1 JOHN 3:14 ON 3/14

TL 3-14

 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.  – 1 John 3:14

https://youtu.be/zcMseb3XNPo

True love comes from God.  It’s a love that transcends all understanding.  Once you’ve experienced love from God, along with His grace and His mercy, along with His forgiveness – you must love above all – to love is to live.  To live in Christ is to see light and feel warmth from God’s Holy Spirit – then let that same light and warmth radiate from you to others.

The name of Jesus is the one lever that lifts the world.   – Author Unknown

We’re not bullet proof by any stretch of the imagination.  We are protected if we belong to Christ because He loves us so much.  When we get hurt, we have the wonderful privilege of prayer.  We can talk one on one with our Heavenly Father through Jesus.  We are told in God’s Word, the Bible, that if we will just be still and KNOW that He is God – He will fight our battles for us.  I know this is true because He’s taken on so many of my battles – physical, emotional and spiritual.

He changed sunset into sunrise.   – Clement of Alexandria

We only live if we love.  If we do not love we remain in death.  We must not hold on to the bad days we experience in life.  We need to quickly let go of bitterness and hateful feelings.  All these things do is weigh us down in life – and we aren’t really living as long as they are on board.  If we want to fly like eagles, we need to get rid of all the ugliness we are still carrying around.  How much weight do you need to lose?  Will that show up on the scale?  Well – maybe not the scales you weigh on every morning – but your heart will feel so much better and your attitude will improve immediately.  Hand all the bad stuff over to God.  He’s big enough to take it and cast it into the sea of forgetfulness.  Once it’s gone – don’t pick it back up.

The dying Jesus is the evidence of God’s anger toward sin; but the living Jesus is the proof of God’s love and forgiveness.   – Lorenz Eifert

Choose to love God – and each other – and you will learn the secret to living a joyful life.  🙂

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WORLD BOOK DAY

TL 3-3 WORLD BOOK DAY

There are so many great books to read, but a few come to mind that seem especially right for the season of Lent.  Here are my top ten picks:

  1.  Twice-Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne.  He has been called America’s first great Christian writer.  If you like a bit of mystery thrown in as you learn, you’ll enjoy the Reverend Hooper in The Minister’s Black Veil.  His veil, like the gray cross on some of our foreheads on Ash Wednesday, proclaims the sinfulness of our hearts and forces us to reckon with it before God, alone.  I like this book because it’s a compilation of short stories, so I don’t get bored.
  2. Think Well On It:  Consideration on the Great Truths of the Gospel by Richard Challoner.  Well written and thought-provoking.  If you want to meditate and deepen your understanding of the Bible, this is a great book to help you.
  3. He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado.  I’ve read this book every year during the Lent season since 2009.  I never get tired of reading of the outstanding and perfect LOVE with which my Savior went to the cruel cross of Calvary. https://youtu.be/gnKiJnQAgsk
  4. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis.  I’m only on the first chapter, but it sets a great tone for Lent.  It talks about how we need to deny our own vanity – and all the sins to which it leads.
  5. The Power of Less:  The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential in Business and in Life by Leo Babauta.  By setting limits for yourself and making the most of the resources you already have, you will be happier and feel lighter in your own life.  Contentment in Christ alone is what we all want.
  6. He Leadeth Me by Walter J. Ciszek.  God has powerfully used this book in my life.
  7. The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur:  The Woman Whose Goodness Changed Her Husband from Atheist to Priest by Elisabeth Leseur.This inspiring book gives you a splendid example of how to live as a Christian in a secular environment that can be indifferent or hostile to your Faith. For Elisabeth Leseur had two great loves: God and her husband Felix, who was an atheist. Felix loved Elisabeth as well; yet to their mutual sorrow, he couldn’t share the life of the Spirit that Elisabeth cherished.Occasionally the happiness of their life together in upper-class Parisian society was shattered by Felix’s frustration and impatience. How could such an intelligent woman waste her time, as he saw it, with ignorant superstitions? Sometimes he and his friends would even ridicule and mock her faith.But Elisabeth loved Felix too much to allow their home to degenerate into an emotional war zone. She realized that confrontations and arguments were useless; she chose instead to keep quiet and pray for Felix. In her secret diary she recorded how she used his efforts to destroy her faith as means to grow in love for him and for God.Throughout their life together, it grieved Elisabeth to think that Felix might be separated from her for all eternity because of his rejection of God.For her, life in Heaven wouldn’t be happy without him. Yet when she died prematurely, Felix was still an unbeliever.The story doesn’t end there. When Felix found this diary, he discovered how Elisabeth’s whole life bore witness to the truth of the God she loved.

