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“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;” Jeremiah 1:5

How does this truth make you feel? … that in God’s sovereign right you were made the object of His choice–before you were born. Before you were born again! Who can understand the righteousness and mercy of our LORD? Would I have chosen me? I dare not consider the multitude of my sin that so quickly disqualifies me from any honorable standing; yet God, in His mercy upon me, forgave my dreadful lot through Jesus. And yours, too. The Cross is God’s justice, His mercy, and His promise for me, and for you. The power of Christ’s blood shed is for all who see themselves disqualified, rejected, unworthy, and sick because of sin. May His saving power heal today. May the power of Christ’s perfect blood cleanse and heal those hidden places in our hearts and minds today! May God bring to light the hidden fears, the unbelief, the ugly pride that the devil convinces us we must own. No more! Before you were born you were set apart! Jesus alone! His love overcomes it all!

Thank You, Father for choosing us, not because of who we are, but because You saw fit to make us the object of Your mercy and grace. Open our eyes to see more clearly Your heart toward us, toward others. Let our response grow increasingly humble, grateful, and devoted to You. You deserve it all, glorious Lord and God. We are nothing without Jesus. We are everything You delight in because of Jesus! Thank You for forgiving us; please help us to walk in forgiveness. This is the way of the Gospel. Thank You, thank You, we praise You, and we love You, Lord, amen.

 

By Dana Lange

 

 

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Have you ever had the enjoyment of observing a mommy hummingbird caring for her babies in their nest? As I write this, we have a mommy hummingbird who has built her tiny nest in the wind spinner hanging from our covered patio. That little nest spins gently whenever we get a breeze. It also spins a little faster when the wind picks up!

The process of raising baby hummingbirds is not easy, and it is messy! Mommy not only must feed her babies, but she must also clean up after them. Their living quarters are small, so the babies learn to poop on the edges of the nest. But, those poops can’t stay there either. Mommy hummingbird flings them over the side! It is as if she says, “Fore!”, and uses her long beak as a golf club and hits those “balls” as far and as long as she can! Many are splattered randomly on the wind spinner itself! Many have found their way onto a patio chair cushion looking like a multitude of polka dots randomly placed! Others are on the concrete below and are easily washed off! The babies are growing well and soon their nesting time will come to an end! A change is coming! They will learn to fly and live as God has intended their lives to be!

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I take snapshots of so many things! Don’t you? Sometimes I will even take a snapshot of something I am doing just so I can post it to share on Facebook. It preserves a moment in time that I want to remember. And, that is precisely what journaling does for me, also. The Lord speaks truth and healing to me – so I write it down. I study a passage of Scripture and see something that causes me to make a connection I hadn’t considered before – so I write it down. Paul, the apostle, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit did this very thing. In the 13th chapter of his letter to the church of Corinth, he wrote:

“…no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.Love never gives up.
 Love cares more for others than for self. 
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
 Love doesn’t strut, 
doesn’t have a swelled head, 
doesn’t force itself on others,
 isn’t always “me first,”
 doesn’t fly off the handle,
 doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
 doesn’t revel when others grovel,
 takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
 puts up with anything,
 trusts God always,
always looks for the best,
 never looks back, 
but keeps going to the end.” Verses 3b-7 -The Message

Truly, I am learning to feed upon the Lord in portions. He knows it’s what I can handle. And it’s a discipline to write it down. It requires commitment (and paper handy…even a Starbuck’s napkin will do in a pinch).  It took years to develop this habit, but the fruit of journaling is the ability to share what God has given with others.

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19
Jun

 

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“Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy. Love does not boast. It is not proud.”

1 Corinthians 13:4

We are told in 1 John 4:8 that “God is love”, so when I read 1 Corinthians 13:4, I immediately want to put God’s name in place of love. When I go through the apostle Paul’s famous love passage this way, I feel really good. It makes me feel very safeguarded; to know God is patient with me, which translates “long-suffering”.  To know He goes so far as to be kind toward me in that long-suffering is just amazing! I feel so loved. I feel worthwhile. I feel His compassion toward me. Yet, in all honesty, I am tempted to feel a bit smug. If I am in my flesh, love is all about ME.

I find it very interesting, and quite possibly deliberate, that the second half of verse 4 says:
“Love does not envy. Love does not boast. It is not proud.”

My self-centered musings halt.  Love is not about me. Love is for me; it is not about me–it is about others. Holy Spirit is perfect in balancing what true love is and does, and what true love is not.

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