Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘love’

Life’s Goals


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A life that exhibits wisdom

Is gentle

Displays a happy heart

Is patient

Walks upright and

Knows to listen.

 

A life that exhibits love

Is understanding

Displays kindness

Is pure in motive

Shows compassion and

Heeds correction.

 

A life that exhibits joy

Is cheerful

Shares Truth

Is encouraging

Gives generously and

Lives intentionally.

 

          Jan Beekman – 11/16/17

(Inspired by Proverbs 15)

 

Outsiders


Jesus on the Cross

Jesus – simple, yet complex

Outsiders

A prophet is known
by the company he keeps.
If Jesus were a true prophet,
the right people would be His sheep.

But baaaaad people hung out
with Jesus – sinners of the worst sort.
Jesus scandalously kept company
with tax collectors, folks report.

His circle included prostitutes.
He dined with people of ill repute.
How did He respond to complainers?
Did He have a good word of refute?

No, He told the story of the lost –
Lost coins, lost sheep, lost kids.
Find the coin, search for lambs,
Be relentless finding others, Jesus bids.

But, though we’re concerned,
We have our limits, right?
Do we seek unending until we find?
No, it’s not about us and our plight.

It’s about God who searches.
It’s about our Lord who actively calls.
He needs us all …  you and me.
Invite the outsiders. Break down walls.

Amen?

Giving


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GIVING

As a mother gives her love
Freely, without thought of return,
We are told also to give
Without “What’s in it for me?” concern.

Tell me what makes you anxious.
Does worry to earth add a minute?
Look closely at your life;
Is anxiety frequently in it?

Do you fret too much about money?
Is your mind on your demise?
Work, leisure, politics, the unknown –
Do you fret? Is that wise?

Anxiety is a human experience.
It seems to transcend time.
There always has been earthly woes,
Poverty, illness, and crime.

Consider the bison cows and their calves.
Look at what God does.
He provides their food and beauty,
And He’ll care for you – just because.

You, too, are His prized creation.
His love and provisions are yours.
Only doubt will cause you worry.
Let His promises fill your pores.

Beyond disease, death, and decay
Are the gifts from God above.
God provides for all our needs.
Rest confidently in His love.

How do you find such perfect rest?
The answer is in God’s Word.
You gain such peace by giving.
Does that sound a bit absurd?

Reflect on Him who dwells in you.
Accept His wonderful gifts.
Go out and give your blessings.
Be lifted as He lifts.

Bostons


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Yes, I confess, I am a member of BostonTerrierAddicts on its FaceBook page. We post pictures and videos of our dogs and do a lot of ooohing and awwwing. Our Taze is the “Tazmanian Devil with Ears”. As a puppy, when we got her five years ago, her gigantic ears were straight up at only ten weeks young! We were going to name her “Angel,” until we met her. BOING! BOING! BOING! She was a jumping jack! Nope, “Angel” didn’t fit!

Most Bostons’ antennae stick up straight and as puppies the ears seem larger than the rest of the dog put together. When one ear flops and takes its time perking up, some new Boston Terrier people become quite concerned. When is it ever going to straighten up? Ike, one of my favorite Boston Addict pups, is four and a half months. Isn’t he adorable?

Not to worry!! That ear will pop up soon! And if not, who cares?

Well, I think Bostons are precious with or without both antennae working . Don’t you find them irresistible, too?

Easter Sadness


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I have heard holidays are sad times for some people. There are more suicides near the various holidays each year than at other times of the year. Have you heard that? Have you ever related to such sadness? I’m not THAT sad, but this was not a typical Happy Easter day.

I grew up in a typical American family in the center of California. At least I thought we were typical. Since then I have begun to question what is “normal” – is there such a thing as “typical”? In my world, I Love Lucy and Bugs Bunny made me laugh, Sundays were church and family time, gatherings at our house or at relatives’ homes were the norm for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, when I found myself in a funk this year as Easter approached and no family was coming to gather, I should not have been surprised, right? Wrong! I was caught off guard! Where is the laughing, carefree Bugs Bunny when you need him?

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Our church hosted a potluck after church today –  Easter Sunday; designed just for folks like Bob and me whose family is a thousand or more miles away. Ham would be provided. Last night I created my favorite comfort food for the occasion- scalloped potatoes Andre’ style. I put them in the garage refrigerator for safe-keeping. I spent an hour this morning up in my sanctuary, as usual, in prayer and Bible Study, in meditation as I listened to the robins singing outside the the window. “He is risen indeed!” Shake it off, Jan! ReJOYce! It’s Easter!! Pick up your music. Pick up your Easter lily. Pick up your spirits. Get to your house of worship!

We arrived at church 45 minutes early to practice with the choir. Surely potatoes au gratin and “Up From the Grave He Arose” would lift my sagging spirits. Oh no! I forgot the potatoes where I had safely stored them in the garage refrigerator last night! A dear friend, Susan, who arrived early to work on the potluck volunteered to drive back to our house to get them. Only five minutes away, thank God! Christian friend to the rescue! God bless her. She put them in the church oven and returned to her seat in the pew just as the service started.

