January 18,2021 / Thoughts

I have been thinking a lot lately about Mary the mother of Jesus. I have been working on a message on God’s love and how differently we love. I can’t imagine what it is like for a parent who has lost a child. I know many who have and I can be sympathetic to their pain by I do not personally know exactly what their pain feels like. Mary was there as her son Hung on a cross. The pain she felt I can not describe to you, but the helpless feeling that she could not stop her child from suffering had to be unbearable. To only be able to be there and not be able to comfort her child, yet hearing Him tell John that ‘This is your mother and tell her this is your son’, that even as He was about to die He was making provision for her care. She knew He loved her. Then being one in the group of women to first see Him after He rose from the grave, the joy she must have felt. I wonder what happened to her after this. I find no mention of her past this part. How did she live, what was her life like? To be the one woman who God chose to be the mother of His Son? The bond she shared with her son, the love she had, is something I want to have. To be that close to Him. Even though she was his mother, He was her Savior. He is Savior to us all who recieve Him. I want to love Him and have the connection she had. Well that is my thoughts for today.

Notes message of love/January 11, 2021

Notes message of love/January 11, 2021

The lyrics ‘You don’t know what it’s like, to love somebody, the way I love you’, keep running through my head. It is like God is singing to me, telling me that He loves me and at the same time letting me know I do not understand the depth of His love.

I have always enjoyed how God has spoken to me over the years the closer I have come to knowing God. The closer I become to Him, the more I hear and see Him.(My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow Me. John 10:27)

As I have been focusing my studies on the scriptures about His love, the clearer His voice has become to me. It is not a new to me that no one can put God in a box. He is bigger and greater than we can imagine. Religion and traditions try to put Him into a box, but He is not found only in a building on Sunday morning, or by keeping religious traditions. All this has done is build walls that have separated us from knowing His love and who He truly is. I often think about the conversation between God and Moses, when God told Moses to go back to Egypt and lead God’s people to freedom.(Exodus chpt. 3)Moses asks God who he should say sent him, and God tells Moses to say ‘I Am That I Am has sent me to you’. Simple and straight to the point, ‘I Am’ is the One sending Moses to lead His people to freedom. The problem Moses faced was not with God but with the fact that the people including Pharaoh did not know God.

Unfortunately this is still a problem today. Even I do not know God the way I should. People may know His name, go to church and even serve without truly knowing Him. He speaks through His prophets, ministers, teachers, disciples, and Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Yet many do not listen. They have heard His Word spoken and read the scriptures, but like seeds on rocky ground the seeds of His Word did not get the chance to take root in their hearts, or like seeds that did get planted and did begin to grow were choked out by the weeds of this world. So either the seed does not get a chance to grow or it dies because the world and all of its’ problems smother it and it dies. Either way the seed does not grow and produce fruit.(Matt.13:20-22)

God has never stopped loving us. He still speaks to us today, and is waiting for us to listen to Him. His arms reaching out to us, wanting to embrace us. He longs for us to choose Him over the world, and to become one with Him. He wants you to know Him and to know His love, He is an open book waiting for you, inviting you to come in. Once you begin to know Him you will know His voice and hear Him speaking to you. It is time now for us to want to know Him on a personal life changing level. To want Him more than anything else in our lives. To let His love grow and flow through us. Then when people see us they see Him. Then His love can reach others through us.

Song/To Love Somebody

This song has been playing in my head for a couple of days now. The lyrics are really speaking to me. The verse ‘You don’t know what it’s like’, has been the main verse playing, and I can hear God singing to me about how we don’t know how much He loves us. Read the lyrics for yourself, and listen to the song and think about how much He loves you, and imagine He is singing to you.

“To Love Somebody”

There’s a light
A certain kind of light
That never shone on me
I want my life to be lived with you
Lived with you
There’s a way everybody say
To do each and every little thing
But what does it bring
If I ain’t got you, ain’t got? Hey babe

You don’t know what it’s like, baby
You don’t know what it’s like
To love somebody
To love somebody
The way I love you

In my brain
I see your face again
I know my frame of mind
You ain’t got to be so blind
And I’m blind, so so sorrily blind
I’m a man, can’t you see
What I am
I live and I breathe for you
But what good does it do
If I ain’t got you, ain’t got? Hey babe

You don’t know what it’s like, baby
You don’t know what it’s like
To love somebody
To love somebody
The way I love you

Oooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

You don’t know what it’s like, baby
You don’t know what it’s like
To love somebody
To love somebody
The way I love you

Noo noo no-no nooo nooooo

You don’t know what it’s like, baby
You don’t know what it’s like
To love somebody
To love somebody
The way I love you

Song / You give love a bad name

Are we giving love a bad name? We who are called Christians a representatives of Christ Jesus. the question I have to ask all of us, myself included is, ‘Are we giving love a bad name?’ When people see us do they see God’s love? Or do they just see someone who goes to church and speaks the language, but does not love? 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that no matter what we do if it is without love, we are just making noise. We are not here to put on an act or play a part but to live in Christ and share Him with all. Be good ambassadors and give Love a good name, because God is love and the only way some may ever see Him, is in us.

Notes on message of love/ just a thought Dec 29, 2020

For the last few weeks I have been sharing my notes on preparing a message on love, that I have been working on helping a minister back in California. Sitting here today I have had many thoughts. First, here I am working with a person I had never met but God has brought us together to work on this project together. Which on its own shows how God’s love brings us together. Uniting strangers. The second is that it shows how there is no distance God’s love can’t reach. This reminds of how God’s love covers a multitude of sins. Preparing this message is also a reminder of the greatness of His love and how it is something that cannot be measured, and how His love overflows because there is nothing that can contain it. It is amazing, overwhelming and cannot be put into any container because it is bigger than all of us put together. At the same thing that joins us together. He is so wonderful and all consuming. His love is never ending. Isn’t that the greatest news you could hear? God bless you and your loved ones, with His love, peace and joy.

Notes on message on love/personal thoughts about the holidays

I have been making notes on preparation for a message on love and how God’s love transforms our heart. Tonight I am not focused on the message but on the holidays. Thanksgiving was just a month ago and in two days we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ on a day we call Christmas. Memories of the holidays of my youth I can remember that they were much different than how they spent in the recent years. Stores closed early and families spent time together celebrating and enjoying family. The food, the smiles, and even playing football together. We took time to do the little things and there was love. Now I see selfish greed. There is so much hatred in the world today, the concept of peace seems unattainable. Shouts of ‘No justice, no peace’. Violence on top of an epidemic. The world is falling apart and is on a self destructive path and no one seems to realize they are a part of it. All we do is demand our own rights while stampeding over others. No life seems to be safe. Love and peace feel like a distant dream. So why even bother with Christmas. With everything going on in the world today it is not the presents and shopping that should matter. We should be thinking about the best gift we were all given, and that is the Son of God, our Savior, Jesus came to this fallen world to save each and every one of us. Loving us and forgiving us, by showing great mercy. Teaching us what love truly is, for He is love. It is not the trees, the decorations and lights, or the presents we buy, but the love none of us could buy or work for. A love given freely. A gift we just need to receive and give thanks. It is a time to remember this.

I pray that you all are blessed as you celebrate this Christmas, and that your hearts overflow with love, peace and joy. May the year to come give you hope and peace. God protect and prosper you in the fruits of His Spirit. Amen.

Notes on message on love/personal thought on love

What is love? When love is mentioned we think about the emotion we call love. Emotions however are unstable, they can be tossed around like a small boat in the ocean. Ups and downs, they come and go. If you say a person is emotional you may also be calling them unstable. So again I ask, what is love? Christian rap group DC Talk have a song titled love is a verb.

If we look at love as only a verb then we say it is an action. Something that is performed. Is that all love is?
No! Love is so much more, it is not just a fleeting emotion, or an action. So again I pose the question what is love?
Love is alive, and is a being greater than any person on earth. God is Love, His Spirit is Love, His Son Jesus is Love. Everything God has done has been out of love.
What else can we say love is?
What do you say love is?

