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Let us not become weary in doing
good, for at the proper time we will
reap a harvest if we do not give up.
(Galations 6:9)

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Entries in Love (23)


Equal Love

By Pat

I have been blessed with three wonderful grandchildren (soon to be four!) and watching them grow continues to delight me every day. Each one is different than the others; one is extremely bright but can be very serious, one doesn't have a serious bone in her body, and one has so much energy and vitality it makes me tired just watching her. They look completely different, and though strangers might say one is cuter than the other, to me they are equally beautiful. Collectively so similar, separately so different, but my love for them is equal.

As God's children, we as humans are collectively very alike, and yet each of us is different and unique, with certain gifts and talents and shortcomings as well. And no matter what we're like, regardless of how we view ourselves or how others see us. God loves us equally. He delights in us in the same way we delight in our little ones, and though they compete for our attention and approval, we never need to clamor for God's. It is constant, it is fair, and it is forever. And I am grateful!

"My command is this: Love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12)

Pat is a good friend who is passionate about her faith and her family. She works from home supporting a family business, and loves to read, write and garden when she can, and spends every spare moment with her grandkids.


Invisible Cross

By Pat

Ash Wednesday was last week, the day that marks the beginning of Lent. In churches worldwide, Christians receive the mark of a cross on their forehead and wherever they go, they are seen as followers of Christ.

I hope the world around me can label me a Christian after I have washed off the remnants of that cross, because it takes a lot more than that to show your faith and to proclaim your Christianity. In fact, the things most effective are not visible at all, but yet they speak volumes and can change the world.

Let me have the invisible cross of loving-kindness, generosity and gratitude. Let me give love unconditionally and forgive without hesitation. Let me be quick to hold another's hand, and just as quick to hold me own sharp tongue. Let my actions, words and thoughts be Christ-like. Let me be an empty vessel, ready and willing to be used by my Lord every moment.

The cross on my forehead on Ash Wednesday is nice, and I like it. But the unseen cross, the one I carry in my heart and soul, is the one that really matters. Nothing can wash it away. I pray that God will help me to be more like Jesus, so that people know I am a Christian not by what is on my forehead, but by how I live my life.

"Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." (James 2:18)

Pat is a good friend who is passionate about her faith and her family. She works from home supporting a family business, and loves to read, write and garden when she can, and spends every spare moment with her grandkids.


God Says... "I am loved."

By Nick (My Experience As...)

I think there are two lies which cut deeper than any other, that quite simply break us and make us doubt ourselves, doubt humanity, and doubt God. “You are bad” and “You are unloved.”

I work with teens on a near daily basis, and I see them in broken family situations, and self-destructing.  It seems these two lies are the ones that destroy them the most.  I want to consider the second “You are unloved.”  It seems to start early on. Maybe parents are too busy, or fight, or divorce, or … but they don’t get told just how loved they are at home.  Then every slight or perceived slight just reinforces this lie.  Someone says something mean to them, the teacher grades harshly, or that special someone dumps them. It doesn’t take much and suddenly they start dwelling on how unloved they are. It turns into a rapid downward spiral that ends in self destruction.  I’ve worked with teens that turn to all sorts of things to either feel loved or deaden themselves to feeling unloved.  Casual sex, drinking, drugs, smoking, cutting … the list goes on and on, but it all seems rooted into this lie.

Funny thing is, I see the same thing in many adults. The feeling of “unloved” causes them to throw themselves into their work, killing themselves and cutting off the ones that should be most important to try and gain the love and respect of those same people. They turn inward and self destruct, destroying their marriages, and ultimately spreading this lie of “unloved” like a virus.

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God Is... Loving and Approachable

By Jay Cookingham (Soulfari)

The parable in Luke 15 shouts with the love and compassion the Father has towards us. See if you can spot the lessons He would love for us to learn from this story.

"So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.""

See how the father was expecting his son’s return! You don’t see people a long way’s off unless you are watching intently for them to appear. Day after day he continues his watch until one day He checks again and sees a figure, one he is familiar with. He is so excited, that he starts to run! He could have waited until his son reached him; after all he is the father and the one wronged. The father risks a loss of respect to run to a son considered lost, spiritually dead to the family, and does not hesitate a moment.

Here’s a point that I find wonderful, the son could also see his father coming after him! Imagine him practicing his lines; wondering about the response he’ll receive by his return. His head is bowed, he’s dressed in rags and he still reeks of pig dip. He lifts his head just a little and from a distance he sees his daddy trucking down the road towards him. Soon daddy is all over him, throwing his arms around him and kissing him. Dressed in rags, dirty and foul smelling, his father doesn’t wait until his son is cleaned up to embrace him with compassion. He was on a roll now and wasn’t about to stop.

“And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.”

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By Pat

One of the most well-known and oft-quoted passages of scripture in the entire Bible, in my opinion, is probably 1 Corinthians 13, in which the apostle Paul gives us a very concise and direct description of the word "love." As I recently read and re-read this beautiful chapter, which I have always been very fond of, I was happy to learn that I have done a lot of growing through the years of walking with the Lord, but appalled to discover what a long way I have to go to achieve true, Godly love. This is very disheartening to me. I had always thought of myself as a loving person, and I am; but unfortunately more on my own terms and conditions than God's.

First, are my motives always driven by love alone? When I do something kind for someone, do I want anything in return, or maybe seek a little pat on the back, or a little applause or glory? I have to admit, reluctantly, that I do like a little praise sometimes. Although I have grown and matured in my walk, I still have a long way to go. Paul clearly states in verses 1-3 that unless the things I say and do are said and done solely with love, I gain nothing. It's a disappointment in the only eyes that matter: God's. I must give and love expecting nothing in return. Otherwise, I am not exhibiting Godly love.

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