Painting and Paraphrase by DiVoran Lites
1 John 3:18-20
Humans talk a lot about love. But do you know what love is?
Get ready to practice my definition of love so you’ll know when you see the real thing.
One of the big things you need to know is that being hard on yourself blocks love for you and through you.
Self-criticism, guilt, and going over the past to see what you’ve done wrong goes against my idea of love.
If I want you to know something about yourself, I will tell you, no need to dig around and hurt yourself.
My conviction is timely and gentle. It will come as a relief, not as a tirade.
I am so much greater than your perceptions, worries, and judgements.
I know everything about you and that’s a lot more than you know about yourself.
Once you start putting your thinking under my control and stop condemning yourself, you are free and bold before me.
That’s when you experience the presence of my Holy Spirit flowing through you and setting things right.
That’s when you begin receiving whatever you ask in My name.
That’s when you can love others without judging them.
From the Heart
People need people.
That was God’s ultimate plan
when He created the earth
and related Himself to man.
To love and be loved
is the theme of every love song.
Open your heart to welcome it.
True love can heal a wrong.
God didn’t design us to live alone.
That’s why Adam was given a mate.
Open your heart to receive love.
You are robbing yourself if you wait.
We can support one another in all that we do,
and offer help when there is a need.
We all aspire to find that “curve in the road”
that satisfies the need to succeed.
Painting by DiVoran Lites
Picture and paraphrase by DiVoran Lites
1 Corinthians 13
The greatest gift is love.
Love never gives up.
I want you to learn to love yourself,
And love others, too.
Love is contented with what it has.
Love does not walk around with its nose in the air.
Love doesn’t force others.
Love gives anger to Me so that it doesn’t explode onto people.
Love keeps going and giving.
From the Heart
How do you describe it?
It is being comfortable with someone.
You don’t have to impress them.
Their heart you have already won.
Allow them to see your weaknesses-
they love too much to condemn.
“Oh, Lord, I am me, no other can I be.
Thank you for loving me as I am.”
“Just as I am, without one plea,
but that Thy blood was shed for me.
And that Thou bidest me come to Thee,
Oh, Lamb of God, I come! I come!
From the Heart
“One word frees us of the weight and pain of life, that word is “love”
The irony of that quote is it was written before Christ by a
We are so blessed to know that God came in the flesh to redeem
us back unto himself.
That was true love.
I thrive on love.
There is promise in the air.
I stand on the word of God.
I see Him everywhere.
He is in the air I breathe-
His promises fill my soul.
Without Him I can do nothing,
With Him, I am whole.
We are all so different-
still all of God’s own plan.
I marvel how He leads us
to support our fellow man.
I thirst to hear the words you speak-
I long to know your soul.
Tho diverse in our interests-
Our similarities make us whole.
From the Heart
We are here to love, to serve God and our fellow man.
What greater purpose can there be than to meet
with God’s ultimate plan?
His purpose is to conform us to the image of His Son.
It is God who works in us His will to be done.
It is human to question God’s purpose and will.
Have faith to believe, dear friend.
Soul be still!
It is at the end of the day when my work is done
that I have time to reflect on what God has done.
It was in my struggle to understand
God’s purpose in allowing death and sorrow
that led to the answer, by way of the spirit,
to face my tomorrow.
I appreciated my caring family’s offers to drive me to our son’s and wife’s house, but I knew I was perfectly capable of driving myself to Orange City. It turned out to be the best vacation I’ve had in a long time. Because we are all busy, active, and productive, we have not had much time to talk lately. Now we did and it was glorious. I see my daughter because she lives closer, but my daughter-in-love and I have enjoyed conversations since we first met, so we were glad of the opportunity to catch up.
The evening of the storm we three sat and talked after supper. That night in my absent granddaughter’s beautiful room, I heard the wind and rain and something flapping, but I had my earplugs in and I felt loved and safe, so I didn’t have much trouble going to sleep. The power went out the next day, so we had no electricity, but the shutters were off and we did have plenty of water. We made up a hurricane casserole, using cooked wild rice layered with spinach and turkey-roast chunks. The man-angel cooked it on the outside grill with the lid down. It tasted delicious and the man-angel finished it off after we two ladies were full. It was a meal to remember. Every light in the house went on after we finished it.
On Friday afternoon people began coming out of their houses and driving by in their cars. We heard chains saws revving up and trees protesting as the half blown-over ones came to rest on the forest floor. I talk to myself sometimes, so I asked myself: “What shall I do now?” I had some writing to do and a good book to read and daughter-in-love had a puzzle. But she came right into my self-talk and made the wonderful suggestion that we go for a walk now that the storm was over. We got the dog’s lead and ventured out. It is a semi-rural neighborhood and the pastures were green and the fresh air smelled of cedar and pine. We discovered we had two more miles worth of talking to do.
We saw a large herd of domestic Alpacas that came right up to the fence, to say hello to Laika.
At another property, something ran down a small incline from the house to greet us. We thought, from the way it trotted, that it was a small black and white dog, but it turned out to be a little pig instead.
We then saw two sand-hill cranes in a field and our menagerie felt complete.
To be continued
On the Porch
My friend, Pat is a delightful mixture of elegant Southern style, charm and out spoken opinions and I love her. This past year she has traveled the road of widowhood and has done so with courage, joy and tears. She and her husband, shared a life long passion for memorizing scripture passages and the conversations of our weekly breakfast group were often spiced with passages that tied into whatever of the world’s problems we were solving.
This Wednesday at breakfast she handed me a card in an envelope and asked me to open it after we left. At home, I opened the card, a beautiful handmade creation, with a hand written note, thanking us for offering to drive her to Asheville for eye surgery. I looked on the back and sure enough, there was the name of the person who made the card. I suspected Pat had purchased the cards to encourage this creator in the same way she encouraged my daughter, Rebekah by buying her novels and giving them to people she thought might enjoy reading them.
Isn’t it pretty?
At the bottom of the sweet note she shared a scripture, Romans 12:9-13. KJV
9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
I decided to read some other versions and when I came to The Message it read in the same way Pat encourages us. Perfect!
9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
11-13 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
This was on the bottom inside of the card.
A Time to Live
God made two great lights… The greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars Genesis 1:16
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness,
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate,
only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King Jr
“The light of God surrounds me.
The love of God enfolds me.
The power of God protects me.
Wherever I am, God is, and all is well.”
James Dillet Freman
I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
From the Heart
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us
from God’s love. Neither death, nor life, neither angels
or demons, neither our fears for today, nor our worries about
tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from
God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below–
indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate
us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our
Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Isn’t it comforting to know that God loves you and will
never leave or forsake you?
God loves you because of who God is-
not because of anything you did – or didn’t do.
Life presents its challenges,
Of this we are all aware.
But the Lord is there throughout it all
to comfort through our despair.
“When they were discouraged, I smiled and that
encouraged them and lightened their spirits.”
Job 29;24 TLB