I had the great pleasure of babysitting two of my grandaughters last night. The youngest is three and recently had the earth shattering experience of losing her nuk AND her crib at the same time (she has very bad parents 🙂 ). I had the challenge of getting her to sleep and for an hour while I laid on the floor beside her tiny little bed and she held my hand (finger). Fortunately, the bed was the perfect height for me to rest my elbow on the floor and rest my arm against the bed without holding it up in the air.
It’s beautiful loving moments like these when the writing side of my brain takes over and I begin comparing this love to God. Thoughts like – He is right beside us, there is nothing to fear; All God wants is for us to hold His hand and be loved; God’s love is so simple, we don’t need to do anything to win His approval; Don’t complicate God’s love, just reach out and take hold of Him; There is nothing we can do that will separate us from His love.
And then she sneezed all over my face! You got it, those beautiful tender thoughts kind of vanished very fast and I had enough. Those tender loving thoughts turned to “just go to sleep!”
Don’t get me wrong. I was and I am still joyful about my grandkids (I’m babysitting again this weekend). I do love those tender moments just like God loves tender moments with His children. But there are times, I’m sure, when God is tired of hugging and rocking and just wants us to get on with what we are supposed to be doing.
“Just do what you are told to do”. It might be getting some sleep. It might be eating our food. It might be cleaning our room. Just do it. Savor your love moments with God but when its time to get up and do something; get up and do it! Don’t hang around and milk the love moments when it is clear that you have a job to do.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.
This month is March 2016 – or; 3/16. It is 3/16 all month and it won’t happen again for another 100 years.
It’s a good month to reflect on God’s love – as in:
John 3:16 (NIV)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 3:16 (NIV)
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
Or you can choose to look at your hardships:
Job 3:16 (NIV)
16 Or why was I not hidden away in the ground like a stillborn child,
like an infant who never saw the light of day?
Lamentations 3:16 (NIV)
16 He has broken my teeth with gravel;
he has trampled me in the dust.
Romans 3:16 (NIV)
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
Or you can sit and wait before the Lord and His guidance:
Ezekiel 3:16 (NIV)
16 At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me:
You can focus on who you are as a believer:
1 Corinthians 3:16 (NIV)
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?
Or rest in His peace:
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)
16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
But no matter what, do not be lukewarm about your faith on 3/16 or any other month because there is fair warning:
Revelation 3:16 (NIV)
16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
For a complete list of the 3:16’s take a look at this blog:
All the 3:16s in the Bible
My last blog for 2015 – a big shout out thank you to all of you who wandered through my thoughts this year!
Take a look at these commands:
Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Facts: we will have enemies – get over it. There is evil and good, righteous and unrighteous – you’re not going to stop the evil – it’s here to stay. Anyone can love the loveable. Go out and love the unloveable.
We are children of our Father in heaven. Let’s try living like it. Love someone. Make peace. Spread joy. Be a light to your corner of the world. Whether you affect one person or millions it doesn’t matter. The fact that you are influencing is what is important.
Give a hand up. Give a smile. Carry someone’s bags. Love like a child with innocence.
Love, peace, joy – they are very simple instructions. See if you can make a difference.
Refugee children in Syria/ wikimedia
Sometimes we share with wisdom. Sometimes we share with ignorance. We should always share with grace and love. We should always care and reach out to those in need. Love brothers and sisters. Love, love, love. Love as a little child loves.
People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
photo credit unknown
I had to post this because it touched me so much. When I first saw the news, it literally brought me to tears and shouts of joy at the same time. Our God wraps His arms around us daily. . . sometimes with great miracles as a result!
Ruth 4:4 “I will redeem it”
Today’s post is one of redemption and of hope. One that reminds us that God cares about us and walks with us each step of the way.
Just over three years ago Janelle’s husband Joel was killed unexpectedly while their family was living in the Middle East. The path that Janelle and her two young sons’ lives were on was dramatically altered. How does one move forward after something this huge, something this heartbreaking? I think Janelle would say one day, one moment at a time, with God’s help. There is nothing simple or quick about grief.
Enter a mother-in-law who loves Janelle and her boys very deeply, and a friend who does as well…a friend who knows a great guy who is single and wholeheartedly seeking what God has for his life. Enter the Holy Spirit, Who knows better than any of us what ‘the right timing’ looks like in our lives. And lo and behold, ‘God is Gracious (the meaning of Janelle’s name)’ meets ‘Supplanter; One Who Takes the Place of Another (the meaning of Jamie’s name).’ And what the enemy intended for evil is turned into something beautiful. Do we miss Joel, and does it still hurt that he’s in Heaven before us? Of course. Are we thrilled for Jamie and Janelle and the incredible gift that they’ve found in each other? For the amazing bond that the boys have built with Jamie in such a short time? One hundred percent.
And so you see, as that friend who had the privilege to introduce Jamie and Janelle to each other, and to experience from a front row seat how deeply God reaches into our hurt and struggles and walks with us through the pain and joys of this life on earth; how incomprehensibly He loves us and cares for our hearts, I am thrilled beyond words at the privilege of presenting you with engagement pictures of this precious couple; pictures of the family that will be official in August. A song that has come to mind time and time again is Michael W. Smith’s Sovereign Over Us.
Even what the enemy means for evil
You turn it for our good
You turn it for our good and for Your glory
Even in the valley, You are faithful
You’re working for our good
You’re working for our good and for Your glory
You’re faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us
Jamie and Janelle, my heart smiles big. I am grateful. May you be continually blessed as you build this new life together!
good/great news is that you are blessed! You are loved. Let that soak in. Ephesians 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed
us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
First, do no harm. This is a well known lesson in the medical field. Maybe we could adopt it into Christian circles. That committee at church would benefit from hearing it. The pastor down the street could hear it. Actually we all could.
First, do no harm. Then worry about everything else.
Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor.
To have the LORD pass in front of me. . . I can’t imagine. I can’t fathom Him standing by me. His presence would be overwhelming. We see people get slain in the Spirit and acknowledge is presence but . . . to have Him stand beside us or pass by us and feel Him physically, spiritually, mentally. Wow! That would be amazing. I hope He comes soon!
New International Version (NIV)
5 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
We don’t want to read anymore. We are bombarded with material. So, let’s keep it short and simple:
New International Version (NIV)
35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
So, my dog is getting a little old and has problems with her legs. She limps at times. Today she can’t climb steps. She doesn’t mind being picked up or held. I can carry her around the house without any objection. That is, until I come to the stairs. When I get to the top of the stairs, she squirms and gets nervous. Does she think after all this time that I will throw her over the side? I have never harmed her. I have never dropped her. She knows that I am carrying her because her legs hurt. Why does she think I will drop her down the stairs?
Aren’t we a lot like that? Has God ever hurt us? Has He ever dropped us? Would He throw us over the side?
How many times do we need to be carried before we trust God? Will we doubt Him again the next time we need to be carried? Isn’t it a little ridiculous how we squirm and cry over our situation when we know that God has carried us so many times before?
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.