Posts Tagged: love

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"

If I speak with the charm and sophistication of James Bond 007, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol.

If I have the gift of being faster than a speeding bullet, stronger than a locomotive and am able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I live in Sherwood Forest and together with my merry men steal from the rich and give to the poor, and even die in the process, but have not love, I gain nothing.

A real hero, as I have learned, is patient and kind. A real hero does not envy or boast, and is not proud. A real hero is never rude or self-seeking and keeps no record of wrongs. A real hero does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. A real hero always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

If a real hero loves— he or she will never fail. The bionics of the Six Million Dollar Man will one day cease. The sword of Zorro will one day be stilled. The white stallion of the Lone Ranger will pass away.

When I was a child I thought like a child, I talked like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man I put childish ways behind me.

For the real heroes among us, these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

This day and everyday, with the help of God, I pray that I will always be a real hero.

"

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Daniel Walker’s paraphrase of 1 Cor 13, which he read at his wedding ceremony.

Walker, D. God in a Brothel. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2011. 24-25. Print.

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Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. -James 1:27

Maybe it is easy to ignore need in the world if we label people. When people in need are “the poor,” “the hungry,” “the Africans,” etc., then they become those other people rather than our own. Labeling people does not allow us to think of them as individuals, which is how God sees them, and we start making the mistake of lumping them all together as the same. FYI, Africa is not a country and we cannot assume that we have nothing to learn from people in Africa and that every African is poor, hungry and sick.
On the other hand, there is very real need in Africa, just as there is real need in the United States, in California, and believe it or not, in Cupertino. We just need to look.
When Jesus says that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, we should note how we think about ourselves all the time and that maybe the attention and care we pay to ourselves ought to be turned outward to other people. Not because they are those other people, but because we, alike, are valued by God, so much that He sent His one and only Son to die for us, so that we all can turn to Him in times of need.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. -James 1:27

Maybe it is easy to ignore need in the world if we label people. When people in need are “the poor,” “the hungry,” “the Africans,” etc., then they become those other people rather than our own. Labeling people does not allow us to think of them as individuals, which is how God sees them, and we start making the mistake of lumping them all together as the same. FYI, Africa is not a country and we cannot assume that we have nothing to learn from people in Africa and that every African is poor, hungry and sick.

On the other hand, there is very real need in Africa, just as there is real need in the United States, in California, and believe it or not, in Cupertino. We just need to look.

When Jesus says that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, we should note how we think about ourselves all the time and that maybe the attention and care we pay to ourselves ought to be turned outward to other people. Not because they are those other people, but because we, alike, are valued by God, so much that He sent His one and only Son to die for us, so that we all can turn to Him in times of need.

(via living-ark)

Source: sinking-from-the-start
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You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning

[…]

You make all things work together for my good

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. -Rom 8:28

Source: Spotify
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I wrote this for our church newsletter. Then I put pictures and gifs to make it more interesting. You have permission to laugh at me now.

I, Karen Yang, was a boring teen. I didn’t go to birthday parties or sleepovers. I never saw a movie at night and definitely never went with boys. I hardly went to youth group, except when I felt bad for Sharon and Pastor Mike, who kept calling me.

Of course, now I am a youth intern for a youth group filled with boys, who organizes birthday celebrations, all-nighters and movie nights… through phone calls. God chooses unlikely people to serve Him in unlikely ways. Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt, possibly with a stutter. The prostitute Rahab hid Hebrew spies in Jericho. Jesus’ mother, Mary, was chosen as a girl from the middle of nowhere. The list goes on and on: that’s why the Bible is full of genealogies, lists of names of people who followed God that show that anyone can serve Him.


These names point to God’s glory, just as real love is “not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 Jn 4:10). Our teens could be more studious about 1 & 2 Peter and Hebrews, could spend more time at Villa Garcia and could raise more money for 30 Hour Famine, but real love is not about the little ways we love God. Real love is about the big way that He has loved us first.

Real love is about how God brings together diverse teens from the Southwest region of the Nazarene church to Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California for a weekend of worship, learning about God and hanging out, regardless of how much Scripture they know. Real love is about how Villa Garcia kids look forward each week to meeting our teens for math tutoring. Real love is about how World Vision has partnered with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries to send funds directly to areas that suffer from famine, such as Malawi, Africa.

My family has started gardening a lot, so when I think “new life,” I think about seeds. I think about how love springs up like new life, because “No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us” (1 Jn 4:12). No one has ever seen the inside of a seed (at least, not without killing it), but if we give it some time and attention and kindness, the seed lives, and its life is brought to full expression; it sprouts, it grows, it matures, it blooms and eventually makes other seeds.

When I first started as a youth intern, I used to worry. What if I don’t teach enough? How will they know how much God loves them, that they should honor their father and mother, that approval shouldn’t come from romantic relationships, that the Old Testament is interesting and that we are to love those who are marginalized in society? What if they don’t have enough fun? How will they want to come to youth group, or make Christian friends, or think that Christianity is an exciting adventure where we are free to do what we are meant for? But my sister said, “Don’t worry. Just plant the seed. And give them candy!”


Now I don’t worry as much, which has been better for all of us. I trust that “the [Holy] Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true— it is not a lie” (1 Jn 2:27) and that just as the Holy Spirit taught us, we are to “remain in fellowship in Christ” (1 Jn 2:27). We’ve had fun on Friday nights, playing sardines and capture-the-flag, pre-ordering tickets to The Avengers for a group of 13 and eating shawarmas (a Mediterranean food featured in The Avengers movie). We are currently plotting to put flamingos on your lawns. I haven’t bought candy for the teens yet. As I said, I was a boring teen.


