organic produce to give to the food bank.  It was always my hope to teach the not-so-well-off how to grow their own food in their own back yards.  So 10-12  & 1:30- 3:30 Mon- Fri next week would find me back again.  Possibly, I could be of some help.  Not a lost day after all.

Tim and I eat quite good (healthy).  Lots of fruit and vegetables, fish, some turkey, and very rarely pork or red meat.  Once a month, and once a month only, we go to McDonald’s for an oh my goodness chocolate dipped ice cream cone.  We’d already gone this month.  But I reasoned in my heart, that today was a special day.  A Kath day.  I had plans to go sit by my favorite river by a near by town.  A far off river, secluded, still, and silent.  Beautiful in the country, and my favorite place to go to meet God and have deep conversation with Him.  A quick stop at McDonald’s first, would be the cherry on top of a perfect day.

I pulled into the parking lot and got in at the back of an enormous drive-through line.   No, I wasn’t having that, so exited the line right into a parking space. 

Once inside, I went to the counter to order my cone, and voilà, there she was!  About my age.  We talked about the glorious day.  How she should be outdoors and not behind the counter, and is Texas always this warm in January?  And yes it is, and how she knew all about my Northern winters, her being from Michigan.  Her clothes were frayed.  Her hair a flying mess.  Her shoes barely holding together, dark circles under her eyes, and the sweetest disposition on the planet. You could just tell she was a hard worker, trying desperately to make ends meet.  She really balled up my cone.  It was lopsided and chocolate dripped more on the cone than it did the ice cream.  I could see her frustration and embarrassment as she handed me the pathetic thing with profuse apology.  We both roared with laughter.

I reached for her hand and simultaneously stuffed the money without a home into its rightful dwelling as her fingers curled around it, then said the words Jesus asked me to say,

“Hey hon, Jesus loves you today.”

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”  Colossians 3:17

The Value of a Person

poor

We’re living in tough times.  People aren’t acting right.  There are a record number of mass shootings and murder suicides, the young are maliciously beating the old, there is more selfishness, loneliness, and incessant talking than ever before.  There is a frenzy of greed and arrogance possibly never before paralleled in the history of evil.

But to anyone who knows their Bible, the outrageous behaviors in these last days don’t surprise:

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” 2 Timothy 3: 1-4

“Perilous times.”  Interesting way to phrase it.  I often think of peril in terms of violence inflicted, natural disasters, or some kind of debilitating disease.   But, here, the Bible states clearly that selfishness is perilous.  I suppose that would account  for the violence.  But what about the heartbreak?  The pain brought on by a people who continually devalue one another as human beings?  Could that be considered perilous?  I think it is.  And how is it perilous to be unholy? Unthankful?  A humbled and honest few can attest to the fact that being unthankful, unholy,unloving, unforgiving, & despisers of good, will lead to peril.

So we are living in perilous times.  How do we cope with it? I have three suggestions that I think hold some weight, they are,

1). Know who you are in Christ…center yourself.

You have every reason in the world to be the most self-assured person on the planet, for you are a child of the Living God.

Yes, you do, and you are, but for all that, don’t let it go to your head. Keep your humility. Remember scripture says that God chose Moses because he was the most humble man on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3).

“For I say to every man that is among you, through the grace given unto me, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3

This compilation by Neil T Anderson expresses beautifully exactly who you are in Christ and how God views you according to scripture:

      I am accepted

I am God’s child ~ John 1:12

As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ ~ John 15:15

I have been justified ~ Romans 5:1

I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit ~ 1 Corin. 6:17

I have been bought with a price, and I belong to God ~ 1 Corin. 6:19-20

I am a member of Christ’s body ~ 1 Corin. 12:27

I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child ~ Ephesians 1:3-8

I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins ~ Colossians 1:13-14

I am complete in Christ ~ Colossians 2:9-10

I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ ~ Hebrews 4:14-16

I am secure…

I am free from condemnation ~ Romans 8:1-2

I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances ~ Romans 8:28

I am free from any condemnation brought against me, and I cannot be separated from the love of God ~ Romans 8:31-39

I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God ~ 2 Corin. 1:21-22

I am hidden with Christ in God ~ Colossians 3:1-4

I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me ~ Philippians 1:6

I am a citizen of Heaven ~ Philippians 3:20

I have not been given the spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me ~ 1 John 5:18

I am significant…

I am the branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life ~ John 15:5

I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit ~ John 15:16

I am God’s temple ~ 1 Corin. 3:16

I am a minister of reconciliation for God ~ 2 Corin.5:17-21

I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm ~ Ephesians 2:6

I am God’s workmanship ~ Ephesians 2:10

I may approach God with freedom and confidence ~ Ephesians 3:12

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me ~ Philippians 4:13

And I would add:

“…you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”  1 Peter 2:9

As a Christian you have been rooted in the solid foundation of God’s love & acceptance toward you.  You are among the most blessed and privileged in all the land.  Do not mistake this!  Walk with your head high and your heart courageous because of it.  When others rail false accusations and hurtful comments your way, you do not need to be shaken, or lose your resolve.  Stay centered always in the truth of who you are in Christ.

2.) See others as God sees them:  God views each one with great worth. 

“Everyone is someone in the kingdom of God.”  Truer words were never spoken.  We are each wonderfully and fearfully made. (Psalm 139:14).  If we understand this, then we will never look down on anyone regardless of class, color, gender, or any other factor that differentiates. Each is a person of optimal value to the Lord.  In fact scripture plainly states that it is often the lowliest by the world’s standards who are chosen by God:

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty”  1Corinthians 1: 26-27

Did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?”  James 2:5

When we hold our fellow man in such high esteem, we would never dream of using them for our own gain, or demeaning them in any way imaginable.  Kindness toward all people shows a mature understanding of God.

Hitler’s master race, and her modern twin, depopulation, are a few of the extreme dangers that grow out of a warped view of our fellow man, whose parent view is a warped view of God.

3.) Do good deeds.  Get out of yourself.

The best way to battle an evil age is to overcome evil with good.

“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12: 17-21

Love the poor. All through the Old and New Testament, we are exhorted to help the poor:

Deut. 15:7. If there is a poor man among you, one of your brothers, in any of the towns of the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand to your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.

Deut. 26:12. When you have finished paying the complete tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and the widow, that they may eat in your towns, and be satisfied.

Lev. 19:19ff. Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the LORD your God.

Is. 58:66ff. Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

Jer. 22:3. Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.

Luke 12:33. “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys.”

Luke 3:11. And [John the Baptist] would answer and say to them, “Let the man with two tunics share with him who has none, and let him who has food do likewise.”

Mt. 5:42. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

1 Jhn 3:17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?  

Matt 25: 34-40  ” Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  

Unhappy because someone has ridiculed, hurt, or used you?  Unhappy because of the overwhelming evil in the world?
Go do something good.  Show immense value to your fellow human beings, and value yourself in the process.  It’s a miracle cure.  Will you suffer even more evil because if it?  Probably.  I won’t lie.  BUT yours, a full and rewarding life will be, and in the end, will yield a life eternal.

May God richly bless you all.

Lord help my Unbelief

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LOVE IS PATIENT

 If it takes a lifetime

For you to know what love is

I won’t run ahead.

I’ll stay right there beside you

I’ll be your friend instead.

And if it takes forever

For you to ask the questions

Well I’ve got the time.

I won’t throw up my hands

And leave you behind

Cause love is patient,

Love is kind.

Love’s a calming river

That we can sit beside.

Love is open

Love’s known pain.

But love just keeps on giving

Time and time again.

© Kathleen Robbins

Who Will Listen??

Who will Listen??

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