ChloeAlmost a year ago, we got a kitten. Holly had wanted one for quite sometime. I was nonplussed about the idea. Someone with whom Holly worked had several kittens and she gave us one of them. Holly named her Chloe, but she probably thinks her name is “baby girl”

At first the Chloe didn’t like me. She spent much of her day under the bed. Whenever I would get near her she would run and hide. The shear size difference between the cat and me, I am sure was a factor.

However little by little she warmed up to me and I to her. Before long we found ourselves frequently laughing at her antics! Before long, I found that she had made place in my heart.

She is very entertaining! We enjoy watching her chase a laser. We laugh as she “stalks” it and tries to pounce on it. We are amused by her “going on bird patrol,” every morning. She jumps up in the window, and quivers with excitement as the birds fly by.

She is also very endearing. When she was a small kitten, my grandkids would come over and play with her. It is interesting to me that she warmed up to them almost immediately. When they left she would stand at the door and just cry after them. For quite sometime, every morning she would jump up in my chair and come all the way up in my face, as if to say, “good morning”. Sometimes she would then curl up between my feet and go back to sleep. I find enjoyment sometimes just watching how she is curled up in her sleep.


iStock 1010501332"By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." (Heb 11:3 ESV)

Today, as in all periods of human history, human beings have great interest in the sensational and the supernatural. There is a penchant in human nature for the bizarre and unusual.  The latest “viral video” will no doubt bear this out.

This desire for all things amazing is a God given one.  God has wired humanity with a thirst for awe.  His purpose is that we would be in awe of Him, and all of His works. 

 What many fail to realize is that it is not just the uncommon which is awesome. While they pursue the sensational in those things that are uncommon, they run past many things that are awesome, but whose awesomeness is hidden by their commonness.  These common things are bursting with the awesome glory of God, but that glory can only be seen through the eyes of faith.

 What could be more common than the sky? It is always above us. We never even wonder if it will be there when we walk outside. Yet the writers of Scripture saw the awesome glory of God in that ever present common thing. They wrote things like: "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." (Psa 19:1 ESV), and "The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory." (Psa 97:6 ESV) and "When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" (Psa 8:3–4 ESV)



Ability Without Affection is AggrivatingHave you ever had the misfortune of having a loved one who is trying to learn to play an instrument? Several years ago, much to my delight, Holly’s parents bought a banjo for me. I loved that thing, and I worked diligently to try to learn to get that Earl Scruggs roll down, so that I could  play bluegrass music.  The problem was, in order to get that roll down, you have to try over and over and over again! My poor wife and family were subjected to the most one of the most aggravating sounds known to man! I finally took it to my office at the church, and only practiced when no one was around! By the way, I never did get it down, and finally should the banjo and focused my efforts on being a better guitarist. I think this is the concept, Paul was communicating when he wrote this words in 1 Corinthians 13:1

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor. 13:1 ESVi)
I think we could summarize this verse this way.  Ability without affection is aggravating.  When you exercise your God given gifts, and abilities without a heart of Love, you are aggravating!
 
God gives spiritual gifts and natural abilities, as a means by which we can reflect His glory, and express our love to others.  If we use those abilities instead,  to bring glory to ourselves, or to try to gain the affirmation of others, We will be aggravating! .  We will also find ourselves being aggravated when others  do not respond to us according to our expectations. 

May the Lord give us the grace today to exercise the gifts that he has given us with the motives of glorifying Him, and expressing love to those who have been created in His image. Then we will be like a beautiful melody to those who have to be around us!