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Ten ways to love: Keeping promises

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The last of our 10 ways to love series is:   Promise without forgetting.

12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.     Proverbs 13:12

 

Have you ever made a promise and then forgot to fulfil it?  Maybe your intentions were good, but busyness got in the way.  Has anyone ever made you a promise and not kept it?  This reminds me of a post over on M3 by Anne Marie Dwyer called “The thought does not count“.  When it comes to promises, the thought does not count!

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Sure, son, I’ll take you to the ball game.—–Sorry, son, I had to work overtime—-translation:  I got busy at work and forgot.

I’ll pick up the dry cleaning on my way home from work—–Sorry, I forgot—-translation:  Sorry, I forgot because I was thinking about something else.

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I’m sure you’ve all been on both sides of the equation.  It’s easy to promise and not so easy to keep the promise.

When someone goes through a certain mood cycle, this person will promise about anything.  The promises made during this time, while well meant, are worthless because follow through is non-existent.  The promises are to convince me to let her have her way.

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Think teen:

I’ll be home by 10:00; I promise! —  You can trust me; I promise! — I can’t wait because I love you; I promise! . . .

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When someone makes a promise and then doesn’t do it, it “makes the heart sick.”  I have been there a few times when someone made a promise and then it never materialized.  This is multiplied exponentially when it comes to children.  Since they tend to hear the word “maybe” as, “Sure I promise I’ll do that,” they may need to learn the difference between those kind of ‘promises’ and the real thing.  However, they trust; they think people keep their promises; they are devastated when those promises are not kept.

 

Saying I love you seems simple, but it’s very difficult.  After all,  love is patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil, rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.  (I Corinthians 13)

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So, if you want to show love to another:

Listen without interrupting.

Speak without accusing

Give without sparing

Pray without ceasing.

Answer without arguing.

Share without pretending.

Enjoy without complaint.

Trust without wavering.

Forgive without punishing.  and

Promise without forgetting.

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No one loves perfectly outside of God, but how do you hold up?  Have you learned how to truly love?

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How do you see?

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Prejudice

Prejudice (Photo credit: a77eBnY)

Since I’ve told a few stories on my daughter here, I thought I would take a moment to tell you something good about her.   If my daughter has a prejudiced bone in her body, I’ve never seen it.  She doesn’t see skin color, looks, income, etc. when choosing her friends or boyfriends.   Sometimes this puts her in a precarious situation because she doesn’t see the bad in people, even when they’ve hurt her before.  She is always blindsided by people’s bad sides because she just goes in looking at the good in them.

 

The D is much like my mother, who’s naivity caused problems at times.  Being like my mother is a good thing.  I hope, like her grandma, the D will never lose that inability to see things that others turn their noses up at.  She loves 100% and sees the awesomeness in everyone.   That is one of her most endearing characteristics, and goes along with her servant’s heart.

 

English: See Summary

skin color distribution (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I wish I could say I was 100% like her.  I never treat people differently, but sometimes I have to fight the instant prejudices that pop up.  I don’t have very many, but I am sometimes a cynic, and struggle with acceptance in certain situations.  I look at my daughter and see this beautiful young lady, so full of love.  I aspire to be like her in this way.  She loves as if she has never been hurt and gives people too many chances, even when they do hurt her.

 

 Prejudice, which sees what it pleases, cannot see what is plain. -Aubrey de Vere

Matthew 7,12

Matthew 7,12 (Photo credit: GlasgowAmateur)

Matthew 7:12   Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Galatians 3:28  2 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

 

Scripture tells us that we are all the same.  there is nothing that makes one better than the other as far as we are concerned.  While some may reject Jesus, they are just as loved as others.  This is a difficult concept for many.  In the end, we are to treat others just like we want to be treated.  We don’t want others to look down on us, don’t look down on others. . . .

 

Matthew 22:36-40

Multi - Coloured Bodyart

Multi – Coloured Bodyart (Photo credit: humanstatuebodyart)

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

 

This scripture says it all.  If we love God with all we have and love others as much as we love ourselves,  there will be no racism (acting out of prejudice) and prejudice will have no toe-hold in our lives.  This is my goal.

Do you struggle with this or are you an open book like the D?  Do you have any thoughts on the issue?  

 

Ten ways to Love: Yeah, but…

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Our 5th installment of Ten ways to love is to:  Answer without arguing. 

Proverbs 17:1  Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.  (KJV)

The Message puts it this way:  1 A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

 

Argument

Argument (Photo credit: andrewmalone)

Anyone who has ever lived with an argumentative person knows exactly how true that statement is.   Have you ever known someone who couldn’t just give a simple answer?  They always have a “yeah, but…” or some other reply explaining why they are ‘special’ and your premise is wrong.  I think all of us answer with an argument at times, but the person who consistently does this is not saying, “I love you.”  They might be saying, “I’m better than you” or “I know better than you”, but not “I love you.”   I find that many of those who make this a consistent habit have no clue what they do to others.  In their mind, they really are special, know better, or simply want to make sense of the question.

English: Northern Mockingbird juveniles at a b...

English: Northern Mockingbird juveniles at a bird bath in Austin, Texas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do you help someone who has no clue?         I don’t know.  That’s a rhetorical question 🙂  If you have the answer, let me know!

 

Since we already know we can’t help others, we can only look at ourselves.  Do we answer with an argument or do we listen and answer without arguing?  Human beings have this unique ability.  It’s called justification.  AND–it works best when pointed at our own behavior.  I of course, never have an issue with this. . . . . ;]  but just in case someone out there does. . . .

 

Anyway, back to the topic.

I have way too many people a person in my life who cannot simply answer a question without argument, and it drives me to distraction at times.  I call her on it, but she comes back with more argument.  This leads to more drama, which leads to anything but a feeling of ‘love’.   Responses often contain “Yeah, but”, “Well, I”, “You don’t”, and “I didn’t mean to” to name a few.   I have to admit I don’t always respond well to this.  Frustration probably tops the list of emotions that pop up.  How do you communicate with someone who doesn’t really hear you?  Instead of hearing what’s said, the arguer hears something they must take exception to.  I guess it’s a form of defensiveness.  I don’t know.  I just know neither party winds up feeling very good afterwards.  Neither person feels very loved or listened to either.

 

A very simplistic example of this:  

Adult:  “Go to bed.”   Child:  “But, I’m not tired!”

Adult:  “Go to bed.”   Child:  “I can’t sleep if I’m not tired.”

Adult:  “Go to bed.”   Child:  “Well, sissy doesn’t have to go to bed now.”

Adult:  “Go to bed.”   Child:  “Can I have a drink.”

and so on.        Can anyone say distraction technique?

The major theme in this scenario is:   “I don’t have to do what you tell me because…..”

 

Pride.  Is pride at the base of the argument.  I think I could argue that it is (tongue in cheek).   Pride and love, real love, do not go together.  In fact, they are diametrically opposed, and offering argument instead of answers says, “I don’t have to” or “I know better” or, well, you get the point.

 

Now for the Vertical

Maybe you never argue instead of answering others.   But how about God?   Do you question Him when He asks you to do something?  Do you have some reason why the commands (already given in the Bible) are for someone else and not you?  After all, you’re not very good at that, or you don’t have time for that, or ….    I don’t think we mean to argue with God, but too often, we do.  We can show Him love by obeying Him without arguing.

 

Sometimes, whether vertical or horizontal, it takes a lot of hard knocks time and maturity to learn how to answer without arguing.

 

What do you think?   Do you know someone like this, and if so, how do you deal with it?  Have you changed this about yourself?  Any tips for doing so?  My posts are often quests, because I don’t know it all.  I’m always interested in how others deal with various aspects of communication, so I hope you’ll share if you have something to say. 🙂

 

 

Ten ways to love: Unceasing prayer

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prayer..

prayer.. (Photo credit: aronki)

4th on our list is:

4.  Pray without ceasing.   Colossians 1:9  For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

 

Ok, I get that, but how in the world do you pray without ceasing?  Don’t you have to sleep and do other things with your time?   Praying without ceasing is doable, but it is more of a heart attitude than a running prayer.  Prayer should never be out of your thoughts in one form or another.

 

One way to put this: 

Imagine walking with your significant other (or someone you love very much).  You may not be talking with your mouth, but you are constantly aware of that other person.  You reach over to touch them on occasion; you share observations as you go.  You are hyper-aware and know you can instantly have conversation with him or her.  Multiply that by more than you can imagine.

 

We are to be so aware of our Father, that we converse with Him all the time.  You become aware of a need — you talk to Him about it.  You see someone in trouble — you talk to God about it.   You notice a blessing – you thank God for it.  You get the point.  It is an intense, intertwined relationship with Him.  A relationship so deep, He is in your thoughts at all times.  Instead of worry — you pray.  Instead of trying to fix it — you pray.  Everything in your life revolves around Him.

 

Prayer Space.JPG

Prayer Space.JPG (Photo credit: bhsher)

How this works for others is that we constantly pray for them.   My son once screamed at me to stop praying for him, because he knew prayers work.  I personally consider facebook (and other social venues) a ministry.

 

When you:

"Praying Hands" (study for an Apostl...

