Saturday, February 28, 2015

Day # 28 : The Greatest Remains{ HeArT to hEaRt }

Day # 28 : The Greatest Remains what happens in the end?
1 Corinthians 13, lists every characteristic and value of God's love and is a guideline for our love. At the end of the chapter, what is declared is the ultimate end to our journey on earth.

It is a fact for humankind, that we abide with three concepts that get us somewhere. They take us to the end of the road... Listen to Paul's closing. It's good news :)

{ And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.}
1 Corinthians 13:13

What three driving forces do each of us live by?

We trudge the journey because we have faith in the trustworthy One who walks ahead!  We believe in the One who gets us through our days.
We endure the rough patches because we have HoPe that the One who knows the path, knows the plan to get us to His destination.
We prevail to the end because He loved us so, to create us, send us His Jesus and redeem us to His Kingdom.

It's interesting that we are told that two of these are less important than the third.  When our Christ, Jesus returns, in all glory, to establish His eternal Kingdom, we will have no more need of faith or hope. (Revelation 21: 3-7)

No more FaiTh because we will see Him!  Our faith will be sealed with FACT! (Revelation 1:5-7)
No more hope because we will receive all we ever hoped for. Our hope will be replaced with PERFECTION!
But take away the LOVE and the bottom would fall out. The whole foundation and all victory would crumble with it.
Good news. That's not going to happen. This one remains. The greatest of the three, packs the punch! Enough of a punch to defeat all adversity, all suffering, pain, sin and darkness.

The LoVe that laid the foundation of the world, created little ol' you and me. The love that sustains the earth and all that's in heaven and earth, guides you. The LoVe that will set up the eternal Kingdom,  has bought you a place there. Have you accepted the gift of everlasting life with the True, Living God?! It is still available.

God will make all things new at the end of earthly time. (Revelation 21:5) He will also make you new when we come face to face with the One, who you accept by grace through faith! (1 John 3:2)  We will live forever, exist forever ... by LoVe! This love from the Alpha and Omega, that was from beginning, will sustain until the end.  It will bring a new beginning and will last eternally!  (Revelation 21:5-6)

FaiTh, HoPe, and LoVe.
         The greatest remains!

We have come to the end of our journey in "Heart to Heart".  May the GrEaTesT (♡) remain !


Friday, February 27, 2015

Day # 27 : The Only Enough { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day  # 27 : The Only Enough

{ love never fails ...}
1 Corinthians 13:8

Have you ever failed at something?  I remember trying out for 7th grade basketball...and failing.   Apparently there was something weak in my abilities. Some particular or variety of particulars, about my lack of skills, had proven me "just not enough."  Now that doesn't mean I'm a failure, but ask me today about a time I failed, and this particular instance flags red. It still has a little sting.

I've failed and I will continue to do so. It's a reminder that I need the God who doesn't. How about you? If His love never fails, His plan never fails.  Nothing found within Him proves weak or lacking. It is enough, because it prevails and we so often fail!

He proves His love is enough every day that we make it through. Every time we experience His grace and each moment we feel His mercy, reminds us His love stands.  But the ultimate test, we look forward to see. It will be the moment He claims victory to set up His Kingdom. Then, we will certainly see His love is not just enough, but the only enough that's ever needed.

True, pure and perfect love makes all things work out to perfection. There's no possibility of falter or disappointment, only perfection. There's no defeat within His love, only victory.

I have to add this particular note God brings to mind.  It's mostly an F.Y.I. If love delivers and claims victory, then hatred produces the opposite. It will always destroy. We all have to remember that pure love never fails. And when we have this kind of love, it is of God.

At the end of time Paul promises that all else will fail, cease or vanish, but this love does as it intends. His love gives us a solid foundation and a future because we know it will prevail!

{But whether there be prophesies, they will fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge , it shall vanish away.}
1 Corinthians 13:8

The love of God stands the test of time and against all adversity. It PreVaiLs! I like that about the Master I serve.

God's love is not just enough, but the only enough we will ever need.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Day #26: Unscarred { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day # 26 : Unscarred

{ Love endures all things. }
1 Corinthians 13:7

The value of EnDuRiNg love!
This is the characteristic that appeals most to the Prodigal.  The one in whom has found refuge and relief in the evidence that the LoVe of the Almighty withstands the rough.

Most everyone relates to being a Prodigal because most of us have lived a season or two, in running. It's only when we return to Christ, that we are able to fully appreciate His endurance.

I think most of the EndUraNce of His love in terms of what occurs toward it, when we step out of living in it.  What a bashing we can lash to our God when we loose sight of His love.

Have you ever..
           Disrespected or unappreciated it?
   Tested or rejected His love?
       Abandoned or buried it?

Me? I'm guilty of each. I'd be willing to stand by my convictions that there's no other LoVe which has taken such a bashing by those who don't understand and accept it, and sadly by those who do.

Any other love from any being would be unable to withstand the rough.  Other loves could nor endure the cruelty from humankind. Here's the precious point; God's love can. It doesn't just enter the short and easy race, it's here for the long haul. And it's not just about finishing the course, it's about being exactly as wonderful at the end, as it was at the beginning.

His love doesn't only exist in perfection, but exists against all odds. What odds have you placed His love against?

Whatever His children inflict upon it, His love will not be ...
     Scarred or marred.
           Defaced or broken.
     Devalued or overcome.

When we find our way back to God, His love will be there, and His love will be just as it always was. Without fault, without blemish and unscarred. This love prevails against adversity, weathers the rough and withstands all things.

So truly soak up the value behind His promise that Love endures ALL things ; whatever you can dish. It's another way of reminding us that no matter what we do against His love, how long we leave it abandoned, or no matter how much we reject, manipulate,  test, reject or bash it....

         God's love remains unscarred.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Day # 25 : Surpasses Grasp { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day # 25 : Surpasses Grasp

I overuse, as probably most of us would admit, the word "awesome".  And I sure don't feel as if the word is appropriate in describing a love so deep as the One love of the One God.  So, in a futile but worthy attempt to condense the incomprehensible love from God into a simple word, we will use a combo word.


Let's define it if possible :)
Let's make it look all professional, and placed in a dictionary. Here goes!

awe•ma•zing \ awemazing\ adj. \ (2015)
1: the literary combination of two extreme words (awesome and amazing) that is used to attempt describing a concept that cannot be confined or adequately noted by one word or the other.

Silly aside, the definition does describe the intention of its use, with a subject beyond wordage.  No amount of extreme words are capable of packaging an "ok, I get it" in regards to agape love. Perfect, flawless and totally ungraspable love! ( I may have just made up another word there ).

This is how Paul put it :

{ [ I bow my knees ] That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ which passes understanding. } Ephesians 3: 17-19

Paul says that if we have Christ, we are ultimately grounded in love and THEN... we may be able to experience it's intensity and dimensions. But he ends by making a valid and confusing point: that in spite of knowing and experiencing Jesus' love, it surpasses our grasp. We have the capacity to feel it, but not make sense of it. Basically,  His love still defies anything close to human sense.  It's BreAdtH, LeNgTh, DePtH, or HeiGhT are awe•ma•zing!

