Gratitude and Hot Coffee

“Don’t cry over spilt milk.”  –Every mother who ever dealt with a bawling baby

I don’t know about you, but I like to be appreciated. A pat on the back for a job well done every once in a while, yeah, it feels good. I’ve never been able to understand how people could expect others to go on tirelessly giving of themselves with nothing to show for it. I don’t think God thinks ingratitude is right.

There are hundreds of places in Scripture where we are taught to praise God for the things he provides in our lives: food, homes, families, safety, abundance, wisdom, mercy, jobs, cars, educations, vacations, promotions, motorcycles…the list could go on and on.

We are thankful, Lord, so thankful for Your blessings!

If God thinks gratitude and praise are worthwhile expenditures of our time, shouldn’t we think it, too? We should, but we get bogged down in all those other things that happen in this world and forget to praise.

Example: Today, I traveled through the drive-in at a local burger joint on my way to work, when the gal working the window handed me my medium-sized HOT coffee with the lid not completely buttoned down. I grabbed the cup, and hot liquid ran over my palm, across my wrist, down my arm and all over my vest and the inside of the car door.

At this juncture, I may, or may not have said a word that I’m not wont to use in public places.

Coffee-spill_B

In my defense, the coffee was hot!

In a moment of time—and I mean a split second of time–I decided to let go of that hot cup. Then I said the word (or didn’t say it–you decide what you’d have done and go from there), before dropping the cup on the pavement below. Did I mention it was hot?!!

The response of the young woman working the window this morning was to apologize, then ask the guy in back of her, “Can you finish up with this order?” He didn’t. Wouldn’t. Wasn’t willing, but that’s his story and I won’t tell it further. What I will say is that other than the word I said (or didn’t say, you decide), I said nothing.

I was burned.

I was angry.

I had already said (or not said), a word I don’t usually say, and I didn’t want to go further down that verbal rabbit hole. I remained silent, but I don’t think that helped the girl. She apologized again, while I cleaned up what I could of the mess that had been made when hot, hot, HOT coffee slid down my side.

After she apologized yet again, the girl poured me another hot cup of coffee. I didn’t think she was going to replace the first one for a moment, and her buddy was not helping, but finally she did. I don’t know how long it took for this injury and accident to transpire, but it seemed like a long, long time when I was going through it.

As I drove away from the burger joint, still angry, still burning (literally burning), all sorts of retribution went through my head:

I should stop and go in there and give her a piece of my mind, I thought.

I should go on-line when I get to work and get the phone number for the place and call and talk to the manager, and report her.

I should suggest they stop hiring school girls to do adult work.

I should make sure there is a paper trail for this, for when I must have a doctor bill paid.

Disclaimer: I was not mortally wounded in this attack of the coffee hotties, I was just miffed and frustrated that it happened to me and now my vest was covered with coffee stains and my wrist and hand were burning!

All of those things I thought to do…yeah, I didn’t do any of them. Instead, I made a conscious decision to extend grace. I thanked God that the burn was not worse. I thanked Him profusely for the fact that HOT coffee did not land in my lap, but only on my hand/arm. I prayed that I hadn’t ruined that girl’s day with my sour silence and that word that I may or may not have hissed when the black brew came spewing at me.

I bring in this topic of spilt coffee in a praise post to make the point that if we make our minds up to it, we can always, always, ALWAYS find something to be thankful for; always! And when we are thankful that things didn’t go worse for us, that we didn’t get hurt worse than we did, that we’re still alive and vital, and happily pursuing lives that are filled—hear me, FILLED–with blessings and purpose, then I think we ought to turn that thankfulness into recognition and praise.

I wasn’t thankful that some young gal spilled coffee all over me this morning, and I didn’t thank her for it, but maybe I should have. Maybe she saved me from a fatal car crash down the road by delaying me with a minor burn. Maybe she learned a valuable lesson, so that no one else will get burned by her again. Maybe that someone else who would have been burned was a baby, an infant, newly present in this world. I’m so thankful a baby didn’t get burned with hot coffee this morning.

I might have failed at gratitude and recognition in the moment when hot coffee was spilled on me this morning, but only moments later God reminded me that although something difficult and hurtful had happened to me today, I had the choice to remain thankful.

He teaches me so much, every day I walk with Him.

Today, if you happen upon someone who’s done a good job, or made life easier for you or someone you love, or has not spilled hot coffee on you, would you tell them how thankful you are for their service? Isn’t that love? Isn’t that gratitude? Isn’t that us following in Jesus’ footsteps? And if someone has spilled hot coffee on you, be grateful it wasn’t worse. It could always be worse. Trust me, I know.

We need to be grateful and be alert to those moments when we can be thankful. They are everywhere, for those who have eyes to see.

I will tell of the Lord’s unfailing love; I praise him for all he has done for us. He has richly blessed the people of Israel because of his mercy and constant love. Isaiah 63:7

Praise the Lord who has given his people peace, as he promised he would. 1 Kings 8:56

Praise the Lord, all people on earth, praise his glory and might. (1 Chronicles 16:28)

God is wise and powerful! Praise him forever and ever. (Daniel 2:20)

Sing to the LORD! Praise the LORD! He rescues the oppressed from the power of evil people. (Jeremiah 20:13)

Let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his dear Son! (Ephesians 1:5)

 

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Shed Musings

storage shed

Meshullam son of Berekiah rebuilt the wall in front of his storage shed.  

I had to smile when I read what the Message translation of the Bible had to say about Meshullam, son of Berekiah, and his work to rebuild the wall in front of his storage shed (Nehemiah 3:30 MSG).     

I envisioned this rickety, half burned-out shed that was leaning against a charred wall with its own scars visible and sitting alongside a torn down and trampled piece of Jerusalem rock wall property.  For some reason it seemed funny to me.  Maybe its the thought of what my husband would do in similar circumstances that got me going.

If my husband had to pick between his storage shed and the house, with one of them about to go up in flames, I’m guessing he’d choose to save the storage shed.  It’s his man cave, after all, with all his toys, gadgets, and sparklers inside it that he either can’t or hasn’t yet dragged into the house.  Ha!

I don’t know whether Meshullam spent any amount of valuable time rebuilding his storage shed after the wall around Jerusalem fell, and different translations record details of the reconstruction phase around Jerusalem after Ezra and Nehemiah’s return differently, so maybe, but maybe not.  What I do know and continue to wonder at is how important this rebuilding project was to God and his people, and how many details of the work have been recorded in the Bible.

The Bible is a tried and true record of God’s story and his people.   

Note to my regular readers: I pulled Nehemiah as my next reading assignment, so that is where I’m focusing my Bible reading these days.

This afternoon, I’m praising God that He cares about all the things that matter to us–even storage sheds.

What would you save if your house caught afire?  How does it make you feel that God cares so much for you?

In Our Troubles

We never know when this day could be our last day.  This past week, a too-young woman was killed in a car accident in our home town.  We are rocked.  It was sudden.  I know her family.  It seems tragic, and far too soon.  We weren’t ready. Can you ever be ready for that?  She has small children. A husband…now required to go on alone.  At twenty-seven, we find it hard to find the words to describe our feelings about her passing.  The conflicting emotions want out, but how? How do we express the sorrow?  I write. It’s what I do.

I wrote.

This is what I found within. Please pray for the family.  God knows who they are.  ljh

In Our Troubles

“What do I see? They are terrified, they are retreating, their warriors are defeated. They flee in haste without looking back, and there is terror on every side,” declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 46:5

The message came to Camille when she was walking through the mall. On her left was a small group of geriatrics, shuffling with the assistance of canes and walkers into the Bonton; this being the first of the month, and they, hot to spend their SSI checks. She didn’t think the message could possibly be referring to them. To her right she saw a manager chewing out her tattooed and heavily pierced employee. No, that didn’t seem right, either. She kept walking.

“What do I see?”

Camille looked around. All she saw was store fronts and passersby, strolling with their children in hand or their lovers at their sides. They had purses and bags full of sundry goods. No one looked terrified, and no one was retreating in the formal sense. There were people entering and exiting stores, but no one was in a hurry to do it. No one was running.

