You Are Beautiful


February 28
Opening an email request for prayer for a premature baby, which had just been born, my thoughts drifted to how much God loves this little fellow. Having visited cancer hospitals and seen the rooms filled with bald headed men and women the thought has crossed my mind that they are absolutely beautiful to God, even when they feel peeked and less than lovely without their hair.  Looking down at my own wrinkled hands and flabby belly I am affirmed in the realization that God made our bodies to go through this process and to him aging is beautiful.

Closing out this month on love,  I do hope each of you makes the time to slip away with the God of the universe, who created you perfectly in his sight, and that you are able to bask in His love. For it is His love that makes us beautiful in this world!

Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.  

Song of Songs 2:13


You are beautiful  Song of Solomon  7:6

  "You aren't loved because you're valuable. You're valuable because God loves you." 
Anonymous

Along these same lines  Godtube has a great video on how beautiful we are just the way God made us.
Great song by Johnny Diaz called "A More Beautiful You"
http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=DPGYD7NX&utm_source=GodTube%20Today&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=02/28/2014

How Beautiful


February 27
One of our god-daughters celebrated her 30th birthday last week.  She is a professional photographer and captured this gorgeous photo on the beach.  Life looks amazingly brilliant for her at this time as she is a breast cancer survivor!  This young woman is loved by many, but the love she pours out to others is beyond measure!  Her life is truly beautiful!

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=1BBJ1NNU&utm_source=GodTube%20Today&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=01/28/2014

 For the Lord your God is living among you…With His love, He will calm all your fears.
Zephaniah 3:17


"The love of the Father is like a sudden rain shower that will pour forth when you least expect it,
catching you up into wonder and praise."
Richard J. Foster

Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace, 
and the God of love and peace will be with you.
2 Corinthians 13:11

I Have Loved You


February 26
Today's photo is of one of my dearest friends, who went to heaven two years ago today.  We planned our daughters' weddings on the same day, at the same hour, at churches a block apart from one another without realizing what we had done!  Then we had our hair done that day by the same person!
God had just seen my girlfriend through rough, tough lung cancer surgery, but allowed her to make this wedding and she looked beautiful!  The look of love between this mother and daughter is one of the special gifts God creates.  It stands the test of time.


I have loved you, just as my Father has loved me.
So remain faithful to my love for you.
John 15:9

"Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength,
pleads no excuse of impossibility; for it thinks…
all things possible."
Thomas A Kempis

Guard Your Heart

Sorry for being out of order. I was out of town without my computer to post this weekend entry..

February 22-23
Searching for heart idioms I was amazed how negative most of these references are.
Heartache, heart attack, heart failure, hard heart, bleeding heart, broken heart, and heavy heart.
God knows the conditions of our hearts, which can fluctuate greatly. Praise God he binds up the broken -hearted. The following two verses contain some godly maintenance advice for our hearts.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:18

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.  Proverbs 34:18

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock
and my Redeemer.  Psalm 19:14

Human Love


February 25
Nuff said….


…human love may change or fade.
God's love never will.
Billy Graham

I have loved you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3

LOVE


February 24


"Love is the beauty of the soul."

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:7

A godly, godly friend is an AWANA teacher for fifth graders at a local church.  Her Valentine week lesson for these students involved taking the word love and contemplating these words which begin with each letter.
L-listen, learn, lead, loyal
O-obedient, observe, origin, over-flowing
C-visible, viewpoint, valid, valuable
E-endearment, excitement, effect, effort

Then, the following challenge was issued.
"Think about how you can use a word beginning with each letter, to show love to others!"
 What a great exercise for us all to consider applying to our lives.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

If I Don't Have Love


February 21
We can't do a month's concentration on love and not delve into 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, so I thought it would be fun to check it out in The Message translation.

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, 
I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, 
and have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I do't love, I'm nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, 
but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere.

So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head
Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always, "me first," Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always.
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.

