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Posts from the ‘Love’ Category

Full Immersion and Expression

“Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility; for it thinks all things lawful for itself, and all things possible.” – Thomas a Kempis

“What are the characteristics of the most wonderful people you know? The WONDERFUL ones? They said, Loving. Caring. Kind. And so I asked them, Is that not what success actually is? To be a wonderful person who touches someone else’s life?”― Julie Lythcott-Haims, Your Turn: How to Be an Adult

Above and beyond.
The extra mile.
Reaching out.
Going first to engage, not waiting or taking turns.
No calculation, measure, keeping score.
A smile that shouts “HELLO.”
An exclamation point.
A comma and semi-colon to pause.
Inquiry and observation.
A conversation, a real connection.
Listening to understand, not reply.
Responding with gentleness rather than judgment.
Generosity of spirit.
Soft heart.
A magnet.
Hospitality and welcoming.
Inviting and belonging.
This is love.
Tether and anchor in love and then go show it.
Loving. Caring. Kind.
This is how we save ourselves and the world.
The power of one, then another, and another…
No excuse of impossibility.
All things possible.
Light your wick.
Full immersion and expression.

“Compassion means the full immersion in the condition of being human.” – Henri Nouwen

Only Kinship

“There is no force in the world better able to alter anything from its course than love.”― Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

“No daylight to separate us.

Only kinship. Inching ourselves closer to creating a community of kinship such that God might recognize it. Soon we imagine, with God, this circle of compassion. Then we imagine no one standing outside of that circle, moving ourselves closer to the margins so that the margins themselves will be erased. We stand there with those whose dignity has been denied. We locate ourselves with the poor and the powerless and the voiceless. At the edges, we join the easily despised and the readily left out. We stand with the demonized so that the demonizing will stop. We situate ourselves right next to the disposable so that the day will come when we stop throwing people away.”― Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

Kinship, kindness, compassion in abundance.
Margins erased, boundaries crossed, connections made.
The noise of othering, judgment, and opinion fade to reveal our shared humanity.
May love be our map and destination.
Oh, the places we could go.

“We exercise kindness in any moment when we recognize our shared humanity—with all the hopes, dreams, joys, disappointments, vulnerability, and suffering that implies.”― Sharon Salzberg, Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection

A Soft Spot

“God loves people because of who God is, not because of who we are.”― Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace?

“I have come to know a God who has a soft spot for rebels, who recruits people like the adulterer David, the whiner Jeremiah, the traitor Peter, and the human-rights abuser Saul of Tarsus. I have come to know a God whose Son made prodigals the heroes of his stories and the trophies of his ministry.”― Philip Yancey

Let God out of the limits of your narrow thoughts, the bonds of rules, the definitions and division of religion.
Beyond imagination, undefinable, radical, abundance overflowing, a nudge, dark, light, a soft whisper, a breeze, mountains, valleys, oceans, all and more.
Deeper than deep can go.
Bigger than what we can fathom.
In other, self, place, in the petal of a flower.
Author, artist, creator, finisher.
The very definition of love, never counting, always generous.
Listen, trust, watch, in amazement and awe.
Grace, peace, joy be yours each and every single day.

“In a nutshell, the Bible from Genesis 3 to Revelation 22 tells the story of a God reckless with desire to get his family back.”― Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew

Triple Threat

“Love is perhaps what’s left of us when we are no longer all the things we’d primped and planned.”― Heather Lanier, Raising a Rare Girl: A Memoir

“Hope is not about proving anything. It’s about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.”― Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

Love, hope, joy are actions, verbs, daily decisions.
A triple threat of power and strength.
Scatter kindness, faith and laughter, unstoppable.
The hem of heaven touching earth through you.
Rejoice and be glad in this day and your place in it.

“So be joyful. Use your sense of humor. And laugh with the God who smiles when seeing you, rejoices over your very existence, and takes delight in you, all the days of your life.”― James Martin, Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life

The Why

“Love is the “why” of life,
why we are functioning at all.
I am convinced
it is the fundamental energy
of the human spirit.
the fuel on which we run,
the wellspring of our vitality.

And grace,
which is the flowing,
creative activity, of love itself,
is what makes all goodness possible.

