Boundless Love by Patsy Clairmont, Luci Swindoll, Sheila Walsh, Barbara Johnson |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Boundless Love

Boundless Love

by Patsy Clairmont, Luci Swindoll, Sheila Walsh, Barbara Johnson
     
 

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Our faith begins and ends with the love of God. In the face of life’s struggles, how deeply we need to trust in a love greater than ourselves--a love we can count on to hold us, to never let us go, and to instill in us a worth that our best efforts can never earn and our worst failings can’t diminish. Read by Patsy Clairmont, Barbara Johnson, Marilyn

Overview

Our faith begins and ends with the love of God. In the face of life’s struggles, how deeply we need to trust in a love greater than ourselves--a love we can count on to hold us, to never let us go, and to instill in us a worth that our best efforts can never earn and our worst failings can’t diminish. Read by Patsy Clairmont, Barbara Johnson, Marilyn Meberg, Luci Swindoll, Sheila Walsh, and Thelma Wells. That’s the love God has for you. With sensitivity and insight, Women of Faith authors share devotional reflections on the character of your heavenly Father’s heart. Distilled from the Bible’s timeless truths and the experiences of everyday life, these meditations reveal a love that is . . . Boundless—overflowing toward you with no danger of ever running out Fearless--unafraid of the worst in you, confident of the best in you Stubborn--refusing to ever give up on you Lavish--holding back nothing of its best treasures from you Outlandish--proving its character in wild, impossible ways Intentional--devoting its every act to your highest good In the words of Sheila Walsh, "Our prayer as we sat down to write this book to you was that you would know you are loved by the God of the universe, the One who created you and calls you by name."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780310236207
Publisher:
Zondervan
Publication date:
02/01/2001
Series:
Women of Faith Series
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.42(h) x 0.97(d)

Read an Excerpt

Boundless Love

Devotions to Celebrate God's Love for You
By Patsy Clairmont Barbara Johnson Marilyn Meberg Luci Swindoll Sheila Walsh Thelma Wells

Zondervan

Copyright © 2001 Zondervan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-310-23620-7


Chapter One

Imagine That!

~ Patsy Clairmont

Two days ago I was sitting in a hospital lounge waiting for our first grandchild to be born. No, let me restate that. I was not sitting; I was pacing. Back and forth, back and forth, attentively listening for a tiny cry or footsteps of someone, anyone, bearing good news. I was both excited and exhausted as the hours ticked by ... five hours, seven hours, nine hours, and then finally, Justin Robert Clairmont was born! He was seven pounds, thirteen ounces, and twenty-two inches long with red hair. Yes-s-s!

After word arrived that all was well, we four grandparents waited with bated breath for our first glimpse of this child who would forever hold our hearts in his hands. That's when I saw a picture that I'll always think of as expressing God's boundless love. The surgery doors swung open (our daughter-in-law had an emergency cesarean), and I saw Jason, my youngest son, walking toward me carrying his firstborn son. My baby was carrying his baby. Wow!

If ever we doubt God's love, we need only observe a baby we deeply care for and then take the feelings of love that bubble up in our hearts and multiply them by infinity. Then we'll have a sense-just a sense, mind you-of God's boundless love.

I find that imagining the vastness of God's love is as close as I can come to measuring it. Perhaps that's why, when the Lord designed us, he included our capacity for imagination. He knew we wouldn't "get it" if we had to weigh his love next to our own puny experiences and abilities to love. He knew we would need to think beyond ourselves and so-voila!-imagination.

Some of my favorite "imagining" verses are found in Job 38 in which the Lord expands Job's mind with thoughts beyond himself. God quizzes Job as to his whereabouts when God created the universe in order to help Job understand the Lord's majestic spaciousness.

"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?" -Job 38:4 NASB

This absolute statement of proclamation could read, "I laid the foundation of the world before you were a sparkle in your momma's eye!"

Can you visualize laying the earth's foundation? Les and I just purchased a home that is being built, but by the time we made the decision to buy, the foundation already had been poured and the walls were up. Even though I can picture the big excavation trucks digging out the hole, the cement truck pouring the footings and foundation, and the bricklayers building the walls for our home, I can't conceive of how one would go about laying the world's foundation. You would need a cement mixer the size of the Western Hemisphere!

