I Throw Like a Girl

Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

The Word of the Day is “Love”

Posted by Carol on December 4, 2008

Love. All day long this word has crossed my path and been on my mind. It started this morning when I was reading my Bible and these verses spoke to me:

Galatians 5:13-15 “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself. If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

Later, as I checked what was going on in Twitter, I saw that Mel had written this:

Sitting in Starbuck’s watching the love of Jesus pour over us all as a homeless man walks in & is unconditionally loved by everyone there.

Then when I looked at the section for today in my One Year Bible, today’s passage included I John 4:7 – Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

All these not so subtle reminders caused me to wonder, who do I need to show more love to?

Could it be my husband? Or my teenagers who, if I am honest, are sometimes harder to love than the cute little babies with toothless grins they used to be? Perhaps it is the doctors I work for? Or our patients, some of whom are more lovable than others? Maybe it’s the practitioner in my office with an alternate lifestyle and new age beliefs?

Who needs to see Jesus’ love through me?

The answer is all of the above (and then some).

I once overheard a conversation where someone said that they like Jesus, but Christianity has too many rules. I thought about that conversation for the rest of that day and realized something. Christianity does have a lot of man-made rules, but Jesus only has two. …love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind…and love your neighbor as yourself… Matthew 22:36-40.

Who is Jesus asking you to love today?




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“Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

Posted by Carol on April 8, 2008

 Mark 5:36b

These are the words Jesus spoke to a man whose daughter lay dying at home in her bed.  The man had sought Jesus out to beg Him to heal his precious child.  Just as word came that the girl had died, Jesus ignored what they said and told the man “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

As a parent, I can only imagine how that man felt at that moment.  He had a choice to make.  He could look at the reality that his child was dead and let his heart fall further and further into despair.  Or he could look at Jesus and accept His invitation not to be afraid and believe.

Jesus offers us the same choice every day as we live our lives in this fallen world.  We can look around us and see the reality that bad things do happen.  People get sick and sometimes die way too young.  Husbands get laid off. Wives have miscarriages.  Engagements get called off.  Friends betray us.  Teenagers make poor choices.

Jesus was able to tell the the man not to be afraid in spite of the fact that the girl had died because He knew what He was going to do.  He knew that before the end of that day, He was going to raise the man’s daughter from the dead. Jesus knew the end of the story.

He knows the end of our story, too.  He knows that for the Christian, death has already been conquered.  He knows that Jeremiah 29:11 is still in the Bible. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future.”

So even though last week I wrote a post about how much I worry about my children,  I can choose to believe my Jesus when he tells me “don’t be afraid.”

 

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Chocolate Eggs and Easter Bunnies – Or Not

Posted by Carol on March 21, 2008

My earliest memories of church are of my grandmother taking me and my younger sister with her to Mass.  The service was in Latin and since they didn’t offer foreign languages at my pre-school, I had no clue as to what was being said.  I usually resorted to what many kids do in church, I either took a nap on my grandmother’s lap or drew pictures on the bulletin.

My parents rarely took us to church. It would be unusual for us to go even on Easter.  However, the year that I was 9 was different.  My father had become a Christian through the faithful witness of a friend at work and he decided that he wanted us to go to church on Easter Sunday as a family.

Not knowing where to go, he did the most logical thing he could think of, he let his fingers do the walking through the yellow pages.  He didn’t just close his eyes and point, leaving the decision totally to chance.  Instead, he analyzed the names of the churches trying to find just the right one.

He didn’t have to look too far.  By the time he got to the “B” section, he had found Bethany Bible Church.  He figured that any church with the word Bible in its name had to be good.  So off we went – Dad in his polyester leisure suit, Mom in her mini-skirt, and little sis and me in matching Easter dresses.

On the way into church, I remember thinking, Today is Easter. This is important, so I will pay attention to what the pastor has to say. Rather than drawing pictures on the bulletin or taking a nap on my mother’s lap, I listened to every word the minister said. And since it was Easter, his sermon was on, you guessed it, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. 

And I listened closely.

I listened when he said that we are all sinners and have come short of the glory of God.  Even as a 9 year old child, I understood that the lies I told and disobedience to my parents were sins.

I listened when he explained that God is a holy God and cannot allow sin in His presence.

I understood when the pastor told us that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Heaven through Jesus Christ.

I just knew that the pastor was talking to me.  That this was the real reason for Easter, not the chocolate eggs and jelly beans I had found in my basket that morning.

