Tag Archive: love


As I grew up, the plan for my life was to get married, have kids and stay home to raise them.  My Mom did that and so would I.

I dated through high school but I would surely meet THE ONE in college, then I wouldn’t have to finish because, obviously, we would be married right away, have a couple kids, I would stay home, eat bonbons and live happily ever after.

mrs degree

That’s just what girls did and I couldn’t wait.

God changed that plan.  Well, as usual, His plan is always a tad different than our own.

“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”   Proverbs 16:9

A dear friend of mine is a wonderfully amazing single woman.  For 35 years she has remained faithful to God’s plans for her life…remaining true to His Biblical standards for a single person; growing in her faith, serving God with her time and abilities, remaining morally pure and finding contentment in her singleness.

She is one of the strongest, Godliest and wisest women I know.  To me, a married mother of four, my friend seems to have it all.  She can do whatever she chooses with her time, has a great job and resources that allow her to travel and give freely… and yet the greatest desire of her heart is to find the man God has planned for her.

Because she, like me and so many other women, know one of the simplest and most basic desires and purpose for mankind.

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply…'”   Genesis 1:27-28

Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’ For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”   Genesis 2:18, 24

Marriage

But God just hasn’t brought ‘THE ONE’ to her.

A couple years ago a single dad, and his son, moved into the area and began attending our church.  We all became fast friends and even began serving together in ministry.  I swear, a resounding “Hmmmm…re-he-he-ally?!!” could have been heard when some of us realized he was single.   My friend and he got along very well…they seemed a perfect fit and even other people noticed, however nothing seemed to come of it.

“Is he just oblivious?”  Some asked.

“Does he not have similar feelings?”  Questioned others.

None of it made any sense.  It seemed so clear.  Such a great match.

Then we received news that he would be moving back home – states away – and it would be happening immediately.  It literally knocked the wind out of me and I can only imagine what it did to my friend.

We were supposed to meet at my house, our small group women and I, the night he stopped by to tell us the sad news, but schedules changed and the meeting was canceled.  Had the gals and I met…my friend would have surely been here when he stopped.

God protected her heart.

tears

Undoubtedly there were tears and still are, but what seems so sad can also be seen as blessing.

Had something more intimate started between them, this parting would have been infinitely more difficult.  Besides, he is moving back home…back to where he and his son came from…back to where more family is… his parents AND his son’s mother.

Perhaps this is God’s plan of protection for my friend or His plan of reconciliation for a family.  We can’t know the mind of our Creator or the plan He has for our lives but Scripture shows us time and again that God knows our struggles…

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”   Hebrews 4:15-16

And if we boldly go before Him, offering up our heart’s desire, He will hear…

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”   Romans 8:26-27
And will fill our hearts…

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”   John 7:38

But still, it hurts.

Songs of Solomon

“In addition to the proverbs which he authored and inspired, Solomon also wrote the lyrics of over a thousand songs.  Yet unlike the many recorded psalms of David, only two, or perhaps three, of Solomon’s psalms are preserved.  One (Psalm 72) refers to a visit by the Queen of Sheba and the second (Psalm 127) does not fit easily into any single historical context and is therefore presented here as a further example of Solomon’s lyrical work.”

Read: Psalm 127

“Another special collection of lyrics is known in most English versions as the ‘Song of Solomon’ and in the Greek as the ‘Song of Songs.’  The title ‘Song of Songs’ would suggest acceptance of the song as the most beautiful of all the songs or psalms.  Unlike most of the preceding literature, the ‘Song of Songs’ deals more with love than with wisdom, prayer, or praise.”

The song reflects the feelings of a lover and his beloved — that is, a bridegroom and his bride.  Despite language which is unusually graphic and sensual in description, there is no hint of improper lust.

On its face, the Song of Songs is a beautiful and striking statement about human love.  It suggests that all life, including human sexuality, is holy because God has created it. 

Many have seen in its celebration an allegory representing the love relationship between God and man.  For many Jews it presents God as the lover and the nation of Israel as the beloved.  With the coming of the Messiah, it will be seen by many as an allegory of Christ and his church.  Whatever else its purpose may serve, the Song of Songs expresses unrestricted joy in a relationship of love.”

