And so this is Christmas..

People often seem to need something, but the thing they are asking for is not what they need. People at Christmas all say they need more time and money. The cry of their heart is actually for peace, and someone who cares about them and loves them. 

 

 

This past week I have been watching people as they feverishly attempt to gather things in preparation for Christmas. It seems that only at Christmastime do you see so much stress and distress caused by the celebrations of one day.

The tension seems to fill the air and everyone is searching for something on the shelves of their chosen store, filling their bags with goodies, and hastily paying for their new prized possession. Trolley seemed to be filled to the brim, and the music seems to have a repetitive tone. For the lack of joy, one would wonder if the reason for Christmas is forgotten.

Then there are those with little…

Yesterday, I watched an elderly woman’s face as she paid for a ham and the few meagre groceries that seemed to be basic grocery items. Over the speakers in the store came the familiar strains of “we wish you a merry Christmas” and she glowed like a Christmas tree. She looked happy, seemed at peace and happily chirped to customers around her and the staff that served her.

Another scene crosses my mind from yesterday, an elderly man sat in his own thoughts outside the grocery store. He looked tired and lonely and very unhappy. I smiled at him and he looked away. Later when I came out, he was gone. As I got into my car, I noticed the car beside me – along with many other things. A towel and clothing hung over the back seat. A pillow and blanket on the front seat. There was rubbish on the floor and a very strange smell coming from the open window … and the elderly man munching on an open bag of bread. I realised he lived in the car. He glared at me defiantly, but I said hallo anyway. I heard a curse come floating through the air as I closed the door of my car. I sighed and I wondered if he had any family or if his family knew where he was any more.

Early this morning I saw a young man looking desperately for cigarettes on the ground. His frustration grew as he found none. My heart broke because he actually looked like he needed some food, yet a cigarette was probably easier to find than food at that time of the morning. I had not seen him around town before. Was he one of our new homeless?

I have been talking to God a lot lately because I have been feeling a great sense of frustration. I watch as a something that God gave to me as a passion, passes a second Christmas without being completed. The sheer length of time that it takes to set up such a project, along with government paperwork and rigmarole, is frustrating and long winded. The last couple of months, I have been wading through rubbish bins, early hours in the morning, to find drink cans and bottles to take them to recycling outlets. This is the way I can raise money for the insurance when we do get started. I often feel the tears prickle as I see the hungry, lonely and vulnerable, knowing that I could have helped some. This journey has placed me in a pensive mood for a while, the sense of giving is so strong.

I find myself sitting back this year. I have not done anything for any Christmas celebrations. It seems the older I get, the less I like what Christmas has become. I find myself missing friends, longing for conversation, loving the time I have with family and talking to God.

I want people to be ok. You know, I want them to seek something that will give them hope and purpose for life.

Years ago, I watched a young mum desperately search through a discounted bin in a shop trying to find some toys. She found a broken one and hesitantly put it aside and then looked again. A baby, about 2 years old, started to cry in the stroller beside her and distressed she turned aside from her rummaging to rock him back to sleep. As she hushed her baby, I saw the tears form and she bit her lip hard. Suddenly she turned quickly and walked out of the shop.

This young woman was me, and it was a week before Christmas. I was a single mum with a 4-year-old and a two-year-old. With the money I had to last me 2 weeks, I had paid my fortnightly mortgage payment, bought food, paid my bills and I had enough money to either put fuel in the car or buy some presents to give to my children. I was in the shop trying to see if I could do both with the little money left.

The fortnight before I had spent about a week eating what was left over from my children’s plates to feed myself. I was sick of it… sick of wondering if my children would have enough. This did not make me desperate, it made me angry.

I knew I was angry. I could feel it. The thoughts in my head were eating me up on the inside. I needed above all of this anger to find a peace and be right with where I was. I was unhappy, discontent and miserable. To be poor was one thing, but to be poor inside was another thing. The anger was making me desperate and agitated. I knew that I needed to change my heart. I walking out of the shop because I was feeling sorry for myself, but it gave me time to think.

