love in action

Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

–Philippians 2:2-4 MSG

Living in community can be rough at times.  And God knew this.

These verses on their own capture how to help make successful community. Putting one another’s needs ahead of ours, seeking agreement, helping others fulfill their dreams, actively loving one another.

But these verses, although they contain the action steps we are to take for healthy, united community, don’t explain the why.

The first verse of Phillipians 2 does.

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if His love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor:

Because of what God has given us, His love. 

Because of the family we are now a part of, His.

Because He is awakening in us a care for  others from His heart.

Because of what our laid it all down Jesus has done for us, we are to likewise lay ourselves down for others.

There are times when we can pick verses out of the Word, examine them closely and still miss the point, if we aren’t allowing Holy Spirit to heighten our awareness of what wisdom He wants us to learn when we study it.

The Bible isn’t just a collection of writings spanning hundreds of years and dozens of authors.

It is a living Word.  God Himself inspired it through listening hearts. God Himself collected it through willing hands.  God Himself is contained within it, and knows what we need to be fed each time we pick it up and invited Him to do so.

For we are not just in community with people, but with God Himself!

May He deepen your awareness of how to live a life of community which blesses Him, those around you and yourself as you follow His lead.

Love deeply.
Love actively.
Love completely.
Love sacrificially.
Love as He leads.


be kind

There are many kinds of people out there in this world.

Not all of them are kind.

You too may have brushed up against one, have one in your family, or work with one.

Sometimes they don’t know any better, because they have not been shown much kindness in their lives.

Sometimes they know they are being unkind, and they don’t care about the explosive hurt they hurl at those they come across.

What are you & I to do when someone we know, or meet, is unkind to us?

Be kind.

Hurt people do hurtful things, and hurl hurtful words.

That is their choice.

Our choice is to show them the better way. To walk in the kindness of Jesus, and be kind.

For our actions reflect our choices, not those of others when we remain in control of our emotions & decisions.

“Why should I be kind?” my daughter asked me years ago when she had been picked on at school.

I told her, “You being kind lets people know who you are. Do you want to be known as mean, or kind?”

Today, she is one of the kindness women I know. Kids flock to her because they can sense her genuine kindness and care for them. Her path has not been easy, but she has always responded with kindness to the obstacles she has faced.

Because she too knows the One who is the most kind, who helps us show kindness in the face of opposition.

The One who was so kind, He chose to take everyone’s sins on the cross, even those of His enemies.


The One who went to the cross because of His great love for us all.

The One who offers this love at all times to all people, always.

Such kindness the world had never quite experienced before the cross, not since.

We don’t end up where we were headed because of His kindness.

We were headed for the pit,
now we get to sit at His banquet!

Beloved of God.

I would say that is the beat example of kindness I could imagine. Showing love & care to all, regardless of their response.

If God could show such radical kindness to the whole world, I believe He can help us be kind to the people we come across each day….we only need ask for His help to see them as He does- those desperate for a kind & loving God.

Is it easy to be kind?
Not always.
Some times it is a sacrifice of obedience, showing kindness to someone whose words or actions cause our stomachs to roll or our teeth to clench.

But knowing Jesus, the kindest man I have ever met. The One who doesn’t hold my mistakes against me and always gives me a second Chance when I genuinely ask for one?

How could I not share the kindness He has shown me?

love poured red


Freedom isn’t free.
There is always a cost to freedom.

On this day, November 11th, Remembrance Day in Canada, I will be remembering the sacrifice of our veterans, past & present.
Those who gave their lives to ensure Canada stayed free.

The blood poured out to keep us free.

The fighting, the rations, the weather, the lack.

The bravery, the courage, the camaraderie, the heroic.

When the world was threatened with being torn apart, those who knew it was wrong stood up for what was right. Their love in action.

I am so grateful for the freedom I enjoy. Both my grandfathers were veterans, both changed forever in fighting for what was right.

As we pause for the moment of silence at 11am, there is another sacrifice I am reminded to be grateful for as well.

Freedom within.

You cannot fully grasp the concept of freedom until you know the pressure of being bound, oppressed. Chained down, unable to free yourself, hope ebbs away over time as you slowly accept your new reality as a prisoner.

Jesus changed all that.

His blood poured out on the cross set us free.

The choice, the birth, the years of preparation.

The walk, the touches, the wholeness, abundant life.

The cross, the whipping, the crown of thorns, the pierced aide and hands….

all lead to why the fight for freedom- LOVE in action.

Jesus came and set the captives free.  Freedom is available for all because of His sacrifice, His making the wrong right, His life laid down for what He believed in- freedom, and who He believes in- us:

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:13 NIV

Those who fought in the great wars? Who fight in the wars that erupt around the world still in our day? They reveal a glimpse of Jesus to the world in their actions, serving those who need them:

This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you..Put your life on the line for your friends.

 John 15:13 MSG

To those who have gone in before, may God give you your well fought, hard earned reward.

I honor you.

To those who struggle at returning home changed after your service, may you find the freedom, peace, and restoration found in Jesus.

I honor you.

For all those who have stood or are standing up for what is right, may God bless you for showing His love in your service.

He honors you.

To all those wanting to be free within.

He is waiting for you to come to the cross, offering a new hope.

His love poured red.
Freedom came at a great cost.
We Remember.



A character in a book I am currently reading used the word ‘belovered’ by accident when trying to describe how God loves us.

I like it!

So being me, I decided to break it down and see what the pieces contribute to the whole 🙂

Be– God loves us with an astounding love, because of who we are. We can BE ourselves BEfore Him, He who never changes.

Love– outpouring care and adoration towards its targeted recipient- whether they accept it or not.  God so loved the world He gave His very own Son, to help us make our way back to His great love for us.  Love like His never fails, never runs dry and never gives up on those they love. Never ending LOVE.

Red– Red has been the universal colour of love for centuries. (Just think Valentines Day.) His blood poured out on the cross in a fantastical display of love for all to see. Instead of seeing RED of the anger He is entitled to over our wrongdoings, He chose to offer His love on the cross to demonstrate His extreme love.
Red represents all in love. Given to His last drop.

Lover– God just doesn’t like us as a parent loves their children. God loves us with all the passionate desire of a lover longing for the one they adore. That’s right: God adores us.  He longs to embrace His bride, which we are all a part of when we are His children. It is a mystery beyond our full comprehension this side of heaven.

Beloved: As His Bride, He will never stop pursing us. Never stop loving us. Longs to spend time with us. Hear our voice. Look into our eyes. How we long to be with the ones we love is a faded recollection of His longing for us.

Belovered– when we rest in His love (Be) we will walk as His beloved.  Loved beyond measure.

Are you ready to be loved like that?

Take His love letter out for a spin. 

Let His love flow over and into you.




By the Lover of your soul.

I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love & more love!

~God; Jeremiah 31:3 MSG

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

~God; Jeremiah 31:3 NIV


walk a thousand miles….

Tonight I enjoyed hearing some of my favorite songs reintroduced with a Celtic flair at a free local concert.

And I cannot get one of the songs off my mind, despite another CD playing here at home in the background.

“(I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles” by the Proclaimers is resonating within me…but not just because its a great song.

There are only a few people I know who would give what they could if I was in need. There are several I would do what I could for in an emergency. Close friends & family.

Fewer still would I go to battle for.

The difference between supporting a friend and dying for one is love.

Love amplifies the value of the one we love.

Jesus showed us just how much He loved us by dying for us.

You don’t die for someone unless you love them.

The reality is most of us are way too selfish and protective of ourselves to think long and hard about how we would answer this question.

I would walk 500 miles, then i would walk 500 more to be the one who walked 1000 miles to fall down at your door?


The answer is once love begins to seep into the crevices of our hearts, the more likely it is for us to say yes.

For my hubby & kids, my best friends, I would go to the far corners of the earth and back.

For my God, I will lay down my life.

Yes, you read that right.

I would die for love.

The love that died for me deserves nothing less in response.

Love shows the one it loves its devotion.

Unstoppable love.

This is the kind of life changing love that can change the world.

In fact, it already has.

The road to the cross must have felt like 500 miles, maybe 1000 miles, yet Jesus’ love for us kept Him on that path, step after step, to lay it all down for us.

