WORD – Part 5: Expect Two Things

As I said, my WORD for 2017 is: LIFE.

Living my WORD, is not easy.  It’s a bit like being a mother.

As a mother, I know that I am loved by my husband and children, and I certainly do “being love” 24/7, even when it doesn’t appear that way. Once a baby comes out of a mother’s womb, there is little room for the “I”… and forgiveness is a constant flowing gift, both sought after, and offered,

because mothers deal with a lot of messes.

So, what of the “E” in LIFE?

“E” is for Expect.

Expect two things.

ONE: Expect to stumble. 

We will be unlovable.

We will not want to love others.

We will be selfish.

We will hold grudges.

Right? This is realistic because we are perfectly imperfect humans. WE WILL STUMBLE as we live LIFE out.

The Psalmist knew this well and encourages us:“…though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:24

so…TWO: Expect to be upheld.

Upheld conjures up a cradle image to me, cupped hands holding a soggy baby bird that fell from the safety of the nest due to the storm.

That is what the LORD does for us. And we can expect this loving care from him: to be held with gentleness.

This WORD: LIFE seems to have gone full circle…

You are loved.

Be love to others.

Get rid of the “I” and give dangerously.

Be forgiven and forgive others.

Expect, to stumble and expect to be upheld…and loved….round and round we go in this WORD: LIFE!

Love is the thread through it all.

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There is always a song of Hope to be sung!

Have you read my published song of HOPE?

Towdah, A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope is available on Amazon, just click on this title. Towdah, addresses key issues universally prominent in any kind of trial, even though this is a telling of my journey through cancer.

Happy New Year 2017

WORD – Part 4: The “F” Word

And now the “F” word:

not four letters, but eleven.

Forgiveness.

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LIFE.

Loved.

And being love.

“I”, giving dangerously.

and now, Forgiveness.

Receiving it, is freedom.  Offering it, fills up that life to the full.

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Forgiveness is like a pry bar, it looses the nails of guilt & shame.

Forgiveness is like a salve, it soothes the wounds.

Forgiveness is like duct tape, it binds the broken back together.

Forgiveness is like a key, it opens the door to healing.

Have you been forgiven and felt the gift of freedom deep inside your soul?

If you acknowledge the Christ as your Savior, you no doubt understand this freedom gift.  When asked, Jesus gives forgiveness both readily and abundantly; free of charge to us.  He has already paid for the price of forgiveness with his life.

Yes, receiving it, is freedom.

Offering it to others is the rest of the story.  Jesus even said that we are required to forgive others, for if we do not, we cannot receive forgiveness from him.

Why is that?

The freedom gift is not one we can keep to ourselves, it is meant to be a shared gift; once we have experienced it, we must freely share it with others.

I think perhaps, it is an example of giving dangerously.

How often should we offer forgiveness?

This exact question was presented to Jesus in the scriptures.

His answer? Forgive a lot…more than we would find easy or comfortable.

Moral of the story? Throw down the stones and hug. Hug and offer forgiveness when someone has wronged you. In this way, you will be healing to another

and to yourself, equally.

In the offering of forgiveness, you gain life to the full!

 

 

WORD – Part 3: Give Danergously

Giving … and Dangerous is an unlikely pairing in the usual sense of phraseology, but not according to my pastor, Emmanuel Haqq.  His WORD to us on the January 2017 New Year Day sermon was: Give; Give Dangerously.  Said another way, give til it hurts – give sacrificially.

This is a perfect segway to the “I” in my WORD : LIFE.

“I” …is for I; me, my, mine, myself.

GET RID OF IT.

Sacrifice the  I; me, my, mine, myself desire for the sake of others, and give…give…give!

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must

deny themselves and take up their cross

and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

Friends,

we have established the “L”  of LIFE is Love; demonstrated by our figurative whipping boy who died for us!

You are loved, and are to be love to others.

 Being Love means giving up the “I.”

Denying the “I” is what it’s all about, it’s what Jesus did on the cross and it is how we follow Him into giving dangerously.

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Give time, energy, resource… stuff of the need and stuff of the delight.

Give when you are feeling it, give when you are not….Give when you are tired and weak and weary…and you will be filled.

That is not a typo.

You will be filled.

 The more sacrifice in the giving, the more filling in your life. Yes, giving dangerously gives us that life that John 10:10b speaks of:

“I have come that they may have life,

and have it to the full.” 

LIFE.

 Life to the full is being loved, and being love to others, and giving dangerously in the place of sacrifice.

Next time…the “F” word…..

P.S. Be encouraged to be a giver — recommended reading: The Treasure Principle, by Randy Alcorn

WORD – Part 2: The Ultimate Whipping Boy

 

I have the ultimate whipping boy.

Do you have a whipping boy?

Do you know what one is?

It is one who takes the whipping punishment for another, as is poignantly shown in the children’s classic story The Whipping Boy.  All childish things aside… figuratively speaking, I am not lying, I do have the ultimate whipping boy, and so do you; He took a whipping and a beating and he submitted even to death for me…and for you.

WHY did He do that?

I will explain by giving meaning to the “L” in the WORD: LIFE…

L = LOVE.

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But God demonstrates his own love for us

in this: While we were still sinners,

Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Friend, do you know you are loved that much?

The first step in having that “life to the full” is acknowledging that you are loved so very much, that Christ died for you.

Friend, YOU are LOVED.

Do you feel it?  Do you know it?  Will you accept it?

When you accept His love – there is but one thing for you to do: LOVE OTHERS in the same way as Christ loves you.

L = LOVE.

When it’s neat and easy – love.  When it’s messy and difficult – love.

When the gifts are used or exchanged and decorations packed up for another year to wait in the attic… when

winter cold is set in and we move on with the routine of the days.

Remember, L = LOVE in LIFE.

Being loved, and being love, fills your life to the full!

 

WORD – Part 1: The One Reason the Baby Came

December 25th has come and gone, again; focus was: the baby in the manger.

January 6th, the last day of the traditional season of Epiphany has passed, again; focus was: the wise men visiting that baby.

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Holidays concluded.

Gifts are used or exchanged and decorations packed up for another year to wait in the attic.

Winter cold is set in and we move on with the routine of the days.

But do we remember the WHY of it all?

The ONE reason the baby came?

“I have come that they may have life,

and have it to the full.” John 10:10b NIV

Rather than a resolution, it seems to be the trend to choose a WORD for the New Year…my WORD?

LIFE.

Jesus says: He came.

He came to earth as that baby in the manger. He grew and became a man and loved on people, as it is recorded throughout pages and pages of the Bible.  He was mocked and beaten and pierced and hung on a cross to die. He was wrapped and buried and put in a tomb. He broke out of that tomb and showed himself to many and then rose up into the clouds to be with the father in heaven, where he is alive and waits for the Father to tell him to come back and get His people..

 Most of my readers know this.

But why did He do it?

Jesus says: so, “that they may have life.”

LIFE.

Yeh? So? We, are the they, and we all have life right?  We are breathing aren’t we? Basic of all basic, I guess that is so…yet, there is more.

“and have it to the full.”

or in other translations:

“to give them a rich and satisfying life.” NLT

“and have it abundantly.” NASB

…what does this mean?

It means that Jesus did all He did so that we could have a FULL life with purpose and have life eternally.

THAT is the one reason the baby came.

Do you have life to the full?

Read and follow my posts in the days to come and I will share how we can have this LIFE to the full.