I felt pretty good about KD's Annual NFL Post-Season Power Rankings (scroll down to 1/4/10).
ESPN hasn't called; but my dad wrote.
He suggested I stop preening because my analytical shortcomings will be exposed next weekend in the second round.
Just because his beloved Steelers have a better draft position coming than predicted last fall, he had to rain on my parade.
People can be like that; even the special people in our lives.
Misery likes company.
People who are miserable are only less miserable when they're making misery for others.
That's part of what I meant in the last KD in this line: "I still fear people who want to steal my freedoms to feel better about their chains" (scroll down to 1/9/10).
But then there are others who really want to contribute to our health and welfare.
There are people who really want His best for, in, and through us.
Though it's not an exact context, Hebrews 13:1-2 comes to mind.
I was really struggling in that last KD.
Though I don't find my predicament(s) that peculiar, I was feeling a little poor in spirit as well as plastic.
Yeah, I was feeling better as I took it to the Lord - check out the rest of the beatitude - but unlike Sister Bertha better than you who has been going around saying how much better she/he/they is/are than anyone else now that everyone else has seen the darkness of her/his/their soul exposed (Don't even try to guess because there are so many global, national, and other candidates with Dirty Harry, WV's Big Byrd, and ___ coming to mind too quickly!), I can get as down about myself and people who hate me in a Christian kinda way with the worst/best of 'em.
"I hope you never lose your enthusiasm for life and Jesus and..."
Some folks are like that.
Some folks aren't.
I prefer to listen to folks who take their definitions of you/me/us from God.
God does not want to tear us down, pick us apart, burn bridges, fracture families, degrade, denigrate, devastate, or destroy us. That's the work of Satan and demons/people/both under his influence.
God builds bridges, relationships, friendships, and families; and reconciles, heals, helps, includes, enables, elevates, enlightens, and encourages.
Satan and demons/people/both say, "You're no good. You're hopeless. You're bad. You're useless. You don't belong. We would be better off without you."
God says, "Come to Me."
God invites, welcomes, includes, and loves.
It's not a difficult choice.
I prefer God and Godly people.
With Galatians 5:19-26 as the bigger context of differentiation, the preceding helps us to distinguish the good from bad guys as we incorporate the practical counsel of Romans 16:17-18 into our lives and ministries.
And so a few quickies that aren't really about me if you know what I mean.
A dear friend and VMTC leader wrote to say she is praying about my fear of failure and not pleasing people; which, aside from being on target, reminded me to get closer to Jesus because fear dissipates as intimacy with Him increases along with the renewal of Godly priorities. I went to 1 John 4 after reading her note.
A woman in Illinois who has faced some very significant challenges and evil-speakers wrote, "Your KD was great! I laughed! A lot! I cried! At the end, you made my day better!" One of my homiletics professors always said, "The best ministry is truth through personality. Share your story and you will be surprised how it intersects with others!"
A predecessor in my current/last pastoral call who warned me of the potential and obstacles observed, "I just read your last edition and could sense the grace and the pain. About your friend and the memorial service, you were hurt by those who made unkind comments or didn't attend. You are not responsible for them. Jesus said something like this, 'The hurtful you will always have with you.' Leave them and their attitudes to Jesus! He will deal with them. A day will come when they will rethink what they said or did, and they will feel the pain and regret. You can't make that happen. Jesus can...I think this is one of the keys to true freedom in Christ. Let Him be the Savior. Also, it is O.K. to let yourself grieve...What a holy adventure Jesus has called you to live and serve!" Amen.
An apostolic pastor counseled/challenged/salted/salved, "You are a trip, man! I love it. Welcome to advancing the Kingdom! Jesus said it would get worse 'cause we know Him. Your wholeness will always confront whether you intend it or not. That's your call. A person who journeys toward a whole life will be a light that shines. The presence of your wholeness in such a broken-down dysfunctional world speaks very loud - a mirror to those who will evil-speak against you because you have stripped them naked in front of people who thought they were holier-than-thou. You've exposed - disclosed - man! The religious can't control Him in you even though they've tried and will try again. The lost hunger for your wholeness. Share Him!" Whoa. Depending upon God's grace...
Oh, by the way, I wouldn't bet against the birds (Baltimore and Arizona); though my head says Colts and Vikings in the big one!
Blessings and Love!
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