The Sweetest Harmony

Last week I was in Costa Rica, having fun and enjoying the tropical locale. Good conversation with great people. Fresh pineapple with sweetness that was addicting. Sitting in a chair on the beach, watching the ocean crash into the sand.The opportunity for me to enjoy…

English: Sunset over the Pacific Ocean, Tango ...

Blessed beyond words.

The scales tip wildly– me in an expensive vacation home, catered too, fed, given so much. They in houses that are necessary shelter, very little comfort, practical and plain.

My brothers and sisters. We are very different and yet so much the same.

And these things Lord, the opportunities given to me, blessings beyond imagination– am I here too for such a time as this?

What is my role, my responsibility? The challenge, the honor? This one life that I have been given. The minutes that make up the lifetime.

The ocean waves roll in, breaking hard, causing a foamy surf.

The sun shines on the Pacific water, as I contemplate time, and life, and purpose.

Made in Your image–these people. Me. All of us.

Loved by You, always by You. The vast ocean could not, cannot, contain your love…no, not the whole of the world can contain it. For it is your love that covers us all. No matter the color of our skin, the language that we speak, the differences of culture or custom.

And isn’t it my job, my responsibility to share? Not just the vastness of Your ocean with others but, the great depth of Your love?

And shouldn’t John 3:16 be the song that I hear in the crashing waves on this beach so far away?  The melody of the love song that pulls us all into sweet harmony with You.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  John 3:16-17 NIV

 

From The Now, Into Eternity

So Emotional
The Greatest Love of All

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She was beautiful. Her voice was amazing.

She was an icon of the 1980’s.

Her face graced the cover of Seventeen magazine. Her smile radiant.

I have memories, as a teen, of singing her songs to my bedroom mirror.

Millions enjoyed watching her, and co-star Kevin Costner, in The Body Guard.

Now she is gone. People mourn her loss.

I wonder if she ever knew?

Knew she was loved by so many…

I wonder how Whitney Houston felt about herself?

I realize that this woman was chased by her own demons.

There were issues. There always are.

For many, the price of fame is too high.

And sadly, they pay for it with their lives.

Whenever I hear of the death of someone famous, I am reminded…

Reminded that death is the great equalizer.

It doesn’t matter how rich, or how poor.

Talented or not.

A beautiful face or one only a mother could love.

We all will face death one day. There is no escaping it.

No denying it. It will happen.

And the only thing that will be important at that moment

as we cross from the now into eternity….

Do I know Him? Am I His child?

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me–” John 10:14  NIV

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27  NIV

That is what is truly important…above all else.

And no amount of money or fame can change that.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  John 3:16-17  NIV

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Thanking God today for:

* another day of life

* family and friends that love me

* appreciating what I have been given

* simplicity of this Monday morning

* beautiful morning sunshine splashed across the floor

* a full life

* lessons learned

* times of reflection

* a school room at home

* a husband who wants and enjoys spending time with me

* hands that are strong and can carry loads

* bare feet on a cold floor

* a warm, comfy robe

* the beauty of crystal sparkling on the chandelier

* hot chocolate in the crock pot

* knowing God, not just knowing of God

* Jesus. Just give me Jesus.

I Am….

Psalm 121

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Today, at Faith Barista, the topic is—-

Complete the following sentence:  In God‘s heart, I am ________.

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Loved–For God so loved the world (of which I am a part!) that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life…… John 3:16

Wanted– That while I was still a sinner (living only for myself) Christ died for me. Romans 5:8

Valuable —I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made (you created me!) ;  your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139:14

Forgiven– Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Chosen– But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

Worthy– So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:31  

Beautiful–Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:3-4

Saved--He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:2

His child–Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

The apple of His eye–For this is what the LORD Almighty says: “After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you–for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye… Zechariah 2:8  

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings… Psalm 17:8

Worth dying for–When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30

Understood–But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

REDEEMED–You were bought at a price….1 Corinthians 7:23

Living Out What Easter Means

The Greatest Promise of God

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live.”  John 11:25

How many of us have stood over a casket, looking down at one we loved?

Tears leaking down our cheeks…already missing the one that is gone.

The body so still. The breath has ceased. The lids now closed.

Burial. In the ground. Dirt covered.

And we weep.

And yet…

Jesus‘ words ring out in the darkness. The darkness of hopelessness. The darkness of fear. The darkness of death.

I am the resurrection.

and the life.  Alive again. Living. Breathing. In glory.

Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

He who believes in me, though he dies,

yet shall he live. Shall live. With Him. Forever. Real. Oh, so real.

No more heart hurt, no more rampant cancer, no more diseased body, no more accidents, no more shallow breathing, no more depression, no more pain, no more poor vision, no more sickness…

No more.

Believe in Me, Jesus whispers to our souls.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him, shall have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Jesus says,

I have conquered death. I have taken your place.

It is finished. Words that echo through the ages.

How is Easter real to you? Not only on a Sunday in April…but, all year long?

I Love You

Kleenex logo

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I …..LOVE……YOU.

Three powerful words.

Words that, if spoken with a sincere heart, can make a  huge difference for both the one speaking the words and the one receiving them.

What does it really mean to say “I love you” ?

Is it flowers and candy and jewelery? Is it hearts and cards? Is it a romantic dinner for two? Sure, don’t get me wrong, those things are all great. I enjoy beautiful roses, anything coated in chocolate and sparkling rings. I’m a total romantic when it comes to mushy cards and “chick flick” movies. Please pass the Kleenex. I really do love happy endings. They make me smile.

Sure, like I said, those things are great once in a while…..but real love is so much more.

Love is….my husband‘s smile at me in the morning….even when I have bed head and haven’t brushed my teeth yet.

Love is….me getting up early to fix coffee for my husband because I know he likes it.

Love is….hugging my kids and getting hugged in return…..having teens that still love to love their parents.

Love is….my husband shoveling snow, or warming up the van for me before I go to work.

Love is….me doing laundry and cooking meals and cleaning the house for my family. Making home comfortable and warm.

Love is….knowing my husband values me. My opinion counts. He enjoys hanging out with me.

Love is….telling my husband that I think he is the best problem solver around.

Love is….believing my children are awesome and knowing that they will each leave their own special imprint on this world. Letting them know that my world is a better place because they are in it:)

Love is….a card from my mom filled with words of encouragement.

Love is….family members that know my faults and still think I am worthy of their love.

Love is all these things….AND MORE.

Love is also commitment—even when you want to give up. It is holding your tongue when you really believe your opinion is the RIGHT ONE. Love is friendship. Love is choosing to overlook the imperfections and instead, learning to concentrate on the positives. Love is empathy. It is kindness and then treating others how you’d like to be treated. True love has a lot to do with forgiveness and starting over. Love is about second chances and “do-overs”.  Love is holding a hand—and sometimes delicately holding a heart. Love is trustworthy and strong. Sometimes love has to be down right tough. Love can even hurt on occasion.

Above all love is a choice.

The greatest love is that of God for each of us. In John 3:16, we are told that “God  SO LOVED the world that HE GAVE His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  Jesus chose to take our place because He loves us. Now that, my friend, is what REAL love is all about. We can love others because He chose to first love us.