1 Corinthians 13 paraphrased…Love

LOVE: A PARAPHRASE OF 1 CORINTHIANS 13

If I talk a lot about God and the Bible and the Church, but I fail to ask about your needs and then help you, I’m simply making a lot of empty religious noise.

If I graduate from theological seminary and know all the answers to questions you’ll never even think of asking, and if I have all the degrees to prove it and if I say I believe in God with all my heart, and soul and strength, and claim to have incredible answers to my prayers to show it, but I fail to take the time to find out where you’re at and what makes you laugh and why you cry, I’m nothing.

If I sell an extra car and some of my books to raise money for some poor starving kids somewhere, and if I give my life for God’s service and burn out after pouring everything I have into the work, but do it all without ever once thinking about the people, the real hurting people-the moms and dads and sons and daughters and orphans and widows and the lonely and hurting-if I pour my life into the Kingdom but forget to make it relevant to those here on earth, my energy is wasted, and so is my life.

Here is what love is like–genuine love. God’s kind of love. It’s patient. It can wait. It helps others, even if they never find out who did it. Love doesn’t look for greener pastures or dream of how things could be better if I just got rid of all my current commitments. Love doesn’t boast. It doesn’t try to build itself up to be something it isn’t. Love doesn’t act in a loose, immoral way. It doesn’t seek to take, but it willingly gives. Love doesn’t lose its cool. It doesn’t turn on and off. Love doesn’t think about how bad the other person is, and certainly doesn’t think of how it could get back at someone. Love is grieved deeply (as God is) over the evil in this world, but it rejoices over truth.

Love comes and sits with you when you’re feeling down and finds out what is wrong. It empathizes with you and believes in you. Love knows you’ll come through just as God planned, and love sticks right beside you all the way. Love doesn’t give up, or quit, or diminish or go home. Love keeps on keeping on, even when everything goes wrong and the feelings leave and the other person doesn’t seem as special anymore. Love succeeds 100 percent of the time. That, my friend, is what real love is!

–David Sanford

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What is Love from the mouths of children

WHAT IS LOVE?

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4-8 year olds, “What does love mean?” The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore so my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.” Rebecca – age 8.

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.” Billy – age 4

“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.” Karl – age 5

“Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.” Chrissy – age 6

“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.” Terri – age 4

“Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is okay.” Danny – age 7

“Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.” Emily – age 8

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” Bobby – age 7

“If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.” Nikka – age 6

“There are two kinds of love, Our love. God’s love. But God makes both kinds of them.” Jenny – age 8

“Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day.” Noelle – age 7

“Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.” Tommy – age 6

“During my piano recital I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.” Cindy – age 8

“My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.” Clare – age 6

“Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.” Elaine – age 5

“Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Brad Pitt.” Chris – age 7

“I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.” Lauren – age 5

“When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.” Karen – age 7

“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.” Jessica – age 8

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a twist on the Prodigal Son

FATHER, GIVE ME MY SHARE OF THE ESTATE

 

A long time ago, Jesus old a story about what it is like to come home.

Specifically, what it’s like to come home to our Father in heaven with no more qualifications than that we’ve made a mess of our own lives.

What would God say to us?  What would his attitude be?

In one of Jesus’ most familiar parables (Luke 15: 11-32), the younger of two sons demands, “Father, give me my share of the estate.”  It’s hard to overstate the edginess of this request. The Middle Eastern audience who first heard Jesus’ story must have been appalled.  This Jewish boy has committed the ultimate sin.

 

In so many words he has said, “Father, drop dead.  You’re no good to me alive.  All I want from you is your money that will be mine when you’re gone.  So, if you don’t mind, let’s pretend you’re gone now.”  It’s hard to imagine a more painful or insulting injury to any parent.

With a breaking heart, the father realizes that his son has no desire to be in relationship with him.  So he complies.  He divides up the estate.

The boy takes off into the wide, wide world.  According to the Bible this describes the relationship that all of us have with God.  All of us have said, in one way or another, “Father, I wish you were dead.  You crowd me.  My life would be so much happier if you weren’t hovering over everything I think and say and do.”

 

What does God do when we relate to him like that?  He says, “Go.  Go out and see if life is really happier when you are out of relationship with me.”

Author H.J. Duffy remembers when his teenage son was so excited to try out his new surfboard that he plunged right into the breakers, ignoring the warning flags that had been posted for dangerous surf.  Immediately the booming voice of the lifeguard rang out: “You are an inexperienced surfer.  Return to shore.”

Humiliated, the boy returned.  He asked the lifeguard how he knew he was a beginner.  “That’s easy.  You’ve got your wetsuit on backwards.”

