Sunday, January 11, 2015

All We Need is Love

Today I wanted to share an excerpt from my prayer and devotion journal from February 23, 2011. It was the day after a St. Petersburg police officer was killed by a 16 year old boy. I was reminded of this journal entry today in church as our pastor spoke about how deeply and unconditionally we are loved by God. That message, along with this journal entry is so timely given all of stories we’ve been reading about in the news.

My bible reading on that day was from Exodus 20:20. “Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you so that that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning”.

I wrote in my journal:

“This passage is so timely given the shooting yesterday of another officer. I was listening to a talk radio show and a lot of people were commenting on how no one has the fear of God in them anymore. But what I think and what I prayed for is for people to know the LOVE of God. Love comes first; the “fear” comes from not wanting to disappoint the person who loves you. If you know that someone loves you so unconditionally, you don’t want to do bad things. You don’t want to disappoint them. Think of the parent of a newborn. They love their child first and foremost; they don’t scare the baby or make it fear them. Parents teach their children by loving them. It is through that love that grows respect. I remember the times in high school when I skipped school. When I got home I was so afraid to face my Dad. I wasn’t afraid of my father, but I was afraid that I had disappointed him. Disappointed the man who loved me so much he would do anything for me. So when I hear “put the fear of God in you” I think it should be the “love of God”. If more people knew the love of God, we would not have these shootings.”

I wrote that almost 4 years ago but it still applies today. We are reading horrific stories every day. Terrorist attacks, school shootings, and in my local news, a father throwing his five year old daughter off a bridge, to her death. We can only wonder what is going through their minds when these people commit these terrible crimes. One thing I do know, there was no love. And the very sad thing is that all of them were loved, unconditionally.

What would our world be like if we all understood the depth of God’s love for us? What would happen if we loved each other as God loved us? Would we have shootings, hate crimes, terrorist attacks?

Maybe not
A much quoted passage from the Bible is 1Corinthians 13.  

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud  or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love endures through every circumstance.


You are dearly loved by God. Share that love.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


1/5/15 - This was what I wrote in my journal today:

Today is a day of firsts.
First week of the new year
First week with my new boss
First journal entry of the year
First step into my year of being AMAZING!
 As was the case with “Do Something” I was inspired again this year by an inspirational email I received. I receive a slew of daily motivational and inspirational emails. Some are Bible based like my daily devotionals. Some are motivating and on a more professional level. Others are just for fun. I don’t read all of them every day but I always at least look at the subject line. The email that got my attention and inspired my focus for this year was simply titled, “Be Amazing”. It was from Susan Goodman; speaker, life coach and author of the book Pursue Possibilities. She is a regular speaker at my company’s women’s professional network and is probably the most positive person you will ever meet.  Here’s an excerpt from the email I received on January 2, 2015:

 “This is it.  This is our year to Be Amazing like we know we can be.  Amazing like we were meant to be. Bold, confident, excited, fully engaged and believing for the best even when we can't see how that will happen.
The first step in having an amazing year is being willing to be amazing yourself.  It's a big step and few of us really want to take it but if we all do it together, we have back-up for when the going gets rough and we want to shrink back to "normal".  Mediocre.  Safe. “
I read that I and just knew that this year, I want to be amazing! How do I propose that I will be amazing? I haven’t quite figured that out yet. I have a lot of ideas. I thought I would just start each day first, giving thanks and praise to God and then ask myself how I can be amazing. So as I got up this morning and was getting ready for work I thought about how I could be amazing today. Two things came to mind.

1.      Start a project to do something good. Something small. Something that would not take much effort or cost. Something that I could accomplish in a short period of time. (Remember that Do Something idea?).

2.      Get active and encourage someone to join you. That idea was actually inspired by a Facebook post I saw over the weekend.

To address the first idea I sent an email to some coworkers and friends telling them that I am collecting gently used coats, blankets, and other winter gear for a local homeless “tent city”. I actually drafted the email before Christmas but never sent it. I worried how it would be received; what people would think of me. Not sending it would be “safe”. But “safe” is not amazing. So I sent it! The email got great response and several people have already committed to bringing in items for the shelter. Hopefully there will be more on that in a future post.

Regarding the second thought, I had purchased a pair of walking shoes over the weekend and had planned on getting out of the office and away from my desk during lunch. We have a beautiful walking path around a lake at my professional complex. I used to walk it every day but had gotten out of the habit. I thought it would be good to have a walking buddy to keep me accountable then I thought, “Who can I help to inspire and keep accountable”. I remembered a coworker that I ran into before Christmas. She told me she is trying to lose weight for a big cruise she and her husband are taking over the summer. I called her and lo and behold, she had brought her walking shoes with her to work! We took a brisk 30 minute walk and plan to walk at least 3 days during the week, if not more.
Now that was amazing! Sometimes, just a little shift in your mindset, in your attitude, will make such a difference in the outcome of your day. And it felt Amazing! I can’t wait to see what this amazing year will bring. Want to be amazing with me? I encourage you to start every day, first with praise and thanks and then with one word……..AMAZING! Lets see where that will take us. Stay tuned.