That night my eldest had an asthma attack so bad that he was taken by ambulance to the hospital. My youngest, while we were there, had another one of his nightly stomach migraines. He arched his back, screaming, while waving his arms and hitting everyone in pain. The nurse helped me hold him until the pain medication took hold. My eldest gasped at me from the bed that he was scared, I felt the same. I held him as he fell asleep, and sat weeping for a long while, while my youngest slept on my lap. My children’s lives were the most important thing to me.

Over the next few days, I found that God cleared my head and changed my thinking. The first thing was what happened inside. I had lost joy, peace and love… and most of all hope. Did I really believe that God gave His son to give me life? I could only be happy with my life if I accepted it warts and all. This could only happen if I forgave, because unforgiveness had crept into my heart and was destroying me.

From this act of forgiveness,  I not only received joy, peace and hope – but excitement too.

Christmas was not about toys or things. Children loved Christmas just because it is. It was me that wanted it to be something it should not be. So, with a change of heart and attitude, I did a toy swap with another single mum. I took some things that I no longer needed to a second-hand place and sold them. With that money I bought one nice gift each. I remembered that I had some wrapping paper somewhere that was red and I had enough to wrap the purchased and swapped gifts. I remembered that the last lot of birthday candles, I had purchased months ago, had some green and red candles in pack and set them up in candle holders to light Christmas Eve.

But the thing that made that Christmas different is this…. I was excited about celebrating what God had done, and why I even celebrated Christmas in the first place. Inside I was content and at peace. I didn’t need what I thought, I had what I needed.

As I said before – I want people to be ok. I want them to seek something that will give them heart and purpose. It is never about what we want, but what we need. For me that something was a change of heart, a new outlook on life and forgiving my past, and knowing I could go forward – whatever that life gave me.

People think that life is the momentary seconds in which they live.

No, we live with a past, pass through the present and live for our future.

People think that Christmas is about getting gifts and food.

No, it is about giving…especially the One who was given.

People think that they are to surrounded by lots of people and laughter.

No, this does not fill what you really need – love.

Hope and purpose are not based on what we think we should have or the things we have. So many people do not have family, and do not have money. If we think that, money and people and what feels good for a moment, is having hope and purpose for living. Discontentment breeds more discontentment. Unhappiness thrives without joy. Anger lashes out at others and bitterness is a poisonous fruit.

I thought about the three people from yesterday and today. One was happy with what she had, one was angry at a smile and lashing out, and one was looking for what he craved and not what he needed. Because of the journey I am in, wanted to give them more. This scripture came to mind…

Acts 3:2-6

Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.

Money would have only given this beggar enough to live until he needed some more. Momentary things only fixes momentarily.

People often seem to need something, but the thing they are asking for is not what they need. People at Christmas all say they need more time and money. The cry of their heart is actually for peace, and someone who cares about them and loves them.  Yet, if we are compelled to give money to someone in any way, as we can do this – then do that.

Reading this story, I have thought of the times over the years when I have begged. I have often asked God to change something in my life, so that my life would be easier, what He gave me instead is the strength to go on. Then other times He sent someone who gave, but leaving me in the same situation still.

So, this Christmas…

Don’t ask God for less hardship, ask for strength. Don’t ask God for ease, ask for the things to make you stronger. Don’t ask for someone else to change, ask God to change you.

This Christmas, can you ask God to change you, so that you can change the world you live.

Not every life can be touched, but you can by all means touch the lives of some.

 

 

The Joys of Boys

 

My household is chaotic most of the time. One of the joys of boys is that the house is never quiet… sometimes even when they are asleep! I came across a meme the other day and it goes like this –

“Boys – Noise with dirt on it.”

Alas, it is soooooo true!

