*Thrifty Living * Homeschooling * Natural Living * Creating * Baking * Learning * Exploring * Subscription Boxes * Childhood Cancer* Death of a Child*

Friday, March 25, 2016

Love Kindness

Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. ~Matthew 10:40

I knew that Love Kindness by Barr H. Corey would be a great book within the first chapter. Kindness is not just random acts of kindness or loving those who love you - it's a lifestyle that brings Christ's love to the world.

"The way of kindness is not just having right theology; it's being the right kind of people. It's understanding that our lives as Jesus' followers mean we have a common humanity with everyone, and therefore there's no need for exceptionalism. We owe all human beings the honor due to them as beings made in the image of God." ~Page 9

"The point of being kind to those with whom we disagree is not to be respected or befriended. That may never happen. Nor is the point of kindness to avoid wither ruffling feathers or feeling awkward, which is cowardly "niceness". The point of kindness is to represent Jesus. Being kind to those with whom we disagree helps bring Christ to the center of the situation. Being kind is how Jesus acts. Kindness is His way. When we walk that way, we reflect and honor Him, and it opens doors for what we say about Him and the gospel." ~Page 54

"We can choose to model kindness and charity across deep differences without sacrificing the claims upon which we stake our lives. That posture will affect how we talk to and treat others. The aspirations of tolerance, humility, and patience do not prevent us from expressing moral judgments or public claims of faith. But they will inform how we express such judgments and faith claims." ~John Inazu

Corey describes how kindness is how we relate to people just as much as what we do for people. It may be easier to buy a stranger behind us in line a coffee than it is to really sit down and listen to someone's opposing views or be there for someone during a difficult time. It's about not having to be right but rather to be kind. 

"When the apostle Paul writes to the church in 2 Corinthians 2:16 about how we need to be the aroma of Christ, he says that some will sense our aroma as the "smell of death". We are seeing this around the world today as more Christians are being persecuted and killed than ever before. Jesus never said we would be received. He actually said that often we will be rejected. When Jesus sent out the Twelve he gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and heal them from sickness and disease. As he sent them, he gave them a caution because he knew there would be many wolves set on destroying them. "I am sending you out like sheep among the wolves," Jesus warned his closest followers, "Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." (Matthew 10:16)
    Kindness means loving our enemies in a gentle, dove-like way. Kindness, however, is not naive. Living the way of kindness means that we accept that we will be rejected. But we must be also be aware that there are not only those who will ignore us but also those whose intent is to crush us. Discernment and wisdom are components of kindness.
    Kindness means we won't back down on speaking out against the Satan-smelling evil in the world. hatred, racism, violence, exploitation, and greed all smell like the devil. We need to be concerned about and combat the spirit of this age that is rampant. We need to stay strong in our faith and fear not, despite those who are committed to upending the message of the gospel and who refuse to engage in gracious conversations. We need to be aware of the growing nihilism in our society, the rejection of principals based on moral reasoning and biblical truths, leading to a belief that life is meaningless. We need to strengthen our resolve against the truthless and graceless claims of radical religious types globally who would rather choose violence than collaborate toward peace. We need to face these movements as the people of God with steadfastness through the power of the Holy Spirit." ~Page 210-211

"Living to be received and living to be receivable are quite different. Kindness is living to be receivable, opening ourselves to others whether they receive or not. Living to be received focuses on how others respond to us. This is beyond our control." ~Page 174

Corey often talks about a firm center and soft edges. We can have strong convictions without being hard-hearted. 

He also goes on to say that if we proclaim to be Christians, then the world will look at us and judge us more harshly for our failings. Those who despise Christians will want us to fail, will point out all our shortcomings. While Christians are only human, sinners like everyone else in the world, we do need to try to do our best at all times and kindness is the way. Respond in kindness to those people - put aside our pride and clothe ourselves in humility so that Christ can shine through us. Luke 6:35 tells us "Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked."

No one ever said that kindness would be easy. 

I highly recommend this book to everyone - I marked so many pages and will be reading it again and again as a reminder to myself. I learned so much from my little Jacob, who was the epitome of kindness, and I want to carry that kindness in my heart and show it to others. Not always easy, but so, so important. As Corey states: are we to bring all the world to Christ or is our job to bring Christ to all the world? 

This book was given to me by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.   

Give Thanks

Friday, March 11, 2016

Word of the Year

Do you like Humans of New York on Facebook? It's one of my favorite pages because I learn so much about people. That person sitting on the bench may have just lost their job, or that colorful character may have been abused as a child. Hearing the stories of complete strangers makes you realize that everybody has their own unique story of pain, tragedy, love, and lessons. I love hearing people's stories.

 Yesterday a man who was interviewed said,

“I don’t enjoy observing people as much as I used to. Everyone acts like they’re on stage. People used to come to The Village sheepishly. Nobody was sure if they belonged. We didn’t know if we were artists. These days everyone walks around like they’re contributing something. There’s no angst anymore. There’s too much certainty. And that’s a shame. Because all the best art comes from people who feel like they don’t belong. Art is a way of proving your existence. When I was a young man, a person that I respected told me that I was an artist. It was one of the worst things that could have happened to me. I stopped walking into museums or galleries with a sense of awe. I walked in feeling like an ‘artist.’ My arms would be crossed. If I liked a piece, it was ‘good.’ If I didn’t like a piece, it was ‘bad.’ I didn't feel vulnerable anymore. I lost my humility. And that’s when growth stops.”

