Tag: spiritual fruit

To Share or Not Share

post249pic1Sharing – we all know what it means – giving a bit of what we have to others so that we all have the same thing in common. I think most of us would agree that sharing, for the most part, is a good thing.

Well, it is a good thing when what we are sharing is stuff – you know, cookies, toys, food, clothes, maybe homes, and cars. But what about sharing ideas or opinions. Sometimes that can be keep reading here

Spring Growth

Did you get a haircut? Have you lost weight? Are those new glasses? Are you wearing your makeup differently? People can’t quite put their thumb on it, but they know something’s different about you.

You know what it is. You know that it isn’t a physical change you’ve made, but it is a change that is being made deep within you.

Perhaps it is a change that is so subtle it caught you off guard. You notice that you don’t fly off the handle like you used to. Or you have more patience with a difficult person in your life. Or you find more here

Running On Empty!


Empty. Exhausted. Frustrated. Burned out. Worn out. Helpless. Hopeless. Joyless. Passionless. Ready to quit. Except you can’t.

You can’t quit your job. Or your marriage. Or your parenting. Or your ministry. You can’t quit, but you can’t continue when you have nothing left to give.

Maybe if you just dig a little deeper you’ll find the drive, the motivation, the passion that you used to have. Surely it’s there; it’s just a little beyond reach. So you dig, but the hole just gets wider, deeper and find more here

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?

Christmas Decorating Day!

With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s time to decorate the house for Christmas! Yes, it is a ton of work! And, yes, it’s usually a solitary job, but I love it!

What I really enjoy is unpacking the ornaments!


This is the ornament Brian and I got when we were first married in 1979, Danny’s first Christmas 1981, Bobby’s first Christmas 1984, and an ornament my mom gave me from her tree when I was a baby in 1956.

Every ornament has a sweet memory: The excitement and pride on the boys’ faces as they presented their hand-made masterpieces, the memory of a friend I haven’t seen in years, the heartache of a family member who is gone, the joy of a baby’s birth, or the thankfulness for a new daughter-in-law!

It’s not unusual, as each ornament is unwrapped and examined, to find some that didn’t survive their storage intact and need a bit of glue; while others seem prettier and shinier than when they were put away.

Just as we take the time to unpack the ornaments we use to decorate our homes, we should also set aside a time each year when we unpack and examine the ornaments God has given us to decorate our lives.

Galatians 5:22-23 “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

As we go through the box, each one provokes a memory…

Love – do you love unconditionally? Who needs to know that you love them?

Joy – when did you last experience joy? Have you brought joy to others’ lives? Have you lived joyfully in the midst of sorrow because you know the Savior?

Peace – are you living in peace? Peace with God and others?

Forbearance – have you practiced tolerance and restraint when you’ve been provoked? Have you shown patience with others?

Kindness – would others say you are kind to them? To yourself?

Goodness – only God is good – are you growing more and more like him each day?

Faithfulness – Would you say your faith in God is growing deeper? Stronger? Is it penetrating every part of your life?

Gentleness – Have your words and your actions grown in gentleness?

Self-control – where are you out of control? Where have you gained control?

As you cooperate with God, he will strengthen and grow this fruit. This is a promise.

Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

We can’t produce this fruit on our own.  It isn’t a matter of working to be good enough.  These ornaments belong to God; they are the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the by-product of God working in our lives through the Holy Spirit.

As we cooperate with God in the circumstances he allows in our lives, he continues the work of transforming us: “polishing our ornaments”.

It’s time to decorate! May the light of the Lord shine brightly through you this Christmas season!