God’s love is such that he doesn’t stand on the seashore of our lives and shout into a megaphone, “You are an inexperienced, completely ill-prepared rebel.  Return home at once.”  Incredibly, God lets us go.

 

At first things go brilliantly for the boy in Jesus’ story.  He has the time of his life.  But then he runs through all of his assets in “the far country.”  As scholar Kenneth Bailey observes, his ATM card is suddenly rejected.  His friends disappear.  Jesus assigns to him the ultimate nightmare job for a Hebrew boy – feeding pigs.

The boy gradually “comes to his senses,” as Jesus puts it.  He wakes up.  He realizes how far away he is from where he started.  He not only grasps in his head but he feels in his heart and his gut his separation from his father.  He longs to go home.

But what will his dad do if he ever shows his pig-feeding face around town again?

 

That would be a no-brainer in first century Jewish society.  The typical father would beat the living tar out of such a disrespectful son, as a warning to every other boy in the neighborhood.  It would be a kind of community service beating.

 

But this boy wonders, in his heart of hearts: is there a possibility that my dad will take me back?  He’s haunted by the last look that he saw on his father’s face.

 

He begins to formulate a plan.  He will play Let’s Make a Deal.  Certain that his relationship with his father is broken beyond repair, he rehearses a little speech.  “Dad, I don’t even deserve a cot in the barn.  I know I can’t be your son any more.  Could I at least be one of your minimum wage workers?”

He leaves the distant country and begins walking in the direction of home, no doubt burdened by the thought of trying to clean his own slate for the rest of his life.

The last thing he suspects is that his own father, the one he has wounded, is about to clean that slate for him.

 

Luke 15:20 tells us, “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

 

The astonishing detail is that the father runs.  Dignified gentlemen in the time of Jesus walked through their paces slowly.  To run meant to show your ankles to the neighbors.  To do that was to risk ridicule.

 

This Father could care less.

 

While we ourselves are still a long way off – even while we remain in our distant countries of doubt and anger and hopelessness – God the Father is waiting.

What is it like to go home?

God the Father will run to meet us.

 

— Authored by Glenn McDonald

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Women’s Seminar on love and marriage

A group of women were at a seminar on how to live in a loving relationship with their husbands.

The women were asked, “How many of you love your husband?” All the women raised their hands.

Then they were asked, “When was the last time you told your husband you loved him?”

Some women answered … “today,” a few … “yesterday,” and some … “can’t remember.”

The women were then told to take out their cell phones and text their husband – “I love you, Sweetheart”

Next the women were instructed to exchange phones with one another and read aloud the text message they received in response to their message.

Below are 12 hilarious replies. If you have been married for quite a while, you understand that these replies are a sign of true love. Who else would reply in such a succinct and honest way?

~ Who IS this?

~ Eh, mother of my children, are you sick or what?

~ Yeah, and I love you too. What’s wrong?

~ I don’t understand what you mean?

~ What now? Did you wreck the car again?

~ Am I dreaming?

~ Don’t beat about the bush, just tell me how much you need?

~ What did you do now?

~ If you don’t tell me who this message is actually for, someone will die.

~ Your mother is coming to stay with us, isn’t she?

Kinda tugs at the heart, doesn’t it?

today’sTHOT============================

I don’t mean to brag, but I finished my 14-day diet food in 3 hours and 20 minutes.

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Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is approaching.

 

It’s time to buy a padlock, book a flight to Paris with your true love, and be “love-locked” happily ever after.

That’s what tens of thousands of couples have been doing for the better part of the last decade in the City of Light.

Sweethearts stand on one of the bridges over the River Seine that winds its way through Paris.  They write their names on a padlock, hook it to the wire mesh alongside the protective railing, then close it tight.

Then they throw the key into the river.

 

With that they joyfully embrace in the ardent hope that they have just secured their love forever.

Romantics think it’s an awesome new ritual.  Parisian civic authorities have been considerably less enchanted.  Three years ago, citing public safety (and complaints of visual pollution) they began to remove many of the locks.

Officials estimate that lovers have left 45 tons of padlocks, bike locks, antique locks, chain locks, and handcuffs to bridge railings, wire-mesh panels, lamps, signs, and even some of Paris’ famous riverside sculptures.

Not to mention the incredible number of keys that now litter the bottom of the Seine.

 

It’s fair to wonder if a lock is the ideal symbol for shared affection.  Or whether love is rekindled every time someone sighs, “Honey, isn’t it great that our names are on those handcuffs attached to the Pont des Arts?”

 

French philosopher Alain Badiou gently points out that true love is not a prison or a possession.  “True lovers protect each other’s freedom.”

But lovers also become anxious.  We fear change.  No wonder we’re drawn to rituals that offer the promise of stability.  Wouldn’t it be great to lock things down?

According to the new love-lock tradition, love will last as long as that lock stays fastened.

 

Most couples, however, are discovering that staying together requires a lot more effort than plunking a key into a river.

Author Ernest Becker coined the term Apocalyptic Marriage – the illusion that if I just find that one perfect person, my true soul mate, then everything broken in my life will be repaired.  Everything messed up in my heart and my head will be healed.

There’s just one problem with that idea:  now my partner has to be God.  And you thought coming up with the perfect Valentine’s Day gift was going to be tough.

 

No one can possibly live up to such an expectation.

 

Human love relationships are wonderful.  They provide the gifts of companionship, support, and security.  But only God can help us discover our true identity, find hope for the future, and begin to grasp the meaning of life.

Getting “love-locked” with another person is a great way to say, “I’m in this with you forever!”

But only God can say, “I actually know what forever means.”

And God will never change his mind about loving us.

— Authored by Glenn McDonald

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Squirrels in Church

Three churches in town were overrun with squirrels.

After much prayer, the elders of the first church determined that the animals were predestined to be there. Who were they to interfere with God’s will?  They did nothing, and the squirrels multiplied.

The elders of the second church, deciding that they should not harm any of God’s creatures, humanely trapped the squirrels and then set them free outside of town.  Three days later the squirrels were back.

The third church succeeded in solving the squirrel problem. The elders simply baptized the squirrels and registered them as members of the church.  Now they only see the squirrels on Christmas and Easter.

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the Best Gifts of the Season

THE BEST GIFTS THIS SEASON:

 

To a Friend – Loyalty

To an Enemy – Forgiveness

To your Boss – Service

To your Child – A good example

To your Father – Honor

To your Mother – Gratitude and Devotion

To your Spouse – Love and Faithfulness

To Yourself – Respect

To All Men – Charity

To God – Your Life!!

 

— Author Unknown

 

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Spirituality Debate…

I want to say something about the spirituality debate. You don’t believe in God? That’s ok, but why is it so important for many of you to mock those of us that do? If we’re wrong, what have we lost when we die? Nothing! How does our faith in Jesus Christ bring you any harm? You think it makes me stupid? Gullible? Ignorant? That’s ok too. How does that affect you? If you’re wrong your consequence is far worse. I would rather live my life believing in God and serving Him, and find out I was right, than not believe in Him and not serve Him, and find out I was wrong. Then it’s too late.
Ain’t no shame in my game! I believe in Jesus Christ. He said deny me in front of your friends & I will deny you in front of my Father.
WordPress Challenge:
If you’re not ashamed copy & paste it! God is Good!!!!!!
I’m willing to do this…how about you?

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Twas’ the night…..

TWAS THE NIGHT JESUS CAME

Twas’ the night Jesus came and all through the house,

Not a person was praying, not one in the house.

The Bible was left on the shelf without care,

for no one thought Jesus would come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed,

not once ever kneeling or bowing their head.

And Mom in the rocking chair with baby on her lap,

was watching the Late Show as I took a nap.

When out of the east there rose such a clatter,

I sprang to my feet to see what’s the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

tore open the shutters and lifted the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

but Angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.

The light of His face made me cover my head,

it was Jesus returning just like He’d said.

And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,

I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life that in which he held in his hand,

was written the name of every saved man.

He spoke not a word as he searched for my name,

when He said “it is not here”

I hung my head in shame. The people who’s names had been written with love,

He gathered to take to his Father above.

With those who were ready He rose without a sound,

while all the others were left standing around.

I fell to my knees but it was too late,

I waited too long and thus sealed my fate.

I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight,

Oh, if only I’d know that this was the night.

In the words of this poem the meaning is clear

the coming of Jesus is now drawing near.

There’s only one life and when comes the last call,

We’ll find out that the Bible was true after all……..

— Author Unknown

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Christmas Peace

QUIET MY HEART, LORD

Quiet my heart, Lord,

and show me a Christmas

as peaceful and calm as

an old cattle shed…

Slow down my pace, Lord,

and help me seek Jesus,

the Son of Your Love,

in a humble straw bed…

Steady my spirit, Lord,

call me from chaos

in simple surrender

to pray and rejoice…

Breakthrough the busy,

too-bright celebration,

and whisper your message,

“Be still…hear my voice…”

Be still, and know that I am God…”

Psalm 46:10

— Author Unknown

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