Showing posts with label God's love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God's love. Show all posts

Wednesday

I Love Butterflies - A Dose of Encouragement


Where do I begin?


I cannot remember when I was not interested in something which had a butterfly on it.



Most people who know me well will be able to tell you that

 I love Butterflies.







I have Butterfly 

     necklaces,    rings,    scarves     &    brooches

 - not sure how many I have but because of these items many people know I love butterflies 


Over the years my family have bought me scarves, vases, bags and necklaces at Christmas time all decorated with butterflies.


Even the Ladies who came to the International Christian Club of Brussels knew I loved them as I was often found with a butterfly brooch pinned to my jacket.
When I was leaving Belgium to return to live in Northern Ireland I was given a lovely white lace Butterfly brooch from one of these ladies as leaving gift.



Isn't it beautiful?




My daughter even had a mug specially printed for me with butterflies on it for my Birthday one year and I featured it in a humorous blog post called 3 More Coffee Mugs








I have bought myself bags with butterfly designs, clothes with butterflies & room decorations with butterflies.








Then there was the time Fred and I spent a lovely afternoon in our home in Belgium taking pictures of the butterflies that were on a bush just outside our lounge window -  I was going to miss the Butterflies






It just makes me smile to see butterflies around the house and in our garden with our Buddleia (butterfly) bush here in Northern Ireland too and we manage to get some nice pictures of the bush in full bloom




 with butterflies around it each summer.









Why do I love Butterflies?

Because they are beautiful, intricately patterned, delicate creatures.

They are also a great reminder of new birth in that they start as caterpillars and turn into beautiful butterflies.

Just like I was once a person marred by my sin and through God's Love and the Grace of Jesus I was able to experience a new birth and share Christ's beauty.

I love to share about the butterfly in Kids Work that I would do to explain to the children that God offers them a new life in Jesus through His blood because of His Love for them.

Children hear that Jesus died on the cross but they need to know that He did this for them individually and that His beauty can become their beauty.  They need to know that he didn't stay dead but rose again and is still alive today so that they can know He talks to God about them and shares in all their feelings.

Children need to feel loved and secure above all else and Jesus wants them to accept His love and assurance that He will never leave them.


But you and I need to know exactly the same thing.


There is something very important that we all need to know.


You and I need to know we are loved and that we are safe and that there is a God planned future for us.

You and I need to experience this new birth and know that we can be beautiful in the eyes of our creator because of His Son.


There is one last Butterfly I would like to share with you today




This Butterfly sits on the Vanity Unit in our ensuite and I see it every day at the start of my day and the end of my day.


I believe in miracles.

Do you?


The Butterfly is an example of a miracle in that it changes from an ugly creature to a beautiful one.

Can you believe in Jesus and experience Him work this miracle in your life too?












Friday

10 Songs about God's Love








This month I had been taking the Theme of Love for many of my posts on the blog so at the same time Fred and I were doing some Facebook Lives on                                Sandra's Ark Facebook Page and Apostolic Worship Facebook Page


We took a Hymn or Song based on Love on 5 different nights to encourage the listeners and to those each night we added either a kids song or a short chorus all of course still around the Love of God. 








So I thought I would also briefly mention something about each hymn or song here

 and

 share the recordings with you all.



1.  I Stand Amazed in the Presence 

Such an old well-known hymn to start us off talking about the Marvellous and Wonderful Love of God.

To this first evening we included 


2.  Jesus Loves Me This I Know


Another old well-known song for kids but let's face it we all still love to sing it.

So why join in with us for these 2 in this video. 






3.  When I think about God's Love


Not an old well-known hymn this time but a newer song written by my husband Fred over a year ago which have used in worship in church several times.
Based on John 3 v 16

To this evening we included a short chorus which was written by a pastor in our denomination many years ago Ps. Hugh Mitchell and you can enjoy them both in this video


 



4.  Thy Lovingkindness is Better than Life


This is the short chorus that was included in the second evening above but we also recorded it in another video to use for helping people to memorize scripture so you may find it helpful for learning Psalm 63 v 3 where we read that His Lovingkindness is better than life.







5.  Love Divine All Loves Excelling


On our third evening we took another well-known old hymn that we often hear at weddings, this was in fact a request from a friend of ours.

To this evening we included 



6.  Love One Another Like Sister and Brother


A kids song I have done at many Kids clubs and Sunday schools. 

You can hear both in this video.






7.  God So Loved


Our fourth evening took us back to another song relating to John 3 v 16 which is another newer song which we have learned recently and were just about to introduce it to our church. 

This time we then went on to cover an old well-known chorus based on 
Lamentations 3 v 22-23
 


8.  The Steadfast Love of the Lord Never Ceases


You can learn that new one and sing along with the old one here.






9.  And Can It Be


Our last evening took us back to another old hymn which will ever tell of the great Love of God.

To finish this evening and the week of 10 Songs about God's Love we included another short chorus which is taken straight from the scriptures in 1 John 3 v 1



 



 10.  Behold What Manner of Love


This was another song we had recorded previously to help people to memorise scripture and you can see that video here.






All of the videos included in this post are available on You Tube at

 Apostolic Worship (God's Love Playlist)  

or











Wednesday

10 Bible Verses of Encouragement about Love



We all need encouragement and the best place to go is to the Bible.

In this blog post I have tried to gather some Bible passages or Bible verses which will encourage us all around the topic of God's Love.








I do believe that we should not just grab a verse and read it on its own but we should always lift our bibles and read a passage of scripture to make sure that we know the real meaning and context of each of the verses we are putting our trust in. 

I pray that you will do the same and only use this list to guide you as to where you may find help.



So here are 10 Bible verses or short passages for us to turn to in times when we need to be encouraged about Love 




1.   Zephaniah 3 v 17    

Perhaps this is the first thing we need to let God do

-  quiet us with His love

Calmness.








2.   Deuteronomy 6 v 5



God instructed His people about loving HIM from the beginning.







And God has not changed so His Word to us does not change.




3.   Leviticus 19 v 18


God also instructed His people about loving OTHERS from the beginning


"You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord."


Yes it's not just a command in the New Testament.





4.   John 13 v 34



God's love may be for us but we have to remember that God does not expect us just to receive His love and keep it to ourselves.

God loves us because He is Love but He also loves us so that we can love others and in fact it is a command.



5.   John 3 v 16 

Always considered a verse about Salvation but it is also one of the best verses to show us this great love of God





the Love that caused everything else to be and gave us the only way to become His children




6.   1 John 4 v 18 





The only perfect love is the love of God and fear cannot exist where that perfect love is.    






7.   1 Chronicles 16 v 34

What have we got the example of from way back in the Old Testament?






To give thanks to God for His goodness which is the result of His everlasting Love.





8.   Proverbs 10 v 12

There is always wisdom to be learned in the book of Proverbs.








The Love of God led to the death of Jesus for our sins against the hate the enemy has towards God and us.

Let us remember that we can show God's Love instead of hate to all people. 






9.   Psalm 36 v 7







It is important that we realise, understand, acknowledge, and be thankful for His great love - it will help us to trust in Him more.











10.   1 Corinthians 16 v 14


 

 


What better way to finish than by remembering this admonition by the Apostle Paul at the end of his first letter to the Church at Corinth.












Thankfulness & Happiness go Hand in Hand - A Dose of Encouragement








When you think of Thankfulness what comes to your mind?



When you think of Happiness what comes to your mind?








When my husband and I think of thankfulness we often talk of God's protection over the years.         

       One winter Sunday evening we were driving home on the same road on which we then travelled twice every Sunday to go from our home in Banbridge to the church we attended in Lurgan. The drive takes 20/25 mins depending on traffic but on Sunday evenings there is normally very little traffic on that road.


        A certain section of the road has a few quite significant dips so that as you drive up towards one of these you have no real view ahead and the road is clearly signed to tell drivers about this in advance. So as we drove along in the dark around 8.30pm and came to the slight brow of a hill before one of these dips we suddenly saw several lights of cars coming towards us but as well as this we saw a set of lights coming towards us on our side of the road. 


       This is a country road with a very narrow footpath and hedges or walls etc. so usually no room to manoeuvre. A large lorry (truck for my American friends) was trying to overtake 3 or 4 cars and was still on the wrong side of the road; he had obviously ignored the signs about the dips in the road and also the road markings which clearly showed that no overtaking was allowed on that stretch of road.


        The only thing my husband Fred could do was to swerve in to the side of the road as the lorry tried to cut back into his proper side in front of the lead car. Up until then there had been no break in the narrow footpath but at the exact place that we had to cut in there was a gap in the footpath and in the hedge because there was an entrance to something there. 

Just enough room for our car to get in out of the way as the lorry skimmed past us.


Obviously God had brought us to the right spot at the right time

 and saved our lives.



There are big things in our lives that can cause us to be thankful & happy like this time 
and the other times He has protected us in the car. 

 You can read about these occasions at:
4 Accidents and a ????  (pt1)
4 Accidents and a ????  (pt2)
4 Accidents and a ????  (pt3)
4 Accidents and a ????  (pt4)
4 Accidents and a ????  (pt5)



But there are also the other smaller things everyday that we sometimes forget to be happy about. 

We have had several times when we have been thankful to God because of his hand of protection but so many other times we forget to be thankful for the things that make us happy.  Most of us will have something each day which makes us happy but often we forget to thank God for that (however small) thing He has provided in our life.




