Monthly Archives: November 2014
you call for me and hope I’ll come;
I can’t help but chuckle:
I’m already holding you in My arms.
You ask Me to provide for you;
I smile with such delight:
I pour out My blessings on you daily.
You cry and ask for protection;
I draw you close to Me;
Don’t fear My love, for no harm will touch you.
Know that I am always with you;
To you and everything you ever need.
The candle was simple and plain,
In a holder made of glass;
But oh what radiance when given a flame
It had a purpose at last.
It stood with its soft, gentle light
That warmed and inspired all;
With a fragrance and glow that brought great delight
To those in the banquet hall.
The gift that it offered was great,
Though it didn’t seem like much.
But the candle carried its flame with such weight,
No one could miss its warm touch.
Whatever my talents and gifts,
I will ever serve God my Lord;
So that in my actions all worship I lift
To Jesus the Living Word.
When I was in college, the Church I attended had a custom of adopting students.
Several families participated. Each would choose someone, who would be invited to Sunday dinners and any holiday celebrations whenever that person was in town.
I was really blessed by this. I lived too far away from my parents to go for short breaks, such as Thanksgiving and Easter and in my freshman year, I lived in a dorm, so Sunday dinner with a family was a big treat. I never had to wonder if I would be alone for a holiday; it was a given that I would go to my Church family’s home. I felt loved and nurtured by them.
What a wonderful example of life in the church! The care of this small congregation was about so much more than friendly greetings on Sunday Morning; they recognized and met a real need in practical ways.
I was reminded of this a couple of days ago, when a friend told me that her family invites singles from their Church to share in celebrations. I blessed her for that.
Until recently, I have not been able to count on having somewhere to go; in fact, have spent some holidays alone. I am quite proactive, so these solitary celebrations have not happened because I failed to take action.
My point is this: If you have a way to do it at all, include people from your Church family in celebrations. Ask early; last minute invitations are awkward.
In a broader sense, we either are family or we’re not. If we are, let’s live it out with each other. Drop the barriers of considering family as those who are related by marriage or biology to thinking in a more relational sense. Who do you know that is close to you, belongs to Jesus and really adds to your household? Start there.
As we build authentic, close relationships with each other, even those who challenge us can join more fully. In all likelihood, they will heal and be less difficult to embrace. We will also know and understand them better, so that we are not provoking or rejecting them.
As we take these steps, the Family of Christ becomes stronger, healthier and very blessed.
My sense is, God is calling His people to lay down all distractions: Worry, offense, contentions, comparisons, pursuit of things that are not initiated by him…
With that in mind, here is a song to encourage you.
It is one of Chris Tomlin’s new ones, powerful and firm when it comes to putting trust in Jesus.
Recently, I have encountered a lie that is expressed in rather subtle ways within Christian tradition. It comes in many forms and variations, but the sentiment is the same:
“Maybe God will…(show up, provide, heal, answer my prayer….) if He takes a notion to; if He feels like it; if He wants to.”
The truth is,
God is always present and attentive to us.
He is our Refuge; He holds us in His everlasting arms and defends us. (Deuteronomy 33:27)
He is the Friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
He comforts us, as a mother comforts her child. (Isaiah 66:13)
He is with us forever. (John 14:16)
He provides us with every blessing in abundance…
Since we always have enough of everything, we share abundantly in every good work. (2 Cor. 9:8
He supplies all our needs, according to His riches in Glory. (Philippians 4:19)
He never leaves or forsakes us. (Hebrews 13:5)
He has healed us. (1 Peter 2:24)
Thank You, most loving, faithful and ever present Papa! Amen.
George W. Bush’s proclamations came just two months after the September 11 tragedy. He stated that In thankfulness and humility, we acknowledge, especially now, our dependence on One
greater than ourselves.
All of the early Thanksgiving celebrations had one thing in common. The thanksgiving was directed toward God. It did not matter that many had very hard
times. The people knew that God was their creator and provider and that all good things ultimately came from Him. It is in this spirit that we bring you
the following passages from God’s Word:
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
–1 Chronicles 16:8; Psalm 105:1
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
–1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34; Psalms 106:1;107:1; 118:1; 136:1
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High.
Have a blessed and joyful Thanksgiving.
Jesus, Source and Goal;
Jesus, all in all;
Alpha and Omega,
Who hears our every call.
Jesus, god Most Holy;
Majesty on high;
Closer than a brother,
You hear our every cry.
Jesus our Healer;
You forgave our sin;
Savior of the nations;
You give us peace within.
Loving each person;
Knowing each by name;
Seeing every detail,
Removing doubt and shame.
Jesus, how do You
Love and know us so?
Alpha and Omega,
the One who makes us whole.
God Who’s far yet near;
I will gladly worship
You, Precious Lord so dear.
For every blessing
You pour out
Because of love so true;
In grace addressing
Till faith brings us to You.
For hearts of gladness
Filled by You,
Till we can’t help but sing;
Of all the endless
Things You do;
We soar on eagles’ wings.
And give You thanks today;
With great affection,
Raise our voice
To glorify Your Name.
One of them,
a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, ” ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:35-40
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. John 13:34
“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” John 15:9, 12
I have often been puzzled about the words, “A new commandment,” in John 13.
As seems to be the case with every christian I know, I have been well steeped in teachings based on the two great commandments sited by Jesus in Matthew. I have learned that I am to love God with all I am and have; that I am to love my neighbor as myself.
The challenge is, this usually means coming up with something on my own strength, which is impossible: Apart from Holy Spirit, I simply have nothing to give.
Then, I heard a teaching that really made sense:
Instead of being called on to love as a matter of duty or obedience; according to the law, we are now brought into the New Covenant, which has a new commandment: Abide; allow God to fill us; then share with those around us. We don’t act on our own strength or resources; we receive first; then give.
I have often heard teachings about the need for us to love ourselves so we can love our neighbor. That seemed right to me. Now, however, I am thinking that part of the Good News is, in Jesus, we can love others, even while we are still healing, learning to love ourselves and growing.
I am reminded of Philippians 4:19. In its context, it usually refers to material requirements. For me, however, it has expanded to mean every need, spiritual, soulful, relational, financial, vocational, physical and material:
“God shall supply all your needs, according to His riches in glory.”
He is the one who supplies the love that I can then express to my neighbor. There is consistency in that: Love is dependent on Jesus’ faithful provision; not my strength, mood or ability. How cool is that!
I thought of you before you ever were;
When no one else knew you would be.
I formed every part of you
From the deepest places of your soul,
To good works you would do
Conceived in love, one of My dreams come true,
I cheered on the day of your birth.
I bless you every morning,
And surround you with my endless love;
So delighted with you,
Child of great worth.
There is absolutely nothing to do
That would cause my love to grow.
That you are precious to Me,
Created to reflect who I am;
Made to live in My love;
Pleases me so.
Because you are My dear created one,
Live in My presence each day.
Feel My hand as I guide you;
Learn to recognize my affection;
Hear My voice when I speak,
In My love stay.