Tag Archives: love

Time for Tea and a Blanket and World Peace


toddlers crying

It’s been a politically emotional week for people who voted, for those who didn’t vote; and for those who don’t even live in the United States of America. I’ve already vowed via Facebook that I will no longer discuss Trump with people in person or via social media. The evening of the election and for a few days following, I felt emotionally exhausted by the harsh words tossed back and forth between people who felt strong emotions about the candidates, the election process, and the election results (both the winning team and the losing team).

This election campaign and the strong reactions to the results (from both sides) reminded me that we need to learn to get along and work together. Politics is never something that should be taken likely. Political actions determine whether people will live or die, eat or go hungry, thrive or diminish, and a whole lot of other things in our day-to-day life.

When politics brings out the worst in us we behave like toddlers:

We throw tantrums

We want it our way

We scream “mine”

We bite (through words and actions)

We interrupt

We run away

We whine

We tattle

and like a toddler at the end of the day all we want is a blanket and a pacifier to sooth us.

I can’t say that my responses towards people I disagree with politically has always been role model behaviour. I don’t joke when it comes to discussing issues with people who want to take away the most basic human rights of others or those who want to create systemic barriers that prevent people from being able to meet the essential needs for living. I hate going into toddler mode; it’s mentally, spiritually, and emotionally draining.

Source: love_your_enemies_by_kevron2001
Source: love_your_enemies_by_kevron2001

I don’t have any advice or techniques on how to prevent adults from partaking in the “Toddler Method”, but what I do know is that God has asked us to do something that is incredibly difficult; He has asked us to love our enemies. He has asked us to love those who we disagree with. Don’t be fooled into thinking he is asking us to be passive and foolish, no, He hasn’t asked that of us; but He does ask us to love, because as much as we may dislike our political leaders or each other, He loves those we hate. It’s a challenging concept for our human minds to understand, but God has made it clear; He loves every, single, human being, even the ones we have deemed to be awful human beings.

I sometimes joke around by saying, “God loves you, but I don’t!”. Unfortunately, it’s not always a joke, it’s reality.

We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.” 2 Corinthians 10: 3-4

You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbour’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven in perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48

I’ll leave you with a lesson I had to learn the hard way in my life. Don’t let the views and values of others you disagree with cause you to develop a hardened heart. Don’t allow room in your heart for hatred towards others; it only makes living in a diverse nation more difficult than it has to be.



Paul Teaches Us To Love


Agape Love Like Jesus

This is day 3 from my series as a participant in Write 31 Days (www.write31days.com). Everyday in October I will be writing about lessons I’ve learned, theological reflections, and observations inspired by the letters of St.Paul/Apostle Paul based on my work in the inner city. I will only post an email once a week on Sundays, however the other entries can be found on my home page by clicking the menu header Write 31 Days. Please feel free to read them. These entries won’t be long, in depth or academic. They are intended to be read like a short devotional.

Through out this series I want to take the words and teachings of Paul and see how we can apply them to how we serve and live among those who are in poverty, those who are low-income and those who struggle with making ends meet.

Romans 8:35-39

Can anything separate us from Christ’s love? Can trouble or problems or persecution separate us from his love? If we have no food or clothes or face danger or even death, will that separate us from his love? As the Scriptures say,

“For you we are in danger of death all the time.
People think we are worth no more than sheep to be killed.”

But in all these troubles we have complete victory through God, who has shown his love for us. Yes, I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not death, life, angels, or ruling spirits. I am sure that nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us or nothing below us—nothing in the whole created world—will ever be able to separate us from the love God has shown us in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I wish I could shout loud enough for people around the world to hear this, “GOD LOVES POOR PEOPLE!”. Not just poor people, but those who are homeless, those who are drunk on a street corner, those who are living on the streets because they can’t conquer the issues that keep them addicted to drugs, he loves those who people avoid while walking down the street. He loves the lady who seems to always be having conversations with people that only she can see. He loves the angry man who keeps warning us about the government’s plan to implant chips into our brains and read our minds against our will. Yes, He loves them all.

Paul tells us that nothing in this world or above or below this world can separate us from God’s love. Nothing. What a relief.


It’s easy for people who are homeless and residing on the streets to feel that God doesn’t love them. The life experiences which often lead to substance abuse, mental illness, and trauma are the root causes of these three contributors of poverty. I hear too many Christians who think the answer to poverty is for homeless people to get a job, and for those who live in poverty to get a “better” job. If this were truly the answer, there would be no poor people in North America. When an answer seems too simple, it usually means it’s unrealistic.

I often hear Christians say that people are on the streets as a result of their sins. This is a dangerous belief. We are all sinners, so why is it that we only see people in poverty as being a victim of their sin? How often do we see middle class or rich people as being successful due to sin? There are plenty of rich people who become multi-millionaires as a result of sin, but we don’t point at them as sinners. Instead, we are told to follow their examples and we too can become successful.

I wanted this first post to be about love, because that is the foundation for everything we do. All we do must start with love and be fueled by the love of Christ (see all of 1 Corinthians 13). This is one thing I ask of people who decide they want to “help the poor”; please do it from a place of love. Not pity, not self-righteousness, not peer pressure, and not selfishness; just love.

I look forward to sharing with you the spiritual and theological lessons, reflections, and insights that I have learned about working in the inner city, with the homeless and those who are low-income.


