Early Spring

BD459D2A-47C6-4496-A2D4-1E9858CCBF18“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
‭‭Lamentations‬ ‭3:22-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Early Spring

This year spring arrived earlier than it has since 1896. It is a time for renewal and a sign that God continues to bless us with an abundance of love and mercy. Certainly we need to count our blessings, even as we endure a monumental pandemic. When we feel the warmth of the sun and see the flowers burst into bloom, we can rejoice in His goodness. Last night, I felt honored by the presence of a dove that built a nest, two eggs included, on my deck swing. The veil of impending viral illness has been torn by the arrival of a majestic early spring. Let’s praise God continually!

Saint Valentine’s Day

8B4231FD-7F8A-49CB-9CF8-D56504C12AEB“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Valentine’s Day is celebrated annually on February 14.  Saint Valentine was either a priest or a bishop in the Roman Empire who ministered to persecuted Christians.  He was martyred and buried on February 14, 269.  His TRUE sacrificial love has left a legacy—Valentine’s Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romantic love in many regions around the world.

Our Good Shepherd

00D1D763-EC8D-4DB0-AF7D-64DC7B9A3D25“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Our Good Shepherd

King David knew that God is good in every sense of the word, and the Biblical “good” is a far stronger word than our present culture acknowledges. Today, good seems insufficient compared to more embellishing words that we commonly use, so casually.
Our Good Shepherd watches over us, always to our benefit, even when we don’t understand His master plan. We just need to trust and obey. The evil one always tries hard to deceive us and confuse us with worldly lies. What a joy it is to know that Our Good Shepherd is always with us because He is good and merciful and wants us in His Kingdom forever.

Smitten

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“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Smitten

One meaning of smitten is an intense love for someone that exceeds all boundaries. In the most positive sense, it exemplifies the true meaning of loving with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. It is absolutely unconditional, requiring nothing, but giving everything. As a hopeful romantic, I still believe it exists and should be the ultimate goal. But, it is not flesh and bones; it is spirit and commitment. For feelings alone will always fade, but true love endures.

New Year’s Resolution

14BCF8B6-C084-4E2B-B379-D5B3FDB0EFD1“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The New Year brings so much to mind. Mostly I am thankful for all the blessings in my life—Faith, family and friends.  Just to be alive to experience it is a joy and I know that God’s plans are far beyond my wildest dreams. My resolution will be to strengthen my faith and follow His ways more nearly. Each new year, indeed each new day, we have a new opportunity to improve ourselves. I pray for strength to honor this commitment to obey His commandments, and to enjoy the process.

Joy to the World

ED3A1AC2-5E5E-417C-A8F7-8103C15A3AD3Joy to the World

This Christmas I really want to celebrate the joy that was brought to earth when Jesus was born in a manger.  I have witnessed so many decorations and commercials and wondered what the world would be like if we proclaimed the Good News as much.  I have experienced the hustle and bustle of traffic and shoppers and wondered how different it would be if we rushed to serve others as much.  Ultimately everyone seems to come together and experience a part of the joy of Christmas.  It seems that there are many others like me who long for the full joy of Christmas.  We live in a culture that promotes the material gifts and fanfare, but discourages Christianity.  What if we all loved God with all our soul and all our heart and all our might and loved others as ourselves every day?

Go With All Your Heart

0C7C1FD0-A3B9-4CDE-A60B-49D502F988A1“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:37-39 ESV

Go With All Your Heart

Yesterday’s events aligned in such a way that this post is truly fresh. In Sunday school yesterday, we discussed how we should be in constant prayer with God, always doing our best and praising Him, no matter the circumstances. Shortly after Church, my sweet mother-in-law mentioned how she always enjoys what she is doing at the moment; and, she is always doing something for others. And our exchange student from Spain related her joy from being at a party with mostly strangers, relishing every experience in a foreign country. Finally, my wife spent over four hours on the phone with an airline agent, getting our tickets in order. All of these things reminded me of the greatest two commandments, which combine to say, “Go with all your heart”.