Love in 2018

Several years ago, I was invited to speak at a big Presbyterian church in Ohio. The church had had some problems. Apparently the former pastor had been secretly letting a group of homeless men into the church at night so that they would have shelter during the freezing winter months. He was secretive about it, because he knew the church members would not like it.

All went well until one of the church women came early one morning to set up for a bridal shower luncheon.  She was greeted in the church kitchen by a homeless man with nothing but a church-owned towel wrapped around him.

Turns out that the pastor was also letting the men use a washing machine meant to clean church linens for just such occasions as the bridal shower luncheon.  The guy had striped down naked to wash the only clothes he owned.

That was the week they fired their pastor.

I was invited by the interim pastor to come and speak.  He had been the interim for four years at that point. He told me that when they first hired him, he evaluated the situation at the church. And as he did, he came to realize that the members simply didn’t know how to love.

They didn’t know how to love each other.
They didn’t know how to love their pastor.
They didn’t know how to love those in need.
They didn’t know how to love God.
And they certainly didn’t know how to love themselves.

So every sermon he had preached the entire four years he was there had been about love.

In 2018, I am going to spend the year blogging about love. It’s what the world needs.  It’s what the church needs.  It’s what I need.

So scroll down to see the latest posts. Or join me daily by following my blog or liking my Author Page on Facebook.  Note: On Facebook, you’ll have to not only like the page, but go under “following” and default “show first” or “notifications on” – otherwise Facebook won’t send you the blog.

Love (and I mean it!),

April

LOVE

Love has the Final Word.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Live differently with me! Refuse to accept unjust world systems as normal. Let us make room in our hearts for unarmed truth and unconditional love. You have my permission to hold me accountable to this!

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April has written a unique Disorderly Parable Bible Study series for groups and individuals that teaches the lessons of scripture through modern parables. On Sale: Kindle Version is $2.99 for a limited time on Amazon. Paperback is 40% off by entering “Parable” at checkout on Wipf and Stock Website.

Never Separated from Love

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” — Romans 8:35

Following Jesus is not a promise that all will be roses and sunshine.  It is a promise that even in the darkest night, the Holy Spirit is with us, loving us, experiencing our pain, and giving us peace and joy despite it all. Our hearts just have to be open to it.

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April has written a unique Disorderly Parable Bible Study series for groups and individuals that teaches the lessons of scripture through modern parables. On Sale: Kindle Version is $2.99 for a limited time on Amazon. Paperback is 40% off by entering “Parable” at checkout on Wipf and Stock Website.

 

True Reconciliation is the Result of Love

A friend of mine just got back from the Coventry Cathedral in the UK and brought me this prayer. Shortly after the Cathedral was destroyed during WWII, the words ‘Father Forgive’ were inscribed on the wall of the ruined chancel, and they made a commitment not to seek revenge, but to strive for forgiveness and reconciliation with those responsible.

Here is the prayer that has led Coventry in their commitment to reconciliation.  It serves as a reminder that when we pray about the problems of the world around us, we need to begin by acknowledging the roots of those problems in our own hearts.

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,
FATHER FORGIVE
The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,
FATHER FORGIVE
The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,
FATHER FORGIVE
Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,
FATHER FORGIVE
Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,
FATHER FORGIVE
The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,
FATHER FORGIVE
The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,
FATHER FORGIVE
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

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April has written a unique Disorderly Parable Bible Study series for groups and individuals that teaches the lessons of scripture through modern parables. On Sale: Kindle Version is $2.99 for a limited time on Amazon. Paperback is 40% off by entering “Parable” at checkout on Wipf and Stock Website.

Vessels of God’s Love

“Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God’s compassionate love for others.” — St. Clare of Assisi

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April has written a unique Disorderly Parable Bible Study series for groups and individuals that teaches the lessons of scripture through modern parables. On Sale: Kindle Version is $2.99 for a limited time on Amazon. Paperback is 40% off by entering “Parable” at checkout on Wipf and Stock Website.

We Become what we Love

“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. — St. Clare of Assisi.
Guard your heart… what (or who) do you want to be like? Spend time in those circles with people who will nourish and inform that desire within you.
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April has written a unique Disorderly Parable Bible Study series for groups and individuals that teaches the lessons of scripture through modern parables. On Sale: Kindle Version is $2.99 for a limited time on Amazon. Paperback is 40% off by entering “Parable” at checkout on Wipf and Stock Website.

The Love of Jesus

O my Lord Jesus Christ, I beg from you… that I may feel in my heart, in so far as it is possible, that over-brimming love with which You, Son of God, were inflamed so as to bear willingly for us sinners such suffering. — St Francis (The Little Flowers)

I have a confession, some people get under my skin.  People who hurt others either directly or indirectly, people who are incompetent because of laziness, and people who think they are better than others — these people are hard for me to love. Maybe for you too – or maybe you have your own set of people you don’t want to love.

But let’s try this… when we encounter these people, let’s ask the Spirit to fill us with the “over-brimming love” that was Jesus.  Let me know what happens.

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April has written a unique Disorderly Parable Bible Study series for groups and individuals that teaches the lessons of scripture through modern parables. On Sale: Kindle Versions are $2.99 for a limited time on Amazon. Paperbacks are 40% off by entering “Parable” at checkout on Wipf and Stock Website.

Seek to love, not to be loved

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love, Where  there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved, as to love. — (attributed to) St. Francis

This is a different kind of peace, than feeling relaxed.  This kind of peace works hard. And it starts by loving. Key to its achievement is seeking to love, not to be loved.

Francis

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April has written a unique Disorderly Parable Bible Study series for groups and individuals that teaches the lessons of scripture through modern parables. On Sale: Kindle Version is $2.99 for a limited time on Amazon. Paperback is 40% off by entering “Parable” at checkout on Wipf and Stock Website.

Workshop on Writing / Publishing Christian Books

The Fulton County Library (Georgia) has asked me to lead a workshop on writing Christian and Non-Christian books.  There is no charge, but you must register. Click here for more information and to register. Hope to see you there!  April

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April has written a unique Disorderly Parable Bible Study series for groups and individuals that teaches the lessons of scripture through modern parables. On Sale: Kindle Version is $2.99 for a limited time on Amazon. Paperback is 40% off by entering “Parable” at checkout on Wipf and Stock Website.

Where do you LOVE from?

Look inside and find where a person loves from. That’s the reality not what they say. –Rumi

Where does your love come from? What do you draw from?

Christianity has the concept of a special type of love – the kind that is unconditional, able to forgive enemies, gives us hope and the ability to live joyously no matter what the situation. Sometimes scripture calls it agape.

The thing about this love is that you can’t manufacture it.  God places it in our hearts for us to use and for us to give away.

Where does your love come from?

where do you love from

April Love-Fordham is blogging about LOVE in 2018.
Find a link somewhere on this page to follow her blog.
April has written a unique Disorderly Parable Bible Study series for groups and individuals that teaches the lessons of scripture through modern parables. On Sale: Kindle Version is $2.99 for a limited time on Amazon. Paperback is 40% off by entering “Parable” at checkout on Wipf and Stock Website.

 

Love with Hands and Feet

How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. — 1 John 3:17-18

Does our love have hands and feet? Or is it just something we talk about?

Love Grows

April Love-Fordham is blogging about LOVE in 2018.
Find a link somewhere on this page to follow her blog.
April has written a unique Disorderly Parable Bible Study series for groups and individuals that teaches the lessons of scripture through modern parables. On Sale: Kindle Version is $2.99 for a limited time on Amazon. Paperback is 40% off by entering “Parable” at checkout on Wipf and Stock Website.