Tag Archive | humility

Jesus Vs. The Seattle City Council, Psalm 144:3

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I would be very surprised if Buddy puffed up his chest, strutted about and suddenly declared, “I am TOO WONDERFUL, too good to be subservient to you anymore, Dawn. I don’t have to do anything you want me to do. I’m going my own way. See you later, doofus!”

In fact, we’d all be surprised if any dog acted that way. It would be entirely abnormal for a dog to be contrary and willfully disobedient. We love them so much because they continue to love us unconditionally no matter how badly we act toward them, toward others, or how awful we look at any particular time.

Normally, I try to avoid politics in my blog, but an incident was reported on the local Seattle newscast a few nights ago that upset me terribly.

An middle-aged man, slightly scruffy, was standing in front of a microphone before the Seattle City Council. He asked the members to look at him while he was speaking. They totally ignored him and continued to stare at their electronic devices. He gave up trying to get their attention and walked off in total discouragement. He felt unimportant before his elected officials.

I don’t know what this man was talking about, because the newscaster didn’t specify nor did the film show it. He could have been speaking about something I totally disagree with or don’t care about. However, apparently, he was a citizen of Seattle and had a right to bring his concerns before them. It angered me that this man was treated with such callous disrespect, as if he was just a bug crawling across the floor, totally beneath their notice. I haven’t seen such pride and scorn shown to someone by public officials that I recall. I’d bet if the man was a rich developer, the members of the Seattle City Council would have shown him rapt attention.

Did you ever consider how amazingly humble God is?

“O Lord, what is man, that you take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that you think of him? Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.”–Psalm 144:3

Our great God “counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.”–Psalm 147:4

“The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.”–Psalm 24:1

“With God all things are possible.”–Matthew 19:26b

“But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him?”–King Solomon, 2 Chronicles 2:6

“The Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts.”–King David, 1 Chronicles 28:9

God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, yet He encourages His children to make requests of Him:

“Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock and it will be opened up to you….How much more will your Father who is in heaven GIVE what is good to those who ask Him!”–Jesus, Matthew 7:7-8,11

“…casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”–Apostle Peter, 1 Peter 5:7

And to those who don’t know Him, He invites them to enter into a love relationship with Him to find inner peace:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”–Jesus, Matthew 11:28-30

No one is beneath the notice of the greatest King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

He loves you.

“…the very hairs on your head are all numbered.”–Jesus, Matthew 10:30

God Almighty acknowledges you and knows you intimately.

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Jesus knows every sin you’ve ever committed, yet still loves you very much. You cannot hide anything from Him, so why keep trying to? You think you’ve done something that has surprised Him or He’s never seen before during five thousand years of civilization? He knows what you say and do before you say and do it: Psalm 139, and even knows when you stand and sit down. He’s totally omniscient. Yet totally loving.

Yes, life is tough. It sucks some days. “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”–Apostle John, 2 John 1:19 But God pierces the darkness with His love and gives us rest from the worries of this life. He doesn’t promise an easy path, but He walks alongside us and helps us to endure or rescues us.

Every day we have a choice: embrace the darkness or choose to walk through the darkness behind the Great Shepherd Who is lighting the way with His lantern of truth and love.

If you want to accept Him, please pray:

Lord I’ve sinned but You already know that. I want to experience Your great love for me in this hurtful world. Can you please forgive my sin and wash me clean in Your sight? Please give me the gift of the Holy Spirit so that I can begin to walk with You through this tough life and enter into Heaven one day to live with You for eternity.

God bless you from Dawn and Buddy.

***

Sorry to be rather awol with my blog posts this year. I had a very tough Winter and especially the last few weeks. Five of my friends and relatives died, my dad almost died, Buddy was squealing in pain for two weeks and a close family member is undergoing tests for potential cancer. I also had a bad cold but still had to work. I’ll try to be more consistent this year.

My Great Shepherd is holding my hand.

And guarding over me and Buddy.

Are You A Fake Christian? Part 1, 1 John 4:20-21

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Most of us dog owners love to dress up our dogs. Sometimes it’s gratuitous, like Buddy’s Hawaiian shirt, or at times, like the above, it’s necessary to keep him warm or dry in inclement weather conditions. Buddy tolerates the coats and neck scarves but hates to wear anything on his head.

It’s sad when people claim to be Christians but really aren’t. They give God a bad name. It’s even sadder when the person believes they know Christ but don’t. They are presenting a false image to the public, wearing fake clothing.

Now I cannot look into a person’s heart and know if they are saved or not–only God truly knows who His sheep are and will reveal them on Judgment Day, when He separates His sheep from the goats (Matthew 13:25-30). But it deeply grieves me when someone claims to know Christ but puts down and criticizes their brothers and sisters, particularly publicly to nonbelievers and doubters.

“If someone says, ‘I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.'”–1 John 4:20-21

Many times recently I’ve heard people who claim to know Christ say they don’t like to go to church or hang around other Christians because they aren’t sophisticated enough, or educated enough, or just enough of something or other. They don’t meet this particular person’s standards.

“Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.”–Apostle Paul, Romans 12:16

Apparently, it escapes their notice that they don’t have a right to judge their brothers and sisters because NO ONE measures up to God’s standards. As Christians, we are only acceptable to God because Christ died for our sins and attributes His righteousness to us. Otherwise, this holy God could not tolerate the presence of unholy people. That means all of us.

Not only that, but everything we have and are as persons is a gift from God: our talent, our IQ, our physical abilities, our level of beauty, is from God. We cannot brag about being smarter than others, because God is the one who gave us our intelligence. We cannot brag about being more handsome or beautiful than someone else, because our bodies were designed by God. Probably most people would like to be smarter or have more talent or skill, but everyone was designed to please God and serve His purpose. If anyone has a right to brag or put someone down, it’s God: our perfectly holy, omniscient and omnipotent God could easily squash any of us in a few words, but He doesn’t. He encourages, uplifts, heals, exhorts and strengthens us instead.

Rather than shun us, He chose to love and find a way to fellowship with unholy and far less intelligent and talented and creative people than He is.

Who invented color? Or thought up the concepts of rocks, grass, trees, and dirt? Or birds and fish and feathers and scales and skin? Who designed dinosaurs and worms and bacteria? Who flung the stars and planets across the galaxy and spun gold in the depths of the earth? Who invented air and water (the most miraculous of substances) and wove DNA?

There really is no more humbling philosophy than Christianity, because no one earns their way to Heaven by being good enough or smart enough or wise enough (Gnosticism). We all enter the same way, regardless of race, age, sex, health, beauty, talent or experience: By humbling our pride, acknowledging that we are sinners and require God’s forgiveness and guidance to understand right from wrong. We all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”–Jesus, John 13:34-35

“There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes…”–Proverbs 6:16-17a

Listed #1 as the thing that God hates (strong word) is haughtiness. Thinking you’re better than someone else, instead of being humble and serving others.

Even Jesus washed the dirty feet of His disciples. The great God stooped down and washed the feet of his quarreling, imperfect followers (John 13:4-16).

Do you love your fellow believers in Christ? If not, please ask yourself why.

We love you. Dawn and Buddy

PS. No apologies for creating blog titles designed to get your attention!

 

Evil for Evil, 1 Peter 3:9

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I have an elderly neighbor named Fran that loves Buddy, so we try to visit him most nights so that he can have some dog time. His daughters have been visiting and brought a little Chihuahua-Chow mix with them called Sammy. Sammy is one pound of fur, one pound of dog and a hundred pounds of nasty. He growled and snapped at Buddy’s nose when Bud walked over to him to say “Hi”.

Now Buddy considers Fran’s house his second home. Sammy is an interloper. But how did Buddy respond to having his nose nipped? Surprise. He didn’t snap back, growl or attack the little runt. Everyone in the household enthusiastically declared what a sweet dog Buddy is.

Now, as you can see, Buddy has a better attitude than I do. I was not at all happy that this “little runt” attacked my dog. I love Buddy and am very protective of him. But he’s more noble than I am. He didn’t even bark at the dog but I feel irritated that Sammy tried to hurt Buddy.

I wish I could be more like Buddy. Both the Old and New Testaments command us to “treat others the same way you want to be treated,” Apostle Paul exhorts us to not to “return evil for evil” (Romans 12;17), and Apostle Peter wrote:

“not returning evil for evil or insult for insult but giving a blessing instead;”–1 Peter 3:9

Too often my first impulse is to retaliate when someone insults or mistreats me. Even though I know that Proverbs says, “sweetness of speech increases persuasion,” I still want to verbally thump someone who says something I think is ignorant, ill-informed, or just plain wrong.

Sometimes I think God put dogs into our lives to show us that it really is possible to be kind when others are unkind, to love unconditionally. Often Buddy shows more mercy and kindness than I do.

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”–Jesus, Matthew 5:44-45

When I take a moment to reflect on Jesus, I realize how the majority of people ignore or hate Him. Being omniscient, God knew that most people would reject Him, yet He still chose to give up His glorious home and restrict His divine power to live as a human being and die on a cross for our sins.

“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”–Romans 5:6-8

God did it so that He could turn enemies of God into children of God by removing the sin barrier between us. God cannot tolerate evil and must punish it. Yet, instead of destroying the human race, He chose instead to suffer horribly and take our punishment for our sin.

What keeps me from being kind at times is a lack of humility.

Because when I’m rude and retaliating when someone is unkind or selfish, I’m forgetting that I once was an unbeliever till God had mercy on me. Who knows what kind of person I’d be today, or what foolishness I’d believe, if Jesus hadn’t convicted me of my sins on March 7th many years ago. Or “there but for the grace of God go I” the old saying goes.

“…to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy…”–Titus 3:3-5

And, sadly, what keeps people from knowing God is a lack of humility, the inability to admit that they’re sinners and need a perfect God to die on their behalf. Most people think they’re good enough to get to Heaven and don’t need someone to pay for their sins.

But God only accepts perfection to get into Heaven. “Therefore you are to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”–Jesus, Matthew 5:48

Personally, I know I fall short and cannot justify myself before a perfect God on Judgment Day. I just need to remind myself, before I’m tempted to “return evil for evil or insult to insult,” that God commands that I be kind, because He is kind to all.

In a rambling sort of way, what I’m saying is, that I need to be reminded to be kind when other people fall far short of how I think they should behave, because God is kind to me and accepts me as His child although I fall far short of His standards every day.

It shows how fallen I am that I even NEED to be reminded to be kind.

Thank God for His kindness and great mercy to me.

And bringing such a sweet and loving dog into my life to remind me what unconditional love really is like.

Thanks for reading and for your time. God bless you. Love from Dawn and Buddy