Posted in appreciate, cross, fight, forgiveness, hate, life, love, purpose, season, sick, sin

Love Without Ceasing Season

“Love without ceasing” the Holy Scriptures tell us. But what about all those sicknesses and evil people who bring us unceasing heartache? These chronic illnesses rob their victims of enjoyment in life and life itself, and some hateful people do, too. It’s okay to hate cancer, arachnoiditis, and evildoers. A matter of fact that hate can help us fight for a better life. The challenge is not to get caught up in that hate. “Love covers a multitude of sin” (1 Peter 4:8). Jesus’ perfect love demonstrated on the cross did that and still does that. “Forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). This season in my life, your life is serving a purpose. Keep loving even if it is hard.

"Love without ceasing." 
~ 1 Corinthians 16:14~

	
Posted in come, comfort, earth, Emotional, faith, forgiveness, grace, heart, heaven, home, invitation, sorrow, Spiritual

An Invitation

Come As You Are is a beautiful invitational hymn by David Crowder…

Come out of sadness
From wherever you’ve been
Come broken-hearted
Let the rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh, sinner, come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh, wanderer come home
You’re not too far

So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh, wanderer come home
You’re not too far

Lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
And fall in His arms
Come as you are

There’s joy for the morning
Oh, sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh, wanderer come home
You’re not too far

So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

Come as you are
Come as you are
Come as you are

Posted in cross, death, Family, forgiveness, God, holy, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Lent, Prayer, quote, Spiritual, works

Deny Self

Ash Wednesday begins the Lent season. This season is to examine where our present life is at, confess wrongdoing, deny self, and look to God our Father, Jesus our Savior, and the Holy Spirit for guidance and follow the calling. What does it mean to deny self? One way is to deny my own needs so another’s needs are met. A healthy marriage requires this regularly. Or deny my urge to lash out on someone who has wronged me or someone I love, but instead pray for them. Another way to deny self is to make a dinner for someone in need rather than spend the afternoon leisure shopping. The Holy Scripture in Matthew 16:24 tells us “If any of you want to come with me, you must forget yourself, carry your cross, and follow me.”

Hand in hand to denying self is the admittance where we have done wrong. We can do this daily, not just on Sundays or holy days, but rather during our regular quiet times, or throughout the day as the Holy Spirit leads. In many Christian faiths there is a prayer called the Confiteor, which we confess during our regular services. This is a good place to start if one needs guidance on how to pray for forgiveness.

“I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault …”

Following Jesus is not an easy task. Sometimes it is multiple uneasy tasks. “How many times do I forgive my brother?” you may ask. “Seventy times seven” Jesus tells us. “Pray for your enemies.” Jesus also says. “The Son of God suffered unto the death, not that men might not suffer, but that their sufferings might be like His,” Christian author and minister George Macdonald is quoted. Have you suffered unto death like Jesus Christ? I am preaching to me as well as to whoever needs to be reminded like myself.

Let this Lent season be a time of reflection, forgiveness, denial of self, prayer, true worship, and good works unto our Lord.

Posted in forgiveness, God, jealousy, Jesus, love, patient, scripture, sinful woman

White As Snow

I watch the snowflakes flutter softly from the gray clouds while the deceptive sun rays warm through the window. It is very cold outside this January Sunday.  The way the song birds are feeding this afternoon, the flakes will grow in size, and accumulate to become a white cover.  I suspect to see a pure white landscape by early morning.  I love snow, the subtle uniqueness of each snowflake in contrast to the energy and excitement it generates.  Our 13-year old Labrador prances in this white fluff, old bones and all.

 

Snow also reminds me of what Jesus has done with my sin, and yours.  Isaiah 1:18 says “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…” and the Psalms tell me “… wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”  There has to be a time to recognize sin for what it is, in order to be washed whiter than snow.  Anger that is out of control is sin.  Jealousy towards those seemingly more favored with a relationship, talent or possessions, unforgiveness towards another, disbelief in God’s promises, sex thoughts that linger beyond the marriage vow, impatience with the simple-minded, and using food, alcohol, uppers, downers, or whatever rather than listening and obeying God’s Word is sin.  Anything that separates us from God is sin.  Exam oneself.  Take the time now … Today am I right with my God and His people?

Those gaps in life, my shortcomings and downfalls are bridged with Jesus.  I can pray to God with confidence because of Jesus.  Jesus, God’s Son is the only example of the life without sin.  And the Gospel message “He who is without sin cast the first stone”, Jesus scolded the crowd surrounding a “sinful woman”.  Jesus could have cast the stone, but He did not and does not.  He chose to love.  Have you been that woman feeling the stones hit with the gossip, rumors, lies, judgement, abandonment, assaults, or disassociation?  Or are you the one throwing the self-righteous stone? For each, Jesus is there to make you “whiter than snow.”  The saying “pure religion is love in action,” reminds me to smile at all people who cross my path no matter if they smile back, be faithful to the faithless, give without expecting in return.  Be the one that goes beyond the dirt and finds the gold inside the unlovable.  Be Jesus’ hands and heart to those placed in your life.