The Lens of Love

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In God’s eyes…everyone is a masterpiece.

(Listen to my song “How Wonderful to Me” by clicking HERE)

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Psalm 139:1,13-14

O LORD, you have probed me, you know me. You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works!

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King David is said to have written this Psalm in praise to God around 3000 years ago.

It’s the same God Who brought the universe into being…and Who wills everything to be…or it would simply disintegrate.

That includes you and me.

We are part of a larger Life.

Scripture tells us that we are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27).

We have been created by Love itself (“God is love” 1 John 4:8).

You and I are children of this wonderful God.

And since God looked on all of creation as “good” (Genesis 1:31)…we are also then innately good.

If you don’t feel like a wonderful work of God…take heart. It is not based on your feelingsbehavior or achievements.

It’s based on your belovedness as a child of God.

Nothing can change that.

Our goodness comes from God…not from anything we do.

So whatever it is about you that you feel disqualifies you from being loved…that is exactly the place where God wants to love you and be with you.

How else would you know and experience Love that is un-conditional?

Open your heart and believe it!

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Listen to the song of the day “How Wonderful to Me” by clicking HERE.

Sample and/or purchase my songs by clicking HERE.

CD’s available for purchase at BillTonnisMusic.com by clicking HERE.

Remember…God loves you!

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Compassion

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When I am motivated by Love…my life becomes harmony in a beautiful song.

(Listen to my song “Glorify You with Me” by clicking HERE)

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John 1:47

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him.”

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Jesus could read people very well.

Since he was fully committed to emptying himself in the loving service of God…he had the ability to see inside the hearts of others and to sense their motivations.

Jesus sensed that Nathanael had pure motivations and was not “two-faced.”

How often do we really examine our own motivations as to why we do the things we do?

Here’s a question to ask ourselves before we speak or act:

Am I motivated by loving and serving God…or is my motivation to satisfy my ego and its desires?

If my motive is love…I enter into the flow of God’s goodness and creativity.

Before I can ever judge someone else’s motivations…I certainly need to be quite clear about my own.

This should keep me busy for the rest of my life.

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Listen to the song of the day “Glorify You with Me” by clicking HERE.

Sample and/or purchase my songs by clicking HERE.

CD’s available for purchase at BillTonnisMusic.com by clicking HERE.

Remember…God loves you!

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Be Still

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If you’re anxious…take a deep breath. God is with you.

(Listen to my song “Breathe On Me” by clicking HERE)

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Luke 9:61-62

Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” Jesus answered him, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”

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Jesus was referring to a farmer directing his plow.

If the farmer turned to look back at what was left behind…he would not be focused on the matter at hand and the plow would drift off course.

The same would happen if he was looking a mile in the distance. Then the farmer would miss any obstacle right in front of him.

It’s a great lesson for living our lives.

Stay present!

Sometimes we get lost in our mind’s chatter.

Observe its barrage of thoughts and constant commentary.

We get so caught up in grievances from the past, worries about the future and endless judging that we are unconscious of the now.

The only place we will find the living God is in the present…right now.

If you’re not present…how can you ever experience God’s Presence? This takes constant awareness and practice. It’s a letting go.

Try contemplative prayer. Let go of your thoughts and simply observe the moment.

“You” are not your thoughts!

You are not your mind! It’s a useful tool…but it is not you.

Your true self is the silent observer of your mind.

Your soul-self cannot be harmed. It is eternal.

Open yourself to God’s Presence now…and as St. Paul said in Philippians 4:6-7, “Have no anxiety at all…then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

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Listen to the song of the day “Breathe On Me” by clicking HERE.

Sample and/or purchase my songs by clicking HERE.

CD’s available for purchase at BillTonnisMusic.com by clicking HERE.

Remember…God loves you!

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Peacemakers Needed

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Love…not violence…dispels fear and hate.

(Listen to my song “Make Me a Channel” by clicking HERE)

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Luke 9:52-55

Jesus sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them.

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Years of differences between the Jews and Samaritans resulted in the Samaritans shunning the messengers Jesus had sent ahead. So in response…two of Jesus’ followers asked him if they could call on God to destroy the Samaritans in retaliation.

Isn’t that the usual human reaction…to attack someone who has wrongly treated us?

You know…get revenge?

It’s been going on for years…and years…and years…and years.

Jesus’ answer to his disciples’ question was a stern “no.”

We even see this type of behavior today in politics on a less violent scale…where if you disagree with another’s position…you trash them and ridicule them with words.

What would happen if we instead responded to persecution, derision and disagreements in a non-violent manner but with a commitment to justice? And what if…at the same time…we responded with love and compassion?

It has almost never been tried…except for a few notable exceptions such as Jesus, Martin Luther King and Gandhi.

All three paid with their lives…but they also spawned peaceful movements that changed the world and continue to do so.

Violent responses beget violent responses. The cycle goes on and on with no end.

We need more leaders with the vision of Jesus.

That takes both courage and compassion…a combination that transforms lives.

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Listen to the song of the day “Make Me a Channel” by clicking HERE.

Sample and/or purchase my songs by clicking HERE.

CD’s available for purchase at BillTonnisMusic.com by clicking HERE.

Remember…God loves you!

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Called to Serve

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We are meant to be missionaries of mercy, justice and compassion.

(Listen to my song “Mercy Reigns” by clicking HERE)

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Luke 9:48

“For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.”

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This teaching from Jesus is nonsensical to our culture…as well as to our egos.

Our culture and our egos espouse the opposite view…that the one who finishes first…the one who defeats everyone else…the one who has the most…is greatest.

Not so says Jesus.

The one looked upon as the “least” by our culture…is the “greatest” in the eyes of God.

Jesus tells us that God is at the center of our lives…not our egos. Our egos must step aside. As Jesus said to God, “Not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

Living out the unconditional Love of God is the objective…even in the face of persecution.

Especially in the face of persecution!

If you are a “Christian” you are called to serve those in need.

“Whatever you did for one of these least of these, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40)…Jesus said. Those with little are not bound my many attachments.

Jesus called us to follow him on that path.

But as Gandhi is reported to have said: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Who is speaking and working on behalf of “the least of these” today?

We need more people who are both working for justice and acting with compassion.

Please ponder this in your heart with Love.

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Listen to the song of the day “Mercy Reigns” by clicking HERE.

Sample and/or purchase my songs by clicking HERE.

CD’s available for purchase at BillTonnisMusic.com by clicking HERE.

Remember…God loves you!

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Life Changing Question

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If you want to know your ‘true self’…get to know Jesus.

(Listen to my song “Pour Me Out” by clicking HERE)

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Luke 9:18-20

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

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For me…that was a life-changing question.

When I finally took it to heart and delved deeply into the Gospels and spent my own time “praying in solitude”…I was hooked. I couldn’t get enough of who Jesus was…and is.

There was no one like him. He became a friend…an inspiration…and my life started to change.

There was a sense of excitement and inner peace…as well as unrest because change is not easy. But it’s necessary to grow.

Nothing would ever be the same.

First came a call to pick up my guitar which I hadn’t touched it in ten years. Then…out of nowhere (nowhere)…came song-writing, then a return to school…then recording an album of original music about my spiritual journey titled, Listen to Your Heart.

Then came a change of careers…from radio news to ministry. First youth ministry and social justice ministry, then jail ministry and chaplaincy.

I’m now working on my fourth album of original songs to pass along the Good News of God’s unconditional love and mercy.

My life has been utterly changed for the better…totally by the grace of God.

How amazing that the more I discover about Jesus…the more I discover about my true self.

So…who do you say Jesus is?

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Listen to the song of the day “Pour Me Out” by clicking HERE.

Sample and/or purchase my songs by clicking HERE.

CD’s available for purchase at BillTonnisMusic.com by clicking HERE.

Remember…God loves you!

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Eternal Perspective

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What is your role in God’s epic Love story?

(Listen to my song “Shall We Sing” by clicking HERE)

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Psalm 90:3-5

A thousand years in your eyes are merely a yesterday, but humans you return to dust, saying, “Return, you mortals!” Before a watch passes in the night, you have brought them to their end.

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Life can seem meaningless when viewed in a “worldly” perspective.

Without a belief in something more when this life ends…“dust” would be our final destination. But thanks to Jesus…we believe that there is life after death.

Many witnessed and then testified about the resurrected Jesus.

Today…many more are giving their testimony of “Near Death Experiences”…telling their stories of dying, going to the other side…experiencing great love…and then returning when their bodies were resuscitated. There are thousands of cases.

This gives us hope.

Jesus said, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be” (John 14:2-3).

So do not fear. But also…wake up!

Our time here is fleeting…and it is such a precious gift!

What are you dedicating your life to? Is it to something that will end up in dust…or is it to something that will endure for eternity?

Jesus said the greatest Commandment is to love. This human experience is our opportunity to be a part of a grand Love story of epic proportions.

It’s all about love.

The time to take part…is now.

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Listen to the song of the day “Shall We Sing” by clicking HERE.

Sample and/or purchase my songs by clicking HERE.

CD’s available for purchase at BillTonnisMusic.com by clicking HERE.

Remember…God loves you!

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