L-O-V-E

L is for the loyalty you have for Father above
And it stands for the legacy of His amazing love
O is for the only Savior who can make a Saul into a Paul
And it stands for His omnipotence; The Lord over us all
V is for the vindication He gives through Jesus on the cross
And it stands for victory for we all will not be lost
E is for the earthly form in Jesus Christ His son
And it stands for everlasting; the Father’s will be donewpid-images-27.jpeg

Put all the letters together to spell love
Sent straight to us from our Father above
Love others as we love ourselves is the greatest command
Just as Jesus loved us as part of the Master’s plan
Love is the greatest of faith, hope, love, and charity
Love is the very basis of Christianity

You can’t be a Christian with no love to impart
Not when God, the very essence of love, lives right within your heart!

Donna Hendrix
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If We All Understood

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7

COULD we draw aside the curtainsImage result for helping others
That surround each other’s lives,
See the naked heart and spirit,
Know what spur the action gives—
Often we would find it better,
Purer than we judge we would;
We would love each other better
If we only understood.

Could we judge all deeds by motives,
See the good and bad within,
Often we would love the sinner
All the while we loathe the sin.
Could we know the powers working
To o’erthrow integrity,
We would judge each other’s errors
With more patient charity.

If we knew the cares and trials,
Knew the efforts all in vain,
And the bitter disappointments—
Understood the loss and gain— ​
Would the grim external roughness
Seem, I wonder, just the same?
Would we help where now we hinder?
Would we pity where we blame?

Ah, we judge each other harshly,
Knowing not life’s hidden force;
Knowing not the fount of action
Is less turbid at its source.
Seeing not amid the evil
All the golden grains of good,
Oh, we’d love each other better
If we only understood.

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Shopping for Love

colorful-heart-shopping-cart-love-colorful-foam-heart-shape-background-valentines-day-65009053If I could shop for the ingredients for love
I’d buy a few kisses from the Father above.
I would add lots of hugs to go with the kisses.
Then put in a vat of passion and forgiveness.

I’d shop the isles for a dash of intelligence
And mix it together with love and tenderness.
And just to see if it would spill over on thee
I’d add a cup of peace and righteous charity.

Then to spice it up I’d add a pinch of humor
And put it on the shelves for all the consumers.
Each would be served with their own generous portion
Seasoned to taste with sweet comfort and emotion.

Mix them all together and you shall surely find
That you’ve mingled them with some unusual kinds,
Peace, contentment, intelligence complete
As each is united with love’s luscious, sweet treat!

~Patricia  Joan Polhans

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13: 1-13

Hymn of Charity

Nor faith, nor hope, whate’er their force,
Can aught avail the soul,
Should charity not guide its course intermountaincfc
To glory’s heavenly goal.
The songs of wisdom, tho’ they soar
To notes that seraphs swell,
If she be wanting, are no more
Than folly’s tinkling bell.

A thousand shapes, as bright as morn,
Sweet Charity assumes,
And all the hues of Heaven adorn
Her variegated plumes.
‘Tis she with consolation’s voice
That stills affliction’s storm,
She bids despairing want rejoice
In bounty’s radiant form.

But with what semblance is she seen,
That more her power endears,
Than when with mild instruction’s mien
Her infant train she rears?
Then she the earth-bound spirit lifts
Above the valley’s clod,
Then gives the richest of her gifts,
The knowledge of her God.       – William Hayley

Shopping For Love

 

If I could shop for the ingredients for lovevv
I’d buy a few kisses from the Father above.
I would add lots of hugs to go with the kisses.
Then put in a vat of passion and forgiveness.

I’d shop the isles for a dash of intelligence
And mix it together with love and tenderness.
And just to see if it would spill over on thee
I’d add a cup of peace and righteous charity.

Then to spice it up I’d add a pinch of humor
And put it on the shelves for all the consumers.
Each would be served with their own generous portion
Seasoned to taste with sweet comfort and emotion.

Mix them all together and you shall surely find
That you’ve mingled them with some unusual kinds,
Peace, contentment, intelligence complete
As each is united with love’s luscious, sweet treat!

Patricia Joan Polhans

 

Picture: Courtesy of Google

The Greater Love

Hear thou my prayer, great God of opulence;
Give me no blessings, save as recompense
For blessings which I lovingly bestow
On needy stranger or on suffering foe.
If Wealth, by chance, should on my path appear,
Let Wisdom and Benevolence stand near,
And Charity within my portal wait,
To guard me from acquaintance intimate.

Yet in this intricate great art of living
Guide me away from misdirected giving,
And show me how to spur the laggard soul
To strive alone once more to gain the goal.

Repay my worldly efforts to attain
Only as I develop heart and brain;
Nor brand me with the ‘Dollar Sign’ above
A bosom void of sympathy and love.

If on the carrying winds my name be blown
To any land or time beyond my own,
Let it not be as one who gained the day
By crowding others from the chosen way;
Rather as one who missed the highest place
Pausing to cheer spent runners in the race.
To do–to have–is lesser than to BE:
The greater boon I ask, dear God, from Thee.

