Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘#loveoneanother’

It was overwhelming. Loving. Thoughtful. Lavish. Generous. Openhanded.

During a time of healing, my co-workers, colleagues, friends lavished love on my regularly. Each day I received texts with well wishes, updates on their lives, silly things, stories of students and queries as to how I was doing. Each week was a drop-off … flowers, meals, a puzzle, cards (even hand made ones), treats, soaps and more. They overwhelmed me with their thoughtfulness, their loving acts and hearts.

They lavished their love on me …

And that is our calling. Love is what we are … because we have been loved by the Father, we are to love others. My sweet friends showed this God-love so abundantly. They went so far beyond, beyond what I need, beyond what I deserve.

This is God-love … going beyond what we deserve.

His love exceeds expectation, it is extravagant.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God … We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. 1 John 4:7, 19-21

What a model of God-love these amazing ladies have been to me. They have raised the bar of loving to such a height that I have a deeper understanding of the extravagant, lavish love of God.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1

Our calling
is to love the world around us
in such a way
that they will know him.
CW

Read Full Post »

Seven days.

Seven mornings.

One week.

I lift the top of the jar, filled with paper.

Some lined.

Some floral.

Some shiny.

Some colored.

All of them with words.

That was their happy Mother’s Day gift to me last week, my three.

(because I had said, quite firmly, NO SPENDING MONEY ON ME!)

A glass jar filled with little pieces of paper … enough for one a day, for eight weeks.

Each piece of paper inked with quotes, memories, little tidbits of joy.

It is the BEST GIFT EVER!

I head to the jar early each morning, while my coffee drips. Eagerly I lift the lid, reach inside (not looking, of course), pinch a paper between my thumb and index finger, lift the paper out of the jar. Then, not too fast, as I don’t want to rush the moment, I enfold the paper, til the words face me. It is then that I begin to read the words, hearing the voice of the writer. I smile, laugh, sigh … a few times tears form in the corners of my eyes.

This is the BEST GIFT EVER!

words speak … to the heart

The Bible reminds us of the value of our words, in many places:

“Wise speech is rarer and more valuable than gold and rubies.”
Proverbs 20:15

“Words satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach; the right words on a person’s lips bring satisfaction.”
Proverbs 18:20

“A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.”
Proverbs 18:4

“Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
Proverbs 16:24

In this past week I have been so reminded of the encouragement in words, through this simply, inexpensive gift. The written word, especially, holds great weight, for it can be read again, and again, and again … replenishing the soul each time afresh.

Speak your words to those you love. Write your words of encouragement to one who holds a special place in your heart. Leave your words for others to read, to know of their value in your eyes … to know their value.

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart”
William Wordworth

Read Full Post »

One of our daughters spent many hours working at swimming pools. Phrases like extend your reach, keep your head above water and throw a lifeline were commonly heard in that water world.

Lately, I have been reminded of lifeguard strength, mentality and the necessity for everyone to have a lifeguard-type person in our lives. As a matter of fact, I think we are all lifeguards.

To throw a lifeline (according to freedictionary.com) is :

“to give someone help 
or a means of dealing with 

a problematic or dangerous situation, 
especially if they are desperate 
or are unlikely to succeed on their own”

Who doesn’t need a lifeline at different times in their lives?

Maybe it is a phone call, assistance with a task, a card, or flowers brought to your door. Maybe it is childcare, or a visit, or a meal delivered. Perhaps it is just (as if just is appropriate when one is in need) a kind word.

Such expressions of help are like lifelines to safety and security. They can be just the best examples of us as the very hands and feet of God.

Read Full Post »

The day of love has arrived … so says our calendar.

Flowers, chocolates, lingerie, jewellery, cards and more are purchased as declarations of our love. Dinner reservations (or home deliveries) are made, candles are lit, chilled drinks poured into stemmed glasses … all to show and celebrate love for someone close to our hearts.

