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Memories

3 Aug

Today would have been my father-in-law’s birthday. He passed in February.

He was a great man.

G iving

R espected

E arnest

A vailable

T rusted

Oh, there are other words I could use, but those above fit the letters.

A man of great integrity and faith, he loved wholly, shared generously and quietly lived an honorable life. He provided for his family, cared for us, prayed for us and deeply loved us.

We felt the same for him–a man of wisdom, sensitivity and quiet strength.

God gives us people to have in our lives for many reasons: companionship, learning, advice, love, inspiration and such.

We often don’t see this great influence until it is no longer physically present.

I thank God for the father-in-law I had.

His presence in my life for 45 plus years reminds me that God granted me His presence in his presence.

Prayer for Mid Summer

1 Aug

God, you have blessed my region with sun by day, clear starlit skies by night, seasonal temperatures and blessed images. I have seen deer on my property. They ate all my daylily buds before they even blossomed, but other sights distracted my complaints. I have seen children on playgrounds, bunnies hopping and squirrels scurrying. Neighbors are strolling by with a wave or a pause for a chat. I even saw a ladybug today, riding on my car window as I drove down the road. A cardinal pair pranced on a tree branch outside my window and the grinding chirp of the red winged blackbird was in the air today.

Oh, Lord, the farms! Despite minimal rain, the farms and orchards are productive with tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers and the like. The sweet corn I tasted recently had a rich and snappy goodness all slathered in butter. You know how to do nature, Lord! You know the joys of a harvest bounty. And after a recent summer rain you delivered me a rainbow with promises attached, promises to keep.

Did I stop to thank you for summer’s gems? I did not…until today. Today I recognized your summer gifts, your mid-season rewards I sometimes take for granted.

Lord, teach me to appreciate your bountiful goodness. Remind me to recognize you as a truly abundant God who freely gives. Help me not to be a pale recipient of your goodness, but rather, teach me love and bold appreciation for the fleeting season at hand.

You are an amazing God and at least today, for all that summer brings I give thanks.

AMEN

What Do I Believe?

29 Jul

What do I believe? What things matter in life? What is key to a fulfilled existence?

Are beliefs part of a “bucket list” or a “to do list?”

Here’s what I believe after a brief moment of thought…

–the sun will set tonight and will rise tomorrow

–a smile is an outreaching form of communication

–a walk can invigorate and inspire

–a friend is a happy commodity

–children have important things to say

–faith matters

–a prayer is never made of wasted words

–churches serve the world

–God is present in everything

–God reveals himself even when we don’t notice

–Family love is big

–God’s love is even bigger

–Everyone needs both!

HOPE

27 Jul

H ealing

O ffered through the

P resence of God

E veryday

Happy Happy Joy Joy

25 Jul

Let’s have a contest! How many of you think it is important to be happy? How many of you think it is important to have joy? How many of you remember a cartoon song by the above name from the 1990s? I think the cartoon was called Ren and Stimpy and I honestly do not know why I remembered that bit of trivia! (I digress…)

Where happiness and joy are concerned, how many of us desire both? Is there a difference between the words?

Happy by definition is: “Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.”

Joy by definition is: “A feeling of great pleasure and happiness.”

Well now… the online dictionary I used seems to define them similarly, but a deeper look at word choices hints at something greater happening in the word joy. And rightly so, as the Bible tells us about joy in several locations. I read on a website called CONNECTUS that scripture speaks of joy 214 times throughout the pages.


Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

James 1:2
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.

Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.

Of the two–perhaps we will chose JOY!

23rd Psalm Revisited

22 Jul

God is my protector and I need nothing else, nor should I want anything else.

He offers the comfort of green spaces and gentle streams so I might see His gentle wisdom in simple nature.

I am renewed.

God teaches me how to do the right thing always in His name.

Even if I feel sad, depressed or threatened, I shall not fail nor fear because every instrument of God’s care will be with me.

Even if I am face to face with mean and uncaring persons, my God will give me an extra blessing of confidence and strength to handle what comes next.

I am overwhelmed by God’s grace and goodness.

I now know God walks with me daily and promises me a parcel of heavenly blessings now and forever.

Promises

20 Jul

Do you remember being a kid and when someone told you something if you wanted to secure the truth in the substance of the conversation you asked, “Do you promise?” Okay…maybe that was just me, but the word promise held great weight for me. A promise was a covenant; a firm agreement that the exchange of information was based on truth.

I still put weight on promises. I do not ask for promises from people as I have matured into a more trusting soul over the youngster I once was. And promises from people can sometimes break apart. But as a believer, I have learned that God has promises, too and God’s promises are valuable and steadfast.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:8

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

Psalm 55:22

The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear?

Psalm 27:1

I praise God for promises kept! AMEN!

Trial Size

18 Jul

Do you love samples? I often think a sample is a great way to try something without committing to a big purchase. It is a test of sorts that allows me to see how it feels, to check out how something works.

God allows trials in our lives. It says so in 1 Peter 1:7

1 Peter 1:7 — GOD’S WORD Translation

” The purpose of these troubles is to test your faith as fire tests how genuine gold is. Your faith is more precious than gold, and by passing the test, it gives praise, glory, and honor to God. This will happen when Jesus Christ appears again. “

Hard times or seasons of dysfunction and pain are a sample to “try” to see how you might bear up when something even bigger comes.

It is believed by some that when going through a trial, one’s whole being endures the test of strength, patience and faith–faith that God’s got this!

It’s not easy to go through a trial. It is much easier to sample a product rather than sample life.

However, as we endure our tests and trials, God is ever faithful to our needs.

” You keep track of all my sorrows.
    You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
    You have recorded each one in your book.”

Psalm 56:8

THANKS BE TO GOD!

Friday Thoughts

15 Jul

Friday is an interesting day. It speaks of rest, promise and anticipation.

We can often rest on Friday evening if we do not have to work on Saturday. There is a promise of something else to do beyond the work routine and one can anticipate a possible weekend activity to break monotony and invigorate the two day respite. Friday also leads to Sunday which for many of us is a welcomed part of the weekend; being in church seeking inspiration for the week to come.

Sometimes restaurants run Friday specials.

Sometimes work places will do something different on a Friday to reward workers– a summer Friday off, Pizza Fridays or Casual Fridays come to mind.

Did you ever wonder what God thinks about Friday?

God sacrificed his son on a Friday. God wanted us to feel connected to his love and grace through his son’s ministry among us. God chose Friday for his demonstration of love so we could reply with worship just two days later.

God is good.

Church this week will be my day to publicly offer thanks for blessings received.

Who Am I?

13 Jul

Who am I to believe God cares for me?

Who am I but a speck of a creature on God’s earth?

Who am I to bear witness to God’s love?

Who am I to dare to love such a grand God?

Who am I to sit and wonder about the world?

Who am I to wish some world things could change?

Who am I to believe I can help the change?

–offering smiles, nods, a helping hand, a listening ear.

Who am I but a Christian soul wanting to do things well?

To make things better.

Who am I???

July’s Gifts

11 Jul

In the region where I live the month of July can be so sweet!

Green grass

Marigolds in bloom

Geraniums looking vibrant

Leaves fully green and lush

An outdoor rocker for sitting

A patio area that beckons for an outside supper

Ice cream shops open for business

Berries waiting to be picked

I hope July is beautiful where you are.

Do you think God gave us abundant July gifts to make up for cold winters and the sometimes fickle way that spring breezes in?

What gifts do you see in your July?

God’s Creatures

8 Jul

When my children were little they learned a song at church that came to my thoughts recently.

The lyrics are these: ” All God’s creatures got a place in the choir. Some sing low, some sing higher. Some sing out loud on the telephone wire. And some just clap their hands or paws or anything they got now.” 

It was an adorable song teaching the message that everyone is different, yet everyone belongs. Everyone has different talents, styles, feelings, but everyone belongs.

