Thank you for taking the time to read my posts. I especially want to thank those who have even gone further to comment, to like, and even to send encouraging messages. Bellow is a list of my most read posts for the year with a little excerpt. If there's a theme for this year, it is this: go for true, deep, brave, life-laying and life giving, generous love. How do I intend to do that? We'll explore this in my year-end post: Lessons on Life, Loss, and Love. You may click on the titles to read the whole articles.
1. You Are Loved (From This Is Who You Are)
"In a world that says, "I love you" today then forgets what it means tomorrow, I want you to know that my love will be patient, and kind, will not boast, will not be proud, nor be rude, nor seek my own benefit, nor be easily angered, nor keep a record of wrongs. You will shine as my love illuminates the dark areas of your life."
2. Love is the Foolishness of Man
"We want others to be patient and bear with us as we grow, yet we are quick to criticize, quick to show anger, quick to pronounce judgment. We want to be accepted for who we are yet condemn others for failing to be a certain person for us. We want the friendships that make us better, sacrificial friendships, yet we dispose people who have offended us or threaten us - proving their value to us was based on how they made us feel. We want to be treated as important and be served yet do not show compassion to those who need it most when they need it most. We want complete forgiveness while selectively being unforgiving. We want true unconditional love yet we burden others with our conditions - conditions that change depending on how we're feeling. We want our record of wrongs to be erased yet we engrave their sins, even their past sins against others, on our stone hearts and hard minds."
3. I Don't Care What Anyone Says, Don't Be A Bitch
"My thinking is simple: Be a bitch and you’ll get the life of a bitch.
What you want is a man with good character. And the secret to getting a man of good character is to be a woman of good character. No one has perfect character, but you can tell when someone is moving towards being a better neighbor, a better servant, being more humble, being kinder, and being more loving."
4. It's About What's Most Important (From David On Relationships. This was actually written in 2010 but was visited a lot again this year.)
"Sometimes I come across people who are so insecure about where they stand in a relationship and I realize it's because they themselves and / or their partners have never settled in their hearts that the other is most important. When what's most important isn't decided on, everything becomes negotiable. I can go out and get drunk because he offended me. I can text others since we're not cheating anyway. I can gossip to my friends because he's a butt. All of a sudden we can negotiate in our mind to do the things that will hurt the person because we have never really set them aside as valuable - meaning even their value is negotiable - they're only valuable as long as they do as we like."
5. Fall In Love This Christmas
"All of a sudden, it hit me. I had been going about this whole thing wrong, and no wonder I kept failing. No wonder fear came over me so quickly when there was a threat. No wonder my anger rose so high when I felt offended. No wonder I fell so frequently to temptation. No wonder I became so proud with achievement. No wonder the condemnation lasted so long."
6. Don't Miss the Point
"You have something amazing waiting for you to fight for. Stop trading them away for the vicarious, for the temporary, for the easy pleasure. You'll ruin your ability to enjoy the real thing. You'll be too full with junk to accept good things. Worse, you'll be so used to junk you won't be able to recognize a good thing even if it's right in front of you. And even worse, you'll actually have an appetite for junk."
7. Thoughts On Pacquiao and the Problems of My Heart
"I think we should stop equating material blessing, recognition, and comfort as automatically the fruit of Christianity. Those things are nice but they're not what the Bible calls the fruit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, grace, gentleness, and self-control. If my small group grows, if my business profits, if my star rises, if my pastors commend me, yet I do not love, have peace, practice patience, if I am unkind, if I am evil, especially to those I can take advantage of, if I am self-justified, if I am harsh, and if I have no discipline, how can I say that this is the will of God?"
8. Do I Truly Love?
"But maturity means we must move from great expectations of others, to great intentions for them, and even more, to great acts of service and sacrifice. This is what separates great love from cheap love: one is made of transformative action the other is a mood swing."
9. When I Am Afraid?
"I NEED YOU. Three very simple yet life-changing words. Words that humbly admit "I can't do this without You. I've tried and I've failed. I need You to rescue me. I need You to teach me. I need You to show me. I need You to fill me. I need You to love me." These are difficult statements to say, especially for someone like me that enjoys the idea of not needing anyone because my experience is, like pretty much everyone else I know, needing someone means getting disappointed and hurt."
10. A Reward In Full
"Sometimes it takes the faith of someone who is facing giants much bigger than ours to remind us to be brave, to be strong, to pull us out of the discouragement we face. Mr. Delfin was especially significant in my life because he believed in me when many didn't. While many people verbally said things, about how they believe in me, Mr. Delfin, went out and really showed this to me. I'll never forget him and his family for doing that. He stands out as someone who loved with his actions.
Sometimes it takes the sad passing away of a dearly beloved, to bring us back to the glorious simplicity of the Gospel: For God So Loved the World and to the rewarding simplicity of life: Love Your Neighbour."
11. Thoughts On the RH Bill, Sandy Hook, and Loving Thy Neighbour
"Let us not lose by default by apathetically ignoring our great privilege to hold our own well-studied convictions and forgetting our responsibility to act based on these convictions."
12. The Emperor Has No Clothes
"Who is a better priest? The man in his pure unsullied frock or the man made naked because his cloak went to the shivering? Who is more like Christ? The respected man whose achievements, traditions, wealth, and social standing justified him or the poor man who served, who gave, and who loved unto death?"
Thank you once more for being a part of my 2012, some as seeds, others as fertilizer. I hope the fruit of my life blesses you in return.