Your Name is Safe…

There was a study done a few years ago when professionals asked children ages 4 – 8 years old , “What is love”? The answers given from the “mouths of babes” were insightful and inspirational. One of my favorites…

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“When someone loves you the way they say your name is different. You just know your name is safe in their mouth.” Billy age 4

Scripture tells us that there is power in the name of Jesus…”that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil 2:10-11

Names are important. Your name is important as well.

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Have you heard the Lord speak YOUR name in the depths of your heart?

For our heart has ears to hear the Lord call our name.

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And there is peace, and love and affirmation when the Lord calls us by name.

In the chaos of your day….in the busy-ness of life…in the din of the everyday…

Make time to sit still and listen and with the ears of your heart hear the Lord speak YOUR name. And rest in the wisdom that “YOUR name is safe in His mouth”.

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“The gatekeeper opens it (the gate) for him (the shepherd), and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by  name and leads them out.  When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice.  But they will not follow a stranger, they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.” John 10:3-5

The Child Within…

“Experience has shown me too late

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that we cannot judge people by their vices,

but on the contrary by what they hold intact and pure,

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by the childlike qualities that remain in them, however deeply one must search for them.”

(George Bernanos, +1948, a prolific French author and soldier in world War I)

“Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide.” Is 11:3b

From Stunted Growth to Springtime…

“Jesus loves as a PURE GIFT….

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He makes others better by loving them.  Not only does he NOT accuse their mediocrity,…but He takes up their defense and gives them His heart, His time, His trust.

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He knew that if (such) people were weak, small, mediocre, it is precisely because they lacked the love to grow and because others did not love them enough.

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What does our Lord do? He calls forth, arouses, renews the best part in man, the part that is hidden in each and every person. Because Christ loves, and shows His love in creating new and good things…

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Everybody who meets Him once again begins to believe, to have trust in God and in themselves.” (By Fr. Bernard Bro, a Dominican priest and author of “Learning to Pray”)

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If we see with eyes of compassion the hardness in others and in ourselves as merely stunted growth from lack of love…how differently we would then treat ourselves and our neighbor. Loving ourselves and others in Jesus could cause a flourishing of new growth…a springtime in Him who is love.

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“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.  Stop judging and you will not be judged.  Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.  Forgive and you will be forgiven.  Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap.  For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you. ” Luke 6:36-38

Will You Be My Valentine?…

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Will you be my Valentine? Will you be my friend?….which is to say…

Will you let me give you my unconditional Love? Will you accept my peace for your tired and worn self?

Will you receive my mercy and forgiveness? Will you believe in my Love when everyone else has gone away or given up on you?

Will you be generous enough to take my love to others when they need you?

Will you be bread to the hungry, love to my needy, hope to my desolate?

Will you trust me to always companion you? Will you lay down your life for me?

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Will you be my Valentine? Will you be my friend?

I listen to the invitation…I look within and find “yes” answers in my own February heart.

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“Yes” because of dear friends who have graced my days with love.

Their hearts are plainly flesh and earthen, yet they touch me to Your goodness.

Their hearts are weak and wounded, yet they mend the torn in me.

Their hearts are tired and troubled, yet they’ve time to give me rest.

My friends are loving pathways leading home.

Home to where You are. Oh Lover of all hearts.

And so, I respond humbly, gratefully,

“You know everything.  You know I want to be Your Valentine.”

(Joyce Rupp)

“He said to him a third time, “Simon, son of  John do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” John 21:17

Chocolate covered twinkies and strawberry fudge from the kitchen of fromtheheartofj

 Happy Valentine’s Day!

Glimpses of God…

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 There are so many ways to RECEIVE God’s LOVE…

Divine love notes fill our days.

Do we notice them?

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Do we ponder all those seemingly coincidences that catch our attention?…

Coincidences that really are “God-incidences”?…

Glimpses of God peeking through our everyday.

RECEIVE His LOVE and be transformed.

“Your love is before my eyes; I walk guided by your faithfulness.” Ps 26:3

The Canvas of the Kingdom…

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Henry Moore was and English sculptor and artist.  He is best known for his abstractions of the human figure, particularly the mother and child, and reclining figures.  It has been said that many of Moore’s sculptures, that include hollow spaces and rolling curves, were inspired by the landscape hills of his birthplace of Yorkshire.  He created many public works of art around the world. Although he became quite wealthy from the sales of his work, he lived very frugally and before he died he created the Henry Moore Foundation (still in existence today) to support the education and promotion of the arts.

