To All The Nice Girls
Some encouragement from my friend at Go Giver Collective to all of the nice girls that often hear words that discourage them from being kind.
Shrugging At God
"It's easy to forget that, apart from Christ, I also was an enemy of God. "
Convicting and encouraging post from Escape Escapism.
Book Review: Under Our Skin
Another great post from Escape Escapism. Tucking this away here as a reminder to read it later.
Redeemed Hearts Should Be Others Focused Hearts
"There are two kinds of people—the self-centered and the others-centered."
The Wonder of Oneness
Messy love story + becoming one in marriage = the wonders of God making two people one in marriage.
A Prayer For A Hopeful Vision
Thank you Father for never leaving us alone.
There's a ministry called Adopt-a-Block that reaches out to families and individuals that live on one of most crime ridden streets in York County. Christian men and women give up their free time to minister to people that are impoverished, experience prostitution, and dabble in illicit drug and gang activity in order to show them the love and hope of Jesus Christ.
I had the opportunity to become involved with this ministry for a few months this past summer, and what I experienced amazed me. These Christian men and women meet real physical needs. They are in connection with local churches to provide food, clothes, toiletries, and even furniture to the people within this community. But their primary focus is on meeting spiritual needs through developing close relationships with the families and individuals.
The people on this street know these men and women as the church people, but there's a deep love and respect among the people that live on the street and the people that have been visiting their homes for the past few years. Through these relationships, God has provided opportunities for the people on the street to hear about the gospel.
In the believers involved with Adopt-a-Block, I see the compassionate love of Christ that Paul Miller describes in his book, Love Walked Among Us:
Jesus has shown us how to love: Look, feel, and then help. If we help someone but don't take the time to look at the person and feel what he or she is feeling, our love is cold. And if we look and feel, but don't do what we can to help, our love is cheap. Love does both.
In essence, love shows compassion, which requires action + feeling.
Jesus explains what compassionate love looks like while sharing the parable of the Good Samaritan with a lawyer seeking how to inherit eternal life. From Luke 10:25-37:
Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?"
The one who showed compassion.
The men and women involved with Adopt-a-Block in York County show the compassionate love of Christ through the way that they see the people and care for them. They see their physical and spiritual needs and they take action to care for both. It isn't easy, and these men and women pray for protection from God on a street known for violence, prostitution, and drug use. However, they get to see an entire community transformed through imaging the compassionate love of Jesus Christ.
Christ exhibits compassionate love in his death on the cross. He was moved by compassion for his people and their enslavement to sin, and this compassion moves him to give his life on the cross for the ransom of many. What greater act of compassionate love is there?
Reading the Love Shows Compassion section from Love Walked Among Us and ministering alongside the men and women involved with Adopt-a-Block opened my eyes to how Jesus shows compassion through feeling and action. I can often choose one or the other (action or feeling), but like Paul Miller writes, true compassion requires both.
This post is a part of a series as I review and share thoughts spurred on by the book
Love Walked Among Us by Paul Miller.
When I find a book that I love, I can't stop talking about it with friends or seeing real-life applications to what I read. Love Walked Among Us by Paul Miller is one of those books. I loved it because it was all about the love of Jesus, and I can't stop talking about it because it revealed so much about Christ's love to me.
Paul Miller goes through Scripture passages about Jesus and shows how Christ's love is shown through his interactions with others. Miller then gives insightful real-life applications. He shows the reader the depth of Christ's love and how we can image Christ in loving others.
Miller divides up the book by focusing on different attributes of love and how Christ exemplified those attributes. The book is divided up as follows:
Part 1: Love Shows Compassion
Part 2: Love Speaks the Truth
Part 3: Love Depends on God (COMING SOON!)
Part 4: Love is Energized by Faith (COMING SOON!)
Part 5: Love Moves Through Death Into Life (COMING SOON!)
Since this book was impactful, I decided to do a book review series for this one and focus each attribute that Miller explores, similarly to Tim Lane's review of the 7 Principles For Making Marriages Work by John Gottman. Which means, that next week we'll be looking at the section "Love Shows Compassion."
With this new review series, you can also read this book with me. If you'd like to be a part of this series and read the book as I'm blogging about it, you can purchase it here.
Join me in learning to love as Jesus loves!
P.S. I'm a big fan of Paul Miller's work as a writer. I read his book A Loving Life last summer and highly recommend it. You can read my review of it here.
I've been praying for a prayer chair since July. I have a corner in my cozy closet that is perfect for a little chair, so I've been asking God to provide a chair for that space. Now you might be asking, "What is a prayer chair?" Simply, it's a chair to place in a space to pray and read in.
It might seem like a silly or trivial thing to pray for, but a prayer chair is something that I've wanted to purchase for a while. Praying for my prayer chair felt like a logical conclusion, so I prayed for a chair that would:
1. Be Cozy
2. Would fit well in my closet
3. Would essentially be free.
The third part of my prayer was answered when I received the funds to purchase a chair as a Christmas gift, giving me a set budget and a parameter while looking for a chair. But since I'm getting married in June, I didn't think I would end up finding or purchasing a chair before getting married. Which is why I was so shocked and delighted when the perfect chair fell into my life at an unexpected time.
I was in Downtown York with a friend, checking out a new donut shop in the area called Glazin' (highly recommend it if you're in the York area). After enjoying some time chatting over donuts and (yes) milk, we found our way into Redeax Marketplace, a vintage and handmade store next door.
We perused the vintage wares and we sat on all of the couches and chairs. I ended up telling my friend about how I had been praying for a prayer chair but didn't think I would find one for a while. We laughed as we sat in chairs with bold patterns and I thought to myself, "This isn't it."
It wasn't until we were getting ready to leave that my friend pointed out a chair that I had originally overlooked upon entering the store. Out of curiosity, I sat down in the chair. Cozy and soft. I thought to myself, "Yeah, but is it within my price range?"
She looked at the tag and read it to me: an Ethan Allen chair for $68. Well below my budget.
I started laughing. It was my chair. I had prayed for it and there it was - exactly what I wanted.
Every time I sit in my chair to pray, read, or journal, I'm reminded of God's provision and His promises:
Jesus said: "Ask and it will be give to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened"
Matthew 7: 7-8
God didn't have to provide a prayer chair, but it delighted Him to do so, and He provided it in a way that gives Him glory and praise. God delights in answering prayers, so what are some things that you've been praying for and waiting for God to answer?
Shalom! I'm Madi, a laughter-loving, movie-going, spontaneous-dancing, follower of Christ. Join me as I seek glimpses of God's grace in the ordinary and everyday.
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She Laughs Without Fear