Sisters For Sunshine

Receive God's Warm Love Through Reflection

Welcome All People With Love

I posted this on my Facebook page last month, and I’d like to share it here. It’s an important issue to share.

Alicia Keys made a beautiful and sad video portraying what it might be like if Americans faced the struggles of refugees. What if you were in the refugees’ shoes? What if you saw your children struggling like this? How would you feel? We need to stand up for love.

We need to help the refugees, not ban them. They are women, men, children…families just like yours. They are people who are wanting love and peace. And America should be a place that they can go and live in peace and love.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in…” (Matthew 25:35)

#loveothers #refugees #peace #opendoors #immigration #helpothers #compassion

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Fear and Relationships

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
 “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
 “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.  He freed me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4

God tells us to love above all things. When we love like God, our relationships are full, healthy, and complete.

However, fear is something that can effect our relationships and hinder our love.

Fear in relationships can make us hide, stuff feelings and not open ourselves up to one another. It can be unhealthy. When we’re afraid, we tend to hold back and the relationship doesn’t grow as it should. We tend to step backwards with God when we let our fears get the best of us.

Fear hinders love from fully blossoming, especially our love for God. But Love is the answer, not fear, in our relationships.

In the beginning, with Adam and Eve, after Eve and Adam ate from the forbidden tree, Adam tried to hide and blame Eve for tempting him to sin rather than admit his own fault to God.  He was trying to redirect things and hide. We hide often…we are afraid of disapproval and exposing our true self to others.

Remember that God sees all of you. We have value. Don’t let fear drive your decisions. Don’t let fear make you close off from fully developing your relationships with others. But rather, expose all of yourself to God and to others, and let God and others see the real you, scars and all. God loves us no matter what!

Facing your fears will help you improve your relationships. You are more open with others, more open to work together, and more willing to stay committed.

God holds four principles with each of us, that we should likewise apply toward all people we interact with:

1. I’m completely accepted
2. I’m unconditionally loved.
3. I’m totally forgiven
4. I’m extremely valuable

1. God accepts all of us no matter what! Focus on being accepted and loved by Him in your relationships with others.

2. “Perfect love drives out fear”. God has perfect love for us; He love us unconditionally, even when we sin. His love overcomes anything else.

3. Just as He accepts all of us, He thus forgives us from sin. Be free to admit sin and ask for forgiveness and grace in your relationships.

4. Your life is valuable. God values you. Stand strong and confidently, knowing this truth. Strengthen your relationships in this truth.

God’s second commandment is to love one another like God loves us. If we stick to that principle, to love like God, to love perfectly and unconditionally, then that can transform our relationships for the better. 

Let go of fear and love one another completely and openly. 

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Love: Life’s Purpose

I saw a video today about a dog who was adopted by a loving couple and took care of him while he was terminally ill with kidney failure. He spent his last days loving and being loved.

And that’s what I think life should be about. To love and be loved. If there was more love and being loved, there would be more peace and joy in the world.

How can you love more? What can you do to bring love into someone’s life, no matter how small the love you give? 

Today make love your life purpose!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FUpworthy%2Fvideos%2F1338325209541667

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God commands the impossible

“Moses said to the people: “If only you would heed the voice of the LORD, your God, and keep his commandments and statutes that are written in this book of the law, when you return to the LORD, your God, with all your heart and all your soul. For this command that I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote for you. It is not up in the sky, that you should say, ‘Who will go up in the sky to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?’ Nor is it across the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?’
No, it is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out.”” –DT 30:10-14

“There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?  How do you read it?”  He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”” –LK 10:25-37

God commands the impossible. He calls us to follow Him and to love everyone with all our being, and He believes that we can achieve that completely! We are imperfect people, but God has faith in us.

And we should have faith in God, that we can follow His laws fully. We must not just love sometimes and follow God when we want to. We must love and follow God with all of our strength, turn to God always, and do our best no matter what.

God believes that we are capable of so much love in the world. He set these commands with a unwavering doubt that His people are capable of loving fully.

It may seem impossible, but God gives us strength. With God, all things are possible. Trust in God with perfect faith, and you can do (and love) anything! 

