Where the day flows, only time
And who can say if your love grows
As your heart chose, only time
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
* Title credits go to the one and only Jewel Keefe
“Make the appointment.”she declared without hesitation. “ I’ll take care of it.” And that was it. I got braces.
This is what I read. This is the crazy part.
I recently found out that this was a “drinking” game. Funnily enough, the first time I played it was at a women’s Bible study, except you earned toothpicks instead of chugging alcohol. Let’s say I start off the game with a statement “I’ve never broken a bone.” Anyone playing who HAS broken a bone before must give me a toothpick. Then the next person gives their “I’ve never _________.” statement and anyone who has ever _________ will give that person a toothpick and so on and so forth until one person holds all the toothpicks. Technically that person is the winner, but winning isn’t the point of the game. It’s about having a hilarious time getting to know all your friends’ dirty little secrets.
Recently I came up with a twist on the game. It doesn’t involve toothpicks, yet it is more scandalous than drinking. Instead of giving someone a toothpick, you give someone……dun dun dun duunnnnn…. MERCY!!! And instead of doing this when someone declares what they *haven’t* done, you give it when there is something that they *have* done.
Let me explain.
Someone cuts you off in traffic. Your blood starts to boil. You may even consider cutting them off. But wait….it’s time for a rousing game of “I’ve never!” Here’s what you do. Think carefully. Can you say….I have never cut someone off. Ever. Or made any driving infractions. No Mistakes. Never taken a wrong turn. Never Fallen victim to a blind spot. You have? Okay here’s how you play. At that point, forget about drinking or toothpicks. Pull out a large helping of mercy and give it out.
You try calling your spouse/friend/cousin/daughter/sister/neighbor. And they don’t pick up the phone. In fact, they NEVER pick up the phone. UGH!!! Especially when you need them. Like NOW! Pick up. Pick up. Pick up. No. Nothing. So annoying!! Wait……right when you feel that temper tantrum kicking in (yes, that’s what I called it) it’s time to play “I’ve never_________” “I have never been unreachable when someone tried to call me. Ever. Never left my phone home. Never left the house without the charger. Never been on a call and not clicked over. Never been in the bathroom when the phone beckoned. Never not once.” Nope. Not likely. Okay, pull out some mercy. And give it up.
You get an email. And immediately you “hear” the persons tone. They are so rude! How could they “talk” to you like that! So disrespectful. But wait. Before you get ready to blast them back an email, or share this one with all of your friends….it’s time to play….”I’ve never!” Have you never had someone misunderstand your written word? Or taken something you emailed the wrong way? Because that has definitely happened to me. You see, I am a pretty straightforward person. I have to really try to add a “Bless your heart” here or there in emails, because I have learned that my “Get to the point” nature can come across as rude in writing. So much so that I was once kicked out of a Freecycle group (I kid you not) because of my “tone” in an email. If you are not familiar with Freecycle, it is a group where you can give away items, and even ask for items. Their one basic rule is that you can’t “ask” for an item until you have given something away. After giving a ton of items away, I decided to test the waters and post a “wanted” ad. The powers that be refused to post it because they said I had never given anything away. “That’s easy,” I thought, and I quickly emailed them all of the “evidence” I had of the items I had given away. They then accused me of “only giving away items so that I could get items.” Lord have mercy. These people are crazy. I tried to resolve it quickly though and just got to the point. I emailed quotes from their rules that showed I hadn’t broken protocol. Next thing I knew I was kicked out. When I asked why, they wrote that my “tone” was aggressive. I read and reread these emails, even had my husband read them and we could not figure out what “aggressive tone” they were talking about. So yeah. I guarantee that your intentions for an email have been misunderstood. You just may not know about it. Knowing this little tidbit from my life however, before you assign “tone” to an email, it’s time to give it up. Mercy.
You hear of how someone has been wronged. You hear all the sordid “details.” You are furious. How could that person do that to them? Don’t they know that such and such is wrong! Just plain wrong. That’s it. You are never talking to them again, and you are going to make sure everyone knows what a jerk they are for behaving so ungodly. But wait! This is the perfect time for “I’ve never!” It is amazing to me how popular the saying “There are two sides to every story” is, yet how quickly people are to dismiss this reality. And like wildfire rumors are spread. Assumptions are formed. Character maligned. All because we latch on to one side of the story. I used to be the first one in line to do this. Until, that is, God put me with a man who never did. I would tell him these atrocious stories that should have evoked the same outrage in him that I was feeling, and he would be slow to jump on board. He knew there was likely another side to the story. That attitude used to frustrate me to no end. Mercy. How could he extend mercy to someone so clearly in the wrong? Until it was me to whom he was extending mercy. Then I got it. It took me too many years, but I finally got it.
What is my point? We live in a world, where people get incredibly bent out of shape over the smallest offenses. And not only are these infractions not worth the anger they provoke, but they are also sins that we commit ourselves, regularly. Thoughtlessness, selfishness, pride, carelessness, laziness, distractability, forgetfulness. No one is immune to this list. And when we are the offenders? We want Mercy. We expect Mercy.
Ok fine. Not you. You don’t do those things, or at least not as bad as that other person. But let us remember the enormous debt that we all have accrued, illustrated best in the story of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:21-35. We have all received an immeasurable amount of mercy. And to those who have been forgiven much, we must love much. This truth is emphasized beautifully in James 2:13
In honor of Left-Handers day I thought I would try to educate 90% of the world on what it’s like for a minority like me. If you’re a righty, I don’t expect you to understand. But if you are a lefty, I know you will be nodding your head and reliving tragic childhood memories with me. Seriously people. My grandfather had his hands smacked with a ruler for using his left hand. But the joke is on them! I think his genes doubled down and produced a ton of lefties including both of his children and all three of his grandchildren! My poor right handed mother. The craftiest woman known to man had to teach two lefty daughters how to knit, crochet, and needlepoint backwards! One hundred percent of her children were lefty! Can you imagine? The social implications? In our house it was the opposite of the rest of the world. In our house 75% of the population was lefty! For my sister and I, it was a utopia of sorts. But I guess my mom could have used this this:
Erasable pens.Yes they are in our past, thank God, but what about my memory? That is permanent, and so are the ink stains on my hand.
Teachers lamenting that my handwriting skills are doomed.
3 ring binders- These are like some kind of medieval torture device. Could you write neatly with your arm stuck in between 2 giant metal hoops?
Spiral bound notebooks- ouch
Desks- Where does my elbow go?
Scissors- I always had to fight that other lefty for the rusty pair of left scissors. Or share. That works good.
Realizing your belt buckle is upside down. (I don’t expect Righties to get this at all.)
Dealing with traders- people who write with their left and play sports with their right.
Feeling used- “Oh you’re a lefty? You can hit to right field, right??”
Never being associated with being correct.“You’re……. not right”Who wants to be “left” out?
Always being associated with liberals. “Those lefties”
Lame jokes to help us cope. “At least I am in my right mind”
Nobody wants to sit next to you at meals.
Spending 90% of your life using doors, cup holders in cars, computer mouses, knives, pens, pencils, belts, pant zippers, can openers, playing cards, etc. that have been specifically designed to NOT work for you.
15. Media Bias: Check out this Huffpost (of course) article that says lefties are angry, psychotic, alcoholics. But hey, we’re better at sports! 🙄https://www.google.com/amp/s/m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_55d39e97e4b0ab468d9ec794/amp
“These boys start singing and Simon Cowell does the unthinkable!” Wow! What does he do?? I can’t even think of what he could do that is unthinkable!! Wait….. he puts them to through to the next round. Yeah, I could have thought of that.
Yes. Let’s look at the numbers that prompted the headline…
“Florida Officials: Watch out for flesh-eating bacteria” from Florida Today:
-Feeling extremely tired
-Lips or skin turning blue
-Changes in behavior
-A high-pitched breathing sound called stridor
-Foam around the mouth – Anyone pulled from the water who is coughing or sputtering and has foam around their mouth needs emergency care immediately.If a person who has been in water shows any of these symptoms, call 911 or get them to a hospital emergency room as soon as possible.
As I have been reading through I Samuel chronologically, there have been a few stops in Psalms. Those of you that are on this journey with me, know that I have been aching to get back into I Samuel. I feel like I left David hanging. He is hiding from Saul, and I need to get back there to get him to safety. 🙂 Nevertheless, God had many beautiful lessons and comforts for me in the Psalms, for which my heart is glad.
So finally, FINALLY, today is the day. I am back in I Samuel. And what is the first verse? The first three words I read?
Then Samuel died;
More often than not, feelings of grief are ignored and left unidentified causing decades of damage.
Bear each other’s burdens.
Why are we rushing people past their God given imperative to mourn, just to put on a happy face? Don’t do it. If you are mourning, take it to God. Let Him walk you through it. If you know someone who is mourning a loss, any loss, mourn with them.
Writing. I have to write. I have to organize my thoughts.
Laughter I don’t want to brag, but I have some of the funniest friends on the planet. And with one word, they can make me laugh out loud, erasing the pain, if only for a moment.
than to go to a house of feasting,
since that is the end of all mankind,
and the living should take it to heart.
3 Grief is better than laughter,
for when a face is sad, a heart may be glad.
4 The heart of the wise is in a house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in a house of pleasure.
If we do not mourn properly, grief turns to bitterness and despair.