Surrounded by God’s Abiding Love ~ Snippets of Rain

Originally posted on Heavenly Raindrops:

Surrounded by raindrops

Surrounded by raindrops

Surrounded by God’s Abiding Love

I love you
With an abiding love.
It is not altered
By the certainty
Of your inadequacies.
It does not change
With the rippling tide
Of your shortcomings.
It does not fade
With the fluctuations
Of your loyalty.

It is constant,
Surrounding,
Abiding,
And everlasting.

****

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13
ESV

For similar posts, seeSnippets of Rain

Snippets of Rain

View original


Divine Intervention and a Lesson in Logic

IMG_0905 sun.halo_smw

A recent conversation with a friend concerning my blog post about anonymously receiving a large bouquet of balloons reminded me of a joke I had once heard from a preacher. The friend asked if I really believed the gift of balloons was the result of divine intervention as I had expressed in the post.

“Yes,” I confidently replied, then told him the joke.

There was a Christian lady who lived next door to an atheist. Whenever the atheist overheard the lady pray, he would mutter to himself that there is no God, and sometimes he would argue with her.

One day she ran out of groceries, and the atheist overheard her praying. “I’ll fix her,” he thought to himself, and he went out and bought bags of groceries, set them on her front porch, rang the doorbell and hid to see what she would do.

When she opened the door and saw the groceries, she shouted, “God did it! God did it! God did it! Thank you, Jesus!”

He jumped out and shouted, “God didn’t do it! I did! I bought those groceries and put them on your porch! See? There is no God!”

The lady started laughing and dancing and praising the Lord.

“Didn’t you hear me?” the atheist asked. “I bought those groceries!”

“I heard you,” she said. “I knew the Lord was gonna provide, but I didn’t know He was gonna make you pay for ‘em!”

Something recently said by a different preacher made me think of another joke. Well, not so much a joke as a cute analogy. The preacher had quoted the first part of James 4:8, which says, “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” Unfortunately, he made a logical fallacy by stating that the contraposition must then be true— that if we draw away from God, then He will draw away from us.   So here’s the analogy:

A young man asked a girl out on a date. She accepted, and when he picked her up in his pickup truck, she sat as close to him as she could. They eventually got married, and they continued sitting close together. As the years went by, a space developed between them until one day, the wife lamented that they didn’t seem to be as close as they once were. The husband replied, “Well, honey, I ain’t the one who moved.”

The story reminds me of the parable of the prodigal son, who asked for his inheritance ahead of time, moved to the city, squandered it, and sought to return home as a servant and no longer as a son. All the time he was away, the father prayed and waited for his son’s return, and when he finally did, the father threw a huge party.

The father didn’t move.

It also reminds me of Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

If God draws away from us when we draw away from Him, He never would have pursued us nor sought to reveal Himself to us so that we could have a relationship with Him. Divine intervention? Yes!!

 

If you liked this, you might also like… Love Sometimes Comes in Waves

Fathers.Love.diptych_sm


He Unfold the Rose

Rene Yoshi:

A beautiful, heartwarming post revealing that some things take time and cannot be forced.

Originally posted on Karina's Thought:

HE UNFOLD THE ROSE -Karina's Thought- Paul Militaru

I am very happy in the midst of my busyness take care my baby boy and did the company tasks, this weekend I could back to gardening. With my husband I walked around the garden and enjoying each flower there. In the rose section, I found a beautiful red rosebud. I am so excited and amazed then I touched it softly and said to my husband, “I cannot wait to see this beautiful rose blooming. What happens if with my hand I open its petals so the rose will be unfolded?” “I don’t think so my dear princess. You cannot unfold the rosebud “My husband replied gently.”There is a time to the rose will unfold beautifully. If we force it the rose will be dead. My dear, Let God unfold this rosebud according His time. Not our time. When? We even do not know. So just be patient to wait…

View original 1,421 more words


Happiness Isn’t Free

IMG_0408 sailboat.qt_smw

A recent conversation with a friend about being happy reminded me of a quote I had saved years ago, because I thought it was so profound.

“To be free to sail the seven seas, you must make yourself a slave to the compass.  Every freedom has a corresponding slavery.  We can be free from the toothbrush and a slave to cavities or a slave to the toothbrush and free from cavities.  For everything we want, we must give up something else.” —Quiet Walk Daily e-Devotional

Just as freedom isn’t free, happiness isn’t free either.  Sometimes sacrifices must be made in order to obtain both freedom and true happiness.  Oftentimes we have to give up one thing in order to have what we ultimately want.  Is it worth it?  Sometimes it’s not a matter of having to give up one thing entirely in order to have another, but it may just be a matter of moderation and setting boundaries.  Both moderation and boundaries have to be maintained, and that takes both time and energy, so it’s still a trade-off.   As my friend, Scott, would ask, “How badly do you want it, and what are you prepared to do?”

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” —Thomas Jefferson

 

If you liked this, you might also like… Wisdom Wednesday: Freedom

Photo credit:  Luca Zaninoni - www.sxc.hu/photo/1330210


Child-like Faith

Rene Yoshi:

Excellent blog post for anyone who is struggling with trying to figure out why something is happening and what they must have done wrong to deserve it… OR for those who immediately think a person is struggling because of some sin in their life that needs to be confessed and repented of.

Originally posted on Unshakable Hope:

As I’ve said in other posts, I do not believe that God causes trials. But He clearly does allow difficult times to come upon even those that are closest to Christ. (If you don’t believe this, please study the life of the Apostle Paul).

When you read the Old Testament, especially the book of Job, you’ll find that people of those times believed trials and tribulations only came upon the ungodly. Most of the book of Job is his so-called “friends” trying to figure out what Job did or didn’t do to deserve these horrible trials. Poor Job sits at their feet scraping his boils trying to defend himself against their baseless accusations.

Trials humble us and expose self-righteousness in others and in ourselves.

I’m thankful that I don’t have friends like Job. Today, when looking upon those going through difficult trials, the humbled believer will likely think,

View original 520 more words


Randomly Selected? Somehow, I Don’t Think So

IMG_8284 balloon.bouquet_smw

Have you ever had an anonymous, random act of kindness done to you? Yesterday as I was getting some work done in and around the house, I was feeling a bit like Cinderella, and I started talking to our heavenly Father about how I was feeling. You know those times when you feel like God is far away, but in your head you know He’s always close by, because Jesus said He would never leave us nor forsake us? That’s how I was feeling.

To my surprise a car pulled up, and a lady came out and asked, “René?”

“Yes, I’m René,” I responded as I looked on with curiosity.

She opened the back door of her car and pulled out a HUGE bouquet of balloons. “Are those for me?” I inquired with bewilderment.

“Yes, they are.”

I was so touched, tears welled up in my eyes, and I had to keep myself from crying.

“Is there a card?”

“Yes, on one of the top balloons.”

The card read, “Rene, You have been randomly selected for a happy Saturday Bouquet! Please pay it forward.  — [name of local balloon shop]”

“Wow! Who could I pay it forward to?” I wondered, “And is this something [the local balloon shop] actually does, or did someone I know send it anonymously?”

I thought of a friend, who has been homebound and in pain, and after taking pictures and posting what happened on Facebook, I loaded the balloons into my car and took them over to her. She was so surprised and happy, not only to receive the huge bouquet of colorful balloons but also to have some company, so I was doubly blessed!

Thank you, Father, for putting it on someone’s heart to send the balloons to me and brighten my day when I was feeling a bit lonely. Thank you, too, Anonymous, not only for such a wonderful gift, but also for prompting me to pay it forward, so that someone else could be blessed as well. What a great idea!

 

 

If you liked this, you might also like… God Danced?

636896_37790447_Twirling.xchg.a

 


Three Phrases Christians Should Never Use

IMG_5229 church.grace_smqt

There are three phrases some Christians use when talking about sin that should never be used. They often cause people to feel condemned and discouraged rather than loved and encouraged. Not only that, but the phrases are lies.

  1. God cannot look upon sin.

Christians have taken part of Habakkuk 1:13 and twisted it to make people believe that God cannot look at sin. It makes people think that God must be so disgusted with them when they mess up that He can’t even look at them. That is far from the truth. If Christians who use that phrase would just read the whole verse, they would notice that the rest of it actually reveals that God does, indeed, look upon sin, but the implication is that He cannot watch it happen without doing something about it. Yeah, I know it sometimes seems like God is blind and doesn’t care about the evil in the world. That was Habakkuk’s question, and God answered him. If anything, God is full of patience, as well as compassion, mercy, grace and love toward His children, not disgust.

  1. God can’t use you if you are in sin.

I’m not sure what verse or verses are used for this one, but it is another phrase that can make people feel condemned and discouraged. Usually, when the phrase is used, it is used in reference to ‘big’ sins or things the person speaking has strong convictions against. What of the gossip or the glutton? I’m sure they sin daily, but does that stop God from being able to use them to bless people as well, or to work with children in the church, or to sing in the choir? That God cannot use us because we sin or struggle in an area is a lie that the devil wants us to believe to keep us from actively reaching out to others, because it makes us feel unworthy. Intentional sin may interfere with our intimacy with God, but as in the parable of the prodigal son, the Father stands waiting with open arms for our return.