WHAT A CONCEPT! How wonderful to imagine a world full of people who mind their own business and simply love others all around, no matter their foot size, skin color, talent, eye shape, clothing choices, career selection, religion or belief system.

It was God’s intention for us to be made in his image yet still be expressively different.

When I was younger, if I did not understand something I shied away from it. If it was a wild hair style, or a strong attitude or a unique talent or a neighborhood different from what I knew and understood, I shied away, not wanting to know anything about those things different from my sphere of knowledge. As I have matured, I stopped judging and began a gentle analysis:

“She must love wild hair.”

“That noticeably large tattoo must be important for some reason.”

“Her head wrap is very meaningful for her to wear it daily.”

“Very dark skin is such a lovely complexion!”

“That grumpy demeanor means there is some pain present.”

I was not able to have such thoughts when I was younger and was still figuring out the world.

I am still figuring out the world. And some things are challenging as are some people, but that childhood song reminds me that EVERYONE has a place in the world God has given us, and in the choir!

Wisdom

6 Jul

W aiting for

I nspiration and

S pecial guidance

D elivered

O n time from our

M agnificant God.

James 1:5: 

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

AMEN

A Song for my Nation

4 Jul

My Country ‘Tis of Thee

My country, ’tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
For this I sing
Land where my fathers died
Land of the pilgrims’ pride
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee
Land of the noble free
Thy name I love
I love thy rocks and rills
Thy woods and templed hills
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above

Let music swell the breeze
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom’s song
Let mortal tongues awake
Let all that breathe partake
Let rocks their silence break
The sound prolong

Our fathers’ God, to Thee
Author of liberty
To Thee we sing
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light
Protect us by Thy might
Great God, our King

Songwriter: Reverend Samuel Francis Smith

Thank you, Pastor Smith for such powerful words and ideals!

To all—may your July 4th be blessed.

A Prayer for Calm

1 Jul

Oh my dearest and amazing Lord, what is happening? Our world continues to be in a tailspin. Violence, terror, war, pain, suffering and sadness.

Where do I turn? What shall I do? I turn, God, to YOU!

I want your peace and perfection in this world of unrest and imperfection.

Help me to be a listener, not just a talker.

Help me to be open to ideas in opposition to mine.

Help me to perpetuate an old school style of discourse where we simply AGREE TO DISAGREE.

Teach me to love those who are difficult to understand.

Teach me to hear their words even as we cannot fully appreciate each differing idea.

Teach me to pray for my enemy that YOU might in fact intervene as called by me to do.

Better yet, teach me to not have enemies, only people whom you love and who happen to differ from me.

I want your wisdom, inspiration and love, just as your Word describes:

“I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another” (John 13:34). The apostle Paul goes on to tell us “Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom. 13:10).

My Father and Me

29 Jun

Today would have been my father’s 98th birthday. He only made it to 97. I say “only” somewhat in jest as we all know when the quality of life of an elder is compromised, then it seems okay to bid farewell.

I was a lucky girl. My parents loved each other and they loved us kids. I never doubted that I was special in their lives. As the only daughter, I certainly felt some extra love and care from my earthly father. Knowing a loving father on earth makes it easy to comprehend a loving father in Heaven.

People have said I have features like my dad’s and mannerisms like my mom’s. If I think about my father’s features I may think about his cheek bones and his nose and possibly his eyes.

As I consider my Heavenly Father, I want HIS eyes, too.

Some of the lyrics of a beautiful song that came to me in my writing today are captured below. It’s an Amy Grant vocal written by Gary Winthur Chapman about the kind of eyes she wants, hopes and prays to have. They are not a unique color, or shape and may not be the best feature of her face, but indeed they would be the best feature of her life.

My own father taught me many things and I miss his presence in my life.

My Heavenly father teaches me every day how to live and love if I am open to his ways.

For God’s care and the words below I say Amen!

Partial lyrics and a brief video clip are captured below for your inspiration!

Enjoy!

