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Love, in Spite of Us

12 Feb

A funny Valentine’s Day story appeared in Reader’s Digest:

Richard B. Blackwell wrote, “Every Valentine’s Day, our campus newspaper has a section for student messages. Last year, my roommate surprised his girlfriend with roses and dinner at a fancy restaurant. When they returned from their date, she leafed through the paper to see if he had written a note to her.

“Near the bottom of one page, she found: ‘Bonnie ~ What are you looking for here? Aren’t dinner and flowers enough? Love, Scott.'”(1)

Scott clearly loved Bonnie in spite of her silly hang-up.

Some time ago, I heard my husband’s cell phone ringing and went to retrieve it. He had left it at home, so I called the caller back to let her know.

Then I thought that I should let my husband know. So I called his cell phone.

Yeah, you heard that right. Duh ~ one of my “blonder” moments.

My dear husband has experienced many of my “not quite connecting the dots” thought processes. He is amazed that anyone who loves apologetics, studies Church history, and conducts research for two ministries can come up with the lamest statements.

I’m not stupid, but sometimes my brain just doesn’t fire right…  you know? I heard that Einstein was the same way. I don’t know if that’s true, but it comforts me, somehow.

But my point here is, my husband Bob loves me, just the same. He understands how I function, and he accepts me because he just loves me.

It’s a wonderful picture of God’s love for me, only on a far deeper level.

I have nothing to offer God, in and of myself, because I continually choose the foolishness of sin. What a comfort to know that “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:7-8). He loves me, not for who I am, but for who HE is. And my love relationship with God all began with Him. “We love Him,” the Bible says, “because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Love is a choice … and God chose to love me! I am amazed and grateful.

Aren’t you glad that God loves you, in spite of you (not because of you)? As Christians, we are “accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). We are accepted because of God’s love for His Son, and the loving sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf as a covering for our sin.

Makes me want to create a Valentine for “the Beloved” today. Why don’t you join me and post a note somewhere today expressing your love to Jesus? And take some time in prayer and meditation to reflect on His love and grace that gives and gives and gives … in spite of us.

(1) Reader’s Digest online, “11 Funny Valentine’s Day Jokes,” compiled by Amy Zerello

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A ‘Good Account’

16 Apr

A farmer sent his accounting Border Collie, Seepeeay, off to gather in his eight sheep while Border Collie & Sheephe tended to other chores.

On returning to the sheep pen, the farmer was astonished to find he now had 10 sheep in his pen instead of eight.

He asked Seepeeay to explain.

“Well, Woof!,” he barked. “You asked me to round them up!”

And then there’s the story of Barry, an accountant who was having trouble sleeping at night, so he went to a doctor.

“Have you tried counting sheep?” the doctor asked.

“That’s the problem, Doctor,” Barry said. “I make a mistake, and then have to spend the next six hours trying to find it!”

Have you guessed? It’s almost “Tax Day!”

My (Dawn’s) husband and I visited our friendly accountant-financial adviser. We took all of our paperwork, and everything was going so well until Dave asked Bob, “Um, what’s this?” And he showed my husband our written figure for the year’s Cox Cable bill. It was $10,000 off!

My poor husband. He was, incidentally, suffering from jet lag; but he was so embarrassed by such a silly error.

Now, Dave is a benevolent friend, so he gracefully smiled and corrected the figure. And then I had the thought…

“I’m so glad that when I stand to give account for my life before God, He will look at me through the eyes of grace, because of what Jesus did on my behalf.”

All of the sins in my “account ledger” will never be held against me. (Colossians 2:14-15; Romans 8:1). Yes, I will be judged for my works (2 Corinthians 5:10), and rewarded for how I brought glory to God, brought souls to Christ, and handled the things entrusted to me ~ but the “errors” in the account are already cared for. Hallelujah!

As I’ve been noting some recent meetings in a church in Little Rock that have broken out into a movement of God, I’ve reviewed some of the “principles of revival” that I learned back in the 1970s while with a revival ministry. One of the principles that revolutionized my thinking was simple ~ I am a steward of the Most High God.

Being a steward means that I Continue reading

You are God’s Masterpiece!

6 Apr

When is a pencil not a pencil? Row of Yellow No 2 Pencils

When it’s on a Pentagon shopping list, says a Republican senator. Then it’s a “portable hand-held communications inscriber.” *

When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300 C.

The Russians used a pencil.**

PencilLead_heartsMy (Dawn’s) friend Beatrice Trachsler sent me an email showing the remarkable work of a sculptor with a unique art form. Dalton Ghetti creates miniature sculptures on the tips of pencils, carved from the lead.

Most of the time he carves detailed figures using a sewing needle, razor blade, and carpenter’s (No. 2) pencils. He has carved a church, a shoe, a key, a giraffe and much more ~  including a tiny alphabet! His latest project is carving rice-grain-sized teardrops one for every victim of the September 11 terrorist attack.

Ghetti said the effect will be that you’ll see a huge tear drop from far away, but then “as you walk up close to it, you’ll see that it’s made up of tiny little ones,” he said. It will take about 10 years to complete, but Ghetti is a patient man with a vision of beauty. ***

Father God is just as patient in His goal of transforming you (2 Corinthians 3:18) into the beautiful image of Christ, Friend. No matter the time it takes, He carves and chisels away, removing everything Continue reading

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