No Greater Love

No Greater Love

loveofGod

Frederick M. Lehman wrote, “The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell.”  Nonetheless, being stubborn as I am, I am going to try to talk about His great love.

In John 21:15-17, Jesus indirectly compares two types of love.  He asks the foolhardy Peter, “Do you love me?”  In the question, Jesus uses the verb agapao to indicate love.  Agape is an unconditional love that is willing to sacrificially give of itself.  It is the love that God shows in Romans 5:8, giving His Son despite our sin.  Agape is selfless.  The greatest possible expression of love is giving of your own life (John 15:13), and that is exactly what Christ did for us. Jesus is asking Peter if he loves Christ in this persistent, complete manner.

“Yes, Lord,” Peter says. “You know that I love you.”  Peter’s response displays a second type of love; he says, “I phileo you.”  Phileo refers to brotherly love.  It is strong–the strongest expression of human love–but its strength is not nearly as powerful as agape. Phileo can still fail.  It can make mistakes.  It sometimes acts selfishly.  Phileo makes me think of the love described in Proverbs 17:17.  It is constant and most evident during times of conflict.

I have phileo love for many people–parents, friends, family.  It is generally mutual, benevolent, and cheerful.  However, I do not know if I will ever have true agape love.  Why?  I am human.  Selfish.  Hypocritical. Prideful. Short-tempered.  Failing.  Agape cannot be any of those things.  I must continue to try, though, to agapao.  I must love without seeking something in return, love for the sake of love.  That is how God loves us.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  -I John 4:10

Silver Dollar Sweet Potato Cakes

Silver Dollar Sweet Potato Cakes

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Last Saturday, I hopped a plane and left my life in North Carolina.  My DSLR, my laptop, and my favorite stuffed animal are all a thousand miles away, and I am engaging on a new adventure.  While I will miss my family, friends, cooking, and everything else about North Carolina, I am beyond excited for everything that this summer holds.

Because I will only have a few free hours a week, I am not even going to attempt to write new blog posts.  Don’t worry though; I have scheduled quite a few posts to appear while I am gone.  I cannot wait to tell you all about my summer, but until then, keep reading my posts and leaving comments (I will respond when I get back home).

Enjoy your summer!

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Sweet Potato Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Directions:

  • Coat a pan with nonstick spray and heat it over high heat.
  • Whip egg and mix with all ingredients.
  • Spoon batter onto pan.
  • Cook until it can easily be flipped.
  • Flip and cook a few more minutes.
  • Eat and enjoy.

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Kaleidoscope Lives: Dorcas {Faithful Flax}

Kaleidoscope Lives: Dorcas {Faithful Flax}

Kaleidoscope

Transacting the Proselyte

Disciple

Generous, Sick

Giving, Aiding, Dying

God honored her service

Awakening, Living, Proclaiming

Resurrected, Beloved

Dorcas

dorcas

The widows of Joppa huddled together in the attic, crying and wiping their tears. They could not believe that Dorcas, their beloved sister in Christ, was dead. Each of them clutched a blanket that Dorcas had hand-woven for them and recalled fond memories of Dorcas’ service to the Lord.

“Remember when the man arrived at midnight from Antioch,” asked one widow, “and he had not eaten in three days?”

“Yes! And Dorcas made bread in the middle of the night! The whole town awoke to a wonderful smell.”

“Oh! How I miss her!”

From outside, the women heard three male voices chatting heartily.  The widows quickly grew excited.  “It’s the messengers! They have brought Peter!” Sure enough, the door opened to reveal two Joppa natives and the impulsive apostle Peter.

The women rushed to Peter’s side. “Peter!” they proclaimed, “Dorcas was such a gracious woman. She served the Lord faithfully and generously. She made us coats and blankets. She welcomed strangers into her home and helped the elders with church, but now she is dead!”

Peter did not even appear worried. He asked them all to leave the room and knelt beside Dorcas’ lifeless body. After a short prayer, he calmly said, “Dorcas, arise.” Miraculously, Dorcas’ eyes opened and she sat up. Reaching for Peter’s hand, she stood and walked with him to where her friends were waiting.

The widows were astonished to see their fellow-worker alive again, and news of her revival quickly spread throughout the town.

God honored Dorcas’s service by adding years to her life. Just like Dorcas, he requires all women to be humble, hospitable, and serving Him (I Tim. 5:10).

Top Ten Tuesday: What Mom Teaches

Top Ten Tuesday: What Mom Teaches

mom

On Sunday, we celebrated the selflessness and dedication of all mothers.  While I am sure that there are millions of wonderful mothers in the world, I am convinced that my mom is better than the rest.  God blessed me with a mom who loves Him, loves my dad, and loves her children.  She is selfless, consistent, hardworking, and fun!  Through the years, she has gone from being my mother, to my teacher, to my friend.  I love you, Mom!

10 Lessons My Mom Taught Me

1. When you make a mistake, own up to it.

2. Cultivate inner beauty.

3. Use sunscreen.

4. Soy Amada.

5. Be real.

6. Don’t over-bake your cookies.

7. Invest in the lives of others.

8. Shop the clearance racks.

9. Learning takes time, and everyone learns differently.

10. Take your time to do things right.

Chunky Black Bean Dip

Chunky Black Bean Dip

blackbean1

Beans, beans! The magical fruit–the more you eat the more you…

Uh, let me try again.

Beans, beans! They’re good for your heart–the more you eat the more you…

Well, you get the idea.

beans

When I visited Honduras in 2010, we ate refried pinto beans at every single meal.  I love beans, but after 21 meals of refried beans on hotdog buns (breakfast), refried beans with tortillas (lunch), and refried beans with rice (supper), even black beans would have been a welcome treat!

At the end of the week, they took us out for a special meal.

papusas
You would never guess what they stuffed in these papusas.
I must say, though, that my nails were extremely smooth and shiny by the end of that week.  Maybe beans truly are magical.

blackbean3

Chunky Black Bean Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup pre-made salsa
  • chopped green pepper (optional)
  • cilantro (optional)

 

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until the mixture becomes the desired consistency
  • Eat and enjoy!

 

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Kaleidoscope Lives: Lydia {Prominent Purple}

Kaleidoscope Lives: Lydia {Prominent Purple}

Kaleidoscope

Transacting the Proselyte

Merchant

Rich, Illustrious

Selling, Bargaining, Prospering

God employed her willingness

Learning, Worshiping, Housing

Faithful, Generous

Lydia

lydia

Lydia had every right to be pompous.   Purple was a symbol of royalty, and she was known throughout Philippi for her exquisite purple cloth.  She was prosperous, prestigious, and, surprisingly, unpretentious.

She and other women of Philippi met by the river weekly to worship God. When Paul and Silas taught them one Sabbath, Lydia’s heart was opened to the truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection.   “If you have found me faithful to God,” Lydia requested, “stay in my house.”

Paul later wrote to Lydia’s church in Philippi, “Be humble and give more honor to others than to yourself.  Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others” (Phil. 2:3b-4 NCV).  This is exactly what Lydia did. Rather than selfishly use her home for her own needs, she opened it hospitably to Paul and Silas.  This upper-class merchant condescended to board vagrants.

Lydia’s generous offer shows her servant’s heart and parallels the example of Jesus, who emptied himself and became fully obedient to God (Phil. 2:7).  Just as Paul wrote to Lydia, “in your lives, you must think and act like Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5 NCV).

How can you humble yourself today?

Top Ten Tuesday: Daycare Staff

Top Ten Tuesday: Daycare Staff

daycare10

This is my final week of working at a daycare for the foreseeable future.  While I will miss my kids and coworkers, I am looking forward to the adventures that await me this summer.  As I was reflecting on the past few years as a daycare staff member and supervisor, I realized that I have gained some odd habits because of my time with the kids.

Top Ten Signs that You Work at a Daycare

1.  Whenever you are with a group, you start counting bodies to ensure that no one has run away.

2. You accidentally tell your friends to quiet down and then realize that you are not responsible for them.

3. “Potty” is a common word in your vocabulary.

4. Your room is decorated with children’s paintings and drawings.

5. Animal crackers are your go-to snack.

6. Nap time is when you complete the most work.

7. Your bladder can hold a large amount for a long time.

8. You strongly emphasize the muscle- and bone-building power of milk.

9. You understand that a Hello Kitty or Power Ranger Band-Aid can heal any wound.

10. You greatly appreciate the fence around the playground.