Sunday, March 22, 2015

For the Record ~ Love Anyway


Loving those who at times seem completely unlovable is difficult.  Yet my faith teaches that we are to love one another. I have stressed this before but I feel the need to repeat it. It does not state to only love those who are of same faith, it does not say to only love those who I am in complete agreement with on worldly issues.  It doesn't say only love those of a certain socioeconomic place in life... It doesn't say I don't have to love those who attack my faith. It doesn't say I don't have to love those that accuse me of being a way in which I'm not. No, it doesn't say only love those you wish, or those who are easy to love.  It says, to love one another.

To be clear on where this is coming from.... Last week I stated on Facebook that the fact the President not  calling to congratulate Mr. Netanyahu embarrassed me. I wrote it because it did. It was not stated by me that every other President has done the right thing every time either.

No matter how you read that text, no where does it state or imply that I was attempting to rip our President to shreds.  People made comments to my post,( not all things I agree with )and they too were attacked. Not only did it become a Party issue (which it clearly was not), but it opened the door to comments such as,

"Why do Christians vote to restrict help to the poor and elderly? Why do Christians not want everyone to have health insurance? Why do Christians vote to help the rich? That's saying one thing and doing another, call it what you want."

Bottom line it became a thread of attacking my faith as a Christian and then some....it continued,

"When I say Christian, I mean the folks who want this country to be run by the church. You know this all gets back to gay and women's rights. You want the government out of your life except that you want your religious beliefs to be law. I'm sure whoever you vote for president will be someone against abortion and hates gays AND ready to go to war ASAP."

Finished me off with;

"Let me finish with...I am just doing fine without an imaginary friend."

 I did make it clear that though I don't agree with our President, I still pray for him daily to make wise decisions for our country.  It baffles me to think any one person agrees on every level with whomever our President, I mean seriously?
Not gonna lie, referring to Jesus Christ as my "imaginary friend" was heart breaking and personal to hear. 
To me He is very real. 

Heart breaking, because my faith that is so very personal to me, became hunting season on all Christians. Why do people group people all together rather than an individual personal knowledge of each other? Never would I assume all Muslims were terrorists, or all Germans hated the Jews, all Mormons drink in private, or all skinny women  never eat! That is ignorance.  
Had to throw in the skinny thing just to lighten my spirit...

No where in my original comment did I state my faith or my party affiliation. Yet both became the issue....
 For the record, a registered Democrat that did not vote for Obama and yes I am further right and in more agreement with the republican party because much of it lines up with my faith which is more important to me than any party affiliation. 

That said, I do not believe in abortion, I love the gay community as much as the straight community. Remember, that love one another thing?....that would include those who choose to have an abortion and gays. I don't have to agree with any ones choices in life to love them. Nor does anyone have to agree with me on all things. (hubby this doesn't apply to you ) smile~

The Christian community does much to help the poor and what makes you think Christians don't want affordable health insurance? Really? Truth told, even if I were not a Christian I would help the poor, and want affordable insurance.  Why does my being a Christian get brought up because I said the President embarrassed me. I mean seriously, I don't believe for one minute every Democrat is 100% happy with him. I worked phones on the Nixon campaign and I can say without a doubt he embarrassed me at times as well...
(he was a republican by the way.)

I think of myself of an American Citizen not a Republican or Democrat. I don't feel the need to divide the team into teams.  Fact is, if we all just called ourselves American citizens and there were not parties.....people would still not agree on all counts! What then, would we blame things on if someone had an opinion differing from our own??? Total agreement among folks just doesn't happen in the real world, and guess what? Its okay we don't all agree!

 I wouldn't dream of personally attacking anyone's faith, or ones beliefs, ever!
I would never generalize and put all Christians in to one group, all Germans in one group or one's political party into a generalized group in terms of issues. The party, the race, the gender, the nationality, the religious faith, cannot be generalized as all behaving and having opinions of a like manner on every thought or opinion.  We are first individuals, with minds of our own. Those individuals, are who I 'm to love, the individual.  Nothing else has to qualify them or disqualify them from me loving them.


My hope is that we as a people can agree upon just that, we are individuals and we don't all behave or believe the same way. Choose to love and consider people as individuals who all the want the same basic things, love and respect regardless of how we differ. 

I stated I was embarrassed by our President. That doesn't make me a liar, or a self righteous Christian who wants to attack abortion clinics, or hate anyone based on sexuality, race or cost of health insurance.  Nor does it make me judgmental toward anyone, based on anything

Please, if I post something you don't agree with, do not attack my faith or my family. You don't have to agree with anything I say or think.  I'm happy to be connected to people that matter to me and that is why I'm on Facebook. I love to see people from my past, family members and their families and what they are up to. To share in each others ups and downs should we desire to do so.

