Today, you are no longer a child, but a man. That’s hard for me to wrap my mind around, given it seems like just a few days ago you were just a little boy, running up to me for a hug with your sweet little voice and boundless energy.
Parenting you has been the ride of a lifetime. I wouldn’t trade it or give up a second I’ve spent with you, worrying about you, loving you, arguing with you. It’s been 18 years of pure emotion: love, joy, worry, anger, frustration, terror.
Follow your dreams. Never give up on something you desperately want. Ever. Don’t make the same mistakes I’ve made in life.
I want great things for you. You are loved and all things good in my heart. When you hurt, I hurt. When you have joy, I have joy. Of all the things in my life that I might have, could have or should have done differently, there’s one thing I’d never change, and that’s having you guys as sons… If I didn’t always find a way to say it, I hope I always showed it – I’m proud to be your parent and I love you with my heart and soul.
Happy 18th Birthday My Baby Boy. I love you…forever.
“Afflicted but Not Crushed”
Afflicted. Perplexed. Persecuted. Struck down. My guess is that you can resonate with Paul’s words. What affliction is threatening to crush you right now? What suffering is testing your faith?
Maybe you’re fighting a malignant disease. Maybe it’s a short-term illness that is keeping you from carrying out your plans. Or maybe you lost your job this week, and you’re worried about feeding your family. Are you in the middle of a nasty relational feud? Or married to someone who is not following Christ?
Lyme disease threatens me. Because of Lyme and its ill effects, physical pain and weakness are my frequent visitors. There are times when, after an extended period of feeling well, stable, and hopeful, they rebound with a vengeance. I reach my limit during these regressions, as my faith feels pressed and my struggle to believe the gospel intensifies—and out pour the tears. I often cry because I’m angry, fearful, and worried. I wonder how much more I can take, if the struggle will ever end, and if any good will come of it.
I am tempted to believe that because I am afflicted in certain ways, I cannot get out of the downward spiral into being crushed in spirit as well as in body. How I long for my heart-cry in suffering to be like Paul’s! How I long to believe this beautiful truth: I am afflicted in every way, but not crushed.
Oh, don’t you want this? To have the confidence that the pressures of suffering will not defeat you?
So how can we learn to say along with Paul, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed”? We look to the cross, and to the One who was hanged on it. Jesus was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. He shouldered the burden of our sin upon his shoulders. Jesus willingly took the penalty of sin that we deserved, drinking the cup of spiritual death for us.
God has taken our gravest affliction—death—and has overcome it in Christ, so that we would never be overcome by it. The Father crushed his Son so that we would never be crushed by sin and death, so that we would spend an eternity of joy in his presence.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV
“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4-5 NIV
post by Hope
How many people in social networks do not preach through their posts, ideas completely contrary to their daily behavior? Many people talk about solidarity, but they refuse to provide any kind of help. Many people claim to value character and intelligence, but only relate to physically wonderful people. Many speak passionately about God and the importance of serving people, but they live in their small groups of friends, shutting themselves out for all other people who differ a thousandfold from their lifestyle, judging and hurting without mercy or pity.
Who has never been hypocritical at least once in their life who please throw the first stone. Yes, it seems to be part of human nature to hide your real intentions and feelings to better fit into social life. Who has never pretended not to have some sort of prejudice so as not to be judged by the social group? Who has never omitted a personality trait or a socially unheard of habit to keep a job, a friendship, a love relationship?
Yes, sometimes people act in a hypocritical way, that is, by contradicting their way of life, their way of thinking, their belief system and values to defend themselves against judgments, social ostracism and other punishments. What really seems to me problematic is when a person uses moral values to destroy or try to destroy someone’s image out of sheer jealousy or totally petty personal interests.
Omitting, for example, smoking in a politically correct group is simply a defense. Not admitting homosexuals in an environment marked by homophobia is also a means of protecting oneself. Avoiding opinions on religious themes in groups that border on fundamentalism is also a strategy to avoid unnecessary wear and tear. In short, the person stops expressing himself, fails to tell what he really is or thinks not to destabilize his own life.
But going back to the case of people who take advantage of morals to harm those who obfuscate them socially is a very serious question and deserves a deep reflection. Is it at any point in our lives, out of envy, out of greed, to defend personal interests, not to disturb a person’s life, do we not deeply hurt someone?
How many people do not socially isolate colleagues, for example, because they are more fun, more talented, more promising in their careers? How often do we avoid certain social contacts simply because these people somehow stand out more than we? How many times do we go hunting for defects to justify a free antipathy we feel? Instead of admitting that we dislike each other gratuitously, for no apparent reason, we prefer to seek a concrete reason to justify our hostile behavior.
How many people in social networks do not preach through their posts, ideas completely contrary to their daily behavior? Many people talk about solidarity, but they refuse to provide any kind of help. Many people claim to value character and intelligence, but only relate to physically wonderful people. Many speak about the law of return, but they judge and discriminate people simply because they are different from them, as if they were an ideal of character. Many speak passionately of God and the importance of serving people, but they live in their small groups of friends, shutting themselves down to all the other people who differ a thousandfold from their way of life.
How many people do not pass themselves off as friends, but strives to sabotage the love relationship of the members of your group because deep down they want their friends just for themselves? Because they themselves cannot live a happy relationship, they need their friends always available. How many bosses do not cut the wings of very competent professionals, who in the future can stay in their place? How many people refuse invitations to develop professional projects with certain contacts because they know less creative, less expressive, less interesting?
Yes, hypocrisy often puts us in a comfort zone. In some cases, we omit attitudes and opinions simply so as not to be dismissed, criticized, ironically, socially isolated. But in many others, we could avoid certain attitudes that only reiterate our inability to accept the merit of the other.
TRANSLATED FROM ORIGINAL PUBLISHED BY SÍLVIA MARQUES
There is no perfect man; but if you have this rare type, appreciate him.
- Many marriages end because of ingratitude. As time goes by, couples forget to appreciate the little things in life. But being grateful every day helps sweethearts stay happily married.Noticing and appreciating the things your husband does for you helps you see what really matters, rather than focusing on his flaws (which every man has). Your spouse is the most important person in your life, so do your marriage a favor and praise him for all these things he does for you:
1. He trusts you
He doesn’t doubt your actions.
2. He is loyal to you
He has nothing to hide. You have access to everything in his life and know what he does.
3. He knows your tastes
He knows your favorite chocolate, the kind of movies you like to watch and your hobbies.
4. He gives you some time to yourself
If you want to go out with your friends, get a haircut or watch a movie alone, he doesn’t care. He knows that sometimes you just need some alone time.
5. He remembers holidays
He knows and prepares something special for the holidays that are important to you.
6. He helps you be better
He does not accept any self-hate talk you throw at yourself. Instead, he helps you build confidence and encourages you to get up when you’re discouraged.
7. He laughs at your jokes
… even when they are not funny.
8. He believes you
He knows you’ll be honest with him.
9. He laughs with you
He makes you laugh and you have fun together.
10. He values your feelings
He always takes into account how you feel.
11. You feel loved by him
You just know you are the love of his life.
12. He makes your complicated life easier
He gives solutions and seeks to avoid conflicts.
13. He helps you with house work
He washes the dishes and takes care of the kids without you even asking.
14. He consoles you when you’re sad
He doesn’t like to see you upset and does everything he can to make you feel better.
15. He adores your smile
He tries to see your smile every day.
Yes, your husband will slip up and hurt your feelings. It’s usually the people closest to us that hurt us the most. The important thing to remember is that he tries to be better every day. And if he tries to do even a few of these 15 things, you can be sure that he loves you.
This article has been translated and adapted from the original, . It was originally published on . Website: http://racheldecastro.com
Americans will do almost anything to appear strong, capable, and worthy of admiration. We exercise our bodies with intensity, climb the corporate ladder at the expense of integrity, and struggle to accept the help of other people. Our society works by the principle that the way up is the road to success and value.
When we transfer this into our Christian faith, here is what happens: We believe that comfort is a right that Christ would never remove, and that success indicates a godly Christian life. This sense of entitlement has therefore deeply impacted the way Christians interpret and respond to suffering.
Think about how we talk about and react to a trial. We try to avoid it. We complain about it. We think we don’t deserve it. We’re embarrassed by it. We commiserate with others about it. We believe that God is mad at us, or just plain angry.
We hate weakness and will do almost anything to escape it.
One big problem with this approach is that weakness is real. Behind our masks, everyone is weak. It’s inbuilt into our humanness in this world. We can’t run from it, and thankfully we don’t need to. What we need is a biblical understanding of the value of weakness (that’s a strange-sounding phrase!), and how suffering is the tool God uses to expose it (that’s another strange idea!).
Everything changes when we see weakness and suffering in the light of the gospel. For it is through human weakness that God’s strength upholds us and is displayed to the world.
Here is the Bible’s description of who a Christian is: “We [are those who] have this treasure in jars of clay.” What treasure? The glorious gospel: the work of Jesus Christ to save sinners by grace through faith. And what is clay? A brittle, easily broken substance. And that’s what I am. That’s what you are.
God has a purpose in placing such a treasure in such a jar. We are unfit, breakable, disposable vessels, and God has decided to use our weaknesses to display his power and love. A jar of clay might be cracked in a few places, making it unusable in the world’s eyes, but God sees these deficiencies as a means to pour out and reveal more of himself.
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of Godʼs glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
2 Corinthians 4:6-7 NIV