love


Thank You for Dirty Dishes

I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)

My mind was just blown…once again… while reading Secrets of the Proverbs 31 Woman by Rae Simons.

Many times the work of keeping up the house and family—the cooking, cleaning, putting away, cooking, cleaning, putting away…repeat…but also some giggles and joyful play with little ones—can feel menial.

WAIT! Menial?

Do you know what that word means? It’s earliest translation means “to remain, to dwell”.  Yes ladies (and gentlemen) that’s the Latin root for menial.

Don’t we take comfort in having a place to dwell and stay? Isn’t that the stability we all need deep down? Shouldn’t we take pride in creating a dwelling, a stable place for our most cherished people? Our family? To me these words bring up feelings of comfort and safety. I want to bring that into my children’s lives and my husband’s. So, why do we let our culture make it feel so minimized? So inferior?

Consider Psalm 123:2.

As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy.

“This verse,” say Ms. Simons, “puts God in the role of the housewife…God provides nourishment for us, clothes us, and opens loving arms to us. God watches over our affairs and is intimately involved in the physical details of our lives. So why do we find ourselves (sometimes or often) resenting the same sort of work we do for our families?”

Well, I don’t know! Perhaps we all just need a good nap! 😜

So in doing the redundant, but very necessary things that keep our lives in order and our families grounded and stable, let’s keep in mind that we were made in His image and have a big job to do and a very important job to do. Without which our most loved would be shaken and severely let down.

***

I almost ended here, until I remembered a question I was thinking about today. After a week of all 5 of us sick (ALL 5!!!) I was walking around putting the house back together and thinking why doesn’t anyone thank me? Where are the thankful hearts? HA! I feel like a fool.

So in closing, thank YOU, Lord, for your provisions, your constant care of me and my loved ones. Thank you for the dirty dishes because it means we ate well, for the dirty clothes and blankets because it means we were warm and cozy, and for the games and toys and just things to put away that we use to make memories and have laughs together.

Thank you God I AM grateful. 💜

Edited from Lisa LaFortune: Families! Change the World blog.

 

Pastor Sam Bennett Devotional: Love for One and Other

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

Rising Love. Robert Pavao

Rising Love. Robert Pavao

Aran sweaters from the islands off the West coast of Ireland are intimately linked to the clans who live there. In addition to repelling water, the complex, textured stitch patterns on each garment are purposely designed to identify the people who wear them. In fact, Aran sweaters have been used to help identify bodies of fishermen washed up on the beach following an accident at sea.

As Christians, we wear breastplates. They’re not tactile; they’re woven by faith and sewn with the love of our Heavenly Father. Our breastplates work best when we speak to others with love. That doesn’t mean we must harness our beliefs, but information, correction, and admonition to others must always be done in the context of love.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:1-2)

But was Jesus speaking with love or sarcasm when spoke to Nicodemus?

Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you don’t understand these things? (John 3:10)

Was Jesus acting with love or anger when he cleared the temple courts?

So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market! (John 2:15-16)

From a 21st century perspective where sarcasm and anger prevail, it’s easy for us to interpret the words of Jesus with an “attitude”. So, how do we reconcile statements and actions read in the 21st century with the Jesus of the first century? How do we guarantee that we receive God’s message without the oppressive influence of 21st century culture?

The answer is through love, of course. Origen, who was Bishop of Alexandria during the second century, taught that most people fail to recognize the deeper truths enshrined in scripture, because they don’t realize that aside from a literal reading, we must journey into scripture’s very soul.

When reading the word of God remember the most important commandments. Interpret everything Jesus did as an act of love. Nicodemus didn’t understand; but rather than dismiss him, Jesus showed love by repeating his lesson 3 times. Jesus overturned the moneychangers’ tables, but there’s no evidence he caused physical harm to anyone in the temple courtyard. Lessons were stern but never punitive.

Each day, in all things, wear your breastplate — your beautiful heavenly Aran sweater — with love. So that everyone will recognize you as a child of God, always.

