September 2008

Unconditional Love

Story of the day:  Unconditional Love

     One Sunday a little boy looked up at his dad and asked, “Daddy, how does God love us?”  His father answered, “Son, God loves us with an unconditional love.”

     The lad thought for a moment and then asked, “Daddy, what kind of love is unconditional love?”  After a few minutes of silence his father answered, “Do you remember the two boys who used to live next door to us and the cute little puppy they got last Christmas?” “Yes.”  “Do you remember how they used to tease it, throw sticks and even rocks at it?”  “Yes.”  “Do you also remember how the puppy would always greet them with a wagging tail and would try to lick their faces?”  “Yes.”  “Well, that puppy had an unconditional love for those two boys.  they certainly didn’t deserve his love for them because they were mean to him.  But, he loved them anyway.”

     The father then made his point:  “God’s love for us is also unconditional.  Men throw rocks at his Son, Jesus, and hit him with sticks.  They even killed him.  But, Jesus loved them anyway.”

Quote of the day:  Vonette Bright

“You can be sure you are abiding in Christ if you are able to have a Christlike love toward the people that irritate you the most.”

Bible verse of the day:  Romans 13:10

“Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I have been praying to open my heart to love others the way that You love me.  The love that You have shared with me to give to others is beyond what I could ever imagine.  Thank You for loving me this much.  The Love that You have is so great that even when one drop spills over from Heaven, it has saturated my life and touched me to my very core.  I can’t express how grateful I am to You for it.  I pray that the love that I have will spill over into compassion that I show towards others while doing Your Will.  Open the eyes of my heart, that I may see others the way that You do, and that is with eyes of Love.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

February 2008

Our Self Portrait

sunset.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                       Story of the day:  Our Self Portrait

    Pictures can say a thousand words.  I especially love self portraits of people, because they fascinate me the most.  Their eyes in each of the pictures speak volumes as their stories come to life through these still images.  They tend to be a reflection of our Heavenly Father and if you look deep into the eyes of these pictures, it’s as though you can see through their eyes and into the depths of their souls.  I guess that’s why I love them so much.  And after the picture has been taken, there is no fixing it to change a pose or change their outfits.  We can take more pictures, but you can never recapture the same moment in time once a picture has been taken.  There is one picture, if I could go back and take, would say a thousand words.  It is a picture of perfection, simplicity, and built on a lot of love.  It is the picture of the Garden of Eden.             

    Nanette Kinkade illustrates this picture by saying,”God knew He needed more.  Adam was king over the ocean, the sky, the trees, the animals-nothing existed that he didn’t have, except her.  Eve, conceived through Adam’s own life, became the necessary angle of a spiritual triangle that helped mankind best see God.  With God above and the two below ever seeking His face, inevitably they grew closer together as they neared God’s presence, a perfect picture of God’s love relationship with His family.

    But since the Fall, things haven’t been the same.  Where love and trust once grew, seeds of doubt, and despair have sprouted around, covering the accurate picture of hope God intends for His people.  The truth is, Christians are bound to perfection, still.  We just don’t need to look for it in our mates or others.  Instead, we find strength and a steady love from above, from our Heavenly Father who does not change like shifting shadows.  As we receive from Him His endless grace and abounding mercy, we find the freedom to love the spouse and others that God has given us and to allow ourselves the vulnerability required to trust God and our mate or others.  God says that perfect love casts out fear.  When we discover God’s perfect love for us, our fear of failure, rejections, and of being forgotten simply fades away, and the beauty of Christ’s light warms our hearts towards all those around us.”  It does so in a way that is a reflection of God, just as the pictures that are taken of us, it is our Self Portrait.

Quote of the day:  Christy Povolish

“The Self Portraits tend to be a reflection of our Heavenly Father and if you look deep into the eyes of these pictures, it’s as though you can see through their eyes and into the depths of their souls.”

Bible verse of the day:  Genesis 1:27

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

“We have fallen so far from that original picture that You painted in Eden for Your children.” Our self portrait was given to each of us and created in Your image which in turn has become a masterpiece.  May my eyes continue to tell the story of Your will in my life.  May every picture I take radiate the Love that comes only by knowing You.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen