When

When my human body is weak and tired from the depth of my being my soul cries to the one who made me.

When my conscious self-beset with questions and doubt my spirit man reverberates with “I know in whom I have believed and I am persuaded He can keep me.”

When confidence fails and hope is attached by only a slim thread, the subconscious mind sends a message to remind me of a hymn I sing, “Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine.”

When darkness invades my life and it seems the light is almost gone, the radiance of His divine presence shatters the gloom as the light of the word reminds me I belong to Him.

When all seems futile and despair wants me to give in, His words of comfort tell me “weeping only lasts for the night but joy will come in the morning.”

When I feel like I have lost my way I am comforted to know
He has planned my path and knows the way I take.

When my thirst for knowledge calls, I go to the source of ultimate wisdom. The written words of God, found in scripture, challenges my mind

 

(8)

Was It Really Friday?

Was it really Friday

She sat off to the side of the room wrapped in her mourning clothes. Can’t remember what time it is. It must be late in the afternoon because the darkness invaded the room like the darkness of sorrow surrounded her very being. How could this happen?

There were others with her but they were processing their own grief as they searched through their memories of the events of this day.

In her mind, she could still hear the words of the angel who said she was highly favored and she had found favor with God and would conceive a child and call his name Jesus. She remembered everything. The birth, the shepherds and the wise men coming were indelibly stamped in her memory banks. She could picture Jesus as a little one running around the carpenter shop asking so many questions. Those big brown eyes and dark curly hair that framed that cute olive-skinned face were etched on her heart. Everything about this child of hers filled her mind as she sat and remembered. Tears slipped from her eyes as the sobs of grief washed over her. She had watched him grow into manhood.

He sat in the temple and listened as the Torah was read and the religious leaders of the day taught. She remembered Jesus being lost, at least she thought he was lost, and she and Joseph found him in the temple. He astounded those there with his knowledge. She remembered watching him become a man and take on responsibilities. He loved her deeply. She had a front row seat to his miracles and teachings. Miracles, yes but she especially remembered when he turned the water into wine at the wedding.

Why then did this have to happen? He son faced an unfair trial. People lied and accused him falsely. She remembered Peter. How could he. He denied him three times when asked if he were with her son and she remember how devastated Peter was after this took place.

The cries of her son as they beat and scourged him echoed in the chambers of her memory. The sound of the nails as they pierced her son’s bones and flesh raced through her thoughts. More tears slipped from her eyes.

She was remembering every detail of his life, his 12 followers, the miracles and his teachings. Every memory from before his birth till now flooded her senses and the heaviness in her heart was more than she could bear.

The mourning period, according to custom, was not even finished when she understood that the stone from the tomb where Jesus lay had been rolled away. How? Why? Then she remembered his words – could it be? Was he really alive?

Two days of unimaginable sorrow, two days of memories that only brought heartache but now, that third day. What a day. The stone was rolled away – he was not in the tomb. He is risen!

Because of this, these words have such meaning, “I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth on me though he were dead, yet shall he live.” Easter gives us hope.

(27)

Messy In The Middle

Have you ever noticed on a tombstone, at least very old ones, the year a person was born is chiseled in the stone, then comes a dash and finally the year the person died.  When I see this I am reminded that between the years, the dash represents a whole lot of living.

I love the verse in scripture that says:   I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. Psalms 37:25. This is true for me.  I have been young and today I am old but in between the young and the old there was a whole span of “messy in the middle.”

This quote says “ah, youth- it is a pity to waste it on the young.”  I don’t know who said this but I certainly can relate.  My childhood was dysfunctional but at the time I didn’t know it.  I just thought it was normal.  I loved making things, playing in the dirt and all the activities that accompany childhood.

Somewhere in between the beginning of my teen years and the age I am today there was a whole lot of messy.  My parents worked and we would have probably been considered poor but what we were was normal to me.  Mom was a nurse and dad was a panel electrician.  Church was a given at least for my mother, sister and me.  My father was- well my father, depending on circumstances attended church or didn’t attend.  Life at home could be calm and in an instant it seemed everything was turned upside down.  Messy fits concerning my life.

