Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Most Christian denominations have an annual meeting where messengers or delegates from constituent churches from all across America take care of the business at hand and have the opportunity to hear inspirational messages. The Southern Baptist Convention with which I am affiliated meets every May in a key city somewhere in America.

Several years ago, at one of our annual convention meetings, I was discussing with a pastor friend how well the Lord’s work was progressing in our two churches. My friend told me that during the previous year his church had discontinued having a mid-week prayer meeting on Wednesday night. When I asked him how the deacons at his church felt about that, he replied, “Oh, they haven’t found out about it yet.”

I strongly suspect that his evaluation of the faithfulness of the deacons in his church was of the tongue-in-cheek variety. Even so, the lack of church attendance by church members is a problem in far too many churches today. The importance of genuine fellowship with other Christians, the value of corporate worship and giving solid commitment to the witness and outreach of the body of Christ cannot be overestimated if the local church is going to make a solid impact on the community of which it is a part.

There are millions of church members across America who have not attended church in several years. They will tell you they are Christians. They will gladly tell you they are church members, that they are members of a specific congregation. They are counting on going to heaven when they die. Yet, they haven’t attended even a single worship service in their church in a huge number of years. Their priority is in other directions, and the truth is that they will likely not attend worship at their church until they die.

They need to hear these words written by an anonymous poet:

                        “Often when I pass the church,

                        I stop in for a visit,

                        So that when I’m finally carried in,

                        The Lord won’t ask, ‘Who is it?’”

If you think of yourself as a Christian, please don’t wait for a hearse to take you to church. If you do:

            You will go regardless of the weather.

            You will go even though you will never be able to attend church again.

            You will be at the altar, but you will not be able to receive God’s

            forgiveness for your sins.

            You will go regardless of how well the fish are biting,

            You will go no matter how beautiful the day is to play golf.

            You will go no matter how many relatives are visiting in your home.

            You will go no matter how many hypocrites are present in the church that

            day.

            

David Christie, in his classic, “The Service of Christ,” says that there are three great temptations which every Christian minister faces: the temptation to recline; the temptation to shine; and the temptation to whine. This does not mean that these three are the only temptations Christian ministers face, for they are human. It is just that these three are the temptations to which they are particularly susceptible.

Let us look closely at the three temptations Christie mentioned.

The temptation to recline

Serving as pastor of a local congregation is the last place on earth for a lazy person to be. It has rightly been called “a 24/7 job.” There is no substitute in the Christian ministry for downright hard work—and lots of it. Those who want an easy vocation had better flee the ministry as if it were the plague.

An industrious minister knows that if he practices what he preaches he will have to put in a lot of overtime. Responsibilities involve preparation and delivery of sermons, study and preparation to lead Bible study, visitation, conducting funerals, counseling married couples and others who need guidance, etc. ad infinitum. A minister who is dedicated to meeting the spiritual needs of his parishioners cannot afford to give less than his best. HHe must be more than busy; he must be intelligently and purposefully occupied. “This one thing I do,” said the Apostle Paul.

The temptation to shine

So many church members have the habit of saying “I liked your sermon this morning” that it becomes easy for ministers to avoid preaching sermons that a parishioner might not like but definitely needs to hear. When people like what you say in sermons and how you say it, they tend to criticize you less than when your message was aimed at creating conviction for sin.

The physical and financial welfare of a minister’s family depends on the support of the members of the congregation. It is a temptation to play to the gallery, to avoid confrontation, to seek to be accepted—in short, “to shine.” But the minister who yields to this temptation should return his commission to the One who gave it.

The temptation to whine

Things go wrong in churches about as often as they do anywhere else, in families, in business, in teaching, in hospitals or in any other place. That is because church members are human. They are not perfect, they have weaknesses and they make mistakes. They have emotions that can make certain situations very difficult for anyone to handle.

Serving as pastor of Temple Baptist church in Wilmington during the 1990’s I was in my office one day when I heard someone outside in the hall talking loudly. It was obvious that whoever was out there was angry and was blowing off steam. It happened to be the pastor of another church in the city who wanted to know where my office was. The church secretary directed him to my office. He told me about the problems he was having in his church, and yes, he made several derogatory remarks about the leaders of that church. He then said, “I would like for you to recommend me to serve as pastor of another church.”  In other words, he was whining—big time whining. His extremely critical description of the congregation he was serving made it impossible for me to recommend him to serve another church.

