November 2008


There is a hymn that we sing at church titled, “They Will Know We are Christians By our Love“.  For some reason, that song keeps playing over and over again in my mind.

If you click above, on the title of the song, you will see a video showing people on international missions trips – working on construction sites, feeding the poor, as well as hugging the orphans.  Of course, for those of you that know me, you know my heart draws close to those opportunities and life experiences.  However, my mind does not keep playing that song over and over again because of those types of moments.

It is the holiday season – family, busyness, vacation, shopping, reflection, gift exchanges, food, music, cards, photos, picturesque landscape, parties, sledding, preparations, late nights, early mornings, concerts, celebrations, hustle and bustle, remembrance.  Yes, it ALL comes together during this time of year.

This morning, my children were all excited about the first snowfall actually sticking to the ground.  What a joy to see flakes falling as the wind pushed them side to side.  How clean and fresh everything looks.

Then my mind turned again to that song – “They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love.  Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”  There are so many people just 3 miles away in the inner city that did not feel joy at the sight of snow fixed to the ground.  There are many sick and elderly that did not jump up and down with excitement at the picturesque view out the window.

And then other thoughts came rushing in:

I hope the waitress will sense Jesus’ love flowing through me

109686-600-0-2…and the store clerk

…and my neighbors

…and the toll booth worker

…and the maintenance man that comes

…and my children’s schoolteachers

…and the shopper that cut me in line

 

“God, show me what I can DO, but even as I wait for that revelation, help me to BE a radiant light that shows Jesus’ love every moment of every day.”

Colossians 4:5 (NIV)  Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

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I just read this paragraph that came from our denomination’s weekly world missions online newsletter:

[Our] Asia Area Director called from India on Tuesday, November 4, to report that a Free Methodist pastor was recently beaten to death in front of his family because he would not renounce his faith. Also, five other Free Methodists were badly beaten and had to be taken to the hospital. The doctor’s life was threatened if he treated their injuries, so they were refused treatment. These attacks took place in a state which neighbors Orissa State where Christians have been facing severe persecution. Please pray for the victims’ families. Also pray for 300 refugees from Orissa who have fled…

I try to stop and imagine but I just can’t.

This is not a story from centuries ago – it’s not the retelling of the Biblical story of Stephen or Paul.

This is happening today.

Please be in prayer… even right now.

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“Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”

John 15:20 (NIV)