I like this cartoon! It says a great deal about life; especially how we view others! People do things in different ways; some fast, some slow. Learning to appreciate those around us is something we hopefully learn to cultivate as we grow. If this applies to all of us, how much more for the body of Christ. In the world, loving our fellow human beings happens sometimes, but it is NOT THE NORM! If it were, crime and warfare as we know it would cease. Unfortunately, that isn't going to happen anytime soon, BUT for those who call themselves Christians, it SHOULD BE THE NORMAL WAY OF LIVING!!! Part of the Christian lifestyle is loving those we don't fully understand, because Christ has loved us. The following passage from the book of first Corinthians gives us a glimpse into the Christian life....
WEB: I Corinthians Chapter 12
 For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.  For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all given to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot would say, “Because I’m not the hand, I’m not part of the body,” it is not therefore not part of the body.  If the ear would say, “Because I’m not the eye, I’m not part of the body,” it’s not therefore not part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the smelling be?  But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body, just as he desired.  If they were all one member, where would the body be?  But now they are many members, but one body.  The eye can’t tell the hand, “I have no need for you,” or again the head to the feet, “I have no need for you.”  No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.  Those parts of the body which we think to be less honorable, on those we bestow more abundant honor; and our unpresentable parts have more abundant propriety;  whereas our presentable parts have no such need. But God composed the body together, giving more abundant honor to the inferior part,  that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.  When one member suffers, all the members suffer with it. Or when one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.  God has set some in the assembly: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracle workers, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, and various kinds of languages.  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all miracle workers?  Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with various languages? Do all interpret?  But earnestly desire the best gifts. Moreover, I show a most excellent way to you.
Paul shows the reality of Christianity; we are all striving to appreciate and love those who are are our fellow Christians. The recipients of this letter were Christians who were having problems with maturity in Christ. They just didn't get it at first. Later, they did, but not without problems. Isn't that the way it is with most of us? It takes us awhile to appreciate others and even longer to love them. Beyond the reality of the situation, Paul is leading up to a cure for their problem, which he discusses in chapter thirteen of this letter. LOVE IS THE ANSWER! Paul says:
World English Bible: I Corinthians Chapter 13
 If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing.  If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.
 Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud,  doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil;  doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;  but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with.  When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things.  For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known.  But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.
Don't worry so much about what the other fellow is doing; how fast they may be growing in their Christianity... Concentrate on loving others and being understanding. Then it really won't matter what others do; you will be going at just the right speed, whether you are a snail, a turtle or maybe even a jack rabbit....
Gen 43:1 The famine was severe in the land.
Gen 43:2 It happened, when they had eaten up the grain which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said to them, "Go again, buy us a little more food."
Gen 43:3 Judah spoke to him, saying, "The man solemnly warned us, saying, 'You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.'
Gen 43:4 If you'll send our brother with us, we'll go down and buy you food,
Gen 43:5 but if you'll not send him, we'll not go down, for the man said to us, 'You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.' "
Gen 43:6 Israel said, "Why did you treat me so badly, telling the man that you had another brother?"
Gen 43:7 They said, "The man asked directly concerning ourselves, and concerning our relatives, saying, 'Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?' We just answered his questions. Is there any way we could know that he would say, 'Bring your brother down?' "
Gen 43:8 Judah said to Israel, his father, "Send the boy with me, and we'll get up and go, so that we may live, and not die, both we, and you, and also our little ones.
Gen 43:9 I'll be collateral for him. From my hand will you require him. If I don't bring him to you, and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever,
Gen 43:10 for if we hadn't delayed, surely we would have returned a second time by now."
Gen 43:11 Their father, Israel, said to them, "If it must be so, then do this. Take from the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down a present for the man, a little balm, a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts, and almonds;
Gen 43:12 and take double money in your hand, and take back the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight.
Gen 43:13 Take your brother also, get up, and return to the man.
Gen 43:14 May God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may release to you your other brother and Benjamin. If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved."
Gen 43:15 The men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and got up, went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
Gen 43:16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, "Bring the men into the house, and butcher an animal, and make ready; for the men will dine with me at noon."
Gen 43:17 The man did as Joseph commanded, and the man brought the men to Joseph's house.
Gen 43:18 The men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph's house; and they said, "Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time, we're brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, attack us, and seize us as slaves, along with our donkeys."
Gen 43:19 They came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they spoke to him at the door of the house,
Gen 43:20 and said, "Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food.
Gen 43:21 When we came to the lodging place, we opened our sacks, and behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. We have brought it back in our hand.
Gen 43:22 We have brought down other money in our hand to buy food. We don't know who put our money in our sacks."
Gen 43:23 He said, "Peace be to you. Don't be afraid. Your God, and the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks. I received your money." He brought Simeon out to them.
Gen 43:24 The man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet. He gave their donkeys fodder.
Gen 43:25 They made ready the present for Joseph's coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.
Gen 43:26 When Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves down to him to the earth.
Gen 43:27 He asked them of their welfare, and said, "Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he yet alive?"
Gen 43:28 They said, "Your servant, our father, is well. He is still alive." They bowed the head, and did homage.
Gen 43:29 He lifted up his eyes, and saw Benjamin, his brother, his mother's son, and said, "Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?" He said, "God be gracious to you, my son."
Gen 43:30 Joseph hurried, for his heart yearned over his brother; and he sought a place to weep. He entered into his room, and wept there.
Gen 43:31 He washed his face, and came out. He controlled himself, and said, "Serve the meal."
Gen 43:32 They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians, that ate with him, by themselves, because the Egyptians don't eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians.
Gen 43:33 They sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth, and the men marveled one with another.
Gen 43:34 He sent portions to them from before him, but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. They drank, and were merry with him.
Feb. 12, 13
Mat 22:1 Jesus answered and spoke again in parables to them, saying,
Mat 22:2 "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage feast for his son,
Mat 22:3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast, but they would not come.
Mat 22:4 Again he sent out other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, "Behold, I have made ready my dinner. My cattle and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the marriage feast!" '
Mat 22:5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his merchandise,
Mat 22:6 and the rest grabbed his servants, and treated them shamefully, and killed them.
Mat 22:7 When the king heard that, he was angry, and sent his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Mat 22:8 "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited weren't worthy.
Mat 22:9 Go therefore to the intersections of the highways, and as many as you may find, invite to the marriage feast.'
Mat 22:10 Those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together as many as they found, both bad and good. The wedding was filled with guests.
Mat 22:11 But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who didn't have on wedding clothing,
Mat 22:12 and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here not wearing wedding clothing?' He was speechless.
Mat 22:13 Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and throw him into the outer darkness; there is where the weeping and grinding of teeth will be.'
Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few chosen."
Mat 22:15 Then the Pharisees went and took counsel how they might entrap him in his talk.
Mat 22:16 They sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are honest, and teach the way of God in truth, no matter who you teach, for you aren't partial to anyone.
Mat 22:17 Tell us therefore, what do you think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"
Mat 22:18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, "Why do you test me, you hypocrites?
Mat 22:19 Show me the tax money." They brought to him a denarius.
Mat 22:20 He asked them, "Whose is this image and inscription?"
Mat 22:21 They said to him, "Caesar's." Then he said to them, "Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
Mat 22:22 When they heard it, they marveled, and left him, and went away.
Mat 22:23 On that day Sadducees (those who say that there is no resurrection) came to him. They asked him,
Mat 22:24 saying, "Teacher, Moses said, 'If a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed for his brother.'
Mat 22:25 Now there were with us seven brothers. The first married and died, and having no seed left his wife to his brother.
Mat 22:26 In like manner the second also, and the third, to the seventh.
Mat 22:27 After them all, the woman died.
Mat 22:28 In the resurrection therefore, whose wife will she be of the seven? For they all had her."
Mat 22:29 But Jesus answered them, "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.
Mat 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like God's angels in heaven.
Mat 22:31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven't you read that which was spoken to you by God, saying,
Mat 22:32 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?' God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."
Mat 22:33 When the multitudes heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.
Mat 22:34 But the Pharisees, when they heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, gathered themselves together.
Mat 22:35 One of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, testing him.
Mat 22:36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?"
Mat 22:37 Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 A second likewise is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
Mat 22:40 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."
Mat 22:41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question,
Mat 22:42 saying, "What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?" They said to him, "Of David."
Mat 22:43 He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call him Lord, saying,
Mat 22:44 'The Lord said to my Lord, sit on my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet?'
Mat 22:45 "If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?"
Mat 22:46 No one was able to answer him a word, neither did any man dare ask him any more questions from that day forth.
An essential for everyone... Gary