When I first began reading the Bible, a word that captured my attention was “lovingkindness.” I felt very warm inside when I read passages like “I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy,”1 or “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you,”2 or “[God] redeems your life from destruction [and] crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,”3 or “The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me.”4
In some modern English translations, expressions such as “steadfast love,” “mercy,” and just plain “love” are used in place of “lovingkindness,” but I miss that word. It seems to encapsulate in a single word what God means most to me. It is the translation of the Hebrew word chased, and it was coined long ago by Miles Coverdale, one of the very first translators of the Bible into English. In the Greek and Latin translations that had preceded Coverdale’s English effort, chased had been translated as eleos and misericordia respectively, the equivalents of the English word “mercy.”
“Who are you here to see?” the petite dark-haired nurse asked as I sipped tea in the waiting area and scrawled in my journal.
“My nephew,” I answered with a smile. “He’s asleep, though, so I’ll wait.”
“Oh, he really needs visitors. He’s still a child,” she said in her motherly way. Although my nearly full-grown teenage nephew now towers over me when he’s not wasting away in a hospital bed, I still remember his chubby cheeks and legs when I first held him at three months old.
Raising children is no easy task, and there are no shortcuts. The ever-shifting ocean of emotions that children go through at various ages and stages poses one of the greatest challenges to parents. Here are a few things that I have found helpful in teaching my children to deal with the negative emotions they experience.
Encouraging positive traits such as kindness, appreciation, gratefulness, integrity, and unselfishness at an early age will help prepare them to deal with negative situations they will encounter later.
Reading or watching classics that show the rewards of being positive and solution oriented—Pollyanna and Heidi, for example—impart important life lessons in an enjoyable, memorable way.
For an increasing number of us, financial troubles are precariously close to home. With businesses and financial institutions failing daily, it’s no wonder so many worry that their own livelihoods or homes are at risk.
In such times of trouble and uncertainty it’s natural to worry about your own family foremost. If until recently you’ve been supporting your church or various charities, now, with gloomy future prospects, perhaps you question whether such giving makes sound financial sense.
The answer is that if you want God’s blessing, then giving is still definitely in! “God loves a cheerful giver”1 is one of the pillars of God’s financial plan. In fact, God’s way to plenty is to give it away.
“Never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.”If there was anyone who knew all about that, it was probably Mother Teresa. After having lived among the poorest of the poor in India for nearly 30 years (and she would continue to do so for nearly 20 more), she was awarded the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. She began her acceptance speech with the words, “Life is life.” She went on to explain that all human beings are special and of great worth, no matter who they are, and that only when we have learned to respect that fact can we begin to help them improve their lives.
A popular song that made a big impression on me as a teenager seemed to be a prayer. I say “seemed” because the song didn’t mention God or prayer. It also didn’t sound like any religious music I’d ever heard. The lyrics were deceptively simple—big truths about character and success in life expressed humbly and winsomely. I wanted to be like that, I remember thinking. It was the best sermon I’d ever heard.