 I'm specifically proud to be reconnected with many of my high school alum.  It was a great time in my life in a beautiful city and they matter to me. It was never requirement that we all agree on every level in order to be "Facebook friends"....it didn't matter and it never will, to me. Unkind words or attacks toward other friends of mine will be deleted....

Not every thought we have, has to be said....

This and more has been on my heart all weekend, so forgive me for this long post. It's just high time, in my opinion, that we can at minimum be kind to each other as individuals in action and word. To those who differ from me, I love you as much as those that are in agreement with me, and we don't have to like each other!
I do wish Facebooker's would stop with the smarky comments to anyone, it's not a necessary thing in life, it's much to short to spend our energies doing so.

To any who were part of this string of posts....I do care about each of you as individuals, rather you care or not. 
Let's agree since it's so very personal to each, to not attack individual faiths, lets leave that to ISIS.

This and much more echos from my heart today......


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thankful Thursday ~

Linking up with Rebecca Jo and http://www.knitbygodshand.com/
Today is just another day of being thankful, only purposing to put it in print...

Thankful for ~

~ The amazing women I have come to know through our blogs! Hard to describe the bond, smile...



~ For 19 Kids and Counting.  I confess. the way they live their lives is refreshing!



~ The angels on earth also known as Hospice. I've seen them in action many times in my life. I currently am
    aware of three women that are in the stage of angels.....My heart breaks, yet thankful for those called to 
    be at their sides. They make a difference.



~ Family...always.

            


Take a moment and note what you are thankful for.
It's what echos from my heat today.....

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thanful Thursday~


Teaming up with Rebecca Jo at Knit by God's Hand 

 ~ I'm very thankful my Hubstir is feeling better after being the sickest I've seen him.

~ I'm thankful to have both Ellery and Khloe back a couple days a week, still unable to lift with my left arm 
   but they are an important part in my healing! 

~ Thankful for our beautiful warm weather, 80's at the beach this coming weekend. Still praying for more
     rain that we so desperately need.....
   
  ~ For bulbs that are blooming in my yard.  Love the fact they just hide out for the winter only to remind
      us they never really left us!
     
~Thankful for guests to our home. This week my eldest sister, brother in law and Cookie their dog came for 
   night in order to adopt another dog.  A friend of mine mentioned on Facebook she had a dog in need 
   of a family as his elder owners could no longer care for him. Deanna, Mickey and Cookie met up with the
   possible new member of the family.  Happy to say Cookie now has a companion, Arnold!

~ Thankful for my cousin Linda and her husband Pat who are coming down Saturday and staying until 
    Sunday. Never have enough time with the two of them, just so excited to see them!

The practice of being thankful is so important.
When things seem at their worst, there is still much to be thankful for.
It may take some quiet moments to see them, but they are there.
You will find you can increase your own happiness just by practicing
thankfulness ~

~

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward


Hoping you will  look for things to be thankful for on Thankful Thursday and every other day!
It's what echos from my heart today.

Monday, March 9, 2015

What is a Kind Husband?

I read this recent post on the Desiring God Blog.  My first thought was what would most husbands honestly have to say after reading this?  "Honestly have to say?"
I thought it a great truth when I read it, never really looked at it from this perspective.  The problem with great truths, if one reads it and knows it as truth but does nothing with this truth.....well, it's the same is those who claim to be Christians on Sundays but not the other 6 days of the week. To live the truth in front of others, but not out of ear shot or sight of them. By not living the life you speak of....well as you will read it puts a bad light on ones view of Christ!

Obviously this isn't to say this occurs just with husbands, this article is just husband specific....wives, we are to live in a specific way toward our husbands as well.  The article just happens to address what a kind husband looks like.....Of course I hope husbands will read this, and yes, live it's truths. Wives, don't get on a soap box over this :-) A good reminder that when we point a finger at someone, there are three pointing back at ourselves.

I think this article is important enough to share and I hope you will share it yourself!

What Is a Kind Husband?

