Can You Love With…?

…genuine affection, giving honor and respect to one another? Wednesday we’ll continue with Romans 12:10 in our series on humility. I hope you’ll join me because I was super excited to discover some amazing treasure that opened my eyes to see believers in a new way.

But until Wednesday, meditate on this scripture and ask yourself if you take delight in honoring others–not the others you enjoy spending time with and adore. What about those believers you don’t connect with or have hurt you? Ouch! 

The video by Phil Wicka-Wicka-Wickham hints to our Wednesday’s study! I kept the post short and will keep Monday posts short so you can take advantage of the video and have a minute or 2 of worship before you move on to your next blog post. 

What is your definition 
of genuine affection? 

I’m So Lazy…A Top Ten

Hey everyone! It’s Friday and I’m blogging, so you know what that means, right?

It’s Friday and I’m blogging.

Okay, really it means I’m back to my regular blogging schedule. Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Wednesdays are my longer blog post days because they are teaching/devotions. 

Summer is over. My daughter is now a freshman. I’m coping. Barely. My son is now in 4th grade and I can no longer help him in math. Okay, so I had a hard time with the 3rd grade math too, but…whatever. Point is: I’ve already sent a post-it to the teacher, twice, saying, “What exactly do you mean by this and can you jot down an example?” It’s true. 

I crawled onto my couch with my cup of coffee and stared out the back door, meditating on the summer and how it’s gone down. And I discovered just how flipping lazy I am. 

No really.

I am. In fact, I thought I’d break it down for you. Here are my top ten lazies:

 I’m so lazy…

 10. I text my daughter to bring me my iPad.

9. I cheer when it’s a cloudy day because I don’t have to actually use the energy to put my contacts in. 

8. I use a throw pillow to close the door when I’m in bed or at my desk, and I have terrible aim so 40% of the time I just throw a pillow out into the kitchen…then another…and another until eventually I’m out of pillows and I text my daughter to close my door–after picking up the pillows.

7. I set the coffee pot at night. Heaven forbid I have to toss in a few scoops and dig for the filter the morning of.

6. When my vacuum won’t get in the crevices by the wall or couch, I pick up the lint, Cheerios, or paper and toss it in the open area and then vacuum. Who has time to carry it to the trash? At least I’m vacuuming.

5. When the vacuum-dirt-holder-thing is full, I do not vacuum.

4. I lie in bed thirsty until my husband gets up for something and then ask him to bring me a bottle of water. (He keeps doing it so really that’s on him, right?)
3. I use spray lotion because it’s easier than pressing a pump and goes on lighter thus requiring less rubbing in.

2. I buy waterproof eyeliner so I don’t have to put it on the next morning when I go to the gym, because I don’t wanna be that lady–the one who puts on makeup to go to the gym.

1. And…I’m so lazy, I take my naps in the bathtub to kill two birds with one stone. Or that might be multi-tasking and saving time…Okay, scratch that.

The Real #1: I’m so lazy, I don’t let my children use the quilt on the back of the couch. I say it’s for looks, but I really just don’t want to fold it.  

And there yah have it, ladies and gents. My top ten lazies. Have a great weekend and see you on Monday when I talk about…

What’s something you do or don’t do simply because you’re
 just a lazy bum like me? 

photo credit: freedigitalphotos/Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee

Keep It Humble Part 2

Do you struggle with
pride? It comes in many forms. Week before last we started a series on how to
keep it humble. You can read the first part: Keep It Humble: Part 1
Turn to Romans 12 or
click it.
We’re going to look
at the middle of a humble pie. The first layer is the crust: Romans 12:2
“And do not be
conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that
you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
If you are not in
your Word, and I don’t mean the kind where you read out of obligation or skim
or forget to chew on and understand what you’re reading, then you can not renew
your mind. And if you want to know the acceptable and perfect will of God, you
have to have a renewing. Enough said. Let’s move on.
 Paul goes on to talk about using spiritual
gifts. But we’re going to pick up in verse 9. It’s too much meat to try to chew
and swallow down in one bite (refer to above statement about
chewing/understanding), so we’re going to pick it apart and savor it over the
next few weeks.
Scripture in small
bites, goes down not necessarily easier but more manageably. And isn’t that
what we want? To digest it so we can let it spread to all the parts of our
body, fueling it for service i.e. application.
Learn it. Love it.
Live it.
How can we keep it
love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”
This is the first
applicable step. We have to renew our mind–check up from the neck up. But we
renew our mind through the Word.
So here it is.
Love without
In the words of
Shakira from the Voice, “This is toughie one.”
do you think loving without hypocrisy means? What does it look like in action?
The KJV translation
says, “Let love be without dissimilation.” The Greek word for this is
“anypokritos” meaning undisguised,
Think over all your
relationships. Are you loving with total sincerity and no ulterior motives?
Really examine yourself!
So many times we
hear things like: I won’t go to church. They’re nothing but hypocrites. I can’t
serve in ministry, I feel like a
hypocrite. I really shouldn’t even be here.
Can I just say there
is a difference between knowing what is wrong and willfully doing it then
acting “religious” and working hard to do what is right, while
struggling with sin, weaknesses, and bad habits. The latter doesn’t make you a
hypocrite. It doesn’t make the church hypocrites. It makes us human. Flawed.
Far from perfect. It means we’re progress with lots of potential.
Are there hypocrites
in the church? Absolutely. But I believe there are far more Christians trying
to live this thing out called life and it won’t come without a few slips
ups…and even some big ones. Note* Take responsibility for them and apologize.
Never try to act like you have it all together. Even Paul made a point to say
he wasn’t an expert in all this, but he was looking toward the goal–Jesus–and
running forward, not looking back.
how do we love with sincerity? Free from ulterior motives? And how will that
humble us?
 If we cut our “self” out of the
equation by axing ulterior motives and insincerity, we’ve really just abolished
pride. Selfish pride. But how do we even do that? By nature, we are selfish. We
are prideful. We are looking for motives that benefit us.
We first: Abhor what
is evil.
A woman I love
dearly prayed over a women’s meeting and she said this, “Lord, let us love
what you love and hate what you hate.” Not WHO–what.
It’s easy to abhor
child molestation, physical abuse, torture, rape and murder.
What about adultery,
fornication and drunkenness in the forms of our favorite TV shows?
What about dropping
F bombs and taking the Lord’s name in vain in movies with the disguise of,
“Well, that’s life. It’s realistic.” Should it be entertaining?
That’s up to you and
your convictions. I’m not saying don’t watch it. I’m just tossing out some
questions for all of us, myself included.
How do we abhor
evil? Especially the evil that has become our normal? Our entertainment? Our
reality. When we’ve been desensitized through media outlets?
“Cling to what
is good.”
Cement yourself,
glue yourself, join with, fasten.
How do we know what
is good? Below are some scriptures to help us line up with good. To renew our
minds. Recalibrate.
Check up from the
neck up.
Life Application: This week, I challenge you
and myself to meditate on these scriptures. Examine our hearts and see where we
fall short. Where do we not line up with God? And then take the ax to what is
evil. Cling to what is good. Whatever you may decide to give up, fill it with
something good. Or it’ll just remain empty. Empty is not good. 😉 Do this for
one week. Just one. And see if your love becomes more sincere, less selfish.
See if the Holy Spirit sensitizes us to what is evil.
I’ll be honest,
there are things I’m going to have to give up that I find entertaining, but
they don’t bring glory to God nor line up with scripture. And I’ll be even more
honest, I don’t (at this second) really want to do it–ax it. Isn’t that sad?
But I will.
Because I want more
of Him. And less of me.
Because in the end,
I can’t take that entertainment with me.
Because this life is
all about bringing God glory.
And when I cut out
myself…that’s really what I want.
do you want? Will you take the weekly challenge to abhor evil and cling to what
is good? Let’s get focused.
Prayer: Lord,
we love you. We want to love what you love and hate what you hate. Open our
spiritual eyes to see what has become our normal that does not line up with
Your Word, Your goodness, and Your holiness. Give us the strength to turn away
from evil, to ax out things in our life that do not belong. And show us how to
fill our idle time with goodness. Convict us, Lord. Break our hearts for our
sin. For You are close to those with broken hearts. Mend us, heal us, fill us.
Let Your precious Word become a joy to us as we seek to understand Who You are
and your perfect will. Teach us, Holy Spirit, as we study and meditate on the
scriptures. Apply them to our lives, root them deep in our hearts so that we
may not turn from You. And Lord, daily remind us to go low, so that You remain
high. For Your glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
scriptures to meditate on:
has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But
to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”  Micah 6:8
“And God saw the light, that it was good;
and God divided the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:4
Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it
day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in
it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good
success.” Joshua 1:8
“O my
soul, you have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart
from You.” Psalm 16:2
from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14
one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is none
who does good, No, not one.” Psalm 53:3
it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works.” Psalm 73:28
good man deals graciously and lends; He will guide his affairs with
discretion.” Psalm 112:5
are good, and do good; Teach me Your statutes.” Psalm 119:68
is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the
Lord.” Lamentations 3:26
your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify
your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those
who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute
you…” Matthew 5:44
“The lamp
of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be
full of light.” Matthew 6:22
good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.”
Matthew 7:18
the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” Romans 7:12
your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but
I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.” Romans
not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
Let no
corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary
edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29
all things; hold fast what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21

do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but
he who does evil has not seen God.” 3 John 1:11

A Glance at Humility

Need a lesson in
humility? Know someone who does? If you chose several people and excluded
yourself, dare I say…you do need a lesson! So do I. The next few weeks we’ll be
searching scripture and finding practical ways to help us keep it classy i.e.
Today, read through
the following scriptures and let them sink deep into your heart. When I come
back to blogging–yes, I’m taking another quick break to get ready for the
American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Indianapolis next week– these
will be the verses we unpack and put a spiritual magnifying glass to.
Romans 12: 9-21 NKJV
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is
good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another
with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in
spirit, serving the Lord;12 rejoicing
in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the
saints, given to hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless
and do not curse.15 Rejoice with
those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your
mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard
for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If
it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves,
but rather give place to
wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine,
I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore
“If your
enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is
thirsty, give him a drink;
For in
so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but
overcome evil with good.
And here it is in
the NCV.
9 Your love must be real. Hate what is
evil, and hold on to what is good. 10 Love
each other like brothers and sisters. Give each other more honor than you want
for yourselves. 11 Do not be
lazy but work hard, serving the Lord with all your heart. 12 Be joyful because you have hope. Be
patient when trouble comes, and pray at all times. 13 Share with God’s people who need help. Bring strangers in
need into your homes.
14 Wish good for those who harm you; wish
them well and do not curse them. 15 Be
happy with those who are happy, and be sad with those who are sad. 16 Live in peace with each other. Do not
be proud, but make friends with those who seem unimportant. Do not think how
smart you are.
17 If someone does wrong to you, do not
pay him back by doing wrong to him. Try to do what everyone thinks is
right. 18 Do your best to live
in peace with everyone. 19 My
friends, do not try to punish others when they wrong you, but wait for God to
punish them with his anger. It is written: “I will punish those who do wrong; I
will repay them,”says the Lord. 20 But
you should do this:
“If your
enemy is hungry, feed him;
he is thirsty, give him a drink.
Doing this will be like pouring burning coals on his
head.” Proverbs 25:21–22
21 Do not let evil defeat you, but defeat
evil by doing good.
It’s too much to
study at one time, so each Wednesday, we’ll select a few verses at a time, give
it life application, and then practice it for a week before tacking on another
few verses. I hope you’ll come along with me as we learn to go low and raise our
God high.
You can go back, if you missed it and read How to Keep It Humble Part 1 from 2 weeks ago. 
See you back here
Wednesday, September 25th.

When is the last time you did an    
in-depth topical
study and what was the topic? Care to share life lesson from it?