Carl will be cruising!!

Carl will be cruising!!

Hey! Just an update for everybody on where you can find Carl playing music :) Check out this cruise with Phillips, Craig and Dean, Jamie Jamgocian, Avalon and Carl Herrgesell! It will be a great time to get away and worship. Click on the photo for more info!

Love is not easily angered

Well, if you have been following this series on love, it has been one that has convicted my heart to the core.  This week’s attribute is just as convicting as the rest.

We are walking thru a series at church called love works.  To find all of my blogs regarding this series in one place you can click on the new page called LOVE IS.

We’ve been through love is patient, kind, does not envy, is not proud and is selfless.  Today we are going to talk about anger’s place in regards to love.

God’s Word says, “Love is not easily angered.”

Sunday morning our preacher said, “We get angry when we feel like our rights have been stepped on.”  I’ve been pondering this statement all week.  I’ve also been evaluating the truth of this statement when I’m frustrated or angry.  So far, I think he hit the nail right on the head!

When I have been angry this week I feel like someone has stepped on my rights.  Sometimes it is my right to decide how I spend my time.  Sometimes it is my right to be treated with respect.  Sometime it is my right to get my way.  It can be any right we perceive we have {or deserve}.

As I’ve reflected on my frustration and/or anger over the past week, I can pin point all of it to my not getting something I think I deserved.  What about you?  Can you think back to a time this week when you were frustrated or angry?  Does it fall into this category?

One right we often think we have is the right to be angry, but according to I Corinthians 13, love is not easily angered.  So even when we have our perceived rights stepped on, we must still relinquish our right to be angry.  God asks something more from us.  He asks us to love rather than be angry.

Trust me, I understand the difficulty of this statement.  When I am angry, I feel like it is my job to explain myself and my frustration so that the person who offended me can change his/her behavior.  Usually, this explanation does not come in the form of my “nice voice.”  God is teaching me {and I’m learning very slowly} that my responsiblity is to respond in love rather than anger.

Please hear me, I’m not saying that you don’t have to have healthy boundaries, but I am saying that you can choose to respond in a way that honors God rather than tears someone down.  If someone offends you, you don’t have to take it upon yourself to share with them why they offended you, how they are a horrible person for offending you, and how YOU {being such a wonderful person} don’t deserve to be treated with such disrespect.

Instead, you can respond in love.  Which may mean setting healthy boundaries, but never means getting angry, lashing out and hurting the person in return.

My challenge to you {you really being ME!} is to surrender your emotions and reactions to the Lord, to identify the root of your anger {what right do you believe was stepped on} and ask God for wisdom on how to respond out of love rather than anger.

I’m praying for you as we surrender our rights to God and trust Him to provide for our every need!

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What action steps do you take to respond with love even when you are angry?

 

 

 

 

Love is Selfless

I must admit that for me, “love is selfless” has been the most difficult aspect of this verse, thus far.

Our verse says:

4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (NASB)

Love does not seek its own.  As I have reflected on this verse, God has been teaching me what it means to be truly selfless and not seek my own.

As I mom, I do lots of things for my kids that seem selfless.  My girls are still babies, so they have lots of things that they can’t do on their own.  So helping them is not an option.  The act of being selfless, therefore, isn’t an option.  However, the mindset of being selfless is still completely optional.

When I sacrifice for my girls and other people, when I put their needs and wants ahead of mine, I am obeying the part of this that asks for an act of selflessness, but that doesn’t mean I am loving them well.  If I am truly loving someone selflessly, I don’t need recognition for my sacrifice.  I don’t need a pat on the back or praise in return.  To love someone selflessly, means I don’t expect ANYTHING in return.  It is not an “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” relationship.  It is simply putting others needs ahead of your own.

This is the part of love that has been difficult for me.  I am great at putting others first, AS LONG AS, someone else puts me first once in a while.  How about you?

God has been teaching me over the past week that to love selflessly, I must love without the expectation that I will be rewarded for my efforts.

Will I love someone selflessly who takes advantage of me?

Will I continue to love someone unselfishly who never “returns the favor”?

Will I seek out opportunities to share how selfless I am with others (pride)? Or will I choose to let my obedience to God be my reward?

These are all questions I have sought to answer in the past week.  I encourage you to wrestle through these questions this week and see what God teaches you about being selfless.

As we talked about this phrase in church last week, the pastor posed this question, “Do you trust that God will take care of everything you need?”

If we do, then we can live selflessly knowing that Jesus Christ will provide more than enough strength, energy, and love to live out His Word.  He will meet not only our physical and financial needs, but our emotional needs as well.

So what do you think?  Is it easy to be selfless?  How can the sacrifice Jesus made for you on the cross encourage or inspire you in loving selflessly?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Love Is Not Proud

For my 200th post on my blog, I’d like to talk about pride.  (Did you see that?  I gave myself, a subtle pat on the back to begin our conversation about pride.)

Pride is a subtle and other times not-so-subtle thing.

We all know what pride looks like.  We all have moments when we believe our pride is justified, so we’ll skip that in our conversation today.  Instead, let’s talk about WHY love is not proud.

Why would God, through Paul, write to us that love is not proud?  Is there room for pride in love?

When we think of love, the kind of love Jesus has for us, the kind of love that was strong enough to keep Jesus on a cross to die for you and for me, I think we would have to answer “no, there is not room for pride in love.”  If Jesus was prideful, He would have wanted to prove Himself on the cross.  He would have wanted to lash back or defend Himself.  Instead, He humbly accepted every blow and let every drop of blood flow down His brow in love.

If I am prideful I am focused on myself, my attributes, my successes or failures.  You can’t be focused on yourself and love someone else at the same time.  If Jesus would have focused on His own body, His own pain, His own anguish, He NEVER would have died on that cross.  Rather out of LOVE for His Father and for YOU and me, He stayed on that cross and breathed His last.  He was focused on LOVING you and I into the kingdom.

He wasn’t worried about what other people thought about Him.  He didn’t care if they all thought He was a liar.  He had two missions.

1. Be obedient to God.

2.  Love you and me.

What would happen if we had this same kind of love?  What would it look like if I was more interested in loving someone else than making a name for myself?

I wouldn’t have to promote myself or defend myself.  I could simply focus on loving others like Christ loves me.

Isn’t that why we are alive?  To love God and love people?

So let’s shift our focus off us telling the world how great we are, and let’s focus on telling the world how amazing Jesus is!  If we stop talking about ourselves and begin talking about Him, eternity will be changed forever.

Here is your challenge:  The next time you are tempted to share some great accomplishment you or your child has made, stop and ask yourself, does this draw attention to me or Jesus? Let the Holy Spirit lead your conversation from there.

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If you have questions about Christ’s love for you, or would like more information about what it means to have a relationship with Him, please email me at faithherrgesell@gmail.com.  I’d love to talk with you more about this.

Also, if you are new to my blog and would like to receive my blog in your inbox, please sign up in the top righthand corner of the home page on my blog.

Have a great day!  Jesus loves you!!

Love Does Not Envy

I Corinthians 13 says Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy.  As I have thought about this statement over the past couple of weeks, I have come to realize that “love does not envy” actually means, “love chooses not to envy.”  Our flesh will desire things others have, success, material possessions, relationships, etc.  But out of love, not neccessarily for that person, but love for God, we choose to be content with what God has given us rather than envious of what another person has.

Many verses in the Bible support the idea that envy is not godly.  First, it is the tenth commandment of the Ten Commandments.  In Exodus 20, God tells us not to covet our neighbor’s wife, servants, animals or anything else that he has.  Paul talks about contentment in Phillipians 4.  He says:

12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Being able to choose contentment rather than envy comes from to understanding two things.  First of all, we must believe that in God’s perfect wisdom, He knows are needs and is more than able to provide for our needs.  And secondly, we need to understand that envy is simply a perception that what someone else has is better than what you have.  Let’s take a close look at these two thoughts.

First, can God really provide for our needs?  Here is what Jesus has to say about this. (From the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 6)

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Even if we believe that God can and will provide for our needs, we must wrestle with this question, “Will is choose to be content with what God sees as my need even if I don’t get what I want?”  Which leads to the second idea that when we envy someone else we are envying what we perceive as something better than what we have.  But this is merely perception.

As I was talking about to some single girls about the reality of being married, one said, “I’m so surprised, I thought you must have the perfect life because you are married with two kids.”  Granted, I LOVE my life.  I love my husband and my kids, but my life isn’t perfect.  I’m at a different place in life than a single person, not any better, not any worse, just a different place.  Although marriage is often perceived as a better place, it isn’t.  And if God has chosen it for you, that’s great!  If He hasn’t (or at least not yet), that is great, too!  Enjoy where you are, don’t miss today because you are envious of tomorrow.

The same is true for anything we envy.  When we choose to envy we miss out on the moment.  We spend our time and energy wishing, hoping, and being jealous of what someone else has.  This causes us to miss out on the blessings God has already given us.

Reflection Questions:

What do you envy? (someone else’s wealth, possessions, relationships, etc.)

Do you believe that your life would be better if you had those things? If so how and why would it be better?

As you choose not to be jealous of what other people have, you must be content with what you have.  What blessing has God given you that you take for granted because you are envying someone or something else?

How can you actively choose contentment over jealousy today? This week? This month?

Love is Kind

Growing up I often had a difficult time using what my mom refers to as your “nice voice.”  Multiple times a week (or day) I would be asked if I would like to “say that again in your nice voice.”  Of course I didn’t want to say it in my nice voice.  I told my mom in my twenties that every time she asked if I wanted to say it again in my nice voice I wanted to respond, “If I wanted to say it my nice voice, I would have used it the first time.”  At the time I told her this, I was better about using my “nice voice” and we could laugh about it.

But isn’t that the truth?  Isn’t it difficult to use your nice or kind voice when you are frustrated or down right mad?

I Corinthians 13 tell us that love is not only patient, but it is also KIND!

Can love really be kind, all of the time?  What about when I’m frustrated?  What about when I’ve been hurt?  What about when I’ve been hurt so badly that I want the one who hurt me to hurt in return?

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time being kind when I have been hurt by someone I love.  I find it difficult to use my nice voice and live out “love is patient” and “love is kind” when I feel slighted, used, taken advantage of, or just plain hurt.

What about you?

Whenever I wrestle through these types of conversations in my own heart, I think of times when I find it nearly impossible to live out God’s commands.  I think of times when being kind feels more like being a door mat.  I justify being unkind by telling myself that it is my duty to explain to my offender why he/she should not behave or treat me the way they did.  I often feel like I must use my not-so-nice voice to be “heard” and/or use words that cut to the core.  I don’t want to be kind when my heart has been broken.  Instead, I want to hurt that person in return.

I’m sure you can relate.  So how can we respond with kindness even when we are hurt, angry or frustrated?

First, you must recognize your emotion for what it is.  Pretending that you don’t hurt won’t solve anything.  Avoiding your emotion or stuffing it will only lead to a bigger, more dramatic scene in the future.  So ask yourself: What emotion are you feeling?  Anger, frustration, loneliness, disappointment, etc.

Secondly, ask yourself, why am I so upset about this?  Why am I so frustrated?  Getting to the root of your frustration will allow you to communicate your needs or desires more effectively.  Maybe pulling out a journal or talking to yourself outloud or talking to a trusted friend will help you discover the root of your emotion.

Finally, submit to the Holy Spirit.  If you have chosen to follow Jesus Christ and have given your life over to Him, then you have the Holy Spirit living in you.  Galatians 5 tells us that the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, KINDNESS, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.  So by submitting to the Holy Spirit, you can live out the fruit of the Spirit.  You can be kind even when you are frustrated.

What does “submitting” to the Holy Spirit look like in real life? It is acknowledging that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”  It is recognizing that you do have a choice.  You can choose restraint (self-control) and kindness rather than reacting on emotion.  Submitting to the Holy Spirit can look like a prayer in which you pray the Jesus will give you the strength to be kind even when you don’t want to be.  For me, it means repeating to myself, “Love is kind, love is kind, love is kind.” As I pray for Christ’s strength to resist the temptation to be unkind.

Can you be kind and still voice your frustration?  ABSOLUTELY!

Being kind does not mean you are a door mat.  It just means that you communicate your frustration without yelling or degrading the other person.  It means that you wait until the moment (and emotion) passes and then you address the issue when you are not so fired up.

Being kind and living at peace with each other does not mean that you avoid conflict.  It means you fight fair…in a way that honors God.

 

 

Love is Patient

A few weeks ago I heard a sermon entitled, “Love is Patient,”  and ever since God has been showing me exactly how impatient I am.

Before this sermon, I thought of myself as a relatively patient person, but now everytime I am impatient, God gently whispers to my heart, “Love is patient.”  It has been a very convicting three weeks.  And although it is never fun to see my sin under a microscope, it has been a good reminder of my need for Jesus in my life.  This morning I was rereading a passage that I had read with my hubby a few weeks ago.  It is from I Timothy 1.

12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

As I reread these words this morning, I was encouraged by a phrase I had underlined when I read it a couple of weeks ago. In the second parpagraph Paul explains that he was “the worst” sinner. (Before Paul met Jesus he was killing Christians!)  He goes on to say that even though he was the worst sinner, Jesus was merciful to him so that Jesus could demonstrate His unlimited patience for those who would follow Him.

Wow! After three weeks of realizing my lack of patience, I needed to be encouraged by Christ’s unlimited patience.  I am encouraged this morning knowing that Christ is my example of patience.  And that because He lives in me, I can, through Him alone, display patience to others in my life.  I am also humbled knowing that I have tested the depth of His unlimited patience.

I have been trying to be patient in my own strength and have fail miserably.  Today I am reminded that I don’t have to do it in my own strength.  Not only that, I CAN’T do it in my own strength.  So today I am committing to let Jesus live in and through me.  My heart’s desire is that the unlimited patience He has for me, will be the same patience I have for others in my life.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

Take a few minutes to reflect on the patience Christ has had for you.

Are you commited to love others with this same patience?

How can you demonstrateChrist’s unlimited patience to others in your life?

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