Showing posts with label Holy Spirit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holy Spirit. Show all posts

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Love Never Fails

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

I read a post on Facebook recently, written to teenagers who were developing crushes. The writer advised the teen to replace the name of the person they liked for the word love in 1 Corinthians 13. I’ve also heard pastors encourage their congregation to do the same thing with their own names. It’s good advice on both counts.

Love is patient. Whoa! One of the most difficult characteristics to nurture is the very first one Paul, the author of Corinthians, mentions. I used to cringe at the word patience, because I wanted more. How ironic is that? Over time, God has helped me grow through circumstances to gain more patience.

Love is kind. We talk a lot about being kind. My granddaughter bought me a charm that said, “Kind people are my kind of people.” I love it, and I pray every day for a kinder world.

Love doesn’t envy, boast, or think more of themselves than others (pride.) Jesus gave the ultimate example of humility. The Son of God died for me and you.

Love doesn’t dishonor. I enjoy a good joke, as much as the next person, but I shouldn't put someone else down to make myself feel good. Respect others.

Love is not self-seeking. Let’s look out for each other. Time on earth is short compared to eternity, so why not take care of each other to make the journey better?

Love is not easily angered. When I was young, I had a temper, and I spent many hours praying for God to help me control it, and He did. God hears and helps.

Love keeps no records of wrongs and does not delight in evil. Start over every day, forgive, and rejoice in truth.

Love always trusts in God, hopes in Jesus, and perseveres with the Holy Spirit’s help.

Love never fails because God never fails. We can’t do this alone. We need God and each other.

Love makes a difference.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

He Journeys With Me

Genesis 24:42
When I came to the spring today, I said, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come.” 

Who is on your journey?

The other day, Tim and I took a road trip. We traveled to three bookstores in the Cincinnati area. The first stop we made was to a little shop in Madeira. The owner had kindly kept my books on the shelf for several months, a few had sold, but she was ready to return the others to me. After we picked those up, Tim drove to Mason, and I visited the lovely Belong Christian Bookstore. In case you aren’t aware, Christian bookstores are few these days. I chatted with the owner and showed her my books, with hope of a possible connection in the future. On our last stop, I browsed a Barnes & Noble, found a few stocking stuffers, and discovered they only do author events every six months or so. Some might say I didn’t have success promoting my books, but I made connections.

On the drive, Tim and I noticed a semi on the highway with the word JOURNEY imprinted on the side. That got me to thinking. Who travels on my journeys with me? On our trip, Tim and Rosie (she loves to ride) were in the Jeep with me, and the Holy Spirit buckled up and rode shotgun. The Holy Spirit led us to Belong Bookstore at the exact time the owner stood behind the counter. Due to illness, she isn’t there often. I’m thankful for the opportunity to meet her and talk about my books, and I call that success.

In Genesis, Abraham asked his head servant to travel back to Abraham’s homeland to find his son, Isaac, a wife. Concerned he might fail, the servant turns to the One who brings him hope. He asked the Lord to grant success on the journey. I love the servant took God on the journey with him, and if you read the rest of the story, he found Isaac a wife, the beautiful Rebekah.

When I travel through this life, I want God with me. The Holy Spirit dwells with me day and night, and I know on my journeys, He stays by my side.

Who goes with you on your journey? Have you asked God to join you?

Saturday, November 4, 2023

A Reminder

2 Corinthians 13:14
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

The other day, I walked Rosie on the little hill behind our condo. Vibrant, red leaves tumbled to the ground from the maple tree. I’m not sure why my mind works the way it does, but I stopped and grouped three of the beautiful red leaves together to take a photo. They reminded me of the trinityGod, the fatherJesus, the sonand the Holy Spirit.

I imagine God knew I could use a reminder of who He is, for He is not a God of randomness. He’s a God of order and plans. There is no such thing as coincidence with Him.

He has mapped out what I would need in this fallen, broken world. First, I need God. He’s the love and hope of life. The one who protects and guards my heart. Second, I need Jesus. He’s grace. The One who covers my sins with His blood. He’s the son of God who took the sorrow and sadness of the world on His shoulders. Third, I need the Holy Spirit, the one who fellowships with me. He hangs out with me on a daily basis. He communicates with God when I can’t and guides me as I seek help.

I love God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and thank the Lord for His work in my life. I can’t think of a better way to begin November than with a grateful heart for the One who created me, redeemed me, and fills me with His joy and peace.