The other day I came inside to witness them engaged in a wrestling match, they had each other in a headlock. Both laughing, both trying to win. Not one of them was going to let go and not one of them was prepared to admit defeat. I walked up to them and told them to let go. My eldest gave me his cheekiest grin and said, “It’s all good Ma, he can still breath.” “Yeah, he not dead yet” came the muffled voice of the younger son as he pounded his older brother’s stomach. When I said nothing they both looked at me unashamed and unmoved by my command to stop. I glared at them and they let go of each other and fled to their separate rooms, hooting, and shouting at each other.

This morning I was needing my eldest to come to me in another room, I called with no response. The younger son said to me “I’ll go get him.” “Thanks,” I said. But just as he got almost out of earshot I heard him say, “I’m gonna smack him one!!”  Before I could get out of the room, I heard my eldest yell in surprise and my youngest laugh and then run for his room. Mmmmm.. I should have done it myself!!

My youngest, one time, announced to me that he had “flogged his guts out” in a footy game. Not my words or words that would come from my mouth, but amusing and interesting way of talking. It certainly said a lot about the game he played.

The years that have been mine as a mum of boys, have been my pleasure. It has also been my frustration, my fear, my tears and my laughter. My children make me laugh and cry. Sometimes I have never been more frustrated then when trying to communicate with them when they are not listening and never more grateful when they communicate well and share their heart.  I seem to spend my days protecting them from each other and the world. From the moment I held them in my arms, I was blessed. I love my two sons but they challenge me to be a better parent, to hold my tongue and not speak, to pray, and to have patience.

The cupboards are always empty, and my weekends are full of teenage boys and football… and I would have it no other way. From the time they open their eyes to the moment they close them, they are on the go. They are noisy and competitive, natural born risk takers, and they think their jokes are very funny – especially if their mum is on the end of it.  I rarely have any moments as a person, let alone as a female.

About a year ago, I sat in a hospital x-ray waiting room. There was a line of boys and their mum’s sitting in the chairs. The blood and bandages said it all. We were soon joined by another lady in a hospital wheelchair… and without a child. Suddenly she turned to me, “what is your son here for?” I told her. A grin spread across her face. One by one she spoke to the other ladies in the room. Each one had a son that had just been injured doing some daring feat or “mad move” in a sports game. Soon the boys were all grinning at each other and the mum’s nodded their head at each other and compared the fright that they had just had. The commonness was the same – boys had been at it again.

I was sitting talking to a young friend of mine the other day. She, like myself, has two boys. I see a lot of my boys in hers. Her older one is very like my son at that age and the same with her younger one. If there was one thing that I could encourage her with was that her boys are normal. It was the same advice that I received from an older mum years ago.

Boys are different to girls, and while you cannot put any child into a box as say that this is what a “boy” is like. Most boys are the same but with the same varieties that come with all human beings. My boys are like chalk and cheese. This is good. They need to learn how to exist in a world made of different people.

Yet despite their difference I want my boys to learn and grow not only as they are designed to be but to have good character, good standards and good morals. I want them to love God…and others – especially each other. I want them to be faithful, dependable, caring, loving, kind with a good dash of humour. I am concerned for my young men. I see them grow up in a world that is changing fast, and not always for the good. I pray for them and I have asked God to develop in them a heart that is strong, that will weather the storms in life without failing. It is a world that condemns men for being men (and women for being women). The list that I would pray for them is very long indeed. Yet I have placed them in the hands of the One who knew them before I did and I know that He alone will guide them. Who they turn out to be will have very little to do with me and everything to do with the people they are and the mercy and love of their Creator.

I came across a scripture this morning when I was doing my bible reading – Isaiah 28:23-29 NIV (italics and highlights mine) –

 

Listen to me; listen, and pay close attention.

Does a farmer always plow and never sow?   Is he forever cultivating the soil and never planting?

Does he not finally plant his seeds— black cumin, cumin, wheat, barley, and emmer wheat—

each in its proper way, and each in its proper place?

The farmer knows just what to do, for God has given him understanding.

A heavy sledge is never used to thresh black cumin; rather, it is beaten with a light stick.

