The Greatest is Love

Oh no, Lord. Not again. I breathe in silent prayer for the young man who staggered up to my counter at the store. Father, I don’t know if this boy is drunk or strung out on drugs. But You know him Lord. You know what problems he faces, the struggles. You even hold the answer. Please help him overcome whatever holds him captive.

“How can I help you.” The young man asks about our Western Union service. I finish his transaction and watch while he walks away. Still not steady, but walking. I pray for his mother too.

We’re told, “pray without ceasing,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NASB) and that makes sense with the many opportunities to pray for others. For deliverance, for salvation, redemption, health, finances,

For peace….

At the store I also see many reasons to praise God for the love and grace He provides.

But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love,” 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NASB). Some translations have the word love translated as charity and this love is evident in the tiny grocery store as customers give to others—

The leather-clad biker who leaves his change, a $20 bill, to the young mother with a toddler and an infant, standing in line behind him.

The woman who pulls out her debit card to pay the remaining $7 for a college student’s purchase so he doesn’t have to choose what food to put back.

The man who reached into his own pocket for the change needed to cover the elderly man’s meal.

People who struggle to feed themselves and their own family yet pull out a $5 bill to purchase prepackaged groceries for the local food pantry.

The cashiers who put a handful of change from their own purses at their register, just in case somebody comes up a little short.

The director of a faith-based thrift store who arranges with the grocery manager to pay the bill of a family enduring hardship.

These things demonstrate the greatness of America. It’s not the politics (which often leave us disheartened no matter what viewpoint we hold) but the people. Their love and their prayers.

Our Love.

Our prayers.

Our Father.

… put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, …
“Whatever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father,” Colossians 3:14-17 (NASB).

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Loose Terminal = No Power

Saturday my husband and I ran errands. We got into the car to leave the first stop and head to the second. The car wouldn’t start.

Nothing. Not even a click.

He looked at me, I looked at him, he said, “Go see if someone can give us a jump.” I got out of the passenger seat to go back inside Sonic to get help while he tried again. It started before I reached the restaurant door so I climbed back into the car.

Weird.

I finished at the credit union (Saturday hours are great), got back in the car. It wouldn’t start. Again nothing.

My husband got out, opened the hood and started checking things. I sat in the driver’s seat to test it when he asked. He wiggled this, adjusted that, but since all his tools were home, we still needed to get there. One final adjustment, he signals me through the windshield to turn the key. This time it started. Next few errands will have to wait for another day. We needed to get the car home before we got completely stranded.

In the driveway at home, Tony checked the car again, turning the key in the ignition.

Nothing.

He pulled his tools out of the garage and went to work. He found a loose battery terminal.

photo courtesy of Pixabay

Loose terminal = no battery power to the engine components.

The day before, Friday, I read 1 Chronicles, Chapter 13 about David moving the ark of the covenant. He didn’t follow the instructions God gave on how it must be transported, and bad things befell the men who were moving it.

“David was afraid of God that day, saying, “How can I bring the ark of God home to me?”
2 Chronicles 13:12 (NASB).

On the surface these two events are not related, yet how many times do we limit the power available to us, the power of God Almighty, because of our fear?

Fear is like a loose battery terminal. It impedes the flow of energy. It prevents us from drawing upon the power of God. Of course, we can’t manipulate God, but we can tighten our connections.

And just like my husband needed his tools to tighten the battery terminal we need our tools, the Scriptures, to keep our connection to God, and His power.

Update. The car is running fine.

Lord, how many times do I limit the power available to me through You by letting fear control my behavior instead of doing things Your way? Help me to learn from David’s mistakes and not repeat them.

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Holding onto God

I work in a grocery store. I’m amused by the man (usually it’s a man), who will shop without a cart or basket. He hunts for the items he needs, gathers them into his hands, tucks boxes under his arms and makes his way to the cash register. Sometimes blindly, as he can’t quite see over the load he’s carrying. His hands are full!

At the register he sets and sometimes drops, the boxes/cans/bags on the conveyor belt. Many times, he breathes a sigh of relief. Whether it’s because he’s grateful he made it without dropping anything on the floor or because THAT chore is finally over, isn’t always clear.

I watched an infant reach up to her mother from the seat in the shopping cart, crying. Mom reached out to take her child in her arms, but the little girl’s fists still clenched the toys she held. Her hands were full!

Last year, I was in a similar situation but instead of boxes, cans, bags, or toys, I juggled worries over financial problems, nervousness over a job interview, and concerns over moving decisions. My hands were full!

I cried out to God. I knew He heard my prayers, but I couldn’t see the answers. My arms were overloaded with anxieties blinding me to His Presence. I cried out louder, then I realized—Holding onto God is easier when there’s nothing else in your hand.

Are you holding on to too many things? Is God reaching out to you, but your hands are full? We often hear the phrase “Let go, and let God…” but do we truly “let go?” If you’re struggling or juggling too many things remember it’s easier to hold onto God when there’s nothing else in your hand.

But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,” Joshua 22:5 (NIV).

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Feeling Trapped? Just Whinny.

 

photo credit pixabay.com

A horse whinnied.

I dashed into the house, set my coffee cup on the counter, grabbed my keys, stuck my feet into my boots, and raced out the door to the barn.

I called out to my son as I left, “Reecie must be trapped in a stall again.”

As I crossed the arena toward the pasture gate, I could see all three of my horses grazing at the back of the pasture. Nobody was stuck in a stall this time.

