Categories
Christian Blog love

Just Because

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 4:10

When our oldest son was about 8, we were on a road trip and pulled in to a popular travel stop on the interstate. Fellow Okies, Tom and Judy Love, own a chain of stores in 41 states, but our little guy didn’t know that. As I filled up the minivan with gas, he said, “Dad, why do they call it Love’s?” Without missing a beat I said, “Because unconditional positive regard wouldn’t fit on the sign.”

It got me thinking, though. If God owned a chain of travel stops He’d probably call it Love’s too. After all, unconditional positive regard is HIS thing. The Bible doesn’t mince words; it just comes right and says it: “God is Love.”❤️ – 1 John 4:8

Wait just a minute! God DOES own a chain of travel stops. They’re called churches. These are places where groups of believers meet often to “fill their tanks” and feed their hungry souls with God’s Word. And each and every sanctuary ought to have a giant neon sign out front with one word on it: Love’s

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:11

If you glean one thought from this post, please let it be this: God loves you. Period! You don’t need to do anything to EARN His love. He love’s you just because.

Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is an illusion.

Brennan Mannin

🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Categories
Christian Blog love

My New Clowned Friend

I met a clown once. He was at the mall making balloon animals for the kids. While he contorted a squeaky red one into a dog for my son, I noticed six cryptical letters embroidered on his costume–where a name tag would be. “IYQYQR” I said,” What does that mean?” “Oh, you don’t speak “clown-lish,” said the red-nosed jester with a grin. “I…like…you..like…you…are,” he said, pointing to each letter.

My new clowned friend was on to something. He must have heard about the guy who said this:

Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.

Theodore Roosevelt

At the risk of comparing The Almighty to both a clown and our 26th president, I believe God agrees.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

Psalm 103:8,10,13 (NIV)

Clearly, imperfect humans fall far short of God’s holiness (Romans 3:23). And our creator doesn’t grade on the curve. He could flunk us all. Thankfully, there’s a merciful solution for our predicament.

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

You probably already know these things. So, here’s my somewhat fresh angle: God likes you like you are. You don’t have to DO anything to earn his endearment. Like that clown at the mall, He just likes you. Period.

Squeaky balloon animal, anyone?


Photo by Genaro Servin on Pexels.com https://www.pexels.com/photo/clown-with-green-wig-792764/

This post was first published on June 17, 2019, when I had thirty-seven followers. Fourteen of them were squeaky balloon animals.

Categories
Christian Living Sufficiency

Broken Cookies

“Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what He has made crooked?” – Ecclesiastes 7:13 (NIV)

At my house growing up, I never wanted the broken cookies from the bottom of the jar. My younger brother and I had to be desperate before we’d eat them.

But one of our older brothers held a different view. He actually liked them, because they were better for milk dipping. “They taste just as good as the unbroken ones,” he said.

Have you ever felt like a broken cookie?

A person’s strength is often their biggest weakness

Jocko Willink

BINGO. I resemble that remark.

I tried to look up “broken cookies” in my Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Nope, it’s not in there. Neither is “smashed snickerdoodles.”

I did find some interesting stuff about broken pottery, though. I bet you already know the story, but here’s Jeremiah at the Potter’s house.

“So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. ” – Jeremiah 18:3-4 (NIV)

Then the Lord explains the parable: “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel” Jeremiah 18:6 (NIV)

God likes to re-purpose broken things

Someone once said of the legendary football coach Bo Schembechler, “He can take his team and beat yours, or your team and beat his.”

When God reaches into the jar for another “cookie” does it matter all that much who he chooses? He can win with anybody!

But the creator of the universe doesn’t care too much for whining.

“Does a clay pot dare argue with its maker, a pot that is like all the others? Does the clay ask the potter what he is doing? Does the pot complain that its maker has no skill?” – Isaiah 45:9 (GNT)

We ALL have our flaws. Stop taking yourself so dang seriously!

That last sentence is me talking to myself, of course. 😇

Fixating on our faults—despite God’s best intentions—is like shaking a fist in His face.

And it’s not such a bright idea to argue with The Boss.

Because…

“God can strike a straight lick with a crooked stick.”

L.R. Scarborough

Photo by Tijana Drndarski on Pexels.com