Archive for the ‘Choosing to Love’ Category

“Myself doesn’t want to be starving…”

October 21st, 2011

“‎As someone who calls themselves a Christian, it’s very apparent that you are to love the Lord and then you love your neighbor like yourself, and myself doesn’t want to be starving, and so I don’t want other people in the world to be starving…Jesus does not ask that we care for the less fortunate, He demands it. When calling ourselves Christ followers caring for orphans and the desolate and the widow are not an option, but a requirement.” -Katie, Kisses from Katie (new book)
You can find Katie’s blog here.

For When We Are Offended (Or If We Offend)

September 13th, 2011

Rope to dust“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.” Matthew 18:15

Sin is unavoidable.

We each have a human stain that we must wrestle with daily, and that stain extends to how we relate with one another.

It extends to how the beloved ones who know the One relate with one another.

My thoughts today are this:

If you’ve been offended or hurt by someone, especially by a fellow believer, talk with them about it. Don’t avoid it, get passive aggressive, gossip, or put it out for the world to see. Go to the person and seek reconciliation.

If you know you’ve offended someone or sinned against them, ask God to help you manage your heart, your wounds, and your anger. Go to the offended and ask them for forgiveness and then seek reconciliation.

Always give the benefit of the doubt.

As with all things, go to God with your mess. He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds and He forgives and makes things new. He is stunningly gracious and gentle to the humble (and sometimes even the proud).

Our wounds and anger and pride can keep us locked up. We are made for more then what lies in our hearts; we bear the image of God and are to be instruments of grace for His glory.

And if we know Him, we love for a much greater purpose.

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

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Photo Credit: Rope to dust

Dirty

August 17th, 2011

I’m giving my babes dirty water to drink today (for real). Want to know why? Watch the video (and grab your babes to watch with you!).

Read all about the filter and how you can help, here.


 

You Being You…I Like You That Way

June 14th, 2011

Fist bump YIP 180.365

I love when the church, the collective body of Jesus followers, loves each other well.

When we worry less about all the imperfections and wobbly journeys of one another and just enjoy the ride with our fellow sojourners. Man, that’s the good stuff.

I want more of that good stuff and those good people around me. I want more of that camaraderie and in-the-muck kind of grace and love. Yes, that.

I crave it. You being you, messy, quirky, just trying to figure-it-out you.

Let’s be friends. Let’s indulge in the good stuff; the “for-real” stuff. I like you better that way, anyway.

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification…” (bold mine) 1 Thessalonians 4:3

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Photo Credit: Fist Bump YIP

The Space Between

March 30th, 2011

Couch in a Field
One large room with two large couches.

And there I’ve been, camped out on one or the other. But now I’m up off the couch, and I’m sitting in the space between…watching…listening…waiting.

For His voice.

And my hope? My hope is that by His strength those couches will be moved closer to one another. Our knees will touch and our eyes will look up.

Up to the One who says,

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

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How far does love go?

Photo Credit: Couch in a Field

What Threatens Your Faith?

March 9th, 2011

I believe in absolute truth.

I believe in the Word made flesh, spoken into Word. It lives. He lives. He is meshed into my Spirit. I love God. I also love His bride, and the many facets that are a part of her. Head, lips, fingers, ears…

All one body.

Different.

Friends, I care about you. When you read me reach out across divides, or quote wildly different people (who really may not be so wildly different over coffee), it’s because I want to understand them. I like gleaning bits of truth and/or observation that make me think or pray or lean more into Jesus. I want to love the whole body well.

And I’m not threatened by questions.

You see, questions, my own deeply painful questions, led me straight to a firm faith and dependence on God. A few years ago I went through an intense faith-crisis. I had questions that dug holes into me, and I was angry with God. No one could answer them (of course, some things can’t be answered on earth) and I felt like I was dying. It felt like death because when you have the Spirit of God in you, he becomes your life-blood, and you can’t bleed Him out. I need Him to live. Reconciling myself to this truth brought me to total dependence on, and faith in, the God who was content to let me not know. I couldn’t live until I was broken.

