Family

Compromise: Left, Right, Or Something Else?

Which are you—left, right, or somewhere in the middle?

spectrumWe’re apparently programmed to think of nearly every aspect of our lives in terms of a linear continuum.

Politics provides the most obvious example. Left/right, liberal/conservative, red/blue. While most of us don’t reside at an extreme, we’re certainly conditioned to think of ourselves at least on one side or the other of center.

Don’t Make Me Your Project

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like. Saint Augustine

“I hate feeling like I’m someone else’s project!”

I’d just finished sharing part of my story with the group. I expressed my gratitude for the people who wove the story of Relentless Grace and my belief that God sent this small circle of folks who refused to let me quit on life.

Humility is a Two-way Street


Submission
In John 13, Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. It’s a well-known story, a frequently referenced model for Christ’s attitude of humble service to others. But there’s another side to the story.

Foot-washing requires a foot to wash.

In the story, Peter initially refuses to allow his friend and teacher to perform such a menial, degrading task. Jesus replies that submission isn’t optional—it’s an essential element in the interaction.

I don’t think that’s an accident. You can’t force someone to receive an expression of intimacy. If it’s a true act of humble service, the one whose feet are washed must submit.

Why Bother Helping People Who Hurt You: Puppies & Porcupines

Yesterday I asked How Do You Help An Injured Porcupine? Today I’m thinking of a different question:

Why bother?

Ever cuddle a puppy? They curl up in your lap and lick your face. Everything about a puppy is somehow warm and soft and fuzzy.

Cuddling a puppy is fun and rewarding. Puppies do cute stuff—even their mischief elicits smiles. They appreciate and respond to kindness. They trust. If you get angry they forgive.

Even non-dog-lovers have a soft spot for puppies. If hurting people were like puppies, helping them would be easy. Folks would line up for the opportunity.

Many Mothers

by Maida Rogerson
From How to Achieve Heaven on Earth: 101 insightful essays from the world's greatest thinkers, leaders and writers, edited by John E. Wade II

Imagine. You've just had your first baby. Your husband is in a new job and doesn't have a lot of time for you. You've moved away from your extended family. Suddenly, there you are, you and your beautiful baby, home, alone. Your baby starts to cry, and you're dead tired and all you want to do is cry yourself, and you have no one to turn to.

How Should We Pray?

Worksheet at bottom of article.

Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This then is how you should pray:
Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed Be Your Name
Matthew 6:9 NIV

God is our loving Father and is not only majestic and holy, but also a personal and loving God. God is in Spirit everywhere and to all people all the time. When we become believers, we are making a personal commitment to honor His holy name in everything that we do. It is not our achievements but the workings of God in us.

Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Matthew 6:10 NIV

Shine Your Light: Don't Force Unbelievers

If you accidentally married, or are going to marry someone who is an unbeliever, or who says they are a believer, but behaves differently, you cannot make them believe like you after marriage. You cannot plead, coax, bribe, yell, intimidate, or push your spouse into going to church, reading the bible, or accepting Jesus for their life. The more you push, the more they pull away.

How To Change Another Person

river runs through itWhy is it the people who need the most help… won’t take it? Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It)

Who’s that person in your life who needs to change?

Perhaps a boss bullies and controls or fosters chaos through indecisiveness. Maybe a coworker refuses to communicate or a friend follows a self-destructive path. Possibly a child breaks your heart with obviously bad decisions or a spouse drifts silently away.

Toughest Forgiveness

Forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past.
Is there someone you just can’t seem to forgive?

For some reason, forgiveness is on my mind lately. I’ve written a couple of posts (The Real Power Of Forgiveness and Forgiveness isn’t …) but it’s still poking at me. After some conversation with God (prayer) I realized that there’s one person I cannot quite seem to forgive.

Discord in Relationships

Proverbs 6:16-19 NRSV
There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that hurry to run to evil,
a lying witness who testifies falsely,
and one who sows discord in a family.

It's interesting that Solomon begins with "there are six things . . . seven . . ." Matthew Henry notes, of this beginning:
"and the last of them (which, being the seventh, seems especially to be intended, because he says they are six, yea, seven) is part of his character, that he sows discord."

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