Pray for your pastor. He has a tough but very important job. But know this: Any pastor who stays grafted into the Vine—and doesn’t recline, or shine or whine—will do just fine.

A minister was once asked to speak to a group of businessmen. He began his presentation by taking a sheet of white paper and holding it up before his listeners. He had placed an inch in diameter black dot in the center with a pen. Holding it up before his audience, he asked his listeners what they saw.

One man quickly responded, “I see a black dot.”

“Right,” replied the minister, “but do you see anything else beside the black dot?” A chorus of noes echoed from his audience.

“I’m really surprised,” the minister commented, “for you have completely overlooked mentioning the most important thing—the sheet of white paper!” He then began to make an application of the truth he wanted them to see by explaining how often in life we tend to focus on life’s dark, dot-like experiences while overlooking the innumerable blessings with which we are daily blessed.

Have you ever noticed what gets the biggest headlines in the newspapers and in the daily news coverage on radio and television? It is murders, wrecks, robberies, rapes, plane crashes, fires, etc. Constructive stories that focus on positive things get far less billing. The spectacular, the problems, the deviations from the norm generally get more coverage. How easy it is to focus on negative things rather than on things that are constructive and beneficial to individuals and to mankind as a whole.

In evaluating others—a family member, friend, classmate, co-worker, etc. —it is often easier to focus on the dark side rather than on the bright side. This is also true when we evaluate anything: our town, our church, our organization or our government. Flaws stand out. An anonymous poet expressed it this way:

            “If we noticed little pleasures,

             As we notice little pains—

            If we quite forgot our losses

              And remembered all our gains.

            If we looked for people’s virtues

              And their faults refuse to see.

            What a comfortable, happy, cheerful place

              This world would be”

I am also reminded of another down-to-earth verse which offers us constructive advice: “As you travel down life’s pathway, may this ever be your goal; keep your eye upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole!”

Society as a whole in our nation gives evidence of crumbling because it is buffeted by many problems: materialism, alcohol and drug addiction, sexual license, greed and many other wrongful attitudes that create division. While authorities at every level are seeking for answers, God is waiting for us to discover the potential power for change and spiritual renewal that exists within the family structure. The family—the kind that has a dedicated Christian mother and father—is God’s not-so-secret weapon for meeting our nation’s needs.

If this is true (and it is), two important questions need to be raised: (1) Where is the key that will unlock the secrets and release the power and influence?(2)What one action would be the first step toward realizing the redemptive force of the family? The answer is quite simple: Rebuild America’s family altars!

It begins with families taking the time to read the Bible, sing and pray together. Today’s jet set family hardly finds the time to brush its teeth after each meal, so how can it find the time to pray? Is it not a matter of priorities? Do we not find the time to do what we consider to be important? If rebuilding the family altar is God’s not-so-secret weapon, we need to take a long hard look at the family and what God expects of it.

We need to know, first of all, that God doesn’t give the family the sole burden of transforming society. He, through His Son, founded the church and gave it a divine mission (Matthew 29:18-20). It is God’s will that schools bear their fair share of the responsibility for shaping the future of our nation. God also wills a place of influence for government—all the way from the local to the international level—and to organizations involved with the building of a just and peaceful society. Still, God’s primary organization for advancing His kingdom on earth is the family. That is why an ounce of mother is worth a ton of school teacher or policeman or preacher.

Apostle Paul gives us some important guidelines in the fifth and sixth chapters of the book of Ephesians for the way parents and children should relate to each other:

  1. Children should OBEY their parents. Parents who do not teach the value of obedience to their children make a dreadful mistake. Disobedient children tend to become disrespectful children and disrespectful citizens. Disobedient children do not always have an adequate role model. An unemployed janitor in Los Angeles found a bag of money on the street that had fallen from an armored truck. It contained $240,000. He called the FBI and gave them the package unopened. He said, “If I had kept that money, I would not be able to look my kids in the eye again.” Not all children have a father like that.
  2. Children should HONOR their parents. Honor should be shown in their heart, in their vocabulary, through their actions, and in their achievements, for this ensures God’s blessings upon them.
  3. Fathers should not provoke their children to be angry. A Chinese proverb says: “When a child is born into a family, a bow and arrow are hung before the gate.” Psalm 127:4 says basically the same thing.
  4. Parents should bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. They are to do this by having the Bible in a position of importance within the home, by incorporating love into every responsibility and activity and by being involved in the work of God’s kingdom. One mother had a sign over her kitchen sink that said, “Divine services held here three times a day.”

