Confederate-flag

I was a young guy in Flagler County in southern Florida when I grew up.  Rebel Flags were …..well cool.  I went through school de-segration in the 60’s and I remember the fights and the dissension and the…..well…..division between black and white.  It was not pretty.  I was young and confused.  I did not understand the black vs. white thing. I was 8 years old.  I did not judge by color….yet… because many of my friends were….black and were white….  An old lady….Armeila Hall….a black lady was always at my house….and she was in charge until my parents came home at 5pm.

I am driving home tonight and on the road to our subdivision, and I am 55 years old,…I see a truck with a brand new Rebel Flag….Confederate Flag….the stars and bars…fresh…red and blue…13 stars…..2 bars….and I think of what it means to me now….  It is no longer cool.  It is no longer “southern pride” to me.  It speaks of  division.

Then I think of Jesus.  What would he want in my life….not yours….but mine….  Jesus wants unity in my life….Jesus wants to be all to all.  He wants us to love one another….despite our color, our differences,  out divisions.    This Rebel Flag….well, woke me up today.

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So, my wife gets an IPhone 4. She does not know what she has. She had some sort if goofy flip type phone that texting was hard and did not show all of the message, did not get email, did not get internet, …. it was just like an old technology phone that was klunkier than an Edsel.  I hated it. We would laugh at it.   Me and the kids have macs.  All in.  But she resisted….until today.

Now, let me tell you this.  She does not know what she has.  She has an Iphone4 but does not know how to work it.  She does not know all it has to offer.  She does not know all that is is capable of.  She does not know all that it can do.  She does not know all that it was made to do.  She does not appreciate the power of it in a traffic jam to get around stuff.  She does not know the power it has to skype all over the world.  She does not know the power of money and purchasing it has.  She does not know …… well, the power and ability of all it was meant to be.  Then, I sit on the porch and think about me and God.

God has all this power, all this salvation, all this healing, all this provision, all this peace, all this love, all this joy, all this forgiveness, all this righteousness…… and I don’t just grab it!  Me!  I don’t access the application.  I don’t use it.  I don’t call on it.  I don’t just get into it and just soak in all that God has for me.  What am I thinking?  My wife has this powerful product and she got it because me and the girls have apple stuff and she sees it and says I want that too.

God has it, I want it too.  I think I can still learn from my wife.  God has all these applications for my life and I don’t know what I have.  I thought she did not know what she has…..it is really me.  God has it for me and you.

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I have a neat bunch of people that work with me.  They are always encouraging, always, well almost always positive and they are always looking to help one another.  Jodie, Teresa, Patty, Beth, Sheila, Robin.  Just a great group.  I got the following from Jodie this morning.  Thought it was really good to reflect on. 

I’ve learned that , no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.  I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things:  a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.  I’ve learned that, regardless  of your relationship with your parents, you will miss them when they are gone from your life.  

I’ve learned that making a living is not the same as making a life.  I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.  I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands.  You need to be able to throw something back sometimes.  I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you.  But if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.  I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.  I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.  

I’ve learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.  People love that human touch — holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.  I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. 

I can still learn a lot from my folks at work..  how about you?   louie

help

Ever wonder which way is the best?  Which directions are the best directions.  Paul wrote 1 Corinthians and went through much of the first part of 1 Corinthians going over issues this town had.  In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about all the spiritual gifts that were present in the group of believers in Corinth.  They were noteworthy.  Then at the end of this chapter, he says that there is a better way.  Actually he says, a more or most excellent way.  Then he talks about the way to go.  I have had trouble with this way over my lifetime. 

In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul talks about love.  Not the love that most relationships are all about which centers around either sex or just being a friend when it is convenient.  He talks about the type of love that is a giving, sharing, deep, abiding love.  It is called agape.  The kind I see my mother and father still have, after more than 60 years of marriage, the kind I really want with my wife, the kind that Jesus has with us. 

What does it mean to love?  We get this term bantered about much today but to really love?  How about sharing of yourself when it is hard?  How about thinking ahead when someone might need something?  What about opening your checkbook to someone in need…..especially if you think they don’t deserve it.  We didn’t. 

Just take a minute to read 1 Corinthinans 13, and the last verse of 12, to get a handle on how we, me and you, should be. 

louie