Thursday, February 14, 2013

Real Love

Love comes from our Creator who sent his Son to show us what real love is. Without Jesus it is impossible to really know love. I’ve been focusing on John 13:34

“A new command I give you. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Have you ever thought about the magnitude of this command? We are told to love like JESUS; the One who gave up Heaven to live as a man and die as a sinner for us (me, you, all of us). That is a daunting task to even the most saintly person. But Jesus would not have told us to do it if it were impossible, would He? So, I intend to take the challenge and "love like Jesus"! On this Valentine’s Day, it doesn't matter if you are in a struggling relationship, happily single, blissfully in love, or somewhere in between, know that you are loved so much that the One True God took on flesh and died for you. That is Love! Because of Who He is, He is alive again and we who believe in Him will see Him. Don’t believe me? You don’t have to. Read it for yourself. It’s the greatest (and truest) love story ever told. The Holy Bible.

More blessed, less stressed.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Family

Once upon a time, families consisted of a mom, a dad, and 2 or 3 kids (on average) along with a pet or two. A “step” parent only entered the picture if the birth parent was deceased or, on rare occasions, there was a divorce. The family of the 21st Century is vastly different than that of previous generations. The “once upon a time” families still exist, but they are generally in the minority. Today, ‘family’ has different definitions depending on whom you speak with. Family is a couple without children, a single person with one or more children, grandparents raising their children’s children, family may be an unmarried couple raising their children, a ‘blended’ family joining siblings from other families (giving these children siblings, step-siblings and/or half-siblings). In today’s world family can even consist of a same-sex-couple raising children by benefit of adoption, surrogate or agreement. Today’s post is not about how a family should or should not be defined. (If you really want my opinion, read the Bible.) It is about something so much more important.

Our fast-paced world has transferred its focus. In years gone by, people went to work during the week to provide for the home and family. Evenings the family sat around the table, held hands to say grace and enjoyed a meal together, discussing their day. Saturdays were spent at home or in the neighborhood, hanging out, running errands or visiting. Sundays were spent at church and gathering with family. A rare night out for dinner or a movie was looked forward to as a special occasion. Mom and dad always knew where the kids were, who they were hanging out with and when they would be home (without the necessity of individual phones for each family member). In today’s drive-thru world many families don’t sit down to share a meal even once a week! Family members spend so much of their time and effort pursuing their own interests; dance/singing/swim class, sports, hobbies, video games, (you get the picture) families rarely see each other at all. People are earning more than ever, but it is no longer enough to “provide for the family”, it is to buy more computers, smart phones, video game systems, flat screen TV’s, bigger this and better than (usually on credit). Today’s children are basically raising themselves and our society indicates it is socially acceptable, even expected. Parents are letting technology ‘babysit’ and everyone is doing their own thing. There is something wrong with this picture!! I believe there is a significant element missing in today’s family.

F - FATHER
A - ABBA
M - MAJESTY
I - I AM
L - LORD
Y - YAHWEH

We have replaced our Creator with our own creations. Computers, tablets, smart phones, digital games, music players, TV’s, etc. These things aren’t evil, they are just things. Sports, video games, hobbies, lessons, etc. These are not evil pursuits. However, we have turned these ‘things’ and ‘pursuits’ into idols and Satan is using them to separate us. One of my favorite quotes is by the late Adrian Rogers: “If the devil can’t make you bad he’ll make you busy”. That is today’s culture in a nutshell. I have a radical idea. Let’s take our families back! We can keep our technology and we can pursue our interests, but in moderation. Let’s go back to working to provide for our families and spending time with each other – instead of spending time working to buy more things to replace our families and our God. What do you think?

As always, I’m more blessed than stressed and praying the same for you,