The Song of Songs

Read: Song of Songs chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

Sincere Motivation

MOTIVE AND THE HEART     Proverbs 15:11, 16:2, 17:3, 20:11, 20:27, 21:2, 27:19

FALSE WORSHIP     Proverbs 15:8, 15:29, 21:3, 21:27

DUPLICITY     Proverbs 6:12-15, 10:10-11, 11:3, 16:30, 20:14, 23:6-8, 26:23-26

Concern for Others

LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS     Proverbs 3:3-4, 16:6, 20:6, 25:19

LOVE, HATRED, AND COMPASSION     Proverbs 10:12, 15:17, 17:5, 24:17-18, 25:21-22

KINDNESS AND MERCY     Proverbs 11:16-17, 12:10, 12:25, 21:10

OVERSTAYING WELCOME     Proverbs 25:16-17

Concern for Self

PRIDE AND HUMILITY     Proverbs 11:2, 12:9, 13:7, 13:10, 15:25, 16:5, 16:18-19, 18:12, 19:10, 20:9, 21:4, 21:24, 22:4, 25:27, 26:16, 27:2, 27:21, 29:23

SELFISHNESS     Proverbs 18:1

JEALOUSY     Proverbs 27:4

ENVY     Proverbs 14:30, 24:19-20

GREED     Proverbs 28:25

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

 

shhh

I have a confession to make.

I can not keep a secret.  Seriously, it is pure torture!!

I just helped my parents order gifts for the kids for Christmas.  Gifts that the kids will absolutely go ga-ga over!  These are THE GIFTS; the ones they continue hinting at, the ones they’ve been talking about for months, the ones they never dreamed they’d get, never thought they’d see, never imagined they’d hold…

I am having such a hard keeping it secret!!  I am so darn excited, I’m just bursting!!

I want to talk about it, I want to share it, I want to tell someone, ANYONE…

Crazy excited

But there is a secret that I have been known to keep.  The best secret.  The one I should share but I zip my lips, I hold my tongue.

The Good News of Jesus Christ.

Why am I not bursting at the seams over what Christ did for me?

Why aren’t I just as excited to tell someone… ANYONE… about God’s saving grace that I can’t keep quiet?

Zip Lip

Why aren’t I?

God offers us an amazing gift.  A gift that we will go ga-ga over.  A gift that we always long for, hint at, the one that we can’t stop thinking about.  A gift that we all desperately want but think we will never get.

Love…

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”   Romans 5:8

Forgiveness…

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”   1 John 1:9

Freedom…

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”   John 8:36

Peace…

“and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”   Revelation 21:4

Joy…

“The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.”   Psalm 19:8

Beauty…

“…THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”   1 Corinthians 2:9

Life…

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”   1 John 5:13

 

We can have a burden for the lost; an excitement to share the change and promises God has made in and given to us, but we must ask for it.

It is very easy to grow cold in our longing to share what Christ did.  The evil one makes sure of that.  He certainly does not want us sharing our faith and changing hearts, so he plants seeds of doubt and fear in us to turn us from sharing the hope of Christ with others.

Ignore those whispers!

Don’t let the evil one steal God’s thunder!  Pray for courage, pray for a burden and let God work.

helping hand

Heavenly Father, your Word promises that You are always with me.  Give me a burden for those who don’t know you, the boldness to approach them and the words to say.  Please prepare hearts and guide my steps.  Oh God I praise You for the change You’ve made in me, please fill me with a desire for the lost and allow me to share You with them.

 

Related articles:
Heaven is a Beautiful Place   (http://www.mfctoday.org/)

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go.  Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts.  And we are never, ever the same.”  -Anonymous

How are you at being a good friend?

I miss the mark more often than not.

A good friend is patient and kind.  She doesn’t get jealous, snotty or rude.  She lets us go first even when it isn’t our turn and doesn’t get angry when we do.  She is always honest with us, dreams with us and walks the long road with us.  She comes when we struggle, weeps with us and encourages us when we are down.  She lends her ear and her shoulder to help bear our burden and sorrow.  Her love never ends.

So often Job’s friends get a bad wrap, and rightly so; they give him bad advice, question his integrity, and accuse him wrongly.  Like us, our friends are not perfect; we all make bad choices, say the wrong things or jump to conclusions.  [Job 4-25]

But we can learn from Job’s friends in how they respond when they hear of their friend’s suffering;

“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came… to show him sympathy and comfort him. And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept… And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.”   Job 2:11-13

They came.

They wept.

They sat.

What kind of friend are you?

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…”   1 Corinthians 13:4-8

When I was about ten years old I was a girl scout (and I find it a bit disturbing that the exact girl scout uniform I used to wear -above- I found the image on the Smithsonian legacies site.)  I should’ve just gone downstairs and taken a picture of my old uniform!

Anyway, that’s not the point although I kind of dig the fact that I have waaaay more patches on my sash.  🙂

We used to go camping as a troop and one time we stencil painted our names and an adjective to describe us on a pillow case.  The catch was the adjective had to start with the first letter of our name.

Great.  There were only 3 words I could think of for N;  Nice, Naughty & Nutty.  (I know, there are far cooler N adjectives… give me a break I was ten.)

We went around the circle telling everyone our adjective…

Cute Christy

Sweet Shannon

Adorable Angie

Jumping Jena

Oh they had such cute names, I was totally going with Nutty Nicole.  It was fun and would make people laugh…oh yes, that was the one.

As we went around the circle, it stopped at the other Nicole in the group who was just as inventive on N adjectives as I was.  “Nutty Nicole” she said.

I about had a heart attack.  I was certainly not going with naughty, and nice was just lame!  The circle rounded  its final turn and I was last to go, and I said…

It is so funny the silly regrets we have in life. The little things we wish we could change… and I can assure you no one else even remembers the adjective I chose back then, but I do not still have and never did use that pillow case!

Do I wish I would’ve gone with another word?  Absolutely!  Any other; neat, nifty, noble, notorious, even noisy would’ve been good, but what I find so interesting is how desperately I did not want to be associated with the word:

           

We are born with an innate sense of right and wrong since the fall of mankind.  God didn’t want us to have to choose between right and wrong.  He had one rule…

“…You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”   Genesis 2:16-17

We are made in the image of our Creator who cannot do wrong, but since that fateful choice to eat from the tree, all the generations since have possessed that choice… and so we struggle.

“…Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil…”   Genesis 3:22

Thankfully as Christ followers we have help…

“… he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”   John 14:16-17

Although we all will fail at some point after giving our lives to Christ by making a wrong choice, I have frequently found myself labeled and placed in the “naughty” category, often by other Christians, because of the songs I listen to, the jokes I laugh at, the movies I see.

One of my favorite songs is “Fly Away” by FFH;

This song speaks to my heart.  I love it’s sound, it’s beat and especially it’s message.  I sang this song as a special one Sunday a long time ago at a church we used to attend,

and got in trouble for it.

At that same church I lead the youth program, AWANA, and used some Go Fish songs to teach the the kids;

it was frowned upon.

The God I serve is an exciting, colorful, and fun-loving God and I have been taught that the way I see Him and life is wrong.  Thankfully He brought us to the church we now call home, where I am surrounded by other people who enjoy life, a good laugh and a strong beat.  They are just as crazy as me in thinking God is alive and energetic and wonderful.

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”   Zephaniah 3:17

“…as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”   Isaiah 62:5

Our five senses point to His creativity and enjoyment.

Why do we have taste buds?

Why does our skin long for touch?

Why does He create things of beauty for us to gaze upon?

Why do we prefer certain sounds?

Why can we be satisfied by a scent?

And why then did He create laughter?

Of course we must have a healthy fear of the One who created us.  He has rules we are expected to follow and we are to glorify Him through our actions and our lives, but to say He doesn’t want us to fully enjoy Him and this world He created specifically for us, is silly.

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.”   1 Timothy 6:17

Find out for yourself how great God is.  He wants you to live life, love life, and love Him.

 

Have you ever been lost in a department store?

You’re eight years old walking down the toy aisle with mom pushing the cart when you are lured by the call of the Glo Worms, Masters of the Universe, She-Ra and Star Wars action figures, Rainbow Bright, Pound Puppies, Donny & Marie dolls and Micro Machines when you look up and realize Mom’s nowhere in sight.

Your heart pounds, your eyes widen, your pulse quickens and your whole body stiffens and practically tingles as you frantically search aisle after aisle desperately seeking someone you recognize.

You know that feeling… empty, desperate, nowhere to turn, no one to listen, lost and without hope.

Several months ago I wrote an “I Spy” about pulpit thumping, which I realized I hadn’t posted on here yet…so, I literally just posted it now if you’d like to take a look:  “I spy God thumping

The co-worker I refer to in that post has been prayed over by many people and so often since that incident with the radio preacher almost five months ago now.  I shared the “thumping” story with the owner and other employees at Life 102.5, and they have been praying that God might open a door for me to continue to witness to her at work.

However, to be completely honest I never thought she would be brought to a place where a door would be opened wide enough for her to be accepting of it, let alone have the time needed while at work to share with her, so again I shrugged it off.

“Is anything too hard for the LORD?”   Genesis 18:14a

How silly of me.

Just the other day, I was able to sit down and catch up with this co-worker, and she shared with me about enduring some real heartache and difficulty in her life, and that she is very much struggling with everything right now.

Creeeeeaaaaak…the door just opened.

God provided a good 45 minutes for me to chat with this gal and share of God’s love and the sacrifice He made for her, but as we talked what struck me was that I saw in her eyes a glimpse of that little girl lost in a department store.

I saw fear and confusion in her tear filled eyes.  She couldn’t recognize anyone around her, she couldn’t understand how she got there and unable find her way.

 

I read a new friend’s blog just this morning that God spoke through, bringing my co-worker to mind and into my prayers:

“Maybe you are standing at the bottom of that hill or mountain looking up high at a mountain and that’s all you know for sure.

And when this happens, and it does sometimes, we can look a tiny bit higher than the hill to the clouds, look for something–no, Someone–we can’t see, and say, even when we don’t have any other words:

“Jesus, help.”
 
I remember the one time that He was up on a hill.
 
And I wait. Because He is strong in my weakness.
And that’s why I need grace.
 
Will you wait? See His strength in your weakness.
We all need grace.
 
He comes when we ask and we find His strength.”
*Excerpt taken from Jen’s blog: Extra*Ordinary

Do you know something is missing, but can’t figure out what?

Do you long for the warmth, peace, and embrace only our loving, forgiving, and all-powerful Father can provide?

Please don’t wait another moment to turn to the One person who can give you what you’re missing.

Call to Him.

He’s waiting.

Christian; do you remember a time, even if you grew up in a strong Christian home and gave your life to Jesus at an early age, where you felt far away from Him?

He hasn’t moved.

“But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”   Matthew 19:26

Once upon a time, there was a child ready to be born.

He asked God: “They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?”

God: “Among the many angels, I chose one especially for you. She will be waiting for you and will take care of you.”

Child: “But tell me, here in Heaven, I don’t do anything else but sing and smile, and that’s enough for me to be happy.
Will I be happy there?”

God: “Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you every day.
You will feel your angel’s love and be happy.”

Child: “How am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don’t know the language that men talk?”

God: “Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear.
With much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.”

Child: “And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?”

God: “Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.”

Child: “I’ve heard that on earth there are bad men. Who will protect me?”

God: “Your angel will defend you even if it means risking her own life.”

Child: “But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.”

God: “Your angel will always talk to you about me and will teach you the way to come back to me, even though I will always be next to you.”

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from earth could already be heard.

The child, in a hurry, asked softly: “Oh God, if I am about to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name.”

God: “Your angel’s name is of no importance.
You will call your angel … Mommy.”

 

I Spy God writing a note

[IMAGE CREDIT]

This week I had a blank note card sitting on my counter, and because I was lazy and didn’t want to put it away, I decided to jot a little note on it to one of my dearest friends just to say hey and how ya’ doin’.  As I wrote, the note transformed into more of an encouragement letter than a greeting.

I apologized that I don’t live closer and wished that I could be there for her more when she needs a friend.  I was sorry that I haven’t been able to help strengthen her walk with the Lord and give her guidance through God’s Word when she needs it.  But I have been praying for her daily, and that’s all I was able to offer right now.

It became a note letting her know that even though she’s struggling she can always count on me and our God.  ANY TIME.

I read it over again and had second thoughts about sending it.  I didn’t know if she was struggling at all, and if she wasn’t this card would be kinda’ weird.  But…I also figured there’s a reason I wrote all that stuff, because it definitely wasn’t what I had originally planned to pen.  So, I sent it.

A couple days later I got an email:

“Thank you so much for the awesome card. That really made my day. I could go on and on if I had the time to tell you how much it means to me and all the things that have been happening that make me know that you are praying…that God is there with us every step of the way….there are so many things that pop in my head and then some how – an answer comes…through a song maybe on the radio (no kidding, the other day I was really worrying about something – I can’t remember what now of course and a song came on the radio (I only listen to 102.5) and it was amazing…I’ve never heard the song and it was like God was answering me!) I almost cried…amazing. Then I will have thoughts in my head and then…then…there’s your card.”

Oh, I praise God.  Even when we don’t realize He’s working through us…He is!!  I am so honored to serve such a loving, living, wonderful God, and I thank Him for using me!

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.”   2 Timothy 4:2

Are you a sheep or goat?

As I was spending time in the Word this morning, I read in Matthew where Jesus was speaking to the disciples about the end of days; (Matthew 25:31-46)

“Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’”   Matthew 25:32-34
Oh, I praise God that I am one of His sheep. How sweet it will be to stand on my Lord’s right hand. What a joyful thing that will be.
Then it hit me…
I know without a doubt that I will be standing on the right side of my God, but I will also be standing face to face with those who are not.  I will be eye to eye to many of my friends and family, separated not only from me, but from our God – with the other goats.
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”   Matthew 25:41
Just imagine the pain of that.  The sound of it.  It will be unbearable, and it will be my fault.
“If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.”   Ezekiel 3:18
What in this world is keeping me from witnessing, or continuing to witness to the people that I love?
[IMAGE CREDIT]
What in this fallen world is more important than spending eternity in paradise with our Lord and Savior?
I think we all know the answer to that.
I can not bear to hear Him say to my dear friends and family; “depart from me, I never knew you.”
“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”   Matthew 25:46
Oh Lord, I pray for forgiveness.  I pray that You give me a burden and drive to reach out to the lost… to those You have put into my life to share Your truth and Your love with…
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