Category Archives: Love Where You ARE <3

<3 Love is....Bonus day

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I know..I know…Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but since my quote for the week included six signs of love in a person and February has given us an extra day this Leap Year, you get a bonus Saturday post. 

And I couldn’t miss talking about encouragement because we all need it just about every day. 

I am so thankful for the voices that speak words of encouragement to me on a regular basis and there is such a joy in my heart when someone tells me something I said encouraged them. 

Basic cheerleading doesn’t do it for me. 

There are plenty of stranger’s voices out there who post random things like “You’ve got this!” and “You are a rock star!” and other such generic messages of positivity. 

And yes, sometimes those come at just the right time and keep us from throwing in the towel, but the most effective forms of encouragement are from people who stopped and thought about me personally and weighed my trial and weariness or were listening to God and He gave them a thought to pass along to me. 

It’s the spontaneous responses of people who know me and have relationship with me. 

And that is where this all sums up what we have talked about this week. 

When we walk side by side with people and truly love them with a Christ like love, we cannot help but share words that build them up and strengthen them along the way. 

I believe the best ways we can encourage others is to set aside time to pray for them and ask God for His heart for them and out of that will flow the words He would say to spur them on. And then follow through and speak the words, send the note, type the text…meet for the coffee…sit with the friend in the waiting…whatever it takes.

The most important encouragement as a follower of Christ is to keep each other on track in remembering the great gift of salvation we have been given and the promises of God regarding our justification and sanctification; the covering over us with the Blood of Christ and the process He is using to make us more like Him. 

The author of 1 Thessalonians records God’s direction for us in this important aspect of loving well:

[Since we are alive with Him] So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11  MSG

We get weary and beat down out there. 

Out of the love that has been poured into us by the Father, let’s make it a habit to ask how we can encourage our fellow travelers each and every day < 3

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<3 Love is....Day 5

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As I continue working through the signs of love, today my eyes fall on the word “acceptance.” 

My eyes also fall on the clock and I see where if I don’t get my giddy-up on I will have to accept another race against time to get to work with a measure of punctuality, so I will not be overthinking this one today. 

I often remind myself that I have the capacity to love because God first loved me. 

Let me tell you, I am not the easiest person to love. 

I am quirky and stubborn and prone to selfishness. 

My enneagram is a solid four…with close ties to other numbers that are polar opposite to that. 

Every single personality test I take is about a 50-50 split between two completely divergent types. 

And none of that was weighed into why God loves me. 

He loves me because He IS love. 

He is perfect love and love perfected. 

He couldn’t love me more if I was the person I long to be and He doesn’t love me less for the person I have regretted being. 

His perfect love casts out my fear. 

His perfect love overcomes my doubt. 

His perfect love eradicated my sin problem. 

His perfect love enables me to love others and myself. 

Happy Valentine’s Day. 

You are loved <3

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“Give them obvious signs of love — such as mercy, forgiveness, patience, generosity of heart, acceptance, and encouragement…” page 36; Stormie Omartian, Power of a Praying Grandparent. Harvest House Publishers, 2016. 

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<3 Love is...Day 4

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If you are just joining us, I am devoting this Valentine’s Week of love to some characteristics I read in a prayer book I go through each month called Power of a Praying Grandparent by Stormie Omartian. (Details at end of post.) 

I wore out two of her Power of a Praying Parent books when raising our three and I have many marked up and prayed over pages for the Praying Wife and Praying for your Adult Children so when I pray this new one, I just haul the whole family bus up to the throne and cover all of us along with the grandchildren, because…go big or go home. 

And that is the point of this quality we are looking at for “obvious signs of love” as she calls them. 

Generosity of heart is today’s topic and I can’t even type that phrase without imagining all the people who love with gusto and joy in my life. They love freely and over flowingly and with abundance. I picture the Ghost of Christmas Present in Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol. 

Giving of their hearts, giving of their time, giving of their resources…generously and liberally without holding anything back…this is the image of God’s love toward us. 

Two of my favorite passages of Scripture to really break down and mull over when I am thinking of the generosity of God’s heart are: 

The thief does not come except to steal, and kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:20 NKJV

and 

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us…Ephesians 3:20 NKJV

I have heard Priscilla Shirer speak on this and she points out that what we could think to ask for would be enough. 

Receiving more would be a lot. 

Receiving abundantly more…is just like going way out beyond the more than we already thought we wanted…

and He doesn’t stop there. 

He goes on and adds a “far more”…an “exceedingly” is put before the abundantly and the more. 

So using the definitions…because you know I do love definitions…

He measures things out in ….

an extra amount of an ample quantity to an exceptional degree. 

My brain hurts. 

The point is, as Oswald Chambers likes to remind me a couple times a month…I have been so graciously and lavishly loved by my Father that I now can daily pour out generously on those around me because He has given me more than-more than, excessively and in great measure and then more spilled on top of that beyond all I could possibly hope for or imagine in my wildest dreams.

And for all who have the power of Christ IN us…we can all do that.

So go out there and be generous with acts of love. 

We can afford it <3

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“Give them obvious signs of love — such as mercy, forgiveness, patience, generosity of heart, acceptance, and encouragement…” page 36; Stormie Omartian, Power of a Praying Grandparent. Harvest House Publishers, 2016. 

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