Monthly Archives: May 2014

Non-Judgment Day

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What if, for just one day, everyone went about their day without judging someone else?

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.

That is not our business, and in fact, it is nobody’s business.  What we are asked to do is love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy if anything can.

-Thomas Merton

I have numerous friends from a multitude of backgrounds, beliefs, and baggages.

  • Friends who are single, married, divorced, widowed, and co-habiting
  • Friends who are new parents, single parents, parents of one, parents of a plethora, empty-nesters, and childless
  • Friends who are a variety of skin tones
  • Friends who are hunters and friends who are vegan
  • Friends who are students, lawyers, doctors, homemakers, teachers, activists, dancers, pastors, and preachers
  • Friends who live in the United States of America, Canada, Ireland, Thailand, Italy, Australia, Ghana
  • Friends who are nine and friends who are ninety
  • Friends who are straight and friends who are gay
  • Friends who say “you”, friends who say “you’uns”, and friends who say “y’all”
  • Friends who are overweight and friends who are underweight
  • Friends who have no idea why I am their friend (but I am anyway!)

Is it possible to have too many friends?

I am not positive if members of this multitude are my friends because they know I do not judge them, or if I do not judge them because they are my friends.  I do know that it really doesn’t matter.

Loving others is not a one-time decision.  It’s a lifestyle.  – Chip Ingram

If I want to be loved as I am, I have to be willing to love others as they are. – Louise Hay

Jesus loved the Samaritan woman as she was.  (John 4:1-42)

Jesus loved the rich young ruler as he was.  (Luke 18:18-29)

Jesus loved the cheating woman as she was.  (John 8:1-11)

Jesus loved the crooked tax collector as he was.  (Luke 19:10-10)

Jesus even loves me as I am.  How can I do less?

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Lifegroup Love

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This also stands as my definition of my Lifegroup.  A Lifegroup is a small gathering of people that meet weekly for Bible study, prayer, and fellowship.  I am involved with a wonderful group of fellow believers that I am happy to also call my friends.

       Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.  If one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

                                                                                                     Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

I can only imagine how strong the cord would be made of two dozen strands, like my Lifegroup family.

Proverbs 17:17 says a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.  I have experienced each of these extremes in my circle of friends.  I Corinthians 12:26 reads if one part suffers, every part with it suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. We have celebrated marriages and births, and we have mourned deaths and divorce.  My Lifegroup has carried me through some low times, such as when my brother attempted suicide, an extended bout with unemployment, health issues, and depression, and through other hard times, such as my difficulties with college and wanting to give up.  They have not only encouraged me through these times, but they also let me know when I am screwing up without making me feel like a screw-up.  Proverbs 27:17 teaches that as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.  I know that I have received some excellent sharpening through sharing with my friends.

These are the words of Jesus to His disciples:

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”                                                                                                            Matthew 18:19-20

I know that I feel His Presence when I am in the presence of the loving and caring members of my beloved Lifegroup.

I would like to encourage each of us to do as the writer of Hebrews 13:1 prompts:  Keep on loving one another as brothers.  I am grateful for each and every one of my friends and my family.  Thank you for being my Lifegroup.

Bundle of Blessings

You probably need to read that title again.  “Bundle of Blessings”.

Did you notice?

As beautiful as a newborn baby is, there is something more beautiful.  A newborn mother is a beautiful bundle of blessings.

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Some parts of motherhood seem to flow easily into the being of every woman who is presented with a child to care for and raise.  The need to hold and comfort a child can be life-saving, as seen in this video.

Many parts are more difficult, such as healing hurts, calming chaos, and the perpetual picking-up of pocket-sized pieces.  There can be beauty in the bedlam, if one chooses to look.  Pop on over to Why Your Home Is Already Perfect for pointers.

I believe that a mother is the most beautiful creation in all the world.  I must admit, I have not always felt this way, especially when I was a young mother, struggling just to get by day after day.

Proverbs 31 describes the excellent woman, who includes motherhood as one of her many attributes.

Hymn to a Good Wife

A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.  Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.  Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.  She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing.  She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises.  She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.  She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.  First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.  She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.  She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking.  She’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor.  She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.  She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks.  Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers.  She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.  Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.  When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.  She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive.  (The Message)

The mistake many mothers, myself included, is that of thinking that this woman does all of these things every day.  That would be impossible for me, especially considering that I don’t even know how to knit!  This is a lifetime of work, thoughtfulness, and care that encompasses this mother’s resume.

Remember verses 28-29:

Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”