Tag: Joy

In Defense of Discontent

blog161pixWe’ve been striving toward the goal of contentment throughout the summer, but I dare say, there is one area of our lives where we must fight contentment and purposefully remain discontent. There is a realm where there is no excuse, or room, for contentment.

As Paul taught we must learn contentment in all of our circumstances – the things around us that continually change — however, as Christians, we are not to be content concerning continue here

The Christmas Spirit

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“I’ve lost the Christmas spirit.”

“I don’t feel very Christmassy this year.”

“I’m just not into it.”

“Where has all the magic gone?”

“Why can’t I feel the excitement like I did when I was a child?”

How many times have you heard something like that this year? How often have you read more here

Happy Birthday, Mama!

Sixty years ago this weekend, you turned 18 – and what a year that was! In the spring, you graduated from High School and then you met the handsome young man who would sweep you off your feet and love you for the entire rest of his life.
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photos here!

Happy Birthday, Bobby!

Bobby, you were three or four months old, it was the middle of the night, you had just finished nursing, and as I got up from the rocking chair to lay you back in your crib, I caught our reflection in the mirror. There I stood, holding my precious little red-headed sleeping baby boy, and I didn’t want the moment to end.

I asked God to sear that image into my mind so that I could forever recall the joy of holding you, my darling son, in my arms. How gracious of God to answer, “Yes.” But He didn’t stop there; He’s given me many precious moments with you over the past thirty years that have become cherished memories.

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I love to think of you as a baby. What a sweet baby you were. You slept, ate, smiled, and slept some more. Your smile was contagious. You brought joy to everyone. You were such a charmer! And you still are! You lived every moment to the fullest.

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And, you played hard! Whether you were Batman, Robin Hood, a Ninja Turtle, or a Ghost Buster, you were always fighting the bad guys, and you always won. Your personality enabled you to make friends wherever we lived. You pushed yourself and excelled at everything you did, just as you still do.

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Bobby, I loved watching you play baseball at GCHS. I still laugh that we pulled dents out of your car with a plunger. And I was so proud to watch you graduate from the U of I. You never did anything half-hearted.

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And when I wasn’t looking you grew up! God led you to Jenny and you gave her your whole heart. Then God led you to Texas!

My birthday wish for you is that you will continue to follow God, wherever He leads.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” – Isaiah 30:21, NIV

Bobby, you are a man of integrity. Whatever you do, you give it your all. You love wholeheartedly, and you follow God wholeheartedly.

That reminds me of another night that God burned into my memory: August 8, 1995. You couldn’t sleep. When I came into your room, you said, “Mom, if I were to die tonight, would I go to heaven?”

You accepted Jesus as your Savior that night. Then you asked, “Mom, can I be sure?” and we read this verse together:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord – Romans 8:38-39 NIV

Bobby, nothing can separate you from God’s love or mine. In His amazing grace, God knit our family together in a bond of love.

I am so privileged to be your mom!

Happy Birthday my precious son,

I love you,

Mom

Love Is…

ValentineTomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and I love it. I always have. I’ve enjoyed it ever since I made my first poster-board Valentine card holder in grade school. I loved being courted by Brian and showered with Valentines in college. And, as a mom, I loved helping Dan and Bob write their names on preschool super-hero Valentines.

Is it a fake holiday? Am I a romantic? Probably “yes” to both. But, I’ve purchased cards and gifts, and I’ll enjoy distributing them. And, I’ll save the ones I receive.

However, the best Valentine I can give to the people I love is to look inward and have a “spiritual EKG”. I need to take a moment and determine if my day to day demonstration of love aligns with God’s definition of love.

In 1 Corinthians 13, God tells us what love should look like:

Love is…

Patient: Love bears with other’s shortcomings, weaknesses, and failures. Love waits for the right moment, it stays calm and perseveres.

Kind: Love is friendly, careful, and meets other’s needs without having to be asked. Love bends over backward to be nice, it is courteous.

Love is not…

Self-seeking: selfishly pursuing what is gratifying to me, or putting my personal desires, focus and needs above others.

Easily angered: becoming intensely displeasured or exasperated without much difficulty; it doesn’t have a short fuse and lean toward a lit match.

Proud: haughty or arrogant, with an exaggerated self-esteem or feeling of superiority.

Love does not…

Envy: discontent with what I have, resenting what another has, wanting what I don’t have.

Boast: focus on my achievements or possessions, lift myself up even at the expense of putting someone else down.

Dishonor others: bring shame or disgrace upon others through disrespect, slander, or maligning their reputation.

Delight in evil: enjoy my own wickedness or find great pleasure when others fall victim to wickedness.

Keep a record of wrongs: maintain a list of unjust treatment, collected and preserved, so as not to be forgotten, refuse to forgive, and continue to recall mistakes, errors, hurts, inequalities and injustices.

Love always…

Rejoices with the truth: Love fills the heart with joy, and is ready to celebrate facts, reality, sincerity, fidelity, integrity and honesty. Love celebrates what is right.

Protects: Love guards or keeps from harm. Love never deliberately hurts another but shields them from hurt.

Trusts: Love believes, has faith and confidence in others. Love gives the benefit of the doubt.

Hopes: Love is not wishful thinking, but confidence. Loves look forward with confidence to the fulfillment of God’s Word.

Perseveres: Love persists, it never gives up, ever.

Love never fails: no way, not at all, not ever, on no occasion will love prove deficient or inadequate. Love will always succeed.

God tells us in 1 John 4:16 that He is love. Because God is love, He can define love, and He can command that we love one another in the way that He defines it. Sometimes I love well. Other times, I don’t. God always does.

Is your heart prepared for Valentine’s Day? Are you? Are those you love? Will you be showering those you love with true Godly love this Valentine’s Day?