Love should come first,
it should be the beginning of,
and the reason for everything.”

― Gerald May

We decide daily how we enter and engage with the world, others, self.
Choose love daily and act on it.
So goodness, joy, peace and light prevail within and throughout.

“Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.”― Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

New Math

“When one loves, one does not calculate.”― St. Thérèse de Lisieux

No subtraction or division.
Multiplication and addition perhaps.
The calculation that grows, expands, deepens.
Better yet, no counting, inventory, calculation.
A smile, a nod, an encouraging word.
Love in acts and action, a possibility in each moment.
Kindness in play.
Go first.

“A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul.”― St. Thérèse de Lisieux

Never Alone, Always Loved

“We do not need to wait for the Holy Spirit to come: he came on the day of Pentecost. He has never left the church.”— John R.W. Stott

“We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior.”— John R.W. Stott

I’ve shared many blessing from Kate Bowler because they are honest, raw, real and remind us of our imperfection and beauty at the same time. We are not a multiple-choice question with one answer. We are all-of-the-above and more. An essay filled with contradiction, complexity, light, and deep capacity for joy, often hidden beneath the surface of fickle feelings.

If you get trapped in thoughts of scarcity and that no one understands, God does to be sure. Abundant, overflowing love with no condition or contracts. We get tangled up in our own stuff, missing those who are in need right in front of us. If you are feeling alone, reach out, move out of your own head, help another. We are on this journey together not to win but to walk with each other. Wait up, loop back around, and pick up another to carry on together.

“Bless us when we’re scared about having to face the hard things alone. A blessing for you. God, what if. What if I walk out on this ledge and feel only the taste of my fear? What if I discover that what I carry cannot be shouldered? What if I live too long without that feeling? That I can set this, this, this down. God, fill me with a love that staves off all the darkness. Comfort me when I can’t think another reasonable thought. And if I can’t, I mean, I just can’t feel your nearness, hear you telling me that I am loved, send your armies of do gooders, tuck my name inside their hearts. Give me people who love to hold more than this day can manage. And if you can’t send more than one because more than one would be nice, just send the nearest person to take things out of my hands and into theirs until I know again today that I should never be expected to walk this road alone.” – Kate Bowler

Joy, peace, love to you this day, and each day. Cast light.

Put On Love

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:12-17

This is the scripture that I read at my niece’s wedding last night.
Put on love.
It’s a choice that we make daily.
We choose to put it on or to pass it by for our ego, our smallness, for being “right.”
On beautiful celebrations it shows up tangible in embraces, ceremony, ritual, dancing, toasts, reflection, laughter.
More vividly and sweeter in gathering again for the first time in 2 ½ years.

We are all connected.
Called to love.
To love those closest to us and also those we disagree with, those who vote differently, those who are irritating, those who offend us.
That’s when love is most real and revealing.
To make the decision to clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, forgiveness all bound up by love.
May gratitude, peace and love be staples you partake in daily.
Put on love.

Plant to Bloom

“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.”― Richard Rohr

“Most of us were taught that God would love us if and when we change. In fact, God loves you so that you can change. What empowers change, what makes you desirous of change is the experience of love. It is that inherent experience of love that becomes the engine of change.”― Richard Rohr

May you experience love today, offering it freely without expectation.
The act stirs the power of love which always returns to the giver.
Go first.
Change of thought, word and action.
Entering the river, the flow of life.
Grateful for this day.
Make some space for allowing amidst the pursuit.
Be found, especially by yourself.
You must plant to bloom.

“Faith does not need to push the river because faith is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing. We are in it.”― Richard Rohr

Love

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” – Saint Augustine

“No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.” – William Penn

As Palm Sunday begins the most holiest of weeks, may we know that love was and is the reason for the Cross. And may we offer but sliver of that kind of love to others each day.

“God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy.” – Pope Francis

Make this week holy, sacred and filled with deep gratitude for a love that carries us each day, if only we would recognize and receive it. Seek His mercy, accept His love.

“Remember finally, that the ashes that were on your forehead are created from the burnt palms of last Palm Sunday. New beginnings invariably come from old false things that are allowed to die.” – Richard Rohr

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