LORD, thank you for your powerful teachings. Be there with us as we reach out to others and carry out your commands. Help us to love others with all our body, mind, and soul. Help us to do the impossible. May LOVE be our focus, and may You be our guide always. Amen.

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The Book of 1 John

Yesterday I read 1 John and it’s a wonderful book about love. God is love and to follow God means to live in love.

We should not only believe in love but act in love: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:18).

We should love one another just as God loves each of us: Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:11-12).

I found this image that explained it well:

We wanted to let you know, as you’ve probably noticed the last couple of months, but we will be posting less. Lisa’s son is due any day now and with both of us caring for young ones we are a bit more busy with family life. But we hope to post a few times each month. This blog has been a great outlet for us to reflect on our faith and focus on positivity.

Thanks for joining us! – Lisa and Krista

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Love = Respect

Yesterday my husband and I heard a good message about love.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:30-31

“You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” – Matthew 5:43-44

When God says to love everyone, it doesn’t mean we have to LIKE them. We just have to RESPECT everyone, treat everyone with KINDNESS, and be GOOD to people.

For example, I may not like the neighbor that yells at everyone, but I have to respect him, still tolerate him and his beliefs, and show kindness even when I don’t receive any in return.

LOVE goes beyond liking someone. It is full of sacrifice. Every day, I must love, I must be kind no matter what, I must work hard to help people, and I must work hard to not judge or act above someone else.

Think about the unconditional love God gives to you and try to love like that always. We all deserve love and respect in this world.

LORD, thank you for your love even when I don’t deserve it. Loving others is hard to do, especially when we don’t like them. May we learn to respect others and treat them with kindness. May Your love shine through. Amen.

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Song: Stand In The Light

Immediately when I heard this song, I thought what beautiful lyrics!

With courage and pride, stand strong for who you are. Let everyone see how beautiful a person you really are, full of kindness and love. Open your arms wide and embrace yourself!

Stand in the light and be seen as we are

Didn’t I tell you I hear what you say?
Never look back as you’re walking away
Carry the music, the memories and keep them inside you
Laugh every day
Don’t stop those tears from falling down

Chorus:
This is who I am inside
This is who I am, I’m not going to hide
Cause the greatest risk we’ll ever take is by far
To stand in the light and be seen as we are
So stand in the light and be seen as we are

With courage and kindness hold onto your faith
You get what you give and its never too late
To reach for the branch and climb up leaving sadness behind you
Fight hard for love
We can never give enough

This is who I am inside
This is who I am, I’m not going to hide
Cause the greatest risk we’ll ever take is by far
To stand in the light and be seen as we are
So stand in the light and be seen as we are

Riding the storms that come raging towards us we dive
Holding our breath as we break through the surface
With arms open wide
With arms open wide

This is who I am inside
This is who I am, I’m not going to hide

Cause the greatest risk we’ll ever take is by far
To stand in the light and be seen as we are
So stand in the light and be seen as we are
(repeat)

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Focus on Yourself

Focus on yourself – that is focus on ways you can love yourself. It’s always good to continually focus on self-improvement and self-respect. Here is a post from March 2013:

A nice read on ways to better love and take care of yourself:
http://www.abundancetapestry.com/how-to-love-yourself-in-17-ways/

1. Fall in love with yourself. Think about what makes you You.

2. Eliminate self-criticism.

3. Be kind and positive.

4. Acknowledge your effort. It’s the effort that counts, not winning.

5. Let go of worry.

6. Trust yourself.

7. Forgive yourself.

8. Be truthful to yourself.

9. Grow spiritually.

10. Make positive affirmations everyday.

11. Express gratitude.

12. Nurture your dreams.

13. Boost your self-confidence.

14. Relax.

15. Have fun.

16. Look after your body.

17. Learn to see beauty.

*Go tell yourself “I’m alive and well!” and “I love and accept myself completely and unconditionally!” May you be filled with confidence and love for yourself. Pray for wellness in body, mind, and soul.

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Four Directions Prayer

This past Sunday in service, the pastor and congregation recited four prayers, each referring to a geographical direction, calling God to encompass our entire being. These prayers originate from Native American customs, and since we were discussing equality and love for all people, we recited this as a way to include all people, to focus on loving all people, and to be united together.

arrow, compass, direction, down, east, gps, left, location, navigation, north, right, south, up, west icon

East: O Great Spirit of the East and of the rising sun, you are the Spirit of new life and new beginnings. We pray that you will give us light and energy and power, flooding our lives with illumination and understanding, and blessing us with the vision of the sacredness of creation.

