If We Love…

If We Love…

Why is there so much hatred
Just because skin tones vary
And faith reigns in the multiplicity
Of cultural, ethnic, and social beliefs?

Why can’t parents raise children
With respect and discipline, knowing
How to receive love and love in return?

Why is it that parents who claim to love,
Abuse and misuse the children they brought into this world?
How can they not see the damage and lifelong misery
They cause with their neglectful, hateful ways?

Why do we need guns to settle differences
When all we need is communication—listening and hearing,
To one another, accepting differing perceptions of life, wrong and right,
Rather than creating a mockery of justice by taking lives?

Why do we need to self-medicate on drugs of choice,
Instead of seeking assistance, allowing pain to be our voice
In the deserts of waste and want and desire to arise,
Above current situations, seeing what we could be in a different light.

Why do we allow corrupt politicians to legislate
Laws that do nothing to help forward movement, but
Do everything to hinder justice for all, igniting even more
Hatred—fueling frustrations, igniting detonators lying deep within
The hearts of those who refuse to bend to the Will of God?
If we love as God loves—why can’t we do as God does—
Love unconditionally without thought to race, religion or doubt,
Just ready to love and forgive the slights shown to us, by those
Who don’t know Him, but we do— and should not act as those who don’t.

If we love our parents, why can’t we care for them in their hour of need,
Just as they took care of us, until we could care for ourselves,
Or do we just look inwardly and think only of self, not caring for others,
Despising and distancing ourselves from fathers and mothers,
Who even if they were wrong—the parent-child relationship should remain strong.

If we love our neighbors as ourselves,
Why can’t we see their hurt and need and allow compassion
And kindness to reign in our hearts as we tend to their comfort,
Knowing, what we do for others will be done unto us.

If we love, why can’t we sit down and talk about differences
And those needs we have in common—shelter, clothing and food,
Joy, peace, happiness, more love and all things good,
That guarantee the continual perpetuation of humanity,
Without the continual perpetration of abuse and misuse?

If we love, why can’t we love ourselves enough to see,
Where we need to grow up and mature, behaving responsibly?
Looking deep inside, outside and all around us—noting changes
That require movement on our part to sustain us and those
We say we love.

If we love…

© 2015 Mary M. Hall-Rayford

I Am Loved (Excerpt)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16—paraphrased)

Every time I read this passage of scripture I get chills reawakening me to the knowledge that I am loved!  Can you imagine God loving us so much that He willingly gave His only begotten (by virgin birth) Son so that whoever (I am part of the “whoever”) believes in Him would eternal life?  I can and do believe exactly what the Word says.  I know—no doubt in my heart—that if I had been the only person on the planet, He still would have died, just for me and if you believe it—just for you.  What an awesome God!  We are loved by Love [“God is love…” (I John 4:8, 16)]—unconditionally—no holds barred—no matter what we have done or will do-we are loved!

Sometimes, I know it’s difficult to love everyone, but when I think I just can’t take some people any more, He always shows me how to do it.  Do I always like it?  No!  I do not always want to love everyone, but He has taught me how to love the unlovable.  How?  There are really only two commandments that should concern us:  “Love the Lord our God with all our hearts soul and mind and love one another as we love ourselves” (Matthew 22:37-39—paraphrased).  If we truly love the Lord, we do not want to disappoint Him, so we do all that is in our power to please Him.  Isn’t that what we do when we love someone—we try to please them?  I’m not advocating trying to pacify everyone you know.  That is an impossible task.  However, when we try to please God, based upon those things He has admonished us to do in His Word; we can be assured of success and in pleasing Him.  Likewise, if we have love for others, don’t we do those things we know will please them?

For instance, with regard to personal relationships between spouses, parents and children, family and friends, we do those things that show them how much we care.  We are considerate and compassionate and are always there to support those we love, no matter what. Would we be inconsiderate of ourselves or beat ourselves, or cuss ourselves?  Not likely.  So why would we do it to others when we know that we are to “love others as we love ourselves.”

Since I cannot divulge stories about other people I know to illustrate this point, I’ll use myself.  For eighteen years I smoked cigarettes (yes, I know it was stupid, now) because I really didn’t know that the very act of smoking involved my lack of self-love.  After I quit smoking (because of rising prices—at the time $1.45/pack), and began seeking understanding about how to love me—I realized that any act that could potentially cause my body to malfunction was an indicator that I did not love me.  During my tenure of jail-ministry, I remember telling the inmates how stupid smoking was.  They didn’t buy it so I explained it this way:  “If someone handed you something to drink or eat with a skull and crossbones on the container, would you drink or eat it?”  I received a resounding, “No!”  My next statement to them was, “So, why would you continue to smoke cigarettes when the warning on the pack tells you it could kill you?”  They didn’t have an answer.  My guess is since many people are still smoking, no matter how much they cost (more than a gallon of gas), they don’t have an answer either.  My conclusion about these people is that they have not learned to love self.  When we love self—we will not do things that will cause us harm or put us in harm’s way.

This is an excerpt from “I Am All That God Says I Am”

It’s All Good

No matter how often a person is rejected or made to feel unworthy by others, it’s all good! There is One who will never reject us and sees us as being worthy enough to give His life for us. Who else, but a loving God would see us in all of our imperfections and shortcomings and love us anyway? Who else, but a loving God would see us when we fall, help us up and forgive us for any trespasses against Him? Who else, but a loving God is not willing to see us perish–having been influenced by an enemy that hates all mankind and all that God has created? Who else? No, not one man–but the only One and because of His love and grace towards us, it’s all good!