If you don’t know how much God loves you, crack open His story of love for us all, the Bible.

God has never stopped walking through human history trying to reach us with His love.

Knowing that kind of amazing love, I will walk anywhere He leads me to show Him just how grateful I am, and how much I love Him in return.


free to choose

Freedom has been calling out since losing Eden.

With the beginning of work came the lie of self sufficiency.

We can do out all on our own.

And when we fall, over and over, freedom stands nearby, waiting for our word to step in and help us out from the pit we created.

We have to choose freedom.

The Prodigal son choose to go his own way.
His Father waited for his return.
And oh how they celebrated when he returned, having learned a hard lesson as he strayed from what his father taught him, raised him to be.

God wasn’t, isn’t content to sit back and wait for us to return home. No loving father can take their mind off the child who is fast from home and up to who knows what.

Love longs for the one it loves.


He decided in one holy extravagant outlandish gift to settle the matter once and for all.

Jesus broke through, revealed the love of God up to and beyond His death, and released us from the kingdom of darkness and bondage into the kingdom of heaven.

Heaven. Where love, truth and freedom rule.
24/7, 365 days a year, for eternity.

When we seek freedom, finding it through its Source, heaven reaches down and loosens our shackles.

Who the Son sets free is free indeed.

IS FREE, not will be.
If God has told you that you are free, you are- even if you can’t see any discernable difference.

Is free IN DEED.
Jesus’ selfless act was the deed that sets us free.
He died so we could live free.

Is free INDEED.
The use of the word ‘indeed’ was intentional.
in·deed has two meanings:

1. used to emphasize a statement or response confirming something already suggested.
So your freedom is confirmed, as indeed emphasizes…

2. used to introduce a further and stronger or more surprising point.
Indeed, your freedom is nor only here waiting, but it is complete and finished once and for all because of Jesus.

Freedom ultimately is a choice.
God made His in offering it to us.

The choice is now ours.

Do you want to live free?

Do you want hope right now in the pit you find yourself- whatever it is?

Do you want to be cleaned from the slime of the pit?

Do you have wounds that need binding up?

Freedom is calling.

How will you answer?

reckless grace

God’s reckless grace is our greatest hope.

-Timothy Keller

As a bird cannot exhaust the air in the sky nor a fish exhaust the water in the sea, neither can we exhaust the grace of God.

-Charles Spurgeon

His grace is enough.

You’ve heard the catchy song and sung it at church. Read the bible verses talking about grace, yet still entertained the thought that those verses don’t really apply to you, as God didn’t know what you just did that was so unforgivable.

Grace isn’t about you.

It’s about the giver.

In one long lasting love story,God recklessly laid His heart, and life, out in plain sight for the world to see just how much He loved, loves each & everyone EVER.

The ultimate debt was paid in full. For you. For me. For us all.

Whether you believe it, or accept it, or not.

God knew who would accept His grace covered love. Who would struggle with it. Who would come running to it out of breath with desire. Those who will believe they aren’t good enough to accept it. Those who would refuse it, coz only this life matters, right?

And He offered Himself anyway.


To those of you who think you’re too far gone for His grace…you are believing a lie.

His grace is inexhaustible.
Eternally extended.
Forever intended, for you, for me.

No matter what would be what you would think I would say now, but I won’t.

One part of grace does depend on you.

Receiving it when it is offered.

If you had been locked in a life sentence prison cell, for many months, years..and a lawyer came by to tell you that you have been able to open the jail cell all this time by saying a word…would you not take the leap and try it?

Or is the fear of the unknown too much for you after settling for less for so long?

The outside of that cell leads to a love beyond what you can imagine.

A grace that paid the whole price for your faults, once and for all.

A hope that will outlast any other ever in history.

Its time to jump on on and bathe in the grace awaiting you.


I had my midlife crisis moment earlier than some.

I didn’t run away from home, break up with my hubby, leave my job, or buy a dream ________.

I got a tattoo about three years ago

Technically its three in one.

I am guessing you may have a glimpse of where this post may be going now with that last comment.

But maybe not.