"Where were you [Job] ... when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" -Job 38:4, 7 NASB

Can you conceive of the morning stars singing? I love all kinds of music: Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, Andrea Bocelli, Mandy Patinkin, The Martins ... Music moves me. I mean, have you heard Mandy Patinkin sing "Over the Rainbow"? Exquisite. I cry almost every time I hear it. Or have you heard Celine Dion and Luciano Pavarotti sing "I Hate You Then I Love You"? Oh, mama mia! And yet I'm certain that, if we teamed up all these gifted singers for one grand performance, they would not, could not, hold a candle to the concert of the morning stars. Of course, I, like Job, wasn't there for the performance, so I'm left imagining.

"Have you [Job] ever in your life commanded the morning, and caused the dawn to know its place?" -Job 38:12 NASB

I commanded my children when they were young (now they command me), and according to Les, I've commanded him a time or two, but I confess I wouldn't begin to know how to give instruction to the morning or the dawn. At times I've wanted to call off a day, but alas, I didn't have that kind of celestial clout.

Our magnificent God, however, knows the beginning, the end, and beyond. He calls the stars by name, and he has planned and recorded each and every day-including the day my first grandson was born. Imagine that!

Now that, folks, is boundless-boundless love.

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:10). Imagine that!

Hosanna the Donkey

~ Sheila Walsh

Miss Dawn is my hero. Twice a week she takes care of a roaming pack of three-year-olds at Christ Presbyterian Academy's Toddler Time. She is smiling when we arrive at 9:10 A.M., and then, as if to serve as visual proof of the existence of God, she is still smiling at 2:15 P.M. when the day ends. Our son, Christian, loves her. When he prays for her at night he goes all mushy. What a gift from God when your child's first teacher is such a sweetheart.

Each time Christian gets out of school I check his lunch box to see if he has eaten any of his lunch. Usually he just rearranges it. Then I read his "What kind of day I had today" sheet. It's almost always the same:

Christian had a good day today. He participated in everything and was very communicative [just like his dad]. He didn't eat much and didn't take his nap, but he lay quietly like a good boy, occasionally whispering to his rabbit, Whitey.

My desk is covered with things Christian has made at school. A manger made out of graham crackers. A tulip made from his handprint cut out of pink paper and folded in like petals. A jewelry box in the shape of a cross which he presented to me with the matter-of-fact statement, "Jesus died for your sins and this is for your rings." So I knew that during Easter week Miss Dawn was sharing more than just the Easter Bunny with her pint-size boys and girls.

My son, being a typical male, does not always give me all the information I'd like at the end of each school day. Still, I try.

"How was school today?"

"Fine."

"What did you learn?"

"Nothing."

"Did you sing?"

"No."

"Did you play outside?"

"No."

"So you just sat around for five hours and did nothing?"

"... Did you say something, Mommy?"

I've learned that the best way to get Christian to "spill his stuff" is to go bike riding together. So every evening he and I mount up and head for the hills, and you wouldn't believe what I learn as we kick up dust together.

The evening before Good Friday we were pushing our bikes back into the garage when he said, "You know, Mom, today when I was Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, Tristan and Zachary waved branches to say hello. It was cool."

"You were Jesus?" I asked, wondering at Miss Dawn's discernment as she cast the roles.

"Sure! Hey, you want me to do it for Daddy and Papa?" he asked, full of joy at the thought of an encore performance.

We went inside and announced that the show was about to begin. That's not unusual in our household. We have frequent performances. Sometimes they're from Mary Poppins or The Wizard of Oz. This, however, was our first biblical epic. Christian and I hid behind the door leading into the kitchen where Barry and William, Christian's grandpa, waited in eager (?) expectation.

"Okay," Christian said. "I'll be Jesus and you be Hosanna."

"What do you mean?" I asked. "Who's Hosanna?"

"Well, the donkey, of course!" he said, looking at me as if I had temporarily backslidden.

"Why do you think the donkey's name is Hosanna?"

"Mommy, think about it. I'm Jesus, right?"

"Right."

"Well, as I'm coming in they all shout, 'Hosanna!' That's not me. That has to be you."

I tried to explain that "Hosanna!" is a cry of praise and adoration, that it was directed toward Jesus. He listened intently and then announced, "Okay, Hosanna. We're on."