Lord, You are Love!  Thank You for loving sinful us.  You call us to love our families, our neighbors, the Body of Christ and even our enemies and those who persecute us.  May this verse be engrained upon our hearts and when loving is hard, may we trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to love us through loving others this way!  In Jesus Name, Amen

Rise Up, Come Away with Me


February 20

Maybe it is a result of dedicating this month to meditating on verses related to God's love for us and the condition of our hearts as believers, but morning after morning I have awakened to God saying,
"Rise up and come away with me." My first thought was maybe I was going to head to heaven that day. but I am still here.
Knowing that was from the Song of Solomon, I decided to delve into those pages of scripture.

"Love ever gives, forties, outlives…and ever stands with open hands."
John Oxenham

If the Song of Solomon doesn't like your fire, with the way God loves us, nothing will!

Come, dear lover-
let's tramp through the countryside.
Let's sleep at some wayside inn, then rise early and listen to bird-song.
Let's look for wildflowers in bloom, blackberry bushes blossoming white,
Fruit trees festooned with cascading flowers.
And there I'll give myself to you, my love to your love!
SOS 7:10-12

The Introduction


February 19
I write this, dear children, to guide you out of sin. But if anyone does sin, we have a
Priestly-Friend in the presence of the Father: Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus.  When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good-not only ours, but the whole world's.
1 John 2:1

Christ Jesus who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God
and is also interceding for us.
Romans 8:34

"You're on a first-name basis with the King of the universe."
Found in Thomas Nelson's book You Are Loved


I awakened with the most wonderful "love"thought…the picture of Jesus sitting at the right hand of God interceding for me.  Jesus makes God approachable for us. He solves our sin problem, which creates a blockade from God.  This morning I pictured the following scene, as I desired to talk to God.

Jesus makes the introduction:  "Oh, Father, I love this one.  Look it's Boo, I know her well. She's a little nutty, but genuinely appreciates what we did for her.  Every morning before she gets out of bed we chat.  She is learning to take every thought captive…but she's a slow learner, this application has taken her about forty years.  She knows she is sinful, but the Holy Spirit's conviction comes faster and faster to her and it's not beyond her to lie face down on the floor, like she is now, seeking forgiveness and direction.  Listen to her Father."
  

A Blessed Thing


February 18


"A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend, one human soul whom we can trust utterly, who knows the best and worst of us, and who loves us in spite of all our faults."
Charles Kingsley

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8
Think how much the Father loves us.
He loves us so much that He lets us be called His children, as we truly are."
1 John 3:1

Oh, that the Body of Christ would behave in the way Kingsley describes.  To love others as Jesus loves us.  To see friendship as a gift to be treasured.   To forgive faster than we grumble and to put the needs of others before our own.  (Funny, that last one wouldn't be appropriate on an airplane in regards to the oxygen masks being dispensed!)

It is a blessed thing to have a friend who loves you well!

Unprecedented Abandon



February 17
"The God of the universe, the one who holds the stars and the moon in place, 
knows everything about you and loves you with unprecedented abandon."
Sheila Walsh

"Our Lord does not care so much for the importance of our works 
as for the love with which they are done.
Teresa of Avila

In everything we have won more than a victory, because of Christ who loves us.  
I am sure that nothing can separate us from God's love.
Romans 8:37-38

How has your "love" month unfolded?  Did you get a Valentine? The mail didn't run here on Thursday or Friday with our storm. Did you send a Valentine?
I had the most romantic Valentine's week ever. We received 18" of snow here at Shiloh, my husband closed school for 3 days and we played in the snow! The roads cleared in time to get out and enjoy a delicious Valentine's dinner with goat cheese french toast, covered in sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and topped with a sunny side up spring egg. w00t! It was out of this world.

As incredible as all those moments were, I still longed for my Jesus time.  To sing praise to the Lord, worship him with gladness and watch the written Word light up our soul is truly an indescribable love.  May we find time everyday to sneak away and experience this kind of unprecedented abandon.  May we know Christ with the confidence that reminds us we will be able to do this for all of eternity!

Unfailing Love



February 16

What a person desires is unfailing love.  Proverbs 19:22a

A close friend was sharing about a women's retreat she had attended, where on the first night the small group facilitator asked her group, "What is your deepest desire?"  As the women in the group became vulnerable and unpacked those desires the facilitator was able to walk them through what the underlying factor was behind those desires.  For several, the desire was Proverbs 19:22…unfailing love.

