Thursday, July 29, 2010

Finishing My Course With Joy ... And Love

"...that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20: 24.

Want to know Debra's new theme verse? That's it, above.

Last week, though I hated to, I had to block the email address of an elderly friend. Why? Because he kept sending the most negative, critical email forwards on the planet. A few of us on his list even requested that he always check with Snopes before forwarding such (untrue) hype, but he'd reply, "I did check at Snopes. They are so liberal that I can't trust what they say."

Oh dear.

I'm afraid we've forgotten why we are here. Too many of us believe we're fighting godly battles when all we're doing is criticizing and condemning people who do not know Jesus, people who are acting out of clueless, dark hearts. Desperate hearts which are clinging to sand--and falling.

Eons ago, God told me, "Stop expecting the unsaved to act like they are saved."

We are here to love God. We are here to love people to God. And we are here to fight principalities and powers and unseen forces, but we're not here to wield our swords of the Spirit at movie stars and the paparazzi and wicked ones who are ignorant and struggling and who will go limping into fires of hell unless we pull them from the path, first.

Criticism, anger and condemnation never saved anyone.

If only we would trade-in each complaint, each criticism, for a heart-burdened prayer for salvation, instead. If only! What would we see? I believe we'd see a whole different world than the one we've created.

May I finish my course with joy. May I not become an old, Gollum-like woman posting at Facebook with bitterness toward people who just do not 'get it.' Faith and Hope are amazing, but may I come to the end of my days showing Love--the greatest thing--toward those who are floundering and gasping for that which is real.



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"And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, will you have us command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?

But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, You don't know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of man has not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them."

... Luke 9:54-56


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Are you becoming bitter or better?

9 comments:

Kim said...

Oh again you are in my head - how DO you do that?!
I have one of those friends too - all his subject headers are in CAPS ALL THE TIME. Sheez. I never read them. Ever.

It causes me to ponder: Do they think the ALL CAPS, negativity, and anti-liberal commie pinko, etc. is the way to fix that's broken? Will that fix the oil spill? Or the economy? Will that fix a heartbroken teenage boy sobbing that his parents tell him daily he's going to hell because he's gay?

Now that's the kind of thing I want to write in all caps about.

Do they not believe God's got a handle on all this?

"YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."

There's your all caps.

jodi said...

Great post! Yours is the second blog this week that I have read about this subject.

jodi said...

Debra,

http://hotbellymama.blogspot.com/2010/07/cleaning-house.html

This is a very good blog in general.

Jodi

Capri said...

Gah - that happened to me on Twitter last year when I told someone the birther stuff was from a hoax chain letter. I posted a Snopes link and they fired back with accusations that it was a commy site etc - from another stupid chain letter of course! I screamed, and then debunked that with a TruthOrFiction link.
It's past high time for any non-leftwing people and Christians to stop spreading chain letters. I don't understand why, if these people are supposed to be so concerned with the truth, they just blindly pass on chain letters, believing they are a real source of information, or a means of friendship for that matter. Do they not understand that the same people behind "Forward this to 15 people, hit alt4 and your true love will love you at midnight!" may be the same ones behind the cruel hoaxes that say "Amy Bruce/Jessica Mydeketc. is dying but AOL is giving 3 cents per forward so forward this or she'll die and it'll be your fault because you're a heartless person who doesn't love kids!" and the same as the ones who cobble together every false religious right-wing chain letter out there, getting huge har-hars at the expense of such people? I'm not far-right, but I'm no left-wing either, and I cannot stand chain letters! But my misguided, unthinking friends, yes, even including some of those on the left of the aisle, have pretty much abandoned writing in favor of sending forwards, and it has driven me to what might seem a bit of an extreme, but very theraputic thing to do, and has saved me from literally screaming at everyone. I'll always reply with debunks if I can find them on hoax-busting sites, whether it's Snopes, hoax-slayer, BreakTheChain or TruthOrFiction, I've had to look to the others as well because of that stupid chain letter rumor attacking Snopes, which has managed to stop some people from listening to anything if they've been sucked into believing Snopes is a commy site. I also created a board for Christians breaking chain letters, where I put all my rants, and certainly other Christians and non-left-wingers who are as sick of these forwards as I am, are more than welcome to join me. I've ranted about some of the malarkey politics, but also deal with other virals that aren't as numerous on established hoax-busting sites - the fluffy, sappy "Friendship is" "Hug War" "It was so great to be a kid!" chain letters that try to play on people's positive emotions to get passed along as well. A lot of them aren't political, but they are very patronizing, especially when they are all you get from people who otherwise never contact you. "Fwd:Friendship is" Yes, I know full well what friendship is, and you would too, if you stopped sending these forwards! Some just have awful stories that supposedly contain some sort of "Life is precious!" moral or some sort of Christian morality tale etc. and friends, if I want sermons, I go to church. If I want to hear from you, I want to hear from you, not get all these way-over-done chain letters that are as phony and annoying as the worst TV commercials.

There are many times I can rant about a chain letter and end up making myself laugh, which turns out to be the best kind of chain-smash. A friend and I are also smashing especially those "Forward or die" hoaxes on a fiction-writing site, I kicked Bloody Mary's butt. We turn those supposedly scary chain letters into a big laugh.

I got a couple of articles published on Associated content but am still waiting for more to be accepted.
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5564292/time_to_face_the_facts_about_chain.html?singlepage=true&cat=9
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5590252/why_chain_letters_are_so_bad_1_whos.html?singlepage=true&cat=9

As a non-left-wing, non-far-right-wing Christian, I am a chain-breaker and proud of it, and wish more likeminded people would start seeing the light and join me.

Pat said...

I pray I'm becomming better..not bitter. I don't know if it's my age, but I'm so aware of it, I purpose it in my heart daily.

Donetta said...

you nailed it girl
so so very true
love
love
love
God is LOVE

Sara said...

Ahh, a breath of fresh air as always Sister! Playing catch-up blogs today. Praying for a wonderful (and short? :) time with Naomi back at home. Appreciating the determination for joy. Loving the painted desk. Painted furniture just says something doesn't it? Something mid-century farmy? Are you and I, once again, the only one who get it? As for Mr. Bloom, he was utterly bee-u-tee-ful as an elf. Not as lovely as a real human. Hugs to you!

Laurie said...

You are so sensible!! I love that abouat you!

Laurie S.

Caroline123 said...

"We are here to love God." So wonderfully true. The Westminster Confession says "the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."
AMEN!