Mother’s Day is a wonderful time to focus on the Christian family: the responsibilities that its members have to each other, how it was designed by God to function and on its importance to society as a whole. What about your home? Is Christ at the center? If not, He can be.

A newspaper headline originating in St. Louis, Mo., a few years ago literally jumped off the page at me. It was not found on the front page. The fact that it was found on any page is indicative of the kind of skewed priorities that are far too commonplace in our country.

The story involved a man and his wife who owned two dogs who appeared in Judge Dennis J. Quillin’s court seeking a divorce. Far too many couples in our country plan to spend their lives together enjoying many years of happiness decide some time later that marriage is not all they thought it would be. So, they throw up their hands, decide to say goodbye to each other, and head off into the wild blue yonder. Love was their quest, marriage was their conquest, but problems arrive and divorce becomes their inquest.

Couples appear in America’s courts every week seeking a divorce. What made news in the case in St. Louis is what Judge Quillin decided to do with the two dogs the couple owned. One dog was awarded to each partner – nothing unusual there. What was unusual is that Judge Quillin wanted to make certain that the two dogs did not have severe emotional problems as the result of being separated.

Yes, that is exactly what happened. Judge Quillin’s signed court order specified that the dogs following the couple’s divorce would meet on the following Sunday at a parking lot for an eight-hour get-together. On the day following their get-together they were to be carried to a veterinarian for a checkup and a determination of the emotional effects, if any, that they had experienced as the result of being separated.

As a Christian minister I have been involved in counseling countless couples who were having problems in their marriage. I have heard husbands complain that they were “in the doghouse.” I have heard wives say that their marriage “had gone to the dogs.” But the story of Judge Quillin’s concern for the psychological stability of the two dogs should be awarded a blue ribbon for absurdity to an asinine degree. It demonstrates why our country’s courts have more cases to try than can be intelligently handled.

The wire service from which the newspaper account was printed said absolutely nothing about being concerned for the emotional effect on the couple whose marriage was shattered. There was no mention whether or not the couple had any children. Children are generally the greatest casualties of a broken marriage. The only logical conclusion you can draw is that the judge was primarily concerned about the adverse effect on the two dogs that would be separated.

I appreciate the judge’s concern for the two dogs, for I like dogs – especially those that are friendly and wag their tail a lot. No one should mistreat animals for any reason. Nothing was said in the newspaper article about Judge Quillin’s sensitivity to the effect that the divorce would have on the couple. Maybe he and his wife had a dog, or possibly two or three dogs, that they loved. Could the problems that lead so many couples to want to end their marriage have become so commonplace to him that he was not troubled by the tragedy of broken families? If that is true, he needed to have a priority transplant.

You will have to agree that this divorce court story is a very interesting one. The veterinarian whose assigned task it was to evaluate the two dogs to see if they experienced an emotional trauma as the result of being separated will now be able to raise his fees. He will no longer be just a regular veterinarian.

I can see his business card now: “Dr. Marmaduke Fido, Animal Psychologist.”

Your friends do not know my name, even though I have passed information to you on many occasions about several of the people you know. Your friends may not know my name. At least, I certainly hope not.

I am not interested in the welfare of people. Whether or not they succeed is of no concern to me. I care not if their marriage lasts until the middle of next month, or if the relationships within their home are filled with happiness. Other things such as my own affairs and involvements are more important to me.

I have no respect for justice. I damage and maim others without killing them. I break hearts and ruin lives. I am cunning and malicious and grow stronger with the passage of time. The more I am quoted the more I am believed. What I am known for is creating difficulty at every level of society. You will find me in homes, in every kind of workplace and in all of the places where people have leisure time.

My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me, for I have no face and do not want people to know my name. To track me down is sometimes difficult and often impossible. The harder you try to do that, the more elusive I become. I keep a lot of people busy.

Those who know me best generally do not mind their own business very well. The primary reason this is true is that they have little mind and no business. I am nobody’s friend. Once I tarnish a name or a reputation it is never quite the same again. I am like mud thrown against a clean wall. It may not stick, but it always leaves a dirty mark.

I wreck marriages, separate friends and ruin careers. I sow discord within families, churches, other organizations and in entire communities. I cause sleepless nights, heartaches and grief. I make innocent people cry into their pillow. I make headlines wherever I go. Believe it or not, I have even been known to topple governments.

I can say very little or nothing in a way that leaves practically nothing unsaid. The reason I even exist is that some people believe that a fertile mind requires a lot of dirt. I always travel faster on grapevines that are slightly sour. So, what is my name?

From the way that I have described myself you don’t have to guess that I totally enjoy what I do. You have probably already realized that my name is IMA GOSSIP. My mother’s name is ENVY. My father’s name is PRIDE. I enjoy saying things about others in a critical way, whether what I say is true or not. It is not difficult to make a mountain out of a molehill, all you have to do is to add a little dirt. You are aware of the dangers caused by air pollution; you may not realize that ear pollution caused by gossip can also be dangerous.

Conversation is an exercise of the mind; gossip is an exercise of the tongue. One talebearer was enjoying the damage he does so much that he said to another: “I won’t bore you with the details. In fact, I’ve already told you more than I heard myself.” There would be no talebearers if there were no tale hearers.

A good description of the best way to handle gossip is found in Proverbs 26:20: “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.” In other words, don’t do it!

Yes, my name is IMA GOSSIP. The reason I even exist is that those who share negative and hurtful things about others do not first ask these four very important questions: (1) Is it true? (2) Is it kind? (3) Is it necessary? (4) Will it honor Jesus Christ?

John Owston shared a beautiful story in Proclaim Magazine a few years ago about a couple who had been married 40 years. George and Rosie were almost inseparable. They did nearly everything together except for one thing: attend church.

Rosie was a Christian; George was not a Christian. He was not antagonistic to Christianity; he just didn’t see the need to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord. He had no objections to Rosie expressing her faith in Christ by attending church on regular basis. He would drive Rosie to church every Sunday and wait in the car and read the Sunday newspaper. Members of the church frequently invited him to come inside the church to join Rosie and other church members in worship, but he would always say, “Rosie takes care of religion at our house.”

Then Rosie died! George wasn’t the same after that. As people would drive into the church parking lot they would look wistfully for George’s car, but it never showed up as it had on Sundays for the past several years. It was not until Easter Sunday morning that everyone said the same thing as they drove into the church parking lot, “Isn’t that George’s car?” Indeed, it was! He was not in the car reading the Sunday newspaper as he had always done. They found him inside the church sitting on one of the back pews!

When the last words of the pastor’s sermon were spoken the invitation hymn entitled “He lives!” was announced. As the last words of the closing stanza were being sung by the congregation George pushed his way out into the church aisle. As he did so, he raised his hands, and loudly shouted: “Rosie lives! Rosie lives!” He then walked out into the aisle and walked down to the front, gave his hand to the pastor and made a public profession of his faith in Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord.

George had not realized until that moment that it was possible for him to be with his beloved Rosie forever in the New Jerusalem that Jesus describes in John 14:1-6. He had spent 40 years sitting out in the church parking lot each Sunday reading the newspaper, not knowing or believing the central truth of Easter – that Jesus Christ lives! And because He lives all who believe in Him can have eternal life.

All those years while Rosie was inside the church worshiping and praising the Lord, she was undoubtedly praying that God would someday find a way to bring her beloved George into His fold. That did not happen until the Easter Sunday after she died. It had not happened when he was sitting in his car out in the parking lot. It happened when he was inside God’s House as the congregation sang the hymn “He Lives.” It was not until he believed the truth expressed in that hymn that he could shout, “Rosie lives! Rosie lives!”

As I approach another Easter Sunday, I am thinking of the thousands of fellow Christians who have touched, blessed and become a meaningful part of my life. I will, at the time of God’s choosing, see each of them in “that eternal city, in the heavens, not made by hands.” I especially rejoice in the belief that I can say of my faithful companion of almost 65 years, “Jessie lives!” and of my prematurely born twin sons — one of whom lived a half hour and the other an entire hour — “Len and Glen live!” What a wonderful day that will be!

The world in which we currently live is filled with division and darkness. It desperately needs to hear and to believe the message of Easter – the crucified and resurrected Lord lives. And because this is true every person who accepts Him as their personal Savior and Lord will have eternal life.

There were three crosses at Calvary. On either side of the central cross was a victim. Luke calls them “malefactors” or criminals. Matthew and Mark call them “thieves.” John speaks of them simply as “two others.” Tradition has called them Dismas and Gesmas. Dismas was the one who rebuked Gesmas and to whom Christ spoke a word of assurance. He is worth looking at closely.

It is entirely probable that Dismas and Gesmas had been Zealot patriots, who looked for a Messiah like a Maccabean warrior-prince. All Zealots sought a kingdom that was utterly different from the existing society of the day. Such men were misguided patriots who hated Rome. Their goal was to overturn the institutions that were maintained by both the political and religious institutions at the time.

The second fascinating possibility about Dismas is that he may have known Jesus before they kept their tragic rendezvous on Golgotha. He declared the innocence of Jesus, for he said, “This man has done nothing amiss.” How did he know that? And why was he so certain that it was true? More striking still, he is the only person mentioned in the four Gospels who called Jesus by His first name. It was when he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into your kingdom.”

What kind of kingdom did Dismas believe Jesus would build? Had he at some earlier time listened to Jesus and heard Him talking about the Kingdom of God? If so, had he turned away from listening to Jesus, as Judas Iscariot did at the end? I think that is a strong possibility. He could not see how all this talk about love and good will would ever drive the hated Roman tyrants into the sea. He wanted action. Then, as he turns his head, he sees the words attached to the cross next to his own: “Jesus . . . the King of the Jews.”

Gesmas, his companion on the other side of the cross of Jesus, had hoped against hope for clemency. He knew full well that according to the custom of the day that one condemned man would be released at the Passover festival – but the mob had already chosen Barabbas to be set free. Both Dismas and Gesmas hated not only their foreign executioners but their own countrymen who had ignored them. They heard the multitude railing at Jesus: “Aha! You were going to build the Temple in three days.” “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is so clever.” “What about a miracle now, Miracle Man?”

As Christians around the world celebrate another Easter, we look again at those three crosses. Something special happened to Dismas. He no doubt began to realize that violence and plotting and bloodshed could never usher in the realm of God. It was the rule of God that he wanted. A new revolution began to take place in his soul. And he cried out, “Jesus, remember me when You come into your Kingdom” (Luke 23:42). He knew that the three of them were going to die, but believed that Jesus would go on.

Jesus replied to Dismas by saying, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” What a fantastic promise! Look at Christ’s promise in this way: “Today . . . . Paradise . . . . with Me.” We learn from this that God cares for the least and the lowest and the lost. He will never forget even one of His children.

How do we know this to be true? Three days later the Sabbath the tomb where Jesus had been buried was empty. “Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er His foes; He arose a victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah, Christ arose!”

That, my friends, is what Easter is all about. And it is why Christians celebrate!

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound….” So begins one of the most beloved hymns of all time, a staple in the hymnals of many Christian denominations. The author of the hymn’s words was John Newton, the self-proclaimed wretch who once was lost but then was found, saved by God’s amazing grace.

But what exactly is grace? You may be surprised to learn that Jesus never used the word grace. He just taught it and, of more importance, He lived it. Furthermore, the Bible never gives us a one-statement definition, though grace appears throughout its pages – not just in the use of the word but in numerous demonstrations of it.

To show grace is to extend favor or kindness to someone who does not deserve it and can never earn it. Accepting and receiving God’s grace always stands in sharp contrast to earning it based on works. Every time the word grace occurs in the Bible, there is the idea of it being undeserved (see Ephesians 2:8). In no way is the recipient of grace getting what he or she deserves. Grace is extended simply based on the goodness of the heart of the giver. The late pastor and Bible scholar Donald Barnhouse expressed it this way, “Love that goes upward is worship; love that goes outward is affection; love that stoops is grace.”