Agree to Disagree / A thought for the moment, Oct. 28, 2020

Agree to Disagree / A thought for the moment, Oct. 28, 2020

With all that is going on in our world, there is much hatred and fighting that nothing is really getting done. I am thinking about 1 Corinthians 13, the chapter of ‘Love’, and how one of the things listed on love, is that Love does not demand it’s own way.

There is a lot of yelling and screaming but nothing is being heard because of all of the noise. I see a world filled with a bunch of children throwing temper tantrums. Basically saying I want what I want, and you are going to give it to me! A good parent would not reward their child by giving into their child’s tantrums. They would discipline their child. Wrong behavior should not be rewarded. Just because you do not agree with the other does not mean that you can bully your way into getting what you want.

There is no true winner in any fight. Both parties get hurt one way or another. Listen to what each other is saying even if you do not agree on what is being said. I can hear a person yelling at me, but that does not mean that I am going to listen to what they have to say because they have screamed their demands at me. I am sorry I am not a soldier and you are not my drill sergeant where I have to do what you yell at me. I am a person who has free will to think for myself and just because I do not agree with you does not give you the right to yell or scream your demands at me. There is a saying you attract more flies with honey than vinegar. You have the right to have your own thoughts and desires, but you nor I have the right to make you think or do as I do. Fighting will never accomplish anything. Sometimes you have to agree to disagree.

I can respect you without having to agree with you. Respect does not mean I even have to like you. It does mean I can exist without doing you harm. I can listen to what you have to say without being offended and raising my voice and slandering you for what you have to say. I should not demand that you agree with me, but show you the respect that will hopefully have you show me the same respect. Instead of getting angry because I do not like what you have said, understand that is your point of view and that I do not have to cuss at you or call you names. Doing that will never get you to listen to me if I did, it would just lead to more fighting.

Jesus taught us to love our enemies. That does not mean we agree with them, but that we give them the love that He gave to us before we even knew Him. A love that none of us deserved. He gave His life to save us while we were His enemy. Through His sacrifice we were given grace, mercy, and salvation. Yet we withhold this grace and mercy from anyone we do not agree with. Forgetting that none of us are truly righteous and that we all sin and are far from perfect. Remember our ways, are not His, and our thoughts are not His thoughts. It is not our way of doing things that we should be seeking but His. He has so much better for us if we would only stop fighting, but listen to Him and love each other as Jesus has told us we should.

Well these are just my thoughts for the moment and you do not have to agree with me or even listen to me, but I pray that you open your hearts and ears to Him and listen to what He is saying.

God bless and keep you in His peace.

Thoughts on the sun

Thoughts on the sun

I was looking up into the sky today, and seeing the sun shine. The sun is always there shining. It doesn’t matter if the sky is clear or filled with dark clouds. Even at night when you cannot see the sun it is still there, shining it’s light reflecting on the moon. I thought this is how God is. He is always there, even when you cannot see Him. The Light of Jesus shines no matter what the conditions are. We may not be able to see the light because of the storms in our lives, but it is there and does not go away. God is always there for us. Faithful and true, we can trust Him at all times, in the dark of night, or in the middle of the storm. If God is for us why should we be afraid of what the world tries to do to us? I do not need to be afraid but have faith in God, and trust in Him at all times.

The Moon / Thoughts on being a Christian

Photography by Julie Sheppard

With all the sleepless nights I have had, I have spent many nights looking up into the night sky praying to God and thinking of many things. One thought that I have had is the comparison to the light reflected from the moon and Christians. The moon is not the source of light. It reflects the light of the sun. It has many phases from full to not visible, and it can even eclipse the sun. We who have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior are called Christians. We are not the source of light, Jesus is The Light. His light shines through us. Some of us shine like a full moon, and others are like the different phases of the moon.

His light can shine through us in the darkest of night or even during the day.

Then there are people and things in this world that try to eclipse His Light. God created the sun and the moon and all the stars in the sky. The moon does not think or have choices in where it will be in the sky, but we do. We make choices every day. We decide if we go to work, go to school, go shopping, sleep in, etc… We choose to repent and follow Jesus. We choose to love or hate. We make so many choices, and our choices can reflect His light if our actions and choices reflect His love. We can be a vessel filled with His Love and Light giving to others what He has given to us.