Let Me Be Frank… 2-12-20

Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 MSG

There is something very special about “doing life” with your best friend.  I think about the twenty years I’ve had with Marea (and more to come!); all the traveling, celebrating birthdays, finishing each other’s sentences… and I think about other relationships around me.  How I’ve watched couples go through “for better or worse,” going the distance for one another.  Marriage may not always be easy, but it’s a beautiful journey that gives us valuable insight into our walk with God.
I don’t wake up each morning and think, “I’m going to have quality conversations with my wife so I can grow closer to her.  I’m going to make sure I give her hugs so she knows how much I love her.  I’m also going to make sure and do the dishes…  She loves it when I do the dishes.”  This is not my thought process when I wake up (although, PRO TIP, it’s a good idea to do the dishes, guys), but because I love Marea these items on an imaginary to-do list still get done.
Our walk with God is not a set of requirements that must be completed in order to be worthy of His love.  It’s not done out of selfishness, or a sense of duty.  The more we journey with Jesus, the more we know Him. 
We don’t get up every morning outlining our to-do’s in regards to our marriage, they come naturally because we are selfless (or we should be) thinking of our spouse first.  We must also be intentional in our interactions with our spouse because our love can grow cold.  
How is your walk with God?  Would you say your love has grown cold?  Love forgives.  Love doesn’t keep score.  Love doesn’t give up.  But in order for our spiritual walk to look like love we’ve got to be intentional as we pursue our relationship with our Heavenly Father.  Because we love God, we read His Word, we walk with others in their struggle, we stand united under the banner of Christ, we pray for others and lift up praises to Him.  Our actions are done out of the overflow of our love for Him.  Looking like Jesus means loving those around us like He did.  And the more we know Him, the closer we draw to Him, the more we look like Love.
We are Central… and we’re in this TOGETHER! 

Let Me Be Frank… 10-30-19

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16 NLT

I’ve lived my entire life in Portales, NM.  Okay, there was a year in there when I moved to Albuquerque but I moved right back.  The world I know is friendly, medium-paced, and small town.  And I love every minute of it.  So, when we decided to travel overseas to visit dear friends I wasn’t sure what to expect.  What I got was beautiful landscapes, precious memories, incredible cuisine and a deeper understanding of “for God so loved the world.”
We walked through the Houhai lake area in Beijing, China.  There were older ladies line dancing, their movements synchronized with each other as they enjoyed the music.  There were couples walking hand in hand.  There were little kids clamoring for the street vendor toys.  And God loved them so much that He sent Jesus to die for them.
We spent the day on the beach in Okinawa, Japan.  There were families in tents enjoying a picnic meal trying to shield themselves from the hot sun.  There were kids trying to catch some waves while navigating around the adults who had decided to take a nap on the beach.  And God loved them so much that He sent Jesus to die for them.
We made it back to the states and headed toward the Olvera Street Market.  There were people enjoying mariachi music and amazing tacos.  Makeshift tents lined the sidewalk, where people had fashioned homes out of fleeting materials.  And God loved them so much that He sent Jesus to die for them.
There are people praying for another chance.  There are people who are struggling to make ends meet.  There are people who want to be better than they are, but they’re not sure how to get there.  There are people who hurt or have been hurt.  There are people that are hard-hearted and callous.  And there are people who believe there is hope.  Hope for the future.  Hope for the lonely.  Hope for the hurting.  Hope for the unloved.  Hope for everyone.
And God loved them so much that He sent Jesus to die for them.
And now there is Hope.
We are Central… and we’re in this TOGETHER!