How to Love People Better

I have a childhood friend who has adopted 9 of her 11 children, most of whom were damaged in utero by alcohol. Many of them require a breathtaking level of care and an environmental stability that’s hard to imagine in a home with 13 people sharing bathrooms.

What happens in her Minneapolis home is a miracle, a daily reminder of the faithfulness of the God she serves. I devour her blog Urban Servant trying to figure how someone with this much responsibility not only holds it together but has time write it all down. Recently, I took a good look at the tagline on her home page:

Filled, to be poured out again…

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Yep they all do Tae Kwon Do too.

See, it’s not about her and she’ll tell you that. Nobody has this kind of stamina and personal courage. Rather, Dot understands she is a cup, designed to be filled with the love of God, then poured out on kids who, without she and her husband, would be crashing through the system. She doesn’t always know what to do but God does, and by trusting him over the years, her cup has grown in strength, character and volume.

This, my friends, is the purpose of Love Dinner. Dot’s life is an encouragement, a high-level example of what Jesus meant when he said:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40

If you’re struggling with the love others part of the command, like that annoying woman at church or the tailgating jerk in traffic, you might be running on empty. If you don’t know how to fill up, pick up a bible and look up a few of these scriptures on how much God loves you, because when you finally get that, deep in your bones, it’s hard not to weep and tremble at his feet.

Fill up. Pour out. Repeat.

Most of the world struggles to live like this because they don’t know God is Love (I John 4:8). Imagine if they did. What would it look like? I think this video is a fun example, plus it has a ton of practical ideas for doing love well.

Love Dinner Assignment – Just for fun, try a few of these things in the video, or next time you’re in a drive thru, pay for the person behind you. Then tell us what happens.

Come Do Love in Austin…And Pensacola!

Have you ever met a perfect stranger and three seconds later decided you ought to be best friends?

That happened to me in May, in Tacoma, Washington, as I wandered through the first ever Love Does Stuff Conference looking for a seat. Plunking down next to the raven haired beauty pictured below, I evidently flipped my hair and said,

“Hi, I’m Erin.”

“Hi, I’m Lisa.”

Boom. Friends.

Look out world!

Love Does Stuff Conference – Tacoma, Washington

Not only have we been BFF’s ever since, but the two of us will be speaking together this Sunday at her church, First City in Pensacola Florida.

The topic is the third person in picture – Bob Goff and his Love Does mantra “Love God. Love People. Do Stuff.”

Ever since I read Love Does, I’ve been in full enthusiastic agreement. However, the HOW can be tricky, because loving people extravagantly requires the surrender of our native human selfishness. Believe me, it’s a process.

That’s why I’m excited about the second Love Does Stuff Conference, in Austin October 31-November 1st. Regular people who have busted out of their own cocoons with atomic results, will gather to help the rest of us do the same.

Author Donald Miller laid it out in Tacoma like this:

  • Who are we?
  • What do we want?
  • What is the first step?

Lisa and I have been walking that out for a while now. You can read about some of my attempts here, here, here, and here. On Sunday, with the help of Rick Hazelip, her Jesus-loving Pastor, we’re going to talk about doing love Goff style, intersecting well with other humans, and why it is SO…MUCH…FUN.

“You are becoming love, that’s why you’re going to walk out of here worked,” Bob said in Tacoma. “Let your default position be love… see people for who they are becoming.”

Stay tuned.

On Bono, Love and Freedom

Bono (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s Friday and I’m reading the book of Galatians in The Message translation of The Bible.

I love that translation because it’s beautiful and easy to read. Bono likes it too. Here’s what he said about it:

“There’s a translation of Scriptures that this guy Eugene Peterson has undertaken. It has been a great strength to me. He’s a poet and a scholar, and he’s brought the text back to the tone in which the books were written.”

These days, Bono may be more famous for his debt relief work than he was with U2 – well maybe not – but something happened to Bono that made the world’s poor weigh heavy on his heart. I’ll bet The Message had something to do with that.

So here’s the Apostle Paul writing to the Galatians (5:13-15).  It’s so smart. So huge. I wanted to share it with you:

It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom.

Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out – in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?

My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit.

Word! Have a great weekend everybody!