All You Need To Do Is Love Part 2

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I don’t get attached to too many people. Down here I have learned that there are “friends”, friends that are good people and there are people God will bless you with who connect to your heart, if only for a short while. We have been blessed by God a few times. The Duttons were in our lives during my miscarriages. The Whites, especially Mitzi, was there when I just needed someone to bounce things off of and she became a “sister/friend”. They are rare and, like the migratory hummingbirds, only stayed 4 – 7 years with us then God had other plans…..so we prayed and waited, prayed, and prayed some more for someone to come along and help our church to grow spiritually and physically so that we could stay in our church feeling that we were doing God’s work.

God sent unexpected people. God does this. He sent a savior, in the form of a baby, who grew to be a teacher, who understood humans yet tried to teach them how wrong they had been…. and the people expected him to be a soldier and he was not…….Then one person made a decision to try to get rid of him, and said things about him that were not true. Others supported this as they were the only the ones who also feared change listened and enabled this drama to happen. Hate, fear, holding onto the past….these are things that stop growth and blind us to God’s truth. Only a few saw what Jesus was about and they were the ones who grew churches. It was the pharisees who held onto the old ways and did not see Jesus for who he was….so nothing grew for them…. Many churches and many people do this now a days. They are the Pharisees of 2017. How can people recognize Jesus when he comes if they only see the negative things in how a person lives, how a person looks, how other people talk about that person…etc…

This is why families with young children leave churches.  Families want a church full of love and growth. Not a church where you have to be like your great grandparents. Those churches are going nowhere, they are stagnant.  They are not spreading God’s love, they are not living, they are dying. This is why I miss a real church, with real people, who stand up for what’s right and not just “let it be”. We have thought time and time again we have found a church…but time and time again the church disappoints.

Isn’t it all just about love? Isn’t that what it says over and over again……you can do all these nice things for people, but if there is no love, it’s worthless. You can say nice things to people, welcome people into your church but if there is no love, words are like seeds in the wind…. Where is the love that Jesus showed when people say the color of your skin is wrong, how you live is wrong, what you do is wrong????

I do not remember Jesus ever telling women, children, lepers, tax collectors, soldiers, homosexuals, heterosexuals, adulterers, short people, tall people, or even Pontius Pilate that they should not be loved.

I do remember he showed respect to his enemies. Respect is a form of love of people. Therefore, he showed love to all. I remember him hanging out with alot of people that others called wrong.

Humans can be so selfish, so self centered, that their fear of not getting into heaven can overflow into the craziest of ideas.

You want to know what is a sin? Here it is the list :

Jesus told us what was a sin…

  1. Not loving God, and not loving others as he showed you how to love…..
    2. To not do #1.
    3. That’s it. Why are you looking for more.
    4.  Yes it’s that simple.

I’m not seeing homosexuallity, heterosexuality, tax collectors, lepers, poka-dotted skin, short people, not going to church, technology, etc…as a sin, do you??????

If you love God and love as Jesus loved you will not say mean things, do acts as if you have to, bear false witness to others, only be a part of a church that doesn’t have “certain people” in it, not want a church to grow, and not standby and let a church die or let people get hurt.

I was actually told, by a sunday school teacher, that the wonderful Muslim family whom I tutored 20 years ago, were wrong. I guess I was “wrong” too for seeing their faith, their family values, and their love….I was loved more by that family than by many christians who think they are right…

We need to make the change

So, are you going to stand by and watch people get hurt, or watch a church die, or lose out on seeing the people that God sends to help with growth in order to “keep the peace” or “this is just the way it is down here”……

“Don’t want to rock the boat”……???

Sometimes it takes losing it all for people to be able to see how wrong they have been.

It would be sad to see this happen. People say the church is dying because the older people are dying….well, look at what they did and how they lived. Were they spending their time bad mouthing others? Were they on the corners yelling at who was a sinner? Or Were they helping others? Were they loving others? Were they just giving?

To love means …..Jesus/God. To be a christian, muslim, or a jew means to love. It is as simple as that…. If you love, you have faith and hope. Love is the greatest….

If you Love God you will trust and obey God. If you love Jesus you will love others as he loved you. If you love, you will live for God, not for others. If you love, God will work in your life in ways you won’t see until it’s done.

In the end, will you be on your “deathbed” saying, “I wish I had told others how I was hurt.”

or “I wish I told more people how to love each other regardless of race, beliefs, or who they loved.”

Which will you be?

I know I want people to look at me and say, “there is someone who just loves and who works for God”.

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Part 4: It Just Takes One: Book

It only takes one book to change the way you see things. For me, it was a book by Harper Lee.  “You have to step on another person’s shoes and walk around in them”

Anne-Frank-Book   From then on I would stop and think before I judged. the Human comedy covertokillamockingbird

Many teachers have taken the classics out of the classroom like “To Kill a Mockingbird” or “The Diary of Anne Frank”. This is why I love teaching in a non public school. I get to choose what they read based on the lessons they will hopefully walk away with. I make sure there are questions through out the book, weekly quizzes, a final test and an essay to write at the end. I create the quizzes, the syllabus and the vocabulary sheets.

I-Am-Malala-Cover

The class just finished a book called, “I Am Malala”.  It’s about that young girl from Pakistan who was advocating for education for girls and got shot in the head. I remember how it seemed the world was amazed by this young girl and her plight. Then the world watched as news came that Binazir Bhutto, the female prime minister of Pakistan, had gotten killed after returning from a 9 year exile. The final blow was when Malala had gotten shot. A child of 16 who just finished her final exams of the year and was on her way home.

The book had some great themes such as the desire for an education when the world around you is falling apart. The practice of Islam from the people’s point of view and from Malala’s family’s practice. Evil versus true faith. How man built up laws around the Qua ran the same way they built up laws around God’s 10 laws.  The way women saw themselves and how they were persecuted and targeted by the “new Islamic order”.  Also how familiar this all sounds to those who have read “Anne Frank: the Diary of a young girl”.  Which is why that is the next book we are reading currently.

 

You may ask why I bother to teach these books to a room full of youth who have made some poor decisions in their lives, such as stealing, not going to school, breaking and entering, or even possession charges. They need to be exposed to other children who have had it worse than them. Many American kids are spoiled. They have never had to learn how to duck under a desk when they hear bombs. They have never had to live in fear that someone may come and shoot them. They have never had to dig in a rubbish bin for food. They have never had to hide for years because of a dictator who practiced pogrom.

Most of the children that I work with have a parent or a relative that cares for them, clothes them, and feeds them, to the best of their abilities. If we see a chance to help and improve their way of living then we do all we can. We send social service people to help the parents or guardians organize themselves and maybe be stronger in parenting. Many youth that I come across seem have control of adults. They tell me they were taught, ” you give me respect then I’ll give you respect” .  They have little respect for authority figures because the adults in their lives are more their friends than their parents. We teach them they are children and we are the adults and there really is a difference.  However, as long as parents/guardians don’t enforce rules,  and teach them that they can do adult things, there will always be a JSS court system and juvenile multipurpose group homes.

 

If the parents/guardians make the change, the youth have a much better chance at staying on the right path. However, if the adults fail, we try to teach the youth what they need to do for themselves.

I do what ever I can to show the youth how other families handle hard lives. I pray that something from one of the books may affect a child enough to have them want to change the way they look at life. To always do the right thing. To have faith and education. To treat others with respect first in order to get that respect in return.

It just takes one book to help someone change their view of things. Maybe, it will be one of these books for the youth that come through our group home.