I dedicate this article tonight celebrating the Freedom of Speech to my father and my grandfather, My grandfather immigrated to this country from Armenia for the right to religious freedom. They loved this country and instilled that love into their six children. My dad never heard the Star Spangled Banner without tears coming to his eyes or his hand over his heart. If anyone ever asked him about his heritage he never answered that he was an “Armenian” but rather, “I am an American”, so am I 🙂
Maybe I should write something patriotic for this devotion, but there is something else on my mind right now. I wrote on “kisses” last night, the good the bad, the sweet and the ugly and it elicited a lot of comments in my inbox!
From two people I heard about betrayals and one made this suggestion, “Please no devotions on ‘loving your neighbor’ tonight!” It made me laugh out loud. The other was the story of a heart-breaking betrayal by someone in whom they had invested almost a lifetime, so I decided to ‘think out loud’ here on the day that we celebrate our country’s independence and the fact that I do still have freedom of speech!
I am a person that loves with my whole heart, I do not reserve spaces to be held back or hidden, I am an ‘out there’ kind of person and you have to decide if you love me back or don’t. I can deal with the ‘don’t’ if I see it coming but hate for someone to fool me into believing they are a true friend and then turn out to be the very person I talked about yesterday, Judas! I have accepted the blame for things I didn’t do in order to protect someone and never be thanked for it, which hurts.
1 Corinthians 13: 1-7 and then 13 says:
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
I won’t tell you about the times I have felt betrayed and growing up as a PK I can tell you it does happen, what I will tell you is this, if you have invested yourself in someone that has let you down, forgotten about you or betrayed you in some way, I do believe that “what goes around comes around”, or to say it in a different way, my dad used to say that “life is a boomerang, when you throw out something back it comes to you again.” Conversely, he would mis-quote (paraphrase) a Bible verse and say, “Cast your bread upon the waters and after many days it will return unto you POUND CAKE!” (In big letters because he would always get a little louder when he said it and stretch his eyes to enormous proportions J)
Before I end I will tell you about one kind of funny thing that happened to me, I was sixteen and trying very hard to impress the boy that smelled so good and had such beautiful blue eyes. We were playing cards with his brother and my aunt, who were dating at the time, I had the winning hand but because I didn’t want to embarrass him by beating him I folded which allowed him to win! I was very happy about it until he began to gloat and brag on himself because he won. Yeah you guessed it I never did that again!
Happy Fourth of July, pray for our country according to 2 Chronicles 7:14 and pray for and support our troops who sacrifice so much for our protection!