Posts Tagged: love

Conviction Overturned by Love

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3;16

Turning My Page: Conviction Overturned by Love

Conviction certain,
I trembled as the sentence was pronounced.
The death penalty was on the table.
“Overturned by my Love!”
A collective gasp, some shouted praise.
Others cursed this Judge who lets sinners
go unpunished. I went to my knees grateful.

 

Turning Your Page

When was the last time you hurt another person, lied, stole, shirked responsibility, but instead of receiving what you deserved the offended party extended grace? Did you experience relief? Did you rush out to tell everyone about the turn of events? Did you quietly savor freedom? There isn’t a single one of us who hasn’t wronged another person. In a time when there is a lot of side picking and pointing fingers, grace, love, and forgiveness may feel like foreign words. We seem so eager to condemn one another. But God set up from the moment we fell a way for redemption.

Jesus addressed both our sin and the proper way to address sin when the woman caught in adultery was brought before him for judgment:

And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

John 8:7,9-11 ESV

This woman probably went away living and loving others differently.

Anyone who experiences a conviction overturned by unconditional love is bound to be confronted by both their worth and the drastic damage of the sin patterns in their lives. When the future apostle, Peter,  encountered the filling of his empty boat of fish, he fell to his knees and cried out, “Depart from me, I am a sinful man.” Encountering the unmerited love of Christ changes us. If you have experienced undeserved grace, forgiveness, or someone else took your punishment, spend some time journaling on the experience.

  • What was your response to unmerited grace?
  • How did others treat you?
  • How did your heart or actions change towards others after the experience?

Lord, I don’t deserve your kindness, and yet you are kind to me. I have been your enemy and yet you accept me now as your child. Thank you for not treating me as my sins deserve and teach me to love others as you have cherished me. Amen

(There is a difference between sin and human mistakes. It is important to develop an understanding of what constitutes sin.)

Open-Handed Love

I really couldn’t grasp
a way to love you deeper,
but then I let go.

Dedicated to the many parents of prodigal children. Keep holding out love.

Turning Your Page

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Romans 8:32

Children stretch and strengthen your love muscles. Stay close to scripture as a parent. God does not leave you guessing on how to raise them, how he loves them, or how he protects and sacrifices for his children.

  • How would you describe your love for your children?
    • color?
    • shape?
    • nature? (example: Loving them feels like trying to control a swollen river cutting out a new path to run.)

Lord, you have gifted me with love for my children, but you know and love them better. Grow my awareness of your ways that I will walk in your will as I parent. Amen

In the Lion’s Den of Fear

“Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.” … “So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” (Daniel 6:3. 10).

Join me to study fear at my Facebook page: Karisa Lynn Moore

  • How did things change so drastically for Daniel in the matter of 7 verses?
  • Where is God in all of this?
  • How do we respond to fear and drastic changes in our circumstances?

Morning Devotion

You paint me a new sunrise
in the first breaths of dawn.
I smile as I reach for your love notes.
Quiet. Still. I know you.
I witness your craftsmanship, etched into the
canvas of creation.
I lean into the truth of your stable
character. Faithful.
Your love is on my lips
because you fill my heart
with the joy of presence.

The Dented Fender: Tenacious Love

“Awe, Mom and Dad are kissing again!” my daughter announced to her brother as she caught us in the kitchen. “Aren’t they cute?” She sounded truly delighted. When they were little, their big brother taught them to say, “Ooh, gross,” anytime they saw us kissing. My husband and I began requiring at least three positive remarks from them before their comments turned to disgust, and very quickly the delight in their parents’ affection became a habit. We don’t hear disgust any longer, and we’re trying to teach some important lessons to them, besides.

We weren’t always so cute.  (Read More at the Dented Fender Blog)

Today I Walk Out of the Darkness

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:3).

Survivors of Suicide must do what our loved one could not–walk out of the darkness.

We cannot help what was, but we can be a part of changing what is. How?

  • Humble ourselves (1 Peter 5:6)
  • Be thankful (1 Peter 5:3)
  • Be present in the lives around you and offer (Matthew 9:35-37)
    • love
    • faith
    • hope
  • Pray for and defend the oppressed (Psalm 10:17-18)
  • Pray for and challenge the oppressors (Matthew 5:44, Isaiah 1:17)
  • Live your God-given life to the fullest (John 10:10)
  • Take courage as you face your own weaknesses and temptations (Luke 8:4-15)
  • Grieve with hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
  • Walk together, supporting each other (1 Peter 5:2-4)

This is the foundation God is laying in my grief.  that help me to continue through the valley of the shadow of death rather than becoming mired in the pit of despair.

 

If you would like to make a donation here is my link:

Out of the Darkness Walk Donor Drive

Fighting Dirty For The Ones We Love

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. 6 For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 It is rare indeed for anyone to die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.…

When was the last time you fought dirty for the one’s you love? Or for an enemy? I’m not talking cheating, I am talking about getting dirt under the nails, sweating, and digging deep into all you’ve got and then giving some more. Valuing that spouse who has hurt you deeply. Treating the bully at work with kindness. Fighting dirty is not based upon changed behavior, it is deeply rooted in who Christ is in us!

We love because he first loved us. God didn’t just give us a list of do’s and don’ts, pat us on the back, and send us on our way. He was and is involved in creation! So much so, that at just the right time, while we were still sinning he came to earth in the form of a human child. He experienced sweat, he had splinters in his skin, and scars on his back from loving us. He knew our struggle with temptation. He knew we were oppressed, and he knew our depression. He fought dirty for us!!

Depression, suicide, hopelessness is a dark and dingy place, because hopelessness is wrapped in lies about our identity and the character of God. I was once smothered in those lies. My son died in those lies. How do we counter such a devious and destructive attack that often begins when we are children?! We battle by getting to know the character of God and acting on the hope he offers to us.

I didn’t know God. Scripture is like sitting across from God and hearing him tell his side of the story. Prayer is a constant conversation (both speaking and listening) with God. Fellowship with other in process believers encourages, challenges, and brings me out of my shell. This is my foundation. As a result, I can’t sit idly by and put on blinders to the suffering of others. I have my hands in the dirt of humanity. Be all in because God was all in for us!

 

Let me know your story in the comments. How can I fight dirty for you!?

Testimony Tuesday: Jesus Teaches me to be Vulnerable

“I came that you may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus. (Paraphrased from John 10:10)

What does a full life look like? Do you feel anywhere close to experiencing life with the deepest breath? What does it take to reach out and embrace this full life God offered through Jesus?

Vulnerability.

Sit with that word for a while. For many of us it conjures up heartache, broken relationships, and loss. In fact the very definition and synonyms don’t paint vulnerability in a very pretty light. Vulnerability translates into weakness, gullibility–open to attack. I spent much of my life trying to shut down my emotions so that I didn’t feel vulnerable. I still got hurt. But, I have learned that vulnerability opens me to love, faith, joy and hope. I am not disappointed in these results.

Recently Brené Brown reiterated in her research, why vulnerability is so worth the risk. I contend, it is crucial in turning the page on depression! It is through vulnerability that I am able to move through grief and not remain stuck. And when I do get stuck, I have stopped allowing myself to be vulnerable! Seems illogical doesn’t it? But think about vulnerability in military terms. To take new ground, often we have to scale enemy cliffs (Normandy) or venture into no man’s land to take out enemy fire, or risk great losses to end a war. Vulnerability may contain loss, but it also swells with love, faith, and hope. Becoming vulnerable has resulted in the greatest gains I have in my life.

When we give ourselves over to sin after sin, that’s not vulnerability, that is foolishness. Resulting in, guaranteed loss, and depression, because it separates us from the love of God. Been there, done that. Wise vulnerability is trusting that God wants good things for me, and will do all he has planned for my life, despite my circumstances and losses. Scripture backs the purpose of vulnerability again and again.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to help you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have complete boldness, so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:20

Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment. Indeed, he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24

Can you hope in your vulnerability? Can you open yourself to love, joy, peace and hope. Strangely enough my children are advent symbols. Not in the correct order, but each of them are candles, lighting my journey of faith, and teaching me vulnerability in Christ is gain. God used Jonathan to convince me of his overwhelming love. Joy, (miscarried) taught me about finding joy in the midst of sorrow, Daniel is my promise for a future, and Natalie is hope. Each lesson has its great challenges, but there is no doubt that I am able to love, have a deeper faith, and NEVER LOSE HOPE!

My 1st step into vulnerability was to admit I had made a mess of my life and ask, “What can you do with this, God?” His response, make himself vulnerable on the cross to save me. Where will you start?

 

 

Prayer Closet

There is a secret staircase I

spiral down, when the front

stairs feel too exposed. In

the darkness of fledgling hours

I retreat. Tracing your love notes

with heart, soul, and mind. Sipping

the earthy tea of you testaments. Conversing

together like old friends. Turning over to you all that

I am.

Allowing sunrise to color in the black and white outline

of your form. Loving because you first loved me.

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Suicide Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to the website at  SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.