Today was one of those "profound" days, atleast for me anyway.
You know how sometimes you can almost hear the audible voice of God in your ear, and it's not so silent! In church this morning that is just what I heard.
Church was awesome! It was both baptism and communion, profound enough in themselves. But the message from Pastor Rick really struck a cord with me and has been with me the entire day.
He spoke on the 7 steps to a peaceful life; wouldn't we all love that kind of life, the sometimes seemingly unattainable! I want to run through each one in short version as it is my prayer that someone out there will be touched as much as I was. All of it is based on Romans 12:16-21
1. live in harmony with others
he challenged us to go after resolution aggressively! Kind of like a pitbull on a porkchop - he will not let go! Don't walk away without resolution, no matter how long it takes.
2. be humble
our pride causes our ears to stop listening. We have to stoop low to rise above. God promises that we will be exaulted.
3. be positive
we all know it is way too easy to see the negative in someone else, to focus on what they don't do rather than on what they do do. We are to encourage each other and focus on their strengths.
4. be peaceable
we should "cut the crap" (pardon the language) and get to solving the problem. Don't wait for the other person to make the move, it depends on us! The Bible says "blessed are the peacemakers..."
5. be forgiving
let the other person, the one who hurt us, know that they owe us nothing, they are forgiven. After all, didn't Jesus forgive us from things that we have done that are much worse?
6. be aggravating
(this took some definition for me)
the old saying "kill them with kindness" really does work. Bake a cake for the person who hurt you and see what happens, you'll be surprised.
7. be strong
overcome evil with good, now that takes strength. Be determined to live in harmony with others, no matter what it costs us!
Psalm 133 says the Lord commands His blessings to those who live in harmony with others. I don't know about you but I sure would enjoy the Lord's blessings in my life!
The greatest annointing comes to us when we are at our lowest level. We should all be fighting for the lowest position, the one of the lowest service, rather than our usual climbing the ladder to the top.
This entire lesson really hit home with me and I pray it does the same for some of you. Living in harmony with others sounds all easy but think about it --- it's one of the toughest things we do and we are challenged by it numerous times each day. It's not easy to be kind to the person who hurt us so deeply, it's not easy to overlook those seemingly little annoyances from our spouse, especially when we must overlook them day after day after day. But let's all try to focus on the positive things in each other, the good things. We may have to look a bit deeper in some people or on some days but let's atleast make a vow to ourselves that we will try!!! That's half the battle right there!
By mid afternoon our volunteer who drove all the way from Virginia by himself arrived for his week of working with us. It took him 2 days and a wrong turn landing him someplace called Pineapple, Alabama but he made it! We look forward to having him with us this week. He, Diane and Steven will be a team for the week and tomorrow we will begin a new house, Steven's house. Steven wants to volunteer with us for the summer while he is off of college and we thought starting at his and his mother's house would be awesome. They will be putting insulation in the walls and hanging sheetrock. Steven and his mother were some of the more fortunate ones, they only had to tear out their sheetrock on the bottom half of all the walls. Now will come the challenge of matching the new with the old. With any luck they should be able to complete the hanging, finishing and hopefully the priming and painting this week. Keep them in your prayers.
I thank you for coming along on this journey with Monty and I. We are so blessed to be working in this relief effort and even more blessed to have you keeping us in your prayers. Be sure and stay tuned as this will, no doubt, be a blessed week with many surprises. Every week is!!
Until tomorrow....love to all....Susan and Monty
PS. Thanks Stacy, it was nice talking to you today! I love you!