Tag Archives: Bible

The Truth. In Love.

Speaking the truth.

I used to hate when some one would trot out that scripture from Ephesians 4 that included the phrase “Instead, speaking the truth in love…” because its’ reference usually preceded a round of scripture-ammunition aimed to pierce the heart and kill the soul.   BAM {huge criticism fully bloated by cynical opinions = you are a big-fat-failure} + followed by  “I’m just speaking the truth in love.”  *Harumph.

If you read that last sentence and winced from the memory of it, it has probably been hurled at you, too.  If you looked it and made a mental list of people you’d like to speak-the-truth-in-love to, you are probably the BAM-aid.

It is sad to see such an amazing exhortation reduced to a justification for calling out the slightest infractions against fellow believers when in fact, Paul was inviting us to encourage and motivate one another about the reality of our high and holy calling in Christ, which was what the whole first part of Ephesians was about.  This is how we HELP each other – we remind each other (because of love) of our amazing and glorious place in Christ!  See Ephesians 1-4, s’il te plait.

What Ephesians 4 actually says is:

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.

Instead, speaking the truth in love,

we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.   From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

And I am finding that my words are never more true than when they are spoken from the depths of my love.  Then, even though  they are hard to say and possibly even  difficult to hear, they set people free.  They loose the chains and bondages the enemy has been heaping on.  Speaking the truth in love-with love-because of love-by love causes people to grow (life surging through their veins), green and fruitful, established and strong.  Speaking the truth in love brings a maturity in those around us, a connection to Jesus rather than a condemnation that sends them running the other way with fear and shame.

{Credit} J T Lowry

And the truth you speak in love?  It is your truth.  Tell on yourself.  Admit your own stuff.  Tell your truth so you can help others avoid your pitfalls.  Tell your truth about how the enemy has come at you so other people won’t feel like they are on the ledge alone, but then be sure to tell the part about the faithfulness of God who has never left you nor forsaken you.  When we come clean, speaking the truth of how we are weak (and He is strong), of how we have failed (but He has been faithful), about how we have been the biggest sinners (and He has become our most wonderful Savior), then – we will become the “body,” the Body of Jesus Christ…


and held together

by every supporting ligament


being   b u i l t   up in L O V E

as each part does its’ work

And guess what?  Speaking the truth in love is a ministry of all of us Jesus-loving, New-Testament believers.  We get to join our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in shattering an accusation-ridden religion we can never hope to keep and step into the power of an overwhelming love from a Father who will not let us go.  Oh wow.

Biblio por summer

colossians 3.16 www.jeanierhoades.com
I am a little behind on my schedule.  Not woefully.  Just a little.

I am about halfway through 2 Corinthians.  There are moments when I am tempted to think: perhaps I should have just read the Psalms for summer.  But since the Word of God is life-giving, living and active: wow, I need that in me.  The more Word, the better!

More importantly, I still, with busyness of life and love, relationships and aggravations, the intensity of the exciting before and after of Heaven Fest over the next month and a half, wasted time and way-too-jammed-packed time, too – well, sometimes there isn’t a place for the Word to live, inhabit and dwell as it deserves.  So it isn’t even the reading of it, just making sure it gets “done,”, it is the doing/the meditating on/the rich possession of the Word I must work on.

Like, you can’t just buy a packet of seeds and hope for a harvest.  You must turn and prepare the soil.  You must nurture it with rain and sunshine.  And while it is still a tender shoot, you must protect it in your heart, for the strong winds and storms and the hail will come.

You can’t just read it and walk away – back into life without knowing that it needs a place to be rooted in your heart.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  James 1.22-24 NIV

So, maybe, as I enter week 6 of 14 (are the rest of you hanging in there with me??), I will be able to give the Word of Christ the home it deserves in me.  And what a benefit to me in the process.

When your words came, I ate them;

they were my joy and my heart’s delight,

for I bear your name,

LORD God Almighty.  Jeremiah 15.16 NIV

They feed me, Your words do, LORD.  They nourish my spirit.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God[ may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  2. Timothy 3.16-17 NIV

Your Word, LORD, equips me, trains me, corrects me, gets me ready for all this fun, crazy-good Kingdom work You let me participate in.  I mean – I NEED that!  Thank-You, Lord!

