1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love!
So many people tell me today they watch the Hallmark Channel.
Don't we live in an interesting entertainment age. Different from before. Like the politics of this Nation looking ling historical politics. A different flavor.
Really we see more positive trends in the movie industry people pay to see:
The movies are less disgusting. Unless you went to see "Deadpool" rather over the top ommm. The movies are not as crowded. Fewer movies make it from production to the large cinemas. They end up on the Hallmark Channel and have even very famous actors and good plots.
But also the Movies run in themes. Zombies. Right after Ebola rises again.
Election year? Batman against Superman. Space Aliens from Independence Day are coming back. And the Avengers are in a huge argument.
Cartoon movies tend to do well and there is not the stigma to go to one of those as an adult as they have some zingers. 98% Rotten Tomatoes.
Oddly enough the movie theaters now cater to Christian movie goers who are loyal and willing to arrive to see the movie. God's Not Dead 2 was good. Especially the credits listing the actual trials. And I'd bet a lot of those trials went in Christian favor.
Television at home. Now the shows are rather crass and we avoid a lot of them. But watch a movie? Wow some of those movies we have seen more than some of our family. 400 Channels show the same 15 things.
Now the Hallmark Channel. Is nice. But not all of real life is as pretty. Or as real. Or meaningful."
One of the greatest love stories in my life is my paternal grandmother. This isn't a Hallmark card or movie. One of my favorite movies has a scene, Peggy Sue Got Married, the main character goes back 20 years to high school, the most meaningful scene, she goes to see her living grandparents. Tears me up, tears me up. What a privilege.
My grandmother has 4 great-grandchildren. 3 are named after her. My husband loves to recall my Mississippi Grandmother and her beautiful, gentle voice and aristocratic talk and ways. Such a gentle woman, believing life should be accomplished with a lot of Christian ethics. Having wonderful supportive, loving parents. Her love for her house - being one of the few not burned down "in the War of Northern Aggression." The Waaaaaarrrr of Noooorthrn Aggggresssionnnn, say it with me, there is no twang in this.
Grandmother was born in the Mississippi Delta, in the era of Eudora Weldy, and she never belonged to or joined the popular racist club. She adored Veelma, her maid, for over 30 years. Veelma was the underprivileged, unacknowledged, illegitimate, half black, daughter of one of Oxford's doctors. She and grandmother stood and swept, yet all of Grandmother's old antebellum house looked a lot like Miss Haversham's, minus the wedding cake.
Her perfect childhood, her grandmothers she loved - living with her parents, her father's affluence, her loved remembered, discussed childhood home, her brothers she loved, her sister who annoyed her, her father saving from her from her mother's wrath when she ruined the car bumper and Pop secretly paid for the $16 ruined bumper.
Falling in love with her brother's roommate from College; meeting the most handsome man in the world and marrying the man you can't live without. He was from a family with another fine house. He writes his aunt Hattie to say he is giving up alcohol to marry her.
Alcoholism can take many years to sink you down.
Alcoholism and alcoholic families have several courses; beat it, join it, enable it or leave it. Grandmother, being the gentle soul she was, joined it.
We had a Thanksgiving one year, she became angered - this from the most dignified, gentle loving woman in the world - and took off her wig and threw it on the table & thundered about her new marriage (my grandfather had been dead for 15 years) to her new husband, an Episcopal priest. Robin Williams would say we were pretty Southern Episcopalian.
This being said. When the great Chapter of Love is read or said, I never forget my Grandmother.
When I grow old, I want to be the example of love she was to us. She found in us, absolute delight. Every time we saw her, she made sure to say, "I love you and I am so proud of you." Sincerity rang out. Sometimes she did without, to make sure we had something she wanted to give us. Grandmother knew we were parented, so she didn't parent us; she asked us what we thought and she would honestly discuss it.
