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jconlee

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Kindness is like that perfect black dress; it never goes out of style. It costs nothing to be kind, yet means the world to the recipient. Beth and I are looking at 1 Corinthians 13:4b love is kind. When was the last time you saw a kind political debate over social media? These are dark times in our country between natural disasters and acts of hate. If ever there was a time for kindness, it’s now. It’s love in action; whether it’s a smile at the grocery store cashier or donating blood to Red Cross. Kindness is doing what you can in a given moment – becoming the best version of yourself and making your corner of the world better. Choosing kindness in the face of darkness isn’t weak. It’s strong. It’s choosing love. ​[wpvideo g78aKNDA]​

Beth and I are looking at the love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13. Today we are looking at patience or as I like to call it – NOBODY’S strong suit! My first month working in education, I’ve decided teachers and parents of small children are among the most patient of people. When your love for someone is enough to suppress annoyance, you my friend have found patience. To me, patience is when you not only come to the end of yourself. You not only love someone as a work in progress, but see them for who they could be and are becoming in Christ. This, for me, has always been my aim when I contemplate and seek patience. Now, for a little silliness. (Glad I recorded this when I felt my nasty cold coming on & did it before I lost my voice completely!) ​[wpvideo GZnthyV9]​

Yay! New series ahead. Beth & I are talking about the traits of love. God gave Moses 10 Commandments. Guidelines that were simple, yet people messed that up. Then when Jesus showed up, He broke it down further and made it even simpler for us by breaking it down to love (love God & love your neighbor – Matthew 22:36-40). Still, we manage to mess that up. My hope by discussing the traits of love is that I would learn to be more like Jesus. Really unpack 1 Corinthians 13. Love is so much more than we know. Also, for kicks, I’ll be doing these little covers of Beatles songs. Hope you get a good laugh! ​[wpvideo xNQnNBJH]​

Today as Beth and I wrap up our Beatitudes series, I find myself almost at a loss for words. This has been a much bigger challenge to write about than I thought! This last one is by far the hardest. Matthew 5:10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. I like to joke, “if nobody’s hatin’, you’re doing something wrong”. But, what do I really know of persecution? My freedom and rights are protected and defended. ISIS isn’t knocking on my door. I guess for me it poses the question: if I’m not being persecuted, am I doing enough for Christ? I heard Dave Roever speak at my church yesterday. He mentioned the disconnect between the American church and missionaries/believers in other countries giving their lives for the gospel. Do we hurt for them, our brothers and sisters, the way we…

What does peace really mean? What did Jesus say about it? Beth gives great detail and scriptures about peace. We are nearing the end of our series on the Beatitudes. Only 1 more week left after this! Today, we’re looking at peacemakers. Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Did you know the youngest child (aka the baby of the family) is typically the peacemaker? As the youngest, I hope this is true of me. Many years ago, someone came against me over something I had not done. A woman I admire and who knew me well enough to know it was untrue gave me this scripture and it changed my life: Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. I’ll do what I can to live at peace with my neighbors. That…

One of the reasons I love partnering with Beth in this collaborative effort is because she thinks different than me. Her posts are study driven while mine tend to be anecdotal. We’re looking at Matthew 5:8 this week as we continue our look at the Beatitudes. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. I want to talk about having pure motives. It’s actually something I pray for and give myself frequent heart check-ups. Here’s a few questions I ask myself regarding serving and/or giving: Will anyone know I did this? How do I benefit from it? Will this lead to future opportunities or get me close to certain people? Will this glorify the Lord or myself? There’s many types of people you can become if you don’t ask yourself these questions. Here are some examples of people who do not ask themselves these questions: The Superhero…

My husband has to work late sometimes. NBD. Everyone has been there. (This is the part where I bow in unworthiness to single mamas. I literally don’t know how you do it – you’re incredible.) I’m going to be honest: I’m afraid to take my kids places when I’m alone. Maybe because they’ve run opposite directions on me too many times over the years. I simply don’t trust them. Then you’re forced to choose which child you love more. I’m kidding. That was a joke. But it’s horrible and you look like a bad parent. So, when on those occasions I’m flying solo, I go into lockdown mode. Dinner is something super easy like pizza, and we play outside and watch a movie. The children get bored, fight, whine and act defiant, thus reinforcing my reasoning for said lockdown mode. I feel like the Oprah of discipline. It’s exhausting. It’s…

Beth and I continue our look at the Beatitudes and this week is mercy. Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. My mind automatically went to this verse: James 2:13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. I love the word “triumph”. Mercy is a divine compassion. Someone doesn’t need to deserve it to receive it – that’s what makes it so divine. That’s what makes it triumphant. If we all deserved it, it’d be easy to give! This is the beautiful act of mercy. I love this song. I hope you do, too. It’s a great reminder. https://youtu.be/sILwvJShMV8 My past embraced My sin forgiven I’m blameless in Your sight My history rewritten You delight in showing mercy Mercy triumphs over judgment Oh love, great love Fear cannot be found in You There will…

I’m convinced there’s 2 things we ALL need to keep updated before we need them: – Passport – Resume This way, you’re ready to GO. Don’t wait until you NEED a new resume. This way you’ve got it when you do need it! If someone told you about a great opportunity, would you be able to send them something immediately? Or maybe you get that call in the middle of the night like I did a decade ago when my stepdad was hospitalized in Hong Kong while away on a business trip. We had to drive to Seattle to get new passports because our old ones had expired. I’m convinced now that I need to get them for my kids. I want to be ready in case of emergencies – and ready for an adventure should that opportunity arise. Are you ready?

I’m what you may call “big boned”. Ok, I’m overweight. And my failures in this area have been well-documented on my blog over the years as I attempt to lose the weight – unsuccessfully. Basically, I had a “cheat day” ten years ago. Now, here I am. Weight Watchers works, but it’s slow. And though there’s progress, it’s discouraging that the results aren’t evident. I’m trying not to lose heart, but I’ve nearly thrown in the towel once again. In fact, I have told very few people I’m doing it because I think subconsciously I anticipate failure. And I sabotage myself. I have somehow bought my own excuses. What does all of that have to do with hungering & thirsting for righteousness? Well, I think the things we “hunger” for are revealing of our hearts. For me, obviously, I have an issue with food and I’m working on my “why”.…