Monday, November 16, 2015

War and peace and LOVE

I haven't weighed in on any of the world tragedies that have happened lately for a few reasons. The first one is because I think it's ridiculous for people to use tragedies to make points and then divide over random details. The second reason is because I do not do very well with awful things happening in the world. It tends to make me depressed and to not be able to see any of the good happening anywhere. (Awful things should make us sad; but unlike some people, I can not handle the overbearing sadness I feel.) I do my best to stay up to date on world events without delving into too many of the details. 

Anyway, needless to say that all aspects of social media are absolutely filled with protests, outrage, anger, hate, sympathy, and every other imaginable emotion. There is no escaping it.

I just don't understand why people take the time to argue about anything when people everywhere are hurting and dying and dealing with the kind of grief most of us can't even fathom. I especially don't understand it when people (and especially Christians) post/share things calling for war and the killing of our so called enemies.

Islam has declared war on the world, and it’s high time we acknowledge it and respond decisively. Thursday, suicide bombers struck Beirut, killing at least 41 people and injuring 200 in the deadliest attack in the capital since the end of Lebanon’s civil war in 1990. Just over two weeks ago ISIS blew up the Russian jetliner taking 224 lives. Then the shocking and devastating Paris attacks. Let’s not forget what they have already done in America, killing nearly 3,000 people on 9/11 and then the carnage at the Boston Marathon in 2013. Add to these attacks the lone wolf Islamists who have followed the call to bring destruction and terror–it's a long list. As Alain Bauer, former security advisor to the French government, said on CBS 60 Minutes last night: We need to take ISIS at their word. I agree–they have told us what they plan to do. Their goal is world domination. They want to control us—they want to destroy us. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live under Islam. I will bow my knee to no one except Almighty God. The Bible says one day “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”–and that will include the knees of Islamists. 
We need to elect a president and leaders willing to take the fight to the Islamic State. We need to join forces with Russia who was our ally in WWII, France who is our oldest ally, Germany, and others to destroy this enemy. The French are already responding to Friday’s attacks, but it is going to take much more to stop them. 
Our world is in great peril. We need to pray for God’s mercy, His grace, and His protection. I pray that America will turn to God before it’s too late. Franklin Graham 

I've been aware the last few days that Franklin Graham has a very sad view of things when it comes to the world's latest events, but when I saw it show up in my news feed, I was taken aback even further. I didn't know how sad what he was saying actually was/is!

I responded by sharing this quote from Benjamin Corey:

We as Christians have been given the primary vocation of loving people.  
The Bible tells us that there is no fear in love, for love itself dispels all fear.  
So, when you find Christian leaders promoting fear of others and advocating we destroy others, such a leader is neither teaching nor demonstrating the Christian life.  
To return to the Christian life, we must return to our vocation: loving in such a way that dispels fear.
I can't think up a better way to sum everything up better than that right there. 

We need to follow Jesus' example and love no matter what. Unconditionally, without reserve, freely, to anybody and everybody. Mean people, kind people, people who do us wrong, people who are Christians, people who hate Christians, people who worship Jesus, and people who worship something/someone else. All-inclusive, all encompassing. 

This troubling thought keeps coming back to me: we don't want ourselves or our families or friends or anyone, really, to be being killed in mass terrorist attacks. We shrivel up in fear at the thought of that happening in our town or in our neighborhood. Yet...

We teach our children by example, by actions, by Facebook posts, etc. that this is the very thing we should do. Basically we are saying that we need to get them before they get us. Kill them off so they can't hurt us first. Better them than us. Better that misled daddy of 3 young children, than my daddy. Better that innocent family than my family. Better that peaceful town in the valley than my little town. 

We live in fear of being bombed out, but we teach our kids it's ok to go bomb another family out?

All in the name of what? Safety? Righting a wrong? Showing them what-for? 

No. All in the name of FEAR

When what we should be doing is everything in the name of LOVE. Not killing (for how can war/death be loving?) not harming, not paying back an "eye for an eye."

Because this: perfect love casts out fear. 

Please rethink the double standard you are setting up when you teach that war is ok, yet are scared that war will one day be a reality you have to live with up close and personal. Please rethink what you are saying when you teach that Jesus says it's ok to kill. PLEASE think about this!

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37–40) 
The most important is: ‘Listen, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29–31
Now an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you understand it?” The expert answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” (Luke 10:25–28
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don’t they? So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43–48
But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other as well, and from the person who takes away your coat, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your possessions back from the person who takes them away. Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you.If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to be repaid, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, so that they may be repaid in full. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to ungrateful and evil people. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:27–36) 
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.” (Matthew 25:37–40) 
I give you a new commandment—to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34–35) 
Just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you; remain in my love. If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete. My commandment is this—to love one another just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends.” (John 15:9–13) 
Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. If someone thinks he knows something, he does not yet know to the degree that he needs to know. But if someone loves God, he is known by God. (1 Corinthians 8:1–3
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I give over my body in order to boast, but do not have love, I receive no benefit.
Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will be set aside; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be set aside. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when what is perfect comes, the partial will be set aside. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:1–13
Stay alert, stand firm in the faith, show courage, be strong. Everything you do should be done in love. (1 Corinthians 16:13–14) 
Therefore, be imitators of God as dearly loved children and live in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. (Ephesians 5:1–2) 
For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law can be summed up in a single commandment, namely, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.”(Galatians 5:13–14) 
Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet,” (and if there is any other commandment) are summed up in this, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:8–10) 
But the aim of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5–6) 
But if you fulfill the royal law as expressed in this scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. (James 2:8) 
Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:27)
Above all keep your love for one another fervent, because love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8–9) 
For this is the gospel message that you have heard from the beginning: that we should love one another. (1 John 3:11
The one who does not love remains in death. (1 John 3:14
We have come to know love by this: that Jesus laid down his life for us; thus we ought to lay down our lives for our fellow Christians. (1 John 3:16
Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue but in deed and truth. (1 John 3:18–19
Now this is his commandment: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he gave us the commandment. And the person who keeps his commandments resides in God, and God in him. (1 John 3:23–24) 
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love. By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God resides in us, and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:7–12
And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has in us.God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him. By this love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because just as Jesus is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love. We love because he loved us first. (1 John 4:16–19)
Now, after all that, how can you argue against love?

  • “Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another.”
  • “Love never ends.”
  • “The greatest of these is love.”
  • “Everything you do should be done in love.”
  • “The only thing that matters is faith working through love.”
  • “Love is the fulfillment of the law.”
  • “The aim of our instruction is love.”
  • “Above all keep your love for one another fervent.”
  • “This is the gospel message that you have heard from the beginning: that we should love one another.”
  • “Now this is his commandment: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another.”
  • “God is love.”
  • “God is love.”

Please think about this. And please also check out  my husband's article on love as well. Be blessed, folks, and love on!

Product Review: 2016 Daily Planner

Sue Hooley has yet again brought homemakers everywhere a beautiful, easy-to-use daily planner for 2016.

I am very excited to be using the Homemaker's Friend Daily Planner for now the 3rd year in a row. (You can't tell I like them, can you?!)

This year's design is my favorite yet! Featuring green as the color scheme, the 2016 planner is beautiful and well laid out. The cover hosts a pleasant to look at picture of herbs growing on a counter top, which is a uniting theme throughout. The cover is soft and bendable (important to me!) and the pages are high quality and will hold up to the test of time.

Inside the planner are the dividers: year, month, week, tasks, projects, info, and shopping.

The last section is full of perforated blank shopping lists that are ready for you to tear out as you need them! The Info section is for you to keep names, numbers, and addresses that you need to remember. The Projects section is an ideal place to jot down ideas, goals, and things you want to work on. Generous blank writing space is provided for this! The Tasks section is a place for you to write chore lists, to-do lists, or really any kind of lists you need to stick around. The pages are split into long rows so that list-making is easier.

The Week section is the one you will be using the most. Each week gets it's own 2 page layout. When you have the book open and laying flat, you'll be able to see your week at a glance. This is my all-time favorite feature! Also included at the beginning of each week is a mini task list, a special verse for that week, and a small mini calendar highlighting the current week plus showing what the rest of the month looks like.

In the Month section of the planner you'll find full page calendars of each month. These are handy for looking ahead situations, jotting down birthdays, main events, etc.

In the Year section, you will find a fabulous full page display of a 2016 mini calendar followed by 2016 Dates to Remember. This is the ideal place to write birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Turn the page and you have the same thing for 2017 as well.

The newest thing I noticed in the 2016 planner is a lovely bit of mentoring from Sue herself right in the beginning. It's an article all about the benefits of menu planning. This is followed up by a break down of the planner and how to use each section. Very handy!

And guess what, folks? Starting now, you can take advantage of Quantity Pricing! This is just in time for Christmas - surely anyone in your life who is busy and enjoys being organized would appreciate this gift. It's the kind that keeps on giving!

3 or more $12.99
5 or more $11.99
10 or more $10.99
Free shipping on orders over $49 (USA only)

So what do you think? Do you use a daily planner? What are your favorite aspects of a planner? If you decide to check out Sue Hooley's work, be sure to let me know! 

Happy planning!