Grandmother wanted to know what interested us and she never encouraged us to be lawyers or doctors. Grandmother was interested in friendships and boyfriends. Her message was to forgive unkindness and to always remember the people the people who have been kind and loving to you and never to push them down. My Grandmother paid for my college education when my father scorned it. Grandmother was always astonished I had a job and flew all over the country. We grinned about it a lot.
At our Rehearsal Dinner, my Grandmother began her blessing of my marriage by saying she was, "As old as God". Really, Grandmother's love was a dress rehearsal for God's love.
What do you do with the "commenter" the one who never knew your birthday. Never thought that your talent was that great, always said, "You should try harder. Do more extra credit and just present this to the teacher. Worked for me." The one when you say, "It might be cancer" does not skip a beat.
Or what do you do when some in your life says a family member is "just disgraceful" or "Pathetic". I have news for us all, even the President's had brothers who didn't smell pretty.
Mostly, you cannot change people. You can change engaging in their mess at their emotional temperature.
Really difficult to do when life isn't rosy. This is our complain point. Walk on with Joy with the desire to bring peace. Easier to pick up the argument when you need something to slam at. We can put the argument down. Easier to do when we feel happier.
We need to be real. Have sincerity and say not all people are going to be right on the line. God says we pretend to be right on the line. Even when we think we have all our lives wrapped up neatly to please even Father God, we have to realize the law condemns us. Our attitudes of revenge, or pride, or jealousy. Pettiness.
Does the person who is the "commenter" deserve loyalty. In family, to a certain extent, yes. We are supposed to pick up our cross. We are supposed to unite the people at the edges. Now are we supposed to not gossip? Get real, if someone is telling you what an awful person you are, you need someone to pray for you and support you. If you lie to tell the story, well that is really wrong and a different occurrence is happening. If the story is a string of petty events, oh man that is boring.
Truth telling is sharing life.
Do we need a Bible verse telling us that we share stories of Life?
Mary tells us something memorable in Luke 1 about the rich and their unkindness. Mary was obviously stung as a child. Except Isaiah said the wealth of the country would be horribly divided. Her son James continues the telling of life events about the cruelty of wealthy people. They have talked. A few times.
James goes on to say, value all people. Not to use them, but to let them know we are the Body of Christ. James tells us of his process. Growing up a descendant of David and becoming a Brother of Jesus in completion.
John tells his coming to Jesus with much thought, he is prolific. John begins by telling us of the Light of Christ in all of mankind.
Still, among ourselves in our daily lives, are we to be so loyal as to be silent? Telling the truth, is not a bad thing. Lives are formed with truth telling.
If the offender is a friend after years of refusing to do unto others - Jesus tells us to speak honestly and not invite them to dinner. Jesus did not run around sniping about old stories when He was Victorious. He moved with what was good. Jesus forgave many, many people and appeared to 500. Multitudes found Him later.
Love one another is a Joy. A Burden. Something to divide out goats and sheep. Not designed to ruin us. One of my cousins was telling me she was almost killed with constantly caring for her invalid mother. But she chose to not re-adjust finances to get help to care for her. That massive house, on the hill quit blessing them. We have to strive for the balance. Joshua did. Hard to see the balance when we are physically, mentally, and spiritually pressed. Hard to sell home, when home is what is left of the people passed on.
My experience is seeing in my Church, we are the Church of parents living to be in their 90s. Like the man who made a fortune finding Christians to insure, far less claims and he was financially made. This framework - works. And seeing their parents live independent lives well into their mid 90s. Framework of God - is astonishing.
Love one another is a Responsibility. You have to love yourself. Not accept what is not acceptable. If this eequires pressing charges for being beaten and abused. To affect positive change, then this should happen. This is still putting Jesus first. And requires bravery. Jesus told people, "NO."
Jesus told us we have to love God first. Because if we do not look to the Lord to be the Head of our lives, eventually the water running over the rocks has changed the direction away from Jesus. The Way, the Truth and the Life. We have to keep Jesus as God in our lives and avoid the push away from His Goodness. With prayer and honesty. Going in the true direction Jesus grows us to be. His Good Plan.