Then also we often forget to thank others who in some big or small way help us out.

One example is the time I was happy to have been able to help someone I only knew online, with somethings that I used to have to ask others to help me with.






Isn't that nice that Caroline acknowledged the help I had given her, she didn't need to do that, but thankyous are always appreciated.


Then there are the friends that you make that no matter what happens throughout the years you know they will always be your friends.  The ones who know you for who you really are.  Such a gift to be thankful for.








Who or what are you thankful for & happy about today?


So many times we are drawn to think on the more unpleasant things in life which lead to unhappiness and they can keep us from being thankful for anything when we are in that frame of mind.  






What can we do to keep the right frame of mind and not get into that attitude that can get worse and worse as we dwell on the hurts and unpleasantness caused by others?





 

We can remember that God has not promised us that everything will always be perfect for us, that every day will not be full of happy events, that many days will bring upon us the more unpleasant things in this imperfect world.

 

One of the saddest times in my life was when I miscarried my first pregnancy.

All those years ago most people did not know what to say or how to comfort someone but God sent me someone – not a particularly close friend, not someone who had gone through a similar experience, not someone who was even married.

He sent me someone who simply said they were sorry about what had happened and were praying for me and then they gave me a card with a little poem.  Somehow that card got lost – I just don’t know how or when but then one day I saw the same poem

 




I bought this box and it sits in my study now (empty) but it reminds me to be thankful and happy that God will care for me through the worst of times.


Memories of times when we proved God's comfort and love are GOOD! 




God’s word also reminds us that: 
  • God’s love to us never ends.
  • God’s mercy to us never ends.
  • God’s faithfulness to us never ends.







So let's not forget that:
  • God has promised to be with us at all times, the best and the worst.
  • God has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us in all our days.
  • God is still with us even when we don’t feel we are close to Him.
  • God is still demonstrating His love even if we are not looking for it.









A Hug is a Great Gift - A Dose of Encouragement


I have lots of pictures and other things that I always intended to put up on the walls of our home.







Of course we have had several homes in different countries and yes some of these items have been seen at some time to be on some of those walls.

There are many that have only once or twice been given a space on one of our walls and some that have never been up on any wall.

For quite a few years there were some that I intended to get up on the walls but there was always something else to do or we would say "what is going where" and not make up our minds but sometimes it was Fred saying "I don't feel like getting out the big electric drill" but when we got the Takker there was no further excuse as it was so easy to use and we started putting up things in different rooms like the Guest room our Ensuite and our bedroom.

So now in our bedroom there is an item that was also in the bedroom of our last home in Belgium, it is a wooden wall hanging in the shape of an angel which also has a little phrase that starts with the words of the title of this blog post.






A hug is a great gift
one size fits all
and it's easy to exchange.









Yes I do believe that a hug is a great gift from one person to another.



Who do we hug?

Our families






Our close friends






People that we have not seen for a long time.






Perhaps like us you hug many people at your church as a general greeting each Sunday.



And then there are the hugs that are for that special someone in your life, the one you share everything with, the one who cares in the good times and in the bad - the love of your life.






Have you ever thought about how a hug is given or received 
and the difference it might make to someone.



Here are a few examples of when a hug was given or not given in the last few weeks.


  • With one person I was hugged one day and then not the next time - in fact the person shook my hand instead.  This left me questioning my husband as to what could have happened between those two greetings (only a few days apart). 
  • With another person it was a hug to say I still love you and please don't misinterpret something that is going to happen but you don't know about it yet.
  • With another it was an I have missed you hug with someone we do not see on a weekly basis any more but we do miss them.




What are the results of these types of hugs?


  • Well the first one has still left me wondering what caused the difference in the way I was greeted and a bit of concern over how that person may be viewing me at this moment.
  • The second immediately resulted in my asking if the person wanted or needed to talk to me but were holding back and this was indeed the case and after a short conversation everything was fine again.
  • The third one resulted in two smiling faces mine and their's and a lovely chat.  The rest is still to be seen but I'm praying that this one will result in this person returning to church where they will have more support for the future.



Then of course there are the hugs between my husband Fred and I which can mean all manner of things ranging from I hope you feel better soon to I just love being with you to I really missed you when you were away travelling on work this week.



Every hug should express something!

I think that every hug should mean something and we should not just hug someone because it may look like the right thing to do.  We should have some feeling of care or concern or love for a person and that's what should be shown in a hug.


We should be letting each other know that we love them with the love of the Lord, and through us His love should be evident.

That song comes into my mind perhaps you know it too



God loves you and I love you
and that's the way it should be



and of course John 13 v 34





They say a picture paints a thousand words.



I think a hug expresses a great gift of love and care 
so we should use it to encourage and bless others.