“More than a few of them look like their defeated, but it’s the same everywhere,” Camille thought. This is a hard-knocks town, so yeah, we’re all looking defeated now and again, given the day.”

Camille kept walking.

Mommas with baby strollers passed by, no one seemed terrified. An old man left the coffee shop. Retreating, yes, but not terrified. A trainer with her companion pup sat at the center court and gave reassurances as she watched for the golden retriever’s reaction to multiple stimuli. She certainly didn’t look defeated and she wasn’t making any hasty moves.

“They are terrified, they are retreating, they are…defeated.” She heard it again.

A shriek rang out and Camille commanded her hurdler’s legs into action. Within moments, she was able to see what everyone else had flocked near the escalator could see. A teen boy, fourteen maybe, standing on the railings above the three-story drop. He was balancing on the balls of his feet. Now perching there. Now closing his eyes. Now falling…

“They flee in haste, without looking back, and there is terror on every side.”

Another soul had lost his battle with depression. Camille hung her head and sobbed as everyone, save mall security, backed away and abandoned the broken and bloody body lying on the mall floor. Sirens could be heard in the distance, as a shopper unknown to Camille dropped heavy bags and ran screaming toward the body. She took his brokenness into her arms and cradles him there until the EMT’s forced her to back away. She collapsed, a heap of spent flesh on the tile floor.  Camille lay down beside her.

“I’m going to hold you now,” Camille said. “I’m going to stay right here and hold you now.” She wrapped her arms around the woman, shielding her as well as she was able until some compassionate soul ran for a blanket from the trunk of their car and covered them both. He stayed nearby, his back turned to them, but his presence preventing anyone from drawing near.

The woman whimpered something. Camille replied, “I’m not going anywhere.”

The voice within spoke to Camille in that moment of personal sacrifice, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

 

 

 

Copyright, Lori Hoose April 5, 2018

…dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.”  These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. 

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 

Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.  Jude 1: 17-23

love letter

I follow Sharon Glasgow on Instagram.  She’s one of the Proverbs 31 Women. Sharon is a victorious woman of God with an amazing testimony of the Lord’s power to transform lives and raise people from dire circumstances to glorious grace.

Recently, Sharon posted a love note that her granddaughter wrote to the Holy Spirit. It was a song, written with teeny hands and in crooked script, but full of power and adoration and it pretty much said one thing: I love you, Holy Spirit. I love you, Holy Spirit.  I love you, Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, I love you!

This song, written by innocence inspired me and it made me question how many times in my life I’ve written a love letter to the Holy Spirit.

Umm, zero.

I’ve always directed my writing to the topics of God, church, Jesus, my personal experiences with the faith, and life unfolding, as we do it together, not necessarily in that order.

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love… (vs 20-21a).

When I read the love letter Sharon’s granddaughter wrote, I thought long and hard about the type or parenting (or grand-ing), that went in to preparing a small girl to write with such eloquence and innocence to her triune Savior.  It was a vulnerable song. It was a powerful song. It was a song for the ages.  It was a song I needed to write.

As I approach my God today, the Christian Master of Ceremonies in my life, I’m taking time to think on my Holy Spirit.  Mine. I’m taking time to adore Him.  I’m showering Him with praise.  I’m telling Him how much I appreciate the ministry he does in my life: reminding me of all that Jesus did and bidding me to do the same.

Today, I’m giving it up for our Amazing Holy Spirit. He is worthy, wouldn’t you agree?

When did you pen your last love letter to the Holy Spirit?  When did you last praise him in the marketplace of life?

Joyful Work & Comic Nerds

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

My sons are comic book nerds! Each year they make their annual trek to NYC for the Comicon that is held at the Javits Center. The convention is a huge gathering of like-minded lovers of the graphic arts who appreciate what it takes to bring fictional heroes and villains to life.

Attending Comicon requires a lot of advance planning. The brothers search the website for the event, strategically deciding which panels they will sit in on and which artists booths they will visit.

They decide where to stay…

Where to park…

Whether or not to go into the city that first day…

Which night they will remain in the city until the wee hours, eating, laughing together, and catching up with their cousins who live in Jersey.

It takes a lot of work upfront to get them ready for this gig, but they love every minute.

Do you love every minute you’re planning and working for the Lord?

My sons love to attend the Comicon because it provides a time for them to work together on something they enjoy. Just the two of them.

The time goes by quickly when they’re in the city, and the memory of all those fun times come pouring out faster than they can speak them once they’ve returned home and are telling us all about it.

That excitement—

That contentment–

That joy they find in preparing for the event and then traveling together to attend it, it’s what we ought to feel whenever we’re working for the Lord.

Do you feel it?

If not, why not?

What needs to change for you to get ramped-up and ready to roll with Jesus?

Today, let’s ask God what he’s prepared in advance for us to do in his world, and then let’s put a plan in place.  God is calling you to a thrilling future of joyful work with Him. Make sure you’re ready; prepared in advance for His blessings to come.

What event do you look forward to each year?  Who is your favorite traveling companion?

 

I loved you, Samuel!

Today I pulled another tab from my Bible reading jar, cuz yeah, I was ready to explore once more.

ROMANS!

Before I scamper off to read about the early church though, I wanted to write a little about what I learned while reading my way through 1 Samuel.

As you may know, 1 Samuel records Samuel’s life and the times of Saul and David that butt up against the Prophets story.  Murder, intrigue, spiritual death, physical death, the death of a king, the anointing of another, and exciting times throughout, that’s what I found in 1 Samuel.

THINGS I LEARNED IN 1 SAMUEL

Obeying God, especially when it isn’t easy, is totally the way to go. So. Many. Blessings.

Not obeying God is a bad, bad thing and results in striking consequences.

Being humble means a lot to Papa.

Being proud may satisfy the flesh, but it doesn’t prove all that helpful in finding God.

God speaks a word to us when we obey and do what he says…no matter what.

God remains silent once He has established that we wouldn’t obey, even if he did tell us what to do.

Living in caves and hideouts—not that bad when a blood-thirsty king is hunting you down.

Giants don’t get to say who will win the day—God does!

One smooth stone in the hand of an expert is enough.

Women of honor are honored, and given riches, and crowns, and love, and a place in God’s story.

Even rabble-rousers and riff raff come in handy when you’re building an army.

Playing the harp can be a manly pursuit.  Yes, it can!!!

God tells a compelling story; one we miss out on when we don’t read the Bible regularly.

All hope depends on God, who uses lil guys and misfits every step of the way to victory.

Having a seer nearby helps, a lot.

Hiding from God won’t work. He sees us, even behind the baggage carts of life.

There were not Motel 6s in the ancient Arabah.

Sometimes the victory shout IS: Kill ‘em all!  We hear that often on basketball courts these days, don’t we?

The hand that rocks the cradle really does rule the world.

Prayer Changes Things!

Ancient mysticism fascinates me. I wonder how/why it works.

Kings should avoid witches at all costs.

Falling on your sword isn’t always noble.

Old Testament teaching isn’t for everyone, or so I hear, but I absolutely love it.  I love the simplicity of the OT. I love the fervor. I love the commitment to righteousness, and the stories that speak to the failings of those who try to skirt God’s commands.  I love the grace I see. I love the retribution that is fair, and just, and metered out by a Holy God, so we don’t have to wonder if it’s fair or not.

I love that the majority of what I find in the OT is unveiled and easy to understand. Who among us doesn’t understand betrayal, or the vulnerability of sinful men, or the blood lust and fear that accompanies war?  I get it.  I see it happening all over the globe today. I can look at what happens in 1 Samuel and compare it to my world and say with confidence that people don’t change without God’s intervention in their lives. They just don’t.

WHAT TO DO, WHAT TO AVOID, AND WHAT MAKES GOD UNCHANGING.

It’s all there in the Bible, but to get it you have to read both the Old Testament, and the New Testament.  They are both important for understanding who our God really is—who we are vowing allegiance to–and how He expects us to behave.

I loved reading 1 Samuel, but I must say I’m also ready to dive into Romans.  The early church. The struggles, and the blessings. The foundation and the continuing, never ending story of faith, forgiveness, and beginning again.  The picture of divine justice, set alongside the obvious failings of men is also fascinating to me.  Paul, in all his glory.  I love him, even as I despise him.  Intrigue, fighting, victory, defeats…  I can’t wait!  This is going to be sooooo good.

