Tag Archives: Love

Three Missing Links Between Us and God

17 Jul

The direct line to a truly victorious life filled to overflowing with the presence and blessings of God was broken when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. They disobeyed God. Ironically, it was the only rule that could even be broken. Nowadays, we are surrounded by things in the world that have eradicated Jesus as much as possible. Our options are numerous, quite unlike the first two human beings. Still, it’s not that complicated. All we need to do is what Adam and Eve chose not to: Love God, believe God, and obey Him. These words are all wrapped up in one another, ultimately. Our failure to love God results in a failure to believe or obey Him.

1-Love God

The way we are supposed to love God is clearly spelled out in the Bible. One way Jesus put it is probably something just about anyone can understand:

Luke 14:26 New Living Translation (NLT)

26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.

The first and great commandment is to love God with all of our heart, all our soul, and all our mind (Matthew 22:37).

How many people do you know who are more excited to brag about God than about themselves, their spouses, their children, or their grandchildren? The love for God that the Christian people have for Him is collectively cold, which is tragic.

2-Believe God

If Adam and Eve had truly believed what God told them, they couldn’t have been fooled by the serpent. We are no different from those two. If we truly believed the Bible, we would put things of heaven above things of the earth. Our love for God would be evident. We’d all be Jesus Freaks! That’s not what’s happening. It’s probably because we are more convinced that the world will give us satisfaction. Too many Christians just don’t believe God and his promises in the Word. If we did, we’d live a whole lot differently.

3-Obey God

God isn’t interested in watching us take the driver’s seat of our life. He is our Lord as well as our Savior. He expects obedience. The Bible is full of promises and blessings that go along with obedience to God. There is also a lot about curses associated with disobeying God. Deuteronomy is full of info about the choice we make between life and death, such as Chapter 11 and many more verses. He’s our spiritual Father, and He knows what’s best for us. He has a purpose for us that will make us happier than if we go off on our own, which, sadly, most of us do.

These three missing links get in the way of living life in the empowered way God intends for us. We all have a fresh new chance to get it right — every morning. Because that’s the kind of God we serve. Not to say there aren’t consequences for disobedience because there are. But He still gives us the chance to repent. It’s our choice. No links need to be missing.

brokenbridge2

How to Be Beautiful Via Meditation

17 Apr
Mirror

Mirror (Photo credit: Chapendra)

I follow a beauty regimen which involves moisturizer, eye cream, and now a primer to put under my foundation (something I couldn’t recommend highly enough), and more.  Day after day, I don’t miss the routine which keeps me looking young for my age.  But there are other mirrors I need to be looking in besides my makeup mirror:  a full-length mirror to remind me that I’m overweight and, chiefly, scriptures about how to be more like Jesus.  Specifically, 1 Corinthians 13:4-13.

No matter how unwrinkled my skin is, what good is it if I’m impatient with grocery store checkers?  How lovely is it when I speak harshly to Logan, even if he has been a holy terror?  My hormone pills don’t control my irritability when life gets especially stressful, and you know that when momma’s not happy ain’t nobody happy.

In short, I’ve been an ugly lady for a while.  Yes, I’ve been in a bit of a pressure-cooker situation; but that’s no excuse.  All this time I could have gone through the exact same things with love and grace.  What’s been missing?  I haven’t been meditating on God’s Truth in an effective way.  I also haven’t been praying enough.

So yesterday I started out meditating on the love scriptures.  I want to tell you, it was like taking a powerful vitamin supplement!  I felt like a different person as my mind was not on myself all day.  My thoughts were on others, and love leaked out of me instead of tetchiness.

I think I’ll add something new to my makeup bag.  I’ll put these powerful scriptures in a frame or something and put them in front of me.  This way, I’ll erase my self-centeredness while I’m erasing signs of age.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[b] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

The Pieces Came Together Before I Fell Apart

13 Apr

God rarely leaves me hanging for long, when I’m in a place of genuine desperation.  Today I found my answer for where to live, and it’s already all set for me to move there.  Not much longer in this toxic apartment; but I’m going to miss the completely ideal front porch with the cool breeze and freedom to let the kids play.

