The Ultimate Love Letter

Photo by Aaron Burden

Photo by Aaron Burden

Does this well-worn Bible remind you of yours or one of your parents or grandparents’ Bible?

Bear with me for a few minutes. Think back to your “sweetheart” days. Remember love letters? How many times did you read a love letter from your sweetheart? I read them until they were totally worn out!

I’m not talking about elementary school love letters, but you can certainly think of those. As children, we read and re-read those cute little letters. But what about those from your sweetheart when one of you were away?

I’m reminded of my parents when I think of love letters. My parents met when my father was in for a brief few days from the Navy during WWII. They courted via letters. All of which were read by military personnel before getting to my mother. Every single letter had some things marked out just in case that phrase could alert the enemy about a particular mission. Anyway, I digress. After a lot of letters and maybe a visit or two, my Mom graduated from high school early in the afternoon, married my Dad that evening and caught a midnight train to start their life together. How romantic!

Hearing that brief story sounds very romantic. But my parents would tell you it was HARD. Worth it, but hard. Just after they got sent up in their new little home, Dad shipped out. My sixteen year old mother was alone. My dad was at war. I can only imagine how important the love letters they share were to them!

I remember my own love letters when I was in high school. I went on a school trip for a week or two. My sweetheart sent me some love letters. By the time I returned home I had nearly memorized them all because I read them so much. (FYI - same sweetheart I married!)

Knowing how much those letters meant, how much more should the “Ultimate Love Letter” mean to us? God wrote an entire book expressing His love for us. We should read it so much we practically have it memorized!

But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24 NIV

As I consider what great things the Lord has done for me, I’m in awe of His love, mercy and grace! He loves us unconditionally! His love letter tells us that He loves us just like we are! After all, He made us. There is nothing we can do to make God love us more AND there is nothing we can do to make God love us less. He. Loves. You.

This week, begin again reading the Ultimate Love Letter. Read it and read it some more. Read it until you practically have it memorized! Tell me in the comments below one or ten things that you love most about “The Ultimate Love Letter”.

Dormant Life in the Dead of Winter

Photo by Aaron Wilson

Photo by Aaron Wilson

According to the dictionary, dormant means alive but not actively growing or temporarily inactive.

We all need times of being temporarily inactive. This allows us time to rest and rejuvenate. However, alive but not actively growing is not so good if for extended time periods. We know that when we are not moving forward, we are falling behind. Again, time for rest and rejuvenation is needed and a must, but to stay in an inactive state that leaves us alive but not actively growing can become detrimental to our state of well-being.

A state of being is more than just one’s mindset. It involves our physical, mental, emotion and spiritual health. We require rest for an optimal state of well-being. But to stop actively growing crushes our state of well-being.

Winter months, as depicted in the photo above, demonstrates dormant life. Trees still stand, but are bare of their leaves (unless an evergreen tree). Flowers “die” back to their roots. Nature demonstrates life that is temporarily inactive. God created nature this way - time for nature to rest and rejuvenate.

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”

John 6:27

I don’t know where you are in your journey with Jesus Christ. Maybe you are in the spring; budding out in new growth; excited to bloom where you’re planted. Maybe you are in the summer; marching along in full force following your Saviour. Maybe you are in the autumn: feeling tired and losing some of your luster. Or maybe you are in the winter; dormant; alive but not actively growing; temporarily inactive. So is the cycle of life;

spring-

summer-

autumn-

winter-

spring…

No matter where you are in your journey. Jesus is LIFE and He came to give you rest so you can let your light shine in all seasons of life. Even if you find yourself dormant right now, remember that you still have LIFE in the dead of winter through Jesus.

Rest. Rejuvenate. Because dormant life in the dead of winter is still LIFE. So let THE LIFE restore your vigor to serve Him. Before you know it, you’ll “spring” into action once more!

Find Revolutionary Hope in the Book of Ruth

Photo by Joel Henry

Photo by Joel Henry

I wanted to look at just chapter one of Ruth for this post.

