So! Sarah noticed that I removed that "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened" quote by Dr. Suess beneath my header.
And well, I didn't do it for any negative reason, but rather, I felt the Bible verse that's up there now is way more vital. I mean, especially for people who may just click here accidentally once in their lives--my hope is that that verse will absolutely haunt them. So much so, that it will set them upon a whole new course, the end which will be their realization that there will be no Heaven for them unless they first enter through Jesus, the only door.
So there's that explanation, in case you wondered.
And for whatever reason, I feel the need to share how I look at this different verse, below:
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple." ... Luke 14:26
That verse used to confuse me like it has tons of other people. But now I get it. In fact, I even drew a little picture to help explain it (I've taught Sunday School classes where kids burst out laughing at my stick figures, so go ahead and laugh if you'd like at my Love Line. I'll understand. heh)....
It's the comparison that matters to God most--what he desires is that we love Him so overwhelmingly more than anybody or anything else. That He is our main passion. Our main purpose for living. Our main source of companionship, joy, vitality and strength.
Keep Him first like that, keep Him waaaaaay over on the More Side, and then we're totally free to love all other good gifts from Him, especially the people He places in our individual lives. God is big about loving others--just check out 1 Corinthians 13 again.
And well, I'll tell ya.... Back in 1994 when God first placed this great love for Him inside my heart, it changed absolutely everything. It's all been a process, but I began then to stop expecting people, places, money, positions--or anything else--to give me what only God could. I began worrying a whole lot less because I felt like, hey! Whatever I may lose in this life--as long as I still have this enormous, satisfying love from God--I'll be ok. And I began treasuring His nearness, cultivating it, so much so, that it became lots easier to let go of anything (or sometimes anyone, at His direction) that interfered with it, with that sweet sense of His continual presence.
Anyway, this is all too much for just one blog post, but I did want to share an explanation of that "hate your family" verse in case anyone who reads here had a problem with it. I've learned that when I get these 'pictures in my head' it's probably time to blog about them. Just be thankful there were no stick figures involved with this one. :)
What to do if you don't have that kind of passionate love for God? Ask Him for it. Learn to simply receive from Him. He wants everything in our lives to come from Him so that none of us can boast, "This came from my own head." From beginning to end, it's all of Him. (I read that last sentence years ago and recall it often.)