Who Deserves Our Love?

Often times we tend to judge others because they don’t seem to have a grasp on life. Sometimes they are crude and rude and other times just a door mat totally whipped. It is easy to judge them if we worked through these issues and didn’t let life take us out. Often times that judgment comes with amnesia as we tend to forget the times we were in the same or similar position. We forget that others reached out to us.

I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of the horrible pit, out of the miry clay, he set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. Psalm 40:1-2

I recognized this week that I had distanced myself from the pit. I didn’t want to be reminded of ALL that I had been delivered from.

He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and reverence, and shall trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man that makes the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Psalm 40:3-4

The problem was I was so busy singing my NEW SONG that I no longer listened to the deep, guttural heart cries of those still in the miry pit. That was pride and I had to repent.

We can help many people and still only choose to help those who grate against us or are just plain not easy to be around. We are so busy singing our new song that we can’t listen. Do you truly understand that all some people need is for someone to listen?

Let me encourage you to move with me out of our comfort zone and reach into the pit not out of our personal strength, but out of gratitude from where we have come. I am so grateful that God did not love me only when I deserved it.

I do not often post links for cries for help. But today I am Please prayerfully consider this request and if you are unable to help, please pray and then share. Thank you.

Dino has had two surgeries this week. He has had toes amputated. You can read all of the updates on the post. The beautiful little girl in the picture is my great-granddaughter, Kylee.

This need is imminent

 

I Love Pretty Shoes

I love pretty shoes, but I have a wide foot and pretty is rarely available. Add to that diabetes which says I should wear orthopedic shoes. Ugh. I do because I want to keep my feet healthy, but I long for pretty shoes. Perhaps it was Dorothy who deposits that idea that with a pair a bright, ruby red shoes, we can conquer anything.

Image result for how beautiful are the feet

However, we are called to a higher place as believers. Ironically, I now live on top of a mountain in my latter years. So I love the verse that says, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”

I may have to wear ugly shoes for my health’s sake, but He says I have pretty feet when I bring the good news of the gospel and its freedom.

Man (including me) looks on the outward appearance, but Father God looks at our hearts and He has a calling on our lives far beyond our pretty shoes. He even loves me barefooted.

Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Eph 6:15);

It is God’s desire that we live in peace with each other, and with Him. I have never seen this world so filled with strife.  Homes, workplaces, even traffic are so filled with strife. The atmosphere is continually tense as we are failing to obey the scriptures in submitting one to another in love, but we love to be right more than we love to live in peace. Not every thought that comes in your head needs to be spoken.

We argue over opinions, more than facts.

He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not his mouth; He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.  Isaiah 53:7

Feet that are shod with the preparation of peace belong to someone who is able to keep quiet, to be still and know rather be loud and destroy. He knows His Father has got this. He has no need to defend himself or be in control.

Today what are you wearing on your feet? How is affecting your mouth?

 

 

 

Who Is Your Neighbor?

But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

Any time you want to JUSTIFY yourself or your position, your motives are not pure. This attorney felt pretty good about himself. He was used to presenting and arguing a case. But Jesus could see his heart.

Whatever this lawyer had in mind for the answer, it wasn’t the parable of the Good Samaritan. Too often the neighbor is thought to be the man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho who was beaten and left for dead. The neighbor is the object, the one of whom the three other characters encounter. But in the end, Jesus says the Samaritan who showed mercy was the real neighbor.

And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. Luke 10:37

The lawyer wanted to know who his neighbor was, the one he was supposed to love and as his standard, he was given a Samaritan who showed mercy. The lawyer had pride. He wanted a guideline to follow and most assuredly wanted everyone to think he met that standard. Then Jesus uses a Samaritan, a tribe despised by the Jews. Someone the lawyer thought was beneath him.

You cannot love your neighbor unless God is at the center of your life. Jesus attacked the self-centered life. He requires that not only do you love yourself as a son or daughter of God,  you’ve got to love your neighbor as you love yourself. You can’t do that unless you love God supremely. And it’s only as you love God above all, that you can fulfill the second, loving your neighbor as yourself. But in this is all the law in the prophets. This is what the whole Old Testament. It will lead you to  loving relationship with God to enable you  to have a meaningful relationship with others.  God is at the vertical axis of your life to empower you to reach out horizontally.

Do you sift through people and decide who you want to be in relationship with or do you love those who God puts in your path regardless? Do you have qualifiers or are you able to love unconditionally?

Is it an identity crisis? When we don’t know in whose image we are created, we cannot love our neighbor unconditionally.

