Saturday, April 19, 2014

Brotherly Love

What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn't recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to.

But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God. And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him—and in seeing him, become like him. All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own.

 The way we know we've been transferred from death to life is that we love our brothers and sisters. Anyone who doesn't love is as good as dead. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know very well that eternal life and murder don’t go together.

 This is how we've come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.

My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.

 And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God! We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what he said, doing what pleases him. Again, this is God’s command: to believe in his personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us.

passages taken from 1 John 3 (the message)

These are some of my favorite pictures from the beginning of April. And now, the great news is, the weather is even warmer than it was a few weeks ago. No more winter coats, hats, and gloves for us! I think Willow is enchanted by the notion!

I'm not a huge fan of the Message translation, but sometimes, it is refreshing to read Scripture in the informal voice of our vernacular. The above passage was read at our wedding, and so will always be extra special to my heart. I've been reflecting a bit on what Christ has done for us by dying for our sins, resurrecting by the power of His Spirit, and ascending to heaven to sit at the right hand of God. Praise be to the Father, the work is done, and the Holy Spirit is with us now. It is an amazing story, and I'm excited to share it with Willow.

On another note.
You think you are a patient person. And then you have a baby.
That thought is quickly vanquished.

Then, you think you might be learning about patience, after two years in the trenches.
Then you have another baby.
Now you know for sure,
You are not a patient person.

This morning was one of those horrible mornings where Noah wouldn't sleep, and I was crying out for some strength and patience. Seriously, I cannot be a mother on my own strength. I am failing by own power, constantly.

On this particular day, we went to visit the horses by the river. They were looking kind of depressed that day though. I would hate to be a horse.

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