Dear Lord

So many friends and loved ones are going through some very hard things right now. I’m praying so much for them all. And in case any of you are too, I want to pass this prayer on to you:

Dear Lord God,

You are my Shepherd.

You watch over me.

You tend to the needs of my heart and my life.

Help me to trust Your guidance in this time of uncertainty. 

It is so hard to look ahead and not see a clear vision for my future. 

Please help me to trust in Your timing. 

Let me always seek Your will.

Please fill me with Your peace, knowing that You are the one true God and You love me.

You are…

…my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.

Psalm 91:2

Thank You for watching over me.

In Jesus’ name I pray, 

Amen.

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He’ll Bring You Back

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God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden to rule on His behalf.

But, they chose to disobey God’s one command and through them, sin entered the world. They were banished from the Garden and their fellowship with God was broken.

Their.Fellowship.With.God.Was.Broken. This, my friends, hurts my heart. The mere thought of sweet fellowship with my beautiful Jesus being broken just grieves me. It grabs me deep and my soul screeches and pours out, “noooooo!” We’ve all felt further away from God in those times in our lives when we smother Him out and don’t keep Him a priority. But, broken?! Oh, how they must have HURT!

Take this world, the magazine articles written, the speaking engagements, the classes taught, take it all. Take this world and give me Jesus! I’ve GOT to have Jesus!

But, friends, we have an amazing God who is more addicted to fellowship with us than we are to Him. God immediately set into motion His plan to bring us back. This is the story of the whole Bible.

Everything God does is a solution.

God continually works to redeem us for Himself. He wants to lovingly bless us with good things as we seek and find our hope in Him. He is the source of all good things.

No matter what we do, or how we mess up, EVERYTHING God does is a solution to bring us back. Get us back to where we are supposed to be. Back in the game. Back on track. Back in the joy of our salvation. He meets us where we are and never leaves us there. 

The story of the whole Bible is God redeeming His people and bringing them back. It also tells us who God is…it reveals His personality, His character, and His plan for us. And, it also reveals His deepest desire: To relate to and fellowship with the people He created. His deepest desire is a passionate, loving relationship with YOU.

Are you at a place today where you are desperate for God? Empty and needing a Savior? Well, guess what….He wants that even more than you do. It’s called grace. So, don’t be shy. Nothing you’ve done will make Him love you any less. He’s better than we humans about that. Go right on up and climb into Daddy’s lap. He’s running to greet you now.

See: Genesis 1: 1-2:4, Genesis 3:1-24, Luke 15:11-32, James 1:17, John 3:16

Creation: A Love Story

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The book of Genesis begins with “God created the heavens and the earth” The world—and you—are not products of blind chance and probability; God created it and us. They are here. We are here. God created all that we see and experience. Here we begin the most exciting and fulfilling journey imaginable.

God did not NEED to create the universe. He CHOSE to create it. Why? Love. God is love and love is best expressed toward something or someone else. So, God created the world and people as an expression of His love.

We can know in a very personal way this God who created the universe. God’s deepest desire is to relate to you. To have fellowship with you, His creation. He took the ultimate first step in this relationship with us through His visit to this planet in the person of His Son, Jesus. Now, it’s your turn. It’s your move.

How do you grow closer to understanding and hearing from God? By giving heed to His gentle checks, His delicate restraints and constraints. His voice is still and small and must be felt.

God is love and His voice is for the ear of love. And, your love should be intent on hearing even the smallest of whispers.

You know…those times in conversation when you’re just about to say a word, and you feel that gentle nudge. And, those moments when you’re about to pursue something that seems clear and right and there comes a quiet suggestion that another way is better.

It’s a voice quietly spoken in your heart at first but the more you listen and obey, it grows louder and clearer.

If you want to know Him better take heed to His voice even when is seems contradictory from a human standpoint. Obey even when He asks you to move in the dark. When you do, you will experience a fellowship with God that is wildly overpowering, wonderfully overwhelming, and more than you could ever imagine. A relationship that will hold you and He closely together even in the most severe testings and pressures.

 

Remember: You are part of creation, and He is pleased with how He made you. If at times you feel worthless, remember that God made you for a good reason. You.Are.Valuable.To.Him.

 

See: Genesis 1: 1- 2:3; Isaiah 30:21; Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 3:20

 

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

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What’s love got to do with it? Ahhh….that huge hair and the growl of Tina’s voice singing in my head. Maybe it’s because of my own huge hair, or the growl my voice has this morning because of this sinus infection…..I don’t know but love is on my mind…..

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love does not demand it’s own way
Love always protects, always trusts
Love is patient, kind and humble
Love bears all, endures all, believes all
Love is forever and it does not fade
Love is a commitment, placing the needs of others above self
Love does not keep a record of wrongs

~BUT~

Infatuation is selfish and proud
Lust demands it’s own way
Infatuation is unkind, easily jealous and possessive
Infatuation is impatient
Infatuation and lust are feelings
Infatuation is temporary–it is weakened by time and separation.

Because God is love (1John 4:8) let’s replace the word love with God in the verses of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 at the beginning of this article

God is definitely committed and His character is stellar. God certainly is patient (SO glad because I sure need Him to be!) and kind to us. He isn’t resentful and wanting to take from us, He gives and gives and gives (Jeremiah 29:11). He always protects, and we certainly can trust Him. His love absolutely endures forever (Psalm 136) and does not fade away. He is totally committed (enough to die for us) and thinks always about us and our needs are definitely above His own (the suffering and death on that cross was horrendous). And hallelujah He does not keep a record of any wrongdoings we have asked forgiveness for (Hebrews 8:12, Psalm 103:12). He is our hope, and finds complete joy, and loves our victories.

Replace the word love with your name. As Christ to the world, we should be described as patient, kind, and humble, committed and standing strong without fading with time or when things don’t go our way. Placing the needs of others ahead of our own, not demanding our own way, and all those other things.

The Greek word for love of an adorable object, especially for love between man and woman is eros. Another Greek word phileo, refers to the love of friendship.

In verse one of this chapter, we see that this is referring to the Greek word, agape (pronounced as “ah-gop-ay”). Agape characterizes God (1John 4:8) and what He manifested in the gift of His Son (John 3:16). It is more than mutual affection; it expresses unselfish esteem of the object loved (me and you). Christ’s love for us is undeserved and without thought of return. The love that His followers show, Paul now says, should be the same.

….The love Christ’s followers show should be the same….

The questions on the floor are…..am I lavishing sloppy wet kisses of this kind of love on God Himself? Do I show Him that I’m madly in love with Him? Am I madly in love with Him? Is this just an infatuation?

And, as a Christ follower, am I treating others this way?

Lord, help us to love the way you love. Gracious, wonderful, loving Father, how I love you! I do adore you and I do lavish my sloppy wet kisses of love over you. I swim in your ocean of grace. Thank You for the everlasting love You pour out for us over and over and over again. If there is anything about my affection for you that speaks of a weak infatuation, I give it up. From this day forward, may the love I have for you, in my marriage, for the people of this world be true, strong AGAPE. Sold out is what I want. Sold out and undone with a new name. I am yours and have eyes for no other. In Jesus name, amen.