In the book of Romans, chapter 12 and verses 4-6, Paul says: “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.”
Isn’t it wonderful that, as Christians, we get a whole new family! Our brokenness is taken away and we can become whole. We learn how to love through the example of Jesus and, as God’s children; we want what’s best for each other.
But how often do we support each other? We live in a busy world, and I would venture to say that we don’t know a lot about our Christian brothers and sisters because we are caught up in the busyness of life.
As I grow the website and as people begin to find it, I am starting to receive some emails through our contact form. I received an email from Shaun who found some healing Christian music that would be good for meditation. The email encouraged me to put a video on my website. At this time, my intention is not to offer music videos, however, this email got me thinking about all of us being part of one body and supporting each other as Christians.
I have stepped out in faith, leaving a lucrative corporate career to pursue the gifts that God has given me, which are writing, creating and inspiring others. On this spiritual path I have met others who have also stepped out in faith to use their talents and to further God’s kingdom.
I heard a statistic that there are 3 million Americans out of work and that many of these jobs may never return. We are at a crossroads right now where the traditional job market is not the same. There is no longer a guarantee of security in working for an employer. That’s why we have to change the way we think and how we do business.
I absolutely love otters. I remember as a kid watching Disney stories on Sundays and one particular episode showed a family that had two river otters that played and created havoc throughout the house.
Any time I visit a zoo, I immediately look on the map to see if they have an otter area. I finally got to see an otter up close and personal for the first time this past summer. Robert took this picture of a sea otter and every time I look at it, it makes me smile. It makes me feel instantly calm because it looks like this otter is meditating.
Why do I like otters so much? Because they are always playful and mischievous. To me, otters exude joy. They act as if they have no cares in the world.
As Christians, we are also supposed to exude joy. Jesus says in John 15:11 – “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
I love animals, so I am always interested in watching animal documentaries. One documentary talked about animal behavior. I had never given it much thought but man is the only animal that worries and dwells on an event. No other animal does that.
Take for example, an antelope living in Africa. It’s quietly eating grass when a lion comes out of nowhere. Continue reading
You can’t talk about love and Bible verses on love without quoting the apostle Paul from I Corinthians Chapter 13. This famous chapter is quoted at virtually every wedding ceremony. While I’m not going to quote the entire chapter here, I will quote some of the key verses. If you’re looking for the definition of love, this is as comprehensive as it gets.
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
And now these these three things remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
As Valentine’s Day approaches, a day where we celebrate love, ask yourself if you exude these qualities when it comes to love.
If anger or jealousy, impatience, keeping track of some harm or incident where you felt another person was wrong come to mind when you think about love, stop and think on the definition given by Paul.
It is easy to allow ourselves to crowd out true love. Perhaps we have been hurt so badly by others that we build up a fortress to protect our hearts from being hurt again. While this protection can serve us in the short-term, in the long-term we miss out on the freedom that comes with a heart that is filled with love. Our hearts can become so hardened that we may not even be aware of this self-protection. Continue reading
Romans 5:5 “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
I John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God.”
On Valentine’s Day we celebrate love. But if you don’t have a special person in your life, or if you don’t feel lovable, this holiday could make you feel lonely and sad. Don’t be sad. You are loved! These verses will help you to know for certain that you are loved!
I love the word lavish! To lavish means – To be extravagant, to literally squander or be wasteful.
As we countdown to Valentine’s Day, know that every day, every moment, God lavishes his love on you. Take some of that wasted love and give it back to others.
Let me leave you with one of my favorite Bible passages, written by Paul. Romans 8:38 & 39:
“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.”
I John 4:16 – “And we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.”
I was raised in a church where the message from the pulpit was that, “We are wretched sinners!” This message was usually delivered in a loud voice accompanied by a fist pounding hand. So, my perception of God was not, “God is love.” It was – God will, “Squish me like a bug if I step out of line.” At least that’s what I heard. The message made me fear God and not love God.
While there isn’t one hundred percent proof that John (disciple and cousin of Jesus) wrote this book of the New Testament, we do know that John was called, “The disciple that Jesus loved.” In this same chapter, the writer goes on to say in verse 18: “There is no fear in love. But Continue reading
When I was dating, I connected with an old friend at a high school reunion. He invited me to participate in a program at his church called Inside Out. The foundation of the program was, as Christians, we change from the inside out.
There was an awesome pastor teaching the class. One of the first exercises that he had us do was to fill in the blank of this statement. “Without ___________________ life would not be worth living.”
I was peaking over my friend’s shoulder hoping that he would write – Without “Jackie” life would not be worth living…. Just being honest. But instead, he wrote the word – health.
This was understandable. My friend’s father had died of a heart attack at the age of 54 and my friend was 48. He was taking medication for high blood pressure and for high cholesterol, even though, physically, he was in good shape. Heart disease had taken the life of many of his uncles too.
I wrote the word love. Without love, live wouldn’t be worth living.
I have to say that I am pretty fortunate as a writer that my mind is constantly spinning with creative ideas. But, inevitably, we all hit the wall – the wall of writer’s block. That’s when you sit down with your pad of paper or plop down in front of the computer and nothing comes.
When that happens, you can’t sit and will your brain to spew out lovely prose. It just won’t happen. In the world of true creativity, you can’t force things. That’s when you have to tap into some Divine creative power.
I took this picture at the Monterey Aquarium. It’s a sea horse. Can you believe it? There were 32 different varieties of sea horses. I rarely watch television, but one of my favorite shows is CBS Sunday Morning. Robert and I watch it before we go to church. One Sunday they featured “Creatures.” I had no idea that there are 1.8 million known species!
While I have always admired God’s handy work in the form of sunsets, clouds, mountains – I had no idea how many species God created. And there are more we haven’t even discovered. This solidified for me the mind and creativity of God. It gave me a new meaning and appreciation of God as the Ultimate Creator.
All writers and artists experience being blocked.
Kurt Warner – an ordinary person??? Come on! In his 12 years with the NFL he earned two MVP trophies, a Super Bowl title, three Super Bowl appearances and passed for of 32,000 yards. How can that be ordinary? This is his story now, and not where his story began.
But before I talk about that, I wanted to send out this heart felt thank you to Kurt Warner for all that he did for us devoted football fans in St. Louis and for the extraordinary person that he is. This picture shows me holding up my Kurt Warner football jersey that I wore when the St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl in 1999. While St. Louis is known for baseball, our town is a great sports town. There were many a die-hard Cardinals football fan who braved the outside elements (I think my toes have finally thawed out after a Thanksgiving Redskins vs. Cardinals game) to support their team. The Cardinals never came close to ever going to the Super Bowl. Our city was so shocked when the Cardinals left to move to Arizona. So when the Rams came to St. Louis, we were elated. I will forever love Kurt Warner for his story, Continue reading