You can’t help but see Naomi’s side of things in this chapter. After all, Naomi and her family leave Israel due to a famine. They stay in Moab and Naomi’s husband dies. She and her sons stay there and the sons take Moabite wives. After ten years both sons die. The three women are left as childless widows. Finally, Naomi, feeling totally broken and abandoned by God, decides to go home. Both daughters-in-law tell Naomi that they will go back with her. Naomi tells them to go home as she cannot marry and have sons for them to marry. Orpah goes home. Ruth clings to Naomi and goes back with her.

Well, that’s a summary of chapter one and it certainly seems to be about Naomi and her family, but as I am often reminded, our salvation journey is not about us. We certainly benefit from our salvation, but it’s about Jesus getting the glory.

So let’s take a look at this same chapter from Ruth’s viewpoint:

  • Ruth sees a new family move to town

  • Ruth watches this family suffer a loss of the father

  • Ruth marries into this Jewish family

  • Ruth gains a new sister (in-law)

  • Both Ruth’s husband and her brother-in-law die after ten years

  • Ruth is just a devastated as her mother-in-law and sister-in-law (left as childless widows)

  • Ruth watches her sister-in-law, who professed her loyalty to Naomi, leave and go home

  • Ruth professes her loyalty to Naomi and Naomi’s God

  • Ruth leaves her family and country behind as she follows Naomi back to Israel

While Elimelech and Noami sinned by seeking refuge from the famine in the midst of God’s enemies, God used their time there to bring Ruth, a Gentile, into the Kingdom of God and into to lineage of Jesus! There Naomi was thinking that these hardships were all about her and yet, God was using them to bring Ruth to Himself for His glory.

I know that hope must have been difficult to see in the middle of the terrible hardship these people were enduring, BUT GOD is HOPE and is always ready to give us His HOPE which comes with His Salvation.

How have you seen God move in your life after you realized a situation wasn’t about you, but about God? Leave a comment below.

Be Your Own Kind of Remarkable

photo by anatol lem

photo by anatol lem

Remarkable – worthy of attention; striking

We all know remarkable people.  We call them remarkable based on an attribute of their character, such as kindness toward others or their love for the Lord. 

But so many people want to fit into what the world defines as worthy of attention.  Maybe that’s to look a certain way, or be a certain way or have certain things.  But what Christian wants to be like the world?  After all, Jesus taught us that we are not of this world, even though we are in it.

 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.                 John 17:14-16 ESV

  What does that mean?  Well, to be in the world is to be in the place of the world but to be of the world is to be defined by it. For example, I used to work in a hospital. Therefore, I would be in the hospital.  But I was never of the hospital; the hospital was not who I was.  

It took me a long time to realize that God truly did create each of us as unique and remarkable human beings in His image. Certainly, we can all agree that we know that, but do we really live like we know that? I dare say most of us do not.

I was saved at twelve years of age and I certainly had a different worldview than I do now.  Even though I surrendered myself to Jesus, I was pulled toward the things of the world.  I wanted to be popular and successful, to name a few.  And in my younger days, I certainly thought I knew a lot about Jesus and the Bible.

Now that I have matured as a believer and follower of Christ, I find my desires and worldview have changed.  I’ve learned that I only need to please ONE.  I’ve learned that obedience to my Saviour and Lord is the definition of success, not what others think of me.

 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14 ESV

 The psalmist wrote the scripture above.  I want to encourage you by reminding you that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Now’s the time your soul knows that very well.

Today, focus on who you are in Jesus Christ.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  God’s works are wonderful and you, my friend, are one of His works.  He doesn’t expect you to be sinless, Jesus took care of that on the cross.  He expects us to sin less as we walk with Him.

This Christmas and ever day, feel your freedom in Jesus!  Let yourself be your own kind of remarkable!

Share in the comments someone you know that is remarkable and why!

-Wendy