What book of the Bible is your favorite?  What did you recently learn from reading it, that you did not know before?

 

 

 

Walls

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall. That wants it down.”

I love the words from this poem by Robert Frost. They conjure images to my mind. Images of walls torn down, peoples united, and relationships mended.

000mending wall

What is it that keeps a wall in place?  What physically separates us?
Sound engineering.
Quality materials.
Rightly aligned foundations.
Good ground that isn’t prone to shifting.

We spend our lives putting effort into building walls that will last.
But what of those walls that need to come down?

What of those walls that have been improperly built?

Or worse yet, rightly built, but later regretted.

Emotional walls…Spiritual walls…Relational walls.
What do we with these?

Demolish.
Destroy.
Redeem.
Restore.

It takes effort, determination, and consistency to bring down walls built by fear, isolation, or hate.

Walls protect and walls repel.

What walls do you see before you today?  What steps are you taking to break them down?

Stop Drills And Your Happier Life

What is a Stop Drill, you ask?

It’s like a fire drill, and just as important!

Here’s how to conduct a Stop Drill.

Buy a couple of bags of your favorite candy, snack, or dime store rewards/stickers. Go into the yard or living room or basement to set up the exercise. Ask the kids to line up at the opposite end of the room from you, like they would to play red light/green light. Now, explain that every time they obey your command to stop the first time they are told to, they will get a treat.  Commence issuing directives, including sudden STOPS.  You’ve just completed a Stop Drill.

Note:  Popcorn makes a great reward for Stop Drill practice, since you can give one piece each time the kiddos respond correctly without filling them full of sugar.

Before you start an Stop Drill, remember that its best to reward right behavior, and move past wrong behavior rather quickly.  If the kiddos don’t respond properly to your commands, or they fail to respond, don’t give up. Keep trying.  Practice makes perfect.

Here’s why Stop Drills are important:

Three-year-olds get lost in big box book stores, AND half-blind Grampas can’t keep up with said three-year-olds when they book it outta there at full speed on those wee chubby legs of theirs.

When a three-year-old decides to break ranks and run…

Hearts pound.

Palms sweat.

The perpetrator laughs.

Legs MOVE.

Voices call down aisles.  “Where are you?”

Junior is lost!

Vanished.

Escaped.

Still giggling, gleefully. Rotten kid!

Panic sets in.

What if?

Have you been there?

This post is not about the fear, the relief, or the reprimands associated with losing a child in a big store.  Well, maybe it is a lil, but it’s also about preparedness (and humor, always humor).  It’s good to bring a little levity into frightening conversations, right?

But seriously (or not), Stop Drills are about next time.

They’re about conditioning kids in a way that teaches them to do what we say, when we say it, so that when we yell DUCK, MOVE, or DID YOU HEAR ME?, they will act…out of instinct, and for their own goodness and safety sake.

How can practicing Stop Drills help you live a happier life?

1. First, Stop Drills stop “why” questions in their tracks.  No longer do you have to say, “because I said so,” every time you want your child to stop doing that.

2. Stop Drills condition kids to stop, thereby helping young’uns learn how to instinctively respond to your directives.

3. Stop Drills relieve parents of worry when their kids are operating outside of arm’s reach, but still within screaming distance.

4. Stop Drills make it less likely that your child will be hurt, especially as hurt pertains to kids running into the street unaware of the danger a busy street implies.

5. Stop Drills reinforce the need to be safe through obedience.

Remember: You can train an old dog new tricks, and young pups are even easier!

In conclusion:  If Stop Drills don’t sound right for your situation, you can do what I did when my kiddos were little.  Tell them if they go near the road you will 1.  Spank them, hard. 2. Let the pigs get them.  Hey, no judging. My methods worked and that’s what matters. 😉

Have you ever lost your child in the store or the park? What were you taught to do that you do without thinking these days?

Liars Gonna Lie

Dealing with liars leaves me conflicted.