I’m kinda lucky, because my special guy got me freshly fallen snow … could there be a better Valentine’s gift?

The following three verses about love are probably the most frequently quoted love verses in the Bible.

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Matthew 22:37-39
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

John 13:34-35
A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”

The first, written by Paul to the Corinth church. He is instructing the believers in this community on what is important in how to live as followers of Christ.

The second are from the lips of Jesus. He reminds us that we are first to love God, then others. It is through our love of God that we have the capacity to love each other.

The third were the words of Jesus on the night before his death … after the foot washing, after Judas left the room. These were his closest followers, who would build his church on the foundation of these words.

The thing is the word love in each and every use in these verses, is the Greek word agape.

agape is the love to die for …

more specifically,

it’s the love that would die for you

Agape love is unconditional, self-sacrificing, never-ending. It is the highest form of love, the most difficult love to give, the most innately sought. As humans, I believe we were created longing for that love … it is in our DNA to seek it … for it is how our Creator-Father loves us.

Agape love costs nothing, and everything.

It takes no time, yet all of our time.

It requires that we just be ourselves, yet, in our own strength we cannot love like that.

It is the sum total of the reason for the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus … for his Father (He) loved the world so much that he gave so that we would live (John 3:16).

Agape love is to love as does not come natural for us, as humans, for it requires that we say and do things that we do not want to … because someone else needs to receive … and their need, seen through the eyes and heart of agape love (God’s eyes and heart) trump our own.

As we declare our love for those around us, today, may our words and deeds be in line with the unconditional, self-sacrificing, never-ending love that God has modelled for us.

love, as I have loved you

Read Full Post »

Shhh!

Sometimes we need to just get quiet, get past the

how are you?
I am fine

automated conversation.

Sometimes we need to sit, face to face … well, before Covid … sigh.

Ok, sometimes we need to sit, separately, yet heart to heart. We need to move on to the intimate version of the same question …

how are you … really?

One word … just one word changes how one’s heart hears the heart of the one asking the question. That one word says,

I have time.
I have space.
I want to know.

It says,

I care.

We all need to know that someone cares beyond just making the noises, going through the motions. Kind sometimes isn’t enough. Sometimes we need to be kind and to care for others too.

January is one of the dark months and, for some, it can, for some, be a season of being chased by the dark dog. Not a real black dog, but one which can take over more than just a house, it can take over a person’s life.

Just this past week in Canada, there was a mental health awareness campaign called #bellletstalk. People spoke about mental health issues, money was raised. Those are good things to do to show awareness, but there are 364 other days in the year, days when we can make a real difference in the lives of those closest to us.

Here is the thing. Though we all know the heart’s delight when someone shows such care to us, we don’t always show such care to others. We forget, we are in a rush, we have hearts and heads full of our own stuff.

But, what if we were intentional once a day to look into someone’s eyes. I mean, with our masks, eyes are really all that we see. Look into their eyes and say, how are you, really? Maybe with someone at work, someone at school, someone in your household, in your bed. Maybe send a message, a text, an email, a good ol’ fashioned letter, saying, I was thinking of you. How are you, really?

Dive below the surface. Show someone that,

I have time.
I have space.
I want to know.

Ask the question,

how are you … really?

It says,

I care.

Read Full Post »

chocolate, and sunrises, and beaches, and writing, and lilacs, and red leaves, and piano music, and doing new things, and getting groceries (really, I do), and math (uh ha … you heard that right), and my husband, and my wonderdog, and lazy days, and snow, and …

love …

a four-letter word.

the four-letter word …
love.

It is a noun, a ‘thing’ … like pizza, or a flower, or my dog. It is a verb, an ‘action’ … like a hug, washing the dishes, sticking with ’til the end of the movie.

It is a word, made up of letters, equal doses of vowels and consonants. One vowel whispering not a peep, the other masquerading as another. No one letter taking the center stage, but all four working together to hold itself together as one. complete. word.

