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Bridging our Differences

bridging our differencesOur voices combined and rose to the Heavens. We sang in different tongues to the one who hears us all. I may not understand the words they say, but He does. There is one language you do not need to translate – Love.

I do not need to understand their words to understand their hearts. All of our hearts beat for God.

A group of ladies – from a different skin, a different language, a different culture, a different country, a different religious upbringing, a different LIFE.

Lifting hearts to our Savior.

A group of ladies – all loving, all serving, all embracing, all praising, all rejoicing, all worshiping.

The same God.

A group of ladies – together we celebrate, together we eat, together we laugh, together we embrace, together we love, together we build a bridge across our differences.

All for HIM.

All for LOVE.

We found each other.
We found common ground in our differences.
We found acceptance.
We found our differences were a bridge to celebrate.
We found, well, we found we really aren’t that different.
We found love.

Through Christ. Through LOVE.

Seeds planted. Miracles prevailed.

The story – My friend, Carla, invited a group of Christian women to join together in prayer and fellowship with a group of Arab Christian women. We really didn’t know what to expect. The room was filled with Arab women dressed in colorful robes (my Texas ears just didn’t pick up the name very well) and the aroma of middle eastern cooking let us know they prepared a feast for us. We ate and laughed as we got to know each other. After our meal we had a time of worship. The words were first sung in English, then in Arabic. Let me just tell you, when the languages switched, those women raised the roof with their praise! The level rose as they beat their drum and clapped and drowned out the piano with praise. The freedom in their voices! The love! The joy!

A miraculous, beautiful testimony retold the story of how one precious woman came to know the Lord after being a devote Muslim. At the end of her story, Carla asked what we, as American women, can do for them. The answer is so simple. Just talk to us. When you see us our people in public, just speak to us. Don’t be afraid to. That really hit me. (So did another life changing sentence, but I want to share that for it’s blog post. It’s too powerful…) You see, I don’t talk to people in public. It doesn’t matter what nationality you are, I just don’t. NOT ANYMORE.

The next day while standing in line at a coffee house, I profiled the people in front of me. They had the olive skin and hair coverings, so I thought, maybe I should talk to them. After arguing with myself (Ok, with the Lord) about it, I told the young lady I liked her scarf. We had a most wonderful conversation. Her mom joined us in a discussion about scarves and knitting. Now that is something I can easily talk about any day to anyone! I was actually sad when our coffee was ready. Before they walked off, the young lady turned to me and said, “Thank you, I really, really thank you.”

Wow.

Building Bridges is not very hard after all.

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Say YES!

Last week I gave tips about saying NO to your kids. In order to not sound like a negative Nelly, I am following that post with this one on saying YES to your kids.

Times to say YES:

Kisses, hugs, cuddles, love

Things your child needs to feel safe

Playing together, even when it’s rowdy

Prayer time

Reading books

Pillow stepping stones, forts out of blankets, and skating in socks

Dressing themselves, even if it doesn’t match. Yes… even if it really doesn’t match.

Special treats for no reason

Arts and crafts

Science Experiments – the messier the better!

Bug habitats, unless it’s a pocket…

Silly songs and secret whispers

Beauty Parlor around the kitchen table with painted toenails, creamy facials, and even a tad bit of make up!

PJ parties and movies with popcorn

Sleeping in and cake for breakfast!

Did I mention hugs, kisses, cuddles, and love?

Just as saying NO is important to the training of a child, saying YES is important to a sense of security and creating special memories. I know this list could go on and on. What are your favorite things to say YES to? Let’s keep the list going in the comments!

John 15: 9 – 13 (NIRV)

Just as the Father has loved me, I have loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love. In the same way, I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy will be in you. I also want your joy to be complete. “Here is my command. Love each other, just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than the one who gives his life for his friends.”

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