Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Love, A Living Legacy!

Pictured above are two of my three grandchildren, Savannah and Elijah. Baby Charley, our newest edition is too little to come out in the snow. If you asked me what legacy I would like to leave them it would be to:

“........You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind......."
Matthew 22:36-40 NLT

I know it's not easy, but I pray each of them will learn to embrace this greatest commandment with all their heart, soul, and mind!

My thoughts on how to "LOVE!"

Love God...
Love others...
Love self...

It really is a matter of the heart. The only time in scripture where Jesus became extremely the point of throwing tables is with the money changers in the temple. God recently brought this passage to my mind. As I pondered Jesus actions and anger, I thought of tables flipping over and money flying everywhere. WOW! What a scene that must have been. Again, I pondered his anger and the actions of all those present. Certainly, many had sinned and done it in the presence of Jesus, but this time He became furious.

Why was Jesus so angry?

His anger was not so much what they were doing and where they were doing it, but WHY they were doing it! It really was a matter of the heart.

Their motives: All selfish.
They put money before God.
They "loved" money more than they "loved" God.
Their hearts were filled with greed.

Any thing, person, or possession we place above God puts us in the same position. It's a matter of the heart. Do we truly love GOD more than anything and do we show it in our actions towards others. Loving GOD with all our heart, soul, and mind, and our neighbor as ourself truly is the greatest commandment.

We are selfish by nature. It's probably why we are to put ourselves third. Now, before you go out and abuse your body trying to take care of everything on your own, hear me out.

Self-care is very important. Our bodies house "the Holy God!" So, we must treat them as the gift and treasure they are. In doing so, we are healthy enough to be "present" in the moment and participate as God's living vessels.

As simple as it is; it's pretty complicated. Well, we make it that way.

I pray my grandchildren will be healthy spiritually, emotionally, and physically and will run an awesome race here on planet earth. And for each of you, my friends....I pray this same prayer.

By His mercy and in the grip of His grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Real Friend

Today, I've been thinking a lot about friendship. We all want and need friends. We need each other. Sure, we can exist without other humans, but we don't usually do it well. We are at our best when we have what I like to call "real friends" in our lives. God has graciously given me a many of them and I will be forever grateful. In the above picture is a beautiful friend who lives in Pennsylvania. God brought us together through the blogging world and over time we've become great friends. No, we don't talk every day, but when we need love and encouragement we are there for each other.

My definition of a real friend:

A real friend loves and respects you in both good and bad times. They are there for you "especially" when you mess up. They give love, forgiveness, and wise counsel, yet do not judge. A real friend is full of grace and mercy living out the example of Jesus Christ. 

Now, let's all get out there and be "real friends" to those around us.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Have you ever felt like a nobody?

Have you ever felt you were a nobody and wondered how your life could possibly fit into God's story? Well, I have. I remember the day I stumbled upon Psalm 113. I felt pretty low and wondered how things could ever be different. 

Praise the Lord!
Yes, give praise, O servants of the Lord.
    Praise the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name of the Lord
    now and forever.
Everywhere—from east to west—
    praise the name of the Lord.
For the Lord is high above the nations;
    his glory is higher than the heavens.
Who can be compared with the Lord our God,
    who is enthroned on high?
He stoops to look down
    on heaven and on earth.
He lifts the poor from the dust
    and the needy from the garbage dump.
He sets them among princes,
    even the princes of his own people!

He gives the childless woman a family,
    making her a happy mother.
Praise the Lord!

Psalm 113 NLT

As you read through Psalm 113, I hope verses 6-8 spoke to your heart as much as they did mine about 20 years ago. By worldly standards I felt like a nobody, but in God's eyes I am deemed special. He chose me and He will lift me out of any pit I find myself in. He will even use me/my life to help others when I am obedient to share my story. 

I don't pretend to understand many of life's circumstances. I never have and probably  never will this side of heaven. Through the years, What I have come to understand is no matter what anyone else thinks, I am valuable in God's eyes. I don't know about you, but that makes me feel pretty darn good.

So, today if you are feeling garbage or a nobody, know with certainty that GOD LOVES YOU and YOU ARE SPECIAL! After pondering this fact for a little while it will become less and less important what others think and more important to you what GOD thinks!

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue