31 Days to Fruitful Living — Day 14

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Have you ever tried to describe how kiwi or mango tastes to someone who has never sampled that fruit?  How do you put that into words?   Some things are hard to describe.

Thankfully, the Scriptures clearly describe the fruit of agape love for us.  Take a look at the description below to determine if you’re truly fruitlicious.

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Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

I Corinthians 13:4-7, MSG

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Q4U:  How would you describe God’s love to someone who has never tasted it?  Is your love “tasty”?

Come back tomorrow for Day 15 of “31 Days to Fruitful Living.” We will chat about how to sow joy. I may have a black thumb, but I am determined to learn how to cultivate my spiritual life.
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Thanks for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

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I am joining The Nester and like-minded sisters for this crazy challenge:

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Photo Credit:  Dorota Kaszczyszyn

31 Days to Fruitful Living — Day 13

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Sow love.  All fruit is an outgrowth of this divine seed — affection, good will, benevolence that embraces Truth.  This Agape love does what is best, not what is desired.

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“So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish

and that you will not only love much but well.

Learn to love appropriately.

You need to use your head and test your feelings

so that your love is sincere and intelligent,

not sentimental gush.

Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary,

a life Jesus will be proud of:

bountiful in fruits from the soul,

making Jesus Christ attractive to all,

getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.”

Philippians 1:9-11, MSG

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Q4U:  How do you plant seeds of love?

Come back tomorrow for Day 14 of “31 Days to Fruitful Living.” We will chat about the characteristics of love. I may have a black thumb, but I am determined to learn how to cultivate my spiritual life.
fruitful living big
Thanks for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

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I am joining The Nester and like-minded sisters for this crazy challenge:

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Photo Credit:  Tony Clough

Holding On

roller coaster ride

Do you remember your first rollercoaster ride?  Slowly, you inch up and up until only sky surrounds you.  You are perched at the top of the world, and the sun shines brightly.  Then, all of sudden, your life topples over, and you plummet down fast and hard.  Before you can catch your breath, everything starts spinning sideways.  Suddenly, you are moving up and down and around.  You have no idea where you started, but you know that the ride is not over.  Hanging upside down and holding on tight, you have lost all sense of direction.

Sometimes, marriage reminds me of my first rollercoaster ride…

I am honored to be guest posting today at Start Marriage Right.com.  To read the rest of this post, head on over here.

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The C Word

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So, I am a Cuban.  Did you know?  I mentioned it here in case you hadn’t noticed.  My parents came to the USA when Communism took over in the 60’s during their teenage years, but the shadow of that little island just 90 miles south of my home state looms large over my life.  There are rules about being a Cuban kid.  Yep.  The rules of “Cuban-ness” are firmly ingrained into my psyche.  My dad, the Cuban Fred Flinstone in a guayabera, schooled me in the rules.  The rules must be firmly adhered to and should never be questioned.  In short, the rules are as follows:

Rule Number 1:  You must hate Fidel Castro.

Rule Number 2:  You must hate everyone who likes Fidel Castro.  (This is a big group of people…)

Rule Number 3:  You must be able to communicate rule 1 and 2 in both English and Spanish.

Rule Number 4:  Everyone who hates Fidel Castro must be respected.  This usually means kissing people on the cheek in greeting as you enter and exit a room.

If you are not a Cuban, these rules may seem a bit intolerant, out dated, or even nonsensical, but if you are Cuban kid, you understand that these rules are deeply rooted in pain, passion, and patriotism.  You don’t mess with the rules.  You will politely kiss an old Cuban man who hates the bearded dictator because you are honoring your family in the deepest way.  (Please note the picture above of evidence of my respect for all things Cuban — on my 15th birthday, I donned a big, scary white dress for my “Quinces,” my Cuban “coming out.”)

Now, besides being a Cuban, I am also a Christian.   My Savior donned flesh and came to the earth over 2,000 years ago to die on a cross, and the shadow of that cross defines everything that I am.  There are rules about being a Jesus Chick, a Christ follower.  Yep.  These rules of Christian living have been written on my new heart by God Himself.  My Heavenly Father, the Creator of this universe, penned a book that points me in the right direction.  That book must be firmly adhered to and never questioned.  God’s rules for this Jesus Chick are as follows:

Rule Number One:  Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul.

Rule Number Two:  Love your neighbor (and your enemy) as yourself.

Note:  You must communicate rules 1 and 2 in action, not just in word and thought.  This requires dying to self.

If you are not a Christian, these rules may seem rigid, naïve, or even impossible, but if you are a Christ follower, you know that the rules are deeply rooted in grace, compassion, and devotion.  You don’t dismiss the rules.  You will sacrificially extend yourself to pesky people who disagree with you because you are obeying your Savior’s example.

These days, the word “Christian” has almost become an expletive to some.  It causes me to wonder — how well are we loving others?  Are we obeying the rules?  They will know we are Christians by our love.

Q4U:  Do you think “Christian” has become the “C word”?  How do you live out the call to love others as Christ loved?

My one-word focus for the year is “fruitilicious.”  Find out what that means here.

Joining like-minded sisters today at Faith-Filled Friday, Thought-Provoking Thursday, Tell His Story, Playdates with God, Hear it on Sunday: Use it on Monday, and Soli Deo Gloria.