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March 11

1 John: For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

If God loves us unconditionally, why is it so hard to love ourselves unconditionally?

One of the things I learned recently was about an acknowledgment journal. You've likely heard of the gratitude journal where, each evening, you reflect and write down five things for which you are grateful from the happenings of your day.

The acknowledgment part is an extension of the gratitude journal wherein you add five things for which you caught your self doing something good. Maybe it was holding your tongue instead of saying something negative about someone else. Maybe it was taking the time to be truly present in your meditation, or a conversation with someone. Maybe it was choosing to eat something clean and green opposed to something with preservatives. Maybe it was simply praying before a meal.

Kim Stanwood Terranova was the one who told our group about the acknowledgment journal. Her example was of a child learning to walk. When the child falls when learning to walk, we usually cheer them on, "You can do it. One more step. There you go."

When the child grows and becomes a teenager, and falls, we likely will say something to the affect of, "Come on, get up."

The way God sees us is probably more like the child learning to walk. If we fall, God is there encouraging us to get up and take one more step forward. By acknowledging our small steps during the day, and catching a glimpse of something we did, we are recognizing that we are a child of God. By doing that, maybe we are closer to loving ourselves as God loves us. By loving ourselves as God loves us, we are free to love one another.

March 11

Matthew: “I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Mark: Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God!”

Luke: In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.”

John: “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony.

Acts: While he clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s Portico, utterly astonished.

Romans: there is no one who has understanding, there is no one who seeks God.

1 Corinthians: For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians: for if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory!

Galatians: Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for “The one who is righteous will live by faith.”

Ephesians: This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,

Philippians: if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Colossians: In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

1 Thessalonians: Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you.

2 Thessalonians: For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work.

1 Timothy: Women likewise must be serious, not slanderers, but temperate, faithful in all things.

2 Timothy: my persecutions, and my suffering the things that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.

Titus: since you know that such a person is perverted and sinful, being self-condemned.

Hebrews: As in my anger I swore, ‘They will not enter my rest.’”

James: Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water?

1 Peter: let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it.

2 Peter: Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness,

1 John: For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

Revelation: I am coming soon; hold fast to what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.

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