We cannot hate those He loves

cut out hatred scissors on paper

All mine are yours and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.  And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.  Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.          John 17:10-11 Many years ago, a friend of mine (father of 3 and long-time friend who I’d worked and done life within many different capacities) told me it meant a lot to him that I loved his children so well.  He is not an incredibly emotional man so the strong feeling behind his statement struck me, and I never forgot the importance of the moment.  I don’t have children, but I think I’m beginning to see the depth of what he felt. In recent years, I’ve seen a lot of […]

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Living on Mission: Are you my neighbor?

person on doorstep gift

This is the second part of my thoughts about Living on Mission.  For its companion, read Living on Mission: What is it Anyway? What was your favorite Bible story growing up?  Maybe it was the story of Noah and all the animals, David and Goliath, Joseph and his very colorful coat, or Jesus walking on water.  For me, it was the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).  (I actually called it The Good “Cemetery,” but hey, I was little, ok?)  I’m not really sure why it stuck with me all these years, but I do know I was drawn to the person who saw a person in need and helped. When the Pharisees asked Jesus what the greatest command is, the second part of His answer included: ”Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). It may lead you to wonder who your neighbor really is.  This is the exact […]

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Be Still and Know

women

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46: 10 (NIV) The word stillness is not my favorite word by any means. At some point in my life, I completely removed it from my vocabulary. Utterly resolved to venture into a life of productivity, and perfect it, I was prepared to ring in the new year with this mentality. Excitedly writing my hopes, dreams, and things I wanted to accomplish in 2021, I vowed not to hold back—to be proactive and watch the blessing flow. Then December 31st happened.  You know that poem we love to quote? Psalm 23. “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures.” In theory, it sounds great. In reality, it’s far from it. The keyword here is makes. This situation […]

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When Romance Falls Short

person in black long sleeve shirt

As I sat on the couch recently reflecting on my marriage, I wept and cried out to the Lord wondering, “What has happened? Why don’t I feel as pursued by him as I once did? Why do I long for greater intimacy in my marriage?” This scene has not been uncommon in our five and half years of marriage. But why? Because my husband is selfish and unthoughtful? Absolutely not! My husband is genuinely a gift from the Lord. He is tender, compassionate, an amazing listener, and a man after God’s own heart. I am truly undeserving in many ways of such a companion! Yet, in nearly every season of married life, I go through bouts where I feel a deep ache in my soul, wondering what has happened to the romance and love we first felt. Why do I sometimes still feel lonely?  These questions have driven me to […]

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Abide With Me

vine branches

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16 “Abide in Me,” Jesus says.  The words “Abide with Me” to the tune of the hymn have been playing in my mind, over and over again. This season has had many ups and downs. I find that I keep praying for many things or situations to occur or change in my present and in my future when I am realizing the one thing I truly need more of is Jesus. No matter the situation, I need God’s personal presence in every part of my life, and this is a song that pleas for it at the end of every verse–Abide with me. I hope it brings encouragement to you as well. The other evening, I […]

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