Blogs From The Heart..

Love Them Like Jesus 

As I was praying and meditating this morning I felt moved to write a blog entry on a word that keeps coming to me, Love. I feel it's a word that is overused and an action that is under shown. I am currently trying to work on my people skills and learn to love them for who and where they are in their lives. Sometimes our group sings a song entitled Boundless Love. It talks of the Love of God and calls his love a Boundless love, meaning without limits. I don't know about you, but I can say that there have been times in my life when someone has loved me with conditions. They've had expectations and requirements that I do, say, or play the role that they have set for me, and when I failed to meet their conditions the Love wasn't so freely flowing. One of the things that I find so Amazing, yet hard to understand about God is that he loves everyone the same, period. He doesn't love any one of us more than the other. He doesn't love the finest preacher anymore than he loves the lowest sinner. Have you ever really thought about that? To my little brain it's almost incomprehensible? I think sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the human mind set that since one is saved, doing their best to live for God and be a good Christian, that for some reason they are loved more than the lost,drug addicted sinner, and that is not the case. We are all loved equally in God's eyes, and it has nothing to do with who we are, who we know, or what we have, but it has everything to do with  who he is, what he's done, along with his pure, holy, unblimished, mercy, grace, and love that he has extended to us all.
1 John 4:16 says, God IS Love! Notice it doesn't say, God loves when he feels like it. It says God IS Love!

I want to share a true story that a pastor once told. During vacation Bible school his wife had an experience that she will never forget. On Wednesday night during class a new student came in. The little boy was missing one arm and since class had started she had no opportunity to learn about the details of his condition. She was nervous that one of the other children would comment on his handicap and embarass him, so she proceeded as carefully as possible. As class time came to a close she begin to relax. She asked the class to join her in their usual closing ceremony. "Let's make our churches", she said, clasping her hands together, fingers interlocked. "Here's the church and here's the steeple, open the doors and there's..." then it struck her, the very thing that she had feared the children would do, she had done! As she stood there speechless the little girl sitting next to the boy reached over her left hand and placed it into his right hand and said, "Now, let's make a church together."
It was love, compassion, and the realization that the boy needed help that cause the little girl to reach out to him. We should all be that little girl and reach out to others in need. Just think of the impact we could make on a world that is lost, dying, and hungry for love, if only we decided to do our best to love like Christ.

ACCEPTANCE 

There have been times in all of our lives when we desired the need to feel accepted. We may have even went to great lengths to change or modify our thoughts, beliefs, or even our appearance.

Acceptancing someone for who and what they are doesn't mean that you agree with or condone their ways or choices. However, it does mean that you aren't requiring them to change to fit your idea of how they should be. When we look at the example that Jesus set for us he didn't require people to change in order to come to him. Instead, he took them as they were and healed them from whatever ailed them. We, as followers of Jesus need to love people as He did, without laying lines of condition upon them. We need to love them for who they are and where they are in their lives, no matter if we agree with their position or not. Then, we need to make it our duty to show them a better way, all the while sharing the love of Jesus with them.

Maybe we need to take a step back and ask ourselves this question. Does this person really need to change or could it be that I need to change my expectations or perspective of them? Sometimes we may expect more than the person is able to give or do, and in that case....we are in the wrong.

Let us walk in love and treat others with the love of Christ. Accepting them for who and what they are, and trusting God to change what needs to be changed, in His time and in His way.




GETTING UP FROM THE FALL.. 

In 2007 while singing at an outside festival, I began to sit down in a chair on the stage. As I sat, the back chair legs slid off of the stage and I fell 4-5 feet onto the asphalt. The guys were singing and I was going to sit the song out and wait my turn. The next thing I knew I was in an ambulance on my way to the ER. I had a concussion and was bruised and sore for the next several days. We sing at this annual festival every year and I can honestly say for the next few years each time I walked the steps to that stage, or any outside stage for that matter, I thought about that fall. Once you fall that hard you don't ever want to again. It is no secret that God was watching over me.

The same is true in our lives, I feel it's not so much how we fall, but how we choose to get up. People fall into lots of things in life, sometimes they can prevent the fall, and other times they can't. If we see someone who has fallen it is our duty to pray for them, and do what we can to help them back up. If you are the one that has fallen don't be afraid to reach out for help from others, and reach up for help from God. He isn't sitting on his throne waiting to wack you over the head with a big stick, but instead he is waiting on you to realize that you need him.

 If we will walk as close to Him as we can and stay focused on Him we won't fall as often, and when we do fall, it won't be quite as hard to get back up.



FORGIVING AS CHRIST FORGAVE 

In Madrid Spain, a father and son's relationship finally went downhill so far that the son ran away. In one last final attempt to salvage it, the father place an add in  the local newspaper:
Dear Paco,

Meet me in front of the newspaper office at noon. All is forgiven. I love you.

Your Father.

The next day at noon in front of the newspaper office, 100 Pacos showed up. The reality is that we all need forgiveness, and we must learn how to forgive.

Forgiving another is not only freeing to the person that you are granting your forgiveness to, but it will also free you from holding on to the hurt and mistake that was made by that person towards you. One more thing we need to realize is when we decide to forgive we also need to let the hurt and rememberance of the situation go. If we continue to carry it around we are only weighing ourselves down on our journey of life.

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft should my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21

Letting Go of the Eternally Useless  

As you strive to reach the goals that God has given you, it's important to remember that life on earth is just a temporary assignment. Knowing this truth should radically alter your values and fix your attention on the things that are eternally important.

As C. S. Lewis observed, "All that is not eternal is eternally useless."

It is a fatal mistake to assume that God's goal for your life is material prosperity or popular success, as the world defines it. The abundant life has nothing to do with material abundance. Faithfulness to God does not guarantee success in a career or even in ministry. Never focus on temporary crowns.

Paul was faithful, yet he ended up in prison. John the Baptist was faithful, but he was beheaded. Millions of faithful people have been martyred, have lost everything, or have come to the end of life with nothing to show for it. But the end of life is not the end!

When life gets tough, when you're overwhelmed with doubt, or when you wonder if living for Christ is worth the effort, remember that you are not home yet. At death you won't leave home - you'll go home.

2 Corinthians 4:18 NKJV
18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Mark this reading as completed on YouVersion 

We would like to thank Rick Warren for making these devotionals available. For more information about Rick Warren and Saddleback Church, please visit: www.saddlebackresources.com


Serve Even When Inconvenient 

Real servants make themselves available to serve. Servants don't fill up their time with other pursuits that could limit their availability. They want to be ready to jump into service when called on.

Much like a soldier, a servant must always be standing by for duty. If you only serve when it's convenient for you, you're not a real servant. Real servants do what's needed, even when it's inconvenient.

Are you available to God anytime? Can he mess up your plans without you becoming resentful? As a servant, you don't get to pick and choose when or where you will serve.

Being a servant means giving up the right to control your schedule and allowing God to interrupt it whenever he needs to.

If you will remind yourself at the start of every day that you are God's servant, interruptions won't frustrate you as much -- Your agenda will be whatever God wants to bring into your life.

Servants see interruptions as divine appointments for ministry and are happy for the opportunity to practice serving.


2 Timothy 2:4  No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 

We would like to thank Rick Warren for making these devotionals available. For more information about Rick Warren and Saddleback Church, please visit: www.saddlebackresources.com


New Website Design 

We have been wanting a new website design for a while. One I designed in Google Sites was pretty much complete, but just never thrilled me. I found the website, www.bandzoogle.com, from a friends webpage and it is super easy to use. If you are a singer or group, you should definately check it out. User friendly and made for us.