We attempt to comprehend the LoVe of our Savior, but His Word says we just can't quite fully absorb it. We are humans, and humans do things as humans. We even love, humanly. But God doesn't. Through Christ, we often see the picture of His love. Either through the healing he gives, the kindness He shows, His grace and mercy or through His ultimate sacrifice.

All the great recordings of Christ's ministry and the recording in our mind from His personal goodness to us, give us a clearer grasp on how much He loves us!  But as hard as we try and as much as we should, we are still not capable as humans to comprehend the Awe•ma•zing adoration God has for His children. That's one of the most exciting absolutions about His love!  If humans could get our hands around the LoVe of The Almighty, we wouldn't be human and He wouldn't be... Who He is!

The LoVe of the Almighty is...
         .....and still surpasses grasp!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Day # 24: A Future & A Hope { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day # 24: A Future & A Hope

Love {hopes all things...}
1 Corinthians 13:7

We have talked about the sure anchor, the hope God made available for us, eternally.  Do you also know in your deepest of heart, that you have an earthly hope? Here's how we know for certain.

{ For I Know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil. To give you a future and a hope.}
Jeremiah 29 : 11

Precious promise for God's children of Israel, and to you.  In another translation, the word "plans" is interchanged with the word "thoughts". Either way, the Living God has good thoughts for you and that produces good plans.

My son helps me mow the lawn on occasion. Really, because if he attempted to mow on his own, his tiny frame and weight would not be enough to meet the chair weight sensor.  A couple years ago, as he sat on my lap and drove the big mower, he had a plan.  He began to steer all over our green yard. It looked random, but he knew that it wasn't. His thoughts had concurred a plan and he was making it happen.

What was the end result of his mayhem on my lawn?  A self created dirt bike track!  He thought it, planned it, meant it and implemented it.  Did his plan come to fruition?   Yep. Momma gave him time to enjoy his creation on his dirt bike track.

Listen. God Almighty, your Creator has a plan for you. Some days may look like random mess. Some months may be mayhem.  But God has something to do in your life and He has somewhere to take you on your path.

He has an aspiration for you. That should comfort our hearts. What's even more awesome is that the Almighty with the plan, has the power to complete the plan. His faithfulness is enough to bring you to your hope.

{ ...thy faithfulness reaches unto the clouds. }
Psalms 36:5

Let me be honest here. satan does not want for you to know and remember that you have a hope from your Creator, because it is your lifeline. Hope itself is what encourages each of us to push forward and beyond. It's the belief that all our tomorrow's will not look like the mayhem of our yesterdays.

satan, the Deceiver has something to say about your promise. And it's a lie. Anytime the Deceiver whispers the lie that "you have no hope", you tell Him what your Creator said about what plans He has for you....

"a future and a hope."

( I'll AMEN that! )

Monday, February 23, 2015

Day # 23 : Believes All Things { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day #23  : Believes All Things

{ Love believes all things... }
1 Corinthians 13:7

I want you to know that if you've ever felt like no one believed in you, it was of the adversary. Here is some kicking for the lie. Here is some truth you need to hear... your Creator, the living God, believes in you.

I'm starting this one off straight at the heart. Just in case I loose you along the way :) I still desire you to grab that piece of info and tuck it into your heart.

At this point I could write "enough said" and it would be. But I need proof of the previous declaration and I'm thinking you probably do also. Pudding, that this living God has any belief in you, might need a little proof.

Love believes all things.
Love then, is inspiring.
When God mentions his "love believes all things" it makes us sure He will never give up, even on us! Let's make it personal... He will not leave you as you are. He believes, because He has already overcome. He's the forerunner who has already overcome any defeat. When you are His, you become nothing less than an OvErCoMeR in Christ.

{ For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world. } 1 John 5:4

God is certain that you are able. With His foundation of love as your rock, you can! Can you imagine what we would feel if every time we were tempted to scorn ourselves, we would announce with assurance, an "I believe" statement coming from the God who believes all things?

Imagine it.......................

Instead of...
         " you slipped and messed up again".
You hear....
          "I believe you are better than your mistakes".

You tune out this lie...
          "you will never be able to overcome your past".
With this truth...
         " I believe you are more than that".

In place of this scorn...
         " you will never matter".
You trust God's affirming...
          "YoU matter to me".
The demise of lives affected by the absence of knowing they are believed in is very real. We all have witnessed lives of those who were convinced nobody believed in them, break and crumble. But I have also seen lives of those who felt and knew the reality that someone believed in them, flourish.

There was a 14 year old girl who was minding her own business, when an angel showed up to deliver some news.  She was told that she would accomplish something great for her Lord.  This poor, virgin girl, was to be the mother of Christ Jesus. What an impossible sounding mission! The encouraging news from the messenger, was concluded with this:

{ For with God nothing will be impossible. }
Luke 1:37

Little, unworthy, Mary flourished and succeeded... because she accepted that all things were possible with God's foundation of love.

The only opinion ever that matters is that of God Almighty. You are believed in!  Your Creator sees beyond your mess. He sees past the mistakes and the regret. He sees yesterday, but knows you have tomorrow. He knows your hope and He sees your victory up ahead. Why would He be so confident?
Because nothing is impossible with Him.

He knows the plans He made for you and He knows you will get there. Why? Because He already claimed your victory.

His love believes all things.
 " All" leaves nothing out.
  "All" includes you.

God gets the final say.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Day # 22: This LoVe Didn't Bend { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day #22 : This LoVe Didn't Bend

{ Love bears all things...}
1 Corinthians 13: 7

Let's paint the picture. Christ, Jesus is all but weak. He is a carpenter after His earthly father. Alongside, His Heavenly Father was conditioning him to carry more than wooden beams. He was conditioning to bear your cross.

The foundation of Christ was built on love. I am convinced we do not know all he endured during His preparing or ministry, but there are two peaks in His recorded ministry that test His love for the Heavenly Father and all His children.

1) The 40 Day face to face with the evil himself.
2) The cup and the cross.

Could you handle 40 days in the wilderness without food or water, and the bonus stress of combat, one to one, with the most evil creature in all of the universe? Nope, me either. My Christ did.  The love of Christ was so enduring, it did not break under the pressure. He bore the temptation.

As if that wasn't enough, He moves forward with work to be done and a job to finish. I want to get to the highest pinnacle of pressure.

Three years later the Spirit stirs in him, as an alert that the time had come. After supper with disciples, He becomes exceedingly sorrowful (Mark 14:34). What has He seen that causes Him to fall to the ground in his prayer garden and beg of the Father to remove it?

It's your cup.

Anything that breaks you, is there.
He sees His torture ahead, in which he is to bear for you,  and it is terrifying. He prays that it pass by. But more importantly, He supplicates that the Father's will be done. When He stands from His prayer, He has resolve.

What did the Father do?
He sent his Son to the cross.
What did Christ, the Son do?
He went.

He bore
.... all you couldn't.

His love didn't bend. It bore your everything. What bends you to your breaking point?

          a rough past that won't stay there.
                   the loss of a loved one.