I've always felt people have the need to be needed and the desire to be loved.  God's purpose and calling on our lives fills the need and his unconditional, eternal love fills the desire!  Whose life can we touch this weekend, by asking them to come alongside us to help in some way and whose life can we brighten by showing them we love them.  After establishing relationship in this way, then we can be bold enough to tell them there is a source that never runs dry of fulfilling these longings of our hearts!


Valentine's Day

February 14 
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!  
Psalm 119:103  
A friend emailed this story about the history of Valentine's Day.
I have not checked the validity, but love the story and decided to pass it along.
"Did you know that Valentine's Day began with a prison ministry?  In the year A.D.320, the early church set aside February 14th to remember the heroic death of a man named Valentine, who was beheaded on a pagan altar because he refused to renounce Jesus Christ. According to historic tradition, Valentine was born into a wealthy Roman family and converted to Christianity as a young man, sometime around the year A.D. 240.
It was an era when the church was being severely persecuted by the degenerate Roman emperor, Cluadius II.  Thousands of Christians were imprisoned in the dark, tomb-like jails of Rome.  Wealthy Romans of the time considered it "entertainment" to visit the prisons and watch as Christians were tortured and put to death.
Valentine took advantage of his family connections to visit the prisons too-but he made it his mission to smuggle in small gifts of food to those facing martyrdom, always accompanied by a short note expressing love and encouragement.  Valentine, devout and strong-hearted, was eventually arrested and was martyred in Rome about A.D.270.  
Though the roots of the tradition are largely forgotten, his ministry of love and caring is still commemorated  today, more than 1,700 years later!
On Valentine's Day, share this important history with your children and grandchildren-and enjoy a little "ministering" together by delivering Valentine's Day treats to a local nursing home or children's hospital.  It is important to teach our children the Christian roots of many worldly traditions- and they are never too young to enjoy the blessing of showing love and generosity:"
Marilyn And Sarah

Love Reaches to the Heavens


February 13
Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, 
your faithfulness to the skies.
Psalm 36:5 
"The more we know of God, the more we know of love."
Thomas Nelson's You Are Loved.

"Faith, like light, should always be simple and unbending;
while love, like warmth, should beam forth on every side."
Martin Luther

Follow the Way



February 12
There's an old favorite love lyric which goes like this:
"Baby I need your lovin, got to have all your lovin."
Maybe God wrote those words!  Nah, while He wants to be our first love, he wants us to follow His way of love and give bucket loads of love away to others.  Who needs a scoop full of love today?
Let's dish it out, BIG time!

Follow the way of love.
1 Corinthians 14:1

"Love doesn't make the world go around.
Love is what makes the ride worthwhile."
Franklin P. Jones

Inexhaustible Love

February 11
Today is the 28th birthday of our 5th child.  He is a love and loves others so well.  As I read Antoine de Saint Exupery's quote on inexhaustible love I think of maternal love. Maternal love never gives out.
Neither does God's love!
My thoughts are drawn to hospital and hospice rooms where the physically exhausted sit by bedsides with their never ending love pouring out over loved ones whose outer shell may be failing, but their hearts are still connected to the person by their bed.  Love is powerful!

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever,
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:5

"For true love is inexhaustible;
the more you give, the more you have."
Antoine de Saint Exupery


"If there is anything better than to be loved, it is loving."
Anonymous

Something Holy

February 10
The link below is to a song of which I was not at all familiar.  The lyric, "We were made to be a part of something holy," really grabbed my heart.  We forget who we are in Christ.  We listen to what the world says about us and forget how God sees us.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who 
called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLOVgl3hWq0


The secret of your life is written on your heart's desire.
John Eldredge

Let's pray we can be all God desires for us to be!  We will be blown away as that happens!


Redeeming Love


February 8-9
I've just finished reading Francine Rivers' book Redeeming Love for the third time.  Each time I've read this piece of Christian fiction it has taken me to a deeper realization and appreciation for the depth of our Father's love.  (Also, it creates a deep gratitude for my husband's unconditional love for me.) 
Give yourself a wonderful Valentine gift and read this book.  Charles Stanley had an excellent devotional this week that is worth printing off and keeping to read after you read Redeeming Love.

"Our Thoughts" 

by Charles Stanley

Read | Romans 12:1-2
The mind is the control tower of life. Your thoughts greatly influence not only your successes, failures, and choices but also your relationship with the Lord and others. Godliness comes from thinking the way God does.
Yet there are several problems that can negatively impact your thought life. One of the most persistent is the influence of your past. When you were saved, God gave you a new spirit and a new life. However, in letting you start over, He did not blot the past from your mind. The Father wants you to be able to draw from your good and bad experiences when ministering to others. He also wants you to appreciate His grace and knows it is important for you to remember what He rescued you from.
Another problem is unsuitable input. Though we may think we are immune to the effect of harmful influences, what we allow into our minds does greatly impact our thinking. Unrighteous input creates an acceptance of and desire for worldly things. It can also lead to internal conflict: our godly thoughts are at odds with our ungodly appetites, which creates feelings of tension and guilt. As we begin to edit God from various parts of our lives, we allow Satan to gain a toehold.
That’s why God tells us, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Phil. 4:8). He knows that properly programming our mind can protect us from the Devil’s traps.

A Valentine for Jesus


February 7
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
Psalm 33:22 

"Those who love deeply never grow old; 
they may die of old age, but they die young."
Sir Arthur Pinero

"To find someone who will love you for no reason,
and to shower that person with reasons, that is the ultimate happiness."
 Robert Brault

Working on Valentines yesterday, I realized I hadn't made one for Jesus.  I can't wait to mail that one!
While being crafty, I listened to several of James MacDonald's sermons on "Choices".  Today, I choose to put my hope and trust in Jesus!  He is my All in All.

http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/walk-in-the-word/

Love Will Follow Me


February 6

"Love began with the One who perfectly designed you to love and be loved;…
…love grows with those who treasure you now and those who are yet to be blessed by knowing you."
From Thomas Nelson's book, You Are Loved

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days
of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 23:6

While this month is dedicated to love, I think this Chris Tomlin song is a love song.  A friend posted it on Facebook the day a kind, gentle, extremely talented friend of ours went to heaven.  It is because of the immensity of God's love, through the sending of Jesus to die for our sins, we can sing such a song in a time of sorrow and be filled with joy and a sense of victory knowing as believers…we can dwell in the house of the Lord forever!
This has been a season of saying good-bye.  To all those families grieving, we continue to send up prayers for comfort and peace.


We Interrupt... for a Pride Test

February 5
We interrupt the light heartedness of this look at love, in the month of February, because "misery loves company" and I did Nancy Leigh DeMoss's Pride Test yesterday and was convicted on multiple accounts.  Knowing most of you as I do, I figured you'd love a deep cleansing from the Lord as well.

Truly, her Monday broadcast is not for sissies, but for those who know how much God hates pride and also know that godly correction and our repentance bring great freedom and relief.

God has been working on me in the area of pride lately and I thought I had done so well receiving His discipline…PRIDEFUL wasn't I.  Well, the teaching at Revive Our Hearts took me back multiple notches.   Pride keeps us from being close to God and that's my favorite place to be, so I'm willing to confess, repent and try, try again through the power of the Holy Spirit.

http://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/revive-our-hearts/pride-test-2/

Sing of Love


February 4
But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
Psalm 59:16

"The love we give away is the only love we keep"
Elbert Hubbard

"You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love."
Henry Drummond

Are the kids out the door?  The hubby off to the office?  Are we alone in the shower or the car? If so, off we go to sing to our first love!  Sing to the Lord a new song!  Make a joyful noise, on or off key.  God is so powerful whatever comes out of our mouths, to Him will be a fabulous melody!

God Loved First


February 3
We love because God first loved us.
1 John 4:19

"You cannot touch love…, but you can feel the sweetness it pours into everything."
Helen Keller


The Casting Crowns song below speaks to how God created us for His love!  The title is All He Ever Wanted Was Our Hearts!


Love

February 1-2
This month will be dedicated to heartfelt love comments!  I'll also try to photograph some of my handmade Valentines.

You are forgiving and good, O Lord, 
abounding in love to all who call to you.
Psalm 86:5
 
 
 

Let My Words Be Few

January 31
Well, my words were so few that I forgot to post them.  There are days when we sit before the Lord in silence and just listen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdfRn61mAUo