This word, like the word, in the beginning of the story of humanity. Like that silent ‘e’, which is never spoken … but always there … always … here.

He said “where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3) …

who is He?
God is love (1 John 4:8)

where is He?
he (the Spirit of God) lives with you and will be in you (John 14:17)

why?
as I have loved you, so you also must love one another (John 13:34)

how?
live in me (love), and I (love) will live in you (John 15:4)

how he loves us …

Read Full Post »

It seems every time I turn on the radio I encounter talk of leadership, or, more specifically, political leaders and wannabees.

There is an election that has been called in our province for later this month, but the news is at least as much about the election south of us, in November (somehow, our media outlets and population have become convinced that US politics need more airtime than our own).

Last week I had simply had enough and stopped listening and reading.

I wish politicians would just speak their plans along with explanations of how they plan to carry them out. Tell us what they did and did not accomplish since the last election. I wish they would apologize for their errors, owning not just the victories, but their failures as well. I wish they would stop pointing fingers and hurling insults and just keep the main things the main things.

The Bible is a good place to go when I need to be reminded of the main things, but even we, who are followers of Christ, can miss the main things.

The best example of this is Israel’s waiting and hope for the Messiah.

When Jesus came, as God’s chosen Messiah, his message did not sound like what they had expected.

They wanted affirmation of the law. Thought that their safety and security was found there.

When he broke the law by healing on the Sabbath, he responded with “the Sabbath was made for humans, not humans for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27)

The law is like a whip, beckoning strict obedience. Jesus, as the Messiah, was and is asking something more, something better. His final message to his beloved disciples has nothing to do with law, everything to do with love.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:34-35

It is with love for our God, love for each other that redemption comes to a people, a world in need of saving. It is through love for others that communities strengthen. It is only love, only the leadership of Jesus that will bring (eternal) health and growth to a nation.

He never had to point fingers at the opponent, for what he has to offer is so good that no other is even worthy of mention.

What he has to offer is love … and it’s a promise that will has been, is and will be kept.

Read Full Post »

I want to be a gold digger.

Not like … a real digger of gold, with a lamp on my head and a pick in my hand … though, maybe …

In my relationships, I want to seek the gold, the good in people. I want to dig further into them, to see the nuggets of the purest gold … that which has been refined through a life of both faithfulness and struggle.

This does not come natural, though. It requires intentional effort, for I am a selfish person, who is titillated by gossip and conspiracy-theories.

Thus, Proverbs 11:27,

anyone can find the dirt
in someone,
be the one who finds
GOLD

Simple to say … not so simple to do.

But, I think that, if we make it a focus, if we are intentional about where we allow our minds, our thoughts about others to go … in other words, if we become gold diggers … we will reap priceless riches.

Read Full Post »

I have been looking for love …

Ever since self isolation and Toilet Paper Gate, I have been looking for a way to love others through this time of Coronavirus. I thought it might be doing errands for seniors but … it just didn’t read into my heart the way I wanted it to.

Life is so different, for so many right now!

No sports to watch at the arena or bar, no concerts, no movies at the theatres and cinemas, no romantic dinners at restaurants, no vacations, no church services, no coffee dates and, for so, so many, no jobs to go to.

Living in this time of Coronavirus means we have what many of us have wished and dreamed of for so long … free time. What we didn’t hope for was that we would have free time, largely, self isolated in our homes.

If you are like me (an introvert who can fake it if I have to), it was, initially, delightful. I have painted rooms, done a bit of writing, tried new recipes, did a jigsaw puzzle, watched a bit of TV, gone for walks in the sun with the Wonderdog and enjoyed the sound of … silence.

The thing is that even for we who are introverts need to feel we are contributing to someone, something bigger than ourselves and our own desires to feel … healthy, purposeful, alive.

