Give Your Love Away

images

Jesus commands us as the second of the two things we must do to complete the law of all the prophets.  Being Mark 12:30-31 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”

images

When we share the love that God has given to us we are in essence reflecting God’s love to those that we love.

When we have love in our heart and lives we won’t be gossips and hurting people by spreading hurtful things with an untamed tongue.  When we love we won’t be jealous and envious of others, rather we will join them in the joy of their fortune. When we love we won’t wish ills on others but rather be praying for blessings for them.   We will be looking for a way to be a blessing to them rather than caught up in our own lives.  We will be vigilant about noticing signs of distress that may mean that they need our assistance because that is the least that you would do for your own body.

images-1

It may seem impossible or radical but let’s really think about our neighbor and not to be noisy but out of love and concern be attentive to what is going on in their lives.  Let’s open our hearts and doors.  No more driving in and out of your garage and into your house never even knowing who your neighbor is.  Walk down your sidewalk and introduce yourself.  Stop at the mailbox long enough to greet others in your apartment complex, who knows it might be an opportunity to show some love if not at the least a smile and you may make someones day.

This world has become very isolated but we don’t have to let it stay that way.  We can choose to look for opportunities to connect to others be that playing it safe by just being friendly or taking a chance and actually showing love to someone.

When I lived in England I learned a song, I believe it’s called, “Magic Penny”.  The lyrics go:

Love is something if you give it away, give it away, give it away, you end up having more.

It’s just like a magic penny.  Hold it tight and you won’t have any, but lend, spend it and you’ll have so many, they’ll just roll all over the floor.

For, love is something if you give it away, give it away, give it away, you end up having more.

So may I challenge us to look for ways to give our love away?  God has an unlimited supply to restore and refresh us with.  Like the song says if we hold our love tight we won’t have any, it becomes a stagnant pond useless to anyone.  We must think of our love as a fountain where water never grows stagnant or rushing waterfall that’s mist nourishes all the plants that surrounds it.

images

images-1

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

Quote: A Child’s Prayer

A Child’s Prayer

M. Bentham-Edwards

God make my life a little light,

Within the world to glow;

A tiny flame that burneth bright

Wherever I may go.

God Make my life a little flower,

that giveth joy to all,

Content to bloom in native bower,

Although its place be small.

God make my life a little song,

That comforteth the sad;

That helpeth others to be strong,

And makes the singer glad.

God make my life a little staff,

Whereon the weak may rest,

That so what health and strength I have

May serve my neighbors best.

images-5

May we strive as this child’s prayer states to be: the glow into the world of darkness and to bring joy into peoples lives no matter how small, to always watch for the sad and bring them comfort and lastly keep alert for the weak that we may be a resting place for them and a source of strength.  May we always strive to serve our neighbors best.  Isn’t that what our LORD would have us do?

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

30 Days of Gratitude Day 25 – Loving God’s Mercy

images-1

Today I’m grateful for the glory of God’s mercy.  You see I also struggle with my weight.  I’m going to Weight Watchers and have days when I do program better than other days, but I must confess I still do not like the way I look over 44 pounds lighter than when I began.  That’s because I have about 100 more to shed.  I’m fully aware that this is vanity on my part but I grieve the face and body I once looked at that was so much thinner than this present form before me.

My boyfriend says I’m beautiful and that it grieves him that I feel ugly, mostly because he sees the hurt that causes me.  In that he reminds me of my heavenly Father and this quote I got from a devotional:

But no matter how far off the path or how long we are on it, God is patient with us and loves us as a dearly beloved chid – part of His family (Romans 8:16-17; Galatians 4:7).

This reminds me of a touching story shared by my friend Karen Ehman, who lost over one hundred pounds in the first stage of her journey toward health.  Her friend, Tammy, saw a “before” picture and was encouraging Karen enthusiastically when Karen’s young son, Spencer, walked in.  Tammy said, “Wow, Spencer, can you believe that was your mom?  She’s lost so much weight.  Doesn’t she look great?”  In  confusion, he looked back and forth between the photo and Karen and said, “Hmmm, they both look like Mama to me!”.

Out of the mouth of babes.

We are loved as God’s special girls!  No matter where you are in your struggle with healthy eating.  God looks at you and says, “She still looks like my precious  daughter to me!”  He loves you just the way you are.  But God loves you too much to leave stuck in defeat.  You were made for so much more.  You were made for victory.

This comes from, “Made to Crave Devotional: 60 Days to Craving God, Not Food” by Lysa Terkeurst.

images-5

It’s so good to be reminded that God’s mercy extend into any area of our life that we may be struggling with.  Struggle with food?  God loves you and in His love He’s unwilling to leave you stuck where you are.  Alcohol?  God loves you where you are but is unwilling to leave you there.  Workaholic?  God loves you where you are but is unwilling to leave you there.  Shopaholic?  God loves you where you are but is unwilling to leave you there.  Gambler?  God loves you where you are but is unwilling to leave you there.  Sexaholic?  God loves you where you are but is unwilling to leave you there.  Have I made my point yet?  It doesn’t matter what you are struggling with even if it is a chemical imbalance in the brain, or diabetes whatever your struggle God loves you and wants you to live at your full potential.  Now the last two there is only so much that can be done and then it’s learning to live with it.  But both can be helped with healthy eating and exercise.

images-4

God in His mercy doesn’t allow us to be stuck where we are in bondage to anything.  He wants us to live victoriously.  He promises an abundant life and that starts by allowing God to work in our lives and help us out of the muck and mire of our struggles.

Won’t you join me in surrendering our struggles to God and His almighty power.  With Him all things are possible including standing clean on firm ground.  Wouldn’t you prefer that to the muck and mire of the pit that your struggles currently have you in?  I know I would and that is why I cry out; “Abba!  Father!  Rush to my aide and pull me from the pit and set my feet on firm ground and cleanse me from my sins.”

Let me clarify something before I get angry comments in no way am I inferring that bi-polar disorder or any other chemical imbalance of the brain or diabetes are sins.  But if you know that eating healthy and exercise (and I’m talking to myself as well here because I’ve been blessed with both) will help symptoms and we don’t do it, aren’t we sinning?  Missing the mark?  Missing the best for our bodies?  Just something to think about.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 23 Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

images-2

Today I’m grateful for the fact that God knew me before I was born and loved me just the same because He was the One that knit me together.  Because of that I actually love who I am because God doesn’t make junk!

Sometimes I feel guiltier for what I’m not than thankful for what I am.  I now in the light of Psalm 139:13-14

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb, I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

images-4

believe that since I’m made in the image of God to believe that I’m guiltier for what I’m not is a sin and rather than guilty for what I have done.  God decides what I will and will not be and I can take pleasure and gratitude in what He has chosen to create in me.

It is not for the created to tell the creator how it should have been created.  I love to sing but I’m never going to be a great singer on this side of heaven.  That was not one of the things I was blessed with.  I can however sign to a  song and touch people in that respect, as long as my mouth is shut or at least silent.

Although I love the blessing of these verses it is often easy for the flesh to get in the way of remembering exactly who created me and for whose pleasure I was created for.  For that reason I love this prayer:

Dear Lord, You made me in Your image – and that is something I seem to forget daily.  Please help me remember to celebrate and live in who You made me to be, and not dwell on what I wish I were.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

By Lysa TerKeurst, from “Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress”

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

Quote for Today – On The Wings Of Faith

“Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 2:2-4 NKJV

“I understand that a turkey and an eagle react differently to the threat of a storm.  A turkey reacts by running under the barn, hoping the storm won’t come near.  On the other hand, an eagle leaves the security of its nest and spreads its wings to ride the air currents of the approaching storm, knowing they will carry it higher in the sky than it could soar on its own.  Based on your reaction to the storms in life, which are you?  A turkey or an eagle?

It’s natural for me to be a turkey in my emotions, but I have chosen to be an eagle in my spirit.  And as I have spread my wings of faith to embrace the ‘Wind,’ placing my trust in Jesus and Jesus alone, I have experienced quiet, ‘everyday’ miracles:

His joy has balanced my pain.

His power has lifted my burden.

His peace has calmed my worries.

So…would you spread your wings of faith and soar?!

By Anne Graham Lotz from “The Joy Of My Heart: Meditating Daily on God’s Word”

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 22

images

Today I’m grateful for my Valentines.  I was single for 22 years and during that time I only had one Valentine, my Lord and Savior.  I figured that since I was the bride of Christ I would conduct myself as such and think of myself as married to Him.  I even wear a ring on my wedding ring finger reminding me of this position.

So when Valentines Day would come around I would be content most of the time with my Holy Valentine.  The times that I felt lonely and wishing for a Valentine with flesh and blood I would pray that if it was God’s will that He would bring one into my life and if it was not that He would fulfill these feelings I was having.

Now I still have my Holy Valentine and God has seen fit to bless me with a flesh and blood Valentine as well.  I feel so blessed to have both.

My human Valentine was so good to me and I’m so grateful to have him.  He sent me a beautiful bouquet and wonderful card.  I was sick Valentines day but he was so patient and kind with me, especially since I brought the sickness on myself.  I’m diabetic and had consumed so much sugar the day before that I had sugar poisoning.  Not smart and not something this addict is going to do again I pray that I’ve learned my lesson once and for all.  Anyway that’s another story.

IMG_0125

The next day I was feeling better and we took a lovely trip down the Pacific Coast Highway from Huntington Beach to Dana Point and came back home through the Majestic and Silverado canyons.  This day trip was beautiful and fun just talking and watching the third love of our lives Tessa my dog looking and sniffing and all the new things she was experiencing.  She was exhausted once we got her home.

Should you have felt alone this past Valentines Day my heart goes out to you.  I know all too well how that feels.  But may I encourage you to think of yourself as having a Holy Valentine and falling in love with that Valentine until He sees fit to give you an earthly Valentine?  Trust me it’ll be the best love affair of your life.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart

Quote for Today – Shake it Off!