I left home at 17 to attend Bible College and Seminary.  My father drove me to the campus that was 1500 miles from my home. He pulled up, dumped my stuff on the sidewalk, got in the car and said have a nice life and promptly drove off.  I so wanted to cry but refused.  I had no idea where to go or what to do next.  I didn’t even have answers for the finance office until I called my mom at home.  In the 4 year period there were peaks and valleys.  I sang in the band vocal chorus and then for 3 years traveled with the college choir.  How I managed to pay for all the extra is a testimony to God’s provision.

I fell in love got engaged – oops broken engagement.  The next year I met someone and the courtship was combination of hills and valleys but we finally married and set out to pastor our first church.  It would take pages and pages to tell about the happenings.  We went on to pastor 8 churches in 7 states.  During this time I learned that not all Christians were –well I will leave that to your imagination.  I can tell you there were many nights I cried myself to sleep.  There were times of no food in the cupboards and no money in the bank.  When you are hungry you really learn how to pray.

As young married couple we survived a head on crash in a VW Bug and lived to tell about it. After the crash, I checked myself out of the hospital because we had no health insurance.  We had been driving to a church to candidate for the position of pastor.  My husband was going to call and tell them He couldn’t come but I told him to go.  He placed a roll away bed by the phone (that was when phones were mounted on the wall) and I sent my husband off 200 miles away.  I said I would call if I needed him. If I needed help I had the phone nearby.  My husband took off in a rented car (ours could not be driven) to candidate for the church, I survived, and by the way we got the church.

The doctors said I probably should not have kids and they would be surprised if I would be able to conceive.  Surprise, even though they thought I could not become pregnant I did. I lost the baby but in a short time I found I was expecting again.  We had 3 children and they arrived one right after the other.  The family now consisted of mommy, daddy, 2 girls and one son.

During the early years of marriage we managed to survive croup, chicken pox, measles and mumps.  Their teen years saw me on my knees often.  It is a wonder the kids survived.  Messy, oh yes –pastor’s kids are supposed to be perfect – mine were not.

Middle age brought about other messes.  I found myself in the unusual situation of having a marriage that was in trouble.  It was over I thought, where was God?  Again I am amazed that God can pick up the pieces of a broken life a broken marriage and put it all back together again and restore what the devil tried to destroy.

Messy – oh yes the middle of my life was certainly anything but calm or normal.  Each of my middle years brought new challenges and more opportunities to trust my Heavenly Father.  Was I the picture of faith and belief?  I wish I could say yes to that but often I found myself praying or maybe screaming at God.  He is ever patient and I am glad he did not call down thunder and hail upon me.  Ever patient, ever caring, He listed as I cried and saw each tear shed.

Now I am old, and I can tell you the scripture I quoted in the beginning is true.  I learned to stand on the promises of God and though at times I wondered and it seemed like hope was gone God was faithful.  He did not forsake me and I have learned that every promise in the Bible is mine.  I learned to live by faith even when I could not see the results.  I am still doing this every day.

I don’t know how I got to this age. (Lol) I am not claiming old, maybe seasoned but not old. Things have settled down a little and the major messes of the middle years have passed.  Do I still have problems; do I still have to daily stand on His word and trust Him?  Yes! Yes!!!

My future is as bright as God’s promises.  The older I get the more I look forward to that day when I shall see Him face to face.  Don’t get me wrong I want to live every day to the fullest.  I will take every day that God allows me but now heading into the sunset years I know He is always near.

I know in whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him.  One day all the messy parts of life will end and I will be home at last

(20)

Four Powerful Words

Walking the dog early in the morning the words of an old hymn floated through my mind.  It wasn’t long before my voice joined with my mind and I began to sing softly.

Mercy there was great and grace was free, pardon there was multiplied to me. There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.”   By William Reed and Daniel B. Tower

 Wow!  That’s it. In the one short stanza was everything I needed. Mercy, grace, pardon and liberty are needed not just once in my life but these are needed on a daily basis.