Where am I moving?  I’m going back to the same apartments I’ve lived at for the past four years.  They’re very nice, it’s quiet, the apartment has a large built-in bookcase, and we all feel safe there.  Best of all, to me it’s home.  I love “home.”

I’m determined to let this move — which carries a lot of significance the details of which I haven’t gone into — be an exciting new start for me and the kids.  Living life the way I truly want to, with a dependence upon God that the kids will participate in simply through acknowledging the Lord as a family more.  It doesn’t have to be a pipe dream!

Faith Like Potatoes

Faith Like Potatoes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a movie called Faith Like Potatoes.  It is an amazing true story and an ideal example of living for God.  You have to watch the movie and then also watch the documentary part which reveals true footage of the man this film is about.

I’ve mentioned an admiration for the Amish; but there is something that seems to be missing in those communities, that being an apparent faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior over and above their ordnung.  The Faith Like Potatoes guy lives out the life I long for.

Okay.  Here’s the thing.  I’ve felt that a husband was a necessary component to really pulling it off.  But of course that’s utterly ridiculous.  Living an obedient, worshipful life with God as the Lord doesn’t require a husband!

My despair has disappeared like the fog in Houston when the sun burns hot.  My feet know where to go and my heart knows what song to sing.  Praise the name of the Lord!

Saturday Night Romance With a Nun-Like Twist

1 Apr

Have you ever had a true love?  I think one of the best definitions of love is that when you’re with that person, you feel whole; and your insides are comfortable, like when you wear the clothes that both fit and flatter you. Being with the love of your life is unlike anything else, and it’s just the best.  Do you agree?

Well, I’ve just been spending a lovely Saturday night with the One who holds my heart in His hands.  God is a very real presence in the life of a person who seeks Him with their whole heart.  My day which started with a desperate prayer for guidance and motivation has been a joy because God gave me the grace to do what I lacked the energy or vision to do without Him.

As the day turned to night, I read some devotionals and drew even nearer to the Lord.  Meditating on the wonders of His creation always brings Him extra close.  In Streams in the Desert Book 2’s March 31 entry, Amy Carmichael’s story about a sun bird in a delicate nest surviving a monsoon fills me with awe.  This tender care with which God watches over all creatures is also extended to me and all who put their hope in Him.

Life on earth is sometimes like being in a series of treacherous storms.  And placing faith in things other than God leads only to heartache and disappointment.  But my eyes are on the Lord, and I know that no matter what storm may come, God is with me.  And simply being in His presence is just the best.

Song of Solomon 2:4-5

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Shulamite to the Daughters of Jerusalem

He brought me to the banqueting house,
And his banner over me was love.
Sustain me with cakes of raisins,
Refresh me with apples,
For I am lovesick.

How I Sort of Stopped the World’s Clocks

19 Mar

Do you know about the guy in the Bible that God turned back the clock for?  (Related scriptures are below.)  It was very cool and the reality of the “missing time” has been proven by science.  Well, God did a similar trick for me today; it’s like the earth actually stood still.

Say WHAT?

I started praying for today yesterday; and I continued with prayer and meditation on the scriptures this morning.  As a result of prayer – because this is no coincidence (I’ve experienced this exact thing before) – I was more productive than I’ve been in ages:

  • Wrote 10 assignments
  • Went for a long walk
  • Spent quality time with the kids
  • Prepared for and completed a radio broadcast Bible study with the kids
  • Did a lot of work on my blogs
  • Played Word With Friends with lots of friends
  • Got a real inspiration for an invention that’s very clever (I hope it’s not like the other things I “invented” and then found out they already existed…lol)
  • Did laundry
  • Made an online friend (Hello, Bird!)
  • Worked on getting prints of Logan’s birthday party so that I can give prints to his friends (40 downloaded so far)
  • Exhibited complete patience with the kids without any edgy moments

Another factor about the day that made it all the more amazing is that I experienced excess pain – I actually cried from the pain.  What’s going on is that, besides my chronic tendonitis in both elbows, more and more finger joints are being plagued with osteoarthritis, which is quite painful.  (I’m very allergic to glucosamine, which fights the effects of this disease.)

So, yeah, it’s really as though God stopped the world’s clocks and let me accomplish a great deal on a very satisfyingly productive day.

