"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday Reflection: Love Each Other! Really?

“You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I’ve ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They’re slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love. . . No, wait—I’m thinking of Labrador retrievers!” – David Learn per ODB

This quote made me laugh out loud because Christians are not perfect, for sure, but people who are held to a higher standard by God. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are to become a new person where our "love" standards for each other are better than before (Ephesians 5:1-15). 

We represent God.

People aren’t always easy to love because we can be rude, hateful, selfish, abusive, angry, prejudice, overly neutral and annoying. But we are also lonely, alone, scared, old, young, unemployed, ill or out of control.

We all have our life stories and need love and compassion, from time to time.

On this Valentine’s Day, put aside romantic love for just a moment and ask yourself this:

Is your love patient, kind, rejoicing in truth, protective, trusting, hopeful, and persevering? Or is your love for others envious, boastful, self-seeking, prideful, angry, a record keeper of wrongs, degrading and amused by evil intent? If so, perhaps a personal love checkup is needed.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 (NIV) Source

One of our greatest contributions to life and to the people of the world is love. True love never fails or gives up. 

Happy Valentines Day!


Monday, February 08, 2016

My Valentine

I know that Valentine’s Day isn’t for a week, but this is the day I've chosen to tell you that my Grandma Sadie sent me a Valentine from heaven.

She would do that, remind me that she still loves me, but let me back up a little.

I’m cleaning again because that is who I am. Not that it's ever clean enough and you can just drop by my house unannounced. No! I still need time to make things tidy.

Last week, I culled and sorted mail from my youth. I will talk about that later, probably at The Ruralhood. I had opened and read many letters from my friend who lived in Illinois when I noticed, tucked in a corner of the envelope, a tiny Valentine. I expected to see that it was from my friend, but when I flipped it over, there was my Grandma’s handwriting.

I knew it was from her before I read the signature because she always wrote the letter u for you. Ahead of her time!
The flip side of my Valentine.

And I smiled.

My heart bubbled with love.  

Because my Grandma loved me so much, and I knew it. She told me this over and over again. She showed me, too.

Don’t forget to tell your family and friends you love them. Over and over again. Say it, then show it. This matters. 

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Sunday Reflection: God’s Love

“My understanding of the Scriptures has been made simple by the person of Christ. Christ teaches that God is love.” Bono
Even if we were completely and totally in love with God, His love for us outweighs anything we can imagine.  –T


“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39 (NIV)

Blessings and Love,

Sources: Holy Bible, BibleGateway.com, brainy quote

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

IWSG: Like a Troll

The saga of the insecure writer continues the first Wednesday of each month. To learn more about it, sign up and visit other Insecures, click on the IWSG badge in the right sidebar. To learn more about Alex Cavanaugh, its creator, visit here

The one thing (plus 24,999) that I dislike about myself is that I focus ON THE ONE. One what? The one negative critique on something I’ve done. I find this to be truer in real life versus virtual. There can be twenty great reviews or praises, but that one negative, I'll pick it up and cradle it like a baby, then carry it on my shoulders. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love feedback and learn from it. But sometimes snarky and harsh criticism reminds of the internet troll and does not deserve a response, my time or even thoughts on the matter. And yet...  

Sometimes I:

  • get my feelings hurt.
  • become angry.
  • vow to never do that activity ever again.
  • have discussions with myself in the mirror. (This is most disturbing.)
Before you think that maybe I’m being prideful or a big baby with thin skin, consider this, there is research showing that our brain does not receive criticism, in a positive way. We don't like it. In fact, scans on the brain when we're praised shows dopamine lighting up our gray matter, but not when we’re being criticized.

You can read more at the links below about the brain on criticism:

Why “Constructive Feedback” Doesn’t Improve Performance
What Criticism Does to Your Employee’s Brains

I am definitely a work in progress. I'm a dope, I mean.... Get it? Never mind.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sunday Reflection: Glad to See You

We all know people who seem to be glad to see us, that make us feel wanted. When we walk into the room, we see their pleased expressions and might receive a verbal confirmation, too. My person was my maternal grandmother, Sadie. All the days of my life, she treated me like royalty, special. In fact, I can't think of one thing that I did for her to deserve her love--except love her back. 

Grandma's love reflected the state of her heart.

God's love reflects the state of His heart (1 John 4:8), and His commitment to people (John 3:16).

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1 (NIV)

We are saved for Him because we have a holy purpose. 

God calls us his children and has given us ‘a holy calling’ not because we did anything noble enough to deserve it either.  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,  who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,  but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,  to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” 2 Timothy 1:8-12 (NKJV)

I am persuaded by love.