{ Children & Grownups }

children

Children cry, laugh, and rage;

Grownups stifle feelings.

Children express thoughts.

Grownups suppress them.

Children dance.

Grownups sit.

Children hug their best friends.

Grownups sip coffee across tables, asking polite questions.

Children love without fear and believe what seems impossible.

Grownups love guardedly, and believe only what they see.

Children embrace life,

And grownups fear death.

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 18:3-4

{ Who Am I? }

I was ready for Black Friday this year. I bought the:

Instant Pot DUO80 8 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker and Warmer.

instant pot

My tech-savvy son told me the most popular item throughout the cyber weekend zoo was the

DNA Ancestry Test Kit.

dna

With this kit, you can:

  • “Uncover your ethnic mix” and
  • “Connect with relatives you never knew you had.”   (Is that a positive thing?)

 So, people are curious about themselves and their background.

And the Bible is full of background.

It lists more than a few genealogies.

And the records don’t leave out the unsavory relatives. They inventory the kings, the scoundrels, and the heroes.

If church people today were given the task of writing Jesus’ background, we might be tempted to skip a few people on the list.

It doesn’t look holy to include:

  • Rahab the harlot
  • Tamar the schemer
  • Ruth the foreigner

Yet, there they are.

Jesus’ arrival turned everything upside down.

  • He didn’t come to earth in a golden chariot, he came as a helpless baby.
  • He wasn’t born in a palace, but in an animal barn.
  • He didn’t boldly grab power, he chose to give up his life.

 

The Bible tells me about my background.

It says:

  • I’m made in God’s image — Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image…
  • I’m a sinner by nature —  Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 
  • He chose to redeem me — Ephesians 1:7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of his grace… 
  • He calls me His child — Galatians 3:26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 

So, I don’t think I will purchase the DNA kit. Black Friday is over and besides….

…I already know I’m half Norwegian, a quarter German and a snippet of English, Irish and Scottish.

Deeper than that, I’m a redeemed image-bearer and a child of God.

© Lisa M. Luciano 🙂

Word Prompts:  snippet and zoo

{ 3 Things About 3 Things }

shumilov-ludmila-59388One.

I am writing weekly, short spotlights on amazing missionaries, composers and church leaders. Here’s what I *taught myself* as I wrote this week:

  1. Be brave and fearless like Mary Slessor. Care more about loving people than what people think of you.
  2. Have faith like John G. Paton. Press on in your work, even though people around you doubt that God can answer prayer and do miracles. Faith, combined with sweat, dirt and hard work, will be worth it.
  3. What you have been doesn’t mean that’s what you will be.  With God’s touch, people can move from being purposeless jokers to daring, adventurous life-changers, like Brother Andrew. 

Two.

If I had to choose a keyword for 2017, it would be “Listen.” Reading a few books about better listening skills has improved me and ruined me at the same time.  I now have goals when I sit down at a gathering to talk to someone.  The talker doesn’t even have to be interesting.  They will become interesting when I give them the gift of my time and attention; when I immerse myself in what they are saying and see the soul behind it.

But, reading these listening books has opened my eyes. It bothers me now when I make the “listening mistakes”, or…when I feel people aren’t listening to me.

I’ve learned that most people don’t really listen. They often just wait as they get ready to talk at you. It takes self-control and self-denial to listen to someone.

Here are three things I want to remember about being a good listener:

  1. Don’t disengage while someone is talking to you.  Don’t ask someone a question, then drift off or look around. That hurts.
  2. Ask thoughtful questions. It lets people know you are listening, keeps you engaged, and actually makes their spiel more interesting.
  3. When you listen, you learn — about everything. “Everyone is an expert on something.” And, when you actively listen to people, you learn something you never knew before.

jessica-ruscello-173775

Three.

This is the most difficult. After years of calling myself a Christian, I realized I don’t have enough of the one thing that is supposed to mark a Jesus-follower. Yes, I have the quiet time, the doctrine and the lingo. But I want to love people like Jesus showed me from the Bible. Hating sin is the easy part (when it’s someone else’s sin.) And Christians are good at hating the sin, but sometimes not-so-good at loving the sinner…

  1. Look at people (all made in God’s image) with a Godlike, eternal, loving perspective.
  2. Love God and love people. Show I love God by loving people. Show people I love God by loving them.
  3. Expect God to show up every day in my life.

So…thanks for listening.

Lisa 🙂

Three books that have prompted me to write parts of this post:

  1. The Lost Art of Listening 
  2. We Need to Talk
  3. Why Nobody Wants to Be Around Christians Anymore: How 4 Acts of Love Will Make Your Faith Magnetic.

Photo credits:

Pears — Shumilov Ludmila

Hearts —Jessica Ruscello

{ Love Doesn’t Jangle }

IMG_20170708_080151

L ove doesn’t jangle — noisily drawing         attention

O r pleasing & praising self…instead–

V olleying kindness toward others, it’s not rude, arrogant or resentful,

E ven when others offend.

 

from 1 Cor. 13.

Word prompt of the day: JANGLE

Photo: painted canvas “Love One Another” created by Yankee Belles Vintage Farm Store

Jangle“>

{ Triumph }

 

alexander-s-kunz-116989

Sin-stung at birth, I'm 

Waiting for a makeover 

And timeless triumph


©  Haiku ♥ Lisa M. Luciano 

1 Corinthians 15:54-55
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, 
and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying 
that is written: 
Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? 
O death, where is your sting?"


Triumph“>

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/triumph/

{ H e R i T a G e }

IMG_20170517_202450.jpg

Heritage — it’s a rich, sad word.

This word reminds me that people live and die. They pass on good and bad to their children.

Some of my favorite thoughts about heritage come from the Bible. It’s a book about heritage. It’s a book that contains historical facts and verifiable prophecies fulfilled.

It’s a book of underdogs, surprises, and irony.

Rahab was a prostitute. Her heritage was headed in one direction, until God interrupted her path and placed her in the prestigious line of Jesus’ birth.

There are many true accounts like this in the pages of scripture.

But– I confess– the one I think most about is me and my heritage.

I was headed in one direction, and one day, God interrupted that path. He changed me. He didn’t just  tweak my life, or urge me to complete a self-help course. He raised me from my spirit-deadness and changed me like the caterpillar turns into a butterfly. In the cocoon, the caterpillar completely liquifies. It doesn’t emerge merely dressed up like a fancy version of the old creature.

It’s a totally new creation.

This is the heritage I want to pass on to my children:

It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today. A mother tells her sons and daughters about God’s faithfulness. –taken from Isaiah 38:19

The words that God commands me today shall be on my heart. I will teach them diligently to my sons and daughters. I will talk of them when I sit in my house, and when I walk, before I sleep and when I wake up. — taken from Deuteronomy 6:5-7

The heritage of ME will be imperfect. But by God’s grace, I will also pass on the heritage of faith. Each child will have the opportunity to grab hold of this inheritance.

It’s a legacy of faith in an eternal, loving God.

It’s an inheritance that will never fade away– even after I am gone.

“Is there any God like you? You forgive my sins. You pass over transgressions by the survivors who are your heritage. You are not angry forever, because You delight in gracious love.”

 – taken from Micah 7:18

Photo: Mother’s Day 2017

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/heritage/

 

~ Lisa

Tie It Up: a one minute reflection

I called a friend the other day. 99% of the conversation was me, listening.

Has this ever happened to you?

I got off the phone and thought, “I’m not perfect, but at least I don’t talk as much as she does…”

Two days later, I was the one having tongue troubles— too chatty, too sassy.

Can we ever really control the things we say?

James 3:8 says “…but no human being can tame the tongue.”  When we get angry, competitive or upset, that little muscle called the tongue can do lots of damage.

Consider this idea:  Ask God to tie up your tongue before it gets in trouble. Ask Him to do it every morning, even before you squeeze out the first word of the day.

Dear God,

Control every part of me today; especially my tongue. Tie up my tongue, unless it plans to say something kind, helpful, or healing.

Amen.