Mercy:  Refraining from harming or punishing offenders, enemies.  It can mean kindness in excess of what is expected, fairness, forbearance and compassion.  There are other meanings but reading these definitions caused rejoicing in my soul because this is exactly what I received from Jesus when I came to him.

If Jesus extended these to me, should I not also extend them to those in my circle of influence?  Fairness, forbearance, compassion, and kindness are within my power to grant but there are times I don’t.  What a scale to measure me by.

Grace:  The unmerited love and favor of God toward man.  Believe it or not, I found this definition when I looked up grace in the dictionary.  Amazing.

Often I have heard grace described as “God’s riches at Christs expense.”  The more I think about that statement the more I am humbled.  God so loved me that He sent His son to to die for my sins.  That’s love.

Pardon:  To release from further punishment, to cancel from or not exact a penalty and to excuse or forgive.

My sins are pardoned and I receive eternal life and not eternal punishment.  My sins are not held to my account since Jesus wiped my slate clean.  I am a new creature in Christ Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. 

 Liberty: Freedom or release from.

How rich I am in Christ Jesus.  Scripture tells us whom the Son sets free is free indeed.  Free from the guilt of tomorrow and the guilt of my past.  Free from my sins and transgression.  I have been liberated from those things that held me chained to my past and free to walk in the light of God’s love.

None these things, mercy, grace, pardon, and liberty are taken for granted.  I need them every day. Fully human I make mistakes and sin.  I need to come to my Heavenly Father and He is faithful to impart what I need.

The first 7 words of the last stanza sum it all up. “O the love that drew salvations plan.”

 

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Once Again

The angels could only remember twice when Heaven was in an uproar.  The first time happened when one of their own was cast out along with those that thought his ideas were great.  Now, again it seemed that something was going on.  The Father and the Son and been talking and there was an atmosphere of expectation.

For a long time man, the Father’s ultimate creation had been separated from fellowship with the Father.  Something needed to be done.  Everyone knew Father God could not look on sin and since that first disobedience by Adam the road to repentance was arduous.  God gave Moses all the laws and rules but even then man did not obey.

All the angels knew the Father longed for a relationship with His created children.  Maybe this was the reason for this time of expectation.

Finally, there was a way to bring reconciliation.  As the angels listened they were astonished at what the Father planned to do.

He was going to send His son to be born of woman.  Jesus was going to lay down all of His glory, step aside Heaven’s splendor and go to earth.  They listened as Jesus said He would be willing to go and then give His life so that mankind could come into right relationship with the Father.

This plan was the talk among the cherubs and angels and they were to have a part in this plan.

Where would He be born and how would this come about?  Lots of questions and they were all answered on the one night so long ago.

The Father chose Mary a young virgin to carry this Holy Child.  “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated “God with us.”(Matthew 1:23)

This would be a great event the angels thought, born in a palace, after all He was royalty.  They couldn’t understand – a stable.  That is no place for the Son of God.  No grand announcement to the earthly kings and rulers.

The angels were at last given their part of the plan.  They would announce His birth.  There in the darkened skies over Bethlehem they gathered.  Their announcement was to shepherds. The sky became full of light and “behold an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”  (Luke 2:10-11)NKJ  “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace goodwill to men!”  (Luke 2:13-14)NKJ

God sent His son to earth to be born in a humble stable.  He came to die so that mankind could be reconciled to God the Father.  This is the story of Christmas.  A baby that would live become a man, die and rise again and by doing this He forever changed the course of history.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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Passing By The Mirror

When did this happen?  It can’t be possible but it is.  The reflection looking back at me is older and looked tired.  How did that happen?  Silly question, you know how that happens and yet, somehow none of us want to believe we are getting older.  We want to believe that we will beat the odds, and in somehow we will find the fountain of youth, the elixir to make us forever young.

There is much to say about youth.  It is a time you approach everything with vigor and an optimistic outlook and you believe nothing is really impossible if you try.  Fondly I remember those days.  All I needed to succeed was for someone to tell me I couldn’t do something and it was a guarantee that I could.  I would prove them wrong.  In most circumstances I did just that and in other times – well with age I have forgotten or refuse to remember. Some of the years have been kind and others, I am glad they are on the completed side of the balance sheet.