South: O Great Spirit of the South, of all green and growing things, you are the Spirit of warm summer rains, and gentleness. We pray that your warm winds will warm our hearts. Bring to the land abundance and let everything rejoice and grow and be fruitful.

West: O Great Spirit of the West, and of the sunset, you are the Spirit of the great waters and oceans. We pray that your restless, shining waters may cleanse and heal us, may refresh and strengthen us, dissolving all barriers in the patience of time and bringing peace to all beings of the Earth.

North: O Great Spirit of the North, and of the vast northern sky, you are the Spirit of energy, the source of knowledge and wisdom. We pray that your icy breath will sweep away the old patterns. We pray that your cold sharpness will awaken our spirits, clear our minds, set our priorities, and give us wisdom and clear vision for the future.

Benediction: Creator, we thank you for the Circle you have made out of us within the Sacred Hoop of your creation. May the Holy Spirit make its nest within our hearts and its dwelling place among us; we ask this through the name of your eternal Word, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

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Weekly Song: The More You Give (The More You’ll Have)

I love this new Christmas song by Michael Buble – the words should be taken to heart for everyone this season and everyday of the year! Everyday should be a time for giving and spreading joy and love. The more you give, the more you’ll get back, in love and happiness!

It’s that time of year I treasure
The time for giving, the best part of living
To celebrate with friends we hold so dear
Well, I can feel it in the air
All bundled head-to-toe
Too cold to bear, it’s the best time of the year

I got my stocking, got my Christmas tree
Got my loved ones next to me

Chorus:
It’s almost here
So spread some cheer
Let’s give love and get some back
The more you give, the more you’ll have
The fire’s bright now
And snow comes down
Grab your friends; hold them near
Christmas time is here

Every house on every corner
Stringing up the Christmas lights
People caroling, “O Christmas Tree”
“How you shine so bright for me”
Children ’round the world
Shouting “Santa’s on his way”
Hoping to hear those sleigh bells ringing on his sleigh

I’m gonna wrap my arms around you tight
On this cold December night

Chorus

I hear his sleigh and I know the big guy’s on his way
Man, I’m hoping he comes through
I hope he brings me you

Chorus

Well, it’s almost here
So spread some cheer (come on, baby)
Let’s give love and get some back (come on, baby)
The more you give, the more you’ll have (whoo-hoo!)
Well, the fire’s bright now (you gotta, you gotta)
And snow comes down (you gotta, you gotta, you gotta)
Grab your family; hold them near
Christmas time is here (the more you give, the more you’ll have)

Fire’s burning bright
Hold me tight, baby
Just give it up, baby
Come on, baby
Let’s give love and get some back
The more you give, the more you’ll have

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Ellen’s Compassion

I love watching The Ellen Show, and last week she celebrated her 2,000th show! Ellen is so compassionate and supportive, and she spreads so much joy and love to others. This video shows some of the many people that she has helped over the years and their appreciation and gratitude for Ellen’s generosity and love. 

We need to be more compassionate, positive, supportive, and generous like Ellen!

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Weekly Song: Love Come To Life

In honor of National I Love You Day today, this song by Big Daddy Weave, Love Come to Life, is about showing God’s love in the life we live, not just to receive it from God, but share it. May the love that you have spark joy and compassion for others around you. 

I’ve been restless on the inside
Wondering about this heart of mine
I’ve been desperately trying to find
A way to prove that I’m still alive
Has the love I speak so loudly of quietly grown cold
Has my life been an empty voice?
What I say needs to be seen
I need to step out and make the choice
To let go of everything
Would you reignite this heart spark here in the dark?

Chorus:
Bring your love to life inside of me
Why don’t you break my heart til it moves my hands and feet
For the hopeless and the broken
For the ones that don’t know that you love them
Bring your love to life inside of me

A generation you’re calling out
Living everything that we sing about
A revelation right here and now
Of love beyond a shadow of a doubt
Love that’s greater than our own
Won’t remain unknown, when you

Chorus
Love come to life, love come to life, love come to life inside of me
Chorus

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