Judging by the comments on the post it hit home for many. I think in a day and age where "a trophy for everyone!" is the mantra is when we lose working for a title. I'm not sure when it started, probably sometime between my childhood (the 80's) and my adulthood (2000) but all of a sudden everything had to be politically correct. If you showed up for an event you got a ribbon just the same as the person who put in hours/weeks/months of work. 

It may have happened around the time of reality television. Families like the Kardashians are famous...for the life of me I can't figure out why. Some famous singers are anything but singers. We've lost the awe of really good art, really good work, really talented people because of this mindset.

Others in the comments disagreed with this man, stating that if one is an artist they should be proud of their work. I, personally, don't think that is what the man was saying. He said that the minute you lose your humility is when you stop growing. If you know everything, how can you learn anything?

It's something that I think we all struggle with at times. We all have our own talents (1 Peter 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace) and none are better than another (Philippians 2:3 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.) but it will involve work and God given talents and no one is good at everything (Proverbs 12:11 Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.).

I love this humility list of Mother Teresa.  

  I'm taking it to heart this year and "Humility" will be my word of the year. This is going to be a hard one, a life long lesson for sure. 

 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.

~Proverbs 11:2

 Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 
~James 4:6

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


We've had a yucky cold making it's rounds through the house for a good month and it finally set up residence in me. I think it's the same strain that made my brother progress into pneumonia so I've been trying to take it easy around here.

Saturday I spent most of the day in bed with some good books and a lot of rest. I'm so thankful that my husband was home and steered the kids clear of the bedroom. He even had some 7-UP and my favorite treat waiting for me once I got up. 

Sunday dawned a beautiful spring-like day so I managed to settle myself on the porch while the kids played in the yard and salvaged enough energy to get some seeds started indoors.

Yesterday was more time spent outdoors and a burst of energy at 10:30 at night found me deep cleaning the kitchen.

Today it's Amy and I with runny noses and myself with a sinus pressure headache. We've been lucky this winter though as it's really been our only full blown yucky sickness and we're getting over it slowly but surely.

Saturday, March 5, 2016


I heard Lady Gaga's song "Til It Happens to You" for the first time yesterday. While it is about sexual assault, the words actually apply to so many situations. It resonated with me deeply as a bereaved mother. I ask all of you to listen to it (unless you are offended with the use of the hell word...though I find it quite fitting for this song).

Having dealt with a sick little boy for two years, and then a terminal one for 8 months, I received a lot of unsolicited advice. Word to the wise: it is not helpful. From being told treatments that WOULD work (go to Mexico!) to being told that I have to take some time for myself (unless you are offering to watch my kids while I do so your words are worthless). Having someone say "Take it one day at a time and enjoy every moment (easy for you to say, your child isn't dying). I could go on and on but my point is that while I remind myself that these comments are usually made with love or concern, they are not helpful. Unless you've been through it, you don't have any idea. The best advice for these situations is no advice at all. Offer prayers, or help, or a listening ear.

Even now, in my journey of grief (which WILL last a lifetime, there is no "getting over" the loss of a loved one), advice sometimes flows from someone's mouth that is more hurtful than helpful. And yet, I SAVOR the advice from other bereaved mothers. "Til it happens to you, what the h*$l do you know" is true.

This applies to pretty much any situation. Unless you've walked a mile in someone's shoes put all your criticisms, judgement, and "advice" aside. When you truly care for someone you will be a support for them, not a thorn in their side.

Now, go listen to this song!       

Friday, March 4, 2016

Big Fat ZERO

Did you know that it was possible to have a credit score of ZERO?

Me either.

My bank lender even seemed confused by this.

NerdWallet tells us: 
Normally, credit scores run from 300 to 850, but there is an exception to the rule: a score of zero. It’s not as frightening as it sounds. A zero doesn’t mean you’re a reckless spender—a score of 350 probably would. It simply means that creditors don’t know what to do with you.

I'm glad we took the route of getting pre-approved for a house loan before we found a house that we liked, because it turns out that my husband has a credit score of ZERO. He can't get a loan until he builds up credit.

It seems ironic. We can't get a loan because we carry no debt. I didn't even realize this was possible.

After researching this, I found out that it takes six months after discharged debts for your credit score to drop to zero. Essentially, if you have no open lines of credit you have no score. Because we paid off our house 8 months ago, the credit score dropped to 0 around the first of the year. My credit score is 810 because I have a couple credit cards open (which we don't use) but I can't get the loan myself because I have no income.

The only thing we can do is open some credit lines for hubby (which we did and he was immediately approved for) and wait three to six months for that open credit to show on his credit score. It seems so counterproductive to have to be in debt to show our ability to pay on a loan, especially since these lenders have at hand the proof that we own our cars outright, have total equity of our house, and have not been late on past payments. As this blogger points out, you can actually be punished for your financial stewardship. 

I'm sharing this because I had no idea that paying off all debts could be bad for your credit! If you have no debt, apparently it is still a good idea to keep several credit lines open, whether you like it or not. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Run For Cover!

"Never discuss religion or politics in polite company.

Eek! I about cover my eyes when anything political comes up on my Facebook feed these days. It gets downright dirty. From the American people as well as the candidates themselves.

It's scary what our country is becoming. Our standards, our morals (or lack thereof). I think I may just hibernate until after the November elections, though I have the feeling that won't be the end but only the beginning of more of a mess.

God Bless America, please.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March Arrives

Spring will arrive soon (sooner or later)

First day at the new job for hubby (going back to warehouse work)

Starting the hunt for an acreage

Making summer plans

Living Life 


Related Posts with Thumbnails