Do you speak love fluently?…

I realized in high school that I did not have a knack for learning a foreign language.  I was required to take two years of a language that was not my own in order to graduate.  I decided to take French.  I quickly learned that I did not have the patience it was going to take to master this language.  I wanted to be able to have normal conversations.  Unfortunately, the curriculum was not set up that way.  I was taught individual words, but the teacher focused more on phrases.  Things I would need to know if I traveled to France like…  “My name is…, What time is it…I would like _____ to eat, Where is the rest room?” I found this very boring.  I managed to make it through the first year, but if I don’t use something, I loose it, and I did not use the French I learned over the summer.  I mean…who was I going to talk to?  And what if I wanted to say something other than the phrases I had learned?

Year two came along and I realized I was in big trouble the first day of French II class.  The teacher was not speaking English at all.  I had no idea what she was saying.  Honestly I think this was really unfair…shouldn’t this be saved for French III?  I guess she figured it was the best way for us to “catch on.”  I was totally lost.  I was sitting at my desk one day with a bad headache.  I guess my teacher could tell something was wrong so she asked me something in French.  I thought she asked if I had a headache so I responded “Oui – yes.”  She responded in English, “I should fail you for that.”  Uh oh.  “Why?” I asked. “Because I asked you if you were bored and you said YES!”  oops. (smile).

Unfortunately, today there is another language that many do not understand.  It’s the language of love.  I have learned over this last year that people do the cruelest things in the name of love.  The results of this misuse of love, or lack of love, are tragic.  If Jesus’ greatest command to us is to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40), don’t you think we should learn how to love better??

…Especially as Christians…

…sadly we are failing.

There have been 5 suicides of LGBT youth in the last 15 days.  In addition, there was one suicide attempt, and one close call (someone found a note and was able to stop the person in time).  And these are just the ones I know about.  I’m sure, unfortunately, there were others.  The unnerving part of all of this to me is that these kids report in suicide notes that they are leaving this world because of the rejection they feel from their families and from the church. This makes my heart hurt more than I can even put into words. At times I find it hard to even catch my breath at the thought of it.  I’ve been grieving these last two weeks for these young souls who felt life was too hard to endure.

Where is the love that Jesus speaks of?

Despite the bullying, discrimination, and hate that they experience, the LGBT people that I have met are some of the most loving people that I know.  Their ability to forgive and love the people who hurt them the most amazes me.  We could all learn something from them.

Do you know how to truly love?  Could you make improvements?  Is there more you could learn?

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Love matters…but how we love matters even more.  Learn how to love fluently…

Three little words…

I didn’t know three little words could have such a strong impact.  I was scrolling through my email when I saw them. Tears immediately filled my eyes. It was an email notification of a blog post from Holley Gerth and this picture was displayed in the email viewing pane:

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You can read Holley’s post here.

And then God…

I was glad it didn’t say, “but then God.”  To me that would have been like saying, “I’m sorry, but…”, or “I have feelings for you, but…”  The “but” takes away what is mentioned in the beginning of the sentence.

Saying, “but then God…” would take away whatever struggle came before it, and I wouldn’t want that to happen.  The struggles I’ve been through have shaped me into the person that I’ve become.  I don’t ever want to forget them because it reminds me where I’ve been, how far I have come, and where I am going.

And then God…those words fill me with hope.  It’s exciting to think about what God is going to do.

I’ve had many “and then God” moments in my life.  There are also some things that I’m still waiting for the “and then God” moment to happen.  It may not happen the way that I think it will, and it may not happen at all. I’m ok with that because in the end He knows what is best for me.

The best example I have of that is the journey He has placed me on these last almost 8 years.  What I thought was the best for me, for my family…turned out not to be the best at all.  My faith was hanging by a thread, my child was surviving by a thread…AND THEN GOD…

The world is hurting folks.  Step out of your comfort zone and love….and then God…