Whatever breaks you, won't break the Master.
He accepted the cup and the cross, and still, the love of Christ did not shatter or cave.  If the cross of all burdens and wrongs of the world couldn't break His love, NOthing can. He proved it.

Bring your sorrows.
   Leave your burdens.
         Surrender your all.
It's not too much for the Master.
His love bears all... even your cross.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Day # 21 : Righteous"ish" { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day # 21 : Righteous"ish"

Would you agree that anything less than perfect is just "ish"?  My son, lately has been describing concepts or facts that are less than sure as "ish". It's amusing to hear but it also seems simply, profound.

The love of God,  through Christ Jesus is perfecting! The opposite of "ish".  The term perfecting should not to be confused with perfect. Perfecting, places personal value to what His adoration does for us. It perfects.

I am imperfect and surely convinced that you would succeed to the same.  That makes me automatically rejected at the Throne of the Almighty. But the story doesn't end there, or our hope would be nothing. God has made available the garment of perfection, to bring you to Him.

The Heavenly Father sent a perfect One on your behalf. One who could get it all right. One who could hand over perfection to anyone willing to receive. Christ, the One who could, bore your wrongs.  Buried them to carry them beyond the doom of death and hell. Then was restored and resurrection to PerFecTiOn!

Here's where it gets good.  He offers it all to you. You, the one who could not,  now CAN through Christ. All your imperfection, now covered in His perfection. All your wrongs discounted by His ability to get it right. Your place in death, defeated and exchanged for eternal life in paradise.  And get this... You, made right and  able to approach  the Living God on the Throne.

This means that all who accept, can be adorned in RigHteOusNeSS! Just by believing in all Christ did.
Just by accepting the gift of grace, by faith.
He sees you perfect only when covered in the garment of the perfect One.

{ I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness... }
Isaiah 61:10

Imagine the ending of the word "righteousness" changed to less than perfect. What would His promise be reduced to, considering we make one small modification? Look closely:


Did you catch it?  An amazing promise, no longer a promise. Perfection, no longer anything close. The ending completely morphed the words meaning along with our hope.

Let this comfort your heart, scripture is living truth and God says He made available, your righteousness.  God Almighty loves all His children so much that He desired a relationship with each. He desired to give you access to Him on his Throne and an eternal place in the Kingdom.

Love rejoices with truth. (1 Corinthians 13) Truth is, God made perfection available. Those who accept the perfect One are covered in righteousness.
There's no "ish" about it :)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Day #20 : Enough to Share { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day # 20: Enough to Share

I hope we are getting a tighter grasp on the love that's been given to us!  I also hope that in all the grasping, we dare not hold it too tight!

Here's what I mean.  This LoVe is not designed to be hoarded. It's not meant just for your heart, but for other hearts who desperately need a dose.

{ For the love of Christ constrains us...}
II Corinthians 5:14

We are captivated by His love. To those who have been affected by it, there's nothing sweeter. Nothing more perfect or pleasing to our souls. His loves holds us captive, in the best sense. Free captives we become, when accepting His love. One taste and we wouldn't choose to compromise on lending our hearts to anything else. As captives, this love is to be shared, given, poured out!

The design of God's love is to be doused onto every life that could possibly accept it. The love of the Savior has a compelling effect on those it touches.
More than bind us, it gives us drive. Makes us desire that others feel the transforming power of the LoVe of the God with no boundaries!

How do people know we have come face to face with the Almighty who loves so amazingly?

A) Is it proven in our abilities?
B) Or maybe found in the good we do.
C) Could it be the money we give to the church?

You can take a deep sigh of relief. It's not evident in any of the above. Scripture says that by one criteria of our characteristics, others will see that we know Christ, our Savior.

{ ...That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another. } John 13:34-35

By THIS will others know...
That we love one another.
Simply put, the love of the Savior is so radical, it's close to impossible to have a dose and not desire giving it to others.

We are called not to love ourselves beyond others or others beyond anything else. The primary product of being constrained is loving God the most. How can we do that and why should we? John makes it simple:

{We love him, because he first loved us.}
1 John 4:19

This leads us to a simple resolution in priority :
        - Receive the LoVe.
                 -  Adore Him because He loves us.
          -  Give others what's been given to us.

The God of the universe doesn't give a dose here and there... He covers us!!  David said in the 23rd Psalms that his cup runs over. Not just a does or a sprinkle of goodness over him, but an overflowing supply. How then, could we not have enough to give? I don't want to waste what could be poured out to others!

His love overflows.
There is more than EnOuGh to ShArE!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Day # 19 : This God Doesn't Quit { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day #19 : This God Doesn't Quit

We serve a Zealous God. I did not misspell that word by mistaking a "j" with a "z".  To have zeal is to have passion. It is the element that gives overcomers the drive necessary to complete a mission.

We serve the God who loves and exists as He intends. He is the God of a PaSSioN-DriVeN and intended plan. In Isaiah as the plan for His Christ and His eternal and powerful kingdom is being described, the verse ends with this description of the One who would see to its completion...

{The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.}
Isaiah 9:7

This God does as He intends. Quitting isn't an option. I love that about my Savior. This descriptive label about Him, gets me excited!  Comforts me.  Makes me know His love. The fact God is zealous tells us He will not quit. He does not grow weary of the day or of hearing your groans. He fulfills all His intentions. He is passionate about everything concerning you.

He does all He needs to in order to reach your heart and make your life joyful and productive. Zeal sometimes comes in the form of doing what seems hardest.  If Jesus never rebuked His disciples, they would have been without wisdom and understanding and could have faced consequences related to their mistakes. They also would not have been shaped to live a full life and serve their Savior. But He did correct them. Just like a zealous parent.

A zealous parent teaches with a plan in mind,
           corrects with grace and motivation,
      and loves enough to do what is needed to prevent their children from harm.

{As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten...}
Revelation 3:19

I'd love to leave this out in all sincerity, but I would be going against His Word and a criteria of His love.

As a parent, would you, do what is necessary to prevent your child from the detriment of wrong doing? The Heavenly Father uses what works to motivate His children in a better direction. Take that as softly as you can. Always remember His passion and intentions are always for you.

God is a perfect Heavenly Father.
When you feel like nobody cares, reflect on His awesome adjective of "ZEAL"!

He has the drive necessary to sustain and nourish you forever.
He loves you passionately!
He is intentional with His plan for you!
...this God doesn't quit.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Day #18: With You in Mind { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day # 18 : With You in Mind

You wrap a beautiful package for your manly husband. You cover the box in silver, shiny glitter paper and carefully place a huge bright pink bow on top center. What's inside? A beautiful tea set and potpourri for the house.

Are you picturing his face? Yep. He's totally disappointed. I'm counting on the surety that he'd much rather have tickets to an NFL game tossed in a plain white envelope. Now that's the way to his heart, right?

When Almighty God desires to speak love to your heart, what does He do for you?  Do you enjoy seeing a sunset, listening to your child laugh or do you enjoy an unexpected lunch with your spouse? Well I don't know what would speak love to your heart,  but God Almighty does.

