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Posts Tagged ‘#justlove’

I love the image of the sign (left). The more I look at it, the more I nod in agreement with what it is communicating,

It makes me think of the story of Job, his friends and God.

Job’s love and commitment to God was exemplary. As a matter of fact, the text says he was blameless. God offered him up to Satan himself, as one whose inner love for his God would not be swayed by outer devastation.

gotta say, this premise always make me feel such angst

So, Job lost everything … children, livestock, crops, health. All he was left with was his wife, his friends and God (who seemed to be silent).

As Job sat on his dung pile, scraping the sores of his skin with clay shards, weeping, agonizing, listening for the voice of God … the only sound was that of his wife (who suggested he curse God and die) and his friends.

Now his friends had probably been with him all of his life. It was in Uz (possibly in the area of modern day Syria or Jordan) where they had probably played as boys. These friends had watched Job grow up. They knew that he was a good man, who treated people respectfully, who had conducted business fairly, who was truly blameless. They knew him.

This background may have built the foundation for false assumptions. Assumptions such as God blessed Job because Job was blameless. They undoubtedly had developed the misconception that God blesses the good, and therefore, curses the bad.

And that was their point of attack. Rather than lament with Job, they blame him.

The three accused Job of some type of sin that he needed to admit and repent of so that he would again receive God’s blessing. They believed (as so many of us do at times in our lives) that there is a formula for success and if Job was in the midst of curses, there must be something in his life that is wrong/sinful.

Once they have spoken their encouragement to Job, then God speaks to Job … and I am pretty sure that God is wagging his finger at him, but then he addresses Job’s friends and their judging of how God decides who is blessed and who is cursed:

“After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken accurately about me” (Job 42:7)

Our job, as was Job’s, is to be faithful with what God has given to us, be it people, possessions, passions or power. Our job is to love God, to love others. God will look after judgements, blessings and curses.

He will sort’em out later.

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Just love.

I knew the response as clearly and confidently as if I had heard with words spoken, verbally … but they weren’t.

I have been praying over a specific person and situation for quite awhile now. Each time I bring this one to the creator of all, I ask, what do you want me to do? to say? Each time, I hear, not with my ears, but my heart,

just love

It doesn’t feel like it is enough, most days. It doesn’t even feel like I am doing anything. How can I claim this one, this situation, for God, if my words never speak his name, never direct to him?

Yet …

God is love.

That’s what his word tells us (1 John 4:16). His existence is the definition of love.

That passage doesn’t just stop there.

“God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”

So, as I abide … as I stick to love, living and dwelling in love, I am dwelling or living with God …

and his love dwells in me …

His message, the Gospel, or Good News message of salvation and redemption … it is told when I love others. In doing so I am sharing his Good News.

just love … there is no more important thing to do.

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I bolt up the stairs, leftover salad from dinner the previous night in one hand, a container of yogurt in the other.

When I got to the top I started heading right, to my office, then, last minute I turn left, into my bedroom.

I need a break … away from work.

I take my seat in a chair by the window and immediately begin two things simultaneously, shovelling food into my mouth, and praying.

I have twenty minutes until my next online conference with a student and I am feeling a mixture of excitement and … fear.

We are at the end of week three of online education, and this student has managed to avoid having a conference with me.

This student is struggling … probably more than they know, themselves. I (and SO many other high school staff), have been knocking our heads together, knocking on the doors of heaven for help, a lifeline, anything that might indicate that this student is hearing us … hearing that our hearts are sincerely invested in them, their future.

So I pray and shovel, shovel and pray … all the while checking my school emails and messages.

… ah good, a message from that one who had gone MIA (missing in action) this week … they are doing okay … head above water

… a message about the one who needed math help (and is getting it, hallelujah)

… I better check on the math quiz of the other student … 7/9 … there is a god!

… I need to message my team and that teacher who had invested so much into the one I’m about to meet with … they would want to know I got a meeting … they would want to pray.

Wait, only five minutes left … shovel, pray.

… how did that student do on the online math midterm … he works so hard.

The meeting was scheduled for 12:10pm. As I sat at my desk, conference opened, I looked at the time (again) … 12:21 … I pray, feel my heart beating hard, fast … the beats like hard jabs in my chest, making my breath heavy, labored. I feel them … the tears that I am forcing away, as I try to maintain hope that the student will attend.

12:24 … maybe they forgot … that is what they will say happened … or they couldn’t find the conference … or …

12:28 … I hear a “hello” … the student arrived. The fact that they are eighteen minutes late immediately forgotten.

Online school is not for everyone. It is intimidating for some, outright fear-inducing for others. Not all teens, students are completely comfortable with technology. It is a predominantly self-driven method of learning … yet, there are so many students learn best with direction, physicality, relationship.

This glimpse into a small part of my day, as an Educational Assistant, may focus too much on … me. But, what I described is happening in the days of many EAs and teachers … I am not unique or alone.

What I really desire the focus to be on those students, who are struggling with the change to online schooling (those students who were struggling before, in a brick and mortar place of education.

I long for the focus to be directed to these students. The ones who don’t like staring into a screen, the ones who are struggling to understand what is expected (not just the assignments, but how to start, how to submit them), the ones who are lonely, sad, or who are so overwhelmed by this change from school in a building, with their friends, to sitting in their bedroom alone, staring at a screen, that they are frozen, immovable to action.

They are capable learners, they are simply more capable with someone at their side, providing the scaffolding of the so called simple things … taking note of due dates, asking for assistance, reminders, encouragement … relationship.

“Love is at the root at everything,
all learning, all relationships,
love or the lack of it.”

Fred Rogers

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