Sunday, January 2, 2011

Love...Can You Feel It?

What is love? How do you know it is real? How does it change your life? Is love something you can feel? How do you explain it?

I am not sure I know the answer to all these questions. Over the past several months I have personally experienced love in a way I never imagined. From falling deeply in love with a long lost friend, to getting engaged, to planning a wedding... LOVE is definitely something on my mind. 

We are all familiar with the great love chapter of the Bible, but while on- ironically enough- one of my first dates with my fiance, we heard a unique and though provoking insight to the famous "love chapter". I would like to share it with you so that you can start your new year with a heart full of love because of the love that was shown for you.

I Corinthians 13 speaks of love. If God is love, and we know He is, then let's replace the word "love" with  "God" and take another look at the precious meaning behind this passage of scripture:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have GOD, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have GOD, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have GOD, I gain nothing.

GOD is patient, GOD is kind. HE does not envy, HE does not boast, HE is not proud. HE does not dishonor others, HE is not self-seeking, HE is not easily angered, HE keeps no record of wrongs. GOD does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. HE always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

GOD never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and GOD. But the greatest of these is GOD.

Take a moment today to remember that the true meaning of love, is not a feeling... it is an absolute, and that absolute is GOD!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Clean Slate... again and again!

Have you decided to start a new chapter in your life this new year? I am so thankful God gives us a clean slate again and again... As 1 Corinthians 13 says, "Love keeps no records of wrongs!" As I think of the new year beginning, I look on the past year as well. I am reminded of the post from January 1st of last year and think it is fitting to repost:

As a new year begins, we all want to start over with a clean slate. Forget about the things in the past year that we screwed up on. It is time to create a new record, a new way of living. On the new year, we each resolve to change all the areas that need improvement. If only all the things we have done wrong over the past year could actually be wiped clean and forgotten!!

If you are like me, sometimes it is hard to press toward new and better goals for the haunting of all the things I have done wrong. At times, it is so much easier to look at all the areas in life where I have failed. Yes the last year has had many great strides in my personal, professional, and spiritual life... but for some reason, the failures are what stay impressed at the forefront of my memory.

One of my favorite scriptures is found in Isaiah. I love the way The Message just spits it out in such plain English:

"'re my servant. I made you, shaped you: You're my servant... I'll never forget you.I've wiped the slate of all your wrongdoings. There's nothing left of your sins. Come back to me, come back. I've redeemed you." -Isaiah 44:21-22

Oh how wonderful to think that my slate has been wiped clean!! All I have to do is ask. Jesus has redeemed me and I can start over any time I need to. He is right there creating a clean slate for me to start walking in the right direction.

Yes, I have messed up many times over the past year. I could write you a list right there on that little chalkboard... but...LOOK... it has already been wiped clean!!! Let's take the clean slate God has given us today and begin writing a story to be proud of. God bless you this new year!