Tough Love

Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.

Ribbon of LoveIn this season of Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All, why is that so hard to find?

Recently, this observation registered on my consciousness:
When someone loves you,
They don’t have to say it;
You can tell by the way they treat you.

Actions speak louder than words.

Accepting that LOVE is an action verb, what exactly are we to be doing?

Gifts galore with no end in sight,
How mighty we’ve become
To think affection we can buy.

Harm is caused to those we slight,
Because they simply desire a welcome,
A pleasant greeting and a “Hi!”

Stuff is an accumulation of an ending never.
Kindness is an opportunity of a beginning forever.

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

I can read that paragraph over and over, again and again. What I see is: all action — and, no stuff.

At this time of year, many are adamant in declaring, “Christ is the reason for the season.”

OK. Let’s take a look at what He has to say.

So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

Again, what I see is: the action to reconcile — then, the stuff of sacrifice.

For the pack-rats among us, there is a subtlety worthy of note. The stuff is temporarily ours — right up to the moment, we offer it in sacrifice.

For the recipients (who might be the individuals of our family and friends — or, our heavenly Father) of these sacrificial gifts, what is more important: action, or stuff?

The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.

Oh, how the chorus continues: Thank you for the stuff. Please, do what is right.

For the modernists among us, there is a Right and Wrong. In fact, there are very few Maybes. Yes and No are as definitive as Left and Right.

This is Right.

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

Now, that’s a definition of Tough Love.

www.kimfoard.com

Little Things

When standing nose-to-nose with the Monster, we have two choices: 1.) Forfeit our dreams and the prize — 2.) Chisel the beast down to size.

For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

All for the want of a horseshoe nail.

All of us encounter big challenges throughout our lives. Some are of our own making — others, from the hand of fate. When we are standing nose-to-nose with the Monster, there are two choices. We can either forfeit our dreams and the prize — or, chisel the beast down to size.

Mile by mile, it’s a trial,
Yard by yard, it’s hard,
Inch by inch, it’s a cinch.

Little things make a big difference:

1.) In the entire universe, there is only one YOU. The fingerprint of your touch is unique in the lives of those, within the sphere of your influence.

2.) While respectful of the very tangible Role Power by those in authority, you hold in your hands the greater intangible Relationship Power to enlighten, empower, and encourage.

3.) The person most mature in any relationship will lead the way by being proactive, patient, and kind. You have the ability to break down dissenters — by, loving them to pieces.

4.) All good things in life must be built. By doing your planning and preparing to succeed — in being a good steward of Time and Money — the sanctuary of a home nurtures innovation.

5.) Construction is an ugly business. From the bits and pieces of a beginning, masterful creations are the result of your passionate brick-by-brick effort, to deliver value to the world.

6.) By asking, seeking, and knocking — you will hear ideas, find truth, and walk through open doors. Each person has something to share.  Care abundantly, Listen intently, — then, Do good.

7.) Focus only on changing ‘Things’ within your control. ‘People’ change, only, when they make the decision to behave differently. Forget about pleasing others. Work on yourself.

Big things and big people have their reward in the daily headlines. They are so proud of their largess. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Salvation of the realm will be done by the little people — who humbly tighten the nails to save the shoe, save the horse, save the rider, save the day, and preserve the kingdom for the benefit of everyone.

www.kimfoard.com

Pleasant Conversation

The pleasant conversation of a friend can nudge us from the ruts of our repetitive thought patterns to enlighten, empower, and encourage us to more positive actions.

Pleasant ConversationThere is a way to know what is at the core of a person: Listen, carefully, to what they say.

The adage is true, “What we say flows from what is in our heart.”

We guard our hearts by fixing our thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.

A choice is made to, only, think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Anyone professing to espouse LOVE will sound like a bubbling stream of these seven attributes.

Patient: The accomplished Masters of patience know that communication is what the listener does. There is a silence between our last words and their reply. They listen to every bit of what we have to say, before sharing their thoughts.

Kind: A four letter word brought to life by those who “Know Inherently Nice Delights”. Small demonstrations of generosity and loyalty bring smiles to all. These practitioners believe in the physician’s creed of “Cause No Harm.”

Rejoices with the Truth: Happiness added to Honesty, literally, makes us want to dance!

Protects: The purveyors of protection understand the importance of preserving confidence. Secrets are safe with them; Solutions are discovered in their embrace; and, they are a Sanctuary from the storms of life.

Trusts: When push comes to shove, those who have our back are worth their weight in gold. In fact, because they believe in the Golden Rule, we can trust that they will do everything, exactly, as they said. Their word is our bond, priceless in value and peace of mind.

Hopes: In the center between Faith and Charity, this is the anchor for our soul. With an abundance of hope, all things are possible. Lessons from the Past are acknowledged; each moment of the Present is enjoyed; and, the Future is anticipated with fascination and curiosity.

Perseveres: Much more than never giving up, this is a chosen purposeful effort, often done in the face of fear, to nurture our own growth, and the growth of others. It is demonstrated as the steadfast determination of willpower to, always, do what is right.

Why is Pleasant Conversation so, very, important? Because, all we do begins with a thought. Whether we think we can, or can’t, we’re right. The pleasant conversation of a friend can nudge the needle past the broken-record groove of our repetitive thought patterns to enlighten, empower, and encourage us to more positive actions.

That same friend can lead a conversation to new horizons of discovery, which provide opportunities for growth in thought and deed. As iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen friends; until, we find ourselves on the cutting-edge of Love and the leading-edge of Pleasant Conversation!

www.kimfoard.com