It’s a Love Thing

LoveThingWell, tomorrow is the big day! My local church has been announcing plans for an annual event sponsored by the Marriage Ministry, which I am not a part of.  I admit, I have not been fond of Valentine’s Day for a long time. I’m sure you can guess why.

Thankfully, my attitude toward it has changed drastically, although my situation remains the same. Since I let go of my painful past and no longer host pity parties and engage in low self esteem hangout, my perspective is different.  Still, I must be careful not to allow negative reflections of my past or present to be the focus of my thoughts.  If I allow my mind to go back 20 years or dwell on one day, I open myself up for an emotional takeover, and hence, be convinced that I am a victim because of my singleness.  Thank God, I know now that that is a BIG lie from the father of lies (Satan) to deceive many women, young and old. As a result of being deceived, many women make unwise and foolish decisions that put them on a wrong path to living destructive lives.

By the amazing grace of God, I choose to believe my life is complete in Christ! I am convinced that God’s plan and purpose for my life is much bigger and better than I can even imagine. Furthermore, I am persuaded that my singleness is His will for me at this phase in my life. Therefore, I am content.  Rather than allow special events for married couples, seeing aisles filled with candy and carts of roses and TV commercials stifle my spirit and excitement about life, love, joy, peace and happiness, I am able to celebrate them. I can honestly thank God for them and pray God’s continuous blessings in their marriage and relationship.

I choose to celebrate my own “Love thing!”  It’s a relationship that gets better each day. Just to let you know how much my Jesus loves me, today I received an unexpected check in the mail! And no, I am not going to buy myself any roses or MP900440960candy.

Praying that you all have a Happy Valentine’s Day celebrating and enjoying it with the one you truly love.

It’s a LOVE Thing!

Covered with Love

Having God as our Father, we are like a child.  We are covered with LOVE!

Credit: Photograph by Cameron Kiner

Who can separate you from your love affair?

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”

For me, these are appropriate questions to pose now.  Today is an exhilarating time for many couples to celebrate their love affair by giving and receiving gifts as expressions of love. But then, there are many who are brokenhearted because of broken relationships caused by rejection and betrayal.  They feel unloved and unfulfilled; they are lonely and feel alone. They are feeling insignificant because their need to feel loved is unmet.  They have no love affair, no true relationship built on trust and unconditional love.  Consequently, Valentine’s Day is depressing for them.

Read full article…

Thoughts and Prayers

By Michael Brick and John L. Mone   of Associated Press

By Michael Brick and John L. Mone of Associated Press

 

Once again, grief and sorrow has invaded the lives of families and friends. This time, 1840 miles apart…from Boston to a small town, some may have never heard of–West, Texas.  Although the scenes were different, the pain is the same–immeasurable. Hearts are broken, people died, injuries are substantial and grief is like a blanket of darkness covering the minds of all affected. 

Some will call these explosions just coincidental . Some will dig deeper for hidden messages and spiritual meaning. Yet,  some will write them off nonchalantly as “life happens”.   Unashamed, I’m persuaded to believe nothing in life just happens!   Whatever you choose to believe, the one thing I believe we can agree on is that pain is not prejudice.  And as long as we live on this earth, pain is inevitable. Whether intentional or accidental, the one thing that these explosions, miles apart and different scenarios, has done is bring hope out of tragedy and turned our hearts and mind to prayer and solace in believing others are thinking about the injured and the many who face the pain of separation and grief.

When everything around us seems to explode, once again we are given the opportunity to embrace each other in love, offer words of comfort and pray believing that God hears and Jesus mourns with us, even though “evil” maybe rejoicing.   But in the fullness of His time, there will be no more pain, tears and sorrows.  This life, as we know it, will no longer be and those who believe and receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord will be with Him in eternity. This is our hope in times of adversity and tragedy.

Praying!

 

 

 

A Colorful Reminder

The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever. When I send clouds over the earth, and a rainbow appears in the sky, I will remember my promise to you and to all other living creatures. Never again will I let floodwaters destroy all life. When I see the rainbow in the sky, I will always remember the promise that I have made to every living creature. The rainbow will be the sign of that solemn promise.                                                     –Genesis 9:12-17 (CEV)

 

It’s good news to know that God keeps His promises. To this date, we bear witness to an eternal promise God made in Genesis 9:12-17.

After the flood, God made a promise to Noah that He would never again let the floodwaters destroy all life.  Yes, we’ve seen lots of devastation from flooding, but we survived storms.  The rainbow is a colorful reminder that we can depend on God’s promises. A rainbow is created by millions of rain-drops, each at a different angle and each reflecting a different color into the eye of the beholder.  God wants you to remember that if He makes a promise, you can depend on it, and He gives us a visible reminder.

You know the saying, seeing is believing?  It’s something about seeing a rainbow that changes your perspective.  I can recall a period in my life when I faced family, marital and financial challenges.  Whenever I would behold a rainbow in the sky, it gave me a sense of calm resolve that everything would be alright; that God was faithful and that I could trust His word.  This is a visible sign to serve as evidence that what God says, God does.  This beautiful array of colors scientifically explained is a truth that cannot be denied, and is upheld by the power of His word.

The photo in this article is real!  My dear friend suffered a great loss.  They had purchased tickets to visit family in Colorado, but plans were altered by the inevitable.  But amazingly, God gave them a “colorful reminder” that brought peace and comfort as they beheld the beautiful rainbows that hovered over their home for days. It reminded them of God’s promise for eternal life for all who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior, and gave them the assurance that their love one was at peace.

With the state of affairs in society today— turmoil, evil, wickedness, distress, disaster, disappointments, broken hearts and lives—it’s a delight to meet the only Promise Maker that will never break His promise.

An excerpt from the book, “The Path to Promise: Moving Forward After Brokenness

For Sale- “As Is”

Yellow "For Sale" SignAre you familiar with the term, “as is?”  It’s used to describe items for sale in which the seller offers goods in their present, existing condition to prospective buyers.

 An “as is” sign on a product for sale notifies prospective buyers that they are taking a risk on the quality of the goods if they purchase that particular item.   There is no warranty to cover the sale of the goods; there is no guarantee from the manufacturer or the seller of the product. Thus, what you see is what you get; what you don’t see is what you don’t get.  Of course, the buyer is free to inspect the goods before purchase; but if any hidden defects are discovered after purchase, the buyer has no recourse.

 You may be surprised to know that buyers often take risks when purchasing products and goods. Usually, the goods they purchase have small dollar amounts and the purchase price depends on the buyer’s affordability.  In many cases, the buyer knows the product has no lasting value in terms of usability; but wants it simply for  sentimental value or reasons, and buys it anyway regardless of the sell price.

 Can you imagine with me that, as born-again Christians, we all have spiritual signs that read, “For sale, as is?”  The only difference is our Buyer was fully aware of what He was getting. It didn’t matter that we had hidden defects, imperfections and blemishes. Our appearance was not of importance to Him.  It didn’t matter that we were damaged goods…broken, cracked and marred like clay pottery. He wanted us anyway. Our Buyer knew that the Manufacturer’s product had lasting value, and once restored could be used to give glory to the One who created us. After all, He’d said from the beginning everything He’d created was good.  Therefore, our Buyer paid the highest price for us without concern for risking the quality of the Manufacturer’s Brand.  He knew the Manufacturer’s warranty came with a guarantee that would be sealed by the power of His Holy Spirit.

 I’ve learned that the main reason the Buyer purchased me was for sentimental reasons…He loved me unconditionally. Now because He loved me so much that He paid with His Blood, I am committed to loving Him in return, and serving Him unapologetically. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

 

I am so thankful that Jesus Christ purchased me in my “as is” condition. What about you?

 He still wants to take you “as is.”  He’s in the business of restoring lives, healing and renewing hope.

He will take you in your “as is” condition just because He loves you unconditionally.

Reference Scriptures: Romans 5:8; John 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Job 13:15

Check out: www.onthepathtompromise.net

Everyday Love

MP900440960By the time I finish this post Valentine’s Day will be in the past.  I held off as long as I could…my intention was not to write anything simply because everybody does it.  I know that’s probably shallow; nevertheless that was my justification.  Of course, I’m learning how not to lean on my understanding.  I’m getting there, apparently, because I’m writing even at the last hour.

Now that Valentine’s Day will be in the past, how many will carry it over into the future by expressing the love they demonstrated today by giving roses, candy and gift?

All week I’ve been meditating on the love of God…

Apostle Paul asked the question, “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?” And he answers, “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (Romans 8:35, 37 NLT)

God’s love is always questioned when we’re facing adversity, life’s challenges and traumas.  Somewhere along the way we’ve been deceived into believing that if God loves us we shouldn’t experience the pains of life.  I’m convinced God does not cause pain; it all began in the Garden of Eden.  However, God will use it to our advantage and for His purpose. (See Romans 8:28 NLT).

While we don’t have all the answers as to “why”, we should keep telling ourselves that God loves us in spite of the situations we’re in or the unpleasant circumstances and painful experiences we suffer. I’ve learned that what I say is what I believe!

“If God is for us, who can ever be against us?  SINCE God did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” (Romans 8:31b, 32, NLT)

Although Valentine’s Day, February 14th, is now in the past, I can still look forward to tomorrow because God shows His love for me every day .

Rejoice in suffering?

Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans: “…we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. —Romans 5:2-5

MPWM faithful reader, do you like pain?  Do you like suffering? I certainly don’t.  I reach for pain relief meds at the slightest sign of a headache.  How and why should we rejoice in our suffering? Suffering is uncomfortable and painful.

Do you think Paul was speaking only of himself, perhaps in third person? I think not. Based on my belief in the inspired authenticity of the Bible, I believe he’s talking to Christian believers today.   Reading Paul’s letters, it’s obvious that he had his share of suffering—painful experiences, troubles, trials and hardships. 

 

In 2 Corinthians 11:24-27, Paul listed all he endured: 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.

(Can you believe the audacity to complain about having to wait in rush-hour traffic?)  Also, in his letter to the church at Philippi, which was written during imprisonment,  Paul expressed his desire to know Christ better by partnering with Him in his suffering. Enduring much suffering for the cause of Christ taught Paul to be content in all circumstances. He encouraged the Philippians to cultivate this same ability. (Philippians 3:10-11; 4:11).

The idea of Christians suffering today is frowned upon.  The message of suffering is no longer on our list of sermon topics or Bible Study teaching series in the local church. On the rare occasions that the subject of suffering comes up it is directed toward foreign countries plagued by enormous hardships, persecution, and suffering.  Yet, in America the reality of suffering, hardships and adversity among Christians is evident by the long prayer lines, many prayer requests. Since suffering is on the rise, perhaps now is the time to teach people how to rejoice and not lose hope during tough times.

The disadvantages and distresses of life are more prevalent in our time than during Apostle Paul and the early Christians lifetime. Why? It’s a different world—larger population, different culture, along with changing socioeconomic factors.  Without a doubt, life can be hard and painful…brutal in fact! The main point of emphasis Paul makes is that of our attitude during suffering. While going through the adversities of life, we must always have hope—an expectation that troubles won’t last always. Having this hope gives us a reason to rejoice…envision better. Secondly, we are able to rejoice when we “know” there is purpose for our pain. Knowing that God is intentional in allowing us to experience the unpleasantness and vicissitudes of life should motivate us. Our motivation is based on our knowledge of God.  Know this: whatever God allows is to empower us to be better, do better, live better, and have a better relationship with Him; living in harmony with His plan for our lives. Ultimately, suffering is a process that produces Christ’s character in us.

How should I rejoice in suffering? By continuing to give God praise, being thankful and worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ in spite of hardships, trials and tribulation.  Why should I rejoice? My hope (expectation) is solidified by my knowledge of what the outcome will be. (God always causes us to triumph in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14).   Although we have disappointments in life, hope and faith in God will not result in disappointment. He pours into us His love, which will sustain us through all life’s ups and down.