Tag Archive | Love

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

I is for Impartial

“Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice
or partiality or bribery.” (2 Chronicles 19:7)

Continuing the Alphabet Challenge, I chose Impartial for my “I” word.

“Mother always loved you best.” The punchline of Tommy and Dick Smothers always got a laugh from their audience. Maybe because it hit so close to home. Parents are often accused of showing partiality to certain children. In our family, my mother showed favoritism toward my older sisters and my brother. Of course if you asked any of them, they’d tell you she favored me.

The truth, for most families, is the obedient child receives rewards while the rebellious child reaps consequences. Godly parents are impartial. They offer the same rewards and consequences to all their children. Each child choices which course he/she takes, thereby, determines whether he/she receives favors or punishment.

And we’re the same way with our Heavenly Father. We rebel. We turn our backs. We refuse to obey. Then we accuse God of showing partiality. But God offers mercy and grace to all who will come to Him with a repentant heart (2 Peter 3:9).

How about you? What “I” word comes to mind that describes God?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

E is for Everlasting

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Continuing with the Alphabet Challenge, I chose Everlasting for my “E” word.

He Loves Me 1

    He Loves Me 

As a child, I loved my father with all my heart. And I knew he loved me. But he couldn’t be with me always. He had to work. He had interests, like golfing, fishing, and hunting, that didn’t involve me. And I felt sad and lonely when he wasn’t home.

Then I grew up, and although Daddy’s love never ended, I found I needed a different kind of love—a love that extended beyond a father/daughter relationship.

So, God sent Gene into my life. He loves and adores me. He treats me like a princess—forty-one-years’ worth. His life verse: Thou shalt spoil thy wife rotten (Ephesians 5:25-30). Okay, that’s a condensed interpretation by my beloved, but it works for me. Even as loved as Gene makes me feel, he cannot be with me always. Like my father, Gene works. He has interests that don’t necessarily involve me. And I feel sad and lonely when he’s not home.

Here’s the Thing

God has used my father and Gene to show me the significance of having an Everlasting Father. Their gentleness, provisions, and concern for my happiness closely resembles that of our heavenly Father. There is one major difference, however. He never leaves me alone.

Jesus promised He would never leave us as orphans but would send the Comforter to dwell in us, to teach us God’s will, and to help us through all of our difficulties (John 14:15-18, 26).

How about you? What “E” word comes to mind that describes one of God’s attributes? Let a message in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks