Today’s news can be very distressing, no, it is distressing! We have violence in communities that result in death, we have people fighting in airplanes for more space, the news headlines are of wars in Afghanistan, Ukraine, Iran, Palestine, Gaza … you name it, there is strife, death, violence and eminent wars … all that we hear warns us of danger and sets a negative tone in which we must function. When pondering those things that are adding stress to our ability to function in calm and with an attitude of thanksgiving (1Thessalonians 5:18), I wonder how do we begin. My mind continues to go back to a well written article by a pastor in our area, Dr. Joshua Joy Dara, Sr. I love listening to his words each day on the television, they usually bring a smile to my face and certainly provide me with a moment of peace, but I find this article to really provide some answers. You see, if we know where to start in addressing a problem, something that has a negative impact on our lives, we are able to move beyond the intense fear that comes with worldwide situations, and once we think outside of the fear, we can begin to work on finding a way to be thankful for even the tough situations. Many have shared that it is a sign that the end of time is near, I know that things are deteriorating in society, but I also know that no one knows when “the end” will come. But I will agree that for me, things are difficult everywhere we look, and seeing the end of it is very worrisome, but until that time comes I have to be responsible for my choices and my actions. Yelling at the television, blaming the president, senators or representatives, or state or city officials will not change our course as a nation, but starting with ourselves we can change the negativity into a spirit of joy and thanksgiving. Sounds like my cheese slid off my cracker, but Dr. Dara spoke of unity in his article “A Call For Unity” (http://www.thetowntalk.com/story/life/2014/08/17/dara-call-unity/14177297/) in citing Philippians 2:2-4 … having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind … as a way to begin to change the outcomes we are experiencing in society today. How to start : “… by letting nothing be done through strife …” and moving forward. Our attitude and a spirit of love. So we start by loving ourselves the way that God loved us enough to create us then send His Son to die for our sins giving us eternal life, and then loving the people with whom we live … our spouses, our children and then moving to our church and our community. Blaming others does not solve any problem, we all bear some responsibility. I had a man say to me once after I had presented in a breakout session, that I must be a Baptist because I think love will fix everything. Baptist or not is not what is important, being a Christian and trying to practice love, unconditional love, is a choice, is a command, is a must in order for our churches, our communities, our society and our nation to succeed. Fear paralyzes us and freezes us in a never ending cycle that is often negative and defeating, because we are doing nothing, feeling helpless and hopeless. But taking action empowers us to effect change … even if it is one person at at time. God has assured me that I survived cancer so that I could make a difference one person at a time … that is where I need to begin, and it is how it has worked for me the twenty-two years since my life altering experience with cancer. This week on Facebook, there was this beautiful post shared over and over, so I know it must be resonating with many others in the Facebook community. I want to share it with you because it provides the scriptures to validate what we need to do to achieve the kind of love that will change our world. We watched the Ebola miracle when a doctor and a volunteer were willing to take an experimental drug so that the people in Africa may eventually be made whole. So we need the vaccine of “love” to be our miracle that will make our world whole. I want to share that post with you so that you can find the way to love, genuine, true, agape love that is our command for life and relationships.
Try to spend some time this week and choose one action to take, to practice. For me, praying without ceasing will lead us to the actions we need to take, but it will also push out the negative thought patterns and lead us to a place where we can make room for being thankful and practicing love. Thanks to the person who shared this 10 Ways to Love with us on Facebook, and I want to thank Dr. Joshua Joy Dara, Sr. for his words of wisdom.