{ But you, O LORD, know me: you have seen me, and tried me, and tried my heart toward me. }
Jeremiah 12:3

He knows the you that makes you His creation. He knows your deepest thoughts and your most hidden places. Because He knows you, He also knows how to show you His perfect, unchanging love and how to deliver it especially for you.  Metaphorically speaking, God doesn't wrap up a tea set in pink for one of His mighty warrior men. He doesn't send to his daughters, a pair of combat boots and camo. He knows what fits and God delivers what matters. He designs His gifts, with you in mind.

But do we accept His deliveries?  I must admit, I need to be more receptive and grateful when I notice the little and large gifts God places in my way, to show His love. How about you?

The love of Almighty God never changes, but His delivery method to each of His precious creations, does.  What speaks to your heart is not the same as anyone else on earth. Perfect love, designed with you in mind, makes His love personal. The personal expressions of God's love, satisfies.

{ You open your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing.}
Psalms 145:16

So when you notice Him speaking to your heart, remember His love gifts are  ...

             Specifically designed.
    Perfectly delivered.
              With you in mind.

And the most precious, personal gift of love, was the one of his Son.  I'll close with this.  There was a song the church choir from my childhood use to sing by Bill Gather. I just remembered as I wrote this. The words are old and simple, but I cannot close without adding them.

"When He was on the cross,
     I was on His mind."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Day # 17 : Hands High { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day 17: Hands High

{ Love, rejoices in truth }
1 Corinthians 13: 6

Has anyone ever rejoiced over you? True, heart felt rejoicing that brings hands up high into the air, accompanied by a loud joyful noise! There is close to nothing like it! To be rejoiced over, seems to almost cover a person in a coat of joy. The spirit in each of us seems to gleem when we are part of or a recipient of ReJoiCiNg.

I'm into rejoicing. As a baseball coach, on and off the field, I am often a loud rejoicer! I like to see little dudes get the sport of baseball, right.  I inherited the trait of being a verbal-rejoicer, from my mother. She is a sweet, polite woman who easily outdid any other mom as she rejoiced from the bleachers at the ball field. She was well marked in many memories as the loudest mom at the field. At times, with her hands high, when her children or their team did well, she rejoiced!!... loudly.

When my own son caught his first fly ball in a game, my soul could not contain the joy and the entire town likely heard! There are also quiet rejoices, that accompany an overflowing heart by eyes of delight and a solemn smile.  I rejoiced in this way when he dared to face a huge roller coaster and overcame his fear!

Life is full of reasons to rejoice. True rejoicing comes after good things happen. God says love rejoices in truth.  What brings your hands high and your soul to an outpouring of "yay!" ? Each soul is drawn to being part of joy because we are made in the image of our Maker, who rejoices.

We would be inaccurate to dull our depiction of God by placing Him on the Throne, with a dominating demeanor and a scowl for those who laugh aloud! God is the God of great things and great things call for rejoicing!

He rejoices.
But the news gets better! ...
He rejoices over you.

Here's the proof:

The word "Rejoice" occurs at least 83 times in God's Word. Get a taste of some of what He has to say...

{ But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.}
Psalms 68:3

 { ... the LORD shall rejoice in his works.}
Psalms 104:31

That's proof found in the pudding! When you get something right that He's been encouraging you to learn. When you accomplish something He set before you to do in service.  Or when you are simply in the midst of soaking up one of His surprises.  He rejoices over you!

Next time you feel a warm coat of joy, remember that heaven may be the source of your covering.
And next time you do what pleases your Heavenly Father...

Listen closely; He may be the loudest One on the bleachers, with hands high!

... for the LORD will again rejoice over you for good... {Deuteronomy 30:9}

Monday, February 16, 2015

Day #16 : LoVe Conquers { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day #16 : LoVe Conquers

"Fear not" Jesus told John, and He placed his right hand on His friend...
What's happening, why is Christ comforting John and who is John?  Well let's start at the beginning.

The disciple, John was all about love.  He was a faithful follower and friend of Jesus. What's important most about John is that he well received the love of Christ. But what made him also notable was his intensity of giving the love of Christ. The result was exactly what he presents in God's Word... He was perfected in love.

I'm sure you have heard this scripture about love: "Perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18)
Guess who wrote these words in God's Word?

  John :)

Are you making a connection in his life that he knew something about the effects of being perfected in love. And one of those effects was fear. What's awesome is that John gives us a detailed gander into his wisdom.

Found in one of his books, is a linear puzzle that requires assembling, to comprehend how love casts out fear and what God's children have to do with the proclamation.

The details are found in 1 John 4:7-17. To make this shorter,  I'll sum it up.

Here is the sum of John's details:

    Love is of God. (V 7)
    Know and believe God loves us.(V )10
    Believe in His Son, Jesus.(V 11)
 + Love others because of His love. V 12)
=  His love perfected in us.

God dwells in us and His love fills us. Then we pour out the love we receive, to others. Love perfected is two fold: Absorbing and outpouring.

Here's where perfect love begins to work against fear. If you are filled with love, then you are ultimately filled with the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19). Being filled with God, means nothing else can stand. Being full of the one who overcame, makes us conquerors through the perfect love of God. (Romans 8:37)( 1 John 5:4).

If you then, are a conqueror, what could you have to fear?

What does love do to fear? It throws it out!  Now that's awesome! No wonder demons cannot stand against the Son of the Most High. Fear cannot find its place in the face of love. It cannot fit in an area already overloaded with wonderful perfection! Take that fear! Love has claimed victory over anything that stands against God.

 "Fear not" is a common Heavenly term. Used many times by Jesus Christ. Each instance is unique, but it's important to see an instance where John hears these words of confidence.

So let's wrap up the story from the beginning...
In Revelation, John is on an island and Jesus shows up. Of course, he is a little shaken. Isnt that what fear does?! But this is His God! This is the Christ he watched heal, teach, die, then ascend to heaven. Of all that Jesus was to John,  He was also "FriEnD". Jesus sees John is shaken and it breaks His heart.

{ And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand on me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead, I am alive for evermore, Amen...}
Revelation 1: 17-18

How did Christ comfort John in his fear?  He reminded his friend exactly who was the conqueror.
He kindly touched his friend and reminded Him of the victory already won.

Here are your words of comfort...
Fear Not. God's love conquers all.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Day #15 : Something for Nothing { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day #15 : Something for Nothing

Ever received something for nothing?  Our economy experts would say "nothing is for free". When we take inventory of the blessings our lives contain, it would prove the experts to be inaccurate.   It's actually quite humbling once we take note of undeserved receipts of gifts we have been given.  

The blessings of life cannot be fully measured, however these come to mind...

A sense of smell that brings good memories.
Eyes that take in vivid pictures.
Ears that soak up the laughter from a JoY-filled soul.
Ability to touch the pudgy face of a baby.
Arms that wrap tight in a hug.
A sunset that reminds us of a Maker with style.
Legs that run when necessary :)
Breath that promises there is hope.

You sure could name a few.  I'm exhausting you with my list, but I could easily keep going. One year in college, I felt the need to hang a poster in my room that said "I Am Thankful For".  Each day I would write with a sharpie, something I'd noticed in the day or had noticed as a blessing.  I'll be honest, I wasn't living for Christ at that time, (although I was His child) but I still knew the need to be thankful and I was still blessed with every scribble of the Sharpie. 

