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Feb 1, 2019

Getting to the Heart of Love

It's February and that means it's time for Valentine's and hearts. There are many expressions related to the heart. You have heard "take heart" meaning be encouraged; also "have a heart" referring to being compassionate or empathetic; and of course "heart felt" referencing sincerity. The emphasis on the heart is significant and meaningful because the heart is equated with love. 

In the Bible we are told love is the greatest of all attributes. Further we are told "love is patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or selfish or rude. Love isn't irritable or touchy and doesn't hold grudges. Love is never glad about injustice and rejoices when the truth wins out. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Our lives, families and communities can certainly use more love. In fact, a scarcity of love can be attributed to many of the problems in the world today. The solution to this isn't money because you can't buy love. The solution isn't power because you can't demand love. The solution is to increase love. That capability lies in every person starting with you and me. 

Maybe you aren't sure about the way to increase love in the world around you. Take some time to reflect and consider the way you might begin to love others with heart.  You can start  by reading the text below replacing the word "love" with your name to gain some insight.

"Your name" is patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or selfish or rude. "Your name" isn't irritable or touchy and doesn't hold grudges. 
"Your name" is never glad about injustice and rejoices when the truth wins out. 
"Your name" always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres.

Wishing you much love!

Dec 24, 2018

Speaking of Faith

Christmas Nativity by Diane Wigstone 

Imagine. You are faithful to God; in love with Him. You lie a righteous, humble life. Suddenly, an angel of God appears to tell you that you have been chosen to change the world. What would you think? How might you feel? Yes, of course you would be awe struck. You may even feel honored that God selected you. You might whole hearteedly affirm God's plan or you may have doubt about his calling.

For Mary, the mother of Jesus, she faithfully accepted God's decision for her life. Perhaps that is the reason God selected her. Maybe he knew she would trust him. The results of her faith and trust in him impacted the world and mankind for eternity. What about you? Is there something God is calling you to? Are you accepting the call or are you hiding from it and struggling with doubt? Maybe you are questioning God's choice and asking "why me"? 

This Christmas season, be open to the voice of God and trust his calling. Say "yes" to the possibilities he has placed before you.  You may not feel worthy to be chosen by God to change the world, however you should know that you are just the right person to be used by God. Perhaps he has a plan that doesn't have you changing the world. He may have a desire to have you change someone's world for the better - perhaps even yours. 

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "I am willing to do whatever he wants." Luke 1:38

Merry Christmas and a blessed 2019 to you and your family,

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "I am willing to do whatever he wants." Luke 1:38

Dec 8, 2018

Simply Christmas

Beyond the strings of twinkling lights, passed the holly and beneath the decorations that provide a reminder of many yesterdays, is Christmas. Christmas doesn't require snow, fancy gift wrap or overstated grandeur. It arrives just as is has for over two thousand year with simple beauty, incredible joy and the promise of God's never ending love. Ready or not, just as it was the very first Christmas, the day is here. 

Imagine the emotion of the first ever Christmas. The wonder, joy, peace and beauty of the simple and humble arrival of the Christ child wasn't intended to end that day. Jesus lives today as he did that day in a manger and he continues to fill us up with the truth of His glory. It is simply Christmas that changed our lives from despair to miraculous

So put away the hustle and bustle, lighten up your "to do before December 25th" list, and spend time in the presence of the God of miracles and wonders. It is not the presents of Christmas but God's presence in your life that matters. Experience the simple beauty of Jesus. He is the most incredible Christmas gift you could ever receive.

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 1 John 5:11

Nov 18, 2018

Soul Space

Photo Credit Dean Johnson
There is a space in your life that only God can fill. You can't see it or feel it like other parts of your being. It resides within your spirit and much like your beating heart it is constantly moving, sustaining, and providing. It is your soul space. That unique, everlasting part of you created to connect you to eternity. Your soul space needs attention and care like the rest of you. It flourishes and thrives on love, kindness and alignment with your creator - God. 

How are you caring for your soul and what is filling up your soul space? Are you feeding it daily with the Word or are you starving it because you spend time only in earthly things including stress, worry, negativity and grief? Much like your diet and filling your body with healthy foods and nourishment, your soul needs to be filled up in a positive way. 

Today is a great day to step away and pause for a soul space check up. Sit quietly, clear yourself of distractions and ask yourself how life is going. Are you balanced, joyful, grateful and enveloped in the love of Christ? Are you connected to the very source of life and filling up daily on His sustaining peace? If not, your soul space is depleted and in the need of refreshment and restoration. Spend time listening to God's voice. Read the Word and pray for peace. Fill up on the Holy Spirit's warm embrace. Seek beauty and grace. 

You are what you eat and when it comes to the space that harbors your soul, you are what you watch, think, and fill your life's moments up with. Choose to fill up with the love and peace of Jesus Christ. When you do, your soul will be eternally blessed.

He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 
Psalm 23:3

Sep 16, 2018

Time for Change

Have you noticed a change in the season yet? Perhaps it is very subtle like it is where I live in S. California. The days lose their light a bit earlier and the mornings and evenings are growing cooler. There seems to be some excitement in the air as communities begin planning for traditional harvest or autumn events. Change can be difficult and unwelcome and yet it is also necessary and always present. 

Imagine the way people felt so long ago when Jesus was talking to them about radical change in their beliefs and culture. There was nothing subtle about it for sure! Even though God decided it was time for change in the world not everyone embraced the message Jesus so eloquently communicated.

Times have changed and the sacrifice Jesus made to pay the price for our sins has been accomplished. Yet there are multitudes of people that haven't accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Let's face it, Jesus changes lives and not everyone wants their life changed. You may know some of these individuals. Perhaps they are in your family, school, work place or neighborhood. You may be the one to have an impact in their life. Be the change in the world they need to see to get a glimpse of Jesus. It's definitely time for change and just maybe that change starts with you. 

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17