At the time, I had a lot of emotional pain & baggage pent up over the previous couple of years.  I lost three important people in my life in the prior three years, three people I hope knew how much I loved them. I have three family members I adore 95% of the time, and with the many circumstances swirling in my head at the time, I wanted a tangible reminder of those two facts, as well as just how much God (in His three distinct persons) loves and is there for me.

So i walked in and got three quarter sized flying bird tattoos in a place I felt comfortable with.

Immediately after, it dawned on me rather abruptly, that I didn’t know how my hubby felt about tattoos.

I have grown up around people with them, a few in the military, several artists and found them visually interesting. Didn’t think I would ever get one, never really thought about it much over the years.

My hubby doesn’t like them. And we didn’t need any more stress in our home at the time.

You see, I had a history that hadn’t been fully uprooted of minor cutting, which I know now was my way to trying to relieve pent up emotional angst. Not a healthy choice, but I am thankful i was set free from the bulk of it before I fully was aware of what it was & could have led to for me.

I had unknowingly tapped back into that physical relief with the tattoos, doing something concrete to serve as the reminder I felt I needed at the time.

We ended up in some pretty intense arguments, counseling and prayer times.

While my hubby will never fully get why I got tattoos, he has accepted me as I am now and forgiven me for hurting him. I had a few lightening treatments to help them fade more quickly, as their starkness was part of what bothered him.

I more clearly know sometimes our actions have consequences we may not understand.

I also know through it all, God understood:

Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands.
-Isaiah 49:16 MSG

See/Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
-Isaiah 49:26 NIV/ESV


I am important enough to Him for Him to have my name written on His hands, as are you. As is my husband. We are forever etched in the nail pierced hands of Jesus.

The simple act of doing something without understanding the implications or fallout is a reminder that we can hurt those we love most by not thinking of them in the decision making process.

Had I turned to God and poured out my heart in that moment, I would have made a wiser decision, and likely taken the time to work things through. I might still have gotten a tattoo, or not, but my hubby wouldn’t have felt the same punch to the jaw he did with my actions, as I would have clued him in to what was going on inside me.

I am not saying tattoos are wrong. I love mine. Most of us have enough stresses we are trying to deal with in our relationships, and don’t need a mid life crisis type event to knock the wind out of us or our loved one, causing a tidal wave release of unexpected emotion.

While it is good to remember, we need to also keep in mind our actions are to be made with love in the forefront, not an after thought.

Jesus knew the implications of his sacrifice.

The man in Him wanted another way.

The God in Him chose to blaze the pathway to freedom at great cost to Himself; knowing He is, was and will ever be the only Way.

give unto..


Our yearly sweat boiled down into one document submitted to our government, sometimes with tears.

And most of us moan, groan and complain about it.

Yet Jesus took a different tactic:
They sent some Pharisees and followers of Herod to bait him, hoping to catch him saying something incriminating. They came up and said, “Teacher, we know you have integrity, that you are indifferent to public opinion, don’t pander to your students, and teach the way of God accurately. Tell us: Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
He knew it was a trick question, and said, “Why are you playing these games with me? Bring me a coin and let me look at it.” They handed him one.
“This engraving—who does it look like? And whose name is on it?”
“Caesar,” they said.
Jesus said, “Give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his.”
Their mouths hung open, speechless.
Mark 12:13-17 (MSG)

Much as we grumble and don’t like, most of us, having to pay taxes, the government system was the one we chose. We asked God for kings, and the result is we got what we asked for. People are imperfect, and full of bureaucracy.

But God placed our government, the men and women serving their communities & country. God gave us jobs to help provide for us.

The result? We owe it all to God, the giver of all good things.

And before you wonder, having work is a good thing…just ask someone having a hard time finding a job and making ends meet.

Yet God, through these verses showing us a snippet in the life of Jesus, tells us to pay the government what it is due. And that means taxes: property, municipal and federal.

It also means we need to get it done.

Don’t put it off because you don’t want to put in the work needed, or because you owe money. File on time, figure out how to best pay what you owe if you owe, and plan ahead so you are ready for next year.

If you are fortunate, you get a refund.
Another way God can sometimes surprisingly provide for us.

