When Love Calls

by Christina Rose

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  1 Corinthians 13:2-3 NIV

It was a glorious sunny spring day as hundreds arrived for church after a year of isolation from the Pandemic. People poured out of cars and rushed to hug loved ones, share stories, and greet new babies. The children shrieked with delight as they raced to play with one another. People moved toward the entrance, but no one wanted to go in. The congregants were having too much fun with their garden party reunion and wanted to linger.

Service started late that day and as hundreds rose to sing in unison and tissues were passed around. The tears were freely flowing as hearts were overwhelmed at being reunited with loved ones. The pressure of isolation and fear of the past year was released like a flood. Then hundreds lifted their voices in praise to worship our God who is love and calls us all to love one another.

Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Matthew 22:37-39 NLT)

My Colorado community is so very different than where I lived in California. Back then, most people did not make time for church because they did not think they needed it. Subsequently, among my adult daughters and their friends, few hold traditional family values. Many are choosing alternate lifestyles, some to the point of self-destruction. Without the foundation of faith and family, our youth can get lost in the chaos. 

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.  2 Timothy 3:1-4 NIV

Where I currently live, faith and families come first. Everyone here has time for church and for one another. I live near my siblings and their grandkids have adopted me as “Grandma”.  When I recently held the newest one in my arms, I melted with the hope that someday my daughters will know the love that comes with being a mom. Being enveloped in a faith-based community with strong families has radically changed me from the inside out.

They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
(Psalm 1:3 NLT)

When God calls us to love he will completely transform us into his image, which is love itself.  In these last days He calls us to help save future generations for his kingdom by putting faith and family first. I believe He is calling for a great revival that will honor Him and how He intends families to be. There is no higher calling than to answer when God’s love calls us to serve.

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NLT)

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs and auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power is available to us all, especially those who need hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: How do you honor the values of faith and family in your home?

Breaking the Silence

by Michele McCarthy

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matt. 28:18-20

“I was just calling to tell you goodnight!” I announced to my husband. After all, he was all the way across the expanse of our brand-spanking-new king size bed. My whispered “goodnight” could have been lost traveling through the chasm between us. My cellphone was planted secretly under the bed on my side. When I crawled into bed, I reached down and quietly dialed our home number. Unaware, he answered the home phone on his bedside table just as he was slipping under the sheets.

We’d been married over a decade when we bought our first king-sized bed. I was thrilled. My husband, not so much. He lamented over and over that I would be “way over there” on the other side of the bed.  When he answered the phone and heard my voice, he turned, looked through “you got me” eyes, and I waved to him from the other side. It was hilarious. Basking in my cleverness, I laughed myself silly.

Most every night I “call” my heavenly Father. We connect relationally, sharing heart to heart about the day. I ask Him to speak to me through dreams in the night. I look forward to intimate moments with Him before I slumber.

When I leave the house each day, I’m learning to ask the Lord to lead me to someone who needs to hear from Him. Recently, I was led by the Holy Spirit, at the mall, to speak to a man. Turns out He was a practicing Muslim. This conversation went beyond my comfort zone. Yet oddly enough, I felt comfort and confidence rise up in me. I have only been stepping out for Jesus like this for a few years.

This gentleman kindly tried to explain his beliefs. I listened. Sharing with him how much Jesus loved him and wanted him to excel in life wasn’t hard. I explained that Jesus is the only way to God. We talked awhile but agreed not to debate. He was as passionate about his beliefs as I was mine.

I marvel at the thousands who believed at Pentecost and the stories about the disciples in the book of Acts. But the reality is our stories today continue building God’s Church until Jesus returns.  In Acts 4:29, Peter and John asked to speak God’s word with all confidence, in the marketplace of a community who often didn’t agree with what they said. As they depended on the Holy Spirit to give them the right words, I pray for His guidance as I also speak out.

After a day of attempting to show Jesus to people who may not appreciate what I have to say, I’m ready to lay my head down on my soft pillow atop my king size bed. With a grateful heart, I snuggle deep under the covers, Christ within me, no chasm between us. No span across a king size bed keeping us apart. No cellphone necessary. God right here with me and you, the giver of rest.

Yet, I believe with my whole heart God also wants to shake us awake – to impart boldness to us to represent His love and power everywhere we go (His plan all along). I often feel the Lord imploring us to step out of the “rest” mindset of our church huddle and speak up in our marketplace – because the time of silent Christianity is over!

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Isaiah 60:1-3 ESV

Breaking the Silence and Remembering to be Thankful for God – Michele McCarthy on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Michele McCarthyAbout the author: A wife to her devoted husband and a mom of two fine young men, two fabulous daughters-in-law and five beautiful grandchildren, Michele McCarthy has served her family faithfully for years. She is now enjoying attending Lifestyle Christianity University and exploring long hidden talents of writing and watercolor. She has written a children’s book, Daddy and Me, that is currently at the publisher. She loves reading, scrapbooking, deep conversations and talking about Jesus.

Join the conversation: How has God led you in recent months?