When we inventory our blessings, it has two specific products:
We see the UN-blessings a little smaller.
We see ourselves a little smaller. 

The first is self explanatory. Eyes off the yucky equals eyes on the great! But what also occurs is the shrinkage of our pride - puffed chest.  We begin to see that we are external to what's been given. We have nothing to do with the goodness. The gifts don't come from our hand, but One who is greater. Gifts that are not earned and surely not deserved!  Wow!  That's goodness!

Another word for the gifts, given outside of our ability, and totally undeserved is ... GrAcE!!

God's love is LoAdEd with GrAcE! 

Look within your days snd find it peppered throughout!! And best of all, it's free. Those goodies you think of most,  cannot be purchased. Let me add to the woo hoo!   He made you rich. I'm not speaking on the term of anything received on earth. All those temporary goods eventually fade. My God is eternal minded. He thinks much bigger than the world and His gifts prove to be the same! Here's what His GrAcE handed to you...

{ For you know the gRaCe of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through his poverty might be made rich. II Corinthians 8:9 }

Christ chose to be poor so that you and I could enjoy what's rightfully His!  Now that's an act of LoVe!  He took the form of a poor Man from Nazareth, so you could have perfection and a place in the Kingdom. Oh don't worry, Christ is there now and gets to spend eternity with you. His poverty was temporary, but his and our wealth is forever!

His love, sent you grace.
His grace gave you a reservation of inheritance to the Kingdom of God.

YoUrS. (for the taking)

Let's bring this into perspective. Speaking from the heart, I have to say I don't bless those whom I don't love. Well, only if I have to. But I think you would agree that you wouldn't sign over your estate to those whom you don't deeply love. Tells me, God loves His children.

{ 1 Peter 1:4
To an inheritance incorruptible;  and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you.}

Because of His grace, we have forever perfection to look toward.
God handed over an inheritance to you. A reservation of perfection in the ultimate Kingdom of the Living God.

Now that's a something.
Good news. Because it's a product of grace, it's also free, simply by faith in Christ.

That is the best Something
for NoThiNg,
you and I have ever been given.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Day #14 : With ♡, From God { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day #14 : With ♡, From God

My Precious Child,

I want you to know I'm thinking of you on Valentine's Day and always.  I created you and formed you. I know you and all your inner being. I know what makes you smile and I love to see you laugh. I rejoice when I see you victorious. I also know what breaks you heart, because it breaks mine.

I loved you before time and I will love you forever. It's no secret that you are not perfect. Although you make mistakes, I adore you still. I know you are better than your mistakes.  I see you for all your goodness, because I know it is there within you. Although you are imperfect, you are made spotless, through my perfect Son, Jesus.

You are precious in my sight, so much, that I gave my Son, Jesus, for you. I sent Him to be your Healer, your Shepherd,  your Friend and your ultimate sacrifice. I gave Him for you, to bring you to me.

My ultimate gift to you is not a dozen roses. Those will wither and die. My gift is LiFe that lasts forever. Complete perfection in my kingdom is yours, through belief and acceptance of my Son.

I believe in you. I have a hope for you.  I am for you, and in all things, every day and everywhere, with you. Never to leave you or leave you stranded.

My child, nothing in all heaven or earth, seen or unseen, can come between you and my love. If you cannot comprehend all this, its alright. Because the breadth, length, and depth, and height of the love of Christ, is more than you could consume in your mind or take in your heart! So, be of good cheer! You have my love and my love for you, never fails.

Happy Valentines Day!

With Perfect Love,
Your Heavenly Father

Scripture References:
Isaiah 43
Jeremiah 29:11
Ephesians 3: 17-20
1 Corinthians 13
Romans 8: 35-39
John 3:16
1 John 4: 9-10

Friday, February 13, 2015

Day # 13 : Not One Thing { HeArT to heart }

Day  # 13 : Not One Thing

Do we need some concrete details about the ThiNg that can come between us and the LoVe of the Father?
Here goes...

Romans 8: 35, 37-39
{Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.}

That's concrete enough for me. Everything covered.  I don't believe he missed one single criteria of concern. "Everything" can only be canceled out by "nothing". Paul did just that!

If on a scale of 0 to 100,  everything represented 100, nothing would be 0. Have we fully wrapped our comprehension around the concept of 0? Fact is we can't!   But the writer did his best to try.  If i could sum up his pouring out into four words, they would be:

No.      Thing.     Stops.     His.     Love.

The dedicated apostle was excited in this section of penmanship!  He wanted you and I to know details, so the Spirit covered all the bases! Preacher Paul put the tie on here! Metaphorically of course. I find it a stretch to imagine this apostle sporting a tie. But he was on fire, with pen in hand and you in mind! He affirms your deepest worries about exactly what can separate you from God and his love.  The ultimate conclusion...   No   Thing.

My son loves to hunt. One day last year, he was invited on his first trip to hunt coons!  Dressed in warm clothing, I sent him out with his Uncle Eric and Cousin Brandon.  Yes, we live in the south and most family is close by :) At the end of the journey, he was exhausted. A coon not to show for his night, but a good time of growing for sure.

The next morning he was thinking quietly as he ate his cereal, when out of nowhere, he mentioned the need for water gear on the next hunt. The particular piece, I cannot recall. But I can recall feeling immediately puzzled. I made the connection that he was suggesting water gear, because the previous night's hunting trip had proven the need. I questioned his proclamation with hesitation.

Conclusion? They had crossed a river.
uhh... a river.

I had dressed the tiny 9 year old in warmth, but not in preparation for dew, rain, and/or a river crossing!
" How did you get across?", was of course my question. His answer brought peace and a bless-hearted  smile.

" They carried me." he said.

I have pictured it repeatedly.  Each times blesses me with goodness. They had carried him across whatever was in the way of their possibility of finding a coon.  Not a single thing, even a river would they let come between them and possibility!

What threatens to be a river that claims it can separate you from the love of Almighty God? Could it be powers or principalities,  hardships and exhaustion, good times and bad? Well threaten is all it can do, but touch His love, it cannot.

My kiddo had not a trace of damp or wetness on him from his adventure.  That river he crossed, had no power, his company made sure of that. Nothing has the power to touch or stop the love of your Maker... "not one thing! "

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Day #12 : Fail Not { HeArT to heart }

Day #12 : Fail Not

Compassion is a big ol' word, but understood very little.  Christ moves on behalf of compassion, many times in His ministry. If we want to see the character of God, we look at the face of God, Jesus the Christ.  God is filled with compassion and in turn, His Son responds to humankind through the same.

{ Lamentations 3:22
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. }

Catch that? His compassion fail not. They do as intended. They do not falter, but produce. His responses to our aches also never cease!  There's no giving up found here!

Compassion is the ability to relate to the hearts of those hurting or in need and respond out of concern for their best interest. To sum up this long word with a simple phrase, mine would be...

 "heart-broken for another"

Christ is heart-broken for His children who are hurting. Christ's heart breaks when you are saddened,  wounded, weary, or worn. He wants to fix what's broken because He has a heart for you.

