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Love is patient and kind

Live Intentionally

Live Intentionally

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

4Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never ends.

This is true love.

We talk about love all the time, don’t we? “How do you know if it’s true love?” “How can I show my love?” “Does he love me? I wanna know! How can I tell if he loves me so?”

The point is that love is a verb. It is an action word – a doing word. And the person doing the loving is YOU!

11 practical ways to demonstrate love in action:

  1. Be patient. Don’t expect the person you love to change over night – or at all.
  2. Be kind. Cutting words and cold sarcasm are destructive weapons, destroying souls in their wake.
  3. Don’t envy, and don’t boast. Don’t crave what someone else has. Don’t begrudge them their success or joy. And don’t rub their noses in yours.
  4. Remember that you’re no better than anyone else. Don’t be arrogant. No one is inferior to you. Don’t be rude. No one deserves that. Ever. And it demeans you to behave that way.
  5. Don’t demand your own way. What are you? A Four year old? Since when is getting your own way the best thing – even if you ARE right?
  6. Don’t be irritable or resentful. I battle with this. I resent what I perceive as me having to do everything while Papa Bear seems to me to be doing nothing. It makes me irritable, cold and mean. And then it makes me ashamed when I realise all he has done, and how I have allowed in self-pity like a petulant child. I could save myself a lot of mojo-sapping negativity by simply applying this principle. Just don’t let it get to you. It’s never worth it.
  7. Don’t celebrate poor responses to life’s trials. That means “don’t laugh at your girl friend’s mean joke about her useless husband.” It’s not funny, it’s not kind, and it does no one any good. Even if it is accurate and witty.
  8. Rejoice in the truth. The truth is, you love that person because God loves that person. And because God loves you. Not because they (or you!) deserve it. We deserve nothing. We get infinite riches. That’s definitely something to rejoice about in my book!
  9. Take it (you can, and you must); endure it. Loving someone difficult may be hard. Bear it. You can bear it, I promise you. Endure what you face now. It will be worth it in the long run. It really, truly will.
  10. Believe in the person you love; hope for the results you desire. No matter what they do to erode your faith, believe. Hope for the change and, infinitely more importantlybe the change. It doesn’t start anywhere but with YOU. And even if you never see the future you’ve been hoping for, your faith will be counted for righteousness.
  11. Never give up. Hang in there when it’s tough. Hold on tight to your Saviour: He is your anchor. Stay the course and look ahead: the light IS there, no matter how far the end of your tunnel may seem to be.

I want to run this race and be proud of my results. I want to run well. I want to run to the end. I don’t need to be happy as much as I need to be successful. Sometimes, those two things are not the same thing; sometimes they don’t go together. Sometimes, doing the right thing, taking the high road, behaving with dignity and grace, makes you very sad indeed. But it is right. Not in the self-justifying sense of the word, but in the absolute sense of the word. No one can doubt that self-sacrifice for the good of another human being is noble and – well, good. So do it.

John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

So lay down your life. Give it up. Give up the small dreams you may have nurtured for a fairy tale ever after, and choose instead the glory of a rich, hard-won eternity. You don’t need a half-life when you give your all to get it all, and gain a life along the way.

Live intentionally. Live your best.

– By Vanessa Davies – daily discovering Joy on a Shoestring.

If you’ve decided to live your best, please let me know. Did you start today? Last week? Last year? If not, what’s holding you back? I’d love to hear from you.

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Posting on walls

We’re so used to posting on Facebook walls that it’s become part of our social lexicon to talk about writing on walls – as if it’s a normal, natural part of what we do now. Which, I suppose, it is. My mom is a talented mural and fine artist, and always joked that she had a hard time telling her kids (and grandkids) not to draw or write on walls when it was how she made her living! Fortunately she is now a full-time teacher and telling kids (whether her own or others) what to do and what not to do is becoming easier and easier every day :).

Recently, I have been overtaken by a desire to draw and paint. I can’t really explain it, since I have an extremely creative job, requiring masses of design and writing work. Even so, the urge to pick up a pencil, sketch an object, then bring it to life with a few well-placed brush strokes is becoming harder and harder to resist.

Sadly, I have had very little practice. The truth is that I have next-to-no technical skill whatsoever. I know I can see, which all the best artists (and their books) tell me is the main ingredient. I know this because I can easily copy most line drawings. I have a good sense of colour (which is a necessity for my work), and I can shade and light images without a hassle. The problem comes with technique. I have no idea which paint or brush to use for which application, nor how they should be applied. I have a lot of experience with fabric paint, but recently discovered that I’d been doing it wrong all along. (Too much water. I like a soft, graded look, rather than the traditional, flat, bold colour look associated with fabric painting).

Part of this is the result of inappropriate or non-existent materials. I don’t have oil paints or accessories. I only have cheap, art-set-y water colours and the brushes that come with those. Actually, I do have some nice brushes, truth be told. I have acrylic paints but no training in their use. And I don’t have nice paper.

What I do have is an abundance of walls and a gracious landlord.

I’ve been promising my girls a mural since before they were born. My talented mom had created one for their room when I was pregnant with Goldilocks, but that room (and my mom) is 600km away now. The painting took some time to complete so it’s never been practical to ship the artist down for a redo – especially with us moving all the time. And besides, wanted to paint. Recently the girls and I decided (rather spontaneously) to use the inside cover of one of their favourite books, All These Things, as the source material for their wall. And this weekend, sneakily, while they were in the bath, I painted it onto the wall. What fun!

All these things: title page

All these things: title page

Love is kind and patient. Never jealous, boastful, proud or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick-tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful and trusting. Love never fails.

~ 1 Cor. 13:4-8

I know that acrylic paint is probably not the right thing for this purpose, and I’m sure a mural should never take just an hour-and-a-bit to complete. But the girls absolutely loved it, and I felt thoroughly satisfied. Red even claimed that she would feel “much more comforted at night” looking at this picture. As the English say, “Bless”.

I think the words will remind all of us of what is truly important in life.

(Now the girls want their own art on their bedroom walls, too. What shall I do? Watch this space to see how it all unfolds …)

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