You are Welcome. Enjoy your Stay. Leave Money. Then Leave.

After graduating college with a degree in Journalism, we all went our ways out into the world. A friend went to a small newspaper in a very small town in Oregon. She knew she’d be better welcomed if she bought a car there, rather than flaunting California license plates, or tags as we say in Georgia. I heard from her some months later. Indeed, she was well welcomed in that town. People would stop and talk to her on the street, in stores, any where she went. Once. After the first encounter, the person would snub her upon second meeting. She said the first “welcoming” was more of an interview. And she didn’t pass the test. Eventually she moved home to her own small California town.

Molly Simpson, in her post Emotional Abuse and the Church, speaks about the way some folks feel abused in their own churches. She offers great insight to folks in dealing with such abuse, while sparing criticism of the churches themselves.

There’s a story that is said to have taken place back during the “Jesus” movement of the early 1970s. There were a lot of young folks coming to home churches where they didn’t sit in pews and wear Sunday-go-to-meeting cloths. One day a fellow accustom to such home church groups saw people heading into Sunday service at a large, traditional church. He thought about going, made up his mind to do so, and headed up the steps. The congregation was seated, and it was a full house. With no seats left, he sauntered up the aisle in his flip-flop sandals clapping. When he got to the front, he simply sat cross-legged on the floor. So. You can imagine the reaction of the congregation. They were simple aghast. Soon an usher, dressed in a three-piece suit and well-polished shoes, came up the aisle toward the disheveled young man. The faces of the congregation said it all. “That’s right. Toss that fellow oughta here!” To the amazement of the congregation, the usher came up to the young man, sat down next to him, and crossed his legs, too.

Molly points out, “referring to Galatians 5:14, “The whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Every time someone approaches us, we have the opportunity to love them as Christ did.” That’s what the usher did. That’s not what the people of that small town did when they “welcomed” my friend and reporter. That was a false love. For love, as Molly also points out, calls for us to carry the burdens of our brothers and sisters.

Numbers-6-24-26 - 1

Random Acts. . .

And what exactly was Lot doing in Sodom, anyway? Was he persevering with Random Acts of Kindness? Did he try to organize various community service projects? Lot, along with his immediate family, were the only ones found worth salvaging out of the slime pit of iniquity that had become Sodom. It was so bad there that when strangers came to visit, the town folk wanted to show them a little Sodom Hospitality–from which we take the modern word sodomize. Oh, sure, not everyone wanted to have sex with the Lord’s Search and Rescue Patrol. Those that didn’t probably encouraged them though. With things so bad, couldn’t Lot have seen the handwriting on the wall, so to speak?

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

Matthew 24:9-22

Lot didn’t flee Sodom. Perhaps he didn’t know things were that bad. Perhaps he thought he still could do good in Sodom, that it was still daylight there for him to serve G-d. Obviously it was night in Sodom. But G-d, being faithful to His, rescued Lot, pulling Lot’s head buried in the desert sand where he’d simply ignored the signs of the times. [Too many tired cliches–sorry-O.]

To stay; to flee. Which is most noble? Does it make a difference? Think about it, please. [Selah]

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .

Random Acts. . .

Repent! Jesus is coming soon
Repent! Jesus is coming soon (Photo credit: Ben Sutherland)

Iniquity abounds in this world in which we reside. Iniquity is no longer a random act; it seems it is the norm. We must know we are merely strangers here. We must believe in our hearts that we are new creatures, reborn through Y’shuaJesus’s redemptive act of enduring kindness. While we walk, through various trials and tribulations, the Spirit of G-d is with us, beside us, within us.

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

2 Thes 2:7-10

Iniquity is also referred to as “lawlessness.” While it means having no law, it refers to the spirit of these days in which we live. For it is in these days that there is a turning away from G-d and G-d’s Law. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that while there is this spirit of lawlessness in the world, it is contained until G-d chooses to let it completely go. I pointed out the move here in Georgia to encourage “Random Acts of Kindness” and the various community service projects that are undertaken. These, promoted by both Christians and non-Christians, are ways in which G-d keeps some light shining. Y’shuaJesus said to work while it is still day, for in the night, no work can be done.

This all makes me think about the search party going into Sodom to seek out any righteous that may be there, and if things are truly as bad as rumor had it.

And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

Genesis 18:20-23

G-d didn’t find enough salt in Sodom, so took Lot and his family out, then destroyed the place. It serves as an example to us as iniquity continues to rise and the act of being considerate, just being nice, decline. We are salt the preserves even as things around us fall apart slowly. For there are still some that may hear the Spirit calling their names, and accept the promise of life, abundant live, today and forever.

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .

Random Acts of Kindness

The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar may be aw...
The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar may be awarded to those that show a pattern of going the extra mile to be nice, without being asked. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the past several years a television station in Atlanta, Georgia, has encouraged “Random Acts of Kindness” throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area. This month, Georgia’s governor has taken up the cause, and established a day promoting “Random Acts of Kindness” throughout the entire state of Georgia.

A local high school has a community service requirement and each student must perform at least ten hours annually. While this is a formal policy of community service, for some time any student applying for universities and colleges, to be considered, must include on the application some form of community service activity.

There is root to these crys for “Random Acts of Kindness” and the promotion of activities that are of service within our communities. It is within the Law of G-d.

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

Luke 10:25-28

One word comes to my mind to sum up proper actions toward others, our “neighbors,” is considerate. Defined, it means: marked by or given to careful consideration, circumspect; and, thoughtful of the rights and feelings of others. To be considerate, we must put ourselves in the shoes of people around us. To do this, we must empathize with them. We must be sensitive to others’ needs.

But [There seems to always be a but. . . for thought stimulation] Is it possible to take this too far? Does being considerate entail being tolerant? If so, how far do we take it?

Let us consider. (Selah)

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .