Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Love Is...

Love is patient.

Love is kind.

 It does not envy.

It is 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 in the truth.

It always protects.

Always trusts.

Always hopes.

 Always perseveres. 

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7  NIV

Photo Credit: JennyEBurr These photos were taken by me in Ottawa and Prince Edward County.

When I think about the love which these verses describe I realize that it applies to many relationships in my life. 

My relationship with: 
  • God
  • My spouse
  • My adult children
  • My siblings
  • My parents (when they were alive)
  • My parents by marriage
  • My relatives
  • My friends
  • My co-workers   
The verses describe a responsibility which I have to others

A commitment to treat others with patience, kindness, respect, to put them first, to show compassion and forgiveness

Truth, trust, hope, protection and perseverance are included in this description of love. 

Also, it is a commitment for others to treat me with the same characteristics of love

But life can sometimes be quite messy. I know mine has been and I suspect you have also experienced some messiness too.   

We may discover that some of our relationships are not based a mutual commitment of respectful love. Mistrust, dishonesty, disrespect, and pride inch their way in to invade and destroy a relationship. 

I have to wonder. Would so many relationships be destroyed if each of us treated everyone in the respectful manner these verses imply? 

What if we all realized that God loves us in exactly this way? 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to remember what love is and what love isn't. Remind us of this daily. In Jesus' Name Amen. 

Your turn: Do you sometimes need a daily reminder of what love is? 

Other Blog Posts of Interest:
Reading This 
Grumble, Complain 
Partners In Grime 
The Tragedy 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Reading This...

 Photo courtesy of JennyEBurr

These are just a few of the articles which I have been reading online this week during our cool, wintry, January temperatures. 

Doug Sprunt wrote this article,  Life After Salem Storehouse for SpurOttawa http://www.spurottawa.com/

Ann Voskamp shared this guest post on her site, A Holy Experience  How To Keep Choosing Joy When Joy Doesnt Feel Possible

David Kitz, wrote another devotion for his site I Love the Psalms, titled  Vinegar for my Thirst

On Kimberley J. Payne's site, Stephanie Nickel writes this guest post What to do with Broken Resolutions

Temples is the topic posted on Janet Sketchley's site.  

And, I am sharing my two January articles which I wrote for Spur Ottawa. They are  Putting Missions Into Perspective   and  Saturating Ottawa In Prayer

Just in case you missed some of my other blog posts here are a few which might interest you. 
Grumble, Complain 
Partners in Grime 
When Clouds Are Never Just Clouds 

Your turn. What are you reading online this week? 


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Grumble, Complain

Photo courtesy of JennyEBurr 

The grumbling, complaining Israelites have been on my mind.

I have been thinking that there are likely more similarities than differences between myself and them. 

Exodus 15:24 NIV  So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, "What are we to drink?" 

God told Moses to throw a piece of wood into the water and when he did this the water was no longer bitter.

Exodus 16: 2-3 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the Lord's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death." 

Ah the good old days. Somehow, being slaves in Egypt, was becoming a fond memory for the Israelites. I suspect that life in slavery wasn't as good as they were telling Moses.

And so it continued. They journeyed, they camped, they complained, they grumbled and forgot all that God had done for them.  

I shake my head and sometimes laugh at the antics and unbelief of the Israelites. How could they so quickly forget about all that God had done for them? How could they grumble and complain so readily? 

But...I have their history before me as I read through the Bible. I can see it all and I know what God did for them. The miracles which God provided are written out fully in the scriptures.

Here are just a few of the many miracles.  
  • God provided Moses (who was an unwilling, inexperienced leader) to lead the Israelites.
  • God sent the plagues on Egypt so that Pharaoh would send the Israelites out of Egypt.
  • God provided a pillar of fire to guide and give them light at night and a pillar of cloud to guide them by day so that they could travel day and night. 
  •  When God told Moses to raise his staff, God parted the Red Sea so the Israelites could walk across on dry ground to escape the pursuing Egyptians. 
  • God provided food and water as they camped and journeyed in the desert. 

In Exodus 13:17-18 we are told that God did not let Moses lead them by way of the easy route, along the road, because God knew that when things got tough the Israelites would turn tail and run back to Egypt. 

Taking the uncharted route through the desert meant that they would have to rely on God and his directions to Moses. 

It was all about trusting God. Trusting that He would provide for all of their needs. 

So...what about me? I grumble just like the Israelites. I complain and yes, I even forget what God has done. So, am I really any different than the grumbling, complaining, forgetful Israelites? 

Am I missing the daily miracles which God provides because I am busy grumbling and complaining about what I think that God should be doing? Am I trusting God?

Hopefully and prayerfully, I keep my focus on trusting and thanking God for His provisions. 

Dear Heavenly Father, help me to keep my eyes on you and to be continually thankful for everything you do for me.  I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen. 

Your turn.  Have you ever been like the grumbling, complaining, forgetful Israelites?