A threshing wheel is never rolled on cumin; instead, it is beaten lightly with a flail.

Grain for bread is easily crushed, so he doesn’t keep on pounding it.

He threshes it under the wheels of a cart, but he doesn’t pulverize it.

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is a wonderful teacher, and he gives the farmer great wisdom.

 

I highlight sections for you to think on. If God teaches the farmer, does He not teach the mother too? Does God also give us wisdom and understanding? Maybe we say this – “The mother knows just what to do, for God has given her understanding.” Or “The Lord is a wonderful teacher, and he gives the mother great wisdom.”

To you mums of boys, mothers of men, pray for your sons. Hand them over to their Maker. Ask God to give you wisdom in how to bring them up. I don’t know if I am doing the right thing with them, but I trust that the God who matures and grows me – will do the same for them.

I am not saying it is worse to have an all-boys household, or that it is easier to have girls. I am not saying that boys can sometimes be quiet and not outdoorsy. I am simply saying this – it is different. You mum’s who have all girl households, or those that have mixed household -you can speak from your experiences. I am speaking from a household of very “manly men”. It is sometimes exhausting being a woman in that atmosphere, but sometimes it is just being exhausting being a mum…or a maybe a man… or is it that it is exhausting being human?

Each one of us need to look at others with the understanding that each human is different. This is good. This is excellent. Different means that we will not be being the same. Different needs to be celebrated. My boys are like chalk and cheese in just about everything. They bring such diversity with their strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes that diversity causes fights and chaos. Yet even with their differences there are “same-nesses” and “likenesses”. The same with all of us.

Encouragement is a good thing. Knowing that others know what we go through helps us feel not so alone. Just as I shared in a story above, all the mums were sitting in their own little world in the hospital waiting room until someone comes along and helps us to see that we are not alone.

Be confident Child of God that you are not alone. It might be exhausting, but we can find others like ourselves and find others that are different. We have a God who cares and who will teach us.

You are not alone mums of boys and mums of girls. Just look around you. Be encouraged that your world is very like someone else. There is another very important thing to remember – God is with you and He will teach you. The joys of boys is that you will spend a lot of times on your knees – and that can only be a good thing.

Be confident and encouraged as you be the mum that only you can be. Trust that God will guide you and your children. Love your children, love your life, love God and be blessed.

Friends

 

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24 (NIV)

 

Friendship, to me, is like finding the one comfortable chair in your home and sitting. It is there you feel relaxed, and find a haven in which you can be yourself. My friends do this, and provide a source of care, love, accountability, and protection.

Starting a friendship can sometimes be awkward. I read a quote once and had to laugh as it summed up what a new friendship was like – “Friendship is so weird.. you just pick a human you’ve met and you’re like “yep I like this one” and you just do stuff with them.” (Anonymous)

Friends are very important to me. It takes time to develop deep, lasting friendships, but it is well worth the effort and the risk.

 

I have had some beautiful friends over the years. I still have beautiful friends. Some of my friends have only been there for a time, and others a long time.  In my my kitchen are some butterflies and a poem (the picture is above) on the wall near my kitchen sink. The last words of this poem are –

“And remember that are others praying faithfully for you.” (by J. Morse)

The butterflies are representational of my friends. I love to pray for them. It helps me to have this reminder of each of them and to be thankful for their friendship and love.

Many my friends have recently moved away, and I have others who still live in the town where I used to live. These wonderful women are the ones I must make special time for, as it takes effort to phone and make contact regularly. Often, I find that during the day God may place one of them on my heart for a moment and I pray for her. If they stay in my mind for longer than a few hours, I know that it is time to make contact – to phone them or make contact via text message to make sure they are ok  and make time for contact with them.

I often schedule “dates” with my friends. If I don’t, the days and week turn into months and the friendship gets swallowed by the pressures and busyness of life. These “dates” are sometimes by phone, mostly by in person, but always necessary, loved, and needed.

