>> Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Maybe you know someone who has serious character flaws. Maybe you are simply annoyed at the little quirks of a brother or sister from time to time. Maybe you don't know what I'm talking about because everyone in your life is simply pristine. Then again . . . maybe you are the difficult person! :) Whatever the case, people can tend to be like porcupines: to stay warm, they huddle and crowd together, but as a result, spiny quills poke, prod and prick all around. We can't get rid of difficult people. Difficult people are everywhere, so there's no point in running; all of us have a sin-nature. It does seem, however, that some have a few more quills than others. So what "warmth" can be found in that kind of company?
Several weeks ago, some friends and I were asked to teach on "Loving Difficult People". Actually, originally, the topic was Dealing with Difficult People, but as we began our study, we realized that was not the best title. We don't want to just deal with people; no, all who are are in our lives are there by the providence of God, for purposes far beyond our understanding and wisdom. So we want to do more than just deal with them, we want to love them as Jesus has loved us. After all, it was Jesus who loved us while we were the epitome of "difficult". We blithely spat in His face while He laid down His very life for us. That kind of love is supernatural, and people witnessing that love in us will know from where it comes. However, this is easier said than done! Some people are, well, really difficult. But if you have some of these really difficult people in your life, know that you also have a pile of potential for some really important lessons, too. Difficult people and potential for God's glory come hand-in-hand. After my friends shared some insights on how to love difficult people, I shared some of the blessings I have discovered in having difficult people in my own life.
Matthew 25:34-40 says, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee and hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
>> Sunday, September 4, 2011
>> Thursday, September 1, 2011
After their engagement, Andrea asked if I would be willing and available to be the pianist at her wedding in Wisconsin come August. She herself is an excellent pianist by no stretch of the imagination! But being the bride + the pianist was just not going to happen. I considered it a privilege to play for her, and looked forward to the opportunity. Moving to Iowa for the summer to intern with Bright Lights threw an unexpected hurdle into the equation, but little by little, the Lord brought it all together beautifully, and August 27th proved to be a beautiful, memorable day. Andrea had some great photographers lined up, but I just had to sneak in a shot or two during the reception to share with you all. :) I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking . . .