My Middle child graduated High School and I’m so proud of him.
I’m so proud of all 3 .. Love my kids ❤
My Middle child graduated High School and I’m so proud of him.
I’m so proud of all 3 .. Love my kids ❤
My mother. My Hero. Raised her daughters with dignity and respect. All by herself. Till this day she struggles to make us happy. She has suffered for so many years. I pray to God everyday to keep you safe. I love you more than words can say.
Before I was myself you made me, me. With love and patience, discipline and tears, Then bit by bit stepped back to set me free, Allowing me to sail upon my sea, Though well within the headlands of your fears. Before I was myself you made me, me. With dreams enough of what I was to be And hopes that would be sculpted by the years, Then bit by bit stepped back to set me free, Relinquishing your powers gradually To let me shape myself among my peers. Before I was myself you made me, me, And being good and wise, you gracefully As dancers when the last sweet cadence nears Bit by bit stepped back to set me free. For love inspires learning naturally: The mind assents to what the heart reveres. And so it was through love you made me, me. By slowly stepping back to set me free.
Copyright by Nicholas Gordon
“The Lonely Path to the Summit”
Paul summarizes all that he is facing in two phrases—he is “carrying in the body the death of Jesus,” but not without purpose, for it is “so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” Following a suffering and rejected Savior in a fallen world will involve suffering—both because the world is fallen and because the world rejects its King. But when we suffer and choose to trust Christ through the trials we face, we are filled with his power and presence, reflecting his image to those around us.
The road of hurt is marked by hope. But we shouldn’t underestimate that this road can, at times, be lonely. It was for Jesus, and it will be for those who follow in his steps.
I remember when we began realizing that my eldest son struggled in ways that other children seemed not to. I was on a scary journey that it seemed no one else could relate to. As the struggle intensified, I found myself pulling away from those I cared about, staying home, and pushing down the stress and emotional turmoil building within me. In the confusion, fear, and uncertain future, I felt utterly alone.
But—and I still find this surprising, and wonderful—over these lonely years I have discovered within me a thankfulness for the lonely road I have been given to travel. Walking it has brought me a greater understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ and to know him not only as my Savior, but my comfort, sustainer, hope, and strength. There’s something about having our worldly comforts stripped away, and company around us falling away, that allows us to begin to experience the true depth, length, and height of his love for us.
Jesus knows the pain of loneliness. He knows the loneliness of being misunderstood, the loneliness of being rejected by his own family, the loneliness of praying in agony while his closest friends drifted off to sleep nearby, and the loneliness of being abandoned by his Father. And he did it all for you.
One day, the road will end, and it will end in the eternal city of God’s people. The loneliness of this world will be washed away in the presence of Christ. The path is uphill, but the summit is glorious.
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