Those that Hate You…

We all have that one person in our lives that just seems to harbor immense hatred towards us. Each and every time you interact with this person, you feel their anger seething behind their smiling face. The reasons for their animosity may be apparent to all parties, or you may be dumbfounded by the other person’s hostility.

  
The fact of the matter is, how you react towards this person says more about you than it does about them. In fact in His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke directly about dealing with those who hate you. “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-28)

This is a hard statement to swallow, but what comes next is even harder.

“Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” (Luke 6:29-31)

When dealing with someone who hates us, human nature implores us to lash out at the person and repay their hatred with more hatred. This goes directly against what Jesus teaches in Luke and further explains through the Apostle Peter, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:9)

So how do we deal with a difficult person? We forgive and we love them despite their harsh words and actions taken towards us. It isn’t ever easy, but showing love to someone who doesn’t deserve it demonstrates the same forgiveness and love Jesus shows us every single day. 

“Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.” (Proverbs 10:12)

 

A Quick Thought

I actually wrote about this a while back, but somehow life’s lessons continue to revisit me. 

I’m currently waiting to hear back from my publisher’s editing team, which means my efforts toward publishing my new novel have stalled as I wait to hear from them. Although I want them to do a thorough job, waiting is not something I am particularly good at. 

I find that when I am forced to wait, I turn to my faith in Jesus Christ for solace and peace. The Bible says, in Psalms 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” (NASB) It is a constant struggle to wait on God, as our human nature tells us that we should do things our way; that our timing is best and that  God is constantly late. I just have to keep reminding myself that God is all knowing and as Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” As hard as it is to wait, I’d rather walk with the Lord, than try to get out in front of Him. God’s plan for each of us is perfect and, though we may become anxious and frustrated, remember that it is always worth the wait.

A Quick Thought…

What if the characters you created could somehow leap off the page for an hour and share a meal with you, would you embrace it or run screaming from the room? What would you discuss? How would the meal go? Would you even get along with your characters? 

I often wonder if I would get along with any of the characters I write about, or if they would even like me… Maybe I think too much…

What do you think?

A Quick Thought…

Fear. The ominous enemy that traps us in mediocrity. The voice in our minds that causes us to hesitate when we need to take that next step. The hindering hand that keeps us mired in depression and defeat. 

Courage. The friend who lifts us up and helps us reach the summit. The voice that dares us to try in the face of defeat. The hand grasps ours and helps us to our feet.

The question is: in whom do you trust more? Does fear or courage direct your path?

A Quick Thought…

Sometimes the mere pursuit of something is worth more than obtaining it. The value of embarking on a journey can be more than reaching its end. How many times have you read a book, rushing to the end, and when you arrive…the end is a disappointment. The story and characters, and setting, it was all wonderful…until the ending ruined it all. What’s my point?

Remember to enjoy the journey; don’t just rush to the end.

A Quick Thought…

Today, I lost a friend. 

I knew him for only a few years, a small fraction of the time he’d spent on this earth, but he shared much of his history with me. As a historian, their are few greater gifts than to openly share your history with another person. 

To Walter Wayne Gloyer I say this: what you have entrusted to me, I will honor and remember. I am consoled by the hope found in our mutual faith in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. I know I will see you again one day, my friend. 

Do You “Like” This?

Of late, I’ve noticed a steadily growing trend for people, and even businesses, to place their sense of success and self worth solely upon the number of “likes” and comments on <insert popular social media here>. In America today, how we are perceived by others has become so important that our desire to be unique has been overridden by the conformity enforced by the “like” button.

I gave up on social media over two years ago after considering this: when we can share our most inner thoughts with the world shouldn’t we also use caution in choosing in whom we will entrust these thoughts. Social media has tricked us into believe that our innermost thoughts and desires should be published for all to see. To this I simply say “no.”

Here’s what a few “wise guys” from the past have to say about being “liked.”

King Solomon: “A man of too many friends comes to ruin…” (Proverbs 18:24 NASB)

George Washington: “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.”

Thomas Jefferson: “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”

Jackie Robinson: “I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”

Henry David Thoreau: “See how he cowers and sneaks, how vaguely all the day he fears, not being immortal nor divine, but the slave and prisoner of his own opinion of himself, a fame won by his own deeds. Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.”

Theodore Roosevelt: “I represent the public, not public opinion.”

A Final Word (2015)

Saying farewell to a year well spent. I’ve given up trying to summarize so much time into a typical blog post. Instead, I’m going to give you a bit of a preview to what’s waiting in 2016.

At the beginning of December, I signed a contract to publish my novel; more to come on that in January. My entire site will be undergoing a conversion to better promote the novel. Stay tuned for more exciting news surrounding

I have also received multiple rejections on “Rad the Pawn,” so I’ve decided to finally reward my readers by publishing the whole story here over the next five weeks.

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(I promise to publish the whole thing this time).

I just want to thank all of my faithful readers. January 1, 2016 marks this blog’s six month anniversary, with visitors spanning ten countries on five continents. Your comments and readership have been an encouragement and are greatly appreciated. See you in 2016!

 

 

A Christmas Post: Joy

Merry Christmas to all my faithful readers!

“Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing over the plains
And the mountains in reply,
Echoing their joyous strains...” (Angels We Have Heard On High, French carol, ca. 1862)

“God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay;
Remember Christ, our Saviour,
Was born on Christmas day,
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.” (God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen)

“Hark! the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise;
Join the triumph of the skies;
With angelic host proclaim“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!””

“It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
With news of joy foretold,
“Peace on the earth, good will to men
From heaven's all gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.” (It Came Upon The Midnight Clear, Edmund H. Sears(1810-1876), 1849)

Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart
Prepare Him room
And Saints and angels sing
And Saints and angels sing
And Saints and Saints and angels sing.” (Joy To The World, Isaac Watts, 1674-1748)

“O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye,
O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold Him
Born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord.”
(O Come, All Ye Faithful, Attributed to John Francis Wade, ca. 1711-1786)

I was listening to a few of my favorite Christmas carols this season and I started hearing the same word said over and over: Joy. The local radio station has been getting its listeners to say their “Joy Pledge” to choose joy this holiday season. But what is joy?

Webster’s Dictionary defines Joy as “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires:” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/joy). The Bible has this to say about joy: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4 NASB) Wait a minute! So joy can come from suffering?

Consider this: a former pastor of mine explained joy this way: Jesus, Others, Yourself. JOY. So having faith in Jesus and putting Him first, others second, and yourself last, produces joy. How is that possible? Where does joy truly come from?

“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” (James 15:11 NASB) Joy comes from Jesus, and keeping our focus on Him this Christmas, and every day, produces joy in our hearts.

So the question is, will you choose joy?



Christmas, What’s It All About?

Christmas means different things to different people. For most Americans, Christmas is a time to get together with family and friends, exchange gifts, eat lots of sweets, and prepare for the coming new year. But for Christians, the holiday represents something much more important: it is the coming of Jesus as a baby, who would live a perfect life, be arrested and falsely accused, sentenced to death and crucified. Why? Humankind has a Sin problem that separates us from having a relationship with God. Romans 3:23. Yes we sin and fall short of God’s perfection, but He had a plan. The most quoted verse in the Bible is John 3:16,

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Yes, Christmas took the place of other holidays like Yuletide, Saturnalia, and others; and yet for Christians, Christmas is all about the coming of Jesus, the Son of God, to earth as a baby.

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What does Christmas mean to you?