Pastor Danita's Blog

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“Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents.

Mostly what God does is love you.

Keep company with him and learn a life of love.

Observe how Christ loved us.

His love was not cautious but extravagant.

He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us.

Love like that.”

(Ephesians 5:1-2 The Message translation)

What does it mean to “love like God loves”?  That sounds like a pretty hefty order for us.  And maybe it is in some cases.  But how would our lives change if we at least tried to make this our goal in life?

We talk about this week after week about loving God and loving our neighbors but do we really put it into action?  We want to quickly answer “yes, of course” but do we really? It is so much easier to do what is convenient and makes us feel good.  But “loving like God loves” pushes the envelope a little more than most of us are comfortable with.  This could be very disheartening.

So, what can/should we do?  I think when we go the extra mile in extending kindness to others we move closer to the goal.  Showing simple acts of kindness mean more than we could even imagine.  I have a sorority sister who always says “everyone we meet is fighting a battle that we may never know about, so be kind.”  I think if we adopt a similar attitude with everyone we encounter throughout our day, we will be working toward the goal of  “loving like God loves”. 

Now, realize that this will not be an easy task by any stretch of the imagination!!  Being kind in our world that is filled with so many negative ideas and actions is difficult at best.  But maybe that is where we need to start.  Instead of seeing what is bad in our world, we should focus on the good.  Changing our perspective on things can change our approach and our outcomes.  Instead of seeing problems and challenges we could see opportunities and possibilities.  Changing our perspectives can change our outcomes.

How about making a post-Easter goal of changing our attitudes of being kind and looking at challenges as possibilities?  Let’s try it!  It might move us closer to the goal of “loving like God loves”.

Prayer:  Loving God, you set the bar pretty high for us to reach but it is not impossible.  Help us as we change our perspective and see the opportunities and possibilities instead of challenges and problems.  We want to love others as you have taught us.  Do not stop showing us examples of how to do that!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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You planned something bad for me,

but God produced something good from it,

in order to save the lives of many people,

just as God’s doing today.”

(Genesis 50:20 The Common English translation)

When one has perfect vision it is considered to be 20/20.  Many people wear glasses and/or contacts to achieve this “perfect” vision.  But sometimes age and/or disease causes the vision to become less than the perfect 20/20. Near- or farsightedness creeps in, sensitivity to, glaucoma, cataracts or other challenges cause the eyesight to be less than the perfect 20/20.  All of them (and so many more that are not named here) are judged by the 20/20 standard that is considered “perfect”.

On our faith journey we might look at “perfect vision” from another perspective… possibly 50/20!!??  In the passage above from Genesis we hear the turning point in the story of Joseph and his brothers.  They had intended to do him harm because they did not appreciate his ability to see more of the “big picture of life”.  Joseph was labeled as a “dreamer” and his brothers concocted a plan to destroy him.  At this point in the story, a famine has taken over the land and destroyed everything.  As a last resort, the brothers go to a place where the inhabitant is known to be well off and well supplied and the famine has had little affect.  The brothers did not know that it was Joseph who held the key to their future!  Long story short, Joseph extends grace and mercy to his brothers with the affirmation in Genesis 50:20.

Life sometimes challenges our perspective, our patience and our peace of mind.  But if we step back and refocus we will find that we just need to take a look from a different perspective.  Adjust our vision so that it becomes 50/20 and sees God’s bigger picture instead of what is in front of us.  Life’s challenges are there to give us the opportunity to adjust our vision and focus on God.  Instead of striving for 20/20 vision that gives you a limited perspective that sometimes focuses on the challenge or the person(s) involved, try working toward the 50/20 vision that is God centered and God dependent.  It might change how you see things!!!

Prayer:  All-knowing God, when our lives are turned upside down and we are at the end of our rope, teach us to look to you and full depend on you for all things.  Give us 50/20 vision to see that others may intend bad for us, but you always are looking for the best for us!!  Amen.

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