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The Valley, May 2014

Out of respect for our Amish writers, their columns will only appear in our print edition.

Hate to Love, Die to Live from page 6 not there when Jesus was sharing these thoughts so I’m not positive of anything, but I believe Jesus, while on earth, was an extremely passionate man. I believe he was trying desperately to get something very important across to the original listeners and to us. He said at the end of Luke, Chapter 14 “he that hath ears let him hear.” Again, a strange statement, because of course, every person there had ears. I believe Jesus was saying for the people who really want to get this, it will take a bit of thinking to figure it out ,but when you do, how blessed you will be. Like this passage in Luke, there are also other paradoxical passages that talk of dying in order to live. Dying and hating are both very strong words. And in both of these cases neither can be taken literally, not in the physical sense. Jesus did not want someone to kill themselves in order to follow

him, nor would he ever want us to literally hate someone. It’s just not possible that he meant that. The bible is a collection of sacred, God inspired texts that are addressing the spiritual side of our existence. Yes, it gives physical human history, human experiences and even day-to-day advice, but this entire incredible book is a deep spiritually focused guide book. Therefore, not everything in it can always be taken literally in the physical sense. I think when Jesus uses strong words in passages like these, we need to use our spiritual ears to hear what he is saying and maybe be alerted to the fact that this is something very important because Jesus is using the strongest language he can. The opposite of hate, the passionate dislike of someone, is love, a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection for another. So in these passages, I think Jesus is challenging us saying, do not love yourself, your family, your friends or your stuff

more than me. If any of life’s physical things come before our relationship with Christ, with God our creator, then we are not truly following him with our hearts, minds and souls as he has asked. He asks this of us not because he is narcissistic, but because HE knows that out-of-balance love of all these things ends up causing us grief and pain and disappointment. Anytime any one of the things Jesus referred to become our main focus, Jesus is no longer first. If we get caught up in our all our human drama in our human relationships, we can find ourselves sinking in the quicksand of selfish desires. We are too busy worrying about how our husbands, wives, family or friends are treating us, or worrying unnecessarily about our children or making them our top priority, that we have no time left to be still and know God. We can become so focused on making more money and having more things, that our passions shift from Jesus to things. Jesus wants our attention to be on

The Truth Has No Agenda

Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Centre County Announce Plant Sale! The Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Centre County are hosting their annual Garden Fair and Plant Sale on May 17, 2014 from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM at Ag Progress Days Site (at Entrance “K”) 2710 West Pine Grove Road, Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa.. The Garden Fair will feature many vendor booths, exhibits and demonstrations, gardening talks and a rain barrel workshop. The Plant Sale will consist of thousands of potted plants and feature native and pollinator plants, and include perennials, annuals, herbs, houseplants, and vegetables! Vendors will also be selling trees, shrubs and organic vegetable plants in addition to many garden related items! Breakfast and lunch items will be available. Parking and admission are free. Please visit our website for more information: him, because it is only through him that we can find true balance and peace. He knew if we loved any of the things he mentioned in an unbalanced, unhealthy way, they had the potential to take us from him and his plan of redemption for this world. We can only properly love others when God is first in our lives and we are filled with his passionate love! Jesus may well have been saying, keep proper perspective, don’t become so “in love” with these other things that you are not

able to love me. Jesus died and rose again to restore the broken relationship we had with God. He took care of the sin problem that would keep us from heaven and the root of most sin seems to be self, so when Jesus says die to yourself, hate anything that could pull you from me, He says it because of how very much he loves us. He went through hell so we wouldn’t have to. So we “hate” and “die” to sin in order to “live” and “love” for Jesus. a

May 2014 the valley new online  

The Valley is a FREE monthly newspaper serving Mifflin and surrounding counties in central Pennsylvania.