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 “The secret of life is to have a task, something that you devote your entire life to, something to bring everything to, every minute of the day, for the rest of your life.  And the important thing is, it must be something you can’t possibly do.”

Henry Moore (1898-1986)

What is your life task? What is that which you devote your entire life to? What is your passion? What is that which your heart cannot ignore?

What is that which you can’t possibly do?

Could it be,” You shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all  your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment.  The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:37-39) ?

For surely this radical love is impossible without the love of God infused through grace within us.

And it is in that flow of God’s grace we discover that life task, that life devotion, that passion, that mission of the heart.

By surrendering our total selves heart, soul, and mind, to Him who is love…

We become His artists of all kinds, in all walks of life, splashing forth up on the canvas of the Kingdom our own unique color and brush work.

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 Blessings on your weekend!

Christmas Year Round…

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The Christmas tree stored or recycled….Stockings taken down and mantles cleared…the Wise Men have come and gone, back home to give witness…the creche is packed up and the pointsettias have been put out by the garden gate.

Christmas is over…or is it?!

For each time we allow God to love others through us…

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Christmas continues.

Through Him, With Him, In Him…

We become a gift…

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A gift that keeps giving…365 days a year.

 “Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap.” Luke 7: 38

Become the Gift…

Jesus was born dying…

Dying to LOVE you.

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The wood of the manger…the wood of the cross.

Christ Child breaking open the virginal womb of Mary…Crucified Christ tearing the temple veil in two.

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Newborn Babe swaddled in clothes…Christ Man mocked in purple cloth.

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Blessed Mother holding the Babe to her chest…Sorrowful Mother holding her Son from the Cross.

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Angels singing triumphantly “Holy, Holy, Holy”…Soldier at cross declaring, “Surely this was the Son of Man.”

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Jesus, God with a human face, born to die for LOVE of You!

When we receive the gift of the Christ Child, we receive the LOVE that came into the world to lay down His life for all.

Do we realize the true message of Christmas is about the Receiving?

The greatest gift we can give to our loved ones is to RECEIVE more deeply the LOVE that knows no bounds…

And LIVE that LOVE passionately.

Have you received the GIFT of Christmas?…Would you lay down your life for another?

May we all more deeply RECEIVE…

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So we may all more deeply GIVE.

RECEIVE and become the GIFT.

Give Christmas away.

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to seperate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8: 38-39

The Wrong Person at the Wrong Time?…or the RIght Person at the Wrong TIme?

Do you often think…I must have been the wrong person at the wrong time?!…

But when we are the right person at someone else’s wrong time….

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and GIVE from the HEART…

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We become the hands of Christ…

bringing wholeness into the brokenness.

The needy are all about us…

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They come in all shapes and sizes of woundedness.

Let our gifts this Christmas come from the heart…bringing wholeness to the broken.

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Let us find ourselves to be the “Right” person at someone else’s “Wrong” time.

Enjoy this 10 minute video that will inspire and transform your heart. You will not be disappointed.

“Give and gifts will be given to you;  a good measure, packed together, shaken down and overflowing, will be poured into your lap.  For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you. ”  Luke 6:38

Messengers Among Us…

Friends…true friends…are the greatest of gifts.

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A true friend gives a bit of his/her golden heart…

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May we return the blessing.

A true friend is strong when we are weak…

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May we return the blessing.

A true friend reminds us to look towards the light when all seems dim…

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May we return the blessing.

A true friend offers to lend us his/her Hawaiin shirt when we just have to “get outa’ here”, but usually encourages us to stay put and persevere.

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May we return the blessing.

A true friend knows how to make us laugh when we’d rather cry…

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but sits with us through the tears when they start to fall.

May we return the blessing.

A true friend is a messenger among us showing us the love of God and pointing to us the direction upward and beyond.

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May we return the blessing.

Messengers among us preparing our way….may we return the blessing.

Messengers among us…gifts from God….

Let us thank those messengers among us in our lives…

And may they return the blessing.

“I give thanks to my God always, remembering you in my prayers” Phil:4