Let’s spend this month thanking and praising the One who loves us more than we understand.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Don't Navigate the Hard Days Alone

Psalm 18:2
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Don't let the hard days win.

I'm in the middle of cataract removal surgeries. About a week ago, the eye surgeon sucked the cloudy lens out of my right eye. Then he placed a new artificial lens in so my vision would improve. The left eye will be corrected soon, but in the meantime, I'm in limbo. The right eye has an astigmatism. Which means, my eyeball is shaped like a football instead of a volleyball. Most of the time, people who have lenses replaced for cataracts have clearer vision in about two days. Not me. Nope. My football shaped eye is betterI can see clear colors instead of a yellowish cast, but I can't see as well as I can out of my left eye that still has a cataract. The eye doctor did his job, but my eye didn't cooperate. So between now and the time my left eye is fixed, the one shaped like a volleyball, I can't wear my glasses. Once my eyes work together again, I'll get a new prescription.

I've adapted by using readers and thankfully my left eye can see distance, but working on the computer and reading are hard. My eyes hurt by evening and I often have a headache. I'm managing, but I could throw up my hands and quit until the left eye is corrected. Instead, I'm leaning into God to help me through this trying time.

Of course, my situation isn't the end of the world, and it should be better by November, but there have been dark times in my life when I couldn't see the end. I felt helpless and disheartened, but you know what? God stood by me and protected me. He always does. God has gifted His people with the Holy Spirit, who gives us power, love, and self-disciple. Those are the things that have helped me through dark days, along with my family and friends.

Don't let the hard days win and don't try to navigate them alone. Give them to Jesus and trust Him to send help.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Better Days

The days I take the time to pray first thing in the morning
give me the confidence and courage I need to face a new day. 
Those days may not have better circumstances, or the best news, 
but I'm prepared because I've opened my heart to God 
and asked the Holy Spirit to guide me in my actions and thoughts.

No day is perfect, but the days I talk to God are a whole lot better.


 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Give Thanks and Praise

For the Lord is good!

Thank you Lord, for your love and grace.
Thank you for your Son and for the Holy Spirit.
Thank you for the hope we have in heaven.

For the Lord is good!


 

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Life Compared to Algebra

1 Corinthians 2:9-13

However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

Some things are hard to comprehend. 

My granddaughter and her friend

In high school, we split into groups according to what we wanted to do after we graduated. I was in the college prep program with specific classes assigned. The school required I take algebra 1 & 2 and geometry. I’m not ashamed to admit, I didn’t enjoy algebra or even begin to understand it. I felt frustrated because I couldn’t wrap my head around the concepts. I struggled through and managed to pass, but I still don’t enjoy math.

Life, compared to algebra, has proven to be much harder at times, but as a follower and believer in Jesus, I’ve been given the gift of the Holy Spirit. At times understanding the supernatural abilities of the Holy Spirit seems out of reach, yet the Spirit knows me and knows God better than anyone. The Spirit understands my needs, helps me navigate the world and keeps me on the path God created for me.

I love the words in 1 Corinthians 2:9; “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived—the things God has prepared for those who love him.” God has revealed through the Spirit the very life He has prepared for me. It sounds so simple, but without faith is so hard to comprehend. God had given his followers the Holy Spirit as a guide, a wisdom revealer, a prayer, and a caretaker. In faith, I trust the Holy Spirit to guide me and whisper to me what I need to know.

Even though I don’t understand the supernatural elements of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, I know the Three-in-One loves me and wants the best for me.

Trust the Holy Spirit’s lead.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Be Still

When I sit on a rock under Marblehead Lighthouse, my mind stills.

Most days my brain spins a dozen directions, but God has given me
this one place where I can guarantee I will be still.

I also enjoy my flower bed when I water it or sit in my Adirondack chair
and soak in the beauty of the blooms.

Sometimes in our busy lives, sitting silent and 
letting the Holy Spirit speak is difficult, yet necessary.

Find a place to be still, and soak in
the love of God and His amazing creation. 

It's okay to rest the body and mind and allow yourself to recharge.



Saturday, May 21, 2022

So Did I

Ephesians 2:8-10
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

My columbine cross-pollinated.

When I first planted columbine in my flower garden, I started with one or two plants. I had grown the old-fashioned ones for years, but when I moved, I failed to take them with me. Eventually, I gathered starts of white and purple from my siblings and added a pretty blue one. With their pops of color and lacey leaves, they add bursts of joy to my plot. As the spring flowers bloom, I'm reminded once again of God's handiwork.