“When Paul was shipwrecked on the island of Malta, a deadly snake that was driven out by the heat of the fire bit him.  He simply shook the creature off into the flames.  You should follow Paul’s example.

Whatever may be troubling you, shake it off!  God has great things planned for you.  The dreams of the future leave no room for the snakebites of the past.”

By Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right Devotional”

I share this because this got me thinking of all the times I’ve allowed troubling times get the best of me.  But I’ve got an all powerful God in my corner that should give me cause to think when trouble comes a knocking that my God is Bigger than any trouble I, man or the enemy may bring so what I need to do is to learn to instantly turn to Him thus shaking it off in the process.

What freedom that knowledge affords me.  I no longer have to be a slave to my problems I can put them at the throne of Christ and leave them there for Him to handle and my part in all of this is to listen to His voice and be obedient to His calling simply and yet the flesh makes it so hard to do at times.

Lord, help your children to shake off their troubles by giving them to you and being obedient to Your wise counsel and guidance.  Help us to follow you and you alone.  Amen!

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

Faith or Fear

A lot of what I’m sharing today I got from a sermon from my pastor Mike Erre called “Faith in an age of Fear”.  I was so impressed by it that I decided to share it and my thoughts on it with you my readers.

Matthew 6:19-34 are our verses for today.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moths and vermin do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where you treasure is there your heart will be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body if your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light but if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you to much more valuable tan they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers in the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans fun after all these things, and you heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The passage starts about storing up our treasures in heaven.  This is more than just talking about money but where your heart is.  What is your main focus on things of this earth which will decay or the things of God which will never decay?

Then Jesus puts it another way talking about the eye being the lamp of the body.  During Jesus day an unhealthy eye was one who was greedy and cheap and miserly.  The healthy eye was generous, helpful and thought of as good.  The healthy eye would be carrying out God’s will while the unhealthy would not.  One is storing up treasures in heaven the other on earth.

Then He talks about the serving of only one masters either God or money.  How we can’t have it both ways it’s either or.  Either your heart is with God and that is where your treasure is or your heart is elsewhere with some other idol here on earth where moth and vermin destroy and thieves can steal.  Since we can’t take it with us it is important we make the right choice.

Mike Erre made a very good point that in America we see the don’t worry passage and think God is going to give us good things and supply all that we need.  But there are Christians who love the LORD that don’t have food or drink or clothes what do we do about that?

He believes and I agree with him that the don’t worry follows the other passages in the same train of thought.  Let me try and explain the grass of the field is thrown in the fire it is not all good for the grass.  In that day and age the birds of the air were used for sacrifice again not all good for the birds.  What they do have in common is that they don’t worry about their food or death or anything they just exist as God intended them to.

Verse 33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Could this verse in the light that bad things do happen to those that love God, actually mean by seeking his kingdom and righteousness that the things of the kingdom, peace in the midst of turmoil, faith in the face of fear, and joy in the midst of mourning are all ours to have?  Could it mean that there is an even more fulfilling and abundant life to be had than what we are told on this earth via commercials and peer pressure?  I believe the answer to be “Yes!”

I look with new eyes at the do not worry verses and realize that my hope is in God alone and whatever He has in-store for me His grace and mercy will be sufficient for me.

Lord God, let me walk boldly in faith and keep these scriptures ever present in my mind when I am tempted to fall away from a bold walk with you in my journey of faith.  I want to stand confident in Your power, grace, mercy and unchanging will. Lord help me to do just that and confront me when I falter.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 18

images-1

Today I’m grateful for my thorns in the flesh.  There have been times that I  wish they weren’t there but they keeps me dependent on God and that is where I want to stay.

images

If these thorns are the only way that I will continue to rely on God and not myself and not to become prideful, then I say, “Praise God for them!”

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m no super woman I still have times when I scream and cry to God, “Why me?” “Can’t You take these things from me?”

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  –  2 Cor. 12:9

This verse is such a comfort to me, it means I don’t have to attempt to do it on my power that God is waiting to show His power through me.  What a blessing.

So thank you Lord for what You have seen fit to give me and I will do my best to be grateful for all that You give me blessings and thorns.  I know all are for Your glory and for my benefit.  Just as a loving Father does for His child.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

Isaiah 43:1b, 4

images-2

Not only is God gracious enough to redeem us and call us by name but we are precious in His sight.  If that isn’t something to praise God about I don’t know what is.

images-4

It is also something that should do wonders for your self-esteem.  If you and I are precious and honored in the sight of God then who are we to say anything different about ourselves?  I’m preaching as much to myself here as to anyone reading this.

I’ve had a hard time with my identity in Christ but these verses make it very clear that we are something very special to God and for us to cut ourselves down or beat ourselves up is contrary to God and thus sin.  Ouch!  Rather harsh to look at it that way isn’t it?  But when we get real with ourselves and God we can see it for what it is and anything contrary to God and His righteousness is sin.

Maybe it’s time for those of us that struggle with this to start stashing away the Word of God in our hearts, so when we are tempted we will hear the truth and the truth will set us free from sin.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!