Give a Hand Up

Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. Proverbs 12:25
You see a lot of older people who are bowed and stooped over. I am sure some can be attributed to diseases like osteoporosis or scoliosis. However, I wonder if some of this is because their life has been built on accomplishments instead of relationships.
When the their career ends, there is no one to share the extra time with. They have no relationships because were too busy with their career. Many marriages are troubled when the husband retires, because she is used to doing her own thing without him, because he was too busy. Now he is home and wants her attention. He is clueless as to why the children don’t want to be a part of his life when he was never available for them growing up. This is not gender specific. It can be male or female.

However, I have had seasons in my life where I was more caught up in doing than being.
I remember when I had a house full of children and was involved with in both church and political activities. One day as I was rushing the children to the car, I heard an elderly neighbor call out. I ignored the call. He was lonely and ignored by his wife. I didn’t want to waste 15 minutes of my time with his rambling dissertation.
I herded everyone in the car and waved as I drove off.
A couple of days later, he committed suicide.
Would 15 minutes really have mattered that much to my schedule?
But it mattered to his.
I know it is hard to listen to whining and self-pity. Some days I feel too weary to listen, but we can all take time today for just one person for no one is guaranteed tomorrow. While I try to protect myself from negative people, if I am full of the joy of the Lord, I can shake off the defilement. I don’t have to take it in.
The flip side is if you aren’t receiving as many phone calls as You would like perhaps it is time for you to make some.
One of the manifestations of bitterness is keeping a record of wrongs. These people know who called who last. Whose turn it is to call. Really? That is a sure highway to loneliness. It is a dead end.
The Bible says to him who gives mercy, mercy is given.
I know sometimes it is nine at night before I remember to make a call and then it is too late. So instead of feeling forgotten, why not reach out and remember to love unconditionally?
Dare to be a light set upon a hill and shine, shine, shine with His love.

The Gift of Another Day

Yesterday was my 72nd birthday. Twenty years ago I was told by a cardiac surgeon that I probably would never live to see 60. However, God had another plan and through God’s grace and the ministry of Be in Health, my life has been extended. I am so glad I was born. I am grateful for each of you who has contributed to my life.

..

Today I want to encourage you to make your life count. Give of yourself. Smile. Let  God shine through you

Did You Make Time?

Yesterday I asked you to take the time to look up some scriptures that define who you are. One that comes to mind is:

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14

You are fearfully and wonderfully made AND one of His marvelous works. You are a daughter of the Most High King created in His image.

Did you take the time to look up some of these scriptures? Then when you are accused or defiled, you don’t wilt because you know who you really are.

Often times we don’t take time to do these things for ourselves because we don’t think we that important. Let me encourage you that it really is that important and so are you. I want you to walk in the fullness of who you are in Him. It brings incredible joy and peace.

It is only as you love God and then yourself that you are able to truly love others.

Today will you make the time?

Do You Love Yourself?

I am not talking about narcissism. I  am talking about someone who takes care of themselves in mind, body and spirit. We are created in God’s image. Yet many look in the mirror and quickly turn away because they don’t like what they see. I shy away from Facetime.

Let’s revisit our verses: Mark 12 says:

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

You cannot truly love your neighbor unless you love yourself.  In fact, much loving your neighbor comes out of “a need to be needed” rather than genuine love.  It is a soulish love. It is love with an agenda.

One of the things that keeps self-hatred, self-resentment and self-bitterness in place is listening to old tapes. Maybe your father told you that you couldn’t do anything right. Maybe kids at school made fun of you. Perhaps you lost a relationship, a marriage, or a job. Self-accusation comes to remind you of what a loser you are.

So how do you learn to love yourself?

Now, the second commandment in order, in priority, similar to the first, it’s,

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself (Mar 12:31).

Well, when I came to Be in Health 16 years ago, I was told I had a fabricated personality. I would be whoever you needed me to be. They said I had to find out who I was in Christ Jesus. I had not a clue. So I googled it and found several ministries that had lists. So I took their scriptures and began to write them out. Here are a few:

You need to know WHO you are in Christ so that you know WHAT to do, WHEN to do it, WHERE to go, and HOW to do it!

Who you are in Christ*

Because you are in Christ, EVERY ONE of these statements is true of you.

  • I am loved. 1 John 3:3
  • I am accepted. Ephesians 1:6
  • I am a child of God. John 1:12
  • I am Jesus’ friend. John 15:14
  • I am a joint heir with Jesus, sharing His inheritance with Him. Romans 8:17
  • I am united with God and one spirit with Him. 1 Corinthians 6:17
  • I am a temple of God. His Spirit and his life lives in me. 1 Corinthians 6:19
  • I am a member of Christ’s body. 1 Corinthians 12:27
  • I am a Saint. Ephesians 1:1
  • I am redeemed and forgiven. Colossians 1:14
  • I am complete in Jesus Christ. Colossians 2:10
  • I am free from condemnation. Romans 8:1

*  Copyright:http://www.christianlifecoaching.co.uk/who-you-are-in-Christ.html

There are many lists when you search. I am not recommending one over another. I just want you to have starting point of finding out who you really are, who God saw you as before the foundation of the world. So here is my challenge. Will you search for your own list and begin to write each verse out?
You see as you write them and speak them out loud, you recognize you have been had by the enemy.

Ask the Father to show you who HE sees when He sees you. My answer did not come immediately, but I began to get glimpses and recognized I was a daughter of the Most High God created in His image. WOW! Who could hate that? I wasn’t going to.

You have to take the time to love yourself and see yourself as He sees you in order to love your neighbor.

Take this exciting journey to find the real you.

 

 

How Do You Know God?

Knowing God as your Father is quite different from knowing God from what others may have told you or as some mighty being. Yes, He is mighty, but we must develop a personal relationship with Him. Unfortunately, that relationship is often colored by our relationship with our earthly father. Maybe he was a workaholic and just not available.le. Maybe He was an angry, abusive man and you felt it was your fault. Or maybe he was a perfectionist and you thought you could nothing right. . The scenarios are endless  BUT God is God and while He is your Father, He is like none other. He delights in you.

The most important thing for anyone is to discover the true and living God. "Hear, O' Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord." It's important that you know who God is, not who someone tells you who His. He is calling you to a personal relationship.

To really know this, you must get to know Him through His word. You need to spend time with Him to develop a personal relationship.

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10

In today's world, you have to make the time to be still. In this interactive electronic, it may be as simple as turning off the internet, the television, and cell phone.

 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. Mark 12:30
How much of your life does He really have?
With every breath that we take, we should not only love Him, but receive His love. 

Let's be frank here. If I treated my relationship with my husband, the way I have treated my relationship with God at times, we would not still be married. I pay attention to Ray. I love him and delight in spending time with him. We have honest, frank discussions. I listen to him and he listens to me. I make time for him.
Father God needs to be the very center of our lives. When He is, every other relationship will be in order. Not perfect, but in order. You will recognize which relationships need nurturing and which are toxic and not good for you. When God is your love standard, you will not be looking for love in all the wrong places. In fact, you cannot help but share His love. 

Make God the center of your life and come into a loving relationship with Him. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," and all else will come into balance. 

Happy Independence Day

When my mother was pregnant with me, she wanted me to come on the 4th of July so that as a child I would think everyone was celebrating my birthday. What a sweet thought. Of course, I did not cooperate and waited until the 10th, but because of her wish, I think I always begin celebrating early.  I think life should be celebrated.

This year I will be 72. Almost 20 years ago a cardiac surgeon told me that I probably would never live to see 60. So can you see what a precious gift life is for me?
I imagine that if you back over your own life, you too, will see moments that if it were not for the grace of God, your life might have been shortened. We often forget those God moments, actually God interventions, but I encourage you today to reflect and celebrate!

Celebrate the freedom of our country and take time to remember those who gave their lives so that we may have it.

I am sorry our love series was interrupted, but my cataract surgery did not go as smoothly as anticipated. The healing is taking a bit longer.

Ray and I are headed to the mountains for a birthday getaway, but I leave you with the rest of the love series one a day while I am gone. For where we are going there is no internet. It will be a time to relax and enjoy our lives together. We truly will celebrate.

Today celebrate your life, the lives of your friends and family and your freedom.

Special To Do List

If God gave you a To Do list with only three items on it, could you finish it?
Before you speak too quickly, let me show you the list.
Matthew 22:37-40 (King James Version)
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
You must learn to love yourself before you can truly love others.
I am going to approach this backwards, because most of you have received enough sermons about loving God above all else. All that resulted is guilt that you don’t love Him enough. That’s probably true BUT maybe you don’t know what love looks like.
What if the people that were set over you to nurture you and love you, either wouldn’t or didn’t know how or were self-absorbed they chose not to. Even more likely they simply duplicated the love they were given. For most that was a faulty pattern.
So let’s look at the real thing.
1 Cor. 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails.
How do I love me? Let me count the ways.
I dare you to make a checklist with following qualities:
1. Longsuffering
2. Kind
3. Does not envy
4. Does not parade itself (Add to that- Does not defend its position)
5. Not puffed up
6. Does not behave rudely
7. Does not seek its own
8. Is not provoked
9. Thinks NO evil
10. Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth
11. Bears all things
12. Believes all things
13. Hopes all things
14. Endures all things
15. Never fails.
Now draw three or four columns to the right. If you have children, you may need more.
At the head of the first column, write your name. How can we ever love another if we are hard on ourselves all of the time and never feel that we have done enough. Now put the people in your life that you interact with at a significant level. This would include your spouse, boss, children etc.
Now for the next seven days, keep track of how you love yourself and others.
Each day I will be back to encourage you in this new discovery of love.