Monday, August 23, 2010

“Love one another, for love is of God. He who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love, God is love… Love bears all things, believes all things, love hopes all things, endures all things… Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all they soul, all thy strength all thy mind. Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart for God is love, God is Love… God is love”

Oh, the words to my favorite song. The song that Brett and I, along with the congregation sung during our wedding ceremony. A song that I could listen to over and over, and hold out hope that we’ll sing it every Sunday at church. However as I type it out, I’m reminded that how even though I may enjoy listening to it and singing it… but do I live it out??

Yes, to my husband I do, Brett is my number one love on this Earth, and I thank God for giving me this amazing partner daily! Brett and I are so blessed to get to hang out with the youth group at University Church, and in the past year we have learned so much from them, and look forward to learning more (as well as hoping to teach them a thing or two ☺). This school years theme is “Live Love”. What a wonderful theme!! Logan and Lindsey (the youth ministers, who are totally awesome and I could make an entire post on how much Brett and I think of them, and enjoy their friendship) brought the first lesson last Wednesday, it was great, and I have not been able to shake a feeling from it since. They referenced some great scripture, that caused me to look into it more, look at others, and really analyze and question things about my life, and my love.

Matthew 22:37-40 reads, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments”
Oh, the “Greatest Command”… How often I forget that this comes first. But it is written right there in Matthew that first and greatest command is to Love my God with everything that I have, and by doing this first with all my heart, soul, and mind, the rest should come more naturally. And then it follows by saying that the second (important like the first) is to love my neighbor as myself. I have to say, that there are times I must obviously not love myself very much due to the lack of love I show others. It’s not just the stranger on the road that doesn’t use his/her blinker or someone from my past that brings up negative memories that I show this lack of love to, it is even my dearest of friends or family members. How can that be!?! It is a command that I love!
“And this is his command: to believe in the name of his son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us” 1 John 3:23

“If anyone boasts, “I love God”, and goes on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt; Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.” 1 John 4:20-21- the message
-umm, ouch!!
There are people in my life that I have an opportunity to show daily/weekly love for. No, I don’t hate people, but I often am scared to love people the way I should, for many different reasons. Scared of being hurt, scared to form new relationships, scared of consequences of what people would think if I were close to some, and scared of it taking too much time out of my already busy life… however, the good book has an answer for that one too!
“There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life- fear of death, fear of judgement-is one not yet fully formed in love.” 1 john 4:18

I believe in Jesus Christ, and desire to have a life lived like him.. but how can I if I’m falling short here at step 1?? As I read through many of these verses I’m trying to let go of things, and truly love people as I love myself. To truly forgive (like I’ve already thought I had) and love, be a disciple of God’s word to those who don’t know Him, or don’t want to know Him- because I love these people.
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” John 13:35
This means things could be hard. Uncomfortable. Hurtful. Time consuming. But, nothing will ever compare to the Love that He showed me, so I should never complain and instead be grateful and count my many many many many blessings for all He has given me.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us” 1 John 4:16- this will get me through. God’s love for me, and the love of God I should have for others.

So this is my request.. a simple prayer for my love for others. To not turn my back and wash my hands clean. To truly love and seek out the love God intends for me to have for everyone- and live it out. To not talk negatively about those I love, to live out the service I do always- not just at ‘service time’, pray for others more, to love like Jesus.

"This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome" God is definitely NOT asking too much of me!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Baseball and a Wedding!

July was spent watching some of the 7 year old World Series in Ringgold Georgia and then Celebrating Candace and Bradley's Big day!!

First the World Series.. We had so. much. fun.!!!! I know to most this doesn't make since, Brett and I don't have any children so why would we want to spend our only time off in the summer watching some other children play ball in the hot summer heat.. Because we love it!!! We've been lucky enough to get to know several of these families , and Brett has even coached some of these boys on a basketball team last winter. These kids, and their parents are so much fun! Luckily the Boykins don't mind us following them around! We love watching Andrew play ball, and have been doing it for several years now, and it seems as every year passes we get more and more in to it!! The time that we were there was spent going to the ball park and spending time at the hotel. It was like a great big tail gate while we were there, and if you know Brett and I, you know that is right up our alley!! Thank you to the Boykins for including us as your family on this trip.

Candace and Bradley's wedding... Was fabulous!! The whole weekend was great, the Bridesmaid luncheon was at the University Club and the Rehearsal dinner was at the Southern House and Garden near Fosters. It was such a fun day filled with good friends and family. The Wedding day was great as well!! The wedding was at Northport Baptist, with the reception at our church, University Church of Christ. Candace was absolutely.GORGEOUS!!! Just stunning!! There are no other words!!!! Brett and I both were honored to be in the wedding to share such a fun and special day. The wedding was just beautiful, Julie, (Candace's mom, Brett's Aunt) did an amazing job decorating both churches, major props to her!! We were so happy and excited to see Candace and Bradley get married, Candace- although Brett's cousin, became such a great friend to me!!! She was a friend put in my life when I needed one the most, and she helped me get through some of my toughest times.. We both learned alot from each other and grew so much!!! Brett and Bradley had many of their engineering classes together and spent many nights with late night studying!! Now Brett and I are crossing our fingers and toes, and praying that Bradley can get a great job here in town so they can stay in Tuscaloosa ;););)

-- Congratulations Candace and Bradley, we love y'all!!!!

--------Blogger isn't letting me upload any pictures, which is very unfortunate.. I'll try again later to get some up from both of these events!!!