A Little Hug

A little hug can go a long way. We all can use one from time to time. Our church is a hugging church. Now that may sound strange to some people. Especially if they have never been to church before or maybe they have but their experience wasn’t so pleasant.

So, when you come inside, you can expect to be hugged by several people. If you visit our coffee and refreshment corner or as you enter the sanctuary, you may find yourself receiving a few more hugs along the way. You may even find yourself being hugged by some of our children. We’ve had first time guests tell us that we are the friendliest group of people they have met and the hugs they receive make them feel at home.

We had one couple come to visit us and they loved the hugs they received saying it made them feel like they were back home at their own church. They were in the area on business that would keep them here for quite a few months. We became their church home away from home. Talk about a blessing! We were blessed they chose to worship with us and that they felt like they were home.

1 Corinthians 16: 20 All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

Now there are some people who don’t wish to be hugged and usually you can tell who they are right away. We respect that off limits vibe and instead we give a warm welcome and a handshake. Funny thing about that, by the end of the service as people are leaving to go home, the people who initially didn’t want a hug sometimes end up giving us a hug as they leave.

I guess you could say that our hugging is our way of greeting one another with a holy kiss.

May your day be filled with the joy of the Lord!

Food

Food. The sustenance of mankind. We all have our favorites. I love crab and sushi. I like chocolate, fish, chicken, pistachios, ice cream, well you get the idea. When it comes to food I’ve always been an adventurer willing to try different types of food. I’ve even had gator tail and frog legs. (And yes, frog legs really do taste like chicken!) As a result my son is always willing to try new foods. Like me, we both enjoy a variety of foods. Now my husband, while he is willing to try new foods, he is more inclined to stick with the basics. You know, the meat and potatoes kind of guy. Definitely not a fan of sushi! Nothing wrong with that and I don’t hold it against him. 🙂 It just gives me something to tease him about. And he’s a good sport about it too.

We all need to eat. Just as we need food for our physical bodies we also need food for our soul.

1 Peter 2:2-3 says as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

In John 16:12 Jesus says I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

The good news is as we study the Word of God and let it sink into the depths of our inner man, we will grow.

In John 16:13 Jesus goes on to say However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

The Holy Spirit is like a chef, waiting to feed us his masterpiece dinner, to help us grow spiritually. The food He feeds us is filled with nourishment that is good for us.

I pray the Lord will bless your day in a special way!

Fall, It’s Finally Here!

My favorite time of the year. The weather starts to cool off and the leaves begin to change colors. Fiery, vibrant, amazing colors that take your breath away. Each leaf is uniquely shaped and each one has it’s own beautiful vibrant color that it will turn at just the right time. Just as each leaf is unique in it’s own special way, we also are unique and beautiful in our own special way. To see the most spectacular views during the changing of leaves you need only to go to the mountains. To see the uniqueness in people, you just need to stop and take the time to see them the way God sees them.

Psalms 139:14 says: I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.

Fearfully and wonderfully made. Just as God created the leaves to be unique and wonderfully made, so He created us to be unique and wonderfully made. By design, He created us individually making us special and there isn’t another you out there. Yes, there are twins, triplets, and so forth and yes they may look alike, but each individual has their own unique personality, fingerprint and I’m fairly certain if you were to look closely even at identical twins you would find something, even something so minuscule, to set them apart. Why? Because each person is fearfully and wonderfully made. If there were two exact same people in the world what would set them apart to make them so unique?

Whatever you may be going through remember that there is only one you and you were wonderfully, lovingly, created for a purpose.

What A Day…

Ever have one of those days when your normal routine gets changed and you have extra stuff to get done like yesterday? Or maybe it just feels like it has to be done at once because of what the extra project might be. That’s when you can make mistakes and sometimes, oh boy… you wish you could have a do over. Well that happened to me just recently. Not a major issue but something I don’t wish to repeat. I will say I spent the rest of the afternoon beating myself up over an innocent mistake.

It got me to thinking about how when we make a mistake we are the ones to usually hang on to that mistake while others around us forget it and move on. I starting thinking about the enemy and how he works to destroy our joy.

Now remember when I said I spent the rest of the day beating myself up? I knew deep down, the enemy was attacking me. I knew that I needed to let it go and not give him anymore ground in my life than what he already had. Unfortunately, he won that round. I’m sure he was jumping up and down on the sideline clapping and cheering at my failure to let it go.

Jesus tells us in Luke 6:37 Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

We are so busy looking at our failures or even the mistakes others have made that Jesus needs to remind us not to judge, not to condemn but instead forgive. Forgive others but more importantly forgive ourselves. Easy to say hard to do.

I took back that ground from the enemy. I also asked the Father to forgive me for my selfishness.

I pray the Lord will bless you in all that you do.

She’s Not His Wife

Recently I was talking to a friend of mine and she was telling me this story about the plumber that came out to her house to do some work. My friend’s husband mentioned that he had spoken to the man’s wife on the phone when the man piped up and said “she’s not my wife.” Pausing he added “she’s my bride”. This man got it. He understood that in order to keep his marriage new and exciting he needed to treat his wife of many years the same today as he did when they first got married. Therefore, he always refers to his bride as his bride and not his wife. It got me to thinking how we are the bride of Christ.

John 14:2 says “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

Jesus returned to the Father to prepare a place for each of us. His love for us is as a bridegroom, intense, exciting and new. It never diminishes but continues to grow. He never grows weary of us and He always sees us as His bride. He is continually interceding on our behalf, looking out for us.

John 14:3 continues with “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

I am so glad that Jesus looks upon us as a bridegroom looks upon his bride. Life lived with the knowledge of how much we are truly loved makes the journey a little easier to bear even with the roadblocks that will come up along the way.

May the Lord bless you in all that you do!