Hate is Easier Than Love 


Ephesians 4_26

During the month of June, 2016, my Facebook news feed was filled with posts about choosing love over hate. Not unlike any other month, there was a lot of hate being spread around the world. Hate in the form of injustice, sexism towards males and females, religious fears, political extremism, and talk about gun control were the most popular.

As an INFJ personality, I have this annoying habit of seeing both the good and bad, negative and positive, and can find hope and hopelessness in any situation. This habit annoys both myself and others that I know. Seeing both sides to a situation can some times cause people to accuse you (me) of being sympathetic towards those who commit acts that society, accurately, in my opinion, believes to be wrong.

I hear of and read news stories about people who commit horrific acts and my heart breaks. After the surprise or shock wears off I tend to start asking questions about the offender: Where did he/she grow up? What was their life like? What experiences, situations, and beliefs influenced this person’s actions?

I currently work with a population that has committed some atrocious acts of violence against their victims. My job does not allow for acts of judgment, non-legalized justice (frontier justice, vigilante justice, street justice), or discrimination based on a person’s criminal history. This means that me and my co-workers and those who work in this industry are in a position where we are called to see both sides to a situation. It doesn’t mean that we defend the violent actions of people who cause harm to others, what it means is that we have to be aware of the social, psychological, spiritual, and emotional roots of why people commit horrific acts against others. I’m not going to pretend that this is easy; it can be a challenge at times to be supportive towards a person who habitually inflicts harm on others.

The only way that I have been able to remain supportive and serve others is to cultivate grace.


My One Word for 2016 is “Grace”. This word is difficult for me to fully understand and practice; but with each passing day I have grown bit by bit in understanding why God, Jesus, and St. Paul stressed the importance of this amazing action. Grace is what helps me and others understand why people do the things they do, both positive and negative. Grace is what prevents me and others from seeking non-legalized justice. Grace is what prevents myself and others from being reactive in the form of spitefulness, revenge, gossip, bullying, and all the other popular methods of “getting back” at someone. Grace also means not allowing yourself to be a victim when “it ain’t about you!”.

When I am continuously bombarded with news about acts of hatred committed against innocent people; I don’t want to become filled with unrighteous anger. I want to remember the powerful words written in the bible that caution us about filling our hearts with anger by giving the devil, the enemy, a foothold. As believers we are cautioned to not be angry, while simultaneously not allowing acts of injustice to be carried out against the vulnerable, the innocent, and the marginalized. This is another commandment that is difficult to practice.

God wants to protect us from the never successful game of “tit for tat and tip for tap”. He wants us to fight our natural urge for retaliation and replace it with this difficult act called grace. We can’t claim to be choosing love over hate if refuse to understand the roots of hatred. In order to replace love with hate we are called to take time to understand what causes individuals to become so angry within themselves that they’d take the lives of others. We also need to protect ourselves from allowing the injury of others to feed hatred in our own hearts.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Miroslav Volf
“But those who forgive need not abandon all disciplinary measures against offenders. …A violent offender may need to be restrained if there is any danger he may harm others. Discipline for the sake of a wrongdoer’s reform and the protection of the public is compatible with forgiveness. Discipline even for the sake of upholding the moral good assaulted by the offense is compatible with forgiveness. Retribution is not. Those who forgive will have a system of discipline, but retribution will not be part of it.”


Advent Week 4 – Love, the Greatest Commandment and the Toughest One

Advent W4D1

I can’t believe this is the 4th week of Advent. Time has gone by quickly. I apologize for not keeping up with the Advent series I had mentioned 4 weeks ago. I got sidelined by a head cold that didn’t want to get lost. As a result my to-do list got longer, my schedule got busier, and I grew tired. The blog took a back seat to more pressing and necessary obligations.

Hopefully you’ve had a wonderful Advent season. Re-learning the story of Christ’s purpose for coming to us here on earth never grows old. Each year I learn something new and I see passages that I’ve read many times in a new light.

Love is a difficult verb and noun to understand. In the English language the word love is used to describe our feelings about things from clothing, food, and movies, to family, crushes, and spouses.

The never ceasing love that God continuously gives us is one that I can’t claim to understand fully. I get that God loves us, His creation, His children, but I have never understood it at a deeper level. I have experienced God’s love, but can’t define it. God’s love for us is one of the mysteries of our faith, perhaps it is the biggest mystery.

John 3:16 tells us that God gave us His son because He loves us and this love brought Jesus to us, not to condemn us, but to save us. God’s love for us is a love that saves us; how powerful is that!


I will confess, loving others as Christ loves us is my biggest challenge in life. Jesus tells us that loving God means loving ourselves and loving others (Luke 10:26-27). Loving God is directly connected to loving our self and others, they cannot be separated. If we don’t love God, we will not be able to love anyone else.

The four themes of Advent are all interconnected: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. These four nouns and verbs are directly tied to our faith in God. Our spiritual disciplines help us to develop these character traits that God places in our hearts through our faith in Him.

If you are like me and you continue to fail at loving every single person you know and encounter, don’t give up. Remember, God said Christ was sent to save us, not to condemn us. As believers we don’t share, spread joy, and love others as a holiday, for us it is a year round faith-based, character building lifestyle. We stumble, God corrects us. We fail, God forgives us. We forget, God reminds us.

This week, I encourage you to take some time to think about the four themes of Advent and your spiritual disciplines.



How have you grown in each of these areas during 2015?