Last year as I perused the early blossoms, I noticed a change in one of the columbine plants. The white ones generally have a multi-petaled bloom, while the purple and blue produce more of a bell shape with tiny curls on the edges. When I focused the camera on one of the white blossoms, I noticed it had a bell shape, too. The white had cross-pollinated with one of the other plants and created a delicate white bell with curls.

I'm fascinated by the work of God in nature. Of course this discovery got me thinking. When I as a human "cross-pollinate" with the grace God offers, I become a different person. I'm no longer relying on myself. Instead, I'm a child of God who relies on my heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Through Him my soul reaches a level of beauty I could not imagine possible.

Just as the white columbine changed and blossomed, so did I when I surrendered my life to Jesus. He has a good work for me to do and when I mesh the abilities and desires God has given me with his grace and forgiveness, I'm a new creation who by what I do, brings glory to my Father. I thank God for His grace and mercy and for the chance to make a difference.

Praise God for Jesus and for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Peace in Difficulties

Life is hard sometimes. 
Being a believer in God, a follower of Jesus, and receiver of the Holy Spirit
equips me with the tools I need to navigate this crazy life.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
 James 1:2-3

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
Psalm 29:11


 

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Take Heart!

John 16:32-33
A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I'm never alone. 

Tim and I took Rosie for a walk at the local park. We hiked into an area where we could hear the river water rushing alongside us. As I walked, I spied the three-leafed trillium that sprouts in the spring in Ohio and enjoyed the greening foliage on the trees. For a moment I closed my eyes and listened. No cars revved their engines, no washer or dryer rumbled, no furnace kicked off and on. All I heard was the water, the burble of the river flowing over rocks, the tranquility of the woods. The peace reminded me of the One who is always with me.

The last three months have been hard. At times the burden too much to bear, but the beautiful, most wonderful thing I experienced in my time of grief and stress was the presence of the Holy Spirit. I'm never alone. Yes, my family and I were surrounded by the amazing blessing of friends. For that I'm so thankful, but in those times when I sat by myself in my home while Tim worked, I felt the presence of God. Through scripture and the Spirit, He reminded it would be alright.

Jesus spoke to his disciples before his final days on earth and reminded them that even as they needed to scatter and leave Him on His own, God was with Him. I absolutely love what He tells them. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

As a believer, the Holy Spirit lives inside me, beside me, and gives me peace in this troubled world.

Take heart! Jesus has overcome the world.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Anytime, Anywhere, Anything

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

The sweetest time of the day is...When you pray...Why?
Because you're talking to the One who loves you the most. -Anonymous

As we gathered around the dinner table in my parents' home, we bowed our heads and my dad prayed. In his eighties, his voice sometimes quivered. He'd served as an elder and deacon over the years, and prayed over communion at church and at the bedside of the sick and shut in. Knowing my dad as I did, he moved beyond his comfort zone, humbled himself, and prayed out loud because he loved God and chose to serve the Lord.

I don't consider myself to be a great prayer. Oh, I talk to God frequently but not eloquently. Sometimes my prayers are thrown up in desperation, at times I find myself begging (maybe not the best idea,) while other times I just talk as if I'm chatting with a friend. The chats are some of the best prayers.

I love that God makes praying easyany time of day or nightanywhereabout anything. There are no walls to break through, no papers to fill out, no meetings determining the proper way to pray. Instead, God just asks us to communicate with Him. He longs to hear from us because He loves us so much.

Sometimes I feel anxious, something troubles me to the point that my stomach aches, my nerves get on edge, and my heart hurts. There is only one cure to calm my soulprayer. Philippians says, in any situationANY situationtake requests to God through prayer. Thank Him and then talk to Him about anything and everything.

One of the beautiful elements of prayer is when I can't find the words; the Holy Spirit steps in and takes my needs to God for me. Prayer is one of the most wonderful parts of my walk with God. I love that I can talk to Him any time or place about life.

Talk to God as you would a friend. He listens.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

He Hears Your Heart

God hears my heart—what a beautiful concept.

Sometimes putting a prayer into words seems impossible.
I fumble over the words, my mind wanders one-hundred different directions,
but the wonder of it all is—the Holy Spirit
takes those words and thoughts and lifts them to God for me.

He helps me pray, and for that I am thankful.


 

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Thankful for Freedom

2 Corinthians 3:15-17
Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

The children waved flags in their honor.

Mrs. Blankenship's art classes made this beautiful flag.

On Veteran's Day, I had the privilege to watch the program the school put on to honor the men and women who served in the military. The children lined the halls and waved flags and the vets marched around the school. The scene brought back memories of an old-fashioned, small-town celebration. After the march, the children gathered in the gym. My daughter, Sara, sang The National Anthem, then the men spoke about their time in the military. A student from each class got to ask a question and hear the responses. I admit at times I had tears and chills.

One of the gentlemen in the group was a very special guest. Former Superintendent William Bick, who the school is named for, spoke to the students. At ninety-eight years old, he told them he served in WW2. What a treasure to have met this honorable veteran.

All the veterans who spoke represented the freedom they fought for and the safety they defended for our country. They gave their time to protect our freedom.

My dad served in WW2, my husband as an Air Force Reservist, my brothers in the National Guard. I've always had great respect for our military.

Our American freedom is not the only freedom we have. Believers and followers of Jesus hold a freedom that can never be taken away. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we also gain freedom from sin through repentance, freedom to live a life following the Savior, and freedom from the world. No matter what goes on around me, I know Jesus is with me and He comforts me.

I thank God for the veterans and military persons who serve, and I thank God for the One who gave His life as a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus loves us so much. He wants us to have the freedom He offers, the freedom to love, forgive, and hope.

On Thanksgiving, give thanks for our military and for Jesus, the one who sets us free.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Restoration

1 Corinthians 3:16
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 

Proverbs 24:3-4
By wisdom a house is built,
    and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
    with rare and beautiful treasures.

I'm fascinated by this truthwhen a house is abandoned, it falls in to disrepair.

As my husband and I drove around the city, we noticed so many abandoned homes. It was sad to see places that once housed people in such poor repair. I thought about the laughter, shared meals, and life that once dwelled there. Kind of like a person who loved God then turned away from him. An emptiness of neglect fills the space.

HGTV and other channels are filled with television shows about restoring neglected and dilapidated houses. On Maine Cabin Masters, the carpenters restore cabins for folks who want a safe and beautiful place to relax. At the beginning of each episode, we see the damage done by animals, rot, and time. Chase Morell and his team of Mainers start with demo day where they strip the house down to the bones, and remove all the nastiness. Before they can start the remodel, they reset the foundation and make sure the house is secure. Once that's finished, they transform the place into a lovely, livable space.

1 Corinthians reminds me my body is God's temple, or his home. Like a house, my body can fall into disrepair. Maybe I haven't taken care of my physical needs. I'm sick and don't seek the proper care, or I fail to exercise like I should. I'll feel the effects of the neglect. What if I haven't taken time to keep myself mentally alert or healthy? My anxiety causes me to worry. What if I ignore my spiritual needs or step away from God into sin? My soul feels abandoned and empty. When that happens, I'm broken and distraught.

When I suffer from spiritual neglect, I first need to restore my relationship with God, seek forgiveness and rebuild my spiritual foundation. Without a firm foundation the house will crumble and fall. Jesus, the one who shores me up, gives me a solid base. Through Bible reading and prayer, the Holy Spirit speaks to my soul with wisdom and understanding. God secures my foundation, and I fill up with his rare and beautiful treasures. His hope and grace pour into the spaces of what was once an empty, desolate place. God wants to dwell in his temple with the people He loves.

Invite God to dwell in you.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Choose Wisely


Ecclesiastes 4:12
Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

The trees embraced.

As I finished my walk around the neighborhood, I noticed two shaggy birch trees hugging. They had obviously grown side-by-side, whether planted that way on purpose or by chance. As they'd reached their full height, the trunks had twisted together. Maybe in the process one held the other up, or they grew together like twins. Either way they were a beautiful sight.

The two trees got me thinking. Who do I cling to and grow with in life? As a child I grew into myself alongside my family. 

I am twined with my husband and my children. Most important, I've asked God into my life to weave his beautiful pattern.

But, God isn't the only one vying for our commitment and love. He's not the only one who wants to get close.

In the plant kingdom, there are lovely green vines that choke the life out of other plants. The Dodder vine, also known as "devil's guts" and "strangleweed" destroys the host plant by sucking the life out of it. Much like Satan, who sucks the life out of people.

I am astounded by the amount of evil in the world. If I spend a few minutes with the news or social media, I'm sick to my stomach. Satan runs his tentacles out into society to grab anyone who will listen. The Devil is real, and he's reeling in anyone who will associate with him and act out his evil plans. You see, the Devil uses a choke hold to suck the life out then fills minds with his desires.