So if you see me seeming contradictory, or abandoning some theological ship I appear to be on, please know that my faith and foundation are in Christ alone.

He is everything to me. My identity is in Him.

Such freedom to know Jesus; such freedom to love others.

Because my Spirit is His, being friends with multiple people with differing views doesn’t threaten my faith or my standard of truth.

In fact, I think it teaches me to love better.

On Controversy and Context

March 7th, 2011

Words are powerful, they build up or they tear down.

We can, with the opening of our lips or the tips of our fingers, loose pain or slander or confusion…or we can offer hope and truth and peace and kindness.

If we follow Love, Jesus Christ, we should take great care with how we communicate, even (especially) in disagreement. Our God who breathes out the Word appeals that we seek unity and peace with the body; He exhorts us to love one another – it is the second part of the summation of the Law.

And no, you cannot love well if you tweak the truth or speak without the law of kindness on your tongue.

I confess, I fail at the wisdom of holding back “tear down” words. But I pray grace for me and grace for you that we would not stay in the same, but be always sensitive to the Spirit.

I also urge you as I remind myself that context is so very, very important.

Words taken out of context can malign and confuse.

We all know there will always be dissent; we are still wrapped in flesh.

But let’s try, try to love as if our life depended on it. Let’s take our words before the throne of grace, and then carefully think through them before we ship.

Related: What Grateful Love May Look Like (a post by Ann Voskamp)

Questions From a Reader – On Love, Relationship, and Pain

February 28th, 2011

How did you learn to love yourself?

Do you have a good relationship with your mom?

How do you stop the pain of never being good enough?

(If you can’t see the video, click here.)

I forgot to say this:

All Jesus asks is that we believe Him, recognize our need for His sacrifice, and be willing to walk faithfully as the new creation that we are in Him (add this in at 2:47). :)

P.S. Tickets for Relevant go on sale TONIGHT! :)

We’re All Messed Up

February 7th, 2011

We’re all just a messed up bunch, aren’t we?

People.

We’re just trying to figure out life and make our way through it.

And we all hurt in secret places.

So let’s give each other a break.

In fact, let’s one up it and be a good place to fall when there is a break.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3,4

Are We Just Making Noise?

January 18th, 2011


What happens when we boldly stand for “truth” and the other person doesn’t listen to us (or agree)?

Then what?

How should we then communicate with that person? Should we not love them? Should we not continue to have a relationship with them?

I’m speaking about the body of believers. I’m speaking about those whom we must love so that a hopeless world can have hope.

I think there is a way to communicate that remembers the fact that we all have a human stain; that we all are desperate for the One who makes that “crimson stain white as snow.”

And once we are His, we are white as snow! We are perfected for all time (Hebrews 10:14)! It is so easy to lose sight of this very magnificent fact: His children are sealed with the Holy Spirit for all of eternity, right now.

{let that soak in a minute}

When we remember the glorious truth that our God has crawled right into our spirits with His very own, the spirit of grace, we can have faith to know that He will work in the lives of those He has chosen.

Our siblings in Christ are going to be with us on that spectacular day that we open our eyes to see glory!

So in the here and now, I think we should be encouraging and exhorting one another with much care and grace. We should lay down our truth arrows (which should only be aimed at the enemy) and instead reach across the divide with a willingness to be gracious and kind, forbearing with one another in love. You see, we are just clanging cymbals if we have not love.

And if we do not speak with the law of kindness on our tongues, we are not loving. If we speak out of frustration, we are not loving.

I think we all need to ask ourselves, “Are we just making noise?”

Nothing is gained without love.

“If I speak in the tonguesof men or of angels, but do not have love, 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 love, 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 love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3


Defining Love…

Love is patient,

love is kind.

It does not envy,

it does not boast,

it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others,

it is not self-seeking,

it is not easily angered,

it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects,

always trusts,

always hopes,

always perseveres.

Love never fails…

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

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    I'm Sarah Mae. I'm figuring out how to fit perfect into fallen skin. Stick around for the stretching...your soul is welcome here.

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