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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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Take Off Your Mask!

31 Oct

Scuba Dog

Halloween Humor:

Question: Count Dracula decided he needed a dog. Which breed did he choose?

Answer: A Bloodhound

At first, I thought this pup (left) was a Halloween costume, but it’s not. It turns out that little Mondex, a five-year-old Chihuahua, participated in the “fashion show” category of a dog show in suburban Manila, Philippines ~ and he won first place!

Whether you agree with dressing animals up in clothes or not, there really are some adorable pet costumes for Halloween out there! [I’m sharing a few here.]Dog-rabbit_Halloween

But no matter how we dress them up, they are still dogs and cats.

I was thinking about this … No matter how we humans try to hide behind masks, we know who we are in the secret part of our hearts, don’t we? We can’t hide from ourselves.

CheerleaderDog_Halloween

I’ve focused for the better part of my life on the fact that I can’t hide from God. People have been hiding from God since the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:9-10). In a revival ministry, I learned that people may only see the outward appearance, but God tests my heart and knows even my secret sins (1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 90:8; Proverbs 17:3b; Jeremiah 17:9-10).

That can be a scary thing. And for a long time, that’s how I reacted to God’s presence. Fear.

But knowing God sees me has become a comforting truth. Remember what Hagar said in Genesis 16:13-14 at the well where God saw her struggle? He provided for her, and she said, “You are the God Who sees me.” The Bible says the well was then called Beer Lahai Roi (Well of the Living One Who sees me). We can never escape His presence (Jeremiah 23:23-24; Psalm 139:7), and that’s a GOOD thing!

Aren’t you glad for God’s presence ~ that He will ALWAYS see you?

Our loving Father God sees through all our masks ~ the silly things Continue reading

Pray for Rain!

21 Aug

Our friend, Rhonda Rhea, always amazes us with her creative humor. On Facebook a few weeks ago, Rhonda wrote about the tough weather.

“Looking at the temps and humidity, and calculating today’s ‘Hair Index’ … partly frizzy with a chance of a ponytail.”

With all the high temperatures this summer, weather forecasters and meteorologists have received some complaints. Reminds me (Dawn) of this joke:

A man who found a cell phone walked over to a weather forecaster and said, “Sir, I think this is yours.”

“Why do you think so,” asked the forecaster.

“Well, Sir,” said the man, “it says 20 missed calls!” (1)

And then there’s the sign seen on a telephone pole: “Garage sale this Sunday, 7:00 AM until 100 degrees.” (2)

Higher energy use with more air conditioners on full blast is one of the difficulties of the extreme high Texas Droughtweather we’ve experienced in our nation, but one of the toughest consequences of the severe weather patterns is the drought in Texas.

As farmers struggle with the parched planes that look more like a moonscape than fertile soil, and officials deal with their damaged infrastructure,  forecasters predicted that the drought may persist for another year.

Texas_pray for rainTexans need water. It’s that simple. Pastors in churches across the state asked their members to pray for rain.

The controversial August 6th day of prayer and fasting for America, The Response ~ organized by Gov. Rick Perry ~ also included prayers for rain. Certainly, the need for rain is causing thousands to turn to God in prayer, to ask for His mercies … and to send rain to bless the parched land. I even heard secular news announcers asking people to pray for rain for the Texans.

I am reminded of Psalm 63: 1  ~

“Oh God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;

my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you,

as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

And Psalm 143:6 says, “I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like parched land.”

David cried out to God when he was in the desert of Judah. David longed for a stream of water to quench his thirst in the scorching desert heat.

Have you ever felt desperate for water? Certainly, the people in Northern Africa thirst for water and are starving for food. Though we in America may get a dehydrated at times, we aren’t normally desperate like those in third world countries (at least, not yet).

Just as your body craves and needs water, your spirit craves and needs the Living Water ~ the presence Water - blueof God flowing in and through you, satisfying your soul and then pouring out in ministry to others. Jesus is the Living Water that brings life to the soul.

Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'” (John 7:38), and He told a soul-thirsty woman that He offered water that would cause her to never thirst again (John 4:1-38).

Are you thirsty for Jesus today? “Pray for Rain!” Ask God’s presence to flood your soul.

Spend time with the Lord. Drink Him in ~ in prayer and by reading about Him in the Word of God. Quench your thirst with Living Water.

(1) Adapted from Weather Jokes – “Cell Phone Joke,” http://www.greatcleanjokes.com/1261/cell-phone-joke/

(2) Adapted from “Heat Joke,” http://www.greatcleanjokes.com/1256/heat-joke/

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