We usually relate to those in need because we either sympathize with their circumstance or we have an attachment to them that causes us to ache alongside.

Christ had compassion on the faithful multitude that followed Him. ( Mark 6:34 )

Because they were weary sheep. ..
      He was their Shepherd.
Because they were tired and hungry...
      He fed them more than enough.
What has God done for you out of His unfailing compassions? What do you need Him to do?

This one's for you...(you fill the blanks)
Because I ____________________
He ___________________________

Out of love for you, He knows the heartbreak. ..
and He feels the ache alongside. Ask for Christ's compassion. He will respond. His compassions fail not.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Day #11 : Wrapped Tight { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day #11 : Wrapped Tight

I have a distant relative who,  within the last year,  lost a baby. He was very small and only weeks old.   I remember seeing a picture she posted, just days before his death. He was preciously wrapped tight in a thin blanket and placed on his belly. He was also wearing a smile. I can't help but to think he was seeing someone or something we aren't pure enough to see. After his passing, I looked at this sweet remembrance of him, and God whispered to my heart, the memory of a promise He had made in scripture.

{ He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3 }

The similarity between this tightly swaddled baby and what He proclaimed for the broken heart of this mother, was almost enough to bring tears. As tightly as this baby was bound by a secure blanket,  He promises to bind the wounds of a broken heart.

What breaks your heart? What has left your heart with wounds?  God's love heals. He sent Christ to be the ultimate Healer.  Not only for the physical, but for the deep wounds of the heart, that scar the soul. Those nobody else sees or has access to, Christ does.

What's chilling is the stark similarity to a declaration Christ himself made. He was standing the synagogue at the beginning of his ministry, surrounded by people who would eventually take part in seeing to His death.

This is what He stood and read from the book of Isaiah, that at the same time, announced the fulfillment of this prophesy.

{ The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he has sent me to HeAL the BroKeN hEaRtEd, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those that are bruised.
Luke 4:18 }

Who did He proclaim this prophecy being fulfilled for? You.

And one of the particulars was aimed at your heart. Your heart matters to your Maker. He knows all good things start there but He also understands heartache and heartbreak affects your soul and your being.

I love the simple fact that our hearts are important to God. That He desires joy, peace, happiness, and wholeness for our souls. He understands the need for a Heart - Healer!

Christ binds up the wounds of your heart. The ones nobody knows about. Take your heart to the Healer. His love will keep it WrAppEd TiGhT.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Day # 10: Love's Liason { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day #10 : Love's Liason

Do you remember receiving mail as a child, before it was bills? It was a thrill to receive a card or a letter that you knew had something great inside. As adults, pleasant mail doesn't happen much.  It's rare we get mail that doesn't require a response in the form of a check.

Do you believe that God Almighty sent a delivery to you over 2000 years ago.? On behalf of the love of the Father, He sent the Son, Jesus.
Some of us love the name.
Others hate it. That's simple testimony of the power in belief on Him.

Good thing opinions doesn't change His existence or the reality that He still came, for you.

If I were to list all the motives and accomplishments of Jesus, the Christ,  it would take extreme amounts of explaining. He came to do much!!  But most of much ... He came to finish the job.

The ultimate reason He was handed to earth from His Father and ours, was to be a final proclamation, a final gift to represent God's love.
He was God's Love Liason.
Still is.

What God did was put hands, feet and visage to Himself and His amazing love. Jesus was here to represent love in the highest possible way.
It was THIS gift that showed the world just how much we mean to the Father. This was God's final and desperate attempt to show you the intensity of the adoration he has for you. There is nothing more intense than this finale.

{ 1 John 3:16
By this we know the love of God, because he laid down his life for us...}

He came.
He died.
He LivEs.
So that you can live through Him.

{ 1 John 4:9
In this way manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. }

How much would it take to hand over your only child, to gain a relationship and eternity with a bunch of ungrateful sinners?  It didn't take me long to conclude, how about you?

Abba (Father)... put His child into the hands of mockers and murderers.
Abba sent Him from His paradise and joy, to a less- than-wonderful earth.
Abba bought you, with His only child.

He did. Because He adores you that much.
Simply put; God bought you with a price.
(1 Corinthians 6:20 )
A price nobody else would be willing to pay.

The Heavenly Father's love DeLivErS. He sent Jesus, His Son. To be Jesus, your Christ.
Have you checked the mail? This delivery doesn't disappoint.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Day #9 : Petal Plucker { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day # 9 : Petal Plucker

No doubt you have been a petal plucker. You and I have likely been the repetitive participants in the game from childhood, that required the plucking of petals from a daisy. We can probably all agree that as little gals, we noticed any blooming daisy we passed in a field, and it compelled us to the test.

Pluck one by one, each petal while pronouncing with wonder,  "loves me" and "loves me not". The last petal was the determining factor.  Sometimes the detrimental factor. I do believe there was trauma involved after plucking the final petal that declared...  " loves me NoT"

There could be successful support groups for healing those traumatic childhood wounds. I'm exaggerating of course!  But Oh, the anticipation! And oh, the disappointment those petals could produce.

Could it be that we have somewhat carried a version of this concept into our adulthood?  Have we transferred a childhood game into our interpretation of our Heavenly Father's love to us?

On the days of success and esteem, do we declare with joy and affirmation... "He loves me"! We pluck the Petal that declares His adoration when we feel we have placed high on the chart of good behavior.
What about those days where you are sure you've never gotten anything right and the esteem has flat-lined? That's when you may be sure you've plucked the last petal on the daisy, with the dreaded results of "He loves me not".

You should know something important. This is a lie. The Adversary (satan) loves to deceive. And this one works a doozie!  God's love is not conditioned upon our perfection. Here's my proof.

He says in Psalms 103: 14... He knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

So to clarify... you can't disappoint the God who already doesn't expect much from you.  He remembers we are human flesh and bone and we cannot get it right. Even when we think we do! He doesn't keep a chart to measure the amount of love you deserve. Because if He loved based on works, nobody would stand a chance at being a recipient.

{Psalms 130:3 If you, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? }

Here's the beauty. Here's the Woo Hoo!
His love is based not on YOUR perfection, but on the perfection of Christ!! Woo Hoo to that! His love is not conditioned upon my ability to get anything right. It is rooted in the One who already got it all right. The Righteous One covers my imperfection, with His perfection.

{ Isaiah 53:5
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. }

That should put an end to the Petal plucking! He came, with the offer of righteousness.The Almighty clothes our wrongs with the Right One.
He gives us justification because of the Just One.

No plucking necessary. You are loved perfectly, aside of your inability to get anything right. You are loved because He sees you, not your mistakes.

So petal pluckers small and great, put the DaiSeS down.

Pluck no more.
"He Loves You".
And that's the last petal :)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Day # 8: For Your gOOd { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day #8: For Your gOOd

I noticed a shirt, worn by a young lady one day and it made me shake my head. This is what it said...

"Love Thyself".

Let that sink in for a moment. There's a very important part to this warped version of a biblical commandment, that was totally M.I.A. How striking a flaunt of a lapse of love, that should put all of us to shame.

