November 10- Loved Beyond Measure

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. John 3:16

I recently saw a Christmas program that portrayed an incident where a mother had lost a son on the battlefield. His best friend from childhood carried the burden of telling her what happened. Because the young man who died was a strong Christian, his buddy struggled with why God let it all happen. When the time finally came for the friend to tell the mom, she responded in a way he didn’t quite understand. She most definitely mourned the loss of her son, but the magnitude of God’s love for her son became her comfort. Because of her absolute faith in the love of God, she was able get through the pain.

Pain, loss, misfortune and misunderstanding are a part of the worldly fabric. And I don’t care how good you are or how hard you try, one or all will visit from time to time. Therefore, knowing that God loves you for who you are, is tantamount. His love and acceptance of you is based solely on His love for His One and Only…Unique Son. The sacrifice that His Son made gave the world access into the magnificent love of the Father of all creation. Wow!

The magnitude of the Father’s love for His Son is behind His love gift to us.

October 6 – The Keeping Quilt

Hatred starts fights, but love pulls a quilt over the bickering.  Proverbs 10:12 MSG

One of my favorite children’s books is entitled “The Keeping Quilt” written by Patricia Polacco. The story centers around a special quilt made by a Russian woman who migrates to America that will help her and her family remember their home country.   Throughout four generations, the quilt is used as a tablecloth, a huppa (a wedding canopy) and welcomes new babies.

The quilt in this story is the perfect picture for our proverb.

Sometimes we don’t see eye to eye. It can be so easy to see someone else’s mistake while our own mistakes are piled to the sky. My latest response to a fuss between some of our children was this: “Would you still care about being right if your sister or brother weren’t here? Would you rather be right, or happy?”

I think this line of thinking could easily sum up Jesus’ whole mission statement while on earth.  If I really dig deep, I know there’s a way to see God’s love covering not only my wrongs, but other’s wrongs, too. Thank God that love can be right, no matter what we’ve done wrong. 

Love is the “keeping quilt.” Keep it close and it can cover any offense!

Jennifer 🙂

August 22 – The Little Heavyweight Champion of the World

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 

Love is one of those words that carries a lot of weight…well, at least it should. For some of us, cultural trends and television shows play a huge role of distortion in our concepts.

By the time I found my soul mate, “love” mishaps had me gun shy. Yet, in a funny sort of way, I’m glad some of what I thought was love proved to be a horrible impersonation.

Consequently, I didn’t use the word to describe my feelings for my wife now of almost twenty years, until our wedding day. And I must say, I learn on a daily basis a bit more about this little “heavyweight” term.

But today’s Proverbs wields a word that even love has to bow to. Wherever it shows up, it sucks the air out of the room and causes one or two specific responses.

When I hear the word “all” (“with all your heart,” “in all your ways,” see scripture above) I either stop and ponder my responsibility now that I am aware it is a part of the decision, or I run right past it without a second’s consideration of its presence only to pay a huge fine later.

All is a tough one. It leaves no grey and guarantees no bottom. Its boundaries seem invisible, yet it demands visible devotion.

This is one of my life-long scriptural confessions (something I try to say every day): Today, I choose to love God with all of me; my heart, my soul, and all my strength. Then He will empower me with the love I need for my fellow man.

The truth, the way I see it, is this little word all makes the little word love function at its maximum potential. Then love turns and showers all with undeniable evidence of gratitude. I call that real romance!

I waited to say “I love you” until I was willing to say, “I Do.” But all of my heart was the foundation stone by which the commitment was made. And eleven children later and a host of other “lovely life endeavors” fulfilled, with more to come, this little big word continues to be worth its weight in gold!