"Many who accept Christianity have no clue that as soon as they do, they're enlisted in a conflict. A conflict that rages every second of every day. One that competes for our heart, mind, and soul. To fully live the Christian adventure, we have to turn off the TV, stop living in denial, and refuse to participate in the tit for tat, one upmanship lifestyle that society demands we should engage. Christians are called to act differently from their past and differently in response to others." A Warrior's Faith by Robert Vera
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
10/21: They are suppose to get the test results today at 3. Please keep praying.
Update: There is no other explanation for it!
GOD DID IT!
All of the numbers that have been off for two years straight (leading to hospital stays, numerous tests, iv infusions, and blood transfusions) are now NORMAL! That also includes her blood pressure!!! She is off of the blood pressure meds for the first time in many years!!!
The bone marrow test came back noncancerous! The oncologist they met with today is openly Christian with openly Christian nurses. Wonderful experience!
GOD IS GOOD!!!
She still needs the watchman procedure and heart valve repair. She will see an RA specialist to work on that. The doctor told her she will improve. "We will get you straight!"
In the last 4-5 days, her RA has flared up really bad. The doctor said it was due to the extreme stress she has been under. She will see an RA (rheumatoid arthritis) specialist to work on that.
THANK YOU to all who have been praying for our dear friends.
THEY THANK YOU AS WELL!
PRAISE THE LORD!
10/20: They are suppose to get the results tomorrow or Thursday. So many of our friends are being hit hard right now.
10/18: I was asked for an update. This is directly from the family: "She is not doing well at all. She is sleeping most of the time. Please keep praying. They are very anxious about the test results." Thank you to all who are praying along.
10/14: The results were not given yesterday as they had been told. They now want her to wait until the 22nd to get them by going to an office. They do not plan on giving her any care until after then. Here's the thing. When she left the hospital, her hemoglobin was 8.1. Level 7 is when they give a transfusion. It will not be but a couple of days before she needs a transfusion again. She can not walk unassisted, her thinking is not normal, and her speech patterns are off. She is sleeping a lot. She is unable to eat more than a few bites a day due to pain and nausea. She has to have someone with her 24/7.
I don't believe I've shared this: The problems she's having with the hemoglobin level go back to a botched surgery she had two years ago. She has never been able to sustain her hemoglobin levels since then. No one until now has looked to see why. Last week, the doctor in the hospital found blood in her stool and wants to do the pill camera procedure. That was supposed to be done in the hospital before she left. Didn't happen.
The doctor who nearly killed her left quietly to another practice. Her family has asked her to go to another hospital, but she has people she has relationships with in this one. She is not one you can easily persuade.
This lady calls Clint and I her "children," and we are so very concerned for her well being. I've known her since I was a toddler. Clint's known her since he met me in 1985. She's loved by many. Please keep praying for her health. Please pray for the whole family.
Avoid the H @ Chesapeake. Far too many bad stories from that location.
10/12: While I have been getting daily updates, I have not had time to share. Life has been very busy. She was sent home Sunday despite being told she would stay in the hospital until at least Tuesday. The family was shocked because she is so weak she can barely walk. She can walk a few steps and has to rest against a wall or sit down.
10/9: The pain is when she eats is back, but it is not as intense. The hospital was trying to send her home which really upset her family, but her doctor insisted she stay. The doctor feels it is not good to send her home as weak as she is. The doctor looked at her records and learned she has been bleeding since before August but no one has looked to find out why. A "camera pill" is going to be given to her to help figure out why she is losing blood. They did find blood in her stool once she was able to have a bm. She was not able to eat enough to have one for a long time. The family needs a lot of prayer right now. Thank you to those who are following and praying.
10/8: She is so lethargic and weak; they are giving her a blood transfusion as I type this. This is a "band-aid" until they can figure out what it going on. Some test results may be back tomorrow. The main results they want to see are due back on Tuesday. Update: She ended up getting 2 pints which took 5-6 hours.
10/6: She had bone marrow taken today. She was told it would be extremely painful even with the twilight anesthesia, but she felt nothing! Praise God! Some things have improved, but there is a lot of concern about her low WBC. Please keep praying.
10/5: Thank you to those who have checked in regarding this well known and very dear friend from our hometown. There isn't much of an update. She is about the same as she was a few days ago. Her magnesium and potassium levels have improved and she can eat without pain. They tested her last week to see why her WBC was so low. Still no results. Maybe today?? She was scheduled and taken down for a procedure yesterday, but they returned her to her room because she was not off of one of her medications long enough. It is a bit crazy and a little scary too. Her family is understandably frustrated.
9/30 9:30 a.m.: She has been admitted with extremely dangerously low potassium and magnesium. She has been on IVs getting both, and there is some improvement already. There was a bit of a battle with a rude nurse over her husband being allowed to be with her. After three hours of trying to reason that his wife is too weak and incoherent to be left alone, he just walked to her room to keep an eye on things. Security did not try to stop him, so he able to make sure this hospital does not fail to give her adequate care yet again. If they would have proceeded with the surgery as the surgeon wanted, she likely would have died from the added stress on her body.
9/30 8:00 a.m.: The family tried to have her seen by a doctor and even asked if she could be admitted to the hospital. They were ignored. Her husband later again expressed concern regarding her condition and the surgery they wanted to do on Tuesday, but they told him they would proceed. However, the procedure did not happen. Her husband called her GP and told her what was going on. GP told her to go into the office on Tuesday (yesterday). She was taken from a doctor's office straight to the ER by ambulance. I am waiting for an update. Her husband estimates she had lost a total of 35-45 pounds. She has been unable to eat more than a cup or two of yogurt or something similar a day for weeks due to the pain and vomiting. She can barely sit up, needs help bathing, can only walk 2-3 steps at at a time before she is out of breath, etc. Neither the ultrasound or CAT scan have shown any blockages or etc. Please keep her and her family in prayer. Please pray over the situation with the doctors.
9/21: She had the CAT scan and was sent home. They were not told when the results will be given. She has started vomiting due to the severity of the pain. She has lost 25 pounds in two weeks. She needs continuous help due to the pain. The family has requested she be admitted to the hospital, but she was sent home. Please keep praying.
9/20: A very good family friend, a matriarch from our hometown, is in extreme pain. She has undergone some tests, but the doctors have not found a cause for the pain. Tonight, it is quite severe. There is a CAT scan tomorrow. Please pray they find the cause and are able to address this pain. Her daughter just texted me asking for prayer because the pain has ramped up.
Remember Tony? We prayed for him to get into a program and to beat alcoholism? He is 75 days sober! He is doing really well. He attends meetings 3-4 times a week. He is divorcing his long time estranged wife and is looking forward to a future with a Christian woman. God is good!!
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Once again, I am getting a lot of questions (5 to 6 a week) about the 4x4 Jeep Trail on Coal Road in VA.
I think it is open, but do not hold me to it.
I have not been that way in a couple of years.
I asked Amanda to check for me when she was nearby recently, but she was unable to go by due to time.
We weren't expecting something to come our way so quickly, but another opportunity has. We go meet and look over the paperwork tonight. Please keep us in pray for wisdom and discernment. Ask Him to reveal to us all we need to know to see if this is a good thing for our family. Thank you to all who pray for us! Please let us know how we can pray for you and yours. Love to all!
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Click image or download to enlarge.
For those driving further, if you get lost or have car trouble,
call C-Dawg for help.
C-Dawg and Mama Asbell
Friday, October 16, 2020
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Believe me, it's no time for words when the wounds are fresh and bleeding; no time for homilies when the lightning's shaft has smitten, and the man lies stunned and stricken. Then let the comforter be silent; let him sustain by his presence, not by his preaching; by his sympathetic silence, not by his speech. -George C. Lorimer
One of the most hurtful things ever said to me, for example, was by a Christian in law who claimed to be pro-life who told me less than 24 hours after the loss of my baby that crying was "feeling sorry for myself." Their words created a lot of pain in my heart. They did not care what I was going through, and their words showed it. Their words suggested I was doing something wrong by mourning my baby. I share this with the goal that others won't say such hurtful things in a woman's time of great pain. It is not helpful, but it is very hurtful.
Crying is a normal, natural response to loss. Jesus cried in grief too. Would you have said, "It's self pity for you to cry since you are going to raise Lazarus anyway?" Or, would you have shown Him understanding and compassion? Think before you speak. Words hurt and can't be taken back, but they can be forgiven. Be gentle and kind with each other even when you do not understand what the other person is going through.
Please don't add your misplaced expectations to someone else's struggle. You will only burden them further. Acknowledge a person's right to feel as they do.
If you have had a pregnancy loss, I am praying for you today and offer my friendship. My email is in the header.
but a spiritual man is easy on others and hard on himself.
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
People hate the truth for the sake of whatever it is that they love more than the truth. They love truth when it shines warmly on them, and hate it when it rebukes them. Saint Augustine
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Mid-September, Clint and Brandon successfully took the test to become HAM radio operators. Ham radio is not just a hobby, but it is a valuable service especially during big events.
"It was the ham radio operators who stepped-up to provide emergency communication from the Monacillo Control Station and 23 technical plazas throughout the island. More than 130 local radio amateurs became the only means of communication for many small villages and communities. By September 23rd, hams were the “eyes and ears” of the island via VHF. They were able to collaborate with the Red Cross and create an incident map that assessed damage, road conditions and other critical information about the island that would be shared with many other assistive agencies." Lessons Learned from Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria
It is to become a part of the emergency service that is motivating Clint and Brandon. Clint is meeting with local men on the net weekly now. I might get my operators license in the future. Right now, I am 100% behind Clint reaching his goals and building our equipment. Clint is taking the next test soon so he can advance.
Please email the address in the header if you would like Clint's and Brandon's call signs.
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Saturday, October 10, 2020
This is a follow up to A Big Day for Bethany.
Bethany was told that since she is an Asbell, she is getting a 50 cent an hour raise before she has even started working! Wow! Her new boss said knows she will work well due to her brother's work ethics.
He also said she will get another $1 once she is able to work more hours.
Clint spoke with her new boss, whom we have a good relationship with, to make sure he is on the same page as we are regarding Bethany's education.
Bethany, 17 years old, is in her last semester of college!
I think it is wonderful that Bethany did not have to go looking for a job. God sent the job right to her! God is amazing!
Her first day is orientation on Monday the 12th.
I started this to mark our Monday as a big milestone for our family. I had NO idea the week would turn out as it has!
Monday was a big day for our entire family! A huge goal was reached!
Tuesday was a big day for Bethany who, without even seeking it, landed her first job!
Wednesday was another "first" accomplishment for the entire family!
Thursday Caleb was told he is getting a raise and training in Ohio! I'll share more on that later when it happens. Early 2021 is the goal.
Friday Joshua had a meeting and learned the plans to make him a manager, which were slowed down due to CoVid, are back on track. He has already been training and has run the restaurant on his own a few times. He's done very well!
God is good!!
Friday, October 09, 2020
Wednesday, October 07, 2020
Tuesday, October 06, 2020
10/6: We are having an issue getting our front field cut for the bonfire, but Joshua is working on that tomorrow. Once that is cut, we will set a date. We are planning a date to allow as many as possible to come, but it's impossible to accommodate everyone. We will do our best.
9/23: Wow! 32 people have already signed up, so it is a GO! We are holding a family meeting soon to work out the details and come up with a date that allows as many people to come as possible.
9/21: We are considering a date to do another bonfire, cookout, camping weekend for the 16-26 year olds. Detail will be on the group site. Contact an Asbell and let them know if you are interested. We will have a family meeting on it soon. I posted here because some missed it last time.
When two of your older children are such hard working employees that their boss asks if there are any other siblings at home of working age, calls that sibling, and offers them their choice of a job before any interviews. Thanks to Joshua's and Caleb's reputation, Bethany fills out the paperwork today to start her first job.
Sunday, October 04, 2020
"In perplexities- when we cannot tell what to do, when we cannot understand what is going on around us- let us be calmed and steadied and made patient by the thought that what is hidden from us is not hidden from Him." Frances Ridley Havergal
Thursday, October 01, 2020
But he knows the way that I take,
when He has tested me,
I shall come forth as gold.
When suffering comes, do we choose to be changed by it or become victims to it?
Victims complain that life is unfair and cry "Why me?!!" They become bitter and are a drain on others because they offer no wisdom or inspiration.
Those who are transformed by suffering refuse to allow it to hold them back. They learn from it and eagerly share those hard won lessons to encourage others.