We cannot push our values upon people, but to stand for our values when they are needed, if they are too dusty and unused causes us to make excuses instead of staying in the Body of Christ.
All the Bible is really about making life work with brokenness. Reality. Abraham was broken, we all are. Lead a responsible life. The Gospels start out like this:
Mark 1:3 Isaiah 40, Proverbs 3, Matthew 3, Mark 3, John 1
"A voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'"
Sometimes the difficulty is being polite, to be unable to work the connection from goodness to polite to goodness. Completing the the thought requires some diligence. We have to not just to the platitudes, but the work of the Scriptures why sometimes we say, "No."
Keeping Jesus in charge, doing things His Way, Truth, Life keeps us from raising children who beat their wives. Do terrible drugs. Keeping our children from abusing their siblings keeps our children compassionate and able to raise their own family.
Speaking up, making each other accountable.
We need a realistic balance. Today our Minister Craig Heenan's Sermon was on the ship sinking during training in the Navy. With a realistic balance, we learn from our mistakes and help others. Speaking of our mistakes to make life reliable and real. We gain the strength to tell our family, "No" so that they are able to rise up in their own Jesus Strength. Polite yes just to keep the peace isn't always what is needed. But Grandmother surely told the truth when she said, "Look for the goodness in all of us." Find reasons to be proud of the character of one another. Encourage, Pray, Rejoice.
Jesus loved to fish.
John started by saying all of mankind has the light of Jesus Christ.
Jesus believes He has given us fortitude to do our lives. We can find good in all people.
Fishing - diligence, endurance, hope. Lag times. Days where the catch is slim.
When you fish with Jesus, suddenly the net is full. And there are people with you in the journey to help pull up the net. Jesus provides.
Fishing can be solitary. Time to think. Jesus loved these quiet times. And made a path to find these times.
Hello Father God,
I am praying for my arm today. I had a lump in September that looked like a mosquito bite. And it went away. And was gone in January, I remembered to look. Now the lump is back and was 2 inches by 1 inch. The Lord is Good, the next thing I knew I had a spider bite right on the lump. Today the lump is 1 inch by an inch. Isabelle was born and her arm stopped right at this point. My son realized his arm has a place at this point too. My cousins in Baton Rouge have an arm that quit like Isabelle's. A child was born to them without a left hand as well.
My son and I both had Ganglions on the wrist that were troublesome. People have witnessed Ganglions move like Diplomas.
I believe all things are possible in Father God, and I am hoping for a complete healing. The thing went away before.
We lift up Edward, that he might have all his facilities, and end very well. Like Isabelle did with her beautiful, "I see Jesus" smile. We all have a day in the Book of Life called the Day of the Lord, our day to have eternal life and go Home. I pray for Edward that he gets to see Heaven not as an invalid, but as a man blessed to have his brain fed from his soul.
We pray for the people we Love to have the joy of this coming Life. God's framework feeding them on this journey, helping us to understand when the winds of life howl, when life has lag times calling for endurance - the framework of God is like the Exodus, we have to have the faith and do the work of presenting our soul back to God. Father God, cover those I love with Your name and Your guidance. That Mississippi River of Life is steady and reliable, and then is not. Help us to have loving, wisdom inside of us.
Bless the people You have given us. Let us communicate with diligence and joy.
Bless our work places to become meaningful life opportunities where God is loved and goodness happens daily. Bless our children's school with the same Joy. Let our light for Christ Shine.
We pray for Your willing favor and direction. For our Churches, communities, neighborhoods, city, counties and states. The Light of God be welcomed. Come Lord Jesus. And give You thanks for the strength You give Your people to do their lives.
Thank You God we do not beg for You to act, we know that Your Will and wisdom are amazing. In Jesus. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †