Fervent Love


And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

The word fervent in the original Greek language is ektenē (ἐκτενῆ) which means to be stretched. I don’t often think of being stretched as a pleasant thing. Being stretched to my limit often means that I am either stressed, overwhelmed, hurting, or frustrated. Being stretched in my experience is uncomfortable. Not a single one of us could say straight faced that we love feeling uncomfortable.

There are times in our christian walks where we can feel stretched by the brokenness that surrounds us. People can treat us poorly, say unkind things, and ostracize us. We can feel overwhelmed by circumstances and poor choices. We can feel defeated and hopeless. How are we as Christians suppose to respond when we are victims of other’s sins or victims of our own transgressions?

The answer is Love.

Hatred stirs up strife but love covers all sins. Proverbs 10_12

We are all broken and sinful. Every last one of us has said an unkind word about someone or has a past we don’t find comfortable shouting from the roof tops. But Jesus loves us in our mess. He didn’t ask us to clean up our acts or tell us to follow some formula for us to be good enough to be loved.

Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And because Christ loves us in our mess, we are called to love others in theirs! Because of what Christ has done for us, we should be willing and ready to do the same for others. We should be willing to forgive. We need to allow God to continually stretch us to love others even when they hurt us. 1 Corinthians 13:8 says that “Love never fails.” Love outlives and outlasts all hurts and failures. Love covers a multitude of sins. Let us love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable and shine God’s love through our lives.


Survival Mode

Winter in Maine is tough! It is so stinking cold. Snow and ice, rain and gales. We wear snow boots, thick jackets, scarves and gloves. Never has an extra layer and practical shoes been so important to me. But, this year I will have lived in Maine for five years and I have learnt that these things in winter are a must.


It is all about surviving. Surviving the first snow storm is fine, it’s actually quite beautiful, fresh snow on clean ground is pretty, no sand or mud, it’s pure white. It is after you think we have had enough snow to last a life time and surprise, another snow storm hits. It’s quite depressing.

In life, it is sometimes just about surviving. Surviving the knocks and the hard times that the enemy throws at us. Sometimes, it can seem overwhelming! The weight of the burdens we bare can crush us. This got me thinking about the house that was built on the rock.

Matthew 7:24-27

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

When we have a foundation of Christ, when we put the Lord’s words into practice, our house is built on a rock. And, we survive because all the knocks and storms that life bring us are fought off, because the Lord fights for us. He carries us with His righteous right hand.

The enemy throws us some horrendous hurdles sometimes, just as the foolish man built his house upon the sand, it would destroy us, when Jesus Christ is not the centre of our lives.

I love this verse, we can take on the world and its storms, we can survive when we cling to Jesus.

Keep going friend. He is carrying you through these storms. He is our firm foundation.

My Life Before Christ

This week we celebrated our eldest son, Jonah turning 16 and naturally it brought me down memory lane. I was only 19 when I was pregnant with him. My life was a mess. It still makes me cringe to think about, ugh! But, the outcome is profusely deserving of returning my thoughts to those days.

“Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:14).

I couldn’t begin to tell you in this small blog post the darkness my life was in back in the year 2001, except to say I lived for myself. Numero uno. I really didn’t care who I hurt. I didn’t care what I did. Didn’t really care if I was pleasing God. I just did not care. I lived to “have fun.”

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).

You always hear of people hitting rock bottom. For me, I found myself expecting a baby, my little Jonah. It was during this time that I said “Lord, I give you my life. I don’t want to live for myself anymore. I know You are real. I know I need you to forgive me and lead me and help me.” There, in my tiny blue house in Auburn, Maine I was done living for myself.

And here is where the story gets good.

God swooped in and gave me a new heart. He protected me, tucked me under His wing where I was safe and I could grow. I started going to a Bible church in Auburn and began to sit down with my Bible and really dig into it. I wanted to know what was in there!

What lay ahead was not easy, but even now in the trials of life and sometimes heartache, slowly God continues to make my heart look more like His. He continues to bless my life because I gave it to Him. I never lost out on “fun” because what I thought was fun, was counterfeit. Now, I truly know what fun is, and not only fun, but true peace, true joy, and true love.

After all, that’s why He came and died for me. Jesus came, so that I could have life abundantly.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

Please, I Urge You!

Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others.

2 Corinthians 5:11a

I remember watching the evangelist Billy Graham’s televised crusades when I was just a little girl. I can almost hear his southern voice pleading and persuading people to repent of their sins and receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

It was Billy Graham’s personal love for his Savior that compelled him to preach. He desired everyone to know the grace and mercy he, himself knew. He lived the good news, that there is salvation and forgiveness in Christ Jesus alone.

Like Billy, we also are living examples of the love that God has for sinners. People need to hear. So, let’s tell our families, friends and neighbors our stories of how God changed us through His Son.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21

This is incredible news! Jesus, the son of God, took the penalty of our sin on Himself making peace with God on our behalf.

When we understand our own individual need for forgiveness and we put our trust in Jesus the savior, we then become through Jesus the righteousness of God.

So, why wait any longer? Please, I urge you! Wave your white flag and surrender to Jesus. Thank Him for dying on the cross in your place. Ask Him to forgive you for all of your sins and to make you acceptable before God. Doing this will change your life. I know because it has mine.

Things Not Seen

We all have faith in something. Even claiming we do not have faith, takes faith. We often place confidence in things like money, education, relationships or the very chair we sit on. Whatever it is, we surely believe it will hold us up.

However sometimes, the thing we think is providing our security gives us a surprise when it leaves us empty and uncertain. For instance, all the money in the world cannot deflect every kind of pain from touching us. Fickle faith will eventually let us down.

So if all these pursuits are not truly as secure as we think, what is? Paul reminds us it is Jesus Christ.


“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35)

Nothing ever can separate us from Jesus Christ, absolutely nothing. A guaranteed assurance is the hope God wants us to say yes to for our souls. This week a lovely lady summed up her new relationship with Jesus with these words,

“God is so good! He’s working miracles in our lives every day, and the power of prayer is amazing! Such an undeniable truth for us!”

This is exactly what faith is.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)


farmto table

Sometimes I struggle.

Today, I struggled to not feel overwhelmed. Between a fussy baby, a messy house, and the responsibility of having to teach my four girls, I often feel pulled in a million different directions and completing tasks seems impossible.

Yesterday, I struggled with a broken heart over family illness, guilt because my girls have a very tired mama and feeling overwhelmed by the brokenness that has been brought into my home through foster care.

Tomorrow I will continue with all of these struggles and add to them bio family visits for baby, missing friendships, lack of sleep and the isolation that having a new baby brings. This season I’m in is oh so hard.


I think all too often, Christians can look at themselves struggling and think it’s a bad thing. But, I am a firm believer that struggling is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of faithfulness. When I look at my season of struggles, I see God. I see stepping out in faith and doing hard things because God brought me there. I see Him accomplishing His perfect plans through my imperfect obedience. I see being willing to suffer for Christ’s sake. Sacrificing myself for the sake of His love.

When my weak heart starts to feel overwhelmed, I remind myself that Jesus struggled too. Do you remember the story of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane? Speaking to His disciples Jesus said, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death”. He was so overwhelmed by what God had called Him to do that Jesus literally sweated blood! He went on to say, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” And through Jesus’s faithful struggle, He accomplished salvation for All who put their trust in Him.


These seeds that we sow are not sown in vain. God will use them all! We will always struggle from time to time, but the key is to struggle faithfully. If we keep our eyes on Christ and trust His will for our lives, there is no telling what He will accomplish!

The Holy Spirit as a Dove

Last week I spoke about the Holy Spirit in my post. The Holy Spirit is our comforter and our protector against the evil influences of this world. And, when we accept the Lord Jesus as our personal saviour, the Holy Spirit lives within us.

This week, while reading to my son Davis the story of John the baptist baptising Jesus, I was struck by the vision of the Holy Spirit descending as a dove on to Jesus. I had to show Davis this picture, to show him what a beautiful bird doves are:


Matthew 3:16

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, lighting upon him:

I think this shows the kindness of our Lord. Sometimes, believing and having faith in what we cannot see is hard. Understanding the Holy Spirit and knowing who he is is difficult. But, this visual image symbolizing the Holy Spirit is amazing. This bird represents peace and purity and that is what the Holy Spirit brings about.

In Genesis the dove is used to bring Noah hope.

Genesis 8:11

And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.

Wisdom and understanding of knowing who the Holy Spirit is takes some learning. It takes the Holy Spirit living in us to understand him. It can be confusing but God is good and he gives us this beautiful picture of the Holy Spirit descending as a dove on to our Lord Jesus so that we can get a sense of who he is.

We can know the hope that our salvation brings, just like the hope that the dove brought to Noah on the arc.

Thank you Lord for the dove and who this beautiful bird represents.