Angriest in the nation

Tennessee just received a dishonorable distinction….it was found to be the “angriest state in the country.”

This announcement came as a result of a recent study which looked at crime statistics,  instances of elder abuse and the number of registered hate groups in all fifty states.  In this instance, being #1 wasn’t a good thing.

How do you combat this sort of thing?  What’s the opposite of anger?

As Christians, I think it should be “honor.”

What does it mean to be honorable?  I’ll suggest three strategies.

Preparation. Participation. Politeness.

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:21

Preparation:  People of honor seek the truth. They are life-long learners and are constantly reading, reflecting on what they’ve discovered and testing their ideas on others.  Honorable people constantly prepare.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Romans 12:9-13

Participation: By participation, I am suggesting that we must engage with others.  Honorable people value relationships. They seek to interact with others and share their ideas.  They also learn about the values and beliefs of others.  Relationships are paramount above all else.

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. Hebrews 13:18

Politeness: I’m not talking about being meek, timid or retreating.  I’m talking about respect.  People of honor respect others, even if their values and beliefs are different.

This week my prayer is to become less “angry” and more “honorable.” And maybe- just maybe- Tennessee can become a little less angry…one person and one action at a time.

And please let me know how I may pray for you.

God bless.

 

Standard

Go ahead….make my day 

I’m gonna have to brag a little.

Our daughter, Carson, is a senior this year.  Her high school announced the Senior Superlatives earlier tonight.

You remember the Senior Superlatives, right?  The infamous peer awards voted on by the senior class.  Most handsome and beautiful.  Best dressed.  Best athlete.

(I dreaded the Senior Superlatives when I was in high school.  I would have never been voted handsome, best dressed or the best athlete.)

Carson brought one home that made my heart smile.  Our baby girl was awarded “Most Likely to Brighten Your Day.”

Wow.  Most likely to brighten your day.  What an honor!

I shouldn’t be surprised.  Carson has a genuine care for others.  She has an infectious laugh, a big smile and loves the underdog.  She just has a presence that picks up your spirit.  Carson has an innate ability to sense when something is wrong- and try to do something about it.

But isn’t that what we should all strive to do?

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.  1 Thessalonians 5:11

We are called to encourage and edify others.  But it doesn’t stop there.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  Galatians 6:2

If we are to bear one another’s burdens, we need to do more.  It’s more than an affirming smile.  It requires an investment in people.  We need to increase our awareness of the needs of others and make a point to engage in their lives.

We need to engage with others in meaningful ways.  It takes effort.

You can learn a lot from your kids.

Please pray for me to be more aware of how I can help lighten the load of others.  And please let me know how to pray for you.

God bless.

 

Standard

Tough love


It’s been a mixed bag of experiences for our family this week.  

On one hand- we’ve been on vacation. It’s been a great trip for us, as my recent work schedule and the kids’ activities have propelled our family in opposite directions.  We’ve had an incredible opportunity to spend lots of time together- making new memories and laughing about old ones. 

Conversely- our trip has come during a time of great sadness across our country. This week’s headlines have been filled with violence and sorrow. Innocent lives have been lost and nerves are frayed. 

It’s hard for me to understand. I can’t imagine how hard it is for my children to process.

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:11‬ ‭

I guess the best response as parents is to continue to teach love. 

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John‬ ‭15:12‬ ‭

Love is the greatest command. Along with this command comes honor and respect for others. 

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”‭‭ Romans‬ ‭12:10‬ ‭

“Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,…” ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:9‬ ‭

So who is our brother?  It’s our neighbor. It’s the person living in a different neighborhood across town. It’s the teller in the supermarket line. It’s the person that doesn’t dress like us or talk like we do. It’s the people in our lives that have hurt us and caused us pain. 

Our neighbors are everywhere. 

Everyone has value. Every person has worth. And just as Jesus loves us, we are called to love others. 

It’s hard sometimes, but it’s our responsibility. And it’s our responsibility to teach love and honor to our children. 

“And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭3:23‬ ‭‬‬

Let’s look for ways this week to get to know our neighbors…and engage with different people in new and meaningful ways. 

I need prayers for guidance on how to help my children process these tough events. Please let me know how I may pray for you. 

God bless. 

Standard