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4.12 NIV

Alive and active?  Then I want that in ME!  Yes, please!

More than good life lessons and moralizing, greater than wise words printed on a page, not just historical teaching or religious guideline, His Word is an ongoing-active-sharp-surgical-white-hot-purifying-judging-healing-clarification-bringing double-edged sword.  Cut me through, LORD!

THIS WEEK,  God willing and the creek don’t rise (and I am pretty sure He is willing),  July 10 – 16:  Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians;  Psalms 59 – 70

Also known as the Go Eat Pop Corn section of the New Testament.  Years ago some one told me the way they remembered the order of these Pauline Epistles was to give them this acronym.  Thus Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians became Go-Eat-Pop-Corn, or for some people “God’s Electric Power Company.”  It is funny because I think it is really just easier to remember Galatians-Ephesians-Philippians-Colossians.  But I do still have to quick-sing the Books of the Bible song I learned as a girl when I am trying to get to a minor prophet in the O.T. super fast.  *smile

New Testament and Psalms, www.jeanierhoades.com

May the Word of Christ dwell richly in you this week, and in me, too!


Summer Bible Reading June 26 – July 2

I am in northwest Indiana today. It is the part of Indiana not in Indiana time zone, but actually part of the greater Chicago-land area? You know that part?

Moslander Family Reunion!

I woke up this morning (it is an hour later here than home) and started listening to the audio Bible on www.biblegateway.com to wake up gently, when Tara shook me from my good times with, “Do you realize what time it is?!?”  I keep forgetting about that lost hour!  Geesh.

So, as for all the rest of you, keeping up on my plan for the summer is a challenge, but it so worth it – even the catch-up days!  So worth it!  Hang in there, everybody!

This past week:

Wow.  As much as I adore and love Romans 8, I wonder how much more weird and confusing Paul could have been in Romans 7???  Geez-Louise!  Yet, on the topics he covered, I would be talking in those same circles, I fear!  The Book of Romans…I HAVE to read it again before the end of the summer and then I’ll be back!

Psalm 27.13-14, I will take this!  It is mine.  But I will share, too:

I remain confident of this:

I will see the goodness of the LORD

in the land of the living.

Wait for the LORD;

be strong and take heart

and wait for the LORD.

Psalm 34 is an thoroughly encouraging, full-of-truth and crazy-great-hope Psalm which includes the most amazing, rich declarations including:

…I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. {even just my fears}

…Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.  {I have everything I need}

…The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry {He hears me}

…The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  {all!}

…The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all {ALL!}

And those are just a few.

NEXT UP for the  week of June 26

1 & 2 Corinthians and Psalms 35 – 46

Because of reunion, I may or may not be a few days behind.  But I’ll catch up.  You will, too!

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.  In me, too!  :)

Summer Reading Plan

2 Timothy 3.16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

For fun and for LIFE, here is where I will be this summer.  Want to join me?

Reading the New Testament and Psalms through this summer.

This is reading 410 chapters of Bible over the course of June, July, August and wrapping up the week of Labor Day.  It averages to slightly more than 4 chapters a day, or more  specifically, 2-3 chapters of NT daily, plus almost 2 of the Psalms each day of the week.  That is just averaging.

I know summer seems a weird time to pick up a “plan,”to start somthing that you are committing to when we usually see this time as our “lazy days,” (although who has time to be lazy ever these tdays??).  But don’t you also hate getting to the end of a “season” and find that it was wasted, that you didn’t get everything from it you could have?

The busier I am, the more I need the life-giving Word of the Living God to be in me, to actually live in me…

Colossians 3.16  Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.


Russian sage.

Ideas on fitting it in

  1. Get up an hour earlier.  This is my plan.  The cool of the morning is a lovely time for the Word.
  2. Skip the summer reruns  on TV and take that last hour before sunset to sit outside and read and refresh.
  3. Raed the NT through the week and drink up the Psalms on the weekends.
  4. Read aloud.  You are supposed to read to your kids anyway.  How about reading the scriptures aloud to them?  Faith come by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, don’t be surprised when you actually start to be increased in faith by your own reading.  Preach it! 
  5. Listen to the audio Bible on the way to work, or during a walk.  www.biblegateway.com has it for free.  www.youversion.com, too.  The Bible is readily available free of charge!
  6. Schedule it in like everything else we do for the summer: play dates, ball games, vacation days, picnics, small group.


