Friday, July 15, 2011

What is Love?

Today as I searched in my mind for the meaning of love and why there is this great search to find love. I was directed to this amazing scripture found in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3," Though I speak with the tongues(languages)of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing." Let us pause and take a deep breath, Speaking all languages not only of men , but of angels?, the best predictor of the future? faith that is able to move mountains of whatever proportion? the best Philanthropist? the best Martyr? These don't qualify if they don't have love?

More songs have been written about love than about any other topic. It has inspired some of the world's best, and worst, poetry. It has set on fire, and broken, countless hearts throughout human history. Many things are said about love. Yet for the final word on the topic, we  must turn once more to that passage of scripture in the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 13, the apostle Paul, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, provides the world's most beautiful ode to love.

    One common word for love in the Greek language was eros, which suggested physical sexual desire and not much else. Another word philos, suggested the esteem and affection found in a casual friendship. Because neither of these words came close to describing the kind of love he wanted to communicate, Paul chose a relatively rare Greek word for his definitive passage on love. This word, agape, describes a love that is based on the deliberate choice of the one who loves rather than the worthiness of the one who is loved. This kind of love goes against natural human inclination. It is giving, selfless, expect-nothing-in-return kind of love. Paul's description of love is short but full of power.

       Love suffers for a long time. Our modern " throw-away" society encourages us to get rid of people in our lives who are difficult to get along with, whether they are friends, family, or acquaintances. Yet this attitude runs in complete contrast to the love described by Paul. True love puts up with people who would be easier to give up on.

      Love does not envy. If our love is directed toward others, we will rejoice in the blessings they receive rather than desiring those blessings for ourselves. Fundamentally, the selfless love that God calls us to does not involve pride or glory. It does not parade itself and is not puffed up. In fact, true love does not seek its own. If we truly love others, we will set aside our own plans, agendas, and entitlements for the good of another.

     Love is not provoked. That is, love is not easily angered or over-sensitive. When we truly love others, we are careful not to be touchy concerning other people's words or actions towards us.

     Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. The godly love described in this chapter has nothing to do with evil, but has everything to do with what is right and true. It believes all things and hopes all things. This does not mean that love is blind or naive. When we love, we may recognize problems and failures in people, but we do not lose faith in the possibilities of what people might become. Love never gives up, knowing that God can change lives for better.

  Finally, love endures all things. Love accepts any hardship or rejection, and continues unabated to build up and encourage. The love described by Paul in this "love chapter" means determining what is best for another person and then doing it. This is the kind of love that God shows us. Are their hurting people around you, and might have even abuse you. Then let us do the loving thing, and return true love, which the God of the universe is willing to give to all men, if we are ready to receive it.       

Saturday, July 9, 2011

How Should we Worship?

" Humility and reverence should characterize the deportment of all who come into the presence of God. In the name of Jesus we may come before Him with confidence, but we must not approach Him with the boldness of presumtion, as though He were on a level with ourselves. There are those who address the great and all-powerful and holy God... as they would address an equal, or even an inferior. There are those who conduct themselves in His house as they would not presume to do in the audience chamber of an earthly ruler. These should remember that they are in His sight whom seraphim adore, before whom angels veil their faces. God is greatly to be reverenced; all who truly realize His presence will bow in humility before Him." E.G.White

Friday, July 1, 2011


Every year, it kills more children, women, and men than hurricanes and earthquakes! Yet extreme poverty is too often ignored. More than 1.2 billion children, women, and men—or approximately 18 percent of the world's population—live on less than $1.50 a day. This extreme poverty keeps people hungry all day and all night. It deprives them of housing, medical care, the ability to work, and the chance to receive an education.
Vegetable gardening is a new concept in Niger, where hungry women and children often eat grass and leaves when there is nothing else to consume. Even when the family has a few cents, there is literally no food to buy. ADRA is teaching women to plant vegetables, first for their family's consumption, and second for income generation.
In many villages, ADRA is also installing wells and water pumps. "When we first started the ADRA garden project, we carried the water in buckets on our heads for long distances," says Raki. "It was very hard work, and we wondered if it would be worth it. As we saw plants grow and create food to eat, we all decided it was worth all the effort.
When you give to ADRA, you help create long-term solutions. Through ADRA, you can be the hands that lift these individuals into a brighter tomorrow. Please send your gift today!
"We are eating things we had never heard of or seen before," Raki shares. "I enjoy the onions because they can be added to everything. All these new tastes! It is something I would not have believed.
"Now ADRA has given us water to drink and cook with, use for bathing, and when there is no rain, use for growing food. I am expecting big success next year! It will be the first year to grow food with constant water. Never, never," Raki says, shaking her head emphatically, "did I dream of always having water. Sometimes I think this is even better than having food to eat."
In one village far off the beaten path, where peanuts grow without effort, ADRA's vegetable project has allowed the women to harvest the peanuts and turn the majority of their crop into peanut oil.
Lamin, the president of the women's cooperative, is an elderly woman. She says that the peanut harvest is going so well that for the first time they have had to hire two people to help the community. The workers will be paid with peanut oil that they can use for their own needs or choose to sell.
"This will be the first year that we will be able to hold the peanut products to sell at the market when the price is best, instead of selling when we are desperate for food for our families. ADRA is teaching us that this is another way of saving and improving our lives," Lamin says. "I am grateful to ADRA for teaching us, for caring about us, and for showing us how to help ourselves."
Won't you answer this call by sending a gift today to invest in lifting more individuals like Lamin and others around the world out of the depths of extreme poverty?
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