September 03, 2013

Disabled Hearts

Nothing makes me madder than to see people taking advantage of the handicap parking spaces in front of stores for their personal convenience or forgetting to teach their little ones not to use the handicap stalls in the ladies when there are other available stalls for the taking. Or pushing around the elderly and infirm or mocking (making fun of) the hearing impaired or blind. Nothing shouts disrespect and contempt louder than that to me.
The last few days, the media has been focusing on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech. My hubbin and I watched a historic documentary the other night on the television about the race riots interspered with parts of Martin Luther King, Jr's speeches. I can remember my mother driving way out of her way to and from church, just so we could avoid the more volatile parts of town during those uneasy days. Prejudice comes in all forms.
Since I began writing down my gratitudes, I've noticed a gradual shift in my thinking. It's like that verse that says: "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:2).
In preparation for opening this blog, I read up on the definitions of gratitude and thankfulness. Take note of  the antonyms of the words =
Thank = acknowledge (verb); Syn. be grateful, give thanks, express gratitude, show appreciation, appreciate, recognize, praise, credit
Grateful = thankful (adj.); pleasing (adj.) Syn: appreciative, beholden, indebted, obliged. Antonyms: unmindful, abusive, rude, disagreeable
Gratitude = gratefulness (noun). Syn: appreciation, thankfulness, recognition, acknowledgement, valuation

The pattern of the world are those antonyms = unmindful, abusive, rude, disagreeable, symptoms of a disabled heart -- hate of others. As I was looking up the verse above in Romans, my eyes also caught sight of several other verses in Romans, like: "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts became darkened." (Romans 1:21). "Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." (Romans 13:9c,10) and "We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up." (Romans 15:1,2).
I could say that, even though I became a believer at the age of ten, I wasn't very grateful growing up. I was still operating in the world's pattern of thinking. It's hard not to when it's all around you and insidiously infuses your mind. It taken me years of perseverance, courage, tears, lots of prayer, forgiveness, refusal to give into bitterness, yielding to Christ on a daily, sometimes moment by moment basis, reading God's word to get to know his voice of love and a loving friend who instructed me to write down the things I should be grateful for. Christ, through my friend, is helping me to shed the clothing of darkness and to attire my heart with his shiny goodness = " since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. . . Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace, and be thankful." (Colossians 3:9-10, 12-15).

This is not to say I'm a perfect Christian by any means. It's a process of becoming clothed with loveliness. Ungratefulness and selfishness still rears its ugly head at times in my behavior, but when I become aware of it, I ask my Daddy Lord and others, if included in my faux pas, for forgiveness. I would hope no one would point fingers at me and say I'm a hypocrite, but it's possible. They don't understand that perfection doesn't come until I cross over into heaven where the all the uglies are barred. However that doesn't give me an excuse to keep doing wrong. "You, my brothers (and sisters), were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather serve one another in love. . . For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want." (Galations 5:13, 17); "But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy." (Titus 3:4,5). "What a wretched (wo)man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:24,25).

1. Thank God for his love, mercy and grace! Thanks, Daddy Lord, for your generous lap, taking my hand and cheering me on!
2. I'm grateful for my library. They provide a genealogy library, databases, and much reading materials for FREE! (That is, if I return the books and videos on time -- I tell them my overdue fees are keeping them in business! *smile*)
3. I'm extremely thankful for my new rolling walker with a seat!
4. I'm thankful for my crafty friends who share ideas and craft DVD's with me!
5. I'm thankful for the relaxing Labor Day weekend we had!


1 comment:

  1. Today I am grateful for:

    1. The urge to pick up the living room and giving into that urge while watch First Take on ESPN

    2. The Denver Broncos having such a good game against Baltimore Ravens even though I gave up on the game and went to bed by the time the explosive second half started.

    3. The fact that Phillip and I enjoyed a lunched together before his therapy appointment.

    4. Jimmy and Liz cleaning up the Kitchen without being asked to after I had picked up the living room.

    5. The fact that Tommy is going to try out for All State Choir and is enjoying Advanced Choir at West Monroe as much as he did at Monroe. Into each life a little sun must shine.


"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." (Hebrews 12:28).