Dear Reader, may we learn from the suffering in our lives and come forth from it like gold. While the victorious ending should give us comfort, so should the first line of this verse, "He knows the way that I take." Nothing we are going through is a surprise to our Father.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Friday, September 25, 2020
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
"John Newton was the son of a naval man and a Christian mother. Her faith impressed him so much that at an age when most boys are more interested in kites and games than in religion, he fasted and prayed, seeking God. His mother died when he was seven. Ten years later, his father got him a position on a warship. Depressed at leaving England and his girlfriend, he deserted but was captured and traded to a slave ship.
Monday, September 21, 2020
9/21: I was very heavily burdened for Shonda and spent most of last night praying. Shonda was again heavy on my heart when I woke this morning. Mid-morning, she was relieved of the many physical sufferings she endured for so long. The suffering was over, and she was with Jesus while the rest of us mourned. Her medical journey was a complicated one, and she often received substandard care. Because of her many conditions/complications, certain doctors were afraid to help her. She handled the pain, frustration, maltreatment, medical abandonment, and more with such grace. She leaves behind many, many people who loved her and were touched by her life. I first learned of her when we were both much younger and her name was getting around homeschooling circles because of her herbal medicine successes. 22 years have passed so quickly! I am thankful for all of the help, hope, knowledge, and wisdom she shared. I later purchased her books not only to help her career as an author, but because I felt they had value on my shelves. Many years later, I still have them. Our last online "conversations" were about the scars and broken capillaries (due to vascular tumors) on her back caused by the vascular tumors all over her body and her pretty blue eyed grass. I told her that her scarred back was beautiful to me because "it tells a powerful story that gives testimony to the strength God gives believers." I'm going to try to grow some of that blue eyed grass because it will make me think of her and smile and remind me to pray for her family for years to come. Thank you all who prayed for her over the last few days. Please keep her family in prayer. She leaves behind her husband, 7+4 children, and eight grandchildren.
9/19: Shonda's pacemaker was deactivated yesterday morning. She has spent time sleeping and storytelling with her family. Pain management has mostly stayed on top of the pain. They ask for continued prayers.
9/18: Shonda says she expects to be in the arms of Jesus somewhere around noon. May the Lord make that so. Please keep her covered in prayer for a peaceful and gentle passing. I left home last night so I could have some solitude. Forgive me for not answering the phone or texts.
9/17: While surrounded by her family, Shonda will have her pacemaker turned off tomorrow. She could die within hours or it can take days. She cannot get any relief from the extreme pain because the tumors are so large they are cutting off supply to many organs. Simply put: the pacemaker is keeping her body going and is thwarting pain relief. We knew this was a possible outcome, and it is a situation those with life giving technology have to carefully think through. She says she is ready and asks us to pray for her family as they grieve. My heart hurts, and I will miss this dear Christian and the wisdom and knowledge she shares. She has fought so very hard and for so very long. She is so weary. She deserves her rest. Please cover her and her family in prayer. I will update this when she has her peace and rest. "It is well with my soul." -Shonda
Dear one, you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of your loving Creator. You are so precious in the Lord's sight that He knit you in your mother's womb (a hands on, individual, and detailed work), knows the numbers of hairs on your head (cares about the details of your life), and collects your tears in a bottle so He can wipe them away Himself later (a tender, deeply caring and loving Father).
You are precious to Him! While only the wealthy and famous have earthly bodyguards, He has set His angels (Heavenly bodyguards) to watch over you. He has chosen and appointed you, called you from darkness to light, and loves you so deeply He gave His son to die to pay your penalty for your sins so you could be heirs with Christ and bear fruit that will last an eternity. He calls you a chosen race, a royal priesthood, His friend, a member of His household, and tells you that through Christ, you are a conqueror and an overcomer!
His love and mercy for you have no end! He has removed your sins as far as the east is to the west...infinitely apart from you! If the God of the universe can show you unending love and mercy, don't you think you can show yourself a little too? Find your worth in what Jesus has done for you. A Holy Magnificent Almighty God, who even notices you or I, and then gives His Son to die for us while we were still filthy in our sins...places a very, very, very high value on us....we are priceless! You value is right there in what Jesus did. An all-seeing, all-knowing, all powerful God deemed you worth dying for!
