Monthly Archives: November 2009

Do You Love Me?

I am reminded this week of Christ’s words to Peter just before He left him for the last time. “Do you love me?” He asked. It seemed almost rhetorical. “Yes,” Peter said. I’m sure Peter didn’t expect Jesus to ask again, and again. And the third time totally and completely touched this man’s heart to the very core. It riveted him.  One can nearly feel the emotional weight of the question–of Peter’s grief that although he sinned, this God-man was willing to reinstate the love and sow into Peter’s heart the seeds of mercy and forgiveness.

It’s the same question He asks of us over and over again. These challenges in our lives are not without purpose; not without reason; not without response. They are set in place so that we will be frustrated by them and find our broken hearts at a crossroad. Then He reinstates us with His simple, but profound words.

“Do you love me?” He asks.

It is rhetorical. Christ knows the answer. He wants us to know it and to own it. He wants our hearts to be His.

“Yes Jesus, I do. Please show me how to love you better.”

My answer is humble and simple, but in it bears the weight of responsibility.  It’s time to feed the sheep.

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A New Attitude of Gratitude

“Give thanks in all circumstances!” I Thessalonians 5:17

My friend, Paul Daniels, is a high school teacher in a nearby town.  He sent me this note on Monday, and I was so inspired by it that I asked if I could post it to my blog.  I pray it inspires you, too, especially during our season of Thanksgiving.  Paul writes:

This afternoon I translated a thank you note from a 7 year-old girl in Burkina Faso who had received a shoebox from a CAL elementary student via Operation Christmas Child.  Anne Wegert wanted to use the letter in elementary chapel.  Here’s the letter.

June 5, 2009

I have the great pleasure of hearing from you.  My name is Guedraogo Safiatou.  I am in an elementary school class in the village of Toba in the department (county) Yaba of the province (state) Mayah.

I am the oldest girl of a family of farmers.  I have 5 older brothers and 5 younger brothers.  I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all the wonderful gifts that you gave us here in Toba.

I want to send my greetings to all your family and friends in America.  I hope that your friendship will continue forever if God wills it so.

Thank you!

Guedraogo Safiatou

I got to thinking as I returned the letter back to the elementary office.  In saying thank you, Guedraogo had spent about $2 between the cost of paper, stamps and the photo.  It doesn’t sound like much to us until one realizes average person’s yearly income in Burkina Faso is about $320.  She spent a small fortune or about 0.6% of the average Burkinabe’s income.  For one of us to say thank you in an equivalent manner as this little girl, it would be $196 (about 0.6 % of $31,800, the average US worker’s income).

It’s kind of humbling.  Would I say thank you if it cost me $196?  And how often have I forgotten to say thank you?

Towards a new attitude of gratitude,

Paul

“Give thanks in all circumstances!”  I Thessalonians 5:17