What is Love?

I believe true love is loving as Christ first loved us! What an incredible example God gave us in sending his Son to die on the cross at Calvary, so that whoever believed in him may have Eternal Life.  I’m so grateful the cross isn’t the end of the story, but Christ rose again and today he lives, promising Eternal life to all who acknowledge He is the only one who can atone for their sins and accept Him as the Lord and Saviour of their lives.

In Luke 10:27, He Says ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’  He wants us to love Him with all of our capacity, whatever level of strength or intellect we may have. One of the best ways of displaying our love for him is living out his example and loving others, as we would want to be loved.

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I need to love Jesus as He loved me.  He loved me with his all, he was wholly committed to loving me.  He loved me to the point of going to the cross before I even knew about him. To truly love him, I need to love as he loved…I need to love others and be a light for Jesus.

Another facet of Jesus’ love is that it is totally unconditional, he expects nothing in return.  However, as a Christian, my hearts desire is to be more and more like Him.  To honour Him is to want to live like him, I need shine a light for Jesus…I need to be Him to those around me who don’t yet know Him.

Do know the love of Jesus in your life?  Are you loving as he would have you love?

My heart breaks

I firmly believe in Proverbs 22:6 – Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. This does not mean to say children will not deviate from what you teach, in reaching their own conclusions. At the moment, it seems in every direction I look, friends who are parenting teens are struggling.  I praise God, for those who are parenting in Faith, seeking His will and direction and I am praying for them.  I am also praying for my precious friends who do not know Jesus and have teens who are struggling with life.  My heart breaks to see dear friends hearts broken by and for children hurtling towards adulthood and who are seeking to find their own way in this crazy world.

My oldest is 11 and I’m not there yet! I see what’s going on in my friendship circles and I pray for my children.  I pray they come to love the Lord as their personal Lord and Saviour.  I pray we will not have the same bumpy road. I’m watching closely how my friends handle situations and take mental notes.

An amazing friend called this afternoon to ask if she could come for a coffee. My front door is always open to friends, I love to sit, drink coffee, and hear the stories of what is going on in friends lives. It’s important to listen, sometimes people just need to talk. I knew this friend had been struggling this year to “control” her 16 year old son, when I say control, I do not mean live his life for him, just steer him in the direction she and her husband would rather see him go.  He’s got himself embroiled in an interesting crowd, and it is all about keeping up with the joneses, doing as his mates will do, experimenting with all those things young people often like to experiment with and certainly, not questioning every move with “What would Jesus do?”. My heart breaks for this family, as they do battle with the enemy. An enemy who seems to be prowling like a roaring lion, a thief in the night and robbing them of life. This precious friend has only been in my life a short time, but what a deep impact she has made in my life, her honesty and straight upness speak volumes, my heart broke for her.

As we sat, enjoying the glorious sunshine, she started the conversation by saying she had something to tell me and no, she’s no pregnant. That’s her special sense of humour, she then went on and  spilt her heart out, her heartbreak, her hopes and dreams for her eldest, currently dashed, as her darling first born is fumbling and making poor choices in life. As a result of this and much soul searching, seeking God and wise counsel, they have decided that just like the shepherd in the parable of the lost sheep, they must go after him and consequently move church. The rest of the family is struggling with the decision, but they know, that the one matters to God.

My heart is heavy to see this family move on, but as we so often say, God seems to ask us to send the best away.  While our church is sizeable, this dear child does not seem to have made friends and connected with those who know Christ.  They’re off in search of a peer group of young men, who will encourage their son in his walk, intentionally encourage him to build in his relationship with God. My friend feels this indeed is their last opportunity to follow through on the instruction from Proverbs 22:6, in guiding his path as they would desire to see him go.

You matter to God, he sent his Son to die so that each and every one of us can have Eternal life.  No one needs to be good enough for Him, we need simply to acknowledge we are sinners and invite Christ into our life.

John 14:6 says

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Ephesians 2:8 says

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

 

I’m not procrastinating … I’m just me

Sometime ago for work I did the Gallup Strengthsfinder test, this resulted in me discovering that my talents are:

  1. Adaptability
  2. Belief
  3. Connectedness
  4. Strategic
  5. Arranger

Today, while trying to write my strategic plan (aka Big Ideas) for 2015 for the ministries I oversee, I went back to the book and read quite a bit of it.  This part about Adaptability really rang true to me:

“What occasionally looks like procrastination might actually be your high levels of Adaptability talent.”

Suddenly, my brain went click…my God given talent is to be adaptable, to live in the moment and be fully immersed in the here and now. It explains why people say I’m virtually unflappable and go with the flow no matter what is thrown at me. I deal better with what’s happening now than what happened yesterday or worrying about what’s going to happen at some point in the future.

Going through the rest of the talents, I realised afresh, that God equips me at every moment to deal with the situation I am currently in. I needn’t worry about the future, he has already gone before me. No wonder, I am so at peace when I read Deuteronomy 3:8  which says “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

While Adaptability is a God-given talent and strength and it explains why I so struggle with writing a strategic document, thankfully God has also sort-of balanced this out with the talents of strategic and arranger. I like to be organised and it frustrates me when I’m not. Today (the here and now), I have learnt the need to enhance the later two talents with the right skills and knowledge to turn those talents into strengths.  I think I just found what I need to put in my professional development plan.

God’s great dance floor

Hey there!

 

It’s been a while, a long while…Life has been somewhat busy and full, but that’s no excuse!  I wouldn’t be sharing the truth, the whole truth if I didn’t tell you, life got a little overwhelming there for a while.  But Jesus has been my strength in this time of weakness. He is my strength, I can lean on him and he will get me through.

Life is good and I’m dancing again to this song:

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