My mind still believes I am young and can do anything I did at twenty.  Who am I trying to kid, I will be lucky if I can accomplish what I did when I was forty.  The hair is not gray thanks to the hairdresser and what ever magic mix she uses.  The wrinkles are there but the makeup helps to disguise them, at least for a few hours.  I look back in the mirror, and I try and remember the girl that stood before the mirror with so many hopes, dreams, and ambitions.  Walking down memory lane reveals some dreams realized, plans completed but as I round the turn of my memory bank it reveals the bone yard of failed ambitions and dashed hopes. I wonder if it has all equaled out.  Was it worth it and if it wasn’t then what was the alternative.  The old saying is “hindsight is always twenty – twenty.”  How true. You would have, maybe you should have, but reality says it is to no avail because the past is set in stone and cannot be changed.

The verse in scripture says, forgetting those things which are behind……so I try to learn from the mistakes made.  It does no good to wallow in the past either good or bad.  For better or worse the past is just that it is the past.

Inside of me a voice screams, I have so much to do, I can’t be old but another voice soon joins the chorus and answers, “yes you are and you are tired.  You can’t be twenty or thirty anymore. Reality drops like a thud and I must accept the stage of life I am at.  Ecclesiastes tells us there is a season and a time for everything.  This is my season at this time.

As I grow older I understand my mother and how she must have felt.  With age comes a perspective not found in youth. Even in the sunset years there is beauty.  There are still things to look forward to that are great.  You are free from the constraints that once bound you.  You are not afraid to go with out makeup and maybe your hair is not perfect.  So what if you don’t finish what you started.  You sometimes indulge in that extra piece of chocolate.

At this time in my life I am beginning to deal with the reality that I am not immortal and there will be an end.  Death no longer looms so far away but is a blessing that will come.  When death comes I shall pass from this earthly existence and transcend to the eternal home prepared by my Heavenly Father. He is waiting to welcome His child home.  At this age in life my thoughts turn more toward heaven and wondering, “what will it be like, what will I see, how will I feel and all the other thoughts that trigger my contemplating heaven. Just like the song says “I can only Imagine.”

In the end, I want to be able to say “I have run the course, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  In that last and final breath my spirit and soul will sprint to the finish line where there awaits for me the crown of eternal life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Old Tells The Story

I love the old hymns and songs we sang in church as I grew up.  Today I love the new music that inspires us as we worship.  I am still drawn to these hymns and songs.  I share the titles of them with you and maybe you will recall them and the message they had.

I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY – Arabella Catherine Hankey  This song reminds me that I love hearing the stories of Jesus and I never tire of learning more about my Savior.

A NEW NAME IN GLORY – C. Austin Miles  The first line says it all.  “I was once a sinner.”

AMAZING GRACE – John Newton, John P. Reese  It was truly God’s amazing grace that reached down to a young girl and saved her soul and set her on a path of living for and serving God.

THE OLD RUGGED CROSS – George Bennard   These words so well known, lets me know the price Jesus paid for my sin.  For me these words truly express how I feel.  “So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross…”

SINCE JESUS CAME INTO MY HEART –Rufus H. McDaniel  The first verse describes exactly what happens when we accept Christ as our Savior.  “What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought since Jesus came into my heart.”

TRUSTING JESUS – Edgar Page Stites  I love the first line because it simply states how to walk in our life. “Simply trusting every day, trusting thro’ a stormy way, Even when my faith is small, Trusting Jesus that is all.”

SAVIOR LIKE A SHEPHERD LEAD US –Dorothy A. Thrupp   Words in this song assure me I am not alone and that I am cared for.  The words of “Savior like a shepherd lead us, much we need thy tender care” help me understand that He is there directing my path.

PRECIOUS LORD TAKE MY HAND – Thomas A. Dorsey  “Precious Lord take my hand, lead me on help me stand – I am tired, I am weak, I am worn..”lets me know whatever circumstances I face, the Lord is holding my hand and I will make it.