I may not be every mother’s dream for her little girl
And my face may not grace the mind of everyone in the world
But that’s all right, as long as I can have one wish I pray
When people look inside my life, I want to hear them say

She’s got her Father’s Eyes
Her Father’s Eyes
Eyes that find the good in thing
s
When good is not around
Eyes that find the source of help
When help just can’t be found
Eyes full of compassion
Seeing every pain
Knowing what you’re going through

And feeling it the same

Just like my Father’s Eyes


Escape

27 Jun

When we first think of the word, ESCAPE, images of danger, exhaustion, fear, urgency may come to mind. We often think of “escaping” to get to a place of safety and peace.

I am asking today for you to ESCAPE from whatever it is that wears you out–young children, world news, political rantings, a long to-do list, family worries, work issues, illness and so on.

Your escape plan includes 3 things:

–breathing

–praying

–presence

Take a deep breath when challenged by events of the day. Just take in freshness and breathe out staleness. Breathe in fresh thoughts and blow out old, restless ones.

Pray! When burdened, overwhelmed and unsettled, a chat with God may be just what you need! Toss your cares to the heavens and God will grab them and handle them with more skill and care than you or I may ever dream of.

Find a spirit of presence, a focus on the moment when feelings of retreat slip in. It is surely something to be embraced– that feeling of Ahhhh!

When finally, a separation from the bad comes to you, embrace it and be present in it. Be thankful for the prayers uttered, the deep breaths taken and the presence of peace…even if it may seem fleeting.


1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your cares upon him; for he careth for you.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.

(Words from 1878 Edwin Hatch)

Refuge–a safe place

24 Jun

R est

E very

F ret or woe

U nder

G od’s

E verlasting care.

New Living Translation
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1

By His Design

22 Jun

I have mentioned before that I have a daily quote calendar and I am fairly faithful about turning the page each day to see what wisdom may be revealed. Today I saw these words:

“THE LORD DESIGNED EVERY DETAIL OF WHO YOU ARE.”

And who am I to argue with God? It’s okay that I don’t like onions or coffee. It’s okay that I am not very athletic and I can be somewhat clumsy at times. It’s okay that I like dessert–it’s by his design! It’s okay to not be perfect…no one is.

But we all have moments when we wish we were different. Sometimes I wish I didn’t like dessert so much! (I say that in fun.)

Truthfully we do sometimes wish things were different.

We strive toward a form of perfection every day.

“I wish I had not said that.”

I wish I knew what to say.”

“I wish I ________________________.”

(fill in the blank)

No one is perfect, yet, God provides. Perhaps a new view of perfection is what God has for us and his wisdom is always available for our learning and inspiration.

Philippians 3:12–14 — New Living Translation (NLT)

” I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

Amazing God, Please do not give up on me when I fail to see the beauty of your design. AMEN.

Wanted!

20 Jun

Remember those old Western movies that featured crooks as “wanted?” It was usually because the officials were on the look out for someone who had broken the law. Signs may have pointed a way to finding the offender.

Today the word “wanted” can be seen next to the word “help” on signs in and around local businesses. In this case, stores, restaurants and other establishments can use some help to order up the work day.

Have you ever thought about being wanted in different aspects of your world? I don’t mean “needed,” but wanted…someone WANTS YOU! It’s not that you are needed to do a task, or needed to fill a team or needed to make dinner, but rather you are wanted because you are you!

I have felt unwanted at times. In younger years I may not have been invited somewhere I saw others going or I may have been rejected by a friend or I may have disappointed a parent and could tell that at that moment I seemed a bit unlovable. But now, looking back on those fleeting events, I know deep down I have always been wanted, by family, friends and God.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”

1 Peter 2-9

God’s word declares that I am wanted.

God’s word tells me I am loved.

God’s word expresses that I was created for purposeful living ordained by the heavens.

What does it mean if I feel unwanted?

It may mean I have not looked deeply enough into my soul, my being and my purpose.

It may mean I have missed something.

Time to go look for that link back to being wanted , loved, cherished and cared for.

Because God says it is so.

Hyperlinks

17 Jun

I visited a different church on Sunday and the pastor addressed Biblical messages from a digital perspective which I decided to “borrow” and expand upon.

Early in the sermon he spoke of hyperlinks–you know as you read something online and often certain words and phrases are highlighted in a different color which is an indication if you click on that highlighted word or phrase, you will be connected to a body of information that will detail further what the author of the information thinks you should know.

The pastor’s message suggested that there are hyperlinks all throughout scripture and they are actually available for interpretation. He went on to describe how when we read a passage, certain words will jump off the page at us often provoking deeper thought or bringing inspiration to the reader right from the text. What seems like a key word or phrase for you may in fact be different for me–thus explaining how “Biblical hyperlinks” will vary from person to person.

I think this is a cool concept and and the image of spotting my own hyperlinks in scripture is intriguing to me. Consider the following passages where I have highlighted words that jumped out at me–my own hyperlinks. These are the words I want to consider, think about, ponder.

Let’s explore!

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (Genesis)

20 And God spoke all these words: … “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. … “You shall have no other gods before me … (Exodus)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans)

In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. (Luke)

Of course my question back to you is which words or phrases in the passages are hyperlinks for you?

And my challenge for you as you spend time with the Bible from time to time, is to identify the hyperlinks–those words and phrases that mean the most to you.

Patience

15 Jun

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

That reference to the Book of Romans is a fierce reminder of how easy it is to feel impatient. Traffic! Lines at the grocery market! Awaiting test results! Watching the corn pop in the microwave! Many things throughout the day require patience.

There are many Biblical statements about patience. The concept is shared in New Testament and Old Testament alike. God wants us to chill! God wants us to calm down and wait. As we wait we can be expectant of his love, mercy and grace.

It. Is. Hard. To. Be. Patient.

Today I went to a gathering of folks on Buffalo’s East Side. We were at a community center just a few blocks away from the shooting site of May 14. We were gathered to talk, have homemade muffins and coffee and to COLOR! Yes, we were all given adult coloring books with available crayons, markers and colored pencils to make our creations. If you have ever seen adult coloring books, then you know that the pictures you are supposed to color are intricate with small spaces to decorate and adorn with the colors of choice. While I have colored along side my grandchildren, this was different. Each tiny space was to be colored and patience was required as I selected my colors and defined my art work. There were 10 of us coloring and talking and laughing and sharing and some of the participants went deeper and shared grief stories from their friends and neighbors. The purpose of the event was not really to color, but rather to be available to one another–some who knew one another and some who were strangers meant to become friends of sorts on this given morning together.

The thing I noticed in the room was patience. We slowly colored our pictures. We carefully listened to each other tell stories or share comments. We took turns with the crayons and markers and pencils with quiet and thoughtful care.

I may never color like that again in that location with folks I was meeting for the first time, but I will remember the calm and soothing feeling of patience in the room. It was not forced or complicated, it just was.

God, please increase my patience and decrease my need to have it now. Help me know that some things just take time. Amen.

Mr. or Ms. Fix It

13 Jun

Do you like to fix things? I recently had an earring that lost the little decorative stone. I found the stone, but the earrings were far and away old and inexpensive at the time of purchase, so taking it to a jeweler seemed unnecessary. A little Gorilla Glue did the trick. I also recently sized up an old and very weathered wood glider I have had on my back patio for years. It was a mess–but nothing that MANY coats of a satin finish outdoor spray paint wouldn’t fix. The completion of both jobs was quite rewarding. I felt like I had taken something old and made it new again. And I did not have to discard either item!

Fixing things is one thing…what about fixing people? We sometimes wish someone were different; even more like we are…maybe. Thinking about this tells me that those thoughts are not fair and not appropriate.

Years ago I recall listening to a call in relationship advice radio show called Dr. Laura. She was controversial, un-swervingly conservative in her values and quite pushy in her advice. I remember a big piece of advice was that we cannot change people if they do not want to change. We cannot have a workaholic work less, nor can we turn our partner into a romantic free spirit if that is not who he/she is. We cannot wish someone to be something they are not, even if our desire to do this is sincere. Changing someone has to be THEIR decision. We cannot “fix” it.

God teaches us this if we open our thoughts to the words:

What Does it Mean to Be Fearfully and Wonderfully Made?

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

I didn’t just evolve into what I am. I was created and designed with a purpose. And the blueprints of me are similar to other human beings but they’re not exactly the same. I am unique—and so are you.” (crosswalk.com)

For those of us who want to fix others, perhaps we could look inward and fix our feelings within and more than that, we could honor those persons we want to fix because they, too, were made in God’s image and fearfully and wonderfully so. If there are changes to be had within me—that will be between God and me. And if there are changes to be had for our fix it prospect…well…that is between them and God.

Take joy in the freedom away from always feeling that you need to fix others.

God may see them as perfect.

Horizontal Love

10 Jun

Recently we shared ideas on vertical love. Now let us consider a side-by-side sort of love–horizontal love.

To be honest, when I first embarked on the terms of vertical and horizontal love, I thought I had invented the ideas and terminology, but after some dallying around in the company of a search engine, I see both are “concepts” with different views shared about each. For our devotion time today, I want you to think about Vertical Love being a God to us and vice versa type of love, and let’s think of Horizontal Love as the love we offer our loved ones, companions, acquaintances and those around us.

Some may feel troubled by horizontal love. Let’s not confuse the words LIKE and LOVE. God calls us to love one another even if we do not like one another. I can love you even if we don’t have things in common, see the world in similar fashion nor have feelings of likeability between us. Despite our differences, we are called to love.


“A positive attitude from you tends to produce a positive attitude toward you.”
― Deborah Day


“No human being should be maltreated under any circumstances. We are all wonderful creations of God. May we affectionately love one another.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita

“I Loved One, Not Many ; Many Loved It, Not One”
― Syed Sharukh

Those secular quotes show us the value of loving each other. God’s word has influence as well.

Philippians 2:3

 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

John 13:34

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

1 John 4:7-8

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Wow! The secular world asks us to love each other as does God.

Vertical Love

8 Jun

Back in grade school you likely learned the difference between horizontal and vertical. I recall thinking about the left to right image of the horizon when I thought of the word horizontal and I then knew that the image I had in mind was the opposite of vertical. Something straight up and down to my young mind was vertical; perhaps like a tree.

Fast forward to now, the word vertical has many interpretations. Have you heard of these terms:

–vertical mouse

–vertical angles

–vertical integration

–vertical worship

A vertical mouse is a computer accessory that helps move the cursor around the screen page and it has an upright appendage to hold while moving the mouse as needed. Vertical angles are those formed by two intersecting lines. Vertical integration is a business practice where companies take on varying levels of ownership of production stages and practices per product. And Vertical Worship is the name of a Christian band that has roots in praise music and song.

I would like to introduce the idea of VERTICAL LOVE. The kind of love that goes back and forth between Heaven and Earth. The kind of love first initiated by God Almighty and reciprocated back by some of his people. God would prefer vertical love from ALL of his people, but it simply isn’t so.

Remember the Parable of the Sower? It tells of a farmer scattering seeds for growth and some fell on the ground and were gobbled up by birds. Some seeds fell on on rocky surfaces and thorny ground and they could not find life and durability in such a shallow place. But the seeds that fell on good, rich and ready soil yielded a grand harvest.

Note…more seeds failed to prosper than those that grew well. Note…this speaks of our world… only some people are open to VERTICAL LOVE; the precious kind of love shared between God and US in a back and forth fashion. We are “us.” We are to love vertically for strength, hope, peace and spiritual growth. When we connect to God vertically our hearts and souls are enriched by a beautiful bond of love with an awesome God.

Scripture tells us we are made in God’s image. What love is this that God would even notice me, much yet love me in an endless and amazing way?

Shouldn’t I reciprocate?

I believe it is so.