A Bit of Homespun

I’m Still Learning

I’ve learned — 1
that you cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is be someone who can be loved.
The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned — 2
that no matter how much I care,
some people just don’t care back.

I’ve learned — 3
that it takes years to build up trust,
and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned — 4
that it’s not what you have in your life
but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned — 5
that you can get by on charm
for about fifteen minutes.
After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned — 6
that you shouldn’t compare
yourself to the best others can do
but to the best you can do.

I’ve learned — 7
that it’s not what happens to people
that’s important. It’s what they do about it.

I’ve learned — 8
that you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned — 9
that no matter how thin you slice it,
there are always two sides.

I’ve learned — 10
that it’s taking me a long time
to become the person I want to be.

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But Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God to those people God has called—Jews and Greeks.”

1 Corinthians  1:24, NCV

I’m not sure who wrote this, I can’t remember even where or how I found this.   I’m obviously not the author. But it is an excellent piece of thought, I really hope it blesses you– making you see your life through some simple wisdom.

I do know that I have a Savior who is within me, living His life through me. Today, I choose to rest in His unfailing love for me.

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“Go and Learn” [Discipleship]

“Go and learn”

“When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

Matthew 9:12-13, NLT

These two verses are a challenge. They fit together like old watch mechanism, small gears and wheels in precise motion, keeping time in a treasured grace.  My father had an old one, used once by a train conductor.  It was made of gold, and had been used for almost 100 years.

The complexity of these verses were never meant to confuse the disciples.  But for them it is simple, to go and learn.”  Certainly, there are times we will be ‘schooled’ in what we learn.  And really the only way to approach this is in humility.  Trying to extract the truth will take patience and a broken heart.

Jesus states the truth of being a doctor, and there is a singular work that a doctor does.  It is serving all who come to him with sickness or injury.  Jesus clarifies a truth that has to be in place.

“Go and learn what the Scriptures mean when they say, `Instead of offering sacrifices to me, I want you to be merciful to others.’ I didn’t come to invite good people to be my followers. I came to invite sinners.” v.13, CEV

“Go and learn!” This implies that there are lessons for us, classes that we need to take in order to grow-up and touch sick and desperate people.  Funny, but it’s all about mercy, and nothing to do with “sacrifices.”  Mercy is what matters. I want you to be merciful to others.”

I admit that I’d rather be merciful, than to be right. (It’s good to be both.)  But mercy– and gentleness should be our driving impulse.  These attitudes assist us to move us forward. “Go and learn.”

The last verse reveals the thinking that Jesus has.  He has come to help those of us in trouble.  The good people don’t understand, after all, isn’t their ‘sparkly goodness’ enough?  As his disciples, we share our faith to all; but maybe we should consider the weak, poor and the sick already prepared for the words of Jesus? “Go and learn.”

“Discipleship is a lifelong process and journey rooted in a relationship with Jesus, whereby we become more like Christ.”

Greg Atkinson

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Ten Life Principles Worth Knowing

 

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This list was were found floating out on the internet, and although they are a bit secular most of them have corresponding Christian principles.  I’ve added a comment after each.  I hope that you will read them, and hold on to the good.

I’m not sure who the author of this list was. But kudos to them whoever they are.

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1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it’s yours to keep for the entire period. (But don’t forget that you are first a spirit, that just happens to have a body.)

2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, “life.” (This is called “discipleship.” Welcome!)

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately “work.”  (Consider the life of Peter, the apostle– he was up and down, but always learning. He was loved by the Lord, very, very much.)

4. Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson. (The Holy Spirit is a most excellent teacher.)

5. Learning lessons does not end. There’s no part of life that doesn’t contain its lessons. If you’re alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned. (Learn to love people is generally what these lessons are about. But remember, there is a life after this one that is vastly more significant.) 

6. “There” is no better a place than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”  (Actually, the best place to be is in the center of God’s will.)

7. Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.  (Hmmm. It is true that we have a common humanity, and we learn a ton just by observing human behavior.  And people do mirror our character back to us.)

8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours. (Perhaps.  But God directs our steps.  He is supremely in control, but will graciously lend you his tools.)

9. Your answers lie within you. The answers to life’s questions lie within you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust. (Actually, the Bible is pretty comprehensive in this capacity. Read it to be wise; trust it to be sure.)

10. You will forget all this. (Unfortunately, this is all too true.)

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The Toughness of Prayer

  “Pray as you can, not as you cannot.”

-Dom John Chapman

This is a Reprinted Article.

 by Dom John Chapman

Every so often I find something so sublime and so wonderful that all I want to do is make it available to a whole other audience.  This is so rewarding for me, to introduce to you an author and believer who has something to say.  However, I must tell you that you need to watch the cadence of what you read, be slow at first and then push forward.  Remember that there are lots of echoes, but “few voices in the wilderness.”  Anticipate a blessing.  I don’t know much about Mr. Chapman but I feel like I know him.  In eternity, I plan to seek him out and talk. 

—And then I plan to thank him profusely. Bryan

——————-

Prayer, in the sense of union with God, is the most crucifying thing there is. One must do it for God’s sake; but one will not get any satisfaction out of it, in the sense of feeling “I am good at prayer. I have an infallible method.”

That would be disastrous, since what we want to learn is precisely our own weakness, powerlessness, unworthiness. Nor ought one to expect “a sense of the reality of the supernatural” of which I speak. And one should wish for no prayer, except precisely the prayer that God gives us — probably very distracted and unsatisfactory in every way.

On the other hand, the only way to pray is to pray; and the way to pray well is to pray much. If one has no time for this, then one must at least pray regularly. But the less one prays, the worse it goes. And if circumstances do not permit even regularity, then one must put up with the fact that when one does try to pray, one can’t pray — and our prayer will probably consist of telling this to God.

As to beginning afresh, or where you left off, I don’t think you have any choice. You simply have to begin wherever you find yourself. Make any acts you want to make and feel you ought to make, but do not force yourself into feelings of any kind.

You say very naturally that you do not know what to do if you have a quarter of an hour alone in church. Yes, I suspect the only thing to do is to shut out the church and everything else, and just give yourself to God and beg Him to have mercy on you, and offer Him all your distractions.”

———————-

Source athttp://www.unionlife.com/Struggle.html

Background at—http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Chapman_(priest)


Taken from The Spiritual Letters of Dom John Chapman, osb.
© Copyright 1938 Sheed and Ward, London, England.
This reprint appeared in the Jan/Feb ‘97 issue of Union Life Magazine.

The Things We Must Learn

I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone that can be loved. The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back.

I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do.

I’ve learned that you can do some thing in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I’ve learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I’ve learned that you can keep going long after you can’t.

I’ve learned that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel. That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I’ve learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done regardless of the consequences.

I’ve learned that money is a lousy way to keep score.

I’ve learned that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned that you should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I’ve learned that no matter good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I’ve learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I’ve learned that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.