Love Beyond The Penny Flip

2018-02-09 09.46.49

When I was in the fifth grade I decided to climb to the highest single bar on the playground. There were a series of single bars in a row and the tallest one I could not reach unless I climbed the side bar up to it. Why I decided I had to do the “Penny Flip” from the highest bar on the playground is beyond me now, and not to show my age but compared to what is band from playground play now a days our playground would have been considered a death defying zone! We could throw snowballs (as long as they were not ice balls), chicken fights on giant logs was something people lined up to participate in, seeing how high you could get your swing before jumping off was always a goal with no limit.  So in my day climbing to the highest single standing bar to sit atop it (no hands) fall backward allowing your knees to catch the bar and continue to swing your momentum upside down by your knees until you felt your head might be high enough to allow your legs to let go of the bar and land on your feet on the ground below, was something you called your teacher over to watch!  So in fifth grade I did this and it also happened to be on the very day my mom had planned a surprise birthday party for me because I had always wanted a surprise birthday party however I did not yet know about the party during my Penny Flip show. Even though I had pulled this stunt many a time pride comes before the fall and sure enough the time I had gathered a crowd to watch I didn’t quite stick my landing. But you know what…. who came barreling from clear across the playground to my aid… my younger brother. I have no idea how he saw me but he was the first one there down in the dirt with me helping me to my feet. My arm was in excruciating pain and he walked me all the way to the nurses office even stopping with me half way in the breezeway for me to sit down awhile as I was light headed and afraid I just might faint and cause a larger yet equally embarrassing scene. (I will never be a nurse, that direction is clear.) I did break it and the memory of my brother on my left side in the dirt so quickly after I had fallen and seeing me through all the way to help will forever be in my heart as if it was yesterday. Who would have blamed him for denying he even knew me right?!?! That’s what I deserved. Now for the sake of time I’ll save the surprise party adventure for another time but it did go off, somehow my amazing family pulled it off broken arm and all! A birthday to remember for sure! The love my family showed me behind those memories took root in my heart as an example of Jesus love, the unconditional kind I can’t live without.

Love will always be our strongest witness. John 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. Mother Theresa said something like we are all pencils in the writer God’s hand Who is writing love notes to the world. What will we allow Him to write through us today? We know what love is.. 1 John 3:16 says this is how we know: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. -What?! Lay down our lives, but what if they are mean… Christ died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8) He knows we can’t do this alone… 1 Cor. 5:14 says its Jesus love that compels us! Not only that but He gives us His love to give away when in our humanness we have none to give – Romans 5:5 God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – So do not think it hypocritical to act loving when you don’t feel it (unless you are trying to trick or deceive someone) Gal. 5:16 says walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. – I pray for myself, may the Lord make my love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else 1 Thess. 3:12! I know we tend to act on what we remember and I’m so very thankful God has placed people in my life to live out for me 1 Thess. 1:3 works produced by faith, labor promoted by love, and endurance inspired by hope in Jesus-in order that I might remember and act the same. However if we have not had such experiences in this world we all have Jesus who loved YOU enough to die so that you might believe and live eternally with Him (John 3:16). So Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people Gal. 6:9-10. Dear Jesus, help me to lay aside myself and remember Your great love for me and help me to seize every opportunity, to make every effort, to be a lovely blessing to others today, to be the first one in the dirt to lift someone up even if it was their own stupidity that got them their, to sit by someone in the breezeway even if it means a possible embarrassing scene…maybe even for the second time, or maybe to plan a party in celebration of someone else’s successes maybe even a surprise one to let someone know they are noticed and loved by a God who’s very definition is love itself (1 John 4:8).

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