Loving in an Age of Hate

Seeing the news of yet another school shooting it is sadly clear that we are a long way from God’s plan for our lives. Some of us are overwhelmed with sadness, some are understandably angry and a few simply move on with a fatalistic shrug. But what should we do? How does God intend for us to face hatred? Jesus never says to hide from evil, or pretend it isn’t a reality. Instead He gives us a bold and revolutionary command.

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 
Matthew 5:44 ESV

How in the world should we be expected to pray for these kinds of people? But, crazy as it sounds, in the midst of tragedy, there is nothing better than prayer. Prayer reaches the heart of God and brings His comfort down. Prayer helps us to remember that just as Jesus slept in the storm, God, with all of His resources is still with us in the center of chaos. Though all of our enemies may not be changed by our prayers for forgiveness, there will always be a Paul for every Steven and a centurion at the foot of every cross who will be touched. We need to remember in the midst or our indignation and sorrow that when we far from God and enemies of the faith, Christ died for us. What reason can we give to refuse His grace to others. I end today’s post with a song I wrote a few years back and recorded with a couple of the young people from our church. I pray that the words may bring comfort and hope to your hearts as you walk with the Lord Jesus through this dark time. He gives us hope and the ability to love others even in this valley and gives us the assurance that our Father’s home awaits us where we will live with Him forever!

I’d Forgot the Hugs and Kissing

After a much-needed long weekend break to recharge and rest I began tinkering with this poem last night. It pokes a bit of fun at someone who often takes himself way too seriously, but I am hoping that maybe you can identify with him just a little!

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While I was reading in the Bible 
I laughed about some fools 
Who made long lists of do’s and don’ts 
And for every twitch had rules! 

Over washing hands they worried 
And tithing Brussel Sprouts 
But on loving and forgiving 
They left those precepts out 

But as I snickered I recalled 
The many rules I kept 
From the early morning hours 
Till the evening shadows crept 

How at ten o’clock on Sundays
Off to meeting we must go 
And how I'd fussed about the kids 
When they were moving slow 

And our prayers in the restaurant 
Were always said before we ate 
Yet I griped about the waitress 
When she brought our food out late 

Then I hung my head in shame to think 
Of all the loving we’d been missing 
While dotting I’s and crossing t’s 
I'd forgot the hugs and kissing!

I'd Forgot the Hugs and Kissing 
By Peter Caligiuri
Copyright ©2023
All rights reserved

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Loving Amid Chaos

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 
Romans 12:15 ESV

Everyone I have met thinks that memory care ministry is a great thing to do, but very few are willing to stay involved for long. They enthusiastically come for a few sessions, and just about the time that the residents start to get to know them they give up. Am I saying that these folks are bad people? Absolutely not! … To read the rest of the story go to Walking With Lambs