Saturday, October 15, 2016

love

I love this man, this man that God has gifted me.

I love him...

     through better and worse, through sickness and health, through richer and poorer.

     through laughing together, through yelling at each other.

     through watching a movie together with our family, through sitting in separate chairs reading                        books.

     through wanting to be as close together as possible, through wanting to just be away from each                      other.

     through cherishing each other, through disliking how we are mistreating each other.

     through being together with arms and legs entwined, through being at separate edges of the bed                   wondering why relationship has to be so hard.


I love this man.

Thank you, God, for being so wise, for knowing me and what I need.

I choose to love because you, oh God, are love and you love me.



Thursday, June 30, 2016

when?

When are we going to stop looking to our leaders, government, and nation for help and salvation?

When are we going to stop placing our hope and trust in them?

When are we going to stop using our leaders, government, and nation to take the place of God in our lives?

The United States of America is not the chosen people of God. Those who have chosen to put God first in their lives, those who display his sacrificial love for the widows, the orphan, the foreigner, the poor, the downtrodden; those are the chosen people of God. (Read Zechariah 7:9-10)

Our future president will not, cannot, save us anymore than the ones before. Only God can be our strength, hope, and salvation.

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus. 
Look full in his wonderful face, 
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, 
In the light of his glory and grace."      Helen Howarth Lemmel

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

maturity

Galatians 3:23-25 (The Message):

"Until the time when we were mature enough to respond freely in faith to the living God, we were carefully surrounded and protected by the Mosaic law. The law was like those Greek tutors, with which you are familiar; who escort children to school and protect them from danger or distraction, making sure the children will really get to the place they set out for.

But now you have arrived at your destination: By faith in Christ you are in direct relationship with God."



Vs 23: We had the law until we were mature enough to respond freely in faith to the living God, the Holy Spirit

We have long been surrounded and protected by the law, the rules and traditions of our churches. It is time to walk in  the maturity given to us by God to respond freely in faith to the living Spirit of
God residing in us. It is time to stop doing things JUST because that is how we have always done them. It is time to stop relying on tradition and rote for our salvation. It is time to look to the living God who is leaning towards us, yearning for relationship with us, wanting us to hear and understand the love, the joy, the forgiveness, the redemption, the salvation, the life that he is speaking to us every minute of every day.

Vs 25: We have arrived at our destination, a direct relationship with God, through faith in Christ.



Rejoice! devotional (June 25, 2016) by Tyler Hartford:

"When our lives are reoriented toward Christ, outward appearances might not change, but our personality is transformed and renewed. Only when we clothe ourselves in Christ and allow him to change our behavior does harmonious unity become possible."



Unity with God and those around us becomes possible when we choose to look beyond our own wisdom, our own preferences, our own wants, and allow the living Spirit of God to transform us into the likeness of Christ.




Rejoice! devotional prayer from the same article as above:

"Holy Spirit, there is so much about me that cannot be changed, but help me clothe myself with you."




Amen.

Friday, October 9, 2015

true freedom

When someone treats me badly or rudely or just not the way that I think they should, I need to acknowledge the pain that I feel, give it to God, and then choose not to walk around with "hurt feelings".

I have treated God callously, ignored him, disregarded his wisdom and direction, sinned against him and in return God has loved me, shown me mercy, forgiven me, and always stayed turned towards me with open arms.



Oh God, help me choose to love, show mercy, forgive and remain turned towards others with open arms.

Christ, you are my example. You reached for the outcasts, the sick, the sexually immoral, all those regarded as sinners of the worst kind. You, also, reacted with strong words and actions against the Pharisees; the religious leaders, those who had grown up in the "church", those who had judged others, those who should have known the Father's heart; me. You called them white-washed tombs, perfect by all appearance on the outside but full or disease, decay, jealousy, anger, judgement, unforgiveness, greed, self-righteousness, death.

Oh God, forgive me for being a Pharisee, sure of my salvation because of my religious upbringing and knowledge, because of my rejection of the "obvious" sins, because of my own self-righteousness.

God, help me be like Jesus, who knew who he was because he was in you, Father, and you were in him. Help me accept your salvation, based not on what I do but on what you did, and share THAT salvation with all others. You yearn for all of your children, sinners and Pharisees, to live in freedom in you. Help me feel the same yearning and choose to love and reach out to all the other Pharisees and sinners around me according to your wisdom.

I praise you, my God, my Saviour, my Guide. You are the Three-in-one and my All-in-all. It is only in you that I live and move and am who you created me to be.

Oh, God, help me to walk in freedom; freedom from sin, pride, condemnation, self-righteousness and "hurt feelings". Freedom to run and dance in love, mercy, grace, joy, humility, with arms open wide to those around me so that they can know your love, forgiveness and salvation.

In you alone. Amen.


Friday, February 20, 2015

the PLAN

If a merciful, loving God put into action a PLAN to have his Son harmed and killed by evil men for my redemption, how can I not be willing to be hurt and mistreated by others, according to God's PLAN, in order to show redemption to others?

Friday, June 13, 2014

longing and purpose

Sometimes it's easy to rest in the knowledge that this is not my final home; that this aching, this longing is as it should be.

It's what keeps me searching and yearning for you, oh God.

Many days though, God, I need your help to choose contentment, to understand that it is your Spirit residing in me that completes me here.

That's what keeps me yearning and searching for ways to show you, oh God, to others.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

identified by Christ's love

I do not want to be identified or defined by what I am against, but by the showing of the characteristics of the One who saved and forgave me.

I will not be effective in showing anyone the path to acknowledgement of and forgiveness for sin if I do not first feel the Father's love for them.

Think of the sin that most offends you in others. Are you, am I, being asked to pray for, intercede for, plead for those who struggle with and/or give in to that sin? Do you, do I, love them enough, even as Christ loves them, to sacrifice yourself, to sacrifice myself, for them?