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God loves you

Today’s Headlines

This morning, I took a brief glance at the headlines from around the world and this is what I saw…

  • S.C. Woman Sentenced After Authorities Say She Put Her Newborn in the Refrigerator and He Died.
  • Missing Girls Found in Utah Storage Unit as Alleged Self-Proclaimed ‘Prophet’ Is Charged.
  • Recap: 58 Killed, 527 Injured at Jason Aldean’s Las Vegas Concert — Deadliest Mass Shooting in U.S. History.
  • Bomb kills 8 in Syria, IS claims attack.
  • Myanmar Forces May Be Guilty of Genocide Against Rohingya, U.N. Says.

As I switched computer screens to begin writing, these headlines still rattling through my mind, I asked God, “What do you want me to tell them today?” He said, “Tell them I love them,” and immediately a Bible verse came to mind.

Look Familiar?

For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

I know of no other Bible verse that says it so plainly. This might be the most recognized scripture in the world being seen in sports arenas and on billboards, but let’s not rush past its familiar, yet timely words.

First, what is this verse NOT saying? It’s not saying for God so loved church-goers or only those who haven’t done anything wrong. Look at it again. Who did He love? The WORLD. Wow! Did He not see those headlines?

This verse says He loved the world knowing it was filled with hate, murder, and war. He loved a world that included child abusers, sexual predators, and killers. That doesn’t mean He approved of their evil ways, but that He loved the people and made a way for them to be free from their sin. If God loved those people enough to send His Son, don’t you think He could love you, too?

No Matter What You’ve Done

Do you believe it? No really, do you truly and honestly, with all your mind and heart believe that God loves you? That He loves you right now no matter what you’ve done or what your past looks like, despite all your mistakes, weaknesses, and failures?

Want Proof That God Loves You?

There’s no wrong you can commit that will ever change the fact that God’s love sent Jesus to die for you. Want proof? Look at how Jesus responded to this woman.

Caught Red-Handed

John 8:1-11 is a story about a man and woman caught red-handed having sex. The problem: She was married to another man. The so-called religious leaders drug her into the temple courts, making her stand in front of the people gathered there. Then they addressed Jesus saying, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”

Here is the perfect opportunity for Jesus to say, “That’s a terrible sin. I only came to save those who live right.” Or he could have said, “I’m going to die later but only for perfect people, so go ahead and kill her. Who cares about an adulterer?”

Nope, Here’s What He Really Said.

“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” So of course, the religious hypocrites left one by one until all her accusers were gone. Jesus asked, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

This woman was cheating on her husband and yet Jesus still loved her. She was told to stop sinning because Jesus knew it was destroying her life, but he never once looked at her with disgust. There was only love in his eyes as he treated her with dignity and offered her a better way to live.

The Sentence Handed Down

There’s no denying the fact that this adulterous woman was caught and found guilty. The first part of Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death and in ancient times, the sentence for adultery was death by stoning. So why didn’t Jesus allow them to stone her? Read the rest of verse 23.

For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Jesus didn’t let them kill her because he came to be killed in her place. God so loved this adulterous woman that He sent His one and only Son to take her punishment. If Jesus did it for her, he did it for you.

The question now is what to do with all of this. Maybe you already believe in Jesus, but somewhere along life’s road, the guilt of your past caused you to think God is still mad at you. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to carry that guilt any longer. Whatever you’ve done or didn’t do, Jesus has already paid for it. Confess it to your Heavenly Father and come back up into His arms of mercy.

Or maybe you’re the woman in our story. You’ve done terrible things and can’t see how anyone, especially God, could love you. If so, He sent me to tell you…He adores you!! He wants to love on you, treat you with dignity, and give you a better life than the one you’ve got. What do you have to do to get it?

Believe John 3:16

Allow me to substitute a few words…

For God so loved you that He gave his one and only Son
that if you’ll believe in him, you won’t perish but will have eternal life.

For God so loved the world that He sent His Son to die…for you! That proves He loves you! If you’ll believe this, then you can be adopted into God’s family. He’ll send His Spirit to connect with your spirit so you can have a personal relationship with Him. His Spirit will give you wisdom teaching you how to live a better way. Talk to God daily, ask your questions, share your thoughts and fears, and then wait to hear what He says. Get involved with other believers and study God’s Word together. Before long, you’ll look back and realize how much your life has changed and you’ll want to tell others about God. That’s what it means to be a Christian, loving God and loving others enough to tell them about Him.

Let me know you believe, so I can pray for you and then, share this post with others who need to know God loves them.

To read how I became a believer, read My Story of how God saved me from ending my own life.

Your Loss Can Become An Amazing Thing

Overcoming loss

If You Bring It To God

On October 11 in my daily devotional,* there is a poem about evaluating our lives. It reads,

Measure your life by loss and not by gain,
Not by the wine drunk but by the wine poured forth.
For love’s strength is found in love’s sacrifice,
And he who suffers most has most to give.

Wow, this is so deep when we take a moment to measure our losses compared to our gains. Answering these questions, let’s think about where we’ve grown the most emotionally and spiritually.

  • Which taught us the greatest lessons?
  • What produced the most intense closeness with God?
  • Which built our level of faith to trust God during a future loss?
  • Did loss or gain increase our compassion for others?

Gain Is Short-Lived

Financial or material gains give joy only for a brief moment. I think about my house. God allows me to live in the most lovely cottage-style home. It’s a one-bedroom packed with everything we need to live comfortably. I love it, but I could seriously move tomorrow and be okay because material possessions don’t give me the greatest joy. The happiness of a new home is short-lived as the new wears off. The daily grind of keeping it maintained and clean scrubs off some of that initial glee. We’re left with an emptiness that only something new can fill up for another brief moment. That’s why we buy so many things. We see something we want…we get it…then we see something else. It’s a veracious hunger that can never be satisfied.

Then I think about my health. Being healthy is a huge gain. I cherish every day that I can walk, talk, and function without sickness or pain, but health can be a very fleeting thing. One day you’re fine and the next day you could receive a devastating diagnosis. At the age of 60 at the time of this writing, I’m on the downward slide toward the end of this earthly life. Health issues are inevitable in some form or fashion as our bodies wear out. If the measure of life is contingent on good health, we could be in big trouble, but never fear, that moves us into the loss category.

Loss Can Produce Amazing Things

I’ve suffered some pretty hard losses in life. When dealt with on my own, I was only left with bitterness, anger, and unanswered questions of why it happened. Once I started taking my heartache and loss to my loving Heavenly Father, He did what only He can do. He turned the loss into an amazing thing.

The Loss Of Health

Loss of health taught me the power of our Creator God. Due to an arm injury, I prayed and clung to God’s promise of divine health. I had no health insurance and no money to pay for doctors. Over several months, I stretched my faith for healing and the pain slowly decreased and full range of motion was completely restored. Whether it was a prayer answered or a miraculous body created by Him to heal itself, my faith in God grew substantially. Several years later, I developed gallbladder issues and because of the previous healing of my arm, I chose to trust in God to heal rather than have surgery. I still have my gallbladder and even bigger faith.

The Loss of A Marriage

During marriage troubles and subsequent divorce, I grew so close to the Lord that I couldn’t take a breath without feeling His love wrapped around me. Because I spent time with Him every morning and before I went to sleep, His peace filled my heart throughout the day. He spoke comfort and wisdom through scripture, devotionals, and books. Even though it was a season of great sadness and sorrow, I look back on that time as one of the greatest moments in my life. It was like God left heaven to come stay with me for a while; His presence was so real. Our relationship became amazingly close as I climbed up in his lap and trusted Him with every aspect of my life.

Financial Loss

In the midst of financial difficulty, I learned how faithful God is to provide our needs. Still to this day, I don’t know how all of my bills got paid. Checks came in the mail, people handed me money that I knew didn’t have it to give. I would lay out my bills on the table and ask God how to pay them. He provided steady work at just the right time and extra work when it was needed. I did the possible and God did the impossible. My level of financial faith grew tremendously.

God’s Word literally came alive in a personal way as I applied scriptures like:

I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken (Psalm 55:22).

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy…(Psalm 30:11).

Intentional Loss

There is another kind of loss that if chosen brings great growth in our emotions and spirits. We can choose to lose part of our day by meeting a friend who needs a listening ear. We can choose to sacrifice that new pair of shoes in order to help someone in need. There are millions of ways to intentionally choose to lose something we value in order to be a blessing to those around us. There is creative work in being a cheerful giver that brings cheer into our lives. God blesses us to be a blessing.

