Tuesday, March 30

We're Never the Same

I think I posted this before. But I was thinking again today...about this song...about the lyrics...

"I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way, that He loves us, Oh how He loves us."

We're never the same. Not with Christ. Nothing is impossible. Nothing. What seems hopeless and lifeless today will surprise us tomorrow, rising again with a new life that we never thought possible. The things we thought could never change...would never change...well, they change. Not because we found some magic formula, but because we have finally found the giver of life...the Creator who does ALL things well...who takes what is broken and dirty and ugly and creates some new and beautiful.

And even more than changing the circumstances....He changes us.

All we have to do is ask Him. All we have to do is trust. That He is a good God...who longs to love us, take apart what is broken and put us back together again...

Sunday, March 28

The Way of Love

I've been reminded of this passage from from 1 Corinthians all weekend. I'm holding it up and looking into it's mirror image and saying "Oh yeah, I forgot that. I have a long ways to go."

But I am also reminded that love is alive. Love calls us to grow and change...not because we're undeserving unless we do so...but simply because our lives are so much better, so much more full and joyful and at peace, in the light of it. When we allow love in, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable...we accept the fact that we're going to be uncomfortable at some point...we accept the fact that others are going to be imperfect around us...we forgive our own selves for being imperfect...we forgive others and love them right where they are in their journey. Love keeps the joy alive, the communication free, and the door open to the adventures that we are all so longing for.
The Way of Love
1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing.
3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

11When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

12We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

Saturday, March 27


I remember kindness. I remember receiving more than I deserved. I remember being thankful and wishing I could give even just a little bit in return. I remember learning that my heart was worthwhile, that I had value. I remember feeling important and taken care of.

And, of course, it wasn't all roses. Of course, there were misunderstandings and annoyances. Of course, there were days of tears and sad goodbyes. But as I reflected today, on all the comings and the goings of my life, kindness was the word that kept running through my mind. From family and friends, from strangers, from those I walked with for awhile. I was given beautiful pictures all along the way of what it is like to love and to be loved. It remains as the desire of my heart. And although I'm not perfect at being kind, and I have to apologize more than I would like to admit, kindness is the thing I desire most...it calms the heart and brings out the best. It covers a multitude of grievances and failures. It brings about changes that once seemed so impossible.

It was a listening ear on a late night park bench in the middle of the 3rd world series game. It was a valentines dinner when "everything had to be perfect" but kept falling out of place. It was being told that I was not to feel guilty, ever, when a guy paid for dinner. It was being told that I was beautiful at random moments...at just the right moment. It was magic and dreaming. It was a scolding for not calling right away when I had returned home for the summer. It was the hug right after the first time I spoke in front of church. It was the prayers prayed for me. It was hauling furniture across the city or across the country for that matter. It was traveling 2 hours both ways every weekend just to take me out and spend time with me. It was the perfect gift. It was and still is a smile when I walk in the door. It's making dinner when I don't have the strength to even pour cereal. It's late night phone calls to help me drive home. It's word of assurance when I feel afraid. It's dancing in the middle of the room and singing in my ear. It's the twirl in the airport. It's the note I come home to after a long day. It's holding hands. It's hearing that someone believes in who I am...even after I've done everything wrong.

I don't hold onto the past or live in it, not at all. But tonight I am reminded and encouraged, that even though life has dealt a whole bunch of lemons...God's kindness has never failed. He has never failed to place people in my life to show me what life was really all about...what love really and truly feels like. It feels safe and secure, quiet and strong, jealous and unrelenting. It's a fire that will not be quenched...no matter how hard it rains.

Thank you seems so small in comparison to the way my life has been touched.

Today, as I hiked the loop around Radnor Lake I passed a woman in her 50's probably, with red hair and a kind face. She did not say hello to me, but she smiled. I imagined today that if God met me along that same path, He would probably smile at me just like she did. I passed her twice. And each time she smiled I felt the tears of relief...I was loved...I am loved...by a God who knows my name.