Let that hurt that hinders you, and that you are holding onto so tightly go, and grab ahold of God's truth about who you are ...and get to work learning more about Him, doing what He has asked of you, and living for Him so others may see through your life what He has given you and also offers to them. Drink deeply from His Word, His love letter to you. Now, go back and read this again, slowly, and let the words sink in until you recognize your reality.
Don't fall for the deception of the "imposter syndrome." This syndrome is identified by feelings of unworthiness and failure which cannot be erased even in face of a wealth of information that proves that the opposite is true. Break free from that. There's plenty of proof in the verses below to convince anyone of God's love for and value of them. Don't let your fear/self doubt/deep hurt keep you from being free.
Don't allow any negative self talk. Renew your mind, transform it with God's Word. Every time you have a negative thought towards yourself, challenge it with God's view of you. Self discipline to bring your view of self into line with God's Word. It will take time and repetition. You are worth the effort. As you undertake this, show yourself grace.
Be your own best friend. If you would not say it to your most loved relative or friend, don't say or think it about yourself. If you do, you are your own enemy! Be your own encourager!
Don't fall for the deception that God's Word is for everyone except you. Beat down so low I could not raise my head to see God's love for me, I felt that as a young person. It followed me into early adulthood. Sometimes we can be so damaged down by other people's words, opinions of us, and actions towards us that we feel like it is impossible for anyone to love us, even God. It's not true!! He loves you! He loves you! He really, truly does love you with a pure, unfailing love that is unlike any love you've ever experienced. He loves you! Post it on your wall, set it as the wallpaper on your devices, set reminders so your personal assistant announces it every so often, put alarms in your phone to remind you, repeat it to yourself often. Repeat it until you believe Him! He loves you!
Does God lie? No!!! Then believe what He says about you and your worth to Him.
In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows. Luke 12:7
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Revelation 21:4
You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:20
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. Psalm 103:11-13
Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life. Isaiah 43:4
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. John 15:15-16
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:6
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. . Psalm 34:3-5
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:1-2
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22-23
Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3:5
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Psalm 37: 23-24
The battle is not ours, but God's. 2 Chronicles 20:15
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16:11
But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1
He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:10-12
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 87-39
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, Colossians 1:13
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
The temporary custody hearing was yesterday. Kevin has Katherine four days a month. This was anticipated as the first step. The next court hearing is later this month. There is a long ways to go yet. Please pray for truth to be revealed in court and for the judge to do what is best for Katherine. Also pray for Katherine to receive the help she needs for her eating disorder and mental struggles.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Monday, September 14, 2020
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Here in Zone 7, we are planting in our fall gardens.
Here's a poem for those of you who love growing things.
If You Love a Garden author unknown
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Some of the most popular posts on this blog are the ones that deal with difficult relationships. Some of these posts have been printed out and made part of studies in Sunday School classes. Families have studied them. It is so rewarding when someone writes us and shares that they found healing in a relationship after surrendering to the Lord! It is very rewarding when relationships have been restored in our own lives!!
duty: what is due
due: owed, fitting proper, suitable to that particular person and their relationship to you
due honor: obligatory high regard for the person and their relationship to you
Respect in I Peter 2:17 comes from the Greek word to 'to act to show great value' to something. This is a challenging concept for our time and culture in regards to our relationships with them. We are told to look out for ourselves and to compete with others in every other. We also have differences of opinions that make us feel our point of view is superior to theirs, so we do not show respect our political leaders. We concentrate on someone's flaws or how they hurt us instead of focusing on their strong points, God given talents, and the position they have in our lives. We can't have those attitudes and obey these verses. They are incompatible.
Back to competition. If we were to obey these verses instead of setting the example of outdoing each other in so many areas, maybe our youth and young adults would not be struggling so hard with inadequacy. Our culture doesn't want to "keep up with the Jones'," they want to outdo them.
One thing we keep hearing as we minister to young people is that they feel they don't measure up, aren't good enough, are failures, will stumble and fall again, will continue to face rejection no matter how much they work on themselves, etc. If God's people "showed great value" to each other, instead of competing with each other, maybe these young hurting young people would have a better grasp on their value to God and their value to their brothers and sisters in Christ. Maybe they would not be so preoccupied with their worth, but instead, be focused on the building the worth of others.
