7 02 2014

I wouldn’t trade the last seven years of my life for anything. They have without a doubt contained some of the hardest challenges that I have ever faced and there were many a moment that I thought I was going to throw in the towel and flat out just give up. But only by the grace of God can I say that I’m still standing stronger than I have ever been! I am not the same man that I used to be. The situations and circumstances that would have practically rendered my personality paralyzed yesterday no longer have the power over me that they once did. God has shown me that I am still unbelievably far from perfect but the Lord has also made it clear that I must not apologize for being under construction. If I am going to face the facts that I have much to learn- it will mean making some blunders along the way to paradise! Don’t get me wrong, I still desire to be the absolute best man I can be- but I am no longer settled to just fake it when the real road to progress is to actually face it and let the chips fall where they may!

For Valentine’s Day- my card to heaven would read something like this: “God, I love you! I truly do! And I am still blown away by the truth that as the Lord of all, you would be mindful of somebody as inconsistent as me! And Jesus, I know that the love I offer today in humble worship goes lots deeper than the shallow stuff that I used to think was the real deal. I have realized that for way too long- I wanted you in my life because of what you would do for me rather than seeing that it was more about me finally surrendering my stubborn will to you! Thanks for showing me through all of the pain where my priorities truly need to be! Life is not discovered in the many presents that you offer me, God- but in the devoted presence you daily promise! And I can honestly say that I am still here on this earth because you have never abandoned me from heaven! Someday soon we will be together forever but until that reunion- use me to take as many people into this relationship with you as I possibly can! I never knew love like this before and it has only been because of hanging in there do I now understand the greatest gift of hanging out with you, my Lord- my Love- my Life!”

Love will be on the lips of lots of people this week. But more importantly, I am praying that it becomes a seed planted deeply in the hearts of all those who surround us. Love is a verb. Love doesn’t come easy. Love demands the sacrifice of our very best willingly given so somebody else will get out of the dark so that they may see the Son! Love doesn’t keep score. Love forgives. Love doesn’t make sense. But love is the engine that drives any relationship that expects to have a heart and a soul. Love makes the first move. Love gets involved. Love causes you to bleed in places that you didn’t even know existed. But love adds depth to what might only end up a wide field of nothing without it! God is love! But God gives it freely so that it fills us to spill from us. Love is the reason to breathe. Love is the answer. Love is what we all need today and every day.

Here are a few of the lessons learned on the road to love being revealed to me and in me and now through me. I share them with you with the hope that you will share them with others and we pass along what should never be contained to just one!
• Appreciate this day that you’ve been given. Unwrap it as the precious gift that it is. No matter how difficult life may seem at times- you are alive and you do make a difference!
• Love God first with everything you have. Don’t put anything else above the Lord. Nothing can replace what only he provides!
• Show love and kindness to others in a steady supply. Be compassionate. Smile at strangers. Talk to the ones you say are important. Don’t wait until it is too late to say what needs to be said right now. You can never say or show, “I Love You” enough.
• Just because others can be jerks don’t join them in their ignorance! It takes no effort to be a selfish pig. We all do that naturally. Make it a priority to raise the standard and take the high road. Sticks and stones will break bones and calling other people names is even worse!
• Take care of your temple- your body. I have learned this one the hard way. Some times the most spiritual move you can make is to eat right, get enough rest and exercise. Saying, “No” to doughnuts is hard for me because I won’t eat just one. I’ll down a dozen! So I am purposely fighting hard so I can stick around for all God still has in store for me. I pray the same for you!
• Stop just dreaming about tomorrow. Start doing some of those adventures today. Someday is not a day on the calendar. Pray and then believe that God can make happen the very passion that he imparted within you. You will never know what you will never even try!
• Stop at least once a day and really look at the beauty around you. God plants bouquets even in the desert.
• Work hard but don’t make work your reason to live! Life will go on with out you! But the people around you who love you need you more and need you now!
• Put down the phones and step away from the video and make eye contact!
• Stop trying to please the people who don’t even like you any way. The minute you do what they want, they will provide another ten things that irritate them about you. It isn’t worth it.
• Respect yourself. I had to come to the sobering reality that I hated myself. The reason I would allow others to control me is because I didn’t think I was worth it. But God has changed all of that! We’re all human and we all make mistakes, but if you’re heart is in the right place, and you keep your motives pure- God will bless!

Feel free to share with me any of your life lessons at pastorrudytlc@comcast.net And please know that you are loved this Valentine’s Day. Stop looking for it in all the wrong places where you can become very disappointed and start looking up! God will show you something specific and special today- if you will just pay attention!



One response

7 02 2014

I wish I could convey in words how much this inspired and meant to me. Thank you Pastor for all you have done for my family and I in our walk with The Lord. You are a blessing to us!

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