Love is patient, Love is kind.

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Being that Valentine’s day just passed, I want to address the huge elephant in the room. The one in the form of bubbly hearts, expensive chocolates, even pricier roses, and cuddly teddy bears. One thing you should know about me is I love valentines day; not for the excuse to eat chocolate but because it’s a great reminder to show love and be love. And to put it simply, we all need reminders. We need to be reminded to be kind and patient. But mostly, we need to be reminded to love even when it’s hardest to love because that’s when it counts. But what exactly is love? Not that artificial, high caloric, sugar drenched love made by humans on valentines day but that real, authentic, raw, unconditional love.

The other day I was watching a movie on Netflix that really got me thinking about human love versus godly love. In the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul the apostle was writing a letter to the church at Corinth. In this letter, he addresses many things the Corinthians were concerned about. One of those things was love. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, it says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always, hopes, always perseveres.”
I’m sure you’ve heard or read this somewhere. But I believe God wants to remind you what you have forgotten or maybe what you haven’t known. Let’s break down these verses and really reflect on the nature of Gods love and how we can reflect the love of Christ.

  1. Love is humble and zealous. That means you lay down your own desire and eagerly desire the well-being of the one you love.
  2. Love is self-less and slow to anger. This means it isn’t selfish or quick tempered. Next time you do or say something to someone, question your intentions. Is it for personal gain or godly reward?
  3. Love does not keep a checklist of what people have done to you. It is forgiving.
  4. Love is always honest. It isn’t merited on human standards but on biblical truth.

Godly love is without conditions. This simply means whatever you do cannot exempt you from the love of God. In the same way, our love for others should not be contingent upon what they can do for us or what we’ve done for them. It should rest on who our foundation should be: Jesus Christ. 1 John 4:8-9 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” We need to love as if we are living through Jesus. This means we must be his hands and feet, his heart and ears. But this can only happen when you place God as “the one” for you before a wife, a husband, a girlfriend, or a fiancé. Knowing the love of God first hand places you in a position to spread love the godly way. Let us strive to love as God loves us.

Watch my spoken word poem “The One” on youtube here

In the heart of Cuba

“I said, “Here I am. Send me.”” – ‭Isaiah‬ ‭6:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

An entire week later & I am officially back from Cuba. I think it’s safe to say I didn’t want to be back, I wanted to be caught in the whirlwind of Cuba & it’s love. But sadly, I have to face reality. Although I’ll be sharing a more in depth post, I want to share a little journal entry I wrote from my second day in Cuba along with a gazillion photos!


August 7th, 2016

It is now my second day in Cuba and it’s nothing like I thought it would be. Although I tried to come with zero expectations, a thought of “what if” always creeps in. I came with a belief that poverty ruled this country but what I have found is a people rich with humility, simplicity, and love. I have found a country rich in culture and wealthy in personality. In the U.S., there is a huge market for entertainment in the churches. Although that’s amazing, there is something so profound and yet so pure in the churches here. I see the gospel in its purest form that even if words are not spoken, the gospel speaks on its own. It speaks volumes through its makeshift “home” churches and tattered hymn books. Before coming to Cuba, I believed I needed to change my church to attract more people but in doing so, the mission of God was lost in translation. The gospel need not be made attractive, it stands on its own; we are simply vessels God has chosen to translate that message in the form of love. This is what I have found in the heart of Cuba; to love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind, and to love people as yourself. 

This was right across the street from my hostel . The houses were so colorful!

This was the church my team and I served at for about 3-4 of the 7 days we were there. 

Visiting different homes


One of the homes we visited.



This was in the pastors home.

 




This is definitely not the end of my Cuba posts lol so stay tuned! 🙂

If you’d like to watch a little video I put together , click here  !

A Day at the Well

  
With 2016 in front of you, you have 361 days left of new beginnings. 361 chances to start fresh. That’s 361 opportunities to let go and let God. But will you?

One of my favorites stories in the bible is about the Samaritan woman. It’s a beautiful story of deliverance and fulfillment. It’s the kind of story that gives hope to the hopeless. In John 4, Jesus is on his way to Galilee but in order to get there, He had to go through Samaria. As he’s passing through, he stops to rest by a well. While resting, a Samaritan woman comes to the well to get water. So Jesus asks her if she can give him a drink. But almost immediately, she realizes He’s a Jew. In those days, Jews and Samaritans didn’t get along, they weren’t even part of the same social circle because they didn’t believe in the same things. So the woman says this to Jesus and His response is amazing.

In John 4:10, Jesus says, “If only you knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” In other words, Jesus is saying, if you only knew what I could give you, you would allow me to fill you up with a water that never runs dry. Jesus knew this woman was in need for something deeper than that well could satisfy. The Samaritan woman had 5 husbands and was with another man and Jesus points this out to her. He doesn’t say this to be mean or to call her out on her past mistakes, but he says this to let her know that he knows. Jesus knew her past. He knew her present. And in spite of this, Jesus says to her, “If you only knew the gift God has for you, you would allow me to be the supplier of life to you.” It didn’t matter that she had 5 husbands. It didn’t matter that she was with another man after 5 failed marriages. Jesus STILL took the time to have an intimate conversation with her. He took the time to offer her the greatest gift anyone could get, the gift of eternal life with God because of His grace.

So the Samaritan woman says in John 4:15, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” In other words, she’s saying, “Jesus give me what you have because everything else I’ve tried hasn’t worked. Give me what you have to offer because it has to be better than the cards I’ve been dealt.” The Samaritan woman is saying, “Give me you so that I don’t have to keep coming back to this same place that hasn’t brought me any progress.”

As we move forward in 2016, you have a chance to accept Jesus into your life. You have a chance to let go of the past just like the Samaritan woman and allow God to take over. Because the truth is, if you continue going into dead places looking for life, you’ll come up empty each time. The Samaritan woman continued going through husband after husband seeking fulfillment and love but each time, she failed. Each time she was more dry than the last.

You can keep doing the same things with the same people but it won’t be any different. You can keep thinking the same way expecting deliverance but it’ll be the same. But if you take what Jesus has to offer, you’ll always be filled. Jesus is the one that makes things new. He’s the one that fills up the empty. Because the second you allow Jesus to be your supplier of life, you’ll no longer do the same things. You’ll no longer be looking for love and fulfillment in all the wrong places. You’ll have life, peace, security, healing, and most of all unconditional love.

With 2016 in the palm of your hands, you have the opportunity to let go of the baggage of 2015. You have the chance to let God in and let the past out. Don’t allow another day to pass with you doing the same things expecting different results. Jesus is the only one that can fill up all the emptiness within you. God is the only one that can deliver you from past struggles and fill your deepest longings.

 Let Us pray

Father God, I need you to fill me up. I know I can’t change myself God. But I know you are the only one that can make me over again. So I accept your gift of the living water. But even more Jesus, I accept you as my Lord and Saviour. I ask that you come into my life and just like the Samaritan woman, fill up the emptiness within me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you’d like to watch my YouTube video for this newsletter, click here  🙂 

With love & MANY blessings,