Yesterday, that something (someone) arrived at my heart-level, as I scrolled through social media, in the form of this:

A friend, with whom I attended church a number of years ago had posted the above. Her adult daughter lives with special needs and she (no doubt the whole family) are finding these days long … really long. In this time of Coronavirus, programs are largely cancelled. The events, and day trips, and jobs, socializing and learning (and respite) that help those with special needs to feel that they are healthy, purposeful, alive have been eliminated from their days … which can leave a big hole.

This mom’s plea touched my heart.

Having spent almost seventeen years as an Educational Assistant and two working in group homes for those with special needs, there is a very special place in my heart for those who live with struggles that go well beyond my own … that includes those with special needs and their families who parent on a level beyond the typical.

So, I have now accumulated three young women’s addresses. All three are ladies who live with unique special needs. All three have purpose, gifts and a need to be part of community. These (and, I hope more) will be my new pen pals, and I have no doubt that I will be at least as encouraged and ‘fed’ by these new or renewed relationships, as they will be.

And DO NOT praise me for this … we are all called to love one another … it just happened that God pointed out to me who, and how to love them.

Now, who is he pointing out to you to love during this season of Coronavirus?

“Each of you should look
not only to your own interests,
but also to the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:4

Read Full Post »

Me or we?

Sometimes our questions come down to that one question …

Me or we?

When we believe that our actions do not have any impact on those around us … when we think that our desires come before anyone else … when we hold to the perspective that we are in control of our own destinies we are living in the me world.

When we consider how our actions impact those around us … when others are considered in the seeking of having our desires met … when we recognize that our destinies are in the hands of a greater power … and we care for the needs of others who we share community with, we are living in a bigger world … the real world.

We are now living in a time when we need to abandon the me for the we.

Now is the time to clean out the stuff in our homes that we truly do not need and prepare it for donation to those who have need. To reach out to help our neighbors who might not be able to get out to get essentials. To read good books, to try new recipes, to take a walk in our neighborhoods, to play games. To use technology, for calls and FaceTime gatherings. To get to know the people who live under our own roofs.

Switching out our thinking from me to we.

It is now the time to listen to what health experts are saying, suggesting, imploring. It is now the time to look at the needs of those around us, of how our pursuit of me could put others in possible danger.

I recently read an article from the Boston Globe, written by Mattia Ferraresi, who is a writer for the Italian newspaper Il Foglio. (The subtitle of the article is, “Many of us were too selfish to follow suggestions to change our behavior. Now we’re in lockdown and people are needlessly dying.”)

Ms. Ferraresi said, of the affects of the lockdown in Italy :

“Strangely, it’s also a moment in which our usual individualistic, self-centered outlook is waning a bit. In the end, each of us is giving up our individual freedom in order to protect everybody, especially the sick and the elderly. When everybody’s health is at stake, true freedom is to follow instructions.”

May we learn from what other nations had to learn the hard way. May we acknowledge that this world does not revolve around me but that we share this world, are co-dependent on each other for both joy and for survival of life.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor (WE) as yourself (ME).’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:36-40

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Roadtirement

"Traveling and Retired"

Karla Sullivan

Progressive old soul wordsmith

Becoming the Oil and the Wine

Becoming the oil and wine in today's society

I love the Psalms

Connecting daily with God through the Psalms

Memoir of Me

Out of the abundance of my heart ,I write❤️

My Pastoral Ponderings

Pondering my way through God's beloved world

itsawonderfilledlife

looking for wonder in everyday life

What Are You Thinking?

Theology is a conversation, and you're invited.

Sealed in Christ

Sixth Seal Ministries

Amazing Tangled Grace

A blog about my spiritual journey in the Lord Jesus Christ.

FisherofMen

Giving a unique view and input on information to help individuals establish a concrete perspective on terms, words, topics and the world around them.

Following the Son

One man's spiritual journey

Fortnite Fatherhood

A father's digital age journey with his family and his faith

Raise Them Up

Parenting with Purpose