Tag Archives: love

Monday


Each week our congregation has avaliable to them a devotional titled “Walk and Talk.” It’s purpose is to give people an opportunity to go a little bit deeper with the lesson from Sunday’s sermon. The readings are generally built off of the core idea from the sermon and the questions, hopefully, guide us into integrating the concept into a life practice.

During the seasons of Lent, we are traveling through the book of John and Jesus’ last week before the crucifixion. The first passage this week is from John 13:21-35 and it contains, what I believe is, one of the most significant statements ever made by Jesus. It is one of those passages from scripture that has been a constant voice in my journey. Have you ever had a verse or passage like this?… That just always seems to challenge you and stand out as extremely important… That is what verses 34 and 35 are to me. They read:

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34, 35 NLT)

I have heard people say that when someone knows they are about to die, that tends to be when they say what is really important. Maybe that is part of why this statement seems so critical to me. It is one of the last instructions that Jesus emphasizes to his disciples before he dies.

I know one of the reasons it stands out to me is because I often wrestle with the question, how is following Jesus any different than just being a good person? How is my life different when I choose to follow Jesus?

This passage gives me an answer to those questions… The way I love other people (especially those who are also following Jesus) should be the difference. This constantly challenges me. It challenges me in both my actions and my attitudes. It is a challenge I cannot get away from and at the beginning of this Lenten week, I am reminded of it again….


Favorite Quotes and Smoothies


I have to tell you my favorite kid quote from this week. Over the last week we have been holding special worship services at church. In our kids’ lessons we have been taking a closer look at the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control). It was a good time! We had a few kids coming back each night and reporting how they were thinking through their day and how they could really show love or kindness towards their siblings. Some of them have really started to think about it!

To wrap up our lessons, we did an activity that has turned into one of my favorites. We made fruit smoothies. Here’s the connection: We really can’t have one characteristic of the Fruit of the Spirit without another. It becomes fairly impossible for us to develop love without developing patience and kindness or self-control. If we are going to pursue life in the Spirit, then all nine of those characteristics will begin to develop. So really, it’s not nine different fruits that are growing- it’s more of a mix, like a really good smoothie!

So we put all our ingredients in- strawberries represented love, pineapple was joy- and mixed it all together. Of course, you have to enjoy life in the Spirit, so we all enjoyed a bit of smoothie! As everyone was slurping down their smoothie, one of the five-year-olds declared very excitedly, “I can taste the Faithfulness!”

Of course, I laughed. It was so unexpected and his face was so excited! It was so funny! But then I started thinking: isn’t that how it should be? We pursue life in the Spirit and watch all the characteristics develop, but at certain points in life, there are characteristics that stand out more than others. My hope is that whoever is around me at that time the characteristic is needed can declare very loudly, “I can taste the Faithfulness!”

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Maundy Thursday


Maundy Thursday*

John 13:2-14:2

During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

*Traditionally in the Christian Church, this day is known as Maundy Thursday. The term Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum (from which we get our English word mandate), from a verb that means “to give,” “to entrust,” or “to order.” The term is usually translated “commandment,” from John’s account of this Thursday night. (Maundy Thursday)


Holy Week: Wednesday


John 13:1

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end….


Happy Valentine’s Day


“Nothing commemorates a beheading like a nice box of chocolates.”

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!


Song of the Month


October’s song is brought to us by a folk singer/songwriter named Brian Webb. I first heard some of his music in college and would say he has some of my favorite songs.

This particular song always makes me think about what it means to really love someone. Why do I love other people? Is it just to make me feel good or is it because I genuinely love other people? And how do I decide who to show love to?

These are just a few of the questions that Tobias makes me think about….

so there’s this guy named tobias
and he staggers up and down my street
and he makes us four white people nervous
and the peace lady across the street
she lies and says it’s not her house
and it ain’t her house
and he stumbles through my newly seeded lawn,
up my front porch,
through my front door
he smells like a thousand vices
but he looks like he’s got more
maybe he’s got more yeah

well he begins to point
and to babble about the floor plan of my house
like a stranger eager to give you directions
because for some reason
we all get proud when we’ve been somewhere before
and we’re half annoyed
just a little intrigued
mostly wishin that he would
hurry up and leave
so we politely, ah we urge him towards the door
yeah we urge him towards the door
but real politely, but definitely towards the door
politely though, but towards the door

then he stuttered somethin about
how this used to be his house
and oh lord i have tried
i wanted to lay down my life
but i am not enough
no i, i cannot give enough oh no
oh lord maybe i lied
i thought i could give everything inside of me
but this is not enough
now i’m thinkin i’ll just take tobias home for me
for me yeah
for me yeah
take tobias home for me

yeah but my friend mikey
ah he sizes him up and thinks he can take him
if he has to
tobias doesn’t have a gun
but i am certain, i am certain
we have all checked
oh and the church girl ‘cross the street
she comes and speaks in tongues
and prays over him
but he seems all too familiar with her routine
yean, oh with her routine
yeah but to her credit she wanted to love him
yeah to her credit she wanted to love him

but then he stutters somethin about
how this used to be his house
and oh lord i have tried
i wanted to lay down my life
but i am not enough
no i, i cannot give enough oh no
oh lord maybe i lied
i thought i could give everything inside of me
but this not enough
now i’m thinkin i’ll just take tobias home for me
for me yeah
take tobias home for me yeah
for me yeah
for me yeah
i’ll take tobias home for me

so tobias he asked me for some change
to catch the bus home
but you know i know better
and i tell him no, but i’ll take you wherever you wanna go man
and he says, really wherever i wanna go
be it somewhere far away from my crazy head, can you get me there or somewhere new, you’re so happy with yourself because you live with the poor but you can leave anytime you want to

so you’re feelin a little guilty about maybe
how this used to be his house
and oh lord i have tried
i wanted to lay down my life
and i am not enough
no i, i cannot, did not give enough to you
and oh lord, maybe i have lied
i thought i could give everything inside of me
but this is not enough
now i’m thinkin
i’ll just take tobias home for me yeah
for me yeah
take tobias home for me yeah
for me yeah
take tobias home
cause maybe it’ll change me
all for me
wanna take you home

cause when it comes to lovin somebody for real, it’s always a lot harder than i wanted it to be

Tobias


Loving God


A small devotional thought. It’s designed with kids in mind…..

Start with Psalms 118:1

Why do we give thanks to the Lord?

What good things has God done for you?

Now read Deuteronomy 6:5

How are we to love God?

  • With all __________________
  • With all __________________
  • With all __________________

We should love God with everything that is in us.

Pray today that God will help you learn to love God.