You can learn more about the youth by emailing karen[dot]lynn[dot]yang[at]gmail.com. We have a Facebook group and you can be invited.

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harmlesslion:

if you ever need to be reminded. <3 

Handy dandy list!

harmlesslion:

if you ever need to be reminded. <3 

Handy dandy list!

(via itsalvinjay-deactivated20140320)

Source: harmlesslion
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I was talking to one of the teens about 30 Hour Famine and his response was:

who
what
when
where
why
who’s going
what’s happening
when is it
where is it
why are we doing it

Whoooooo that’s a lot of questions!

Let’s do this.

Who: New Life Church Youth

What: 30 Hour Famine. We will learn about world hunger (specifically in the country of Malawi), experience hunger by fasting for 30 hours (juices only) and we will overcome hunger by fundraising ($30 can feed a child for a month; partnering with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries and World Vision) and serving in the local community to raise awareness.

When: We started learning about hunger and painting signs last Gathering (4/13).

Did you know that we have nail artists and chefs in our midst? Yes. Yes we do. We will start fundraising with Manicure and Meal for Malawi next Sunday after church. Invite friends!

Where: New Life Church, duh!

Why: You ask me a why and I raise you several questions…

1. What is pure and faultless religion?

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress (translation: the poor in society) and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

-James 1:27

2. What is a righteous man like?

He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked.

-Ezekiel 18:7

3. Does it really matter if I help alleviate hunger? Can’t someone else take care of world hunger?

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

-Matthew 25:34-40

(Of course, I am not saying that you have to help alleviate world hunger or you are a bad person, but I think we are called to have an others-oriented mentality. To be concerned about need in the world and meet that need in our own way.)

Who’s going: I hope you are! Even if you’re not a youth, please contact me at karen.lynn.yang[at]gmail.com if you want to be involved! Invite your friends!

What’s happening: We hang out. We watch videos. We make signs. We cook. We paint nails. We have a sleepover. We play games. We pick up litter. We drink juice. Whatever you think will help us alleviate hunger.

When is it: June 22-23 is Famine Weekend. Mark your calendars!

Where is it: We are giving our funds to help overcome hunger in Malawi

Why are we doing it: Hunger is a global problem.

Also, THROWBACKKK.

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"God died for you and for me and for that leper and for that person dying of hunger and for that person on the street…. It’s not enough to say that you love God. You also have to say you love your neighbor. Love, to be true, has to hurt. This requires people giving until it hurts. Otherwise it is not true love… Be the good news to your home people first. Find out about your next-door neighbor."

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-Mother Teresa, as she dedicated a convent in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1995; c.f. “Sacred Pathways” by Gary Thomas; “Mother Teresa of Calcutta,” Charlotte Observer (June 14, 1995)

Honestly, I think I would be terrified to meet Mother Teresa. Honored, but terrified. From what I’ve read, it seems like she was a spitfire, not afraid to tell people her mind, sometimes to the point of bossiness. But this came from a place of conviction, her confidence in what she was doing was right.

What she says here is incredibly challenging. “Love, to be true, has to hurt.” This week in women’s Bible study, we discussed Jesus’ crucifixion and the question: Why did Jesus have to suffer physical pain as He died?

When I think about the sacrificed that the Israelites once offered as atonement for sin, I don’t envision the flogging of a lamb. I envision the clean slitting of a throat, a quick death. But for Jesus, the sacrifice was different— it was messy, it was horrific, it was profoundly unfair. And through it all, his mother Mary watched and as Simeon prophesied to Mary in Luke 2:35, “And a sword will pierce your very soul” as she watched Jesus suffer and die in excruciating pain.

As hard as it is to imagine what Jesus’ sacrifice is like, it does convey that the sacrifice was important and authentic. That God takes seriously anything that might make us distant from Him (sin) and that Jesus’ love isn’t about words or little actions. It’s about giving up a life.

For us, words and little actions are important. Because love starts with being willing to give up our entire lives to God and other people. But it’s not about what’s safe, what little part of our lives we are willing to give on certain times when it’s convenient.

Sometimes it’s the giving up of a grudge against someone who has wronged us. Sometimes it’s spending time with someone who you don’t really like to show them that someone cares. Sometimes it’s choosing to work in a field that doesn’t pay very much so you can serve. Sometimes it’s holding your tongue when someone makes a false accusation against you. Sometimes it’s giving up a friend who makes you think about the world in a cynical way. I don’t know what it is for you. But these are the little ways we can choose to hurt for the sake of love.

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A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. -Proverbs 11:25

LaDonna told us that the food we gave her served as two of her meals. She also enjoyed adding the mashed potatoes to her eggs for breakfast. Omnomnom. Check out the teen bulletin board! There’s a thank you letter from Ken and Miladeen.

seekfaith:

Something to live by. 

(via living-ark)

Source: seekfaith
Video

Bear: What do you think is the perfect age to date?

Gerbil: Post-PhD.

Bear: So… four years of undergrad and seven years of graduate school?

Shroop: That might be a little late…

Source: youtube.com
Audio

Eirewolf and Anocelot did a beautiful cover of this on Sunday morning.

He’s more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
As close a heartbeat or a song on our lips
Someday we’ll trust Him and learn how to see Him
Someday He’ll call us and we will come running
and fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and we’ll pray,
"I want to fall in love with You"

(via catstalking)

Source: christisenough