How Much Do You Love?

Have you ever loved someone so much that tears come to your eyes, your throat, and your heart – just thinking of them? I love my Lord that much. And as I was thinking today – I was just thinking about all the people who say they are “Christian” in name and yet don’t have the tender heart of love for the Lord that goes with it. How do you know if you have it?

Do you cringe when someone says God’s name in vain? Do you get rankled when the media scoffs, laughs, or ostracizes a Christian? Does your heart feel literal pain when you know you have sinned against God? Do you fall to your knees in humble blessing and gratitude when God has done something for you – something you wanted – that only He could do? Just at the realization that God is truly alive and active?

When was the last time you talked to Him during your day? When did you ask for forgiveness or set aside your pride and comfort to give to someone else – out of a heart full of love that only can come from walking with God?

This IS a season of joy. But it’s also a season of heartache for a lot of people. What are you going to do about that? Nothing? God said, “And the greatest of these is love….” He was the most profound example of love we could ever possibly dream of. How are we loving others in His name?

Life isn’t always p-r-e-t-t-y. We live it out. We should know. It’s downright ugly and scarey sometimes. And sometimes we just need to be reminded so that we can let hearts FEEL! And LIVE! And so we can love in some fragment of a way in which He loved.

I do not want to be a “Christian” in name only. So I ask myself a lot – “What am I doing with the life that God has given me?” Look at what He has done for us. What are you doing with the life He has given you? What does God mean to you? Does He impact your heart to tears? He does mine.
~ Dionna Sanchez

You can follow Dionna on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/DionnaSanchez

The Energy of a Hug

I have always been a hugger. I love hugs and how they make me feel on the inside. I never really thought about what it was that a hug gave me emotionally until one day recently when my daughter put it all into perspective for me. She told me that she needed some energy and she came to me with arms wide open and encircled my waste, giving me a huge, long hug. When she felt better and had a smile on her face, she went on her way, saying, “I have energy now!”

Hug = energy. That is so true! I know how much a hug can fill up an empty tank that I have on days when I’m feeling blue, low on self-esteem, or just “blah.” It also makes sense why, when my husband and I are having an argument or a disagreement that I tell him that I really need a hug at that moment. It’s because I feel low and need something to refuel and recharge me. That “something” is a hug.

I think hugs are more powerful than we realize. They can give someone the motivation they need to go on, they can encourage a heart that has been bruised and battered, and they can heal. A hug is a powerful energizer!

As a mom, there are so many days where our energy can get low, we can get stressed and we struggle with feeling tired or overwhelmed. Have you tried giving or getting a hug to help you get through those days? I encourage you to do just that. My daughter taught me that a hug can go a long, long way.

~ Dionna Sanchez (madetomom@yahoo.com)

Love Bears All Things

Love is patient.  Patience is the ability or willingness to bear things. What kind of things do we have bear? We bear lots of things, like hardships,  temptations, wrongs done against, suffering, trials, physical or financial problems, and many other things.

Bearing hardships is difficult.  But it helps to remember God uses all things for good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans8:28).  If you are steadfast is following God, even when there are hard times God will use it for good some way.  We might not know how, but God is faithful and will carry it out for His good purposes in your
life.

Bearing temptations is challenging too.  It helps to know the source of our temptations.  The Bible tells us we have three sources of our temptations:  (1) Satan, (2) the world, and (3) our selves.  As God is not the author of temptation, we can rest in His guidance.  God always makes a way out so we are able to bear it.  No one is ever tempted beyond what they can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Bearing the wrongs done against us is hard.  It’s difficult to be patient when things are not going our way.  It’s helpful to remember our
way is not important, but God’s way is.  Ask yourself whether this current slight against you is would still be remembered 100 years from now. It probably wouldn’t be, so don’t waste anytime harboring bitter feelings over it. Jesus taught the disciples to forgive others 70 times 7, as if to say we should always forgive.  Bearing the wrongs through forgiveness is what love does.

Lord Jesus, thank you for bearing with our weaknesses.  Thank you for your Spirit to enable us to bear all things as you do.  In your name we pray, Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc. Written by Elizabeth Marks.

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Today Chase has been bee-bopping around the house singing, “What’s love got to do with it?” And although he doesn’t know any more of the lyrics to the song, he puts quite a bit of heart into that one line. But as Tina Turner goes on to explain, “What’s love but a second hand emotion?”

But that is not how the Word describes love. In I Corinthians 13, verses 4-8, Paul tells us that:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

We are also told by John that:

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (I John 4:16)

Well, it’s pretty easy for me to accept that God is patient, kind, does not envy, nor boast. He is not proud, neither rude, nor self-seeking and most certainly not easily angered. He keeps no records of wrongs. (YEAH!) God does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hope, and always perseveres. God never fails us! (YIPPEEE!)

But John also tells us:

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (I John 7 -8)

Okay, so if I love God, I should be love. Which means I should be patient, kind. I should not envy, nor boast. I should not be proud, or rude, or self-seeking, nor easily angered. (OUCH!) I should keep no records of wrongs, (oh this is hard). I should not delight in evil, but rejoice with the truth. (However much the truth may hurt sometimes). I should always protect, always trust, always hope and always persevere. I should never fail!

OUCH … OUCH … OUCH!

I don’t know about you … but I have a long way to go. The good news is, God is with me and helping me to become more like Himself. I don’t have to try to work through this process on my own!

Thank You Jesus!

Father, thank You that Your Word tells us that love is so much more than a second hand emotion. That love is life … life in You! Help me Father to live out the life You have given me through Your love.

I love You Jesus.
In Your Name Pray,
Amen

God Bless You!

Love,
Joyce

The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!
http://www.alifedecision.org

Love Is….

Love Is…. ~ Author Unknown

 

 

 

If I keep my house immaculately clean and am envied by all for my interior decorating,

 

But do not show love in my family –

 

I’m just another housewife.

 

 

If I’m always producing lovely things – sewing, art;

 

If I always look attractive and speak intelligently, but am not loving to my family –

 

I am nothing.

 

 

If I’m busy in community affairs,

 

teach Sunday School, and drive the carpool,

 

But fail to give adequate love to my family –

 

I gain nothing.

 

 

Love changes diapers, cleans up messes, and ties shoes – over and over again.

 

 

Love is kind, though tired and frazzled.

 

 

Love doesn’t envy other women – one whose children are “spaced” better, or in school so she has time to pursue her own interests.

 

Love doesn’t try to impress others with my abilities or knowledge as a mother.

 

 

Love doesn’t scream at the kids.

 

 

Love doesn’t feel cheated because I didn’t get to do what I wanted to do today – sew, read, soak in a hot tub.

 

 

Love doesn’t lose my temper easily.

 

 

Love doesn’t assume that my children are being naughty just because the noise level is irritating.

 

Love doesn’t rejoice when other people’s children misbehave and make mine look good.

 

 

Love is genuinely happy whe others are honored by their children.

No Clams Allowed

I used to think I was so holy because I never got angry. No yelling. No snarling. No harrumphing. No choice four-letter words.

Yet inwardly? My anger swirled my thoughts. He’s such a jerk. It unfurled in my behavior. Back to back in bed. It twirled off my tongue. Yes, honey. You’re right, honey.

Huh?!  If I said, “You’re right, honey,” what’s the problem? The problem: I failed to speak the truth in love because I was not speaking.

Lucy the Clam. Yep, that was me.

What rooted my self-righteous clamminess? Pride.

But it worsened by my misreading of a scripture verse. When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, he said, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ” (Eph. 4:15) I had read this verse a gazillion times — smugly, I admit — tricking myself into believing that because I didn’t speak angrily (remember, I didn’t speak at all) I expressed love.

Bonk! Then one day our ever faithful God hit me upside the head and spoke to my heart, “Lucy, speak the truth in love. When you don’t speak, you aren’t loving. You’re hateful.” My hackles rose up. I began to argue with God, then paused.

“He has a point,” I admitted.

A funny thing about sinful anger is it has two extremes. Either the angry person blows up (or “ventilates” and the emotion fires toward others or the situation with little control) or she clams up (or “internalizes” and the emotion slams into one’s own self). Clamming up makes one irritable, tense and miserable. She is not good company.

Clamming up leads to bitterness and resentment.

The reason I didn’t speak — or pretended nothing was wrong, as in “You’re right, honey” — was because I didn’t want to deal with my anger.  The Bible warns against this. Paul writes, “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” (Eph. 4:26,27).

Yikes! I played footsy with the devil!

So what’s a girl to do? First, I need to focus on the problem that occasioned the anger. Then I can constructively solve the problem (and not attack my sweet honey!). Next, I am able to confront lovingly. Depending on the cause of the anger, this may mean a loving rebuke or forgiving someone from my past or recognizing I misunderstood the other’s intent.

Anger is a powerful emotion. In itself this emotion is not sinful. Jesus expressed anger, remember?  What’s important is how you and I handle it.

Yes, speak the truth in love. Speak! No clams allowed.

As for the volcanoes that blow hateful lava?

Let’s talk about it another day.

You are so loved,

Lucy

Please visit me at http://www.lucyannmoll.com/