    In time, Felix was transformed by the diary and his memories of Elisabeth. He became a Christian and, later, a priest. Now she may even be declared a saint. Elisabeth’s diary and spiritual writings (all included in this one volume) map out for you a path to marital harmony and greater love for God — especially if you love someone who stands outside the Faith. Let Elisabeth’s two great loves, and her faith and perseverance, inspire you now.  This is an amazing book, an amazing journey which brought me to tears more than once.

  8. I Believe in Love by Fr. Jean C.J. d’Elbee.  Based on St. Therese’s little way, it stresses confidence in and abandonment to Jesus.  I’m reading it a few pages at a time.  It’s written with such depth that a little dab will provoke thought and provide inspiration.
  9. Lovingkindness by Sharon Salzberg.  A life changing guide about prayer.  It helps us discover how to increase loving thought and feelings toward family, then friends, then people we are ambivalent about, then people we dislike and eventually, all people.  It’s a perfect book for our journey to become more like Christ.
  10. Heart of the World by Hans Urs von Balthasar.  Pure paschal poetry of distilled Gospel.

I am actually very partial to one particular book – and I’ll bet you know what one!  😉  I want to encourage you to read Lucinda Berry Hill’s A SECOND CUP WITH JESUS, the follow-up to her popular book, COFFEE WITH JESUS.  Both of the books are excellent, but of course I’m going to recommend the one that she so graciously asked me to write prayers to go with her wonderful poetry.

I want to share the poetry for both books, in which Lucinda so cleverly used the titles of the poems in the book to write a poem!

Here’s the one for COFFEE WITH JESUS:

BE BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE GOD'S CHOICE

And here’s the poem with the titles from her book A SECOND CUP WITH JESUS:

FINDING HOM WITH A GOD OF ALWAYS

I hope you’ll check some of these books out.  They’re good reads no matter what time of year, but seem especially good during Lent.  I’d love to hear what your favorites are.  Please let me know in the comment section below.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

WORLD HELLO DAY

TL 11-21 WORLD HELLO DAY

11-21 TELL THE WORLD HELLO

Today is WORLD HELLO DAY, a day to take time to say hello to everyone you meet!  Can you say hello without saying a word?

Now you know how I passed French in High School.  LOL!  That song is a good way to learn the numbers one to ten as well as a greeting.  I keep thinking one of these days I’ll find myself in France – at the Eiffel Tower – and need to know the language, at least minimally.  Hey – don’t deny me the dream!  I so want to see Europe one day!

How many languages can you say HELLO in? Well, of course!  Just as we can read our pets by their body language, we can read people.  Sometimes all a person needs is a smile to say hello.  How important is a HELLO from you?  It could make all the difference to someone you encounter, even if you don’t think it will.

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My husband and I discussed the other day a movie called “The Jazz Singer”.  I did a little research and learned that it’s been remade twice.  The original came out in 1927 and starred Al Jolson.  It was one of the first American musicals put on film.  The first remake came out in 1953 and starred Danny Thomas.  Because the film did not do well, Thomas vowed to never act in another movie and stayed focused on television shows.  The second and last remake came out in 1980 and starred Neil Diamond.

Yes, there’s a point here – (thank you for your patience).  In the 1980 movie, Neil Diamond wowed us with his musical talent.  I enjoyed the music so much that I went out and bought the album almost immediately after I left the movie theatre!  Three of the songs from the album became Top 10 pop singles, with “Love on the Rocks,” “Hello Again” and “America” reaching #2, #6, and #8 respectively.

Of the three, my favorite song is “Hello Again”.  I think listening to that today may give us the nudge we need to go out and say hello to everyone we meet!  🙂

  The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  – Psalm 9:9

Each time “selah” appears in a psalm, the musicians paused, either to take a breath, or to sing a cappella or let the instruments play alone?  Perhaps they were pausing to praise Him about whom the song was speaking, perhaps even lifting their hands in worship.

Last night as I watched the President’s address about immigration, I had a “selah” moment.  It’s as if the Holy Spirit spoke to me and reminded me that I am to welcome all.  Now, I have not changed my mind about how things went down- and I likely never will.  It’s wrong for a President to try to make a law – and I’m so tired of the lying and proverbial pulling of the wool over “stupid” American’s eyes.  About those evil things – I pray.  About how angry those things get me – I pray.

