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.

Image result for st francis wolf

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

*****

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.

James in the Suburbs

James in the Suburbs is a study of the Epistle of James – a letter from James, who was likely the brother of Jesus. He was writing to a group of 1st century Christians, who were having to figure out what it meant to follow Jesus while dealing with a lot of problems.

Around the study is wrapped the story of six men and women living in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia whose lives were changed by the teachings of James.

The book contains a discussion plan for those wanting to study it as a group.

Click here to print out a flyer for this book or here to read the first three chapters (compliments of Wipf and Stock Publishers).

Available at Amazon and Wipf and Stock.

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.

Dismantling Injustice

Dismantling Injustice is a study of the Song of Solomon – an ancient Hebrew opera found in the Old Testament. It was written as a rallying cry to the Northern Kingdom, encouraging the inhabitants to resist King Solomon’s unjust rule.

Around the study is wrapped a story which takes place in the halls of Washington, D.C. as an African-American congressman recounts his life.

The book contains a discussion plan for those wanting to study it as a group.

Click here to print out a flyer for this book and here to read the first three chapters (compliments of Wipf & Stock Publishers).

Available at Amazon and Wipf and Stock.

Grace

Grace teaches us that God loves because of who God is, not because of who we are — Philip Yancey

I once knew a guy who judged himself on who his friends were.  Well, they weren’t exactly friends, more like business associates.  The problem was, they liked him because they thought they could use him. And they could. When they had used him up,  they left him at the side of the road.

But God isn’t like that – God needs nothing from us. God doesn’t need us to accomplish anything, because God can find ways to get stuff done without us.  God loves us because that’s who God is… and that’s a result of grace.

The thing is… God wants to hangout with us – like a father with his child. And if we let God hangout with us, we get to be part of what God is doing in the world. What is more purposeful and worthwhile than that?

father daughter

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.

 

St. Patrick’s Love Story

Saint Patrick was that Irish guy who chased the snakes out of Ireland? Right? Nope!

Well, I can’t speak for the snake part, but Saint Patrick was not Irish! And for once, a Christian didn’t go into a country forcing the indigenous people to become Christians.  Yet, his faith changed the Emerald Isle forever.

Patrick was born in Roman Britain to a middle-class family at the end of the 4th century. When Patrick was a teenager, marauding Irish raiders attacked his home. Patrick was captured, taken to Ireland, and sold to the head of an Irish clan, who put him to work as a shepherd. He was a slave! A victim of human trafficking. Think about it!

Back home in Britain, Patrick had been raised in a Christian home, but he didn’t believe in God. But now — isolated and lonely — Patrick began seeking out a relationship with his creator.  In his confessions, he wrote, “I would pray constantly during the daylight hours” and “the love of God surrounded me more and more.”

Six years after his capture, God spoke to Patrick in a dream, saying, “You are going home. Look — your ship is ready.” Patrick escaped and walked 200 miles to the Irish coast where he boarded a ship and traveled home. At home with his family, Patrick recognized that God was calling him to become a priest (eventually a bishop). Then, one day, thirty years after escaping from slavery, Patrick, out of a great love for the people of Ireland returned to the Emerald Isle.

Ireland was a violent and barbaric place at this time. Human sacrifice was commonplace. Patrick understood the danger and wrote: “I am ready to be murdered, betrayed, enslaved — whatever may come my way.” And yet, his love for the Irish also shines through his writings where he worried constantly for them — not just for their spiritual welfare, but for their physical welfare too.

Because of his days spent in slavery in Ireland, Patrick understood the Irish in a way that no other foreigner could.  He respectfully helped them make sense of their ancient stories and encounters with divine beings and God. Through his example, he brought a peace they had never known before. Because of Patrick, the Irish both put down their weapons and outlawed slavery. That’s even better than driving out snakes. Or, perhaps, it is the same thing as driving out the snakes!

Because of Patrick’s love for those who enslaved him, the Holy Spirit used him to transform a whole nation. Being the hands and feet of Jesus, Patrick took seriously Jesus example: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you” — Jesus, John 14:27.

StPatrick1

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.

Jesus loved him

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.

You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.'”

He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.”

Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”

–Mark 10:17-23

This guy thinks he is going to get a ticket to heaven by being good enough – by keeping a set of religious rules. But Jesus rocks his world. Keeping those rules aren’t going to do it for him.  But go sell everything you own and follow me.

The creator of the universe loves this guy (like he loves all of us) and he is standing in front of this guy (like he is standing in front of all of us) saying “follow me.” But the guy decides he loves his stuff too much to hang out with God.

Sad.

FC

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.

 

What to Wear?

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony — Col 3:14

Love pulls the whole outfit together unifying the parts…

compassion,
kindness,
humility,
meekness,
patience,
bearing with one another,
and forgiving each other.

wearing christ

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.

Only One of Us

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us! — St. Augustine

There is nothing else to add.  If you know this, you’ll find joy every day of your life.

Image result for joy

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.

Zombies are Really Real

We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death. — 1Jo 3:14

From time to time, you’ve probably run into people whom you suspected were the walking dead, but weren’t completely sure. Well, now there is a test for that… do they love others? Because whoever does not love abides in dead. Don’t be a zombie.  Be determined to love others and pass from death to life.

Image result for cute zombie cartoon

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. Kindle Version is $2.99 for a limited time.