Category Archives: love

these three remain.

on the days when it looks and feels as if everything else has abandoned us – reason, success, security-, these three remain: faith, hope, and love. they’re pretty words, these capstones of a passage of scripture that is read at almost every wedding and quoted on valentine’s day. but they’re messy words too, especially if one is genuinely attempting to put them into action in our generation. faith, hope, and love in this century has got to take on a radically different connotation if we are to ever work as the true hands and feet of Christ on Earth. i don’t pretend to know all of the solutions to achieving this, but i want to at least offer up some of what He’s revealed on this subject to me.

faith as a complete trust – not contingent upon circumstances or emotions on any given day, but in truth. faith, for this day and time we’ve been placed in, that He will make all things work together for good. faith that He is unchanging, that He hasn’t forgotten us even when He seems silent. what mountains we can move with just a speck of this!

hope is, to me, one of the greatest needs of the nations today. it is a deep desire or expectation that things will change or improve, and being confident in the fulfillment of that prayer. give hope. be hope for someone. i firmly believe that He calls us to bring hope to others, to show the oppressed and hungry what the kingdom of God is. we can never begin to fulfill this task if our eyes are forced shut to needs around us and our hearts are hardened toward being generous without want of reward. hope changes things. offer His hope to someone, and i can assure you that you’ll be given hope of your own tenfold.

the greatest of these, paul said, is love. love is an embrace, a passion for something or someone, an overwhelming need to care for the most unlovely creatures. the kind of love i believe God desires us to have for Him and one another isn’t always pretty or easy or without hurt. but it is worth it, and it does change things. in this century, let’s love dangerously. read the gospels and learn to love in action as Jesus did; hunger for justice; do something without bothering to consider how it benefits you; and show love to the unlovable. i can think of no greater gift.

what are others saying about faith, hope, and love in the 21st century?

jeff goins — Faith, Hope, and Love in the 21st Century: a Manifesto?

matt snyder — Faith, Hope, and Love: Expressed in Simplicity

jesse medina – Faith, Hope, and Love in the 21st Century

kiel spelts – Faith, Hope and Live in the 21st Century

john sylvest – I’ve Already Got Truth, Beauty, & Goodness! Why Bother with Faith, Hope & Love?

what do you think?

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Filed under authentic faith, hope, love, wrecked.org, writings

loving provision.

from my daily sanctuary:
i must admit, i am more confident that You love me when i see enough money coming in to pay the bills each month, when the basement does not leak every time it rains, when the doctor’s report is good. it’s not hard to be convinced of Your love when all the vital signs are stable.
i am of my generation. but i am of Your generation too. i sit on a grassy knoll in the remote plains of the decapolis. i have come to hear You teach, yes, but i am also here to see the signs. signs are important for belief. otherwise, how will i know for sure?
You don’t disappoint me. it’s been three days since my last meal. my stomach is empty. the breadbaskets are empty, and it’s a long way to the nearest bakery. now would be a good time to recieve a sign, Lord. i need bread. i shoot a one-minute prayer arrow straight to heaven: “help needed, Lord, send the bread like You did for moses and the people of israel. manna from heaven. good for the body. good for the soul. good for my faith.”
You send the love sign, stroll through the crowd producing bread as though You’d been elbow deep in yeast since two this morning. i fill my plate. stuff my pockets. take some extra just in case. there’s plenty for all. Your love is lavish.
i feel hugged by heaven. reaffirmed by the sign. renewed in conference that You do love me and remember me when i am sitting far away from the bakery, without any bread. “what a God of love!” i write in my journal. i am comfortably satisfied and strong in faith.

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Filed under authentic faith, devotions, love

sweet baby girl.

what a day it’s been! first thing’s first – niece number four has arrived! little miss ari jade made an early debut this morning at 9:16, weighing in at 5 pounds 12 ounces and measuring 19 inches. after waiting several long hours for the nicu to clear her respitory monitoring, the entire phillips clan gathered to bathe her, hold her, and ooh and ahh at her every breath. what a glorious, glorious day. :)
i completed my sophomore year of college yesterday and set out for my sister’s home just in time to hear her say, “i think i’m in labor!” that’s right, aunt peanut was the lucky one to chauffer her big sister to mercy. :D tiny job, yes i know, but it was also the one instant i sped and felt pleased with myself for it. be jealous.
after a grueling and extremely brave labor lasting well over 16 hours, my sweet sister gave us another gorgeous baby girl. i’m so so proud of them both. :)

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Filed under babies, family, love, photographs

something beautiful.

my church and i spent time yesterday serving at a splendid ministry called all things baby, which a woman from our campus started in her garage last year. i cannot brag on this ministry enough! courtney had a desire to combat abortion, and He has overwhelmed her prayers by providing both a warehouse to house clothing, diapers, furniture, toys [you name it!] for new mothers, and also an office where she will hopefully minister to hurting women who have experienced past abortions with bible studies and love. part of our group painted this new office yesterday, but only after many of us wrote prayers on the walls for this new place. i wish i had taken a picture before two coats of beige were slathered on, but i’m sure you can picture the beauty of it all regardless. :)

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ballet lessons.

call me crazy, but i think i’m possibly insanely biased toward my three precious nieces. these last three and a half years, i’ve found myself scrambling to etch all of their little moments and eccentricities into memory so that, as my siblings and parents so affectionately do with me, i can relay them to the older versions of sydni, zoey, and kaitlyn. par example, kaitlyn is terrified of automatic flushers in public restrooms. she will refuse to do her business – or, at the very least, complete it with her fingers in her ears – if the toilet flushes without her consent. she also has an imaginary brother named carson who lives at the circus. :) i’ll never forget the time that i asked my mom to pluck my out of control eyebrows, and sydni and zoey began to sob and beg her to stop because they were convinced i was in pain (which we all know is truuue). sydni is also in a phase of adoration for that nasty arm & hammer toothpaste with baking soda. she claims it’s “nice and minty”. priceless. :)
so, of course, this brings me to yet another opportunity for bragging on one of my girls. last week at kaitlyn’s ballet practice, one of the little girls in her group had an accident in the studio. as my sister scrambled to help the girl’s mom clean up, kaitlyn did an amazing job of getting the other dancers to shift their focus away from the embrassing moment. she marched right up to the little girl, put an arm around her, and announced, “it’s alright, i sometimes have accidents too.”
what a kid.

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the unrelieved quest.

from today’s passage in oswald chambers’ my utmost for His highest:

feed My sheep. // john 21:17
this is love in the making. the love of God is tin-made, it is God’s nature. when we receive the Holy Spirit, He unites us with God so that His love is manifested in us. when the soul is united to God by the indwelling Holy Spirit, that is not the end; the end is that we may be one with the Father as Jesus was. what kind of oneness had Jesus Christ with the Father? such a oneness that the Father sent Him down here to be spent for us, and He says – “as the Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.”
peter realizes now with the revelation of the Lord’s hurting question that he does love Him; then comes the point – “spend it out.” don’t testify how much you love Me, don’t profess about the marvellous revelation you have had, but – “feed My sheep.” and Jesus has some extraordinarily funny sheep, some bedraggled, dirty sheep, some awkward, butting sheep, some sheep that have gone astray! it is impossible to weary God’s love, and it is impossible to weary that love in me if it springs from the one center. the love of God pays no attention to the distinctions made by natural individuality. if i love my Lord i have no business to be guided by natural temperament; i have to feed His sheep. there is no relief and no release from this commission. beware of counterfeiting the love of God by working along the line of natural human sympathy, because that will end in blaspheming the love of God.

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Filed under devotions, love, quotes, scripture

kitchen courage.

wanna hear a good story?

thought so.
my family is all about reminding one another to “make good choices,” and if you’ve ever heard me talk to my nieces on the telephone, you know this is something my siblings ask me to reaffirm during everyday conversations. in between time-outs and crying episodes over missing any action with a nap, good choices are still a big chunk of their conduct. my girls are so sweet and brilliant, and i couldn’t wait to jot this story down to show you just how valid my bias is. :)
earlier this week, as my sister picked up kaitlyn belle from pre-school, kaitlyn very quickly admitted, “mom, i made a bad choice today. i was mean to emily and wouldn’t share while we were playing at the kitchen.”
my sister, who has always prided herself on talking to kaitlyn in a very mature manner, thanked her for her honesty and explained how important it was to make things right by apologizing to emily the following day.
“but mom, i’m scared.” here is where miss belle apparently had a very grief-stricken expression on her face. sweet girl.
“i know, honey. it’s sometimes hard and scary to ask someone to forgive you, but it’s the right thing to do. you’ll be so proud of yourself when it’s done.”
though it took my sweet girl another day to work up the courage to approach emily at the play-kitchen area, she couldn’t wait to tell her proud mama the results.
“mom! i apologized to emily today! she hugged me and told me, ‘it’s okay – we’re still best friends’!”
oh, to be three years old again and have the world fall into place while playing house. i’m so proud.
what would our lives look like if we weren’t afraid to admit transgression and ask for someone’s forgiveness?

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Filed under family, humility, love, photographs