What the …? Who whinnied? And why? My questions went unanswered. Expecting food, the horses started walking toward the barn. I fed them a small lunch and refilled their buckets with fresh water. After cleaning an area of the barn, I put hay in front of each of them. Gave them a stroke in their favorite spots—Holly’s shoulder, Reecie’s face, behind ChaCha’s ear and headed back to the house.

A horse called. I responded.

A HORSE called, I responded.

Huh, a horse CALLED, and I responded. When I heard the horse, I didn’t stop to wonder if it was my horse, a neighbor’s horse, did it really need me, was it talking to other horses. I just went.

How much more does God respond when WE call? Even better, He knows who calls, and why. He shows up to attend to our needs, to offer comfort, to be there when we need Him.

Feeling trapped? Just whinny. God hears.

“But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself; The Lord hears when I call to Him,” Psalm 4:3 (NASB).

 

 

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Axe Heads Float?

Are you pondering what 2019 will bring?
I am.

Are you thinking about resolutions to make or changes to your lifestyle to incorporate?
I am.

Do you consult God during these mental exercises?
I do.

This morning, I read 2 Kings 6:1-7 (NASB). I’ve read the Bible through often, but I always learn something new. Or at least see something familiar in a new way. That’s what happened to me today.

The passage describes sons of the prophets who want to relocate to another area and build new homes for themselves. They invite Elisha, the prophet, to accompany them and he agrees. As they are cutting wood to build their homes one of the axe heads falls off and into the water. Sunken beneath the surface. He cries out to Elisha, “Alas my master! For it was borrowed.”

Elisha asks, “Where did it fall?” When the man showed him, Elisha cut off a stick and tossed it into the water causing the axe head (iron) to float. Amazing, right?
Then Elisha tells the man to “’Take it up for yourself.’ So he put out his hand and took it.” (2 Kings 6:7 NASB)

Ponder with me –

  • Everything is within the reach of God. And, through His power—we can reach it too
  • We cannot sink so low that God won’t bring us to the surface, if we ask
  • Our lives are “borrowed”, but in our case the owner Himself reaches out His hand, restores us, and returns us to an “unbroken” state

Pray with me –

Father bless us with new visions and understanding as we seek to know You more fully through Your written word. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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One-on-One Time

Yesterday, in her own way, Reecie (my horse) asked for some one-on-one time. Yes, I was on my phone, playing a game, while at the barn. What a waste. Thank you Reecie for letting me know you wanted to be with me. Thank you God for bringing this post to my attention. At just the time I needed it.

Dazzled By The Son

We call it “One-Oh Time” in our house.

My littlest coined the phrase a while back. In was her baby-talk way of asking me to spend “one-on-one time” with her. We laughed at the cute expression, but it stuck. Now we all use the term for our special mommy-and-me times.

One-Oh TimeWe started this practice of one-on-one time a few years ago during a particularly frustrating parenting season. My days were spent correcting and instructing, yet the negative behavior continued. My husband suggested that maybe our kids needed some focused alone time with me – just the two of us having fun together.

Sure enough, it made a world of difference…

To read the rest of the story, please visit Just18Summers.

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7 Life Lessons from Bugs of Fire and Light

Life lessons taught by God through His creation–

Big Sister Knows

A few years ago, Robby and I had the pleasure of joining our friends Paul and Mary in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It was during the month of May, and I was thrilled to experience something that had been on my bucket list for years: to see the fireflies. Since I’m from the South, I’m quite familiar with fireflies (aka lightning bugs), but I had read that these amazing insects would gather by the thousands in certain areas in the mountains. Not only would they signal to one another by flashing on and off, but they would actually blink in unison. I could only imagine what a field looked like with thousands of lightning bugs blinking on and off throughout the night.

So when Paul and Mary asked us if we wanted to share their cabin for a few days and join them in watching the lightning bugs, we jumped at the…

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When Depression Moves In

Depression – if you, or a loved one, struggles with depression, please read Meredith’s words of encouragement.

Dazzled By The Son

What happened to my joy?

The question tugged at the corners of my soul as I trudged through each day. A dark cloud hovered over every waking moment. And sleep? That was a struggle, too. I had one bed-wetter and another child with night-terrors, so the sleep I did get was often fragmented and restless.

How I hated mornings. I dreaded facing a new day.

How can I be a good mom when I feel so sad, so weary, so…depressed?

(For the rest of the story, hop over to CBN where I’m sharing today about my walk through depression and the hope I’ve found along the way.)

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and welcome you to join the conversation by leaving a comment below.

Related Posts:

When I Forget…God is Faithful 

On Questions Without Answers

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A Tale of Three Doors

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Originally posted on Kathryne Leach:
I’m in a season with new doors. Not the opportune kind, I’m talking literal doors here. Gift of a Hand Carved Door Hubby and I bought a new house and to our delight, it came…

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What is trust?

Once again I’m amazed by God’s perfect timing. This is exactly what I needed to read today. Maybe it’ll be perfect for some of my readers too.

Boosterclub Blog

How is it that after many years of having put my trust in God, I still find myself needing to learn to trust him? In scripture, the answer is very simple: “whatever is not from faith is sin,” (Romans 14:23b NKJV). In daily life, many arguments and what-ifs fog the clear path set before us. Each difficult situation we face has its own battery of objections, fears, and save-face actions to deal with. The simplest response to tough situations (trust in the Lord) becomes the hardest in the face of how our peers and family interpret our action or inaction.

Things trust is not or at least not intended to be:

1. Fatalistic. Trusting is not as passive as it may appear to be to others. My resume must be one of the top ones for bizarre. In fact, I remember telling the Lord that very thing once. I was…

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