But, God reminded me that I am to be Christ-like to people – all people.  That’s my job.  That is what I can control.

I was also reminded of a basic verse from Galatians:

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith…  against such things there is no law.  – Galatians 5:22

God does not see borders and He wants me to be His ambassador, His representative.  God does not like ugly – no matter what the circumstance.  God sees all people, and they are precious souls created by Him.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (16)

A DIFFICULT PRAYER
Some prayers come so easily. The prayers of thanksgiving just sort of flow in an effortless fashion. Thanking God for the bounty He provides is so easy! Praying on the behalf of those who are ill is not even that hard. The prayer of repentance is a bit more difficult because that is hitting mighty close to home. There’s one even more difficult prayer to pray and that is the one that says, “Lord, change ME.”

Everyone has an ego. I don’t care who you are, there is some degree of ego. We don’t like to think that we are the problem. We like to think that we live our lives in such a way that we are the contributors, the do-gooders and the peacemakers. The fact is, sometimes it is not the other person who needs the adjustment, but sometimes… it’s me. I need to change an attitude or a behavior or something.

It’s true, and it’s painful. No matter what relationship it is, work, church, school, even more personal relationships like marriage or a sibling or a parent – sometimes we need to pray “Lord, change ME.”

Without going into detail, I know for a fact that little three-word prayer works. God takes that heart-felt prayer and performs what I consider to be a real miracle with it! And, the funny thing is, the more often you pray it, the easier it gets to pray it! That ego just begins to shrink and there’s a sort of attitude “shift” that takes place. The other person gets viewed not as a problem, but as someone who you need to understand better. In order to understand where they are coming from, you need God to tweak your sense of understanding toward them. LORD, CHANGE ME.

I love how God works and the prayers He uses. It’s our willingness to let our ego shrink and accept the fact that we need an attitude adjustment from God that allows God to do the work. Once that concept becomes clear, it’s not a difficult prayer to pray. At first, it’s probably the most difficult prayer you’ll ever pray. Don’t give up, just try it and see if God doesn’t perform a real miracle for you too. ❤

MEMORIAL DAY

TL MEMORIAL DAY
https://youtu.be/An8ccWB7JgQ

Memorial Day is a day of reflection. It’s a day to remember those who were once here with us but now are not. We loved them and they loved us. We know we will be reunited one day, but until then, there is a void. What would my family urge me to do? God is love and love covers a multitude of mistakes. I think they would tell me to love. Just love.

As we begin our stroll through my peaceful, serene labyrinth of love, let me ask you a question. What is the source of love? Where does it come from originally? Most of you know what my answer is. I believe that God is the true source of love, and apart from Him, you are not really able to love at all. Know God – know love. No God – no love. If you know God, then I hope you enjoy this little stroll through the labyrinth. If you do not know God, perhaps you can sit down on one of the simple wooden benches when you finish the walk to rest and get to know God. Can you hear the birds singing? The gardens surrounding this labyrinth are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen and there is not a more quiet place of solace to do a little soul-searching.

It’s such a perfect day to take a leisurely stroll. There are people on the outside who are running, but we are not. We are not going to hurry, but be deliberate with each step. There is nothing scheduled in your day that is of any importance. You won’t need a watch. Take your time and seek. Seek God and find the love He wants you to have.

Read just one section at a time. When you have read the scripture, close your eyes and think about what you just read. Let the thought of it sink in and talk to God about it. You can talk to Him out loud or just think a prayer – He hears your prayer either way. Imagine you are walking, reading, pondering and praying. Let’s begin.

Love comes from God:

1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

God proved His love for us:

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Romans 5:8 “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Some couples seem to be real soul mates and some are polar opposites trying to find some common ground. No matter which class your marriage falls in, we are taught what love should look like in our Christian marriages. I laughingly refer to these as the “bite your tongue” verses! There are times when love in marriage is a real bear! But for the sake of unity, peace and joy with your mate, you really do have to bite your tongue!

Love in Marriage:

Ephesians 4:2-3 “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Philippians 2:2 “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”

There is sure victory because of love:

Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We are definitely instructed to love other people:

1 John 4:9-11 “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

“Love each other deeply with all your heart.” – 1 Peter 1:22b

And finally, we are told that we are to walk the walk of love and not just talk the talk.

Make sure the love you show is genuine:

1 John 3:18 “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

Have a blessed day! ❤