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Encourage One Another

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There is a reason why many people, including believers in Jesus, have the opinion that many Christians are aloof, unapproachable, and have unchristian behavior patterns. The things that many of them say, as well as the things that they never say, are a reflection of attitudes that are not in line with the heart of Christ. Sadly, this is harming the people of God, especially new believers in Jesus who do not know the Bible well. Because of their lack of Bible knowledge, they might not know when someone is misrepresenting the heart of Christ. There are many who undoubtedly would like to ask some Christians, “Why is it so easy for you to preach the truth to me, citing scripture after scripture, but it is so difficult for you to say something encouraging to me?

Discouraging Words

If we want to be Christians who do the will of the heart of Christ, we will edify the church; we will not discourage her. Every person who has received Jesus as Lord is part of the church.

Let’s focus on the need to learn what it means to love our brethren who are going through difficult times, tribulation, and the fiery trial of their faith. Following are some examples of the insensitive comments and statements that many Christians make in response to the suffering and the problems of their brethren in the faith. Take note of the words that are said, as well as those that are NOT said. And, compare the insensitive “Christian” responses with biblical responses that indeed do reflect the heart of Christ.

1. Should Christians who live in countries where they don’t suffer persecution for their faith in Jesus say to the martyrs: “Stand strong. You shouldn’t be sad because the Lord is our joy. You have to dress in the armor of God. That’s how we stand.” Although these words are true, they do not reflect the heart of Christ that is revealed when we read, “…Weep with them that weep” (Romans 12:15). “Bear ye one another’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2).

2. Is it okay for those who have parents that love them to say to the orphan who wants a father and mother: “Orphan, you shouldn’t be sad. Having parents is not what makes you happy in life. The Lord will be your Father and will take better care of you than a mother. The heart of Christ says, “I understand that you want a stable home and parents that love you. I join your prayers for God to grant your desire as there’s nothing wrong or abnormal in your desire. We read, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction…” (James 1:27).

3. Is it okay for those who can walk to say to the person in a wheel chair: “Being able to walk will not make you happy. The only thing we need is a relationship with the Lord to be happy. But, the apostles Peter and John, who had the heart of Christ, did not give such an insensitive response to the man who was born lame. We read, “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer…. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate…. Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold I have none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up. And, immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking and leaping, and praising God” (Acts 3:1-9). Finally, that man could enjoy what so many people take for granted.

4. Should women who are mothers say to women who are barren: “You shouldn’t be sad. Having children will not make you happy in life. You can have many spiritual children through your service to the Lord.” Does the heart of Christ give such a callous response to the desires of others? No, it does not. We read, “And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb. And she (Hannah) was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore. …And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her. Wherefore it came to pass when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel…. For this child I prayed (said Hannah). And the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him” (1 Samuel 1:6,10,19,20,27).

5. Is it right for married Christians to say to their single brothers and sisters: “You shouldn’t be sad. Having a husband or wife is not what makes you happy. The Lord is your joy. Do we forget how the heart of Christ responded to the desire of Hannah to have a child? The Lord did not make light of her desire. Why should Christians make light of the desires as well as the tribulations of their brethren in the Lord? If the only joy we need is the joy of the Lord, why did the Lord himself tell us to ask our petitions in his name that our joy may be FULL (St. John 16:24)?

6. Is is right for young Christians to tell the elderly believers who languish away in nursing homes: “You need not be sad, because you have the Lord. He is your friend and faithful companion.” What an insensitive and ugly response that does not reflect the caring heart of Christ. The Lord is the one who put the desire for friendship, as well as other desires, in man. He wants those desires satisfied, which is why he does not make light of them.

7. Is it right for those who have their freedom to tell our brethren imprisoned for their faith, as well as the innocent in prison: “Don’t be sad. If you are truly saved, Jesus is right there in prison with you. If these insensitive words truly reflected the heart of Christ, why then did Jesus say that when we visit our brethren in prisons it is the same as visiting him in prison (Matthew 25:31-46)?

8. Should gentile Christians, not having been subjected to the partial spiritual blindness that has happened to Israel, say things like: “The evidence that Christ is your Messiah and Savior of the world is as clear as can be, but you don’t see it. What’s wrong with you? The heart of Christ tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. True peace is Jesus. Do we love Christ, but not the people from which he came according to the flesh?

This list could go on and on. The idea is to keep in mind that when our brethren in the Lord are going through hardships, some of them are fighting the good fight of faith. The heart of Christ tells us to encourage, edify, and pray for them instead of making light of their troubles and their desires.

We are not told to send them negative messages that say that because they are depressed for a while that they are weak, abnormal, or don’t really know the Lord.

The Saints Experienced Great Depression

“For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8).

And, we read, “…Though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1: 6-7).

Let Us Not Be Like Job’s “Friends”

The insensitive words that come out of our mouth as well as the encouraging words that we do NOT speak send messages, sometimes very negative ones. Saying things like, “You don’t need this or that to be happy. Let the Lord be your joy,” amounts to taking a “holier than thou” attitude. It can be perceived as saying, “Were I in your shoes, I’d be strong in the Lord. I’d know how to “hide” myself in Jesus.”

Let’s not forget that the so-called friends of Job got into much trouble because of the words they spoke to a suffering servant of the Lord. They spoke words that did not come from the comforting heart of Christ. They provoked the anger of God (Job 42:7).

The apostle Paul defines true Christian love. We read, “Though I speak with tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (love), I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned (sacrificed), and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind. Charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth…” (1 Corinthians 13:1-6). Love is the heart of Christ.

Heavenly Manna