FAITH IS THE VICTORY – John H. Yates  This is how I walk my Christian life, by faith.  The last sentence of the first verse says it all.  “ Faith is the victory we know, that overcomes the world.”

There are so many songs that tell the story and I could fill pages but the final one I list tells me where I will be when my life comes to an end.

WHEN WE ALL GET TO HEAVEN – Eliza E. Hewitt  The first line of the chorus tells me exactly where I will be when my life come to an end. “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be.

I am looking forward to that day.  Maranatha!

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Once Again

There she was again.  I watched as she walked up the front walk to ring the doorbell.  What would I say to her that would help? The look in her eyes told me how troubled the past year had been.  Breathing a silent prayer for help, I asked that in some way I might lighten the heavy load she carried.

Mugs on the table, filled with the wafting aroma of coffee freshly brewed were ready.  Cookies on the plate waited to be dunked in that warm brown liquid.  I waited for her to start.  I knew her mind was whirling with thoughts of where to begin.

After dispensing with the “pleasant” conversation about kids, house, spouse the real reason for her being there started tumbling out.

“I don’t know where I belong and I don’t know what my purpose is,” she said.  “What do you mean,” I asked?  She wanted to trust me with her hurts but it was hard for her to be transparent.  She had been hurt by those she had trusted in before.  Sharing her deepest feelings with a particular person she had once trusted turned around to bite her in the back.  It was as if a dagger had been inserted into her heart and the betrayal was more than she wanted to remember.

I waited a long time, minutes seemed like hours, and finally out came all the things she had been holding inside.

“I can’t really trust anyone.  Everyone thinks I have it all together and I don’t.”

She was the one people turned to for help.  She was the one that prayed and read scripture with them.  They never knew she had weak moments.  Her doubts and feelings of emptiness were well hidden.  She was the spiritual rock.  Everyone knew her story and she was admired for overcoming so many things, but had she?

Kids gone, change of location, and retirement left her feeling adrift.  There was nothing to anchor her.  She felt used up and tossed away.  Reality said that was not true but she felt that any way.

She watched as others achieved goals, goals she wanted to achieve but were delayed by circumstances beyond her control.  Angry, frustrated, devalued, that’s what she thought of herself.

I listened.  Praying silently that somehow I could penetrate this wall she built around herself.

She loved people, she really did but so afraid that if they got too close she would lose again and the cycle would repeat.  The load she carried now was enough she didn’t need more added guilt.

She spoke and said, “I let resentment knock at my door.  I let “him” in and he brought a host of other friends.  Doubt, jealousy, Mr. Inadequate showed up and he brought seeds of bitterness to plant in her life.   I don’t want this but the more I pray the more I try to surrender it seems these unwelcome guests become entrenched and comfortable.  I’ve almost given up on trying,” she said. “I know they are not pleasing to my Heavenly Father but I am becoming comfortable with them and afraid they will never leave.”

She became silent and let the salty tears flow into the cold coffee.

Again, breathing a silent pray, I choose my words carefully.  “You are not alone in this.  I have talked with others that feel this same way.  One reason or another has brought them to the same place you are.

I want to tell you that your Heavenly Father loves you so much.  You are not a failure in His eyes.  You are walking the path He has set for you and when you think you have failed, and if you did, He gently draws you back to himself.  Even when we justify the way we feel, and maybe we have or think we have a good reason, the Father still cares.

“Those feelings are there, and maybe we don’t want to give them up but ask the Father to help you be willing to surrender,” I said. “Tell Him you can’t love those that hurt you but ask Him to help you to be willing to love.”

The battle is never easy.  The enemy of your soul wants nothing more than to distract and destroy what God is trying to accomplish in your life.  Ask God to send you a true friend, one that you can trust.  When you experience those feelings rise up call the friend God sent and pray together.  It may take time but as we surrender to God all of the areas of our life He will come and make us into the vessel He has called us to be.

Those feeling cannot stay as God moves into your life and consumes you.

In Acts 17:28(ERV) it says:

It is through him that we are able to live, to do what we do, and to be who we are… We all come from him.

If you feel like this I want you to know God cares and He loves you.

