Tag Archive | Love

Why I Love Dandelions

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)

Some people consider dandelions an annoying weed that they most destroy at all costs. Our neighbor had been one of those, out every day with herbicides and garden tools killing the plant the moment it popped its tiny head above the ground’s surface.

I, on the other hand, love dandelions.

They mark spring with their bright yellow faces. But that’s not why I love them. They make good wine. But that’s not why I love them. Served with a hot bacon dressing, they make a fine side dish for ham. But that’s not why I love them. They also make mighty tasty jelly. But that’s not why I love them.

                          Dandelion Smiles

I love dandelions because nothing puts a smile on a child’s face more than giving her mother a bouquet of freshly picked flowers. And what kind of flowers are readily available to children? Dandelions.

This week, my daughter and her two-year-old daughter ushered me down memory lane about thirty-five years, as I watched them pick dandelions. Little Lilly’s eyes sparkled with delight with each pluck of a stem just like her mother’s eyes sparkled when she and I picked dandelions so many years ago. She was so proud of her accomplishment. What a cherished memory.

In many ways, dandelions remind me of me.

Cancer has left me with the mark of suffering. I’m not as strong and vibrant as I had been. I don’t have the motivation to do the things I once did. I can’t even walk like I did. I lack stamina. To make matters worse, like a dandelion, my yellow hair has turned white and flighty.

It may be difficult to find beauty and value in my current condition, but my Father loves me with an everlasting love. When He looks at me, His eyes sparkle with delight. He draws me near and holds me when I’m feeling down. Even when I’m feeling good, He’s there admiring me. Oh not because of anything I’ve done or how I look but because of who He is and what Jesus has done for and in me. When He looks on me, His glory shines over me. I’m precious in His sight.

That’s why I love dandelions.

How about you? What flower that speaks to your heart?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

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Little Things Matter

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid. (Luke 12:7)

 

Little things like eyelashes matter a lot to God.

Even your eyelashes are numbered

We take many little things for granted until we don’t have them … take eyelashes and eyebrows for example. Those little hairs that adorn our faces give us expression and, yes, beauty. I missed my lashes and brows to the point of drawing them on every day to avoid that blank look. I even took a class to learn how to apply eye makeup effectively so they wouldn’t look fake.

About three months ago, I noticed dark “shadows” above my eyes. I tried scrubbing them off, thinking the eyebrow pencil had stained my skin. A couple of weeks later, I realized those “shadows” were tiny hairs. My brows had returned. I showed my almost nine-year-old granddaughter who replied, “Cool. Now you can raise your eyebrows at people again.”

A week before Christmas, a friend mentioned my eyelashes, which I hadn’t noticed until then. I was all smiles Christmas Day when I applied mascara for the first time in six months.

Vanity. Vanity. Perhaps. But think about this. Little things matter to God. He is so concerned about the details of our being that He even numbers the hairs on our heads. I always thought of the hairs on my scalp when I read that portion of Scripture. Now I realize my eyebrows, lashes, and even the forbidden chin hair are included in the hairs of my head.

The knowledge of God numbering the hairs of my head flabbergasts me. Imagine, he knows every detail of our beings, not only how many hairs are on our heads, but how many cells in our bodies. He was aware of the cancer cells in my body and revealed them to the diagnostic doctor so He could demonstrate His sovereignty over all things concerning me.

How about you? How has God shown His love to you?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

Joy in Sorrow

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:1-4)

celebrating-life-eternal-4-webSix weeks have passed since my mother met Jesus face-to-face. We who remain are in the process of settling her estate. Not that she had much with which to contend, but there are possessions to disburse or to sell. My sisters, brother, and I have agreed to give the grandchildren whatever they’d like as memorabilia including furniture.

Last Saturday, I had the privilege to meet my daughters and one of my nephews at my parent’s house to allow them to make their selections. It was interesting to watch them pick and choose items that brought back precious memories. My older daughter, Melinda, chose Gram’s rolling pin with only one handle. My younger daughter, Rachel, chose Gram’s colander and wants to learn how to make Gram’s applesauce. My nephew, Bill, chose a silly, plastic, cartoonish statue with a saying on it about fishermen. He said it reminded him of Papa. Of course, they chose somethings of more value. But it was those items that amused me.

The time spent with those three “next-generation” adults was precious to me. There was no arguing over the more valuable items. They exemplified Paul’s instructions in Philippians 2:1-4.

But for me, I had the honor to say, “Here is your inheritance. Pick whatever you want as a token and memory of Gram and Papa’s love for you.” Each one came with items, “Can I have this?” With the exception of a few things that were promised to someone else, I replied, “Yes. Take it.” It delighted me to grant their wishes and to see the delight in their faces as they packed up their treasures.

As I reflected on this process the other day, I realized a deeper meaning … a foreshadowing if you will. It is our privilege, as Christians, to do the same thing with people we witness to. We have the keys to open heavens gates to fellow believers and non-believers and say look at your inheritance. It’s yours for the taking. Come. Receive. Drink. Eat. Embrace the love of God. Cherish it is as the great treasure it is from the Father who loves you with an everlasting love. Keep it in your heart. Display it for all the world to see. It’s yours. It’s mine. There is more than enough for everyone. His house is abundant with treasures and always shall be.

How about you? How have you found joy in sorrow?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

A is for Adore

 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mark 12:30)

fall-path-with-deer-4-webThe more we praise God the more we fall in love with Him. Remember, praise differs from thanksgiving in that while we thank Him for what He does, we praise Him for who He is. The more we realize who He is the more we adore Him. Which brings us to the second letter in our PATH acronym.

 Adore

How can we not adore, admire, and worship one so lovely as our Father, Savior, and King. The more we meditate on His attributes the more we want to embrace Him. The more we embrace to Him the more we love Him. The more we love Him the more we want to surrender our lives to Him and serve Him.

Love is an overused term in the English language. We tend to say “I love you” or “I love an object” with the same enthusiasm and emotion. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

Because He demonstrates His love for us through His actions, He expects us to demonstrate our love for Him through our actions. It’s easy to say the words “l love you.” Demonstrating that love, however, is quite another matter. But we must learn to reach out to others, even to our enemies as God has done. It is the only way we have to embrace Him.

How about you? How do you demonstrate your love for God?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

The Apple of God’s Eye

This is another lesson I offer during my God’s Word on Canvas classes. For more information on the classes and contact information, click here.

The Background

The Apple of God's Eye

The Apple of God’s Eye

The blue background of this painting supports and compliments the rest of the picture. Although it takes the least amount of time to paint, the end results hinge on the rendering of the background.

Similarly, our hope of resting in the Apple of God’s Eye hinges on our understanding of the term and how to achieve the status.

The concept of the apple of the eye stems from an understanding of what that black dot in the center of the eye actually is. In the early 1600’s people thought it was an object such as a black disk rather than a hole. Someone called it the apple of the eye. Then the apple of the eye meant nothing more than the pupil of the eye.

The Branch

The branch stretches across the canvas like a path, not necessarily a straight line. It carries the nutrients to the buds and blossoms.

Psalm 17:8: Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.

David sees God as his protector and provider in times of trouble and during the rage of the enemy. David trusted God to defend, provide, and protect him in all circumstances.

The Buds and Blossoms

indicate life and growth within a tree. Likewise our desire to be in the Apple of God’s Eye indicates life. And the way we fulfill that desire produces growth. We grow through God’s word.

Proverbs 7:2: Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

King Solomon reminds us to remain within the apple of God’s eye—Keep His commands and live accordingly. And we are commissioned to keep God’s law as the apple of our eyes. We are to hold God’s law in high esteem, honoring it in every aspect of our lives. Then God will keep us as the apple of His eye. Think of how delicate and sensitive our eyes are and how we take all precautions to protect them. That is the importance we are to place on God’s word, protecting and cherishing it.

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See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

The Fruit

Grapes #3

Grapes #3

Now the question remains, what is the fruit of the vine Jesus requires from every believer? Some might say ministries such as teaching, pastoring, motivational speaking, and counseling. Others might think the fruit comes in the form of serving others as in nursing/doctoring, feeding the poor, and rearing children. While all these things are good works for which we were saved according to Ephesians 2:10, they are merely the byproduct of the fruit much like juice, jelly, and jam.

The Bible makes it clear the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit Jesus requires of the believer is love. Within love we’ll find joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. No matter what situation or occupation in which we find ourselves, Jesus requires love. Again, love consists of joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Just as the branch on a grapevine produces one fruit—grapes—and the grapes consist of skin, juice, fiber, and seeds. We also produce one fruit—love.

With that said, when you feel unproductive by the world’s standards in regards to a ministry, vocation, or charity, rethink the problem. Are you a fruit-bearing branch according to the Bible? Do you approach life, those with whom you come in contact, and your current circumstances with love? Where are you on the joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control Richter scale? We may not have the position in this life we’d like to have, but if we’re working on love with all its components, we are in good standing with Jesus. However if we have lofty positions in our churches, at our workplaces, and in our communities and display little love for others, we may be in danger of being disconnected from the Vine.

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

Let’s be fruit-bearing branches. Let’s love one another as Jesus has loved us.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

G is for Giggles

Giggles

Giggles

Today my “grandactives” filled the house to the rafters with giggles. They had a blast building a fort, capturing Big Foot (me), and saving Angel Baby (their two-month-old sister). And yes, there were some squeals, yammers, and sobs in the mix. But mostly—giggles. I love listening to children at play. And I love their giggles.

But there’s more to giggles than just a proud grandmother’s cheerful heart. It’s a promise from God.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22).

How about you? What are you thankful for that begins with the letter G?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks