Love, Love, Love….

Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love. There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done. Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung. Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game It’s easy. There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made. No one you can save that can’t be saved. Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time – It’s easy.

All you need is love, all you need is love, All you need is love, love, love is all you need. Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love. All you need is love, all you need is love, All you need is love, love, love is all you need.

The Beatles

Love is an amazing thing. It catches you when you would fall. It helps you up when you do fall. When you crack, it keeps you from breaking. When you do break, it helps you pick up the pieces. You see things differently because of love. It makes things worthwhile. If you love, then you are part of something great. If you ARE loved, be very, very thankful. People chase down substitutes all their long lives to have the amazing thing that you have found.

Some people scoff at theidea of love. They think it is something for the weak, like religion. What we all need to understand, however, is that when we admit the truth that we do not know everything. When we are able to lay down our pride, we come to a realization that there must be a God. The fact that terrible things happen in the world points to your own free will, and mine, and the free will of billions of others who have shared the square footage of earth we walk today. Free will and choice means that yes, we can strive for and accomplish great things. We can also cause great destruction, pain, hurt, and loss. To question why God does not step in and stop the horrors committed every day is like asking if it would just be better to be a slave and not have a choice at all. When we are able to choose at all, we are able to choose to do right or wrong. It’s very simple. If we know about injustice or misery, we are honor bound to do more than ask why. We must pray and we must act.

The reasons behind our ability to choose as well as our deep responsibility to choose what is right are rooted in the overwhelming and consuming love of God. He wants to sweep us up and involve us in something great. He wants us all to be able to experience the joy that only comes, not from getting your own way, but from giving so much of yourself that it becomes like a stairway to lift others above where they were. God wants us all to know how much more peace we can feel if we reach out to give, instead of take.

It is easy to wonder why God cares to do any of this, when He could accomplish so much more on His own. Much like a parent teaching their children how to cook and clean and ride a bike and build a tree house, He wants us to grow. More than this, God involves us with other people because it pleases Him to do so. How many times has someone reached out to you? How many times have you received encouragement, a porch full of groceries, an anonymous envelope with cash? How many times has someone sat down with you, giving you their undivided attention, because they wanted to share some peace and hope? God loves you, and these things were all proof.

OK, but no one cares about me, you may say. No one has ever done any of those things for me. God doesn’t love me after all, if that is the only proof. There is more proof of His love for you than I could ever tell you about. Sometimes we push people away and then the only way left is for us is to build some bridges. This may sound daunting until you remember that God is the Ultimate Way-Maker. If you do the little bit that you can do, and don’t give up, your efforts will be rewarded.

The point I want to drive home to you today, however, is not the idea that we are all capable of changing the world, or that we can rise to greater heights than we have yet achieved. These things are true. Still, the most important thing is that you begin to have a dawning realization that YOU ARE LOVED, already, more than you can possibly imagine, and it is no fairy tale or dream or invention of the imagination.

GOD LOVES YOU. Now what are you going to do about it?

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5 : 8-20

The Debts We Owe In Life

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward (American dedicated scholar, author, editor, pastor and teacher)

How many times has it been that you can look back and remember times when you worked hard, sacrificed, did without, accomplished great things, overcame difficulties…..and no one said a word?? We have all faced these situations in life, these times when we feel completely over-looked and taken for granted. The problem is, we ourselves are guilty of doing this to others as well.

Now, we can all relate to being under-appreciated. We should be very careful, then, about passing this feeling along to others. It is immature to use the excuse that no one thanks US, so it’s just turn-about and fair play, blah, blah, blah, if we do the same to others. Enough of our excuses. We know better. Period.

A couple of months ago, there was a miniseries on TV about the Hatfields and the McCoys. It was a great conversations starter with my hubby and I. For one thing, when it comes to getting even, no one ever wins, because it just keeps going on, like an eternal game of tag. Each side seems to be so offended at what the other side does and always surprised and enraged when they are reaping what they sow. My point in regard to being grateful, however, is this: If you want the world to be different, then BE DIFFERENT.

So remember the debts we carry are not all financial, but moral as well. No matter what our station in life or the size (or lack) of our bank account, we all have the ability to lighten someone else’s load by telling them of our appreciation, freely and frequently. Encourage people to do the right thing by you and others by saying how much they mean to us. Neglecting this is a lot like planting a wonderful garden and then refusing to water it. We can feed people around us or we can starve them. The landscape we live in will reflect on US.

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. James 5 : 1-5