I was listening to Pastor Rick Warren’s podcast today and was so moved. Because it was such a great message, I want to share it here. Love. True and Godly Love is more than a feeling we get, or something we are even fond of. True and deep love is a choice we get to make each day. To demonstrate love (in kindness in action) toward a stranger we may encounter, to our family and friends, and to everyone we meet- It is always the easy thing to love other people who love us- but the true measure of character is how we respond and show love to the person who we might annoyed with, or even not like. The 2nd greatest commandment Jesus says is “to love your neighbor as yourself.” We might know this because it’s true and we have read it a lot- and theoretically; but it’s a whole other thing in CHOOSING to love people we encounter in our every day lives- people who might be rude, or arrogant, or selfish. Often the “unlovable” people, are those that need love the most. As Christians we can be real quick to point out others’ differences- they don’t have the same political views, they follow a different doctrine, they have a sinful past- but God says in 1 Corinthians 16:14 that “Everything you do must be done WITH love.” That means being gracious and loving to someone in your life you don’t agree with- the rude driver on the road, perhaps an unkind sales clerk who helps you at a store, or just someone you meet that you don’t relate with. Everyone has a struggle and a story- and everyone just wants to be accepted, and feel loved. Of course we are imperfect and can’t always love perfectly- but that is why we are so blessed to make the choice to receive Jesus’ grace. My prayer is that we remember to demonstrate love with the people we meet and who are already in our lives. I also highly recommend listening to Pastor Rick’s podcasts. You can listen to them while you drive or are doing work. 😊(and I thought what better way to post love online than macaroons and flowers πŸ˜‰πŸŒΈ- picture from unsplash.com) God bless. πŸ™πŸΌxo

When you are searching for happiness, fulfillment or purpose- many books and countless authors claim that the way for you to achieve happiness is to look inside yourself- change your thoughts, change your mindset, change your attitude, and the list goes on. Why this is dangerous is because if you only look inside yourself, you will continually feel empty, unfulfilled, and lost. When you only rely on your feelings and thoughts, they will disappoint you- because what if you’re having a bad day- or you are having trouble thinking about something positive? You might become worried that if you aren’t thinking the right thoughts, something bad will happen to you. Trust me, I’ve been there. It is all too easy to become fixated on thinking “the right thoughts” instead of relying on God’s grace, His Word, and security. The Bible says,

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1.

β€œTrust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5

However, God wants us to use our actions to glorify HIM, which in turn will set us on the right path, the best one that God has for us. Of course we will make mistakes along the way, but that is where Jesus’ grace comes in.

Instead of relying on your own strength to change your thoughts, dig in to God’s Word, or try reading a book which can help grow your faith. Here are a few that I love:

“Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer” By Priscilla Shirer

“The Purpose Driven Life” By Rick Warren. (One of my favorites!)

“The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism” By Timothy Keller.

Remember that God has the best plan for your life, and the only way to lasting fulfillment is to start trusting in HIM and not thinking the right thoughts.