My friendship with God is the same. It is needed and necessary. It provides a source of care, love, accountability, and protection. It takes time to develop the friendship and is necessary for me to put in the time and effort.

God can be your friend? Sure, why not?

The bible talks about people who had a “friendship” with God. God talked to Moses, like one speaks to a friend. (Exodus 33:11). Abraham the friend of God – James 2:23. David who had a heart after God – Acts 13:22.

I am not talking about a BFF, I am talking about a walking, talking friendship with your Creator. The one who knows you better than anyone, and loves you enough to die for you.

Our friendship with God takes listening, finding out who He is and what He is like. We need to schedule time to be with Him. For me to hear Him, I need to stop talking and listen. I need to care about Him and really want to be with Him… and yes, it is sometimes a little awkward to start with too.

Does it sound like I am talking about my earthly friendships? Yes, it does.

God designed us to have a relationship with Him and to know Him. Through the Holy Spirit God speaks to us, we learn to listen carefully to His voice and recognise when He speaks. God will not say anything to me that is out of character with Him, so I need to understand His character.

If there was one thing that I would encourage every Christian, it is this – get to know God. Spend time with Him and His word. Be obedient when He speaks. Have a heart after God. Love God with all your heart and soul and strength.

My friendships are important to me, but my friendship with God is the most important. Every day I touch base with God in some way, and sometimes I get to the end of the day and need to do so – for my sake.

I want God to be important to you too. I want you to desire God the way He has created you to. Have a one-on-one relationship with God and enjoy the time you have with Him before eternity. That is why He sent His Holy Spirit, so that the relationship with God could start now. Just like He walked with Adam and Eve, He wants to walk with you too.

And here is a bonus – God will not let you down. Life will let you down, people will let you down, our bodies will let us down – but not God.

Friendships are important. They are like sitting your comfortable chair… and we have a God shaped chair waiting for us.

 

Be blessed

Freedom

 

Forgiveness.

I have had many varied reactions from people on the subject of forgiveness. For many it can be a very touchy subject.

A few years back, I had a very elderly woman (Christian) stand in front of me and with her fury on her face tell me that she “would never forgive ………. ( a certain person)!”. The fury on her face and the anger in her tone took me by surprise and I almost took a step back.

We have all had to forgive someone for something that they have done to us. We have all had more than one instance where we have had to ask someone to forgive us. Yet I am fully aware that there are people, that have suffered at the hands of others in such horrible ways, that the mere thought of approaching them about forgiveness would almost seem inappropriate.

Years ago, I was praying and I felt God direct my heart towards someone who had years before hurt me very badly. As soon as my thoughts went in that direction I felt the anger rising and all I wanted to do was to ask God to destroy them. Like a lightning bolt immediately in their direction!!! I fumed and burned with anger and rage. All the while trying hard to be really nice in what I said to God.

After a few minutes of praying, I heard God say, “forgive ……… (the person)”. Was He joking!!!

No, he was serious. My mind churned and I felt physically sick.

“Ruth, you need to forgive ……… (the person) for your sake.”

What!!!!!

The Holy Spirit went on to flood my thoughts with the concepts of what forgiveness was.

 

It is forever

 

Forgiveness is a forever thing. Once I forgive, it must remain in that place. Yet our human minds like pour over the albums of “past hurts” and it is quiet easy to do so.

Some of us have physical scars that show us that someone once upon a time, inflicted us with a physical wound to go with emotional pain. For some it is words, spoken careless words that Satan uses to make our lives a misery. For others, it is private personal pain that brings thoughts of deep, deep, betrayal.

Forever is a long time in our minds. No one should get way with wrong doing. Right? And by God asking us to give it to Him FOREVER is a bit much, right?

Why forever God? Why?

The religious way would be to say, “because God forgave you forever.”

Yes, but tell that to someone who has lost a loved one to a drunk driver, or to a murderer. Tell that to someone who was brutally injured or raped by someone, or was violated at a young age by someone they trusted. Yes, forever seem a long time to be let off the hook. Surely these types of people do not deserve any forgiveness from us, especially the forever kind of forgiveness.

God really needed me to understand that when I did this, it would be forever. That was the cost He was asking me to pay. It was the same as a sports coach is letting you know the physical cost of being an international athlete. Without this knowledge, it would only be a surface commitment that I made to the forgiveness “thing”.

 

For our sake

 

After showing me that it was a forever thing, He then showed me that it was really, really good for me. He needed me to forgive for my sake. He knew it was burning inside me, it would eventually make me mean, hurtful and reactive.

Anger, hatred and bitterness has a way of rotting you from the inside out. I read a quote once and I believe that it is by a person called Hamant Smarty and it goes like this, “Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behaviour. It prevents their behaviour from destroying your heart.”

Anger will churn you until you are sick, bitterness with mess with your head, unforgiveness will keep you remembering the injustice of it all, and hatred will give you no peace. One thing that I have noticed is this – unforgiveness and anger will change your face and bring hardness to your eyes.

It will keep you attached to the person – forever! A quote from Dr Caroline Leaf – “forgiveness disentangles you from the people that hurt you so they can’t hurt you anymore.” I recently watched a speech where she explained that when people forgive there is something that actually happens in their brain. It was amazing to watch her talk about this.

God has wired our brain not only to be forgiven, but to forgive others. Our bodies were not meant to carry the burden of unforgiveness. It messes with us, and will destroy us, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

 

Because God forgave us

 

It might be almost a “throwaway line”, but it is true. We want God to forgive us. We want Him to never remember it again. We want Him not to bring it up every time that we speak to Him.

But…

Apparently, we don’t have to forgive others.

Not so…

There are a few passages of scripture but this is the one that always spoke to me. It is a parable that Jesus told in response to Peter (one of His disciples) asking Him about the amount of times to forgive – “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” Matthew 18:35

It is about being merciful. It is about being treated the way that we want to be treated. Simple.

It is not another rule that we have to follow, or God demanding something more. We want to be forgiven, unreservedly. So, we are not doing anything different in forgiving someone that God has not done already.

He died so that I could be forgiven. I never want to face my God, with an unforgiving heart. Do you?

 

Changes us forever.

 

If you don’t know who Corrie Ten Boon is, then you need to look it up. What she suffered at the hands of the Nazi’s in a Concentration Camp was beyond what most people would comprehend. She had a quote and I think that it fits well.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and to discover the prisoner was you.”

I cannot describe to you what forgiveness has done to me. I am free to love, care and have compassion. I am free to laugh and cry without pain. I am free to talk to my God and to know that I am forgiven. There are even some memories that I cannot even remember, I know that they should be there, but they are not. Forgiveness has opened my prison doors up, and given me freedom to live.

Forgiveness does that, you know.

I will repeat what I said before – “God has wired our brain not only to be forgiven, but to forgive others. Our bodies were not meant to carry the burden of unforgiveness. It messes with us, and will destroy us, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.”

Be blessed as yourself free.

 

 

Confrontation

 

Ok. If you are like me and read the title of this blog, it is possible you recoiled. To confront is hard, and for some of us it is nearly impossible.

Confrontation, for some of us, can bring experiences of upset, heartache and stress. For others, they may not like to confront, just simply because it means that it is unpleasant. There are others who feel that it is their obligation to confront, and feel no sense of either joy or sadness at the thought.

I have just had a few days of confronting and being confronted. I have just spent a few years trying to confront a problem to bring about change… and nothing has happened. For those that know me, I was trying to be a gentle as I could while not trying to upset too many.

I do not like confrontation… I will run from it.

However, I will confront. I do not like to see people suffer and I don’t like bullies treating others badly. These two things get my back up. I have a favourite saying – “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Yesterday a memory post came up on my Facebook feed. It was a quote from Lisa Bevere from Messenger International. On the 2nd March 2016, I had shared her Facebook post from that day on my Facebook page. The  words were simple but effective…

What you do not CONFRONT will not CHANGE.

Posted by Lisa Bevere on Tuesday, 1 March 2016

It was interesting that for that exactly a year ago, I found a reason to share this, and yesterday I needed to hear it.

Today, the pain of having to be confrontive (yes, I know there is no such word, but it seems appropriate) for three days straight was sitting wearily in my heart. I hated it. But yet for anything to change it needed to happen. Now I have to leave the rest to see if there is change.

You cannot make people change. There is a saying that goes like this – “you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.” Another larrikin one time said, “yes, but you can run him until he is thirsty.”

People will only change often if it suits them and it will make their life better…even if that is to shut you up! But I often wonder this…

Will the change be long lasting and permanent?

This is the other point I want to make, if you do not confront, you cannot sit back and complain about no change. Simple… as… that!

There is no way we can look at a situation going on in front of our eyes and not do or say something, and then think we have the right to whinge and complain. Sorry, that is not an option.

The final point I feel to make today is this….

Why do you want to confront? Are you going to do it with as much compassion and love that you would expect for yourself, while keeping the integrity and steadfastness for the need to change?

I can’t answer for you, I can only answer for me. I hope over time people would see me not as unmerciful and obnoxious (demanding that I am right) but caring, concerned, and confronting them while allowing that their dignity is firmly in place.

I can only hope and pray for more wisdom, along with the heart to respond correctly to another person’s confrontation of my own need to change.

 

Be blessed.

 

 

Love

 

Love is beautiful.

There was a saying that said, “love makes the world go ‘round.” Franklin P Jones made an amendment to this and said, “Love doesn’t make the world go. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile”.

Still another man, a bit of a larrikin, said, “Love is what makes the world go around. So does a bump on the head.”

In fact, if you study the word “love” there are so many varied beliefs about what love really is, that you could fill a couple of encyclopedias. Everyone is an expert on love, what it is, and what it looks like.

For me the true definition of love is this – Almighty God. There is nothing greater than the love of God. It is love in the purest form.

God loved the world (and all its people) so much (more than we can think or imagine) that He gave (willingly and completely) His only Son (Christ Jesus). He loved so completely that there is no one that could give as much as God gave.

When people think of God, they rarely think of love. They might think of God as being harsh, unfair, judgemental, and quick to punish. Yet if God was truly like this, he would not have sent His Son to die for you and me before we even knew. There is no greater definition of love then someone giving their best for those who do not deserve it, see it, or acknowledge it. Yet He did it for you and me anyway. The moment we see how much God loves us, is the day we are changed forever.

The love that God gives, the love that we show others, and love in action is the type of love that is eternal.

1 Corinthians 13 is known as the “love chapter”. Take time to read it. It is the final words of that chapter that reaches my heart – “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” (verse 13)

This Christmas, I would like for you to think on the following song and believe in the One God who loves you now, even while you read these words.

 

The Love of God  – by Frederick M Lehman

 

The love of God is greater far

Than tongue or pen can ever tell;

It goes beyond the highest star,

And reaches to the lowest hell;

The guilty pair, bowed down with care,

God gave His Son to win;

His erring child He reconciled,

And pardoned from his sin.

 

Refrain:

Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!

How measureless and strong!

It shall forevermore endure—

The saints’ and angels’ song.

 

When hoary time shall pass away,

And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,

When men who here refuse to pray,

On rocks and hills and mountains call,

God’s love so sure, shall still endure,

All measureless and strong;

Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—

The saints’ and angels’ song.

 

Could we with ink the ocean fill,

And were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill,

And every man a scribe by trade;

To write the love of God above

Would drain the ocean dry;

Nor could the scroll contain the whole,

Though stretched from sky to sky.

 

May God bless you and keep you. May His love surround you, and give you peace and joy.  May His wonderful message of love give you the understanding of how much He wants to be apart of your life. The relationship you can have with God was only brought about through the life and death of His Son.

– Ruth Lindsay

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