On the other hand, God doesn't force me to love him or obey him. He's given me free will to choose to follow him. His hugs are open, not choking. When I intertwine with God—Jesus and the Holy Spirit also wrap me in their love. They give me hope and encouragement. They are the strongest cord I could hold on to. God doesn't choke out the weeds, he invites them in to love and be loved. God gives life to the broken and heals the wounded. I want his embrace.

Choose wisely who you welcome into your life.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

The Spirit Leads Me

Psalm 143:8-10
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
for I hide myself in you.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.

Oh the adventures we shared.

As kids, the neighbors, my cousin, and I played in the creek across the field. We couldn't resist the challenge of crossing from one bank to the other. We'd climb across fallen trees and try not to tumble into the not so deep water. We'd clamber over the slippery rocks
and balance on wet moss and rocky surfaces. One slip of the foot and we'd splash in the creek or maybe injure ourselves. But we climbed anyway. If we didn't challenge ourselves to conquer the creek, one of us would dare the other.

What I remember most—we weren't afraid. We took the challenge. We knew if we fell, one of our friends would help us up.

Seems like the life we live these days resembles the climb over slippery, uneven rocks. Jagged stones fill our paths and fallen trees offer a way out, but they may be dangerous, too.

With all the uncertainty, disagreements on how to move forward, and frustration over the changes life has taken, I have to trust God. Or I'd fall apart. Or worse tumble into the cold waters of fear. Believe me when I say, "COVID-19 is a scary uncertainty. The divide in our country frightens me." Yet I know I can face my fears and stare them down; because I trust in the one who will lead me away from the rocky terrain and take me to level ground. The Holy Spirit is working amidst all the chaos. He's holding my hand and giving me hope.

I love that I have God to trust in, Jesus to cling to, and the Holy Spirit to guide my way.

Trust God with the difficult stuff.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Instead of Fear

Instead of fear, trust. Instead of fear, sing. 
Instead of fear, believe in the good. 
Instead of fear, embrace the power of God's Spirit.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid,
but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
~2 Timothy 1:7

Saturday, January 25, 2020

When the Day Begins


Psalm 143:8-10
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
    for I hide myself in you.
Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
    lead me on level ground.

I don't wake up like I did when I was a kid.

I used to bound out of bed in the morning. Now arthritis reminds me, I best not jump at the crack of dawn. Even though my body wakes up with slow twists and turns, my heart leaps with joy. God has allowed me another day. He's gifted me with new experiences. The morning brings me his unfailing love, just as he did for King David.

In Psalm 143, David called on God in the morning to pour out his love. He prayed for help and guidance. He sought protection and direction. Shouldn't we do the same. Our first line of defense or offense requires prayer.

Here's what I learned from David as he sought out God's wisdom.

Ask God to:
  • Show me-as I trust in him
  • Protect me-as I hide in him
  • Teach me-as I do his will
  • Lead me-as I follow his Holy Spirit

I love the last part of verse ten. David asks the Lord to lead him to level ground, through the Spirit. On level ground we can plant our feet, with prayer, in the word of God. 

When the day begins, seek God first.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Movies Parallel Truth

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” Jesus in John 16:12-15

I love a good movie. So far this holiday season I've watched two; Frozen 2 and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

Frozen 2 is a fictional story about two sisters who want to save their kingdom. As Elsa seeks to solve the problem in the movie (no spoilers here) she's encouraged to listen for nature's voice in order to do the right thing.

Lloyd Vogel, a journalist, struggles in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood with angst against his father. Mister Rogers, a children's show star and minister, shares love and encouragement with Lloyd. In his own fashion, Mister Rogers teaches Lloyd about listening for truth and making the right choice. If you know Mister Rogers' story at all, you know he was a kind man who loved people and encouraged children to recognize and understand their feelings. He also loved God, prayed and read the Bible.

As I watched both movies, I couldn't help but find parallels with some biblical truths. Living life as followers of Jesus, we strive to pay attention to the Spirit's lead and share Jesus' love and kindness with the world. We're called to hear, not nature's spirit but, the Holy Spirit. He carries our prayers to God, connects us to Jesus, and gives us encouragement and advice. By listening to the Spirit, we can make a prayerful, spiritually informed decision to do the right thing. By loving people in the kind, gentle way of Mr. Rogers, we show the world the love and grace of Jesus. Both movies reminded me of God's truth, to love Him and love people.
As you go along this holiday season and interact with others, seek the Spirit's guidance and pour God's love over the folks who cross your path.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9