At the end of the service, the pastor asked us all to bow our heads and close our eyes.  He then asked that if any of us wanted to accept Jesus as our Savior to pray and ask Him to forgive our sins and come into our hearts.  And with my child-like faith, I did.

Then the pastor asked anyone who had just asked Jesus into their hearts to raise their hands so he could pray for them. This was a little bit more than my 9 year old self could handle. I didn’t mind praying, but actually raising my hand, even with heads bowed and eyes closed scared me half to death.  I didn’t know what to do.  I had prayed, but did I really want to share that information with this man? 

So, I did what any self-respecting 9 year old would do.  I peeked.  And when I peeked, I saw my mom raise her hand.  Then I knew that I had made a good decision and that I could raise my hand, too.

If any of you are reading this post because you found my blog by searching for a way to keep your eye-liner from smearing (my most popular post by far – seriously), perhaps you need more than make-up tips today.  Perhaps, just like Someone gave me the idea to pay attention in church that Sunday, that Someone has led you here to find the real meaning of Easter.  If so, I’d be glad to hear from you. 

And I won’t even ask you to raise your hand.

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Friday’s Feast

Posted by Carol on December 29, 2007

I know I’m a little late for dinner, but I thought I’d give the Friday Feast a try!

Appetizer: Name 2 things you would like to accomplish in ’08.

I would like to lose a little weight and finally figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

Soup: Which cartoon character do you share personality traits with?

Even though she is not a cartoon, I would have to say Lucy from I Love Lucy. I am always having klutzy, Lucy-like moments happening to me.

Salad: What time of day or night were you born?

I think it was 8:30 am, although I couldn’t see the clock very well at the time. The doctor and nurses were in the way.

Main Course: Tell us something special about your hometown.

Well, George Washington crossed the Delaware with his troops on Christmas eve not too far from here. The house he lived in for the last 3 months of the Revolutionary War is nearby, too. He wrote his farewell letter to the troops from that house. Also, George Washington and his troops criss-crossed our town several times during the course of the war & hid out from the British in some nearby hilly woods. Also, we are not too far from one of the major battlefields of the Revolutionary War. Lotsa history here.

Dessert: If you could receive a letter from anyone in the world, who would you want it to be from?

I would really like a personal letter just for me from Jesus.

Bon apetit!

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Honk if You Love Jesus!

Posted by Carol on December 28, 2007

When I was a pharmaceutical rep, I spent many hours a day in my car driving from office to office.  I would often notice the other cars on the road that had bumper stickers or license plate frames saying “Honk if you love Jesus!” or “God is my Co-Pilot”.  There also would be those Christian fish stick-ons and crosses hanging from the rear view mirror.  Even though I did not have any Christian identifiers on my car (kinda frowned upon to put stickers on the company car),  it brought me a sense of comfort to know that I was not alone out there in the world, that there were other Christians on the same highway as me. 

Now that I don’t have a company car anymore, I still don’t have any Christian fish or “In case of rapture, this car will be unmanned” stickers on my car.  The way I drive, I’m afraid it would do more harm than good for me to advertise my faith that way.  Seriously. But that’s another post for another day.

But God does not call us to use bumper stickers, Christian t-shirts, tattoos or smoke signals for others to know Whose we are.  He did, however,  leave us a very specific method for us to identify ourselves with Christ.

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13:35

At first glance, it sounds very easy, but in practice, it is not easy or simple.  It is much easier to slap a sticker on your car than it is to love your neighbor as yourself.

I received a letter from a very wise man today.  Here is a bit he had to say about love.

“Oh, it is easy to love the lovely, but loving the unlovely is a huge problem for many of us – me!  Our spouses, children, friends can become quite unlovely at times. And how terrible we can be to those we really love the most.  We are afraid to expose ourselves and love no matter what happens.”

I think he hit the nail on the head.  Loving each other takes risk. It also takes humility. It takes exposing a part of our hearts that we’d really rather protect most of the time. 

Sometimes showing love rather than anger or defensiveness or vengeance can be perceived by others as weakness. That’s where the humility comes in. It goes against human nature to show love to others in a way that will tell the world that we are His.

We all know the passage in I Corinthians 13, but I think it is worth reading again and again.  I once heard a preacher say that we can replace the word “love” in each verse with “Jesus”.  When we read it that way, it shows us how much love it really takes to show that we are His disciples.

“Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind. Jesus does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. Jesus is not rude, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, Jesus keeps no record of wrongs. Jesus does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Jesus always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”.                                                                                                                    I Corinthians 13:4-7 

With Love, Carol

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Merry Christmas!!

Posted by Carol on December 24, 2007

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

As many of us will be opening our gifts on Christmas morning, I wanted to take some time to remind us all of the perfect gift we have already been given in the birth of Jesus Christ. 

So if you get another pair of socks from Aunt Ethel or anything with an electrical cord for the kitchen from hubby, just smile and say “thanks” knowing that we have already been given the best gift of all.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. 

My prayer is that all who read this will (if you haven’t already) accept the gift of salvation that God has so graciously offered us through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus for the payment of our sins.  That is really what Christmas is all about.

Blessings & Merry Christmas, 

 

 

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A Letter From Jesus Christ, Concerning His Birthday Celebration

Posted by Carol on December 14, 2007

(This was forwarded to me in an email. I thought you migh enjoy it. However, the more I read it, a few things do bother me about it. I have already done some editing to make it a little less harsh than the original version came across – it still may be too harsh.  Also, I don’t really think that any of us finite humans can begin to know what Jesus thinks or feels about the way we all act at Christmas time unless we are specifically directed by His word or the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  There are some good points here about how we should treat others at Christmas and all year long – you may decide to put some of them into practice.  However,  I don’t think we as Christians should just cave to political correctness and allow the retailers and politicians who are afraid of offending anyone or worse, have a specific anti-Christian agenda to dictate what Christians call and how we celebrate one of the most important events in all of history whether it actually took place in December or not. I debated deleting this whole post, but decided that it raises some questions that need answering.  How do you feel about the issues raised in this letter? Please comment away!  Blessings and Merry Christmas, Carol) 

“Letter From Jesus”

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you’ve forgotten that I wasn’t actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don’t care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth just, GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me continue: If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn’t allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santa’s and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn’t be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can and may remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching explaining who I am in relation to you.

John 15:5 “I am the Vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list.

 1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don’t have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing President Bush complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don’t you write and tell him that you’ll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can’t afford and they don’t need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don’t know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile it could make the difference.  Also, you might consider supporting the local Hot-Line: they talk with people like that every day.

7. Instead of worrying about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren’t allowed to wish you a “Merry Christmas” that doesn’t keep you from wishing them one.

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name. You may already know someone like that.

9. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no “Christmas” tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don’t know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Marines, the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don’t do things in secret that you wouldn’t do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I’ll take care of all the rest. I’ll help you. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love, and remember I LOVE YOU!

Jesus

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Who Loves Ya Baby?

Posted by Carol on December 10, 2007

“As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:5b

All of us have been to at least one wedding in our lives – if not our own, then a friend’s or relative’s.  I’ve been to at least ten weddings and the person I most look forward to seeing is the bride as she starts walking down the aisle – to see the dress, her hair, her bouquet, how happy or nervous she looks. 

But after I am done noticing all those extremely important elements of the wedding (and taking note of whether or not the bridesmaids will ever be able to wear those dresses again), my attention quickly turns to the bridegroom.  I love watching him watch her coming toward him on her father’s arm.  At that moment, no one else matters in the world to him.  She is the reason he is there.  She is the reason for all the preparation and planning and she makes it worth all the hours he has to spend in that tuxedo. 

Isaiah compares the love that groom feels for his bride at that moment to the love our Heavenly Father has for us every moment. 

The Message says it this way, “And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride, so your God is happy with you.”

I’m sure there are days that you don’t feel exactly “rejoiced over” by the people around you – your family, your co-workers, or friends.  If you have teenagers, you know they are not always happy with you and they are not so subtle about letting you know it.  If you are married, there may even be days that your bridegroom is not rejoicing as much as he used to.

But your bridegroom, Jesus, loves you, rejoices in you, and is happy with you beyond comprehension.  He has loved you with an everlasting love and nothing can separate you from the love of Christ.

A few years ago my friend, Julie, gave me a small silk flower bouquet and attached a tag with Isaiah 62:5b written on it.  I still have it and I keep it next to the mirror in my room so I can see it every morning when I get ready for my day.  It is a reminder that even if it feels like no one else in the world loves me, my heavenly Bridegroom, who loves me so much that He died for me so that I could be in heaven with Him for all eternity – is rejoicing over me and is happy with me. And He rejoices over you, too.

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