life

Life…
Frail.
Temporary.
“Like a vapor,” says James 4:14.

Fleeting.
Brief.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our heart to wisdom,” prayed Moses1.
“Our lives are like sleep, like grass that grows up and withers,” he notes in the same prayer2.

And yet we are eternal beings.
Possessing eternal life now through knowing the one true God and Jesus Christ, whom He sent (John 17:3),
with the promise of an immortal body one day (1 Corinthians 15:-53-55),
when we will forever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18).

In the meantime, we are called to a life of love –
to love God with all that we are
and to love others as He loves us.

I am joining (on a Saturday) the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is, “Life.”

1Psalm 90:12 (NKJV)
2Psalm 90:5-6 (NKJV)

Just

Elohim, the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens pays attention to details.

For example, for the building of the ark that housed Noah, his family, and the living creatures during the flood,

and all components of the Tabernacle – the thread, the altars, the priestly garments, the offerings and everything else,

His directions were precise.

And He expected them to be fulfilled just as He provided them.

Exactly. Precisely.

And it was said of Noah and Moses that they did just as God commanded them (Genesis 6:22; Exodus 40:16).

And Jesus, the Word made flesh, the One through whom all things were created said this of Himself, “I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me” (John 14:31).

And although I sometimes act as if His commandments to me are negotiable, the same level of obedience is expected of me.

For those who love obey. Exactly. Precisely.

I am joining the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is, “Just.” All Scripture references are from the New International Version translation. The definition of “Just” is from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary.

Advent Week 4: Day 7 – LOVE

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It is Christmas Eve. What does a verse about the genealogy of Jesus have to do with Christmas Eve and what does it have to do with love? Everything.

Centuries passed after Adam and Eve believed the Serpent’s lie that God was lying to and defrauding them, and they made the choice to disobey Him. Centuries passed after He told them the consequences of their sin and He told the Serpent the consequences of his deception.

“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15, NKJV)

Centuries passed from that moment to the time that the angel Gabriel spoke God’s words to Zechariah and to Mary and to Joseph. And Joseph and Mary travelled to Bethlehem. And “the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn”  (Luke 2:1-7, NKJV). And an angel said to the terrified shepherds, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger” (Luke 2: 8-12, NKJV). Centuries passed and God kept loving us and kept executing His plan of redemption through generations of men until His plan of redemption was fully accomplished.

It is Christmas Eve. What does a verse about the genealogy of Jesus have to do with Christmas Eve and what does it have to do with love? Everything.

May you awake on Christmas Day full of anticipation and gratitude for God’s incomprehensible love for us. For you. Merry Christmas.

Advent Week 4: Day 6 – LOVE

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Prayer

Ancient of Days. Jehovah Shalom. Father.  May our faith (our abiding trust in You and Your promises) be constant, our hope (confident expectation of eternal salvation) be unwavering, and our love (unselfish love for others, growing out of Your love for us) be deeply rooted and maturing. Thank You for Your love.

 

 

Advent Week 4: Day 4 – LOVE

love-1-john-3_16-amp

 

Prayer

El Elyon. El Channun (Gracious God). Father. Thank You for reminding us through this verse that the true proof of Your love for us is what You did to redeem us, not our circumstances. Help us love as You love us.

Advent Week 4: Day 3 – LOVE

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Lyrics for “Good, Good Father” can be found here.

Prayer

Adonai. El Shaddai. Father. You have lavished Your love on us. That You have done so because You chose to and adopted us into Your family, is beyond our understanding. Our true identity is found in You and this truth is the antidote to insecurity and despair. We are Your children and You are the Good Father. Thank You.

 

 

Monday Vitamins: Light and Love

“The worst mass shooting in the history of the United States of America,” the newscasters and the headlines declared. Fifty dead. At least 53 wounded. Not just numbers. People. Individuals. Daughters. Sons. Brothers. Sisters. Friends. Someone’s beloved. And I  remember and cling still to the truths in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s words, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

And I reflect on the question a dear friend posed to me, “Aww my friend. When will the haters learn to love?” My only answer is, when the haters come to know the One who is Light and Love.

“Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, ‘I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life’” (John 8:12, AMP).

“The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.] (1 John 4:8, AMP).

May those of us  who profess to know Him allow His light and His love to be visible in us today.

Lent and Love

“Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count).

Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – His suffering and His sacrifice, His life, death, burial and resurrection.” *

I cannot think about Lent without thinking of His love for us. In recognition of the start of this sacred season, I am sharing a  hymn about His love, and an unequivocal statement.

Here is the statement:

“Beloved, if God loved us so [very much], we also ought to love one another.”(1 John 4:11, Amplified Bible)

* The information about Lent is a quote from the About Religion website.

Five Minute Friday: Release

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and friends for Five Minute Friday. The prompt is “Release.”

 

Release

A word

A breath

A sigh

A prayer

A longing

A hurt

But never release, let go of hope

Though circumstances may suggest continuing to believe

Continuing to hold on to hope

Continuing to have faith in this One you have never seen

And Who sometimes is oh so silent

Is futile

 

But is it true that He is silent?

I have heard that He is always speaking

Sometimes pain, worry, anxiety, feelings of helplessness

Can keep us from hearing

 

He speaks through nature

Did not the psalmist who was king note

“The heavens declare His glory?”

“The firmament reveals His handiwork?

 

Release all that binds

Release the past

Forgive with His help

And set both you and the other free

 

Release everything but hope, love, and faith

Keep believing your Father is Who He says He is

That He will do what He says He will do

And you are who He says you are

 

Five Minute Friday

 

 

Imperfect Prose: Quite enough…

Sandi Patty sings a hauntingly beautiful rendition of the hymn, “In this very room.”  The lyrics are:

In this very room there’s quite enough love for one like me,
And in this very room there’s quite enough joy for one like me,
And there’s quite enough hope and quite enough power to chase away any gloom,
For Jesus, Lord Jesus … is in this very room.

And in this very room there’s quite enough love for all of us,
And in this very room there’s quite enough joy for all of us,
And there’s quite enough hope and quite enough power to chase away any gloom,
For Jesus, Lord Jesus … is in this very room.

In this very room there’s quite enough love for all the world,
And in this very room there’s quite enough joy for all the world,
And there’s quite enough hope and quite enough power to chase away any gloom,
For Jesus, Lord Jesus … is in this very room.

The power and beauty of the lyrics move me to tears when I read it and when it hear it. The idea that right where I am, because Jesus is present with me, there is enough love, enough joy, enough hope, enough power “to chase away any gloom.” And I would add, to heal any hurt, no matter how deep; to bring wholeness to whatever is shattered, no matter how many and how tiny the pieces that resulted from the shattering. And it is all available for “one like me.”

There is enough for “one like me.” Enough. How often do I operate, as I heard a minister say from “a fear of running out, instead of faith in running over?”

Enough. “For one like me.”  One like me … with my weaknesses, and small mindedness, and petulance, and fears, and longings, and broken dreams, and unspoken desires.

Right now, where I am, there is enough of all that I need, “For Jesus, Lord Jesus … is in this very room.”

Let this truth, sink deep in me, Abba. Let it wash over my parched soul like a refreshing shower. Let it cause me to exhale the breath that I too often am not aware that I am holding.

Right here, right now, there is no scarcity. I breathe deep, drink my full, whisper, “Thank You,” and ask, “Show me one person today with whom I can share this truth.”

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