Meditate on it throughout the day.  At the end  of each week (or on Sunday), write yourself a few quick notes of what God’s Word did in your heart the past week.

Jeremiah 15.16   When your words came, I ate them;  they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty.

The plan.


June 5 Matthew 1-14; Psalms 1 – 11

June 12 Matthew 15 – 28; Psalms 11 – 22

June 19 Romans; Psalms 23 – 34

June 26 1 & 2 Corinthians; Psalms 35 – 46

July 3  Mark; Psalms 47 – 58

July 10 Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians; Psalms 59 – 70

July 17 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon; Psalms 71 – 82

July 24 Luke 1 -12; Psalms 83 – 94

July 31 Luke 13 – 24; Psalms 95 – 106

August 7 Acts 1-14; Psalms 107 – 118

August 14 Acts 15 – 28; Psalms 119 – 124

August 21 Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter; Psalms 125 – 133

August 28 John, 1, 2 & 3 John, Jude; Psalms 134 – 142

September 4 Revelation; Psalms 143 – 150

Hebrews 4.12  For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

It is about 20 minutes a day, I’d say, reading at a leisurely pace (I just meandered through Matthew 1-5 and Psalm 1-5 in about 30 minutes).  Just think what a great meal we’ll have enjoyed in the next 90 days!

This .jpeg can be saved to your computer desktop for reference

Want to join me?  Want to?  Come on.  You know you do! 

Ready?  Set.  GO!

Love like this

Love never fails. 

If I have the words of men and angels and can argue all my cases and can even do God’s bidding for Him, but I don’t have love (to give), I end up just being a bunch of loud, imposing and worthless communications.  And if I have the gift of prophecy and can reveal to everyone what God’s next move is, let everybody know the secrets of the ages, and yet do not love people {{what?!? a prophet without love?  is that possible?? // pure sarcasm}}; and while we’re at it – what if I am the latest, greatest spiritual- hoo-ha, laying hands on people and moving mountains, or totally different – what if I am dancing all over injustice and rescuing the exploited and raising money for the poor and saving everything in the world and on the earth that needs saving, but I can’t manage to love…can’t just put it into action {{love.is.a.verb. so sang DC Talk}} towards the person in the room with me, then what?  What is the point if I can’t show it, be it, live in it, allow God’s own love through me…to you, then?

I don’t get love, after all this time, still.

1 Corinthians 13.  Image taken by Stormie.  From her view while lying on the patio swing.  On a sweet Sunday afternoon.

God, help me learn to love like this, no hidden agendas, no manipulating, just free of self-focus and selfishness.  Teach me to be hope-full, trustful, protecting at all times.  Give me opportunity to become patient (but be merciful, too, here, Lord, please) and by the end, can You help me to be, so I will be remembered for being, kind?  I so appreciate kindness, I would like to be kind, too.  I really would.  So I wanna learn to L O V E like this, like 1 Corinthians 13 talks about.  It will have to be Your love.  Yours.  Through me.  Let it be.

Song for a Christmas Sunday ~ Light of the World

Light of the World by Matt Redman

Is. 9.2 a people walking in darkness have seen a great light

This version of the song is from Chris Tomlin’s  Christmas album, but the musical genius (Matt) wrote it (and leads most of it) and every Christmas, I can’t help singing it.  And each Christmas when I drive  into my neighborhood and see the lights on the houses, I know they are declaring, whether those who strung them realize the truth they  represent or not, that the Light of the world came.  Every twinkling light, every candle lit that pierces the darkness that would otherwise be there represents Jesus, the light of the world.   Jesus dispelled a darkness that can never overtake us again.  We are children of the Light. 

 I look out my window on a December night and I remember: The Light came, He shines! 


John 8.12 Jesus said: I am the light of the world…

Light of the world

You shine upon us!

