Friday, December 23, 2011
Time with Hope: 4 years. Dan has been at Hope since before it was Hope!
Bio: Dan is the pastor of Chattanooga Valley Presbyterian Church in Flintstone, Georgia. Married to Mako, his wife of 16 years, Dan is also the father of 3 beautiful children. Dan also serves as Stated Clerk of the Tennessee Valley Presbytery.
Currently Reading: Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt by Christine Leigh Heyrman
Interesting Fact: Dan speaks Japanese and is locally known as the "Ken Tanaka of Flintstone."
Friday, December 9, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Loving someone is hard. It doesn't take a great deal of imagination to realize that being patient, kind (not boasting, not dishonoring, etc.) is really, really hard. Because this doesn't happen in a bubble. In day to day life, this means washing the dishes. Again. It means being faithful to a husband or wife, even when they have broken certain promises, denied trust, or simply been unkind. Love means protecting a friend, even if it hurts, or puts you on the line. Love means choosing to hope for the best, pray for best, and seek the best of another, even when the world tells you that is crazy.
But are we capable of this? No. Of course not! To think so is just silly. If we believed ourselves to be good, kind, generous, and humble all on our own... well that would be a mistake. A big one. When we fail at doing these things -we pick a fight because we are in a bad mood, we avoid a difficult situation with a friend, or we simply shut ourselves off from those who need us- we are simply being our fallen, sinful selves. We have forgotten that the story starts and ends with Jesus. Jesus is the one who lives in our hearts and makes it a happy home. Jesus is the only one who can soften our prideful heart and make us to weep with those who mourn, even when we just don't feel like it. Jesus gives us compassion, hope, and courage to do that which is right. Jesus gives us wisdom, strength, and the ability to die to ourselves.
Jesus is the reason we can love the poor. He is also the reason we can love the somewhat frustrating person on the church committee, the emotionally needy lady who sits next to us in church, and the man who won't quit asking for money every time he sees you on the corner of 4th and broad. You are not a good person. You are not even an alright person. But Jesus is patient (with you) and he is kind (with you). And guess what? We can celebrate our massive failures because Christ lives in you (and me) and equips you... to be just like Him!