Am I supposed to allow them to lie to me, unchallenged?

Am I supposed to confront them with their lies?

If I try to gently restore them to the truth, how exactly would I go about doing that?

I know I should pray for them.

I keep hearing I’m supposed to hate the sin, but love the sinner.  I’m working on that.  I sense that I need to separate my feelings about their behavior from any actions I take, but that’s HARD to do.

I’m  not gonna lie to you, I have a problem with liars.

I have a problem respecting liars.

I have a problem with being a liar sometimes. Ugh!

It’s true: I am not always completely honest with others.  Brutal honesty doesn’t appeal much to me.  In fact, I’m not sure that I ever want to develop a taste for that kind of interaction with others.

Does that make me a liar?  Hmmm…

I, like others, find social convention demands I interact with grace in public situations, which sometimes means I cannot be completely honest in my impressions of and sharing with others.  A good thing, I think.  Certainly I feel it is a blessing when they are not completely honest with me about every impression they have of me.  Heavens, who wants to hear every thought someone else has about them?  Scary!

Let me say pretty emphatically that I think telling lies as a means of shielding one’s self from consequences in life is wrong.  It’s sin to me.  But do I believe that in every case, all the time?

Think Corrie Ten Boom. Think the Hiding Place. Is it wrong to lie to those who would take the truth I would tell them and hurt others because of it?

So many variables, and so much danger in granting ourselves too much wiggle room!

I am of the Wesleyan persuasion regarding how I approach faith and sin. That means I define sin as a deliberate act of rebellion connected to a known principle, rule, or command from God.  I see sin as willful disobedience…akin to the plot the religious leaders entered into when they colluded with Judas to betray Jesus and then handed him over to the Roman government to be beaten, murdered, and removed from public view.  They knew what they did was deliberate, hateful, and wrong (sin), but they did it anyway, because they “needed to/wanted to/had to” maintain the status quo so as to shield their reputations and power bases.  Easter having just passed, this act of rebellion (sin) is fresh in my mind, and therefore easily called upon to make my point.

While doing research today, I found some interesting food for thought on the Wesleyan definition of sin.  Maybe you’d like to check it out, especially if you are not Wesleyan and have never understood how they handle sin inside the confines of their faith journeys.  The writer of that post is Keith Drury, a VIP in Wesleyan circles and someone who can pretty much be depended upon to understand the Wesleyan definition of sin and communicate it to the public in trustworthy ways.

My problem:  Determining what is deliberate deceit, and what is a subconscious behavior that is so deeply mired in denial that it is not readily understood as deliberate by the one who uses it to get along in life.

For instance: Someone regularly withholds information from others (friends, family, co-workers), in order to maintain control over these others, and/or avoid fights or anger levied at them when they make “promises” they are unable to later keep.  Is that deliberate sin, or a bad habit?

Or this:  Someone regularly omits information until the timing is right for them to reveal it.  They are looking for an advantage in their communications, but not in a conscious way.  They have learned to watch what they say and limit their comments to times when tempers are less likely to flare.  I can see how this pattern would develop when one lives with an abuser, addict, or an alcoholic.  I can easily see this as a habit developed unwittingly. Not deliberate.

I guess I believe some people have been so shaped by life and their interactions with others that they lie pretty easily, and without realizing how insidious a sin it is or how much it hurts others who trust them to tell the truth.

I could go on and on talking about this today, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that I have a hard enough time trying to figure out what I ought to say and when I ought to say it/share it/reveal it, to want to avoid investing massive amounts of my time dissecting others lies and trying to figure good motives for why they devise them.  When they lie to me, though, that’s different. Then, I am ready to dig in my heels and fight the good fight to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

To be certain, separating the dirty liars from the accidental or occasional liars is hard work, in my opinion.

I want to close this epic post with these words from The Bible, that I was led to consider after a conversation with a friend today.  I think this is relevant to my inner dialogue regarding lying.

“But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.  And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.”  Jude 1:20-23  [emphasis, mine. ljh]

When have you found it hard to hate the lies, but love the liars?  Do you ever withhold information in an unconscious way?  Under what circumstances do you think it would be right to consciously withhold “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”