God · Jesus · love

Let Your Love Shine!

“Romans 12:9-21 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

http://olivetree.com/b1/Rom.12.9-21.ESV

This is one of my very favorite passages in the bible. (I think, even if you’re not a Christian, this is good advice.) We live in a mean world where people are killed, maimed, raped, degraded, debased, and ignored every single day. Perhaps you feel as though you’re not ever seen or thought of by others, but, you are! Every single day people see you and get an impression of who you are and what you believe through your actions, attitude, and even facial expression. Now, here’s my question for you. If today was your last day on earth and it was the last time your family, friends and even strangers were to see you, what would you want them to see and remember forever? Every person’s answer will be different, but I will tell you what I want people to see in me. I want people to see a positive influence, a sweet smile, a loving touch, a person generous with love, comfort, helpfulness and maybe even a little colorful zaniness that makes them laugh for a moment. I want to be a person who, even if for just one minute, helps others forget all the meanness in the world. I want them to see someone who leaves them with hope, love, peace and a sense of “they matter.” I want them to see God’s love through my actions.

God loves EVERYONE, not just Christians, people like us, people in our political party or of our sexual orientation or ethnicity. GOD LOVES EVERYONE. His son, Jesus, revealed that love in everything he said and did every day of his ministry. Jesus revealed his love for us through the awful torture he willingly endured on that Friday thousands of years ago, and through rising from the dead on the third day. That’s what real love looks like! If God is love and we claim to love God, our mission every day becomes bigger than how we want people to see us or remember us. Our mission is to show God in everything we do. If we follow the instructions from Romans 12:9-21, we will be showing people God. God who is love, love and more love. So, the next time you see or meet someone, whether they be people like you or people completely different from you, show some love, even if only through your smiling eyes. I know this is a rather preachy post, but I say all these things out of love. Love is something special only if you give it away. I promise you, you’ll end having more love than you could ever imagine. You can start giving away love by following the instructions of Romans 12: 9-21.

 I’ll hush now before your eyes glaze over. I love all of you very much and pray that you have a blessed Easter weekend!

Elaine 

 This is a photo I took this morning just before dawn. Even though it was cold, snowy and mostly dark, look at what was shining through!  
   

God · Quiet · Slowing Down

Light and Life

Holy God, you have shown me light and life,

You are stronger than any natural power.

Accept the words from my heart

That struggle to reach you.

Accept the silent thoughts and feelings

That are offered to you.

Clear my mind of the clutter of useless facts.

Bend down to me, and lift me in your arms.

Make me holy as you are holy.

Give me a voice to sing of your love to others. 

Ancient Christian prayer, written on papyrus

Quoted from the book, “Simple Prayers & Blessings,” Margaret Anne Huffman & Gary Wilde, 1999, p. 292

  

God · love

Love One Another…

You know what I think is really neat? When you’re reading a book and then you go to church and get a re-emphasis of the message from the book? I’m reading “The Shack” again after several years since first reading it. (Excellent, excellent book by William Paul Young.) I was reading it this morning and had a hard time tearing myself away from it to get ready for church. I go to church at Sunnyside Christian and nearly everything Eric Batteiger said this morning emphasized what I had been reading about that morning!! So cool!
God loves us! He wants us to be in a relationship with him. He IS love and he wants us to love others and be in relationship with others too. God is the compass. If we’re lost and don’t know what to do or where to go next in life, look to God and he will show you the way…with love! There is no place so deep or so dark that God can’t find you and point you to the way out.
GOD IS LOVE!! If he’s all about love, then what in the world is going on where all we hear about on the news is hatred, meanness, attacking one another for being different from us, for just being sometimes? We need to get back to love, respect, and decency people! We’re all different, but that’s what makes life so amazing! Wouldn’t it be boring if we were all just alike, all believed the exact same things, said the same things, did the same things? 
I don’t want to live in a world like that, do you? Please, give each other the benefit of the doubt and respond first with respect and love. You’ll be amazed at what happens next!

  

Beauty · God · Nature

Dawn at the House

   
 
Dawn at the Lane House,

in the early morning light,

the flowers glow like sunshine,

and are such a pretty sight.
In the background are

the mountains,

where leaves will

start to turn,

the season is changing,

as the sunshine slowly burns.
These flowers were

just a wilderness,

two or three weeks ago,

and now they’ve bloomed to beauty,

and are worth more than

silver or gold.
© Elaine Wood-Lane

9/16/15
Sometimes the greatest beauty comes from the wildest, most unmanageable things in our lives. These sunflowers were a total mess about a month ago, taking over everything in the front flower beds and yard. We couldn’t even open our back gate on the south side of the yard because these plants had grown so wild, tall, and heavy. So I cleaned up the yard, chopped down some of the sunflower, mint, and purple thistle as well as some wild ash seedlings. Now, just a few weeks later, I don’t care if the entire yard is covered up with these sunflowers because they are beautiful, glowing, and cheerful. They seem like a message from God telling us that if He can turn a wild jungle mess into a beautiful sunflower garden, just imagine what He can do with us.

Isaiah 61:3

and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

I hope you have a wonderful day and, if God chooses to make you into a beautiful sunflower garden, don’t resist Him too much. He knows what He’s doing, all the time!
Peace and love,  Elaine

Beauty · God · Nature

Dawn at the House

Dawn at the Lane House,
in the early morning light,
the flowers glow like sunshine,
and are such a pretty sight.

In the background are
the mountains,
where leaves will
start to turn,
the season is changing,
as the sunshine slowly burns.

These flowers were
just a wilderness,
two or three weeks ago,
and now they’ve bloomed to beauty,
and are worth more than
silver or gold.

© Elaine Wood-Lane
9/16/15

Sometimes the greatest beauty comes from the wildest, most unmanageable things in our lives. These sunflowers were a total mess about a month ago, taking over everything in the front flower beds and yard. We couldn’t even open our back gate on the south side of the yard because these plants had grown so wild, tall, and heavy. So I cleaned up the yard, chopped down some of the sunflower, mint, and purple thistle as well as some wild ash seedlings. Now, just a few weeks later, I don’t care if the entire yard is covered up with these sunflowers because they are beautiful, glowing, and cheerful. They seem like a message from God telling us that if He can turn a wild jungle mess into a beautiful sunflower garden, just imagine what He can do with us.

I hope you have a wonderful day and, if God chooses to make you into a beautiful sunflower garden, don’t resist Him too much. He knows what He’s doing, all the time!

Peace and love,

Elaine