“Praying Hands” (study for an Apostle figure of the “Heller” altar) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

see needs expressed — lift up the person/situation to God.

see people struggling with sin — lift up the person/situation to God.

a group has covenanted together  to pray for our country and leaders at least once a day.

posting only things that honor — praying for self and discernment to lead people to Him, not away.

pray for people having birthdays

as you read the blog posts you follow, lift up the person in prayer.

be known as a prayer so others will come to you when they have needs.

. . .

 

You get the picture.  When we love someone — we pray for them.   When we pray for someone — we will begin to love them.

 

I hope this post makes sense, and I hope you show love by praying without ceasing.

Ten Ways to Love: Listening

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The item I’m taking today’s post from is one found on Facebook with no attribution given.  The ideas come straight from Scripture, however.  I printed this and put it in plastic so I could hang it on my ‘prayer wall’ in my bathroom.  It’s been there for a while, reminding me to put the precepts into practice in my life.  It’s amazing how you can read something every day and still walk away and forget it.  However, I want to go a bit deeper with this.  The plan is to share 1 or 2 over several days until we get to 10 in the “Ten ways to love”.

Hearing

Hearing (Photo credit: Keturah Stickann)

1.  Listen without interrupting.  Proverbs 18:13  13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

At first glance, finding the connection to love may be difficult, but if you’ve ever been in a situation where someone kept interrupting you or didn’t really listen, you’ll understand.  As a grandmother, I truly understand this.  You see, when we’re raising our children, we’re usually quite self-absorbed unaware busy.  We try to listen to them, but countless times, we just don’t.  When it comes to grandchildren, however, life has generally slowed down a bit, and we’ve learned a few things about what’s really important in life.  One reason grandparents are so important to a child is that they take the time to actually listen to them–without interrupting.

Listen to me Grandma

My granddaughters will plop down next to me and start talking about something that happened at school (or millions of other topics).  I may have been busy, but I stop and listen to them.  I do this because I love them, and I know how important it is to them to have me really listen.  There are occasions when I have to ask them to wait a minute while I finish something, but they know I’m not going to get caught up in my stuff and forget about them.  They put on shows for me as well.  The shows involve singing, dancing, and whatever else they think off.  I’ve learned to limit them to three shows at a time, but during their show, they have my undivided attention.  Children (and adults) equate listening with love.

Listening blocks
(composit pictures from morguefile.com)

Oh, yeah, I know just what you’re sayingWhen we converse with others (family or not), the tendency to try to guess what they’re trying to say or to plan our next statement rears its ugly head.  We’re not really listening, and we certainly have not really understood their words.  I’ve been there, and I’m guessing you have to.  You’re trying to tell something (important or not) and the other person clearly is not listening.  Today, we often see them checking their phone as we talk.  As a distractable person, I have to plan to focus.  When teaching, I have to be very careful not to get distracted when a student is speaking to me.  It’s not easy, but I know that student will judge whether I care or not by my ability to actually listen.

Well, if I were you . . .

Then there’s the times when I make a statement (usually in support of/against something or someone) when I haven’t heard the whole story – EMBARRASSING!!!  It’s amazing how quickly I can back-peddle when this happens.  A few embarrassing (and hurtful to others) moments has taught me well that I should make sure I understand all aspects of a matter before opening my mouth.  Have you ever experienced this?

How about God?

Do you really listen to Him?  Our prayers often resemble a litany of wants or us doing all the talking with no listening involved.  God speaks to us in several ways, but how often do we listen, really listen?  I confess:  I’m guilty!  We can love God by actually listening to Him (and obeying what we hear).  If anyone deserves our attention, it is God!

What about you?

Do you listen without interrupting?  Do you listen without allowing distractions to pull you away?  Does the person speaking know you’re listening?  Do you interrupt, plan your next statement, check your phone (or even text/take a call), or something else that tells the person speaking:   I do not really care about you enough to listen.   Maybe some of you have pointers on how to listen well (or posts you could share a link to).  Do you think listening without interrupting shows love?  I await your feedback and comments. 🙂

A Day for Fathers

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Just a short post to wish those men out there who have been fathers, of your own children or another’s a Happy Father’s Day. A Dad’s importance to the lives of his children cannot be expressed enough. He is often their first view of God, and he can have a profound effect on the child’s ability to relate to God in later life. Human dads aren’t perfect, of course, but what they do matters.

Happy “Father’s Day” to my Heavenly Father as well. He is the ultimate Father and the pattern for what a Father (and a Mother…) should be. I hope you’ll all honor him today as well as your earthly father.

Say a prayer today as well for those who do not have a father today. Those who have been abandoned or those who have lost a father to death. Just like Mother’s Day brings sadness to some, Father’s Day can too, so be sensitive to the hurts of others as you go about your day. God bless you all. Angie

Thou shalt love

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“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” ~ Mother Teresa

Golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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