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


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. 


Smile God Loves You! Ephesians 5:2 - Sunday Scripture

This Sunday's Scripture on God's Love is Ephesians 5:2  

So many times when looking at a verse from Scripture I come back to these 
Question Words.





 In this verse we are exhorted to Walk in Love but the verse goes on to tell us how to do this 
by following the example of God's Love.

Who gives the example for us to follow?
Christ.   We have seen that He loves us.

How do we know He loves us?
He gave Himself in our place.

What did He become?
An offering for us to God, a sacrifice instead of us.

Why did He do that?
To make an aroma of fragrance for God to be able to enjoy.

Because of Jesus we can be a sweet fragrance unto God.

If God had not had such great love for us then Christ would not have loved us and there would have been no sacrifice to prepare our way back to God.

It all stems from God's Love to us.

There is no hope for us without God's Love for us.

Surely this should make us smile each day.

Smile God Loves You! Psalm 36:7 - Sunday Scripture

This Sunday's Scripture on God's Love is 

Psalm 36:7  

What type of Love?


Personal feel to it.
Worth a lot

What does this love offer us?


A hiding place

What can God's precious love offer us?

What should our reaction be?

Trust His Love

Recognise God's Love is the most Important Love
Believe He is giving us His Personal Love
Know there is nothing else like God's Love
Come into his care
Accept his kindness
Rest in his protection

Smile God Loves You!! Psalm 100:5 - Sunday Scripture

This Sunday's Scripture on God's Love is Psalm 100 v 5  

 One of the things that makes God Good is His Everlasting Love which is exactly what this verse talks about and then it leads on to His Faithfulness.

Look at the powerful words we see in this verse telling us about the Lord, His Goodness, Love and Faithfulness.

It tells us 2 things about this Love

  • it is steadfast  -  sure, dependable, unmovable, like an anchor
  • it endures -  lasts, strives, overcomes everything

Because of this great dependable love that overcomes everything God is faithful to all of us who come to Him.

What else could we ask for to feel (as the well known hymn states)

"safe and secure from all alarms"

The Love that makes God the True Faithful One.

Smile God Loves YOU! 1 John 3:1 - Sunday Scripture

This Sunday's Scripture on God's Love is  

1 John 3:1

John has often been referred to as the "Beloved Disciple" and last month we featured a verse about God's Love from the Gospel written by John -  John 3:16  you can read it HERE

Now this month we are starting with a verse from John's first Epistle another verse about God's Love.

This verse 1 John 3:1 tells us about the type of Love God has for us.

God is referred to here as the Father which immediately makes me think of a fatherly love which would obviously be a love that cares about our well-being and protection.

It also makes me think of a love that looks to the future and not just the present time because we expect our fathers to own the responsibility of always loving us and wanting our futures to be good.

God the Father has given us the greatest love because he has accepted us into His family as sons and daughters so we will experience His unconditional love that only He can give.

Being His son or daughter gives us great hope for the future because of His great love.

Parents are human and not perfect yet can love unconditionally.

God is divine and perfect yet He has chosen to make us His children 
and love us unconditionally and perfectly.

It reminds me of the the title of a hymn by Charles Wesley

"Love divine, all loves excelling"

God's Love excels all other love.
His love is far greater than any other love.

Of course I always like to make sure to take each verse in context as it was written so let's look briefly at 1 John 3:1-3

 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

If we have received His Salvation then we are His children and the world will treat us as it has treated Him but we have the assurance that He will pass on His characteristics to us and yes we have great hope for the future.

Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 136

Each Sunday I choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on it.

Today I'm looking at Psalm 136 

This Psalm falls into 5 parts:

V. 1-3

V. 4-9

V. 10-22

V. 23-25

V. 26

This Psalm starts and ends with two almost identical verses - verse 1 and verse 26

However they are each placed specifically at those important points.

We Start with God's Goodness

He is the God of gods and the Lord of lords.
 He is Good, He is Merciful and He is Love and His goodness, mercy and love will never end.
 How could we not be thankful?

He is full of wonder and creative power.
All that is on, above and around the earth was made by Him.

He provided our Salvation right from the start.
Our lives should be a witness to that.

He is the one who always sees, cares, and acts on behalf of His people.

Even though we have not seen Heaven or can properly understand Heaven we believe in God so we believe in Heaven because we know His love is not going to end.

The Psalm is a portrait of our lives with Him.

 How He is good to us and draws us 
through our knowledge of 
His Greatness, Salvation and Love 
to the culmination of a 
perfectly prepared for us by Him.

We end with Heaven.

This is a Psalm which some might say is simply repetitive.


this is really a Psalm of recognition on our part of how worthy God is to be praised 
over and over again.

This is a Psalm which uses the history of the world to highlight the Love of God
to His people


to lead us to 

the Eternal Hope we have in Heaven - our home with Him! 


The Goldfish from the Fair! - A Dose of Encouragement

Everyone in our family loves babies.

Everyone also loves cute little animals like small cuddly puppies, tortoises, ducklings 

Everyone loves other larger animals even if we each do have our distinct favourites. 


        we had never had a family pet!

Well before Fred & I got married I had always wanted a dog but Fred grew up on a farm and so his attitude was
        "a dog is a working animal!".

Then when the kids were young I was working as a Mathematics teacher and Fred's job meant he did a lot of travelling so it did not seem like a good idea to have a pet.

Yes you probably guessed it - I did not want to have to take all the responsibility for it and who would look after it during the day when we were all out at work and school!

Then we moved to live in America for 3 years and as we were moving we did talk about how it was a good thing that we had not had any pets.

So you will understand too that knowing we were only in the US for a few years we were not going to even consider having a pet there.
Not until we decided to take a day out to the State Fair - and we ended up coming home with not just one pet but 4.

Yes four Goldfish that the kids won at some event - I don't even remember what event now all these years later.

They were in a small plastic bag so on the way home we stopped off and got some fish food and then at home I let them use my large clear glass mixing bowl.

We set them on the table and just watched them swim around and around and said how cute they were and then gradually one by one we got bored watching and went on to making dinner etc.
We thought they should have a little something to eat too so sprinkled a little of their food into the bowl.

Of course when you have a pet you need a name but we needed 4 names - if there had been 5 goldfish we could have used our five names but because there were only 4 we decided to name them after the kids so the largest became Jonathan, the next largest became Daniel and the next became Linda leaving us with the smallest one whom we called Tiny - oh how imaginative we can be!!

So off to bed we went that night.

Down for breakfast in the morning and someone glanced at the bowl and we heard the cry

"one of the fish is just floating in the water"

We all looked into the bowl and true enough 3 were swimming around and 1 was just lying there - it was Tiny.

Now they definitely had all been ok the night before as that picture above shows, but overnight poor Tiny had died.

We felt very sad, we could not even look after a fish for one day!

Fred talked to the kids about how hot it had been at the fair and how the goldfish had been in that small plastic bag exposed to the sunlight for a long period of time and Tiny had been the smallest of the four so probably he had suffered the most from the heat on the water.

So we mourned the death of Tiny but at least it hadn't been Jonathan, Daniel or Linda.

Later that day we sprinkled a little food into the bowl again and every now and again we would look at the 3 goldfish swimming thinking how it must be boring to do that all the time.

Next morning at breakfast we realised that we had another death on our hands yes Goldfish Linda was now floating on top of the water.
The next day it was Daniel's turn to float and the following day it was Jonathan.

One after another our four pets had died - what kind of people were we!

All we could think of was the fact that we had not had them very long so the children had not got very "attached to them", thank goodness!

Well I want to encourage you that God is not like us.

Have you become a child of God?

Do you know that even from before you were born He has been "attached to you".

He is the one who Created you in the first place and He is the one who Loves you at all times.

God knows you better than anyone else does.

We found out some time later that we had fed the goldfish too often.

Although we had got the right food for them we had not fed them properly.

So if you feel smothered by others,

        or if you feel neglected by others,

                or if you feel like you are not sure where to turn at times

                        or if you feel that there is just too much to read in God's Word

                                or if you feel there are too many different people telling you what to do


Remember God is not like us

God knows the best way to look after you as part of His family.

God will feed you in the right way.
God will love you in the perfect way.
God will lead you in the way of righteousness.

God will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. We just have to give Him our lives and let Him lead us.

Yes!  God will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

Yes!  We just have to give Him our lives and let Him lead us.

I am thankful that God will not neglect us or kill us by accident as we did with the goldfish.

We are safe with God.


Christian Songs for Kids - Jesus' Love is Very Wonderful

Do you find it hard to get visuals and recordings for different kids songs?

I have always found this a problem so I am now sharing songs that I have used with children providing you with

(Powerpoint or Picture or details of how you can make one) 

(chords also available)

(mp3 or video to learn the song) 

Then if you would like to download the visual of the song there will be a link provided to my creation, or I will direct you to where else you can find it.   

This month I am taking the theme of

The Love of Jesus

The song I have chosen is 

Jesus' Love is Very Wonderful

I think this is another song that I first learnt through Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) which means I have been singing this one for around 40 years.

Kids love to do the actions for this one as it involves clapping and big arm movements.
Another thing we like to do is sing it a few times and then on the last time really speed it up.

Another great teaching tool for explaining to the children that there is nothing that cannot be encompassed by the love of Jesus.


To Download a copy of this visual for printing on  A4 Card  or  Letter size 




Jesus' Love is very wonderful
Jesus' Love is very wonderful
Jesus' Love is very wonderful
Oh Wonderful Love

It's so high you can't get over it
So low you can't get under it
So wide you can't get round it
Oh Wonderful Love

To Download a copy of these words with chords for guitar and piano 



Jesus' love is very wonderful -  clapping in time to the music
Oh Wonderful Love   -  clapping in time to the music

It's so high you can't get over it  -  Point up repeatedly in time to the music with both hands, arms raised high
So low you can't get under it  -  Reach down and use an underneath motion with both hands repeatedly in time to the music
So wide you can't get around it   -  Swing arms out wide repeatedly in time to the music (making sure that the children are apart enough not to hit each other)
Oh Wonderful Love   -  clapping in time to the music




I believe the Words are by H. W. Rattle but the composer is unknown.

It is copyrighted by Scripture Union
More information can be found HERE

I Hope you enjoy the song and this is a help to you.