Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Christian Love

What is Christian love?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

I think in our society we have reduced Jesus to this quiet passive guy that never made waves or had opinions because we view love as just getting along and letting people do what makes them happy and if you love them you will care about their happiness and support the things that make them feel happy.  

A group of us were having a great discussion about "the personality of Jesus" the other day.  We were reminded how many times in the Bible he said things that could have been viewed as completely offensive.  He was harsh and bold and honestly very unconcerned with people's "happy feelings" in this temporary life.  He was much more concerned with their eternity and their love and devotions to Him. He didn't seem to care as much about hurting people's feelings, He told them what they needed to hear and He didn't beat around the bush about it.

Matthew 10:34-39

Not Peace, but a Sword

34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

People are afraid of this kind of love because it is risky. 
 And you risk being called a "hypocrite or judgmental" if you claim to be a christian and aren't perfect. 

Hebrews 12:1-2

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
People love to throw the verse about "judging" around for the sake of getting you to turn your head and go along with everything that makes them feel happy in the moment.

Matthew 7:1-5English Standard Version (ESV)

Judging Others

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
I am no Bible scholar, but when I read doesn't say...
how about since your brother has a speck and you have a log....just ignore it all and move on. 

It says deal with your "stuff" so you can help your brother deal with his.  And the beauty of it is, when you deal with your "stuff" then can help your brother....not just point out his speck, but you are humbled up knowing that you just removed a log from your own eye and you actually want to help him, not just pretend it isn't there or just point it out.

This has been on my heart and mind for a while now.....we are dealing with a situation and getting differing input on how we should or shouldn't handle it.
  I just keep asking God because that's the only REAL TRUTH.
 I still don't have the ABC formula that I would love for Him to lay out in this situation and so many others....but instead...He makes things jump out at me when I'm in His Word.
 What I'm hearing right now is:
 Just be quiet, and don't go along for the sake of
 just getting along and keeping the peace, but also don't stir up strife.

 don't be attacking specks until we can see clearly and we can move in close enough to look one another in the eye.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Happy Anniversary Part 3 - Years 10-15

**I would summarize these years as the years we truly learned to live "in community" and "do life" with friends.**

**We had always done life with family, and still do to this day, but we had to do a LOT of living on the phone and on holidays and special occasions because we all lived so far apart.**

We welcomed Luke Franke Brewer into the family on 
July 17, 2001

We had him home for about a week and our very good friends from Charlie's college days came to live in the area and they camped right next to our house for a good part of the summer.

We had a crazy good time.

 We learned to live with open doors and they learned to put up with complete chaos.
To this very day I can't think of anyone else I would rather learn to live with people than with than these particular friends.

We made a lot of memories and learned how to live "in community".  It has been one of my most treasured lessons to this day, that we have carried on with. 

In these years.....we also sold our American dream home because of course we had plans of bigger and better and MORE!  
We were going to build on 40 acres that we bought, but in the transition time we moved into town for 9 months.
 In God's grace we moved just a few houses down from these same friends.

  We saw each other almost daily and did many meals and runs and cookies and coffee together and just plain did life together. 

Talk about "lessons". 
 We learned we DO NOT make good town peeps. 
 But, again, we learned to leave the door open.  When you live in town its very convenient for people to just come by and pretty soon you just GET OVER having to have the house a certain way to enjoy your friends and we learned that they loved us even when we had a messy house and unruly kids and pets.  

We had always lived "off the main drag" in our rural community and people didn't come by unless they called first because it would be a waste of their time if we weren't home. 
 We always had time to stash the mess, or threaten the kids.

  It took some getting used to, to have people just "swing by" and we learned to

After nearly driving our "town neighbors" in complete sane, we moved into our " temporary barn house" that Charlie built to get us out on our property and out of town.

We moved our family of 6 into a little part of the barn, that was supposed to be Charlie's tack room, and we built an upstairs right over the alley way of the barn and learned to

We ended up being in that temporary situation for 3 1/2 years and truly enjoyed it!!!

  We totally changed our priorities and we no longer dreamed of a big beautiful house, we learned to enjoy an easy maintenance  house with concrete floors and lots of foot traffic.

It was so kind of the Lord to teach us community living and open door living before we moved to our property.
Our property is in the same rural community, but it is on a pretty main road and it is in the wide open. 

 It has been an awesome
piece of property, and that is seriously our favorite part of the whole place!

We have a tight group of friends that we DID  A LOT of life together with in those years.  
We, and our kids are all still very close.
We have walked through a lot of life together...good times and bad and I can't imagine my life without even 1 of them.
We don't all get the chance to do as many activities together, we all have busy lives and THEIR kids are all growing up...(so are ours,but we just keep starting over).

 I can say that when the going gets tough... we are THERE for each other and when there is something to be celebrated...we are THERE for each other. 
 When we do hang out...we pick up right where we left off....never missing a BEAT!

I was looking through these years of pictures and it just came to me over and over again how blessed we are to have such amazing people in our lives!
 We have truly been blessed with the best friends in the whole world.

It also occurred to me that Charlie still had mostly brown hair and I was somewhat sane.
Oh well, both things have changed.  :)

I wouldn't trade those years for anything and I wouldn't want to go back.

 It's fun to glance back and keep moving forward!!

Proverbs 27:9The Message (MSG)

Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight,

    a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.