Sunday, June 15, 2014

What the World needs is Love, sweet love...

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."  John 3:16

Such a simple truth, "For God SO LOVED..."  Love is the foundation of our very beings.  Just think God loves us so much that He allowed us to be born and have a life on this earth. While some may see it as a curse, shame on them!  I know that this life is not perfect, it is filled with sadness, pain and grief and hurt, BUT STILL, if you are living and breathing, you have a chance to change that.  Do I live in a world where there is always pink clouds and fairy tales? No! I have tasted the affects this world has to offer and believe me it ain't pretty.  But I also know that if you have hope, there is always a chance to make things better.  But many of us have lost the Love; whether if it has been through the bitter trials of life or some may have never experienced the true, pure love that God has ordained from the foundations of the earth.

The "World" through various media has distorted the true meaning of love, so much until whenever the word "Love" is mentioned many folks conjure up sexual "love" in there understanding.  But true love is so much deeper than 15 minutes of sexual gratification.  God's love which is the highest form of love, and then there is a mother or father's love for a child, a child's love for a parent, the love of siblings, family members and friends. We all need it and we all should be giving that love.  Even love for our pets, they need it!  My newest addition to my household is a 6 month old, all of 4 pounds Chihuahua and when he needs love, he knows how to make such a precious noise until I just have to pick him up and give him some love. 

One of the saddest things to hear is someone tell you that they have never felt loved. Sometimes folks may not know how to receive love, but regardless, to have never felt love is a tragedy. I get so upset when I visit places of worship and there is no warmth or love shown to the folks that walk through the doors. They go about "Church" business and in the process have forgotten about who is walking through those doors....the broken, the hurting, the lonely.  We have a work to do!
I have heard many stories of the unloved.  After 18 years of Prison ministry, 10 years of teen ministry and 17 years working in a high school, you better believe I've heard some doozies and they all break my heart.  I used to ask God "How are we going to fix this?  There are so many that need to know your love." and He answered, "You love them one at a time."  And that is what I am learning to do, as they come across my path or I theirs, I pray that God shows me how to LOVE the occupants of this old broken down love-less world.  Sometimes it may be tough love, but I pray that God will direct me each day.

God loves us so much that He was willing to die for us through His son Jesus, there is no greater sacrifice. All He is asking us to do is to love one another.  We may not all agree, but we must respectively disagree and continue to love.  Love does not mean that we compromise our beliefs, nor should we accept things that do not line up with the Word of God.  But we must love the loveable and the un-lovely as well.

Dear God, I pray right now that you teach us to love like You do.  Not just our family and friends, but those that we come in contact with everyday.  None of us are perfect, as You know Lord, but help us to love even through our imperfection.  That those around us that see our lives, will see a life that loves and have a heart for people. Thank You God for sending the most perfect example of love through Jesus Christ...Amen!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

His Joy is my Strength...

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye." Psalms 32:8

Oh! how I needed to read this word from the Bible!  Lots of decisions and so much on my mind. Trying to figure things out and unnecessary concerns about things that were none of my business. Plus I'm retiring the end of this month...lots of changes...

John 21:20-24 talks about Jesus giving Peter the assignment of "Feed my sheep" and Peter asking Him what about that disciple, meaning John, and Jesus basically telling him "What is that to do with you?" In other words "Peter don't be distracted by how I use anyone else, but concentrate on what I ask you to do."  I think that was part of my problem plus I had heard some sad news about some folks that I love very much. It threw me into a tailspin of anxiety, but thank God for family and dear friends that talked me through it.  Have you guessed? I'm not perfect.  :-)  I'm just someone walking this life's journey that has to be reminded at times that I'm not alone in this.

What a blessing it is to have the joy of the Lord, I think I sometimes take it for granted, because when I don't have it I feel just awful.   His Joy is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). 

Through my late husband's long illness and passing, I think I learned how to put a cap on my joy because I did not know what each day would bring.  If I allowed myself to get too joyful, how could I be prepared to handle what may be sad? Sounds crazy, but very real. I am learning how to allow God's joy to be limitless in my life... to be happy and that's okay.  To not let things that I cannot change bother me so very much.

I have a painting on my wall with the inscription "To believe is to know that everyday is a new
beginning."  I love that...I may blow it today, but at least tomorrow as God wills, I get the chance to start over again with Him and by faith I WILL succeed! That I WILL enjoy this life that He has so blessed me with and allow His JOY to permeate my life!  Thank You Jesus for giving me a new chance, thank You for not giving up on me, thank you for loving me unconditionally!  Amen!