Suffering Produces Compassion

During times of loss, we generally seek out people who have been through the same thing…because who knows better than them what we are going through. If we suffer with cancer, we draw strength from those who have survived their own. At the time of my divorce, I read a book by another divorced Christian woman.** Her story of restoration and emotional healing helped give me the courage to walk through the trial with confidence. Now I have a much higher level of compassion for people who are going through what I’ve been through. In 1 Corinthians 1:3-4, it says:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

God wants to use our loss to increase our compassion so that we can encourage and strengthen others.

Bringing It To God

Loss will only damage our minds and spirits unless we lay it down at God’s feet. Only then can God transform loss and turn it into amazing things. If you are dealing with loss that wasn’t of your choosing, I highly recommend spending time with your Heavenly Father who cares for you greatly! Only He can take what the devil and others meant for harm and turn it for your good. I can’t explain why or how it happens, it just does!

If you intentionally choose the loss of your time, finances, or anything else sacrificial and unselfish, God won’t only give you more to give, but you’ll find lingering joy in the giving.

I’ve learned more lessons, grown deeper in love with God, and developed greater faith and compassion as a result of life’s bruises. My life is immeasurably richer and filled with amazing things since I’ve allowed God to use my suffering to help others. He has blessed me with more gains than I deserve and I’m very grateful, but I wouldn’t trade the losses for all the tea in China!

Until next time,


* Cowman, Charles E., and James Reimann. “October 11.” Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings, Zondervan, 2013, pp. 384–384.

** Thomas, Angela. A Beautiful Offering: Returning God’s Love With Your Life. Thomas Nelson Inc., 2006.

The Three Biggest Temptations, Part 3

Wilderness temptations

Wilderness Experience

This is Part 3 of a 3-part series in which I describe the 3 biggest temptations used by the devil to shake our faith. If you haven’t read Part 1 and 2, you can begin reading them at The Three Biggest Temptations, Part 1.

Finishing up our series, we are drawing wisdom from Matthew 4:1-11 from Jesus’ own wilderness experience.

Looking Back For Just A Minute

Falling for the first temptation is to believe we’re only physical beings; that there isn’t a spiritual side to our lives. The devil tries to convince us to forget God and do things on our own. If that doesn’t work, then the 2nd temptation tries to get us to doubt God and His Word. Will God really take care of us? Can His Word be trusted? When we still don’t fall, the devil moves to his final temptation.

Read more

The Three Biggest Temptations, Part 2

Wilderness temptations

Wilderness Experience

This is Part 2 of a 3-part series in which I describe the 3 biggest temptations used by the devil to shake our faith. If you haven’t read Part 1, you can read the introduction and about the first temptation at The Three Biggest Temptations, Part 1. Continuing our series, we are drawing wisdom from Matthew 4:1-11 from Jesus’ own wilderness experience.

Looking Back For Just A Minute

Boy, could you relate to the first temptation to do things on your own and forget you need God? I sure could. I’m a fixer by nature and when I see a problem, I do my level best to fix it. Furrowing my brow, I put on my “I can do this by myself” cap, and try solving the issue. It’s not until after discovering another stress wrinkle and developing a headache that I realize I can’t fix it. I remember once again how much I need God in my life and so, I say sorry and ask for His solution.

Read more

The Three Biggest Temptations, Part 1

Wilderness temptations

Wilderness Experience

We all want to do great things for God. As Christians, our deepest desire should be to tell others about Him, to reach those who don’t yet know Him as Lord and Savior. But before God can fully trust us with this task, we must be tested. Jesus came to earth to accomplish the greatest mission in history; he came to die so we could inherit heaven, but even the Son of God had to be tested. In this 3-part series, I will describe the 3 biggest temptations used by the devil to knock us off our mission. Drawing wisdom from Matthew 4:1-11, we can learn from Jesus’ own wilderness experience.

Adam Failed His Test

To understand Matthew 4, we must travel back to Genesis 2 where God gave the first man, Adam, his mission.

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Is Christ’s Body Missing Parts?

Spiritual Gifts
Disclaimer: This post is about my personal journey to live out a spine-tingling spiritual life. I’ve diligently searched scripture regarding spiritual gifts. I’ve made a determination of belief based on what was written in the Bible and not on what is or is not happening in our world today. 

Cessation vs Continuation

Depending on what church you attend probably determines your belief about spiritual gifts. If you attend a cessation church, you might believe that some, if not all spiritual gifts have ceased. You would say that tongues, healings, and miracles were for the establishment of the early church and are no longer needed. However, if you attend a continuation church, you most likely believe all the gifts are active, desperately needed, and still given by the Holy Spirit to the body of Christ.

Now, I’m a bit more complicated.

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