To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary.  To one without faith, no explanation is possible. – Thomas Aquinas

You are loved. I am loved. We are loved.  I can risk loving you. – Bill and Gloria Gaither

I used to say to my children, “OK, let’s take Jesus to church.”  They looked at me probably shaking their heads… They know I can be weird and crazy… I just smiled.  When we got in the car and drove to church, I explained: “Well, he lives in our hearts, so we take him wherever we go.  And today we’re taking him to church.”  There’s no fear peddling here… For there is no fear in love…that perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect (maturing) in love (1 John 4:18). It’s as simple as that!  Even when you don’t go to church, he is there with you.  This is where I used to struggle so much with.  I had to renew my thinking to trust the love of God in my life.  This is what is means to be loved unconditionally not with what I do but what he has one for me. He thinks of us with such love and tenderness as if there were only one of us.

We tend to confuse churchianity with “Faith without works is dead” (James 2).  But it’s not going to church per se, it is being kind, forgiving, and merciful to others. The Lord prefers mercy more than sacrifice (what you give and what you give and what you give up.  That’s why He came.  It’s such a fantastic story.  That it sounds like a fairy tale.  I used to think that; I mean he was born in a barn, rode on a donkey (not a stallion) to the city, and was crucified, died buried, and rose again!  And when questioned, he said, “Before Abraham, I was!”

Whatever good he asks us to do is for our own good because of love.  He also tells us that foolish or thoughtless actions will have larger, more dire consequences than you may anticipate, which you will ultimately have to confront or deal with.  “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”  Hosea 8:7.

Learning to honor your parents is something that run deep within our soul.  I have done so many wrong things that dishonored my parents in so many ways.  And I have done so many stupid things that had dishonored my children.  So here’s that fantastic story:  In Christ I am forgiven of it all and in Christ I am a new creation… the lifelong process of our hearts, minds, and souls.  Nothing can save me from all the wind I’ve sown and had to reap the whirlwind, but in Christ… I can’t thank him enough for the forgiveness of my stupid stuff – lot of wind and overwhelming whirlwind. And he woke up and said to the wind and the stormy sea, “Peace be still.”

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