Thursday, November 19, 2015

Compassion for Each Other

Compassion. It's a beautiful word. And a more beautiful idea. Until we start fighting over the right way, the only way, even the Jesus way to show compassion.

With the confluence of the Syrian refugee crisis, the Islamist terrorist attacks in Paris and other cities, and the ever-present U.S. presidential race, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been filled with people's comments, shares, opinions, diatribes, and judgments on what our response as Christians should be. 

Some offer this information with humble spirits, and respect that other Jesus-loving people might read the same verses in the same Bible and come to very different conclusions as to how to live out compassion. I am grateful for these, even when my own conclusions differ from theirs.

Others appear to question the love, faith, and motives of any who disagree with them. This makes me sad, because as Christians we should seek to unite, to inspire, and to love even other Christians with whom we disagree! We are family, not enemies, yet I sometimes see more respect, compassion, and love for those not yet in the family of Jesus-followers than for those who are but who have different opinions.

Jesus did say to love the homeless, the hungry, and the foreigner. And He said to love our enemies. But He also told us to love each other. We need to do both of these well if we want the world to see that He is the life-changing Savior we know him to be. We need to help encourage each other in love as we navigate what is wise and compassionate. Jesus said that the world would know that we are His and that He is the Son of God by our love for each other in John 17.  I want my interactions with other believers, especially those who have different convictions, to be steeped in love. I want the watching world to see that the Jesus in both of us is bigger than our disagreements. I want them to see love and respect and compassion for my fellow believers as well as for those who do not share my faith. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

What I Learned in October

After blogging for (almost) 31 days straight, I took a day off. But that doesn't mean I didn't learn so much in October. Here are some of the things I learned:

1. I can blog (almost) every day. I participated in the 31 Day Blogging Challenge and only missed two days! But I realized that thinking of something new on the fly every day is hard, as the month went on, my posts became shorter. Although I don't plan on blogging every day now that the challenge is over, I do think this experience has helped jump start the regular blogging habit. And I realized that if I do another 31 day challenge, I'm going to choose a topic that I can plan out somewhat. (I already have several in mind.)

2. Gilmore Girls is returning! Netflix will be producing and streaming 4 new episodes! I'm looking forward to catching up with Lorelai and Rory.

3. Working out on our new elliptical is the hardest exercise I have ever done! I'm not new to working out. I can even run over a mile and a half. Without stopping! But the first time I worked out on the elliptical, I had to rest after 10 minutes. I've since worked up to about 30 minutes at a time, but I'm usually counting down the minutes toward the end of that time!

4. I have a better day if I can get out and walk or run before anything else. I don't know if it's the exercise or the being outside, but I feel more awake and have more energy. I'm going to have to try jumping on the elliptical for a few minutes on rainy days and see if that also affects my morning energy level.

5. Rugby. When I turned on our local TV station to check the weather, they were showing a rugby match. It was fascinating. And violent. And those guys wore no pads or helmets. We saw several players bleeding. I looked up some information about the game, so now I have a very basic understanding of a game that I knew nothing about before today.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down

The rain rain rain came down down down today.

Our church's Trunk or Treat was cancelled. So we had a relaxing day of staying indoors, and when Hannah went to a costume party, the rest of us dressed like couch potatoes and watched the end of the fourth season of Doctor Who.