Five Characteristics of True Kindness




What Is a Kind Husband?
We find many husbands in the Bible, but not many stand out as ideal.
One of the men who does stand out is Boaz. Throughout the book of Ruth, he stands out as a model of what a husband as a husband should be. He is a godly and considerate employer (Ruth 2:4). His kindness toward Ruth is clear and well-marked before he thinks of himself as a possible husband to her. His character as a godly husband comes out in his kindness in assuming the role of kinsman-redeemer for Ruth. So the next time you read through the book of Ruth, think of the kindness of this husband.
What do unkind husbands do? Among other things, they preach heresy in the living room. Paul tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). This is not given as simply a nice illustration. A husband is the head of his wife the same way Christ is the head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23). This means that husbands are speaking all day every day about what Christ thinks of the Church. And because such speaking is inescapable, they are either telling the truth or they are lying. No husband has the option of silence.

The Lies of Mistreatment

And unfortunately, while all mistreatment is a lie, more than one lie is possible. For example, what lie is being told by bitter husbands? Paul tells husbands not to be bitter against their wives (Colossians 3:19). But some men think that they have been provoked enough that resentment is their only option. What is the lie? The lie is that Christ has a lousy attitude whenever he is provoked, which we would think must be all the time.
Another lie is told by a lustful husband. Some men think that a straying eye is only natural. What is the lie? The lie is that Christ is an adulterer, that he is unfaithful to his bride.
Then there is the lie told by limp husbands. Some men provide no leadership for their wives. What is the lie? The lie is that Christ is a loser and a wimp. That this is fairly common in our day is not surprising, given the doctrine of Christ that is held by many.
Last, proud husbands tell another lie. Some men have contempt for the abilities of women, including their wives and daughters. What is the lie? They are saying that Christ despises his Church, making fun of it whenever he gets the chance.

Five Characteristics of a Kind Husband

So what is a kind husband? As we see the ideal of a husband’s kindness displayed by Boaz, we also should fill out our understanding of that kindness from the teaching of the Bible elsewhere. We are perhaps too accustomed to the phraseology of the Pauline command to love our wives, and so it might help us to think of this central duty in terms of kindness.
First, a kind husband is incomplete. God created man in his image, male and female created he them (Genesis 1:27). A man and his wife become one flesh (Genesis 2:24), which indicates the intimacy of sexual union (2 Corinthians 6:16). Apart from the intervention of God with the gift of celibacy, it is not good that man should be alone (Genesis 2:18). True male confidence therefore operates within the context of mutual kindnesses. “Confidence” that in any way hints, indicates, or says to a wife that “I don't need you” is not real confidence at all, but mere arrogant bluster. Men who build themselves up by tearing down their wives are following the “wisdom” of hell. A husband is kind to the one who completes him.
Second, a kind husband is a lover. The ideal here is the lover portrayed in the Song of Songs. He is ardent, devoted, strong, and sexually confident. But remember the first point; this confidence is not in himself, but rather in his ability to fulfill his appointed role, which is only half of what must be done. Too often we forget what the Bible commands (Proverbs 5:15–19). A husband is kind to his beloved.
A kind husband is a provider. A man who does not provide for his household is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8). Since his wife is the most important member of his household, he has a profound obligation to provide for her. Specifically, he provides her with food, clothing, and conjugal rights (Exodus 21:10). A husband is kind to the one who is dependent upon him.
Fourth, a kind husband is a nurturer. A Christian husband is called to nourish and cherish (Ephesians 5:29). In this sense, a lack of tenderness, where appropriate, shows a lack of masculinity. A husband is kind to the object of his kindness.
And last, a husband is a kinsman-redeemer. A husband is close to his wife; she is his sister, his bride (Song 5:1). In a very real sense, he models for her the idea of savior and redeemer (Ephesians 5:25–26). What husband is sufficient for such things? Not one, but we live and love by grace. A husband is kind to his sister, the one he brings to himself.

Believer or not, imagine marriages with husbands such as this?
Now to find the article on wives :-) I'm in search mode!

It's what echos from my heart today....

It's what echos from my heart today................................

Friday, March 6, 2015

Fresh on Friday ~ Encouragement







Be Encouraged!

This week I am sharing with you a post from one of our Pastor's Blog. He is battling leukemia and is six months post bone marrow transplant. He shares with us daily about his status which allows us all to pray for him specifically.  Pastor Mike has been the biggest inspiration to many, proof positive great things can come out of the bad. As he has shared his victories and his struggles I am amazed by his great faith in God. I'm thankful for each post I read of his, he is a blessing to many.  He is currently still having to take anti rejection meds which isn't always the case 6 months into his treatment. As you can imagine how hard it might sometimes be to remain positive and encouraged, it is then he encourages us the most!

I am thrilled he has allowed me to share his most recent post, I know you will be blessed by it.


Hound of Heaven

Today I came across a reference to the “Hound of Heaven”. I’m sure that it is a familiar phrase to some of you as it was to me, but I never knew where it came from. It turns out that it is a poem written by English poet Francis Thompson (1859–1907). The poem became famous, and was the source of much of Thompson’s posthumous reputation. It was initially published in Thompson’s  first volume of poems in 1893. In 1971 it was included in the Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. It was also an influence on J. R. R. Tolkien, who read it a few years before it was published.
The name is strange and it startles one at first. It is so bold that it does not attract, rather the reverse. But, when one reads the poem, this strangeness disappears. As stated in The Neumann Press Book of Verse, 1988; “The meaning is understood. As the hound follows the hare, never ceasing in its running, ever drawing nearer in the chase, with unhurrying and imperturbed pace, so does God follow the fleeing soul by His Divine grace.  And though in sin or in human love, away from God it seeks to hide itself, Divine grace follows after, unwearyingly follows ever after, till the soul feels its pressure forcing it to turn to Him alone in that never ending pursuit.”
The truth of this poem can clearly be seen in the life of Jonah. Jonah didn’t start rebounding until he got swallowed. Some of us are not going to get right with God until we are swallowed either—until God sends us circumstances so adverse, so cataclysmic that running to God is the only thing left. Remember, Jonah could have repented anywhere along the line, but it took this incredible circumstance to get his attention. He prayed from the stomach of the fish.  Chapter 2 is the beginning of Jonah’s rebound,  the start of his turnaround where he realizes that he has missed the boat.  
Jonah prays a wonderful prayer: “Lord, I’m in this fish, but You threw me overboard. Those sailors were doing what You wanted done. You are absolutely sovereign. Everything is under Your control, so I know this is You. I didn’t think of it then, but I know it now.”
Ever been in the pit? The pit can be instrumental to get us back in the will of God. It’s a bad place to be, but if it took our going to the pit to get us back on the mountaintop, thank God for the pit.
God didn’t move until Jonah remembered. God didn’t move until Jonah confessed. God didn’t move until Jonah got right. Many of us want God to move before we’ve moved. We want God to act before we act. Jonah acted, and God responded. He commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land, whereupon he asked the way to Nineveh.
Sometimes, because of our rebellion, we don’t get it right until the third or fourth attempt. Sometimes in our rebellion we don’t get it right until we’re been at it for years and years. Sometimes we don’t overcome that sin which so easily besets us until later (Heb 12:1), although it could have been overcome sooner. Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom. But whatever it takes to bring us back, God will do it. He’s the “Hound of Heaven” who pursues us until we surrender.



 If you would like to follow his journey the link below will take you there.

I hope you will chose to encourage someone today, it's what echos from my heart today.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thankful Thursday!



Joining up with Rebecca Jo over at http://www.knitbygodshand.com/ a reminder to consider all there is to be thankful for.  Focus on that rather than whatever may be weighing you down!

Today I am reminded of how thankful  I am for antibiotics. The hubstir came down with the flu 3 weeks following my shoulder surgery.  His flu turned in to pneumonia and a good old Z Pac along with Steroids has brought him to a much better place in a little over a week.

I'm thankful that at least  two of my grandchildren live close by.  When I'm with them I'm in a constant state of thankfulness. How lucky Grandparents are that live by all of their grands!

Thankful for a little PBS Masterpiece series called Downton Abbey.  As of last night I am at last caught up with my fellow followers of the series. Since surgery the hubstir and I have watched all five seasons, we were committed :-)

I know it has it's downside but I am thankful for Facebook and the ability it gives me to reach so many of my friends and family.

Continuing to be thankful.....



Friday, February 20, 2015

Fresh Brewed Encouragement ~



John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

~

I know there are many troubled hearts in the world, I know some of them personally. 

This morning started off with  a message from a High School friend who short of a miracle is nearing the end of her life on this earth. She has fought a good fight with an incredible attitude and spirit. Cancer may win this fight but she has eternity of perfect health~

Some struggle with new beginnings, attempting to find a new normal for themselves.

Some are trying to remain hopeful when their self is sometimes tempted to doubt, to allow their faith to be nudged by fear.. 

Some live without hope of tomorrow and see no way out of the pit they are living in.

My Encouragement for them is, there is One bigger than You and your circumstance. 
He gives peace to the weary, hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak.
Just believe and trust Him.

 ~

Peace is not as simple as the absence of fear. Peace is a person. He said He would never leave us. We let our hearts become troubled when we forget that He is with us.

 ~

Hoping today and everyday you will each encourage those who cross your path.  It's not always apparent when someone needs and encouraging word.  It's what echos from my heart today ~