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Before and After – A Mother Remembers

It really was a beautiful day as the warm rays of the sunshine bathed the room in a soft glow. Sitting by the small window, lost in thought, caught up in remembering all the changes in her life since that one day. Even the shining sun would not block out the memories of the three days cloaked in such darkness.

Getting pregnant was not what she planned. She was only engaged, babies came after marriage. The day she received the news she would become pregnant certainly was unique. So many unusual circumstances surrounded the birth of her son. She retained everything about that time. She kept so many of these events in her heart and thought about what they meant.

Remembering watching him grow, play, and follow the man he called father brought a smile to her face. This man, this wonderful man, married her even though he knew the child was not his. Raising this little one as his, providing for them without once complaining caused thankfulness in her heart. The tousled head tot followed him everywhere and took in everything he saw.

She recalled how eager he was to learn and it seemed he was wise, so wise. It was as if his knowledge was far beyond what her husband and the elders had taught him. She could only remember one time, as a youth, that he caused her concern. It was on that trip. She thought he was with friends or family only to find out he was not there. They had to make the journey back to where they had been to find him. They found him. He was in the temple. She couldn’t believe what he was saying. He was confounding the elders with his knowledge.

Seated by the same window, dressed in mourning clothes she didn’t want to remember the past days. Those days of the mocking, the lies told about her son. The trial was a joke. The witnesses lied. He only did good. Why? Wasn’t the blind man who could now see better off? What about the crippled man now walking and others whose lives had been forever changed for the better? She couldn’t fathom that one of those that followed him became the betrayer. Her son cared for him.

Such a cruel death. He really didn’t deserve this. Inside her heart she screamed silently, he only did good. She remembered standing at the foot of the cross. Tears streaming down, a mothers heart breaking as she looked up and saw his face. Even in that torment, he remembered her and asked one of his followers to care for her. Where would they bury him? She didn’t have the money to pay for a tomb. She was thankful for the kindness of one that provided his burial tomb.

They took him from the cross and wrapped his body for burial. She didn’t want to remember that image but it was stamped in her memory. They laid him in the tomb but couldn’t finish the process because it would soon be the Sabbath. They would go after the Sabbath passed and take the spices they needed to finish the burial process.

A smile crossed her face as she remembers that particular day. The “spice day.” They went very early to the tomb. On the way, they wondered who would roll away the heavy stone that sealed the grave. What a surprise! The stone was rolled away. Jesus was not there!

What had happened? It had just been three days. Wait, she remembered, he did say something about he would rise – on the third day- yes that was what he said. She remembered.

Today, because of this, all of humanity can be free. Free from the guilt that sin brings. The chains of our past are broken, and the addictions of our present are paid for. We just need to believe and ask for forgiveness.

Words of the song by Bill and Gloria Gaither ring true. “Because He lives I can face tomorrow.”

For God so loved the world that He gave His only son that whoever believes on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16,17

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Love – What is it?

Have you ever met someone you just couldn’t love or someone or thing you are “madly in love with? Today we toss those words around so lightly. We hang up the phone and casually say – “love you.” Parting words between friends, “love you.”

It is easy to love those in our closed inner circle but what about others we see or encounter daily. Can you extend love?

Love – just what is it?
Here is how the dictionary defines love:
An emotion
A deep and tender feeling of affection
A deep and tender feeling of affection for attachment
A feeling of brotherhood and good will toward other people
Infatuation
A strong liking for or interest in something
Sexual passion
Types of love
Philos – brotherly love, liking
Eros – sexual love
Agape – Godly love
Various phrases we use can express this emotion.
In love
For love
Feel love
Make love

Love also implies intense fondness or deep devotion and may apply to various relationships, objects or causes.

The Bible speaks to us of love and the most familiar verse from scripture says:

John 3:16 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. (Amp. Bible)

Other verses speak of love

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

1 Corinthians 13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. …

This topic of love can lead to an almost endless discussion.

One thing I know loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both. What a different world we would have if everyone practiced loving God as He requires and loving others.

For me falling in love with God’s son Jesus is the best thing I’ve ever done.

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