The only thing is, I hope this clock miracle doesn’t mess up my schedule even more, what with “spring forward” still confusing my sleep schedule.  (lol)

I totally recommend praying passionately.  Just watch and see what happens.

 

2 Kings 20:8-11

New King James Version (NKJV)

And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What is the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord the third day?”

Then Isaiah said, “This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing which He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees or go backward ten degrees?”

10 And Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees; no, but let the shadow go backward ten degrees.”

11 So Isaiah the prophet cried out to the Lord, and He brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz.

 

The Fog Lifted, and I’d Forgotten What Was There

14 Mar

Life has been clouded a bit by the pressure of challenging circumstances, which I know is typical of the human experience.  Sometimes I get so caught up in trying to just keep up with the day-to-day grind, I miss out on the good stuff.

Then suddenly God blesses me with a moment of grace, and I remember to just take a breath.  When I exhale, the fog is pushed away, and I see that God has given me opportunities to love. Being an expression of God’s love is more important than anything else I keep myself busy doing.

It’s past time for me to pray more.  A few years ago, I didn’t have the same level of responsibility; and I had the joy of reading spiritual volumes and the Bible and of worshipping to my heart’s content.  Now I have little people counting on me and Jesus as my only partner.  But I’ve been forgetting to communicate with the One who says He’ll be my husband and father and mother when I have none.

Frankly, it’s embarrassing to admit that I’ve been living in a fog and carrying around wrong attitudes that lead to impatience with others.  But I know I’m not the only person with these struggles.  I believe the blessing of this hole I’ve dug for myself is that I can share the victory God gives to me as I climb to high ground.

These are the faces of the little ones God is giving me the clear blessing of helping to raise.  They are what I see when the haze clears.  I pray that the fog will be a lot more intermittent than it has been of late.

It Stinks Up in Here

10 Mar

What smell is it that transports you most quickly back to another time and place?  Since I’m determined to be honest on this site, I’ll tell you that a certain men’s cologne brings me right back to the side of my “first love.”  I don’t even know what the cologne is, but I know it when I smell it.  The reason smells are on my mind is that my home, which I’ll move out of in two weeks, has lately smelled kind of unpleasant.  Since there are babies with diapers here 24/7, I’ve been looking for some poopie diaper that didn’t make it to the trash can.  But I haven’t identified the source yet.

This apartment smell isn’t nearly as stinky as the attitude I’ve had off and on lately.  In general, I’m calm, cool, and collected.  But I’m going through something with a certain 8-year-old that I need to get a new attitude about.  I’ve decided that while it’s good to expect a lot out of children, I think I’ve been expecting too much out of Logan.  There, I said it.  I’ve been wrong!

I think my stinky attitude has been tied to that old nemesis of mine:  Expectations.  There are certain expectations that are okay, such as when training up children in the way they should go, such as regarding fulfilling one’s own responsibilities like a mature adult.  But some expectations can lead to no good.

Relationships are frequently destroyed by that multi-syllable word:  expectations.  For instance, when you marry someone with the intention of changing them.  Not good.  When you expect people to read your mind, such as a spouse who doesn’t have a clue what you’re dreaming about as a special surprise for your birthday, even though you hinted several times.  Not good.  Come out and say what you mean.  Guys don’t think the same way as gals.

Have you ever been in relationship with someone and you came to a place where you realized that your life would be much easier if you simply never have any expectations whatsoever of that person?  Since they never do what it certainly seems they should, you just quit expecting anything.  It saves you a lot of frustration but may also be an indication that the person, even if a family member, is creating a mysterious stench in your life and needs to be shown the door.

All this thought about smells and expectations got me to wondering what God expects of me today and how my life can be a sweet fragrance in his nostrils instead of a big stink.  Here’s an answer from the Bible:

“The LORD has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.”  From Micah 6:8

How awesome that God would lead me to the scripture, which convicts me about expecting too much from Logan.  Because if I’m walking humbly before God, I will quit expecting more from others than what I harshly demand of myself.  (I’m not very harsh with myself and my flaws!)

Hey, just realized that repentance produces a sweet smell, no matter what else hangs in the atmosphere.  Nice!