somebodylovesmeblog

Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.


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My Day was Changed

Today, instead of the salad that I had planned for lunch, I decided to go out.  When I left the office, it was very dreary; a little chilly, no sun, and while heading in to the restaurant it started raining.  Add to that the haze I have been in due to a respiratory bug I am recuperating from…my spirit really needed  some lifting.

As I was sitting and enjoying my lunch, a sweet little girl caught my eye.  She was about two years old, with short, shaggy golden brown hair that magnified her beautiful, smiling brown eyes.  She was in a cute little polka dot shirt and black leggings.  As she sat on the table facing her mother, every now and again she would burst out in laughter due to unknown words her mom whispered to her.

Their joy was contagious!  The innocence and beauty of the love between this mother and her daughter touched me, and I felt my heart fill up.  For some reason, I felt a connection with them, and couldn’t keep myself from smiling.

As they were on their way out, the little girl broke free from her mom, and ran over to me.  She looked up at me with those gorgeous eyes, said good-bye, then ran back to her mom.

My day was changed in a matter of moments. 

In the past, I may have not even noticed the beauty that was occurring right in front of me.  Sometimes it is so easy to be overwhelmed with the negative around  or within us…we forget to open our eyes to the goodness that is always right there in front of us.

As I grow in faith and maturity, I am learning to keep my eyes, ears, and heart open to God’s whispers to me.   He never lets me down.

Today, He was reminding me that His love is all around me, sometimes in unexpected places.  And I am reminded to praise and worship my Lord and Savior, and to be grateful in all things.

Need I tell you, the sun is now shining and there is no sign of rain?

 

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:8-9

We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.   Romans 8:28

 

 

 

 


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One More Day

You are reading this, so I know that God has blessed you with another day. No matter what your circumstance, you have been given the opportunity to:

Have one more day to grow in faith and get to know Jesus in a more intimate way than you knew Him yesterday;

Breathe in the essence of God, allowing His Holy Spirit to envelop your whole being;

Give thanks for the air that you breathe, the feelings that you feel, your senses which allow you to interact with God and the people in your life;

Break free from hanging on to the bitterness and pain that is holding you in bondage…FORGIVEboth yourself and others;

Pray for all the people that the Lord places on your heart, especially including those that make you feel uncomfortable, or those that have hurt you or are living in darkness;

Share Jesus continuously by showing love to those around you…pray for the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and heart, and you will be guided to the people and the ways you can share His Saving Love and Grace with them;

Enjoy and thank God for the goodness and wonder of the blessings in your life…stop and take time to remember and acknowledge as many as you can. Create a never ending mental list of gratitude;

Offer your daily crosses to the Lord – the boredom and struggles of daily life, your pain, frustration, and sufferings…unite them with the suffering of Jesus in atonement for your sins and the whole world.

Enjoy and savor One More Day…for you are One More Day closer to a wondrous and unfathomable eternal life with Your Father.


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Creative Communication

Today is a gorgeous sunny day, with a gentle breeze blowing.  The kind of day that called me to escape from the confines of the office for a mid day walk.

As I was walking and praying, the Lord filled my senses with the awesome creativity of nature.  He let me know that there is a purpose for each of His creations, big and small,  and that He communicates with us through nature.  He asked me to focus on what I am absorbing  through my senses.

Wow, that got me thinking!

The very first thing I saw was a butterfly.  A perfect reminder of the beauty that is waiting to develop within us.  This beauty blossoms when we trust in the Lord and rest in the cocoon of faith, allowing growth, change and holiness to develop.

I watched as a male bird protected the mother and their nest;  the thought that came to mind was that the mother was protecting the eggs, while the father was protecting both the mother and the eggs.  I then spotted a family of  ducks…which then led me to ponder the blessing of God sending His only Son to us, in human form, through a traditional family unit.  What a wonder and blessing we have in family.

Then there are the trees.  I absolutely LOVE trees.  Each one talks to me in a different way.  Some trees sway gently, with leaves that shimmer, while others are listening in perfect stillness.   Some are firmly planted, with the wisdom and knowledge that come from age and maturity.  Some are stately, protecting the young and the weak under their umbrella of leaves.  Some are reaching out, growing in substance, while others are instinctively reaching up toward the light.   The thought that stands out in my mind is that each one is exactly what it is meant to be.  And each glorifies God.

As the wind picked up a little, I realized that there is always a wind of change in the air.  Life is always changing.  Sometimes the change feels gentle and pleasant, and sometimes it feels overwhelming.  Either way, we must learn to adapt to it…fighting against it only prolongs growth.  This is especially enlightening for me.

The sound of birds singing reminded me that we all have a different song to sing, resulting in a perfect harmony to present to our Father.  We are not meant to sound the same…we are simply to be what God created us to be.

I noticed the variety of wildflowers; some more glamorous than others.  As my eyes took in the whole picture in front of me, I realized that there is beauty in each one, however there is awesome  splendor when viewed as a whole.  Kind of how each one of us is a unique and beautiful creation,  and when we are joined as the body of Christ our beauty is magnified.

Most of all, today I felt the warmth and energy of the sun penetrating my whole being…which reminded me once more of the all consuming light and love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Lord, thank you for creating such splendor for us to enjoy each day. 

We ask that you open our senses so that we may  know you more intimately, and we ask that you overflow our hearts with your perfect love. 

For it is only through your love and mercy that we are able to love the hearts that need you the most.

Thank you Lord for loving us. 

 

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood by what has been made, so that men are without excuse  Romans 1:20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Simply Trust God

Peace of Spirit

Peace of Spirit

Why is it sometimes  so hard to let go and simply trust God?

My husband and I recently returned from our much anticipated and needed vacation…which consisted of visiting our son and his wife in Colorado, and then visiting with our other son, and his wife, in California.

Before I share about the joyful, perfectly wonderful time we enjoyed with our family, I need to confess something.

As anyone who is a parent would understand, the most important focus in our lives  has been our sons, and building our relationship as a family.   We wanted to provide them with a strong foundation of love and stability.  Through the years we made lots of personal changes as the Lord led us to  learn and grow…a lot of times through trial and error.  As we watched our sons grow into strong,  responsible and loving men, we also felt ourselves blossoming and growing into better versions of ourselves.  In our eyes, God worked a miracle in our lives…blessing our family with a close,  trusting relationship.

As our sons married, our family was expanded and our two daughters-in-law added a new dimension to our family dynamics.  By the way, they feel more like daughters than daughters-in-law.  It seemed that all of our prayers had been answered, and felt very blessed that we all were close and were able to enjoy each other’s company.  Life was good.

Then they decided to move across country.  From the East coast to Colorado and California.  

Although I would like to say that I was extremely happy that they were following their dreams and moving away from the traffic and craziness of the DC area, I have to admit, I can’t say that at all.  And the fact that both couples researched and found wonderful laid back communities that offered the beauty of the mountains and/or the ocean, and conducive to a peaceful life where most travel is by bicycle didn’t phase me at all.

Why would they leave us?

Not only move, but move as far away as possible from us.  Didn’t they know that everything we did was for them and our family?  Didn’t they know how much we struggled to make changes within ourselves so we could be good parents to them and give them what we never had?  Didn’t they realize what they were leaving behind…parents that are always there for them and the awesome times we enjoyed together?

Although my mind was happy for them, my heart could not let go.  I was holding back with clenched hands, and could not let go and offer my children to God’s safekeeping and His plan for their lives.  I wanted to selfishly hold on to them…and keep things the way I wanted them to be.

I wanted my family to be the peaceful haven that we worked so hard to attain, and I just did not allow myself to give it up.  In actuality, I was substituting  the love and need of  my version of  family relationship for my love of God.  My family had become my idol.

Thank you Lord for opening my eyes.

You have been flawlessly working your plan through all of us.  Because of the way your Holy Spirit guided us, we raised two wonderful sons that chose wonderful, loving wives.  Each of them have talents and gifts that you will develop and use for your perfect plan, and because of your divine intervention, our sons are strong and grounded enough to be able to follow the call that you set in their hearts.

So was this the most awesome and perfect vacation ever?  A thousand times YES!  The time we spent together will be treasured and remembered in our hearts…the time together was the most important facet.  Now add to that…bicycling, hiking, soaking in natural spring hot tubs, brewery tours, wineries, touring the Hearst Castle, attending Mass as a family at a beautiful Catholic Church and also a Mission,  meeting up with and visiting extended family in California, the mountains, the ocean, and also meeting some of our sons’ friends and coworkers and realizing the wonderful communities that they are now a part of.   Also the fact that both couples showed us their love by sharing their homes with us,  planning our time together, and the wonderful meals and special touches just for us.

Yes, I still miss them.  But I have finally opened my clenched fists to receive the grace to let them go and trust God with their lives and also ours.