I have two part time jobs, and recently started doing some freelance from home. I pay tax every pay cheque all year round to the part time jobs, which helps to cover what I might owe for the freelance work. An accountant made that suggestion, which means I would hopefully owe less at income tax time.

There was another time when Jesus made a public point with Peter to pay His taxes:
When they arrived at Capernaum, the tax men came to Peter and asked, “Does your teacher pay taxes?”
Peter said, “Of course.”
But as soon as they were in the house, Jesus confronted him. “Simon, what do you think? When a king levies taxes, who pays—his children or his subjects?”
He answered, “His subjects.”
Jesus said, “Then the children get off free, right? But so we don’t upset them needlessly, go down to the lake, cast a hook, and pull in the first fish that bites. Open its mouth and you’ll find a coin. Take it and give it to the tax men. It will be enough for both of us.”
Matthew 17:24-27 (MSG)

Jesus made a point, even though He was God’s son, and owns everything, to pay the taxes He owed while He was here on earth. He clearly demonstrated that we are to give those in authority over us what they are due, our taxes.

Whether we like their behavior or not.

Jesus clearly had issues with the religious and political leaders in His day. However, He gave his taxes to both support the temple He went to and the community/country He lived in.

The heart of the matter? Give out of obedience and thankfulness to God, the giver of all we have and are.

Give unto Caesar what is his (our taxes) and give unto God what is His (everything, but especially our praise, worship and gratitude).

Ask Jesus to help us with our finances and spend them as He leads helps us give our money where He has  intends for it to go.

May our attitude be like His.
Without complaint, He gave when He was asked to.

The ultimate sacrifice for us all.

If sin was a tax, it took its toll in full out on Jesus. For me, for you.

And He never complained.
He did it out of love for us.

Now, you may not love your government or paying taxes, but if you love God, we need to leave our complaints aside and pay our taxes out of the great love we have for Him.

For He gave it all.

And He paid for everyone, even the tax collectors or the local politician whom we find embarrassing.

Give to the government what it is due, and give to God all He is due.

Words to remember as our deadline for getting our taxes done draws closer.


you can’t have one without the other

Which holiday do you prefer, Christmas or Easter?

This is one of those questions I have thought deep and long about.

Christmas and Easter are not stand alone, exclusive events.

They are fantastically intertwined expressions of God’s intervention into history. HiStory as God intended.


(image from:

The reveal of God with us.
Among us.
Loving us as one of us.
The Presence of God overwhelming Mary to create Jesus.

Fast forward 33 years, give or take a few days.
The criminal was passed over as Jesus was chosen to die in his place, on the cross, between two other criminals.

The reveal of God for us.

(Image by Ann Voskamp,

Jesus took all we could never remove from ourselves, the stain of sin started in the original garden, faced it with a willingness to follow in the garden of His betrayal, took the blows intended for us, and remained on the cross out of His great love for US.

Despite the great physical, emotional and spiritual pain.
He alone took the weight of the world, and gave Himself up to death.

God for us.
Doing what we could not-
making things right between us again.
God did it for us.

For us.
Because He knew there was no other way.
He alone is and was and will always be the way.

The pain and anguish of Good Friday, where Jesus passed over to death.

The despair of silence.
Unsure what had happened.
Knowing something amazing did.
Not seeing the point yet.

The triumph of Sunday.
He rose, fully God and man.
Defeated the enemy.
Paid the price for all sin,
even though He did not take part in sinning.

The gift of Christmas, God with us,
became the gift of Easter, God for us.

If Jesus had never been born, we would never have had Easter.

Easter could not have happened without God coming down and doing for us what we could not do on our own.


HiStory changed us all forever.

You can’t have the new life, rebirth without His death.

Unwrapping Christmas leads to Calvary.

You can’t have the one without the other, without missing the point.

God so loved every single person who has, does and ever will exist that He gave the world the gift of His son, Jesus.

God with us.

So Jesus could do the work needed to bring us to God.

God for us.

It took His presence to be the present
we desperately needed to be free.

Christmas and Easter are one in HiStory.
One ultimate seamless love story.
That leads to one Home.
God in us.
Us in God.

(Image from: