Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Path of Love

My Mom’s birthday is coming up this Sunday, April 27th.  I have been thinking about her a lot this week as she isn’t here to celebrate with, but in heaven.  Instead of thinking about what gift I could possibly give to her as I did for so many years, I’ve been thinking about the gifts she left with me.  My mom loved Jesus.  She loved Him, and she allowed Father God to shape her heart.  She travelled the path of love to the narrow gate.  What is the narrow path of love?  How do we walk it?  I believe that my mom modeled the answer to that for me – it is by allowing the heart of the Father to shape our heart and to see through His eyes, instead of resting on our own vision.
It is a Path of Love.  Loving the Father.  Loving those that Christ died for.  Loving ourselves because He loves us so.  Matthew 7 talks about the way that leads to life, and the verses that surround those set the stage for how to find that path to the narrow gate that leads there.
The chapter begins in talking about how we view others.  Jesus talks about not judging others when we haven’t even looked at the issues we are still dealing with.  When we realize the hurtful words we have spoken, the unforgiveness we allow to remain, the actions that displayed anything but love - how can we talk badly of others?  How can we decide that someone is no longer worthy of our love or friendship?  If we are looking at others through the loving eyes of Christ, how can we discount them or render them unworthy?  How much has Christ forgiven in us, and how can we not do the same?
My mom displayed this time and time again.  I would see people that she loved disappoint.  Yet, she made decisions not to say an unkind word.  She made decisions to speak well of, to continue to show love to, to reach out to people because they needed that love, and it is that love that led many to know Christ.
My Mom trusted the Father. 
  • She trusted that He had good things for her, and in this she was able to rest in His love.
  • She bore good fruits – even now I talk to people who recount the sincere impact she made on their lives just by accepting and loving on them. 
  • Her trust rested in the strong foundation of Christ. 
The path of love is a difficult one to walk.  It is impossible if we attempt it in our own strength.  It is also the most rewarding.  When we allow ourselves to let go of our pride, our arrogance, our self-pity, and to rest in Christ’s love, we find the strength to walk that path in amazing peace and to choose to love again and again.  It is there, at that point of letting go, that we can fully embrace the peace and love that is available to us because we are allowing it to flow from us to others.
As I reflect on this I think about my own heart.  Is there anyone I need to ask for forgiveness?  Is there a relationship I have allowed to be broken due to unforgiveness?  Have I not extended mercy and love?  Am I allowing Christ to form a heart that walks that path of love?  As I pray, as I worship, as I spend time in His presence, I trust that He is forming my heart.  I also look at the examples set before me.  I honor the sacrifices they made and take to heart the road they travelled.  I anticipate seeing the face of the Father, and also the faces I love and miss so dearly that have travelled through that gate.  But for now, my heart is to walk a road of love until that time….  I love and miss you Mom!!!!  May my daughter see the heart that you displayed reflected in my life.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A New Day

It is 2014 already!!  When I look back at when I posted my last blog, I can't believe how time has passed.  I know why I haven't written - I am married, have a 3-year old, I work full time, have extended family and friends.  Time is precious. We have to know what season we are in and where we should be putting our time.  Mine has been spent on people lately, not those online, on facebook, or on emails very much, but those in front of me.  2013 was a year of transition, and keeping peace in my heart and home was another full time job.  But 2013 is gone, and 2014 has come.  What will it hold?

Coming into this new year, the scripture that God laid on my heart is from Philippians:

"I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it."
- Philippians 3:13-16 (The Message)

It is a new day. A day to begin again. A day to put the past behind and walk in the new. Isn't that why Christ came? To give us the opportunity to walk with Him daily?  To give us the option to choose Him, to choose life, to choose to put the past behind and to press on and in to what He has for us?  To walk in His grace and fulfill what he has called us to do?  Sometimes we don't see where the path we walk is leading us, and that can be discouraging.  Sometimes the path has been so hard and the disappointments so great that we want to step away from the path.  But in His gentle, loving way, Christ calls us to continue.  He calls us to keep pressing toward the dreams He placed in our hearts.  God knew when He placed them there that we would need His strength to reach those dreams, to reach the places we never imagined we would be.

So today, look at Jesus, look at Him and know that you are whole, you are complete in Him.  You  have all you need.  And you can continue to press on, not because of how you feel, but because you can trust that Christ will give you all you need at just the right time.  So, I am writing again.  I am posting a blog entry.  I am reaching forward for where God is calling, and allowing Him to 'clear my blurred vision' that the cares of this world have brought in.