Firstfruits began with an idea: How could women’s needs to gather with other women, experience God’s love and go forth more centered on their own giftedness and purpose be met? Then the Holy Spirit stepped in and something powerful happened!
In the beginning … Firstfruits began as a vision for a women’s ministry whose purpose was to gather women to experience God’s love. And as a result, be transformed!

As word spread about this unique opportunity, other parishes became interested in hosting a Firstfruits gathering. It became apparent to the founders of Firstfruits that this “gathering” needed to be moveable. We became known as a moveable feast of spiritual opportunities for women.

Bucks, Brewers, and the Beloved

Lately I have been hearing a lot about how the Bucks are going to go all the way. They are going to be national champions of the NBA. And how the Brewers could do the same thing. It’s possible they could be World Series champions.

I’ve also heard in a session at Firstfruits that I am the Beloved of God. That God loves me with a love that is so powerful it can transform my world and the world of those around me if I allow it to.

That’s a lot of good news! Some of it a bit more important than the other.

The first two, we have to wait and see. The third one, we don’t. It’s waiting for us. We just have to let ourselves be the Beloved. Why is that so hard?

One of the answers to that question lies in the Bucks and the Brewers. The world of competitive sports shows us to win you have to do something, and do it better and bigger and faster and more often than anyone else. The prize isn’t just laid in your lap. It isn’t a gift. It is something you earn. We have learned that hard work brings reward. And that is true in the world of sports but not in the life of the Beloved.

We are conditioned to think we have to “win” the title of Beloved and that in order to “win” something as incredible as the love of God we have to work hard. And most likely never do well enough. But that isn’t true, not with God. And that is why it’s so hard to believe we could be God’s Beloved. It’s not something we earn; it’s something we were born to be. In fact we were God’s Beloved before we existed. We have to allow it, that’s all.

The reason it’s not so easy to allow that love is that we know we haven’t always been on the top of our game, worthy of praise, and adoring fans, especially to God. We may not have been batting a thousand in our past and we see what happens to sports stars when they hit a rough patch in their careers. They are sent down to the minors or traded away.

That isn’t what happens to the Beloved. We can hit rough patches daily and know that there is a love there that never leaves us, never puts us down or sends us away. Quite the opposite. It’s at the rough patches and the slumps when God’s love carries us and is at it’s most powerful. Even if we don’t know it.

If we allow ourselves to be loved, to be the Beloved, imagine the transformation. Our actions and words would no longer be fueled by fear, a need for fairness, inadequacy, insecurity, or ego. We would be at peace and free to love others the same way we are loved. It’s a domino effect. When we respond to life through the lens of being the Beloved, others sense the peace and their responses begin, ever so slightly, to change. It’s contagious.

Enjoy the success of our Milwaukee sports teams. It is exciting! Sit back and watch them work hard with a smile on your face knowing you’ve already won your title.

To all the Beloved,

Joan

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Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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