I perused the church bulletin. The songs were not “He Lives!” or “Hallelujah, He is Risen.” Instead, “Low in the Grave He Lay” and “In His Time” with a sermon topic, “Failure.” What? Here I am feeling low, missing family, beating myself up for forgetting to bring the potatoes, and the sermon topic is about FAILURE? I drew a sad face next to it! I was not prepared for a downer message from the pulpit! But then as the service began, we all sang, “He Has Made Me Glad!” and the choir sang, “In Christ Alone/Solid Rock.” My spirits were lifting and I paid particular attention to the words of the next song, “Hymn of Promise,” by Natalie Sleethe. The second verse especially spoke to me:

   “There’s a song in every silence, speaking word and melody;
   There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
   From the past will come the future; what it holds a mystery,
   Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.”

What a wonderful segue into the sermon. Listen carefully, Jan. Take your sermon notes in poetry – as you usually do – and see what “Failure,” as spoken by Reverend Jean Johnson, says to you:

Silence is in Failure.
Shouts in Victory.
Resilience lies in Failure –
Lessons there for you and me.

Moral Victory or Losing?
Which lesson do you see?
Is the score the truest measure
Of a win for you and me?

Defeat: Success is gone.
Rationalization: Better now.
Reality: Acknowledgement –
There’s a future – somehow!

Failure feels miserable.
Hope seems surely gone.
But the loss is temporary.
New beginnings greet the dawn.

God doesn’t call it quits.
He fills our loss with LOVE.
His peace is ours eternal;
Ours is Victory from above.

Christ defeated death and darkness.
Shouts of VICTORY ring ever true.
His resurrection is our promise.
Hope rings eternal for me and you.

Amen? Amen!

I drew a cross next to that sad face – and on the other side of the cross, a happy face.

No need to stay in a funk! Listen to the last verse of Natalie Seethe’s “Hymn of Promise.”

“In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity:
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity.
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.”

Thank You, God. Thank You for Jesus… for His life, His death, and His resurrection. Thank You for the promise of Eternity. Thank you for helping me see You, the source of all life and hope, all joy and peace, all compassion and justice – alive and victorious this day and always. May my life be a witness to the new life You offer. You are new every morning. So am I! Happy Easter!

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Love on Valentine’s Day


Love is on fire today. Love is in the air. It’s Valentine’s Day, a day dedicated to LOVE. Love has so many meanings in the English language. Other languages use different words to describe family love, love of God, sweetheart love, love of food or objects, etc. The English word LOVE covers them all – and then some! As a result we can sometimes overuse this four-letter word and in the process dilute its power. Valentine’s Day is a good time to take stock of our use of it. Examine what we truly love and how we express it. Define it in a way that gives it the most power and influence in your life and in the lives of those you truly LOVE. Reread 1 Corinthians 13:4–8a and 1Timothy 1:5. Think about the meaning of Romans 13:10 and Luke 6:32. Contemplate what it means to “let everything be done in love,” as the Bible instructs us in 1 Corinthians 16: 14. Then, decide what you will DO today to demonstrate the love that is in your heart. Try to list at least ten things.

As for me, I…
1) … reached out to my children to say, “I love you.”
2) … am serving with love at the reception desk at our local hospital.
3) … made a special trip to visit a friend and thanked her for helping me with my plants and my home while I was away this past couple months.
4) … will write some thank you cards to the people who extended their hospitality to us while we were traveling.
5) … will hug my neighbors and share an evening meal with them tonight.
6) … spent time in my sancutary this morning, praying for family and friends who are hurting and in need of healing, reading my Bible and devotionals, and praising God for His many blessings.
7) … will write a letter to my grandson who has just entered the Navy and is in boot camp.
8) … demonstrated “love your neighbor as yourself” by taking care of myself – I made healthy meal choices, kept an appointment with my doctor, and I worked out at the fitness center.
9) … mailed a package to a friend in Switzerland.
10) … wrote this blog to reach out in love to each of you.

Tell me about your Valentine’s Day Love list! Are you on fire with love today? Remember, as Bob Goff said, “Love Does.” Don’t just say love or think love – go do it!!

Love is Everywhere


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GONE

Gone are the robins
Gone is the fall
Gone are the leaves
The wind took them all.
Gone is the turkey
The cranberry, too
But love’s never gone
When I think of you.

 

HERE

Here is December
Here is the tree
Here are the presents
With love wrapped by me.
Here are the bright lights
Here candles glow
Here is the wreath
Here comes the snow!

 

THERE

There are the shoppers
Siftin’ the pickins
From Black Friday frenzy
Peckin’ like chickens.
Plucking a bargain
Spending their dough
There are the shoppers
Where is the glow?

 

EVERYWHERE

Looking for the perfect gift?
The right thing to share?
Don’t look in shopping malls;
You won’t find it there.

Looking for a pocket watch
To help him count the hours?
Looking for the magic fly
To boost his fishing powers?

Looking for a spiffy shirt
To guard him from the cold?
He has clothes enough to spare.
That’s not the trick, I’m told.

Don’t go shop in super stores
For the perfect gift to share;
Just point him to God’s love and yours –
He’ll find it everywhere!

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HAVE A BLESSED, LOVE-FILLED DECEMBER!

 

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