Posts Tagged ‘people’

The Greatest Commandment

December 1, 2011

These are the sermon notes from this past Sunday.  I encourage you to read the listed scriptures as they are the heart of the message.

I.   Matthew 22:34-40:  The greatest commandment is to love God, and the second is to love people.

II.  I John 5:1-5:  If we love God we will keep His commandments.  We are able to keep the commandments because of the Spirit that dwells within us.  By the grace of God we are able to change.  We are able to recognize sin, repent of sin, and overcome sin.  This is a lifelong process of growing in godliness.

III.  I Corinthians 13:4-7 :  These verses describe the type of love that we are to have for each other.  As we read through these verses and reflect upon our own life, we will see the areas in which we need to improve.  Again, this change takes place as we grow in our relationship with God.  It is by His Spirit that we are able to love people in the way that God intends for us to love.


October 19, 2010

My class is currently dealing with the question of what it means to be human.  Here are a few thoughts on the matter.

Experience: As humans, we experience a wide range of sensory material.  Some of these exposures are pleasant, some are distinctly unpleasant.  We have control over some things that we encounter, other things are beyond our control.  All experiences contribute to who we are as a person.

Emotions: All humans have emotions, but all humans do not have the same range, or depth,  of emotions.  This is neither good nor bad, it simply is true.  We may try to will our emotions, but generally, they are an uncontrolled response to our current experiences or thoughts.

Thoughts: All humans think, although some more rationally than others.  We have the ability to direct our thoughts.  We can train ourselves to think clearly and rationally.  We can also allow ourselves to simply follow flights of fancy, thinking only of things that were, or could be, or even could never be.  Our thought life is our own to manage.

Expression: The things that we say and do are what other people see.  They do not know our experiences, emotions, or thoughts unless they are able to see them somehow expressed in what we say, or do.  There is a saying that actions speak louder than words, but I wouldn’t underestimate the power of the spoken word.  Sometimes we speak or act as a reflex to what we have experienced, sometimes as an expression of our feelings, and sometimes after careful thought.  It is good to train ourselves to speak and to act in such a way that we will not be sorry when we think about it later.

These are just a few thoughts about what we share as humans, no matter what our race, religion, politics, or anything else.

Indian Summer

November 10, 2009

Here in Iowa we are enjoying a wonderful stretch of Indian Summer.  (I wonder where that term came from, and how Native Americans feel about it?)  Indian Summer is when the temperatures warm up in the fall, after frost has arrived.  It is a wonderful time of year when we get to enjoy a few last days of warmth before winter settles in.  People do all kinds of outdoor activities.  They do yard work, go for walks, barbecue, go to the park,  it is like summer’s  last hurrah.  It is not too hot, nor too cold, the bugs have all but disappeared.  (Except, of course, the Asian Beetle!!)  The only drawback is that it gets dark so early.

Enjoy it while it lasts.  

You-know-what  is coming!!!

I think I’ll barbecue some chicken tonight:)

Just Back

November 3, 2009

We just got back from a week of vacation visiting our family in Minnesota.  It was a wonderful time together.  During the week we helped our son get settled in at his new home in central Minnesota.  It is an exciting time of life for him, as he starts fresh in a new community; new job, new church, meeting new people, and making new friends.

He does not have internet, and so I did not post anything while we were gone.  I started to write this morning a blog on the community of believers, but it was much too complicated for my brain to deal with on the first day back.   There is a lot to do, and only limited time so that post will have to wait for another day. 

Choices, you know are very important.  So today, I will keep it simple.  After all, I am just getting back.

Who Are We?

September 23, 2009

Who are we?

How are we known to others?

I will deal with the second question first.  Others know us by our words and our deeds, what we say and what we do.  Other people can only process that information that is available to them.  This means that they will definitely have an incomplete picture, because no one knows everything that we do and say.  The more that they have observed us, the more complete a picture they will have of us.  The problem is, that it is very incomplete; and we may only be willing to allow certain people to see us in certain ways, giving an intentionally distorted presentation.  To different people, we may appear as different people.

So who are we?  We are the sum total of all that we say and do: and experience and think.   

The things that we have experienced form us to a large degree.  No one else has identical experiences.  We are unique in our perceptions of life from an experiential point of view.  These experiences have a profound impact in our identity as individuals.

Our thoughts are uniquely our own, and are private.  No human being knows what we are thinking.  They may be able to read our body language, they may observe what we say and do to some extent, but they can only guess what we are thinking.  Our thoughts reflect on our experiences and, hopefully, influence our words and deeds. 

We are the sum total of what we say and do; experience and think.  We are known by others only in part; except of course, for God, who knows ALL … and still loves us and is willing to forgive us if we turn to Him with faith in His son Jesus, who loved us enough to die for us.