Friday, August 15, 2008

THE HALLS ARE ALIVE WTH THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Hey Everybody,

This has got to be one of my favorite parts of the day. The kids are all taking a break from their books to get some music practice in. Danya is working on voice, David is working on his bass, and Derek is on the drums. I LOVE it! I remember when I went away to college, I would call home and my daddy would tell me how the house was like a morgue: no life! And I know the days of a quiet house will come. But for now, the halls are alive with the sound of their music, and I am relishing it!

I love the "music" of their laughter, too. And their friends. And their conversations--the picking and poking, the good-natured teasing--the dissecting of their youth pastor's latest lesson. It's all good.

Today our Bible study was on Luke 6:31-38. We read it in The Message. I'm posting it here because it is so rich, and I wanted to share it with you:

"Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that's charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.
"I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You'll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we're at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.
"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity."
Honestly, sometimes I can't even drive in Nashville traffic without "picking on people, jumping on their failures, and criticizing their faults." And those are people I don't even know! :) This message is foundational to the Christian walk; it's the Golden Rule restated. Treat others as you want to be treated. I want people to give me a break, to be easy on me, and treat me generously--with their time, their words, their grace. But it all takes effort, you know? I have to be about this in an intentional, purposeful manner. It will not be done flying along by the seat of my pants, so to speak. At the same time, I'll never forget the words of a pastor I once heard, who said, "Don't try harder, surrender more." So it is my effort combined with His Strength (Philippians 4:13).

And it is my listening to discover what it is that I still haven't handed over to the One I call the Lord of my life.

Y'all, I so want to live like this. I soooo want this to be the undergirding of my daily behavior. Just think, if we made this our goal for each day, then the halls and the hills would be alive with HIS MUSIC: mercy, grace, compassion, and love. Your thoughts?

1 comment:

Chatty Kelly said...

I love the pastor's quote "don't try harder, surrender more." I am a try-er, a do-er, a James gal (Faith without works is dead.). Every day of my life I try to earn the salvation that I have already been freely given.

This area of not judging is one that I am working on and God is showing me daily. Today at Walmart, the cashier had a "hard" face and wasn't overly friendly. So I was overly friendly in a true loving way - not sarcastic. When I left I said "I hope you have a nice day" and she said "Thank you, honey." That term of endearment from this harsh seeming women showed me I had misjudged her.

And how often do I have that hard look on my own face?????

Ah, the journey is long - but it is a beautiful journey!

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