If God was anything like humans who seek themselves above their neighbor, we would be up a creek, with nobody to hand us a paddle.

Now you can breathe a deep sigh of relief!  God, Almighty, is everything but self seeking.

1 Corinthians 13: 5
... [ love ] is not self seeking.

His adoration for you has everything to do with what is best for you. You can be sure that the Almighty doesn't make plans concerning you, that factor in a selfish kick-back.

We question His motives most when things seem pooey. Excuse the metaphor. But we throw hands in the air in confusion when we are under the grass of the sewer, instead of basking in the green.

The Israelites faced a tough time in captivity. They most likely questioned ...Why do the "not so good" things happen? God spoke words of life when He reassured with this promise.

Jeremiah 24:5
Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel; ... I will acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place
       ... for    their   good.

Take the last three words straight to your heart. God allows the "not so good" because He is the God who's love is not self seeking. Because even through the bad,  He wants what is... for your good.

When Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery, no one had any idea what would come of little brother, Joseph. But God did. He made Joseph second only to the King of Egypt. Plans for evil on part of self-seeking people, were precious success on the part of a loving God. What was intended for evil, "God meant it for good". ( Genesis 50:20)

God's love is not self-seeking. He does for you what is best for you.

         What has you questioning "why the not so good?".
   What has you under the green grass?
                 What keeps you enslaved?

God loves you enough to use what seems tough
        ... for    your    good.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Day #7 : A "Suuuure" Thing { HeArT to hEaRt }

Day #7: A "Suuuure" Thing

God's love sent you an anchor. Ok, so that doesn't mean we trudge around carrying unwanted weight, in the form of a double -j made of steel. What it does mean is that through His love, He provided a stronghold. Your sure thing.

{Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast...}
Hebrews 6:19

The love of God, gave the Son whom He loved, to secure your hope. Christ, carried the weight of burdens and sins by death, then was resurrected to deliver your eternal victory.

One hope that is sure.
One, steadfast.
The anchor of eternal hope.

My kiddo, as a tike, became accustomed to my comforting response of "suuure" to many of his questions.  And when I did not respond in custom one day, he recognized. From the back car seat, I heard a tiny, kind voice...

"no mom, you're suppose to say, suuuuurrre!"

His voice had a reaffirming and sweet pitch that mimicked mom's. I can still hear it :) There's something affirming when the word "sure" is used, for children and adults alike. There's a note of certainty to its ring that gives peace to the heart.

In Hebrews, we are told that our hope in Christ is so certain, that it is "suuuure"!  That rings a rest to my uncertainty.  It gives a settlement when my faith is quaking. It fills my soul with tender comfort.

The Father, sent His Son (John 3:16).  His most precious possession, in exchange to gain you, His precious creation. His love sent you an anchor for your soul. One that doesn't shift, cannot be broken, and withstands any power of resistance.  Here we can find comfort and certainty.  We rest in the security of His gift of love, through Christ.

He loves you enough... to give you assurance everlasting.

One AnChoR.
Once PurChAseD.
Forever Available.

And that's a "suuuure" thing!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Day #6: Acts of LoVeKinDneSS (AOL) { HeArT to hEaRt}

 Day #6: Acts of LoVeKinDneSS (AOL)

{ LoVe Is kind.}
1 Corinthians 13: 4

Tell me of the LoVe of God and I'll know about it.
Show me the LoVe of God and I'll believe it.

Ever heard of RAOK?  The acronym stands for Random Acts of Kindness.  It's a very real thing someone developed (not sure who), to describe the act of doing something randomly kind for humankind! Kinda a cool deal.

But think about this...
God is into acts of kindness.
Our Heavenly Father shows us His love through His actions, and one of them is kindness.

Jonah would agree. He was a stubborn - minded child of God. He had been told by the Lord to go spread His Word of redemption and Jonah didn't want to go. After running from God, being thrown from a ship, swallowed by a giant marine life and tossed onto shore, Jonah was ready to hear and obey.  Its amazing what it takes to get our attention :)

 But Jonah's heart was still not in tap with his feet. He went, but wasn't happy about it.  After Nineveh repents and returns to God, Jonah pitches a fit. Seriously, an adult temper tantrum, because God was good to people that Jonah didn't think deserved God's goodness.

Jonah was angry with the Lord who had just redeemed an entire city and handed him a second chance at life. I forget His blessings just as quickly myself.

Fit-pitching, tantrum-hearted Jonah didn't get his way. So he prepares a shelter for rest and sits under it to watch the city. What would you do to a friend who acted this way?  I'd be tempted to chop down the shelter.

But that's not what God, the friend who loves, did.What happens next is a bit of a surprise. Here comes the eye brow raiser.

{ And the LORD God, prepared a gourd, and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief... Jonah 4:6 }

God responds to humanness, with KiNdNeSS! When the rest of the world isn't kind, the Lord is. Not just a dab here and there. No just a shower of kindness when He gets the chance. He CrOwnS you with lovekindness!

{ Bless the LORD, O my soul: and forget not all his benefits... Who redeems your life from destruction; who CrOwNs you with lovekindness and tender mercies. Psalms 103: 2 + 4 }

God's love is kind. He is the Master at Acts of LoVeKinDneSS! And they are more than random.

Look for the acts of Love from your Heavenly Father. You may be surprised where you find them. Jonah found kindness in an undeserved goard.
What acts of LoVeKinDneSS has He crowned to you?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Day #5 : Love, Always { HeArT to hEaRt}

Day #5 : Love, Always

When my son was a totting toddler, I was the mom that almost never looked away. I kept close watch of the one little kiddo God granted to me. But this particular moment, I fell to a distraction. It was a day at the pool and as he splashed and played in the shallow end, I stood close by. Intentional on watching, I was in the same area, even within reach of him.

But I looked away.
For a couple moments, I became focused on a distraction. When I returned to planet earth, Keebryn was struggling in the water; head barely above and straining to keep up. Of course, I swooped him from his struggle and pulled him close. Relieved were we both!

In God's Word, we are comforted by words that remind us, He doesn't make the same mistake.

{The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. Psalms 34:15 }

His eyes don't fall to distraction!
He sees YoU in your day. (That's a good thing)
He sees you as you drive to work.
He notices the kindness you show to someone.
He recognizes when something hurts deep in your heart and when your day doesn't go well. Nothing surprises the God who keeps His eyes on YoU!  He also thinks about His children.

For a short bit, I drifted my thoughts and my eyes followed suite.  It is comforting to know that God not only sees us always, but He thinks on us!

Psalms 40:5
{Many, O LORD my God, are your wonderful works which you have done, and your ThoUghTs which are toward us, they cannot be reckoned up in order to you: if I would declare and speak of them, they are MoRe than can be nUmBereD.}

He thinks about you. Not only thinks good thoughts, but they are accompanied by His watchful eye. Now that's security to count on!

And because He declares His arm is not "too short to redeem" ( Isaiah 50:2); He is always able to reach you wherever you are. When your head is bobbing barely above danger, barely above sAniTy...

God, Almighty knows. He can reach you swoop in and pull you from your struggle!

The love of our Perfect God proves ConStAnT.

This LoVe, ALwaYs notices.
Always knows.
Always can.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Day #4 : Patience for "Peters" {Heart to heart}

Day #4 : Patience for Peters

1 Corinthians 13:4
{ Love suffers long. }

In 1 Corinthians 13, the outline of a perfect portrait of love is scripted. Paul begins with... LoVe is pAtiEnt. We will halt, where Paul began the awesome list of characteristics of the love we can rarely imitate.

Use any phrase that fits. They all bare the same meaning.

   Love suffers long.
             Love Is patient.
        Love forebears.

Here's a most simple phrase for Paul's first declaration of the look of love...

LoVe ... puts up with (name here).

Jesus had 12 disciples when He was on earth for His first advent. Of all of them, Peter is my favorite. It may be so, because his shortcomings fit so closely with my own.

He was a zealous follower with aspirations and large faith. He was often the first and most bold to stand for Christ. The only one brave enough to pull a sword to defend His Master. But he was also one of three who fell asleep in prayer, hours before the trial of Christ, and denied Him, more than once.

Peter wasn't perfect. He made mistakes.
Like me, he required PaTiEnCe.

But what Jesus does with Peter, He will do for us. Jesus loved Peter, anyway.
He waited for Peter to get it right.
And He gave Peter abundant mercy until he did.

I have often wondered "How does Jesus put up with me?" But I've come to the conclusion that He doesn't.  He does much more than that.  He valued Peter and He values us so much, that His love can't be reduced to toleration. His perfect love will not be impatient.

Peter sees Christ again after the denial. Jesus is standing on the sea shore and Peter is fishing in a boat. When he discovers that His Master is back, he cannot wait to reach him. Peter jumps ship with only a coat around his frame, and he swims to shore!

So where was Jesus, his Master?
He was waiting.

Jesus had patience for Peter.
Jesus has patience for Peters like you and I.

Scripture References:
1 Corinthians 13
Luke 22: 55-62
John 21:7

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Day #3 : Under HiS Wings. { HeArT to hEaRt }

Under HiS Wings

When we think about great warriors of God's Word and His people,  there is one that comes most to mind. David, the mighty warrior. The one who "slayed his 10's of thousands". We picture this man "after God's own heart" as a fierce and brave soldier King. And that, he surely was. But what if I told you that aside from all his valiant actions and writings, he wrote this...

 Psalms 91:4
{ He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will trust: his truth will be your shield and buckler.} ( modified from KJV)

David, the legacy who slayed a giant.
David, the prosperous King of Israel...
David, knew the need for a refuge.
He also knew exactly where to find it.

One Sunday in children's church, we trooped outside after lesson. As the kiddos ran and played, I noticed one particular young boy had rallied into his arms, an enormous snow ball. I mean, it was huge! My instinct of caution kicked into play as I watched closely. Within moments, I felt a tiny hand around the back of my leg. When I turned to see who was behind, it was the sweet face of a tiny tyke. Her body, tucked behind her protector, with head peaking out to keep eye on the " threat".

She had taken refuge.

I don't know about you, but I often find myself in need of a refuge. Most women (me included) like to attempt convincing ourselves we are warrior women. We all hope to wear the stars, rope and golden wrist cuffs of Wonder Woman. But the adversary never ceases to be more fierce than I. David, apparently felt the same.

If you are a parent, you fully understand parental protective instinct. It brings to light that your Heavenly Father has the same instinct for you. He protects you. His love speaks through His willingness and dedication to tuck you under His wings and give you refuge.

My own mother said,  just the other day ... "we never outgrow the song "Jesus Loves Me". I have to add, there's one part in particular we will always relate to...

" little ones to Him belong."
"They are weak, but He is strong."

No matter how big God's children grow or how strong they think they've become, they are always little to Him. We never outgrow the need for a refuge.

When the adversary comes (carrying a snow ball) and life is bigger than you can stand, God's love shelters you...
         Under His Wings.
Scripture references:
1 Samuel 18:7
1 Samuel 13:14

Monday, February 2, 2015

Day #2: "You Are MiNe." { HeArT to hEaRt }

  "YoU Are MiNe."

I'm convinced that humanity's favorite question to God, our Maker is... "Why?!" Oh! the times this question has been thrown at the Throne on behalf of a bewildered child of Christ.

How about this doozy?...
"Why does God love me?"

One day I asked my son why he loved his little dog named Trixy. His response encouraged my heart. He answered in kind confidence,
" Because she is my pet."

His love for her, was not dependent upon her being the perfect pet. Honestly, she's a bit long, even for a wiener dog. My son's love for his pet was simply because, she ...was his.

Hear this from the pen of Isaiah as he offers words to answer your "why?".

{ Isaiah 43:1 says : But now says the LORD that created you, O Jacob, and he that formed you, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are mine. }

Did you catch that?  The reasoning for the overflow of love from God, to you, was just summed up in three tiny words. He declares His love is for you, and replaces our
        "why?" with
            " YoU are MiNe!"

Now that's some chicken soup for the skeptic's heart!  The adoration from the Almighty is yours, just because you are HiS!

Think about it! His amazing LoVe for His you, His creation, is not because you always get it right. Not because you always obey or because you are a perfect child of His. But because He formed you. He created you. And He calls you by your name. (Surrendered to Him or not) You are His creation.

His love is PerSonAL! The Almighty knows you personally. And in spit of you... He still adores you, perfectly. So when you contemplate deep within your heart, why the Almighty could love unmighty you;

Hear Him sweetly whisper...
                        "Because,  you are mine".

Additional Reading
Isaiah 43 : 4-7

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Day #1 : This LoVe Doesn't Budge { HeArT to hEaRt }

This LoVe Doesn't Budge: February 1st

The LoVe of the Almighty is secure. An anchor in which to find refuge. In Jeremiah, He reminds all His children of a declaration we likely need to refresh within our hearts.

Jeremiah 31:3 I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovekindness have I drawn you.

Sweet! These words were given to the Israelites who were held captive in Babylon. These words, are still meant for you today.
The history of God's people, shows their humanity and their need for this God of mercy.
They made mistakes.
They doubted.
They whined.
They were held captive.
Could you relate as well as I do?

At this point in their path, God is sending encouragement and some much needed mErCy. Let's not forget how He sent it...
BeCaUsE of His everlasting love.

His Words remind them that no matter where they are or what they have done, they are still His.
I'm glad I'm still His and no matter what...
tHiS lOvE dOeSn'T BuDgE.

HeArT to hEaRt: 28 Daily Declarations of God's Love

HeArT to hEaRt :
28 Days in February
28 Declarations of God's ♡

God's Word reveals promises and proclaims truths about a perfect love that can only come from the perfect One. During the month of February, join "Blooming By GrAcE" for 28 days of devotions of LoVe, from His HeArT to yOuRs.

I look forward to the month of February as we discover the amazing God who loves you, forever perfectly. Begin to pray for God to help you dedicate time to the devotions and reveal to your heart, what you heart may be thirsting.

Are you ready for some HeArT to hEaRt!?