Thank you Lord for this lightening of spirit that you have blessed me with.  Please keep us all in your light and open our eyes, ears, and hearts  to your voice and guidance.  Help us to quiet our lives and souls so we can hear your whispers, and give us the strength and courage to take up our daily crosses and follow you.  Wherever that may be.

 

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?…  Luke 9:23-25


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Not as the World Giveth

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Sometimes we just need to take a step back and breathe in the wonder and glory of God.  His mercy and love encircle and caress us, inviting us to know him in a deeper way.

Will you close your heart to his invitation?  How long will you keep him waiting?

Take this very moment to inhale the beautifully gentle love that your Heavenly Father desires to bless you with.  Only he can fill you with the peace and joy that your spirit is aching for.

May God bless you and touch you in a special way today.

 

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  John 14:27


For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  Ephesians 3:14-21


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A Simple Way to Share God’s Love

As many of you know, my 86 year old mother lives with my husband and me.  (If you would like to read about her and our life together, click here )   Finally, after a seemingly endless  succession of home health care aides, she has a wonderful caregiver named Esther.  It is a joy to come home after work and find my mom relaxed and happy, where before she was tense and anxious.

The difference is, Esther really cares.  It shows through her demeanor and loving spirit, and her ability to listen and connect with my mom.  She was the first caregiver that ever handed my mom a mirror, so she could actually see how she looked after her hair was done.

I know that is a small thing, however, it showed that she saw my mother as a WOMAN, as a person,  and that my mom’s happiness mattered to her.

Many times, I have watched prior caregivers interact with my mom.  Most of the time, there really wasn’t any real engagement, just tasks being done.  While watching one day, something really hit me hard.  The caregiver did not ever  look my mother in the eye.   Not once, even when talking to her.   Ooh…that hurt.  It made me so sad, and even worse,  made me realize that I did the same thing sometimes.

After that day, I really make an effort to fully connect with my mom, and anyone else I may be talking with, by making sure to make eye contact.

Let’ s take a few extra moments to more fully engage with those the Lord places in our path today.  Even if it means to just merely catch the eye of a stranger and say hello with a smile.  Each person in our lives, whether a casual acquaintance, friend, family member or stranger,  has a heart with a story to tell.

When you make sincere eye contact with them, you open a window between their heart and yours. Remember that, as you make your daily encounters!  You may be the one that is sent to help open their heart….be sure to let them know you care, and that they matter.

Maybe, just maybe, they will be reminded of how much God loves them, because they realize somebody loves them.

A very simple way to share God’s love.

 


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Hollywood Sins

This morning I was humbled in a big way.

For some reason while drying my hair, I started thinking of Farrah Fawcett, and the suffering she experienced at the end of her life.  Because of her cancer treatments, she lost the  beautiful hair that was always her trademark.  It took cancer to reveal to her that her true beauty was not her face, body or hair.  It was the beauty of her heart…a beauty that is instilled and treasured by God.  My heart filled with love and sadness for her, and I said a prayer for her soul.

That led me to think about Hollywood, and all it entails.  How often do I think and spew about the evils of Hollywood?  How often do I shake my head in disgust at the lifestyles and lack of faith that seems to permeate Hollywood lives?

God spoke to me very gently, but pointedly, this morning.  He started out by asking me how I would like it if my most embarassing or sinful moments were plastered all over the internet.  He asked me what could I learn from the rise and fall of the “stars” in Hollywood.

Up to this point, my heart has been telling me to just ignore what is happening in their “Hollywood” world…that they have nothing to teach me, I don’t want anything they have and don’t care to know anything that they know.  Because it is evident they don’t  have any real answers “judging” by their lifestyles.

But God told me something very different this morning.  He let me know that Hollywood has much to teach me.

You see, all of these wounded people are his children.  He loves them unconditionally.  He knows why they are angry, bitter, confused, arrogant.  He knows why they are empty, and filled with the sad lie that their worth is wrapped up in their fortunes, bodies and physical beauty.  He knows the reasons for their loneliness and despair.  And he is waiting for them, as he waits for all of us, to open their hearts to his mercy and love.

So where does that leave me?  It  leaves me very humbled.  For right in front of my eyes, every day, I am made aware of these suffering hearts.  All of the people that live on magazine covers and reside on the screen for our entertainment, are REAL PEOPLE with REAL FEELINGS, and have the same real need for God’s love and mercy that I do.

There are countless lives being paraded in front of us continuously.  The immorality, promiscuity, greed, pride, addictions, broken marriages and family issues smack us in the face and remain in our line of vision and awareness all the time.  The Lord opened my eyes to the reality of my judgements against them.

And he also made me aware of  how much all of these people…these souls…can teach me.  Through living their lives in public view, they reveal exactly what they need help with.  Their struggles and weaknesses are evident.

What I can learn from their lives is my need to offer unconditional love, and the gift I can give them is my prayers.

From now on, with the Lord’s help, when I am made aware of the “sins” or weaknesses of others…instead of judging, I will make the choice to love them as Jesus does, and to pray for them.

And to hope that all who know me and see my sins and weaknesses, will do the same for me.

 

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.   1 Peter 4:8

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  James 5:16

 

 


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Blessings Through Adversity

As I was sitting with my husband at Mass last Sunday, the love of Jesus enveloped me while witnessing a loving family’s interactions. I am sure their living testimony touches many hearts each and every day, and I wanted to share it with you.

The first time I noticed them, was when I heard an exuberant  boy’s bellowing voice piercing the silence of our congregation before Mass. He was excitedly greeting church members as his father was guiding him, with his walker, to his seat toward the front of the Church. Their walk up the aisle was slow, due to his disability. At the time I would guess that this child, who radiated joy, was about 10 years old.

Fast forward about twelve years. This family continues to be a beautiful testament to the love of Christ. Do they stand out as “the perfect family”, always smiling angelically and always doing the “perfect” thing? Not at all. I watch his father guide him slowly toward his seat, with a staunch look of determination as his son is attempting to converse with each person he passes. I watch his mother, who is already seated, help him out of the walker and holding both of his hands, ease him to his seat, which isn’t easy due to his size.  However, it is very clear that he is a blessing to his family, as they are a blessing to him!

There are no visible halos surrounding them as they lean over, hug, and whisper to their son when his voice gets too loud. What a blessing this whole family brings to me and to the Church! It is impossible to miss the love this family has for each other. Their decisions made every day, to love and care for each other, no matter how difficult things may be from time to time, glorifies God in a beautiful way.

So many times I hear and see instances where a person or family is elevated by many for being “blessed”.  We tend to equate blessings with so called “good things” in a person’s life…the earthly…the outward appearance. Such as the glow from families who were blessed financially, who seem to do all the right things, have status in the community, have children that are thriving in their education, volunteerism, and extracurricular activities, and seem to have it all together. All of those things are good and hopefully are blessings. However, sometimes looks can be deceiving.

Sometimes the greatest blessings can be found in adversity. They can be found in the day to day struggles. They can be found in a family who have literally given their lives for the care of their loved one. Sometimes those blessings are disguised as difficulties, and are accompanied by frustration, impatience, and fatigue.

The true blessing is always found in open hearts. Hearts that place all their trust in God, and give thanks in all things. Hearts that pray, “Let it be done according to Your will.” Hearts that are so open to God’s love, that the Holy Spirit fills them to overflowing.

That love is what I witnessed in that special family on Sunday. May God continue to bless them, and may He open our eyes to the true blessings in our own lives.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  1 Thessalonians 5:18

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Saying, Father, if you be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.  Luke 22:42


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True Pleasure

Do you like to read?  I love reading…especially inspirational or spiritual books.  Right now, I am in the process of reading “Saintly Solutions” by Fr. Joseph Esper.  This book is very enlightening, because it offers solutions to life’s common problems – from anger, boredom, and temptation to gluttony, gossip and greed.  The most interesting facet for me is that for each of life’s common problems, this book reveals a saint who experienced the same weakness or struggle. There are also suggestions for things you might try to overcome each issue.

Today, as I was reading, one line especially caught my eye.

“Those who love God will find pleasure in everything; those who do not love God will never find true pleasure in anything.”  St. Alphonsus Liguori

As I journey on my spiritual path, I have found this to be true.

In the past, I found myself comparing myself to others, or focusing on my struggles and what I didn’t have.  I rarely found pleasure in my day to day life.  During those years, I actually felt like I had a black veil over my spirit, and I could not break free… always feeling like “why me.”

Now that I am getting to know Jesus in a personal way, and have opened my heart to the Holy Spirit’s light, it is so easy to find pleasure all around me.  My spirit has been set free!  Simple things are beautiful to me, and touch my heart.  Little things like waking up one more morning with my husband next to me, enjoying a beautiful sunrise or sunset, watching birds or squirrels in my backyard, listening to beautiful music, visiting with family or friends, praying and feeling the presence of God…these are some of the joys that fill my life.

When things are difficult, I ask God to open my eyes to what I should be learning from the circumstance.

No, my life is not perfect, and I have a lot of growing to do.  However, I can honestly say I feel more love, pleasure and joy in my life than I ever did before.  It is a feeling of inner contentment, and trust that God loves me and will always be there for me.  He will carry me through.

My prayer is that the Lord fills our hearts to overflow with his love and moves us to share that love and joy with those he places in our lives every day.

Because that person he is entrusting to you is hurting and in need of Jesus’ saving grace. 

You were uniquely chosen for specific moments to touch specific people.  What could bring more pleasure than serving our Lord and sharing him with a world in need…one heart at a time?

 

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,  so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  Romans 12:4-5

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

 

 

 


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Tea and Fellowship

For a few years now, I have felt the call to lead a Tea and Fellowship Ministry for the women in our parishGetAttachment community.  What I have seen is that although the church is always filled for every Mass (we have an extremely large church) and there is always a big turnout for events, I noticed that there aren’t many true friendships.

Here is what I found.  When I meet someone new through church, I always ask how many people they know from our parish.  I am not talking casual friendship; I mean true friendship.  The kind that warms your heart and feels like family when you walk into church or a parish event.  The kind where you know you have support in your Christian walk, and there is always someone to call when in need.  The kind where you, yourself, are always open and available to your sisters in Christ.  The answer is usually the same.  They may know one or two people; not many close friendships at all.

When I was younger, and raising my boys, the women were the ones who developed the relationships in the communities.  It was much simpler back then, because most of us were stay at home moms, and relationships seemed to develop themselves.  As the women in the communities became closer, they would draw in their husbands, and family friendships were forged.

Now, with so many single moms, and two parent working families, it seems that there is no time for developing friendships.  It is extremely difficult to balance jobs, time with our spouses and children, homemaking, and all of the transportation and errands that are needed.  What suffers?  Usually time for ourselves and time to actually have relationships with our families in Christ.  Sometimes it seems as though our Church Community, which should be an inviting place of acceptance, love and fellowship, turns into once or twice a week worship, and maybe some more “events” to add to our schedules.  It is a vicious circle.

There has been a gentle tug of the Holy Spirit for me to start a Women’s Tea and Fellowship group at Church.  I outlined a plan, and presented it to our Pastor, and then to a few women who are very active in our Church.  For some reason, nothing ever came of it.

My idea to bring women together to form relationships and community remained in my heart.  I believe those relationships are the foundation that will ripple out, not only to our Catholic Church Community, but eventually into the surrounding communities.

Isn’t it funny how the Holy Spirit works and tugs at your heart until you finally see the light?  For me, it was the realization that I did not need to have a formal “ministry” in the Church to carry out the true ministry.  I can keep my eyes, ears and heart open to opportunities to be a blessing to the women and groups I encounter.  Either at Church, or anywhere at all!

A few months back, I was volunteering at the library, and talking with Sheila, who is the “Director of the Library”.  Not really sure of her true title, however, she is the one to talk to about any question regarding the library or the volunteers that help to run it.  I asked if I could host an Appreciation and Fellowship Tea for the volunteers.  Sheila’s face lit up, and she said that would be a wonderful idea.  My heart warmed up thinking about the tea and thinking of ways to pamper the ladies!

After lots of planning, baking, and decorating, the tea finally came to fruition this last Saturday.  It was a beautiful experience to meet and get to know some of the wonderful women from our parish.  We enjoyed each other’s company, and they were pampered with relaxing music, flowers, cookies, and tea sandwiches, which were served with china plates and tea cups.  Somehow it just feels different to drink your tea and eat your cookies from vintage china.  Before we knew it, we were having a great time, sharing stories, and laughing.  I look forward to getting to know them better in the future.  Another tea in the Spring is already on my agenda!

Now, my heart is open and I am listening for the Holy Spirit…to lead me to the Church Ministries, or particular women who could use a “Fellowship Tea”.  My plan is to offer friendship, heart to heart, and in doing that, sharing Christ’s love.  Through God’s grace and blessings, His perfect love will radiate out to many hearts in need.

We all have specific callings, gifts and talents.  It’s our daily lives and the “little things” that touch the most hearts.

Any suggestions of ways for us to share with others in the Community of Christ?  Please share any ideas you may have.

May God bless you!

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:  If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  John 15:12-15