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Love…

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Love…

I have been learning about love lately…His love…a love that never fails, never gives up and never runs out.  This lesson is long, hard…and rich.  Truth lessons worth holding on to often are…

A favorite refrain of our God seems to be, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.  His love endures forever.”  This phrase reverberates in the Psalms, was proclaimed morning and night in the temple, is a battle cry in II Chronicles, is prophetically proclaimed in Jeremiah, and will reverberate around His throne at the wedding feast of the Lamb.

“FOREVER” is a very long time for love to endure, with LOTS of patience in it (#1 in I Corinthians 13–God’s love list).  My own love endures…until I get tired…until I am rejected…until I am not treated well….

In my journey lately, I am realizing again how much I need Him to infuse me with His love.  HIS love ENDURES forever…it never fails, never gives up and never runs out…not ever….  HIS [perfect] love also casts out FEAR… fear of rejection, fear of tedious and indefinite repetition, fear of death to self….

This life of love is impossible without Him, I must say.  Pride wants to come to all my “love” parties accompanied by the rigid bodyguard of Self-Protection!  Part of my sharing in the sufferings of Christ is to love like He loves me–sacrificially and completely.  No pride.  No self-protection….Freely I have received and freely I can give.

Hosea experienced that.  Paul experienced that.  Jesus IS that.  We share in the sufferings of Jesus so that we can also share in the glory of His resurrection.

His “forever,” enduring love brings resurrection (I Cor. 5:17) …makes things new…makes me new…makes others new.

So today, in the same Spirit of David’s appointees Heman and Jeduthun at the gates of the temple (I Chron 16:39-42), I give thanks to the Lord, proclaiming with my life that:

“He is good and His love endures FOREVER!”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lPdtqgouCc

Signature :: Laurie

Go with Joy…

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A couple months ago, I had an accident in my little Honda Element.  I ran into someone from behind.  It’s the first accident that I have ever had where I was driving.  Some might find that hard to believe, given my enthusiastic nature, but it’s TRUE!!

Even though it was just a little fender bender, my Element, which has been dubbed my Box of Joy due to my “BxofJoy” license plate, had to go into the shop for extensive and expensive repairs.

The day I was going to go and pick it up, I was driving a rental car (which was so NOT my “bxofjoy” in any way!), and I stayed in the parking lot for a bit to finish a conversation with a dear friend on the phone.  As we said goodbye, she prayed for me that I would “go with joy” which was very needed.

As I walked into Enterprise Rental, I ran into a woman from church that I hadn’t seen for months. We were going in the same direction so they put us in the same shuttle to pick up our cars.  As we were riding together, it suddenly struck me that her name is JOY.  I was riding with Joy while I was on my way to pick up my Box of Joy.  I started laughing out loud.  I mean, what are the chances…really??

The Lord seemed to put an exclamation on His message to me that day:  “GO with JOY!  I mean it!”

How I love His sense of humor…when I have eyes to see it.

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”  Is 55:12

“…The Joy of the Lord is my strength!”  Nehemiah 8:10

 

“Let there be light…”

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This picture is a story that had its start almost 2 years ago now…so hold on to your seats as I share one of the “mysteries” that I am still in the middle of…

I was getting dropped off at the airport for a trip to South Africa by a dear friend, and as I was getting luggage out of the car, she said to me, “I have been praying for you, and somehow I think the Lord has a job for you in South Africa.  I saw a stream of light go from the top of Africa all the way to the tip as I was praying.”  I was surprised and told her I would be praying about her words, as I know she seeks the Lord and listens well.

About ten minutes later after checking in for my flight, an elder from our church called to pray with me about my trip.  His small group was studying light and Jesus throughout the Bible, and before praying he shared their discovery that when God said, “Let there be light” he then designated the sun to “rule” the day and the moon to “rule” the night.  It seemed to them that light and authority were connected as they studied this.  Revelation states that in heaven there is no light, as Jesus is the only light–i.e. the only authority.  Interesting…

It seemed like I was getting some sort of progressive revelation–one conversation right after the next.  Somehow the light from the top of Africa all the way to the bottom may have something to do with the authority of Jesus’ reign and rule.  I was chewing on this as I boarded my first plane.

I sat next to an engineer who was headed to Italy and he asked me where I was going (South Africa).  He pointed to the Delta flight magazine, saying South Africa was highlighted on the front of the magazine that month and maybe I should read it.  (Incidentally it should be noted that I had been flying with Delta regularly for about 17 years at this point, and I had never seen South Africa highlighted in the magazine.)  I started to read…

The article highlighted 5 cities in South Africa, one of them being Johannesburg.  In Joberg, the article highlighted a place called “The Maboneng Precinct,” a vibrant urban renewal project in a very dark and historically dangerous part of Johannesburg. The article stated that someone (a developer I think) said, “Let there be light and there was light…in downtown Johannesburg.”  I about dropped the magazine, as it was the 3rd reference to light and South Africa in the last 30 minutes…very mysterious, but I was definitely paying attention now!

I arrived in Joberg and headed to “the summit” for J-life African leaders outside of Joberg.  The J-life president opened the first session of the summit by sharing that the prayer team who had been interceding over our time had gotten a picture of lightning bolts emanating out from South Africa into the rest of Africa.  Once again, I just about fell off my chair.   What is the Lord doing here in South Africa and Africa with light/authority?  What, if anything, does it have to do with me?  Crazy…

Well, that’s the mystery part of it.  I still don’t know the answers to all of those questions.  I seem to be on a personal journey, receiving revelations for each individual step as part of some bigger plan that He alone knows.  Faith…the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

Back to the Maboneng Precinct (the picture above)….  After this strange trip full of “light,” I really wanted to see this place–to taste and see for myself, even following it on Facebook for the last 2 years.  In August, my South African friends Sego, Gina and Smiley took me to see the Maboneng Precinct.  As we were walking around this really cool Urban renewal area right in the middle of this devastated area of Joberg, I kept asking the Lord what He wanted me to see or hear.  The message I seemed to hear repeatedly was…

“I can put light and life ANYWHERE.  It doesn’t matter how dead or devastated it seems, I am LIGHT and I am LIFE.”  (Ezekiel 37)

The mystery of my journey of “light” continues…

I proclaim, along with our Father, “Let there be LIGHT!”  May He reign and rule in South Africa and on the continent of Africa as He does in heaven!