holidays, Uncategorized

For God So Loved the World

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We have a promise of eternal life; but not because of the “good” we do or how righteous our life appears to others.  Because eternal life is a gift; for believing that God gave selflessly, His own Son; His life, for our life.  But why?

Easter is around the corner, and we know it’s not about chocolate bunnies or egg hunts, it is instead about the life, death and returning to life; to walk as a man until He was reunited with His Father once again.

It all seems so unreal doesn’t it?  But that is what walking in faith means, believing the unbelievable.  It’s the mystery of faith. 

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May you be blessed with unbelief this holiday season, may you be lifted in faith to a deeper level of learning, may you lean against Your Heavenly Father for strength, love and hope.

 

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Agape Love

Webster defines “agape” as being in a state of wonder.  I often felt the meaning was to “love as Jesus loved,” it also involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will. It is distinguished from the other types of love by its lofty moral nature and strong character. Agape love is beautifully described in 1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 

A friend of mine, Unitarian minister, theologian and scholar and I, agree completely in this type of love.  It has little to do with “Christianity, the Christian church, a specific religion or belief,” and everything to do with loving as in caring for others without judgement.  WITHOUT JUDGMENT.  Can we do that?  What are the bylaws of our various religions?  Some say; well not the gay people, or not the terrorists, not the people that are different from us.  I say ALL PEOPLE.  We need to love and care for ALL PEOPLE.

Hebrews 10:24
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds….
1 John 2:10
Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.
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Friends are great, but…..

I’ve learned over the past 4.5 months, that what God needs from us, when we are down and out, is to draw closer to Him, than our friends.  He wants ALL of us, He wants our focus on Him, so we can learn how beneficial it is, to know our Savior.  To trust that He has our back, that we can lean on him during the incredibly tough times.

I’ve been dealing with ovarian cancer since late August.  I’ve had body parts removed, including a big tumor, I’ve experienced chemotherapy; and it’s AWFUL.  I’m starting to have more good than bad days, but through it all; even a few pity parties, I’ve been in very close contact with Jesus, I’ve never looked forward, only today, believing that He is with me every step of the way, through every decision that was made, to every time I curled up in a ball and wanted to die from pain.  It was then, He was with me the most, I literally felt the spirit of God, wrapping me up in His love and compassion.  And for that, I will always be grateful.

What has been difficult for you lately?  Are you complaining to your friends or expecting them to be your “soft place to land?”  They cannot ever be that, because your Heavenly Father is the only one with those powers.

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Psalm 25:1
In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.
Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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What we know about the baby Jesus

Historically, everything we need to know is in the Bible or has been picked apart by scholars through the many centuries.

Why we need to know for our own personal reasons, is that it’s how we began to love our Savior.  It starts at His birth.  It follows Him for 33 years, we can expect relateness, because Jesus; unlike His Father; was a human being.  Like us.

This little baby brought LIFE to sinners, then and now.  His precious birth, surrounded by the same type of mayhem our world is suffering from, was His start to life.

For an more indepth study, check out this link by Crosswalk.

May your celebrations surrounding the birth of our Savior, Great One, The Great I Am, Mighty, Magnificent, Prince of Peace, Father, Holy Spirit, Redeemer, Emmanuel, Jehovah, Comforter, Almighty, Son of God, The Beginning and the End, Messiah, Lamb of God, Shepherd, The Vine, Carpenter, Beloved, Deliverer, Lord of Lords, King of the Jews, Risen Lord, Healer, Tree of Life, Light of the World, Bread of Life, The Word, Friend, Protector, be filled with light, grace, guidance, forgiveness and love.  He is all of this to a sorrowful world.

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Holy Month

April is just around the corner and our holy month begins; Palm Sunday, Passover, Good Friday and Easter.  The death, burial and resurrection — the miracle that saved our life.

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Do you believe?  That is all that is asked of us, to believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins.

People don’t like to see the image of Jesus nailed to the cross, or the crown of thorns on his head; but this is the reality.  Jesus was nailed to a cross, hands and feet, his sides were pierced and a crown of sharp thorns was not “placed” on his head, it was jammed into it.  Imagine the physical pain and anguish.  He made this awful sacrifice for us; to heal our wounds, forgive our sins and give us a life that is free and an end that is eternal. 

Image result for nails and a crossHe was despised, and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering; as one from whom men hide their face, and we despised him and we did not value him. Surely he has borne our sufferings, and carried our pains; yet we considered him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed.  ~Isaiah 53:3-5 (NHEB)

 

 

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Pieces of Compassion

Image result for compassionThe word “compassion” is as hard to define as it is – understanding its importance.

  • empathy; not knowing — but attempting to understand.
  • help
  • love
  • care
  • concern
  • prayer

Is it not the most important path we walk as believers – to love and support those who are in need, whatever that need may be?

Isaiah 49:13 Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
This post is personal, as I have several women friends battling cancer.  They are in varying stages, but all are fighting to live.  What can I do to ease any of the pain?  Bring a meal, pray intentionally and listen.
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Pieces of Grace

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Psalm 34:1 I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of his glories and grace.
Psalm 84:11For Jehovah God is our Light and our Protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will he withhold from those who walk along his paths.
1 Corinthians 1:7 Now you have every grace and blessing; every spiritual gift and power for doing his will are yours during this time of waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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God’s grace is unmerited favor.  What does that really mean?  For me, it’s that no matter what I do, or don’t do or even overdo, God’s grace forgives, accepts and continues to love me.
It does not require perfection from me (as if!!!) it only requires an open and accepting heart.
We can turn away from God (I did — for many years), we can shake our fists at him (I did!), we can say we do not believe that Jesus died for the sins of many (including mine), but even with all of that garbage, that lack of grace in my life — God never gave up.  Never.  He was always here.  And now I live substantially with that grace, the forgiveness, most  of all — the love.