Remember, I suggested instead of making goals you might or might not keep…..try meditating and prayer Scripture that helps you to become more Christ-like!!
Since February is usually the month we celebrate love, let’s focus on how we can love each other better. We can get so caught up in how much we are receiving love that we can forget that we need to love others as much as we are loved.
Download this printable or keep it on your computer to help you remember how much God loves us and how we need to love each other!!
If you’re thinking, “So what if I don’t feel like He loves me?” I’m so glad you asked!
It can be hard to really feel the emotions of love by God towards us. Our emotions are the temperature gauge of the body, soul, and spirit. When our emotions are healthy and in check, they can be a powerful tool in life. I find what Peter Scazzero says about emotions full of wisdom and life application:
But on the other hand, emotions can also be fickle and tricksie too!!
So when we mess up, get in a slump, or fall into an emotional pit, we can feel like God doesn’t love us or is nowhere around. When depression or discouragement wash over us, it feels like God doesn’t care, or no one else cares for that matter. When we sin, that separation of fellowship can feel like a Grand Canyon.
When we are in the pit like this, there is no other passage of Scripture that promises God’s overwhelming love can never be taken from us than Romans 8:31-39.
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself.34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”[a])37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The enemy can’t accuse you or condemn you enough to separate you from God’s love. No circumstance bad enough or drama deep enough can cause God to withdraw His Everlasting Love. No deep, dark issue or secret pain could ever be bad enough for God to say, “She’s not worth it.”
No, in fact, “I am convinced that NOTHING can ever separate us from God’s love.”
If you are feeling unloved or unlovable this Valentine’s month, then seek His face, find His Presence embracing you, and discover that nothing can separate you from His love!!!
I know….it’s a bit different from what we’ve done in the past. Usually, we study certain women in the Bible. We’ve learned so many valuable lessons from the best women in the Bible.
However, this year I feel this urgency the Church needs to be about Kingdom business. So much is going on around the world and around us that we’ve got to get outside the walls of our building and be the hands and feet of Jesus!
Christ’s Second Coming is a principal doctrine in the Christian faith. Now granted, there’s wide variety of teachings and beliefs about when, where, how all this might take place. Whether its spoken in the creeds or sung about in heart-warming hymns, Jesus’ Return is a central part of our faith.
We won’t be talking so much about the doctrinal interpretations or teachings about the Jesus’ Return, but we will be talking about how the Church needs to ready!
The Body of Christ needs to prepare to be the Bride of Christ!!
In other words……we’re getting ready for the Great Wedding Feast!!!
We’ll be talking about:
-Watching and Waiting, Matt 24 by Amy Satterfield at Hope Assembly
-Wise and Unwise Bridesmaids, Matt 25 by Trish Pierson at Fayetteville Cumberland Presbyterian
-Dressed and Ready, The Bride of Christ, by Tammy Johnson at Fayetteville United Methodist Church
-The Wedding Feast by Debbie Woodward at Washington Street Church of Christ
Now more than ever, I feel so strongly about the Church being more unified than ever before. In a world of division, The Church needs to be One in the Spirit and One in the Lord, and we’ve got to show the world that we are One by our Love.
So, I hope to see you there so we can focus on Who Unites Us rather than What Divides Us!!
Grasping – reaching for something, trying to obtain it; but desperate, not in control.(my definition)
See, I have this girl. She’s my mini-me. She looks like me. She’s built like me. Many people say she’s just like me. I say she’s just like my sister, but that’s another story for another day.
From the very beginning, as a triplet, this girl moved more in my womb than the other two babies. I was already getting to know her as the active one. Even from the hospital nursery she was grasping. She was grasping for air when the doctor saw her turning blue.
I’ve quit making New Year’s resolutions. I bet you have too.
I love getting a fresh start at the turn of the calendar. I’m a planner and a list-maker, so starting a new year helps me to get back on track and remember my priorities. But I don’t make resolutions.
In the past few years, my purpose and motivation have been sharpened by choosing a special word for the year which has become popular in the blogging world. That one word helps guide my choices and keeps me going on the goals I want to accomplish. This year, I think my word is focus. But actually, I’m not real sure if I’m supposed to give more focus on a few areas or if I’m to focus more intently on everything I do. There are lots of things I’m passionate about and I don’t want to give up any of them…so I’m not real sure about focus.
So how about something really new?? But the thing is…it’s not new…it’s very old and familiar. Instead of resolutions that I may or may not sustain….instead of trying to sum up my priorities in one guiding word….how about New Year’s Scripture Revolutions!!!
Let’s use Bible verses to help guide how we should be acting as Christians and guiding our actions and priorities. Let’s use these verses to shape our thinking and how we treat our families, coworkers and church members.
No matter your church affiliation or worship preference, use these verses to motivate you be more like Christ towards not just the people you like but also the people you don’t like! Whoa! Now, that’s not a resolution but revolution!!
Here’s a printable to help you get started. Read, memorize, and meditate on them. I challenge you when you wear them out to search the Bible to find more. I guarantee you won’t run out of wisdom and truth to give your life purpose throughout the entire year!
Do you have a great verse to share that can help guide us in more Christ-like living? Share it in the comments or share it on Facebook! If I get more verses, I’ll make another printable to share!!
I hope you had a great Advent and Christmas season! We sure did!
With a new year comes a restarting, a refreshing, getting priorities back on track. It also comes with learning and trying new things and making plans for the year. I’ve got a lot of exciting things to share with you!
I’ve been learning some techy, internet-ish skills that I’m gonna start sharing with you on the blog and in the WoW newsletter. If you haven’t joined the WoW newsletter yet, then go to the Free Resources page to sign up! That’s where you can get printables, tips sheets and other goodies that I’ve been learning how to make…eeek!
Between now and January 16, every person who signs up to receive the newsletter will be entered for a drawing for a mini-calendar! And, if you share the contest on Facebook here, your name will be entered each additional time you share it.
Now, for announcing the annual WoW event!!!!
Check out the Facebook event page and please say you are ‘Going’. That’s where you’ll get the most up to date info and details! Share…Share…Share!!!!
I’m so excited for the many opportunities and events that come with this brand new 2017!! I have lots of the things on my heart, and oh, how I’m looking forward to sharing them with you! I can’t wait to see you there and being apart of a new year together!!
Romantic movies try to create it. Love songs try to sing about it. Fairy tales try to capture it.
A longing lies in each of us for a Great Love Story.
We are drawn to such art, media, and entertainment because they touch in us this deep desire for love. Our hearts, and yes even our spirits, long for romance, adventure, and passion. We experience these thin attempts at love and long for more because they are only a shadow of something deeper we desire.
Before time began, God wrote the story we crave. God set forth the plan to pursue and redeem us for Himself. He wrote the story of Jesus Christ as the Savior for us all.
In this great romance, He didn’t send Jesus to get us cleaned up good enough so he could finally show His love to us. No, this isn’t your familiar love story where the perfect looking hero and heroine meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. Instead, while we were yet sinners, broken, ugly, and undeserving of His attention, He sent Jesus as the Word made flesh because He already loved us. His motivation to send His Son as Savior of the World was because of His passionate love for us.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have Everlasting Life. John 3:16
Read it again for the first time. It doesn’t say that He sent His Son to make the people lovable and then pursue us the object of His Desire. Rather, He loved us first and then set in motion the plot of the Great Love Story. The Hero seeks out the heroine even before she knows He is searching for her!
The fourth week of Advent reminds us of this great love God has for each of us and to be reminded that God’s pure, passionate love was why He sent us a Savior.
It makes perfect sense, then, the weeks of Advent are all part of the Great Love Story- Thanksgiving giving way to Hope, Hope making room for Peace, Peace leading us to Joy, and Joy opening our hearts for Love. In a dramatic, breath-taking conclusion, Christ bursts onto the scene as a baby, Emmanuel- God with us, and Love’s Greatest Story is birthed in our hearts!
As we light the 4th candle of Advent, I pray this love story is written on your heart in such a way the celebration of Jesus’ birth floods you with Hope, Peace, Joy and most of all, Love!
I’m not a huge sports fan, but I do love football. The excitement, the intensity,the cool weather, the band….the win!!! I love it!
I grew up with a dad who particularly loved (and still does) a certain Crimson team with a rich history of tradition and winning. I remember waiting in the kitchen with my pom poms, and when there was a touchdown, I would run into the den to cheer!
I married a man who is equally passionate about our beloved team as my daddy. I always said the only thing my daddy and my husband had in common were football and me:) So,we pretty much plan our Saturdays around game time. Even though I prefer college football over professional, I still like the background noise of the game on Sunday afternoons…or anytime.
Here lately, I’ve been thinking about the training football players receive and what it takes to make successful teams and win games. I believe the same ideas could help us in life and in our ministries……
Play a full 60 minutes: Football players are taught to give 100% for the FULL 60 minutes of the game.They don’t give up when there’s still another quarter left or even just a couple of minutes. I can start to coast after lunch, or on Thursday afternoons, be tempted to call it a week. However, I know that’s not my best. I should give my best for the full day or week or task until it is complete….despite the outcome!
Prepare: Football teams don’t start preparing for the game on the day of the game. They start way back in the spring exercising and strength conditioning. Likewise, if we are serving, giving, teaching, singing, preaching..anything, don’t wait to the last minute to prepare. There have been so many times I waited til the last minute to get ready. Even though things may have gone ok, I knew in my heart it could have been better if I had prepared more. Even if it’s just praying and getting my heart focused, any preparation for ministry makes the outcome more effective.
Play your position: The quarterback can’t pass the ball and catch the ball and block the other players. He can only play his position. If he tries to play all the positions, he won’t be able to properly play any of them. Also, if he’s too busy watching or comparing what his other teammates are doing, he’s not going to play at his best. Same with us. If I’m comparing my ministry to someone else’s or jealous of someone else’s success, it takes me away from playing effectively in my part of the game.
Stay focused on the goal: Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused on why we are doing what we do. We get tired and pour ourselves out until we are empty. If we aren’t seeing a lot of results, we can get wore down and wonder if we’re gaining any ground or earning any points. Sometimes, making it to the final score seems too far away, so we keep our eyes on just making it to the next 10 yards to get the 1st down. Don’t ever forget….we aren’t playing for just a national championship (although that is very nice), we are playing for the eternal prize, the Kingdom Championship…..where every tear will be wiped away and we’ll be face to face with Him!
There’s no “I ” in Team: Everybody loves a football player who humbly acknowledges the team won the game together, not a single showboat hogging the lime-light. Same with us. Whether it’s your team of volunteers or music team at your local church or its the Body of Christ, the Church universal, we are ALL on the same team and should have the same goal in mind. We support and encourage each other. We set each other up for success.
As I’ve thought about how to act more like a winning team, I also think about where I’m playing my game. I don’t just need to do my best in church ministry or when people are looking. My best game needs to be in all areas of my life….work….home….grocery shopping……with activities I enjoy but even more so with activities that I don’t enjoy. I need to bring my A game during sacred ministry (singing, teaching) as well as ordinary ministry (laundry, dishes). It’s easy to feel like winning when I’m doing stuff I love. Where I really need to crack down and play for 60, prepare, stay focused on the goal, play my position, and stay with the team is when I’m doing the stuff I don’t really like so much. That’s where God gets the most honor and where my acts of service and worship are more authentic and real.
Everybody loves to cheer for a winning team. Your team may or may not make it to a championship game. But, if we claim Jesus as our Head Coach, then we are on the Kingdom Team!!! No matter what position, no matter what mission is your playing field, play like a Champion Christian!!
No matter where you come from or what kind of raisin’ you’ve had or what kind of life you’ve lived. …No matter if you’re in a season of lean or a season of plenty. No matter if you’ve really messed it up big or done everything “right”…No matter your color, size or zip code..
We are ALL looking for the same thing: Love
Even though we are all looking for the same thing, there’s a zillion different ways we go about it. We go “looking for love all the wrong places”……sounds like an old country song, right? It is….I grew up listening to 80’s country. Johnny Lee, 1980. Sure, it’s a great ballad cliche, but it’s true. We search for love in relationships, stuff, careers, etc, etc…….
But there’s only One way to get the love we are all searching for…..Remain in My Love.
Jesus said in John 15:9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.” Our joy is complete, like it says in the next couple of verses, by being filled to overflowing of His Love (verse 11). Abiding in and soaking in His Presence. Having a revelation of how much He really cares for you.
Remaining in His Love is like being grafted into a vine where the source of nourishment never runs out. That’s why He says “I am the vine and you are the branches” in that same chapter. Remaining in His Love is like being a well where the water never runs out or a waterfall that never ends. That’s why He says “Rivers of living water will flow from his heart” Mark 7:38
For all our searching and feeble attempts at being loved whether it’s through a relationship, food, drugs, possessions, job status, etc…the list goes on, there is nothing that satisfies more than the love of Christ. Nothing can compare to the security and safety of His Love.
So, no matter which side of the tracks you’ve been or where you are going, do you know how much He Loves you? Have you experienced a revelation of God’s Love?