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
"Respect seems to be a hard thing for us to grasp in our present society. ... A sense of place is important for a Christian. We cannot give honor duly-where it is due-without a sense of place. Who is this person, who am I in relation to him? We are people under authority at all times, owing honor and respect to a king or a president, to parents, to master, teacher, husband, or boss, to ministers and elders and bishops, and of course always, and most importantly, to Christ." Elisabeth Elliot
In the list of Sacrifices that Please God in Hebrews 13 is "Keep on loving each other as brothers." That's a direct command not a suggestion, and it is first on the list.
We should respect and honor the person and the relationship they hold in our lives. This starts with God and includes spouses, family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, authorities over us like pastors, teachers, law enforcement, law makers, and our president. It is an action: Show "respect to everyone." It does not say "if you feel they are worthy" or "if you feel like it."
Illustration: I do not always get things right, and often fail miserably, but in this instance I did manage to stand out: I was very polite and considerate towards a very difficult person my husband worked under. I was not happy with him for the harm he caused my husband and certainly did not "feel like it." The man was having sex with non English speaking temp workers in his office. There were many other things to dislike about this person. I was the only person at the event who treated the man with politeness. After the event was over, I was pointedly asked by several of Clint's co-workers and a spouse of a co-worker why I was "so nice to him." They were not happy with me. I was able to share that it is God's way for His people to behave. I stood out because I acted in obedience out of my fear of and love for the Lord and was able to share my faith when others noticed. Planting seeds to draw others to Jesus is a big reward to those who love the Lord. I know this may be different than you see people in your church behaving, but it is what we are called to do. Don't look at other fallible Christians for how to live. Look to God's Word.
"A small spirited person man will not be willing to see another receive credit or honor or position. All of us, I suppose, have sometimes grumbled inwardly seeing someone receive a place he did not deserve. "It is not fair. He is not qualified, whose idea was it to appoint him? How did he get on the board? How come I didn't?' The last question is the one that touches the deepest root of our unwillingness to honor another: our own pride." Elisabeth Elliot
"A second reason for the confusion in the matter of respect...is the current notion that everyone deserved tit-for-tat equality. This is one of the excesses of democracy, which ought not to be confused with Christianity. The truth is that not everybody has a right to everything." Elisabeth Elliot
"No doubt, God must sometimes allow the wrong person to receive credit in order for us "right" ones to discover how full of pride we are." Elisabeth Elliot
Feeling entitled does not guarantee your right to something. Your sense of entitlement does not change the way things are, the relationship, or the other person's right to what they are due. It takes humility to accept you are not entitled to something someone else has rights over.
Those who struggle with jealousy, selfishness, coveting, will not be happy for those who are respected or rewarded for their position/relationship. They will find many ways to grumble and complain out of their own discontent with their blessings.
"Christianity teaches righteousness, not rights. It emphasizes honor, not equality. A Christian's concern is what is owed to the other, not what is owed to himself." Elisabeth Elliot
What if you are not in a relationship with the person to show them respect and "keep on loving?" Disagreements and estrangements happen. If you have made good efforts to correct the relationship, you have done your part even if you were rebuffed. If rebuffed, don't take it personally. That's on them. Your behavior is on you. See it as God showing you what is going on in their heart and a way you can pray for them. Wait on God to work on their hearts while you work on yours, keep praying, keep studying God's Word, and be patient. If you do not feel God calling you to make a move, leave the door open, and then be still. Let God do His thing in their hearts. Not all relationships will be healed on this side of eternity. People hold grudges for a lifetime not realizing the price they are paying for them. It could be God is hardening their hearts to protect you from more of their harmful behaviors. Trust Him.
Our family can give testimony that God heals estrangements when both parties are committed to honoring the Lord in those relationships by working on their hearts and praying for and reaching out to the other party. It takes both parties having a dedicated mindset of pleasing God first, even over their own comfort, and counting "others more significant than yourself." I don't know about you, but to experience that kind of healing is a life experience, a faith experience worth all of the pride swallowing/pride choking that had to be done. I am truly thankful my children got to witness it! It has been so faith building! God gets the glory for making these big changes on both sides!