  1. You need to get right with God.

What makes us right with God? According to the Bible, we are declared right with God when we accept Jesus as our Savior for redeeming us from sin and rising from the dead. So to imply a Christian is not right with God because of a sin she is struggling with is to imply a works-based system rather than a faith-based one. Which is it? Are we or are we not saved by faith? I am reminded of something my friend, Randell, said in a Sunday school lesson based on a study from Hebrews 8.

He said, “It is unfortunate that many Christians think they are saved by grace but still must fulfill their Christian life according to the Old Testament law. They want the New Covenant for salvation, but they want the Old Covenant for sanctification.”

If we feel the need to approach a Christian brother or sister about something in their lives, then we need to focus specifically on the issue and not imply that the person is not right with God. What if they agree with God about the thing they are struggling with, and we come along and accuse them of not being right with God? We will leave them feeling condemned and discouraged rather than loved, encouraged, and strengthened.

We really need to be careful that we do not parrot what we have heard other Christians say without really considering the validity and impact of those things. These three phrases have done a lot of harm by hurting people and misrepresenting God, so let’s throw them out.

 

If you liked this, you might also like… Conviction vs. Condemnation


The Prayer Journal – A New Road

The final installment of my son’s online fiction series.  If you are just joining, click here for the previous chapters.

autumn.path

May stepped out from the schoolhouse into the summer sun, tipping her sun hat to shade her eyes and avoid the blinding transition from inside to out. She breathed deeply the early fall air and savored the fresh scent. Her body had finally recovered from the Spanish flu after having been imprisoned on her bed for weeks. Now being in the open outdoors, she relished the life that had come back to her body, savored the smell the warm breeze carried from the wooded hills. “It’s a beautiful day you’ve made, Lord.” May smiled and headed home.

“May I join you?”… (Read more)

 


The Prayer Journal: Weathering the Sunshine

The 19th installment of my son’s online fiction series.  If you are just joining, click here for the previous chapters.

IMG_6933 sky.clouds_smw

May shivered. She rolled her aching body under the piles of blankets draped across her bed. She swallowed and immediately regretted it since her throat felt like sand. An involuntary cough forced its way out of her lungs causing her body to double-over on the mattress. When the coughing ceased she tried to sniff but only one side of her nose would give. She felt awful.

She had been sick for a few days now and only getting worse. A good number of people were getting sick in the town; she was surprised the Bransons had not yet caught it seeing how they were taking such good care of her. May could tell they were getting worried about her, though. Yesterday they had called for the doctor. They never called for the doctor… (Read more)


The Prayer Journal: Comforts of War

The 18th installment of my son’s online fiction series.  If you are just joining, click here for the previous chapters.

usmarinesactiveservice-813x1157

Tuesday, July 23, 1918 – Comfort

My name is James Samuels. I am a US Army chaplain here in France, behind the front lines where I assist with the wounded and dying. By this means I have obtained this journal as a dying soldier named Roger Adams passed it on to my possession. I know nothing of how he acquired it, but do know it must have impacted his life in the same way it has my own. I am happy to write that this man placed his trust in Jesus in his dying moments.

Over the past few days I have been reading this book, the entries herein and the requests that have been made by its various carriers. It has been a comfort to my soul here in this deathly place.

Our Savior promised us the Comforter before He left. How little did we understand the value of such a promise. As men, we claim grit and guts and no need to be comforted. Yet out here, as I see maimed men and exhausted soldiers, comfort is so desired, so needed. Comfort of home, of peace, of the routines we had all known and not appreciated, of a bed that is imprinted with years of our slumbers. And it is my job to comfort them with lack to all of these? My task has been hard indeed.

I have needed comfort but did not wish to admit it. The Lord knew my heart, and He used a lost and dying man to give me a book, and His Spirit would use it to rekindle my spirit. I so add my request, my thanksgiving, my plea for comfort that only He can give. Give it to us all, Lord, friend and foe. Comfort ye, comfort ye your people. Amen.

James closed the book and slid his pencil into his shirt pocket. He stood to his feet and, tucking the book under his arm, walked toward one of the infirmary tents. The sun was shining on the warm summer afternoon and the cool wind would have been pleasant had it not wafted the scent of both fresh and old blood. A little farther down the road he could hear shouting of a poor soul being treated for his wounds. James shuddered, shook his head violently to avoid gagging from the smell, and ducked into the tent… (Read more)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 649 other followers

%d bloggers like this: