“I love ice cream. I love to travel. I love ______(and we name our favorite football team). ” We lump love into one emotional category, which leaves it limp, fragile and anemic. None of these adjectives describe the kind of love that energized Christ. I chose the word energized, because God is love and His love sent Jesus to Earth. But the word love is too weak, in our culture, to describe the power that propelled Jesus to die for mankind’s sin. Passion would only begin to describe the depth of God’s love. Paul caught a glimpse of the importance of understanding the scope of that love in Ephesians 3:17; “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;”
Passion is a powerful and compelling emotion. It is also used as a noun to describe “the sufferings of Christ on the cross or His suffering subsequent to the Last Supper.” Without minimizing His suffering, I believe Christ’s passion far exceeds His suffering. His love for us was and continues to be passionate. His love is active, full of compassion and forgiveness. His love is not generic, but focused to kiss the heart of the individual. His love is visionary and insightful, seeing past your actions and inconsistencies to your need. His passion purchased and presented what no one else could ever propose--redemption; full and free. His passion painted redemption on the canvas of time with bold strokes of forgiveness, grace and acceptance. His passion transcends time without losing its potency. Its latent power is released in the heart of anyone that will receive Him.
His love is the potting soil that we must plant our lives in to flourish. It transforms the recipient, releasing our talents and kindness. It causes us to bloom. It causes His fragrance and beauty of love to be released to bless others. As we receive His passionate love, we can love others. We can forgive. We can sacrifice, because we understand that every time a rose is plucked off, more roses grow in its place. We understand that His overflow of love to us and through us is abundant and lavish, like His grace. We can love because we are loved, not with a generic, conditional love, but with a passionate, self-sacrificing love. Planted in His love, nourished by His love we can give His love.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
This morning as I reflect on yesterday, as I wait for today to begin I am so thankful for 4 golden opportunities that God has deposited into my relationship account. Each one is unique. Brayden’s energy is only exceeded by his desire to please. Brayden is my Jedidah which means loved of the Lord. I have nicknames for each of them. Keira, Jason’s daughter is Smiley because she smiles with her whole body. It starts with her mouth and ripples into light on her face and wiggles its way to her toes. It is so precious to watch her smile. Which by the way she started when she was two weeks old, every time her daddy would talk to her she would break out into a big grin. And Ashlyn with her quiet, gentle spirit. She makes me feel peaceful when I am around her. She is my Joybell. Her middle name is joy. She got her name from Romans 15:13 KJV Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Then our oldest grandchild Karyn, our Little Princess, has transformed into Beautiful Princess both inside and out.
It is my goal in this Panana camp to under gird the work that their parents do on a daily basis to invest in their children. We want to make camp so much fun that they will always remember Panana Camp, but so rich with God’s presence that they will forever be transformed by His love.
Some of you have asked where is Panana Camp? It’s in our home. Panana Camp came from an idea I got from a radio broadcast that I heard in Asheville, NC from familylifetoday.com. Anne Dierks was sharing about her Granny Camp. (You can purchase her book at www.grannycamp.com.) I only heard a few minutes of the program, but it really got me to thinking. I knew I could put my personal twist on the idea. So I tried it.
My first camp was just one day. It was so successful I wanted to try a week of it. We asked if we could have the three oldest grand kids for the week of Spring break. We needed a name for the camp. Wayne was partnering with me to pull off the camp so I wanted a different name that included him. My grand kids think their Papa is the best thing since peanut butter. They clamor to sit by him and hold his hand. I have to include his name in the camp name—we are Papa and Nana so the name Panana Camp was born. It’s easy to remember because it rhymes with banana. I would have served bananas, but only Ashlyn will eat a banana.
The name is the only thing I get right about the game. I am pitiful at every sport except eating. Eating is a sport isn't it? As soon as devotions were finished we hurried to the tennis court. We got on the courts in sprinkling rain. It was warm, so why not? The sprinkling soon stopped and we had a great time, chasing the tall, isn't that what you’re supposed to do. I get confused on all this sports stuff.
After we got to the house for lunch a deluge came complete with tornado warnings. Wayne grilled hotbox and I made mac and cheese. An absolute hit with the kids, with me, not so much! Because we are using a nautical theme I tried to cut the wieners into octopus to set on the mac and cheese. The kids didn't want to wait for my nonsense.
This is my goal for my grand kids. Hebrews 13:20 NLT "And now, may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, equip you"(Karyn, Brayden, Ashlyn and Keira my emphasis added) "with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, all that is pleasing to him. Jesus is the great Shepherd of the sheep by an everlasting covenant, signed with his blood. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen."
I didn’t get this posted last week, but I wanted to share my thoughts instead of just tossing this blog. Our days were just too full to finish my thoughts. Thanks for reading. Be blessed.