Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Good Wednesday Afternoon!

PHEW. I think I usually block November out of my mind. :D I'm SO busy, I can't even think!!!!! Those of you who follow my stamping blog know I've been out of town on business, teaching two to three classes a week, and trying to keep all the OTHER balls up in the air - I've got a craft fair this weekend, and prayers for God's prosperity, whether that be meeting people, networking, or sales, would be greatly appreciated!

Isn't this hawk awesome?? I admire these birds - they are SO majestic! - but I have a tendency to forget that their prey is other animals and birds I love. He comes around our back yard every now and then, but this is the first time I've been able to get a picture of him; he's very wary of movement!

I chose this verse to go with this picture today because of something that is deeply troubling me - and it has to do with the church we used to attend. If you still attend that church, please know that I'm not trying to be ugly or gossip; I hope you know me better than that. But there is something I need to talk about: God's insistence that we LOVE one another, not only in a certain church body, but AS BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST.

As Christians, we are supposed to be known by our LOVE - for one another, for Christ, and for the world. Unfortunately, what I've seen happening the past 20 years or so is a building of walls in MANY of our church bodies; have you ever been in a sermon and heard something like, "Thank God we don't do what that church down the road does!"? Or, "Unlike so-and-so, we truly believe in the (fill in the blank)!"? Doctrine and theological differences are NOT reasons to build walls, my sisters.

Those walls are WRONG. We are to show LOVE to each other, not disdain. Now, we don't have to LIKE each other, at least from what I can read. :D But we DO have to show love. How?? Guess what! There's a whole chapter in I Corinthians that DEFINES love and how to show it!

It's NOT easy to love people who are different, or who we PERCEIVE as being different or having done something wrong to us. But that same chapter says we're to keep NO RECORD OF WRONGS. As a matter of fact, God tells us that if we don't forgive, we won't be forgiven (Matt. 6:14, Luke 6:37). Harsh, right? Nope. Take a look at the parable Jesus told us in Matthew 18:23-35!

That church has had a revolving door since we began attending ten years ago. People just leave. Regardless of the reasons involved, there should be nothing but love expressed toward each other, on both sides. Or, as Paul said in the Galations passage, we'll be destroyed by each other. Do you know how many people don't go to church anymore because of the hypocrisy they've seen? It's so very, very sad. The very place we should be able to go and be OURSELVES, and accepted for who we are, is the place that's become a place to put on a false front and pretend that everything's OK - because we might really get hurt if anyone knew who we really are.

It goes back to that poem I posted last month. We all NEED to be able to be honest about who we are. There is NOT ONE righteous among us, but in Him, we are ALL given HIS righteousness. Who are we to judge each other????

Sisters, LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER, FOR LOVE IS FROM GOD. If I have wronged you, please tell me so I can ask forgiveness and get us right with each other and with Him!!!!

We are LOVED by God; isn't it time we let the WORLD know we're His, by showing His love for each OTHER????? His GRACE is abundant enough for ALL!

1 comment:

Ginny said...

Lori, your post resonated with me. The first church we left after we were married had a revolving door policy; in fact, the pastor was fond of saying "don't let it hit you in the butt." Loving, right? I won't even get into the scene with the pastor of our last church except to say that he showed no love toward us, at a time when we needed love. He was more concerned with numbers than treating people like human beings. Or so it seemed to us.

I agree - there needs to be love shown among Christians, regardless of where they fellowship or whether they worship with you now or have in the past. It's sad.

That's what we appreciate about our new church. Even though we don't know a lot of people (the church runs 700 - 800 on Sunday mornings!), there is a lot of love. And it starts with the pastor, a truly humble man who doesn't see himself as any different from the rest of us except that he has the gift of pastor-teacher.

Isn't it great that God loves us no matter how far we stray from Him? And He loved us so much He sent His only son to die for our sins!