August 17, 2011

Carrying the Conversation

Have you digested the Word, His precious Word as a love letter? A spilling forth of graces and hopes across the table. A divine conversation carried on between us and Him, the King. May you find yourself line upon line.

[Insert your name here], how I love to say your name! I hope you like it too…I picked it especially for you (Isaiah 49:1).

Please know you've been on My mind for a long time (Jeremiah 1:5).

What a joy to call you my friend (John 15:15), my son/daughter (Galatians 3:26).

You were a treasure to shape as my hands wonderfully wove and knit you (Psalm 139:15).

You are beautiful/handsome beyond words; flawless; inviting. Ravishing My heart; My delight (Song of Solomon 4).

Shhh…listen…do you hear My songs over you, for you (Zephaniah 3:17)?

I can hardly take my eyes off you. I count every hair on your head (Matthew 10:29).

Though you flit and flight hither and yonder, rest knowing I plan every day of your life (Job 31:4).

My eyes will always watch your paths and establish your ways (Proverbs 5:21, 4:26).

While we’re chatting, can I ask you something? Will you love Me (Deuteronomy 6:5)?

With all your heart. All your soul. All your strength.

One more thing I’d like to ask. When you’re tempted, please, don’t be afraid or discouraged. Be strong and courageous; take heart. Those battles waging? They are mine to face. I will protect you (Joshua 10:25).

I promise I will always stand up for you (Zechariah 3:2) and I will never leave or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

You are cherished more than My life [insert name]; I love you. (John 3:16).

This conversation between God and us doesn’t end there. He longs to have this talk with us daily as we open our ears and allow His Word to filter the world.

How is memorizing our four scriptures going for you?

xoxo, Sam

Drum roll..... the WINNER of "A Confident Heart" by Renee Swope is...Carrie ( Congratulations Carrie! I will email you for your address! If you didn't win, there's another chance today! Enter at Melissa Taylor's blog...

August 15, 2011

The greatest of these is love

Something's wrong when a person is valued for where they live. Dignified based on financial numbers. Flocked to for prestige.

Something's wrong when a person is devalued for where they live. Undignified based on financial numbers. Avoided for lack of prestige.

Love is blind to address, accounts or affluence. Or it should be.

The LA Dream Center opened a door in my heart; opened a door into Los Angeles' Skid Row. Crammed 50 blocks of 4000 people, sleeping bags and cardboard, forming the nation's densest concentration of homeless people, carried on as usual.

Needles pierced toes for lack of strong arm veins. Rape victims screamed pain literally from the gutter. Urine wafted from crevices, strong in stench. Tents disclosed deeds paid for behind zippered doors.

Rivers of limping shopping carts and blanket pallets and drug deals and incoherent shouting didn't stop or change. But I did.

Kneeling on hot concrete, tucked head under Maria's beach umbrella. My knees burned on her temporary front porch scattered with needles, ants, and trash. My smile asked if I could visit. Her smile invited me under her multi-colored roof.

The trail she trod from El Salvador to Skid Row was littered with heartache for her son, her daughter left behind. Her U.S. employer died, leaving her without a home to clean; without a home to live in. She has no money, no connections.

And I was changed. Not by who she was or where she lived or what she had.

You see, she invited me to find shelter under her shade. We fell into a beautiful ease as she bore with my broken Spanish. Shared laughs and prayers and scriptures. Maria encouraged, spoke truth. She showed me love. Not for who I was or where I lived or what I had to offer.

For I had nothing but love. And I did love her and her weathered face and tattered home and sweet laughs.

No wonder Jesus says that's all that matters. Truly, truly, it is.
"The greatest of these is love."
~I Corinthians 13:13

Hey, friend? It doesn't matter who you are; where your heart has lived; what you have done. You don't have to bring or be or become anything to receive His great love. No, you simply invite Him in, share your story and love Him in return.

Beautiful ease.

August 12, 2011

I am loved

“I like not only to be loved, but to be told I am loved.” ~T.S. Elliot

If you are visiting today from Proverbs 31 Ministries, welcome friends! So glad you're here.

Not long ago, I was strolling the coffee menu at a local shop with my eyes. She nearly missed my line of sight. Red buttons clicked and clattered for release from their basket she held. Their ransom from captivity was paid in a story shared by the woman holding their prison.

Cold metal buttons and her words bestowed truth.

"He waded in gloomy belief he was unlovable. Until one day he scooped up his courage. He asked her on a date. Days, months, a year passed. He kept asking. She kept saying yes.

Yet lingering in the dark places of his heart was the fear he wasn't loveable. Until... Until he asked her to marry him. And. She. Said. Yes.

He ran into the streets. He shouted from the rooftops. He beamed,

'I am loveable. I. AM. LOVED.'"

So pleased was he, he had buttons made to share the good news!

He was Barnett Helzberg Jr., president of Helzberg Diamonds. Riches dripped. Gold oozed. Diamonds literally fell from his fingers. Yet without knowledge, sure knowledge he was loveable, he was unsatisfied, unwhole, uncomplete.

Love is a quirky thing. Our hearts crave it. Need it. Engineered to respond to it. Yet often we shun it. Scorn it. Refuse or hide from it when it's offered. Why?

I think it's a defense. Have you been told or felt you are not worth loving? Perhaps your dad abandoned his parental duty to love you. Your husband broke his vow to love only you. A best friend cast venom on sisterly love.

Maybe your weight, your singleness, your friendlessness, your {fill in the blank} casts a chilly shadow void of warm love. Doors of your heart shut and you think, "I won't be that vulnerable to love ever again."

Mr. Helzberg's story is sweet, but he remained in the cold lies if he did not embrace the truth of One Love. We do too.

Our heart must accept what our mind knows: No matter what you've done... or what's been done to you... You are loveable because Love called your name before you was born. Love delicately formed you in your mother's womb. Love left His throne for a cross. Love lifted the stone and the curse and you from the pit.Why?

Because He loves you. Because you are loveable.
Because He says so, He thinks so, He feels so.

Friend, my driver's side visor is pinned with this truth, "I am loved." A reminder wherever I go: I am loveable. A reminder for anyone who journeys in my passenger seat. But an invisible reminder written on my heart is more precious, more valuable, more eternal. It's the very Word of God. Can I encourage you... will you do something for me, for you, this month?

To enter to win A Confident Heart by Renee Swope, leave a comment with a story of how God has shown you His love. Please make sure to leave your email address. Thanks!

Will you post a note that says, "I am loved" in your car or home or office? And then, will you write one of these verses per week on the tablet of your heart? You are loveable. But don't take my word for it...Take His.

Week 1: Jeremiah 31:3, The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: 'I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.'

Week 2: Psalm 86:12-13, I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths.

Week 3: Psalm 94:18-19, When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Week 4: Numbers 14:18, The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion.

Thanks again for joining us! We've been jumping off the train of negative thoughts. Care to join us? Catch up by clicking here...

xoxo, Sam

p.s. you can pick up a free "I am Loved" pin at Helzberg stores. AND you can order 3 free "You are Loved" pins here!