I have never considered myself a particular religion. I was baptized and confirmed “Lutheran,” but haven’t attended a Lutheran church in 40 years! Spent four years with the Unitarian Universalist church, meeting amazing people who challenged my beliefs. Met a new friend who invited me to her church; Episcopalian, new to me, but also similar to the Catholic churches that I had explored, including retreat for more than fifteen years. Seems that maybe I was heading the way of Catholicism, but never felt the draw to convert and join. UNTIL NOW.
I’m on a new journey; again. Thank goodness that God honors and encourages the soul to seek. At least, that’s what I believe.
So once again I put my thinking cap and glasses on, looking toward a new future, one that saves my soul, captures my spirit, embraces my faith and brings me closer to home. Amen.
Have you felt “stuck” in your prayer life? Sometimes we forget the more we lean on Christ, the less stuck we become, and the softer the place is to land. But it’s hard “getting there” sometimes. I was recently hospitalized. I actually could not pull a decent prayer together in my head, I couldn’t express to God what I needed from Him, what I was grateful for or even my love for Him. I was stuck.
My minister stopped in to visit, his prayer upon leaving was like a prayer on wings.
Sometimes we need intercessory prayer. We all know that one person who is a “prayer warrior.” Send them a text or make a quick call, let them know you need prayer on your behalf. That’s all you have to say, no details necessary.
May you be deeply blessed in prayer this week.
Webster defines “agape” as being in a state of wonder. I often felt the meaning was to “love as Jesus loved,” it also involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will. It is distinguished from the other types of love by its lofty moral nature and strong character. Agape love is beautifully described in 1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
A friend of mine, Unitarian minister, theologian and scholar and I, agree completely in this type of love. It has little to do with “Christianity, the Christian church, a specific religion or belief,” and everything to do with loving as in caring for others without judgement. WITHOUT JUDGMENT. Can we do that? What are the bylaws of our various religions? Some say; well not the gay people, or not the terrorists, not the people that are different from us. I say ALL PEOPLE. We need to love and care for ALL PEOPLE.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds….
1 John 2:10
Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.
We are a hurry-busy-fast society. However, a hand has reached down often enough in my life that SLAMMED on the brakes, Jesus calls to me. Take more time with Me, get into the Word, tomorrow is not promised, but today — it’s here, let’s move some mountains, let’s climb to the top instead of wallowing in the shadows.
I’ve experienced some heavy health issues the last two months. I have slowed WAY down. And yet, with all this free time, I am still selfish, not having committed my time with better intentions.
Our relationship with God is our most important. Jesus walked the earth for 33 years as a human being, we can bring to him all we’ve got. He “gets” it. Let the extra time in your days, be filled with prayer, conversation, servitude and love, all we are; and all we can be — can be received by the love of the Father.
Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land theLord your God gives you for all time.
2 Timothy 2:22
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
As you have probably experienced; losing a password and jumping through a variety of hoops can be very frustrating. This happened here, with WordPress! I have missed writing and encouraging!
This scripture came to me inside a card from a friend today. I thought it was incredibly powerful. When we are down and out, we must never ever forget that our God, the Holy One of Israel, Lord and Savior – is ALWAYS here and is ALWAYS the same. Circumstances in our lives change constantly…..what a blessing to know we remain intact in our faith and that our foundation never even quakes – as long as we are connected to our Heavenly Father.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;…
There are many variations of loss. Of life, love, a health diagnosis, home, job, and whatever it is, is the most important thing to you at the time. No one could possibly understand, even if they can relate – it’s not the same. Sometimes we don’t want empathy as much as we want someone to listen. We want someone to put up with our bad days — the days when we feel deeply alone in our grief.
In time of grief that is so incredibly overwhelming, where do you go for peace?
The Lord has appeared to him from afar, saying: Indeed, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
While doing my devotions this morning, I added music to my routine. Blasted the volume on my laptop and plugged into YouTube and started with Selah, Wonderful Merciful Savior, then one of my favorites by Jesus Culture; “Break Every Chain.”
I was reminded of what keeps me in bondage; bad habits some might say, but I know they are more than that – they keep me separated from God. Ironically (but not really, right???!!!), my devotion was on placing my trust in the Holy Spirit to guide and nudge me towards a Godly life, instead of living by feelings; which can change in a moment’s notice.
I have been overcome by the presence of God many times. Music seems to be the vehicle, the lyrics speak to my heart and remind me through repetition (I listen to the same song fifty times, like I did when I was a teenager!) what my heart longs for, to be closer to God, to live in His grace and to know that I am saved.
I find God on a quiet day, in nature, the sound of wind always reminds me of Jesus. As if He is whispering to me. Also in my daily devotions, or wanderings in the bible.
Today “faith” was a dominant word in my day; it came reading Hebrews; all of the people who chose (not just obey) to walk in faith. Abraham offered up his son (how awful a decision to make), the only thing Sarah ever wanted was a child and Moses, a grown man; preferred to suffer hardships than live within the walls of great wealth.
3 John 1:3
It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Facebook has a feature called “On This Day,” it’s a flashback to the past, a year ago, three years ago, 6 years ago.
And, as only Facebook can do, it picks out the positive during that time frame.
Unfortunately, life can be ugly or hurtful. And looking back a year, or three is not something most of us want to reflect on. Why? We have enough to get through in the day-to-day. Human beings struggle. So does a Christian. We are not immune to heartache or bad memories.
Philippians 4:12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Hebrews 11: 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Less feelings, more Jesus. Less worry, more prayer. Less heartache, more healing.
The word “compassion” is as hard to define as it is – understanding its importance.
- empathy; not knowing — but attempting to understand.
Is it not the most important path we walk as believers – to love and support those who are in need, whatever that need may be?
Isaiah 49:13 Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
This post is personal, as I have several women friends battling cancer. They are in varying stages, but all are fighting to live. What can I do to ease any of the pain? Bring a meal, pray intentionally and listen.