As we reenacted that joyful scene in the Gospels, I thought about how dreadful it is that so many of those who exuberantly cried, "Hosanna to the One who comes in the name of the Lord!" also cried out, "Crucify him!" just a few days later. And I wonder if we as human beings have changed much in the two thousand years since those fickle cries sent Jesus to the cross. If you are like me, you often feel like two people. Some days we live in such a way that our actions cry out praise to God. But on other days it's as if we crucify Christ all over again.

The most wonderful thing about the love of God expressed in Christ is that none of this is a surprise to him. God entrusted his Son to a harsh, cruel world knowing that it would first embrace him and then spit on him and kill him. And yet he did it anyway-because his love has no limits. God's love cannot be quenched by the ever-turning tides of human emotion and devotion.

If I could say only one thing through my part of this book, it would be simple and to the point: God knows all about you. He knows your good days and your bad days. He knows the noble thoughts and the shameful thoughts. He sees your devotion and your indifference. And he loves you-totally, completely, passionately, boundlessly. Forever.

Oh the Passion, Oh the wonder, Of the fiery love of Christ. King of Glory on the altar. Perfect lamb of sacrifice. Who are we that he would love us? Who but he would give his life? Oh the Passion, Oh the wonder, Of the fiery love of Christ. Oh the wisdom, Oh the wonder, Of the power of the cross. Love so rare no words could tell it. Life himself has died for us. Who are we that he would save us? Crucified to give us life? Oh the wisdom, Oh the wonder, Of the power of the cross. -Sheila Walsh

You are loved! You are loved passionately and unconditionally by the God who gave his only Son so you could rest secure in his eternal embrace

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Boundless Love by Patsy Clairmont Barbara Johnson Marilyn Meberg Luci Swindoll Sheila Walsh Thelma Wells Copyright © 2001 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Patsy Clairmont is a popular speaker, a coauthor of various Women of Faith devotionals, and the author of such best-selling books as "God Uses Cracked Pots" and "Sportin' a 'Tude." She and her husband live in Brighton, Michigan.

Barbara Johnson was the founder of Spatula Ministries, a coauthor of various Women of Faith devotionals, and the author of numerous bestselling books, including Boomerang Joy, Living Somewhere between Estrogen and Death, and Stick a Geranium in Your Hat and Be Happy.

Bárbara Johnson es fundadora de Spatula Ministries [Ministerios Espátula], organización sin fines de lucro creada para despegar con una espátula de amor a todos los padres que están incrustados contra el techo y encaminarlos hacia la recuperación. Bárbara y su esposo, Bill, viven en La Habra, California.

Marilyn Meberg is a captivating speaker, a coauthor of various Women of Faith devotionals, and the author of "I’d Rather Be Laughing and Choosing the Amusing." She lives in Frisco, TX.

Luci Swindoll is author of Celebrating Life and a co-author of various Women of Faith devotionals. She has served as a business executive of Mobil Oil Corporation and as vice president with Insight for Living. She lives in Frisco, Texas.

Luci Swindoll es conferenciante internacional y autora de numerosos libros. Su participación es destacada dentro del movimiento Women of Faith [Mujeres de Fe] donde desarrolla un ministerio activo. Anteriormente fue ejecutiva de Mobil Oil Corporation y vicepresidente de relaciones públicas de Insight for Living [Visión para Vivir]. Desde l992 reside en Frisco, Texas.

Sheila Walsh isthe creator of Children of Faith and the Gnoo Zoo, a ministry to children that communicates God's love for them. She is the author or co-author of several books including "Honestly", "Gifts for Your Soul", "Living Fearlessly", and "The Best Devotions of Sheila Walsh". As an accomplished musician, Sheila has recently released the CD "Love Falls Down". Sheila, her husband, and their son, live in Texas.

Thelma Wells is a popular author, speaker and businesswoman. As an African-American woman, Thelma was instrumental in bringing racial diversity to the Women of Faith conferences. Thelma has had her own television show, been an assistant vice president of a bank, and an inspirational public speaker/business consultant.

Thelma Wells es una conferencista popular de Women of Faith (Mujeres de fe) y presidenta de A Women of God Minsitries(Ministerios de una mujer de Dios) de Dallas, Texas. Ha recibido mas de doscientos galardones por participación cívica en la comunidad, en la iglesia y en la nación. Obtuvo el titulo de magisterio en el ministerio pastoral, y es autora de varios libros de éxito de venta. Thelma describe a su esposo, George, como su animador, sostenedor y mejor amigo. Tienen tres hijos y casado, diez nietos, y un bisnieto.

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