La Verdure de la Vallee

Lush, green, and verdant – that is what these afternoon or early evening thunder-showers are giving us.  Usually quite dry and yellow by this time of year, except for the places we must saturate regularly, Colorado is having one of the greenest summers.

And while the mountains stand tall and strong and speak to us of victory and grandeur as we long so very often for the exhileration of the mountaintop experience, a walk across the cool, wet grass this morning, breathing in the heavy, moist air reminded me that the ” valley experience” is so good for my soul.

Song of Solomon 6.11  “I went down to the garden…to see the verdure of the valley, to see whether the vine had budded and the pomegranites has bloomed…”


“Je suis descendue au jardin des noyers, Pour voir la verdure de la vallée, Pour voir si la vigne pousse, Si les grenadiers fleurissent.”  (Sometimes the Bible just sounds so good in a different language, thank-you www.biblegateway.com!)

I love the mountain top.  But I live in the valley, where “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul” (Ps 23).

How green is my valley…J

BTW – several translations of the verse I referenced from the Song of Solomon actually say, “I went down to the garden of nuts…”  And that is where I live, too, among a bunch of nuts!


“…the fear of man will prove to be a  snare…”  Proverbs 29.25

A snare is a dangerous trap, or as Mary Jean teaches, the equivalent of a noose around your neck – choking the life out of you.

The anecdote to fearing people and their opinions or expectations of you is not an assertive training class or joining Toastmasters, or puffing up your independance level.  That is a world system for sure.   The answer is to fear God alone, trust Him and then love.

There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear…” (1 John 4.18 NIV)

The Message translates it this way: The fear of human opinion disables, but trusting in God protects you from that (Prov. 29.25).   There is no room in love for fear.  Well-formed love banishes fear.  Since fear is crippling, a fearful life – fear of death, fear of judgement – is one not yet fully formed in love (1 John 4.18)

Now in pursuit of that kind of Love…J

NOTE TO SELF:  Fear of opinion, of rejection, of not having approval not only cripples me, it stops others from being a recipient of the love of God through me.  I have handicapped people as I have held the noose in place grasping at what will take my life rather than save it.  Ridiculous.

Biblical Butt-Kicking

I shoulda started Joshua yesterday and been finishing it and starting in on Judges today.  That’s where I shoulda been, since I decided to jump into the 90-Day read-through-the-Bible plan during this busiest summer ever.  I learned about this deal through the Denver Post, a June 1-August 31 thing and thought I’d give it a try.

I have read through the Bible in a year, but not that many times, frankly.  For 3 years in a row I read the OT through once and the NT through twice. I enjoyed getting more New Testament during that plan.  But I have also taken a lot longer and though I don’t get the mark on my scoreboard, I really enjoy the Word.  Time in the Word is time with the Word…

Some people keep track of how many times they have read the entire Bible through in a year like they are gathering up Super Bowl rings or something.   My preference would be to relish the Word, study deep and meander through it.  And sometimes I just don’t read it often enough.  Let’s be honest. 

But here I am – attempting this marathon read-through.  I started a couple of days late and totally lost control while I was in Kentucky.  I am in  Numbers.  I should be reading the end of Joshua.

Will she make it?  Will she know Him more by the end?

Lord, I don’t just want to do this to say I have done it, but I want to hear You and know more of You and learn to be like You.  May Your Word do a work in my heart this summer.  Help me to hide Your Word in my heart, to meditate on Your precepts and laws.  Your Word is eternal and established and is my delight.  This summer as I feast on this living Word, I will also obey it, Lord.  Teach  me, change me…

Summer’s Hot Read

From the Denver Post:  http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_11584824  Wow.

The challenge – The Bible in 90 days (June 1 – August 29)  http://www.biblein90days.com/index.php?option=com_challenge&pgID=5  “Dive into the Good Book and read the Bible from cover to cover before summer ends. The Bible in 90 Days Summer Reading Challenge is designed to unify your whole church family in a simple but life-changing goal – to read every word of the Bible this summer.”

I much prefer digging in deep and taking more time, but there is also the beauty of immersion.  The summer seems a ridiculous time for it (with a family reunion, traveling, vacation and a little thing called Heaven Fest), but that is what is intriguing me….