The word “grace” is used in today’s world to describe many things: a well-coordinated dancer or athlete . . . good manners and being considerate of others . . . beautiful, well-chosen words . . . consideration and care for others . . . and various expressions of kindness and mercy. The thoughtfulness expressed by each of these reminds us of the kind of attitude and actions demonstrated by Jesus during the days of His flesh.

For example, when Jesus stood beside a woman caught in adultery, the Law clearly said, “Stone her.” Yet He said to those self-righteous Pharisees, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” What grace! Under the Law the Pharisees had every reason to stone her to death . . . and they were ready to do it. They stood before her with self-righteous anger in their hearts, but Jesus intervened by extending grace.

When His friend Lazarus died, Martha met Jesus on the road, and Mary, her sister, faced Him in the house. Both blamed Him for not coming earlier: “If you had been here, our brother would not have died!” He could have replied sharply to their accusation, but He refused to do so. He demonstrated grace. He loved children and treated them graciously. His stories of the Prodigal Son and of the Good Samaritan emphasized the importance of grace. The prayer of Jesus from the cross for those who had crucified Him, “Father, forgive them” demonstrated grace. He bore no resentment or bitterness. Instead, He demonstrated grace.

Hear Paul’s words to the Roman Christians, “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). A troublesome barrier stands between every human being and God – we are sinners. Adam introduced sin into the bloodstream of the human race. No one is immune to the sin disease (Romans 3:23). And no human accomplishment can erase the internal sin stain that separates us from God. Only God’s grace can do that. It was accomplished on a Roman cross when He died for us.

By simply believing in Jesus Christ, by accepting Him as Savior and Lord, your sins will be forgiven, and you will be given the assurance of eternal life in heaven. That is what God’s Word teaches. It is why John Newton’s hymn continues year after year to be loved by so many Christians around the world.

It is also why God’s grace truly is amazing!

A grief-stricken man threw himself across the grave in a cemetery and bitterly cried out, “My life, how senseless it is! How worthless is everything about me because you are gone. If only you had not died! If only fate had not been so cruel as to take you from this world! How difficult life is for me every single day because you are no longer here. How different everything would have been from the way it currently is!”

A minister, who had just completed the graveside service for one of the members of his congregation, happened to be nearby. He came over to try to console the man and offered up a prayer in his behalf. When he had finished his prayer on behalf of the obviously grief stricken man he said, “I assume the person lying beneath this mound of earth was someone of great importance to you.”

“Of great importance to me, you ask. You are absolutely correct,” the obviously deeply troubled man moaned. “The person buried below this mound of dirt was my wife’s first husband! If he had not died there would have been no way I could have made the unwise decision to become her second husband.”

It is the will of God that marriage should be a colony of heaven on earth – and it will be if the principles of Christ are practiced in all the relationships within the home. However, without Christ and without love, what was designed to be a colony of heaven can easily and quickly become a colony of hell on earth.

How can you get more out of your marriage? By putting everything you have that is worthy into it. Don’t expect to be happy unless you do everything in your power to make your mate happy. Don’t demand more of your mate than you are willing to personally give to the relationship. Don’t expect love to be returned if you do not invest love into the relationship. In other words, you have no right to expect what you are not willing to give. If you will consciously seek each day to be aware of your mate’s desires and needs, and will do your best to meet them, both of you can enter the sunset years of life together with joy.

A Kansas cyclone lifted one couple’s house, picked up the man and wife sleeping in it, and gently set it down in the barnyard. The wife was weeping slightly. “Don’t be afraid,” said her husband. “I’m not,” she replied. “I’m just so happy because this is the first time in 25 years that we have been out together.”

Success in marriage is more than finding the right person. It is also the matter of being the right person. Perhaps this is why Socrates once said, “By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you will become very happy; if you get a bad one, you will become a philosopher – and that is good for any man.”

Ogden Nash expressed some excellent tongue-in-cheek advice for couples who want to have a happy and successful marriage:

                        To keep your marriage brimming,

                        With love in the loving cup,

                        Whenever you’re wrong, admit it

                        Whenever you’re right, shut up.”