 


Warm Sweet Junes

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.  (Proverbs 31:10)

Cougar Adult Groomin beautiful amazing

Cougar Adult Groomin beautiful amazing

I’m reading Secrets of the Proverbs 31 Woman by Rae Simons. One chapter tells a great story picture about marriage that I thought I’d share. It’s about gaining perspective over time. About how marriage is in part about the art of reconciliation. Being able to reconcile differences and trusting each other with our intentions and our shortcomings.

This woman is totally faithful to her husband. He can have confidence in her, because she will not let him down….

He does not maintain jealous guard over her or keep his valuables locked up so that she cannot access them. (Proverbs 31:11)

Your husband needs to be able to count on your ability to love him no matter what and even give him a pass if he’s a little more self-consumed or preoccupied one day.

And husbands, giving your wife the benefit of the doubt when she’s just not herself, and building up a trust where she knows it won’t be held against her is crucial. This trust in one another is the bridge between you.

It is the only way to keep walls from going up. Walls that could block the sun when seasons change…

The author says, “Like the seasons, married love has cycles. Sometimes our marriages may seem cold and dead as January, but if we wait, if we’re patient, spring always comes once more… It would be easier to run away the first time November’s chilly gray skies settle over our marriages. But just think of all the warm, sweet June’s we would miss if we did!”

The author talks about the greater perspective after going through these ups and downs… and back ups. The marriage ceremony doesn’t “cancel out our selfish nature”. Instead it’s a continued understanding that things will get hard now and then, but it’s the dedication to reconciling differences for a lifetime that gets you through.

Waaaarm sweeeet Juuuuunes. ☀️🍡

Edited from Lisa LaFortune: Families! Change the World blog.

 

 


Wake up to the Importance of the Lord’s Message in Sunday School

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

Some people might think that church membership alone is sufficient to save their souls. But realize this fact. Salvation requires knowledge of God, as well as obedience to him.

And Sunday School is the place to gain that knowledge. It’s the tool that guides a systematic study of the Gospel and ushers knowledge and joyful obedience to God by every father, mother, and child.

We have started new Sunday School lessons. Select the one that interest you. Each will be insightful and fulfilling.

  • The Meaning of Marriage based on the best selling book by Timothy and Kathy Keller and Spence Shelton.
  • Romans based on the Max Lucado Life Lessons.
  • Fundamentals of the Faith: 13 lessons by John MacArthur to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
  • Bible Studies for Life: targeted to senior adults and based on Unvarnished Truth by Blake Gideon and Unstoppable Gospel by Gregg Matte.

It all happens in BCBC Sunday School… Bent Creek Baptist Church Sunday School.

After Sunday School? Please linger a while for coffee, cake, fellowship, and the BCBC worship service at 11 am.


Precious Memories are Framed by Patient Parents

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. (Psalm 127:3)

Sienna LaFortune

Sienna LaFortune

Ahhhhh. Life after a new baby, our third baby ☺️, leaves my thoughts jumbled.

I was thinking lately about how we grown-ups have a tendency to want to start and then finish things quickly, especially with kids. Do you ever forget to enjoy the process of things?

Even when we don’t have a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. else to do in our day, we tend to rush the little ones or feel anxious over the messes they make. When that happens I ask myself, “Is my love patient and kind?”

Paul reminds us that patience and kindness are two of the nine attributes of a Christian life.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22:23)

Young children certainly like to pause on things for longer than we might like. But rushing them just ruins the fun of it and detracts from their learning. Our model for these times is found in Psalms.

But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86:15)

I know part of my experience with this is because I’m always aware of how much longer the baby will nap, or how much time I have before the next nursing session. So, I want to make sure the boys and I complete what we are doing. But is this ruining the learning and fun? Wouldn’t it be better to take just a short break?

The blessing of our children having precious memories is framed by us as patient parents. It’s the blessing to teach them something that might shape their future selves. It’s the blessing of a full and joyous relationship. It’s the blessing of them trusting us when they make a mistake.

So, I hope we make the effort to do lots of things with our families, even though sometimes it’s hard and messy. Most of all, I hope we remember to take our time with each other, one mess at a time, one spill at a time, and one memory at a time.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)

Edited from Lisa LaFortune: Families! Change the World blog