Sunday, August 29, 2010

Steadfast Love

I have been pondering the steadfast love of God. So the best place to begin is always the beginning. According to Websters steadfast means 1)fixed or unchanging, steady. 2)firmly loyal or constant; unswerving. Steady means 1)firm in position or place; fixed. 2)direct & unfaltering; sure. 3)free from change, variation, or fluctuation; uniform. 4)not easily excited or upset. 5)unwavering, as in purpose; steadfast. 6)reliable; dependable. 7)temperate; sober.

Kind of sounds just like God doesn't it? God is love. He is unchanging, steady, firmly loyal and constant; unswerving, direct, unfaltering, sure; free from change, variation, or fluctuation. He is reliable, dependable, temperate and sober. Kind of gives you insight into who He is and what He is about. To love like He does seems impossible, but if we let go and let Him have His way it will be as easy as breathing. Yeah I want love like that in my life not only from God but from a significant other. I also want to be able to love others with that type of love....unconditionally, unswerving, dependable, unfaltering....His love isn't based on performance like man's isn't conditional but a free gift to all who receive it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Steadfast Love of God

I was in church about a week ago. Pastor Tim had preached out of Psalm 32:7-8 but I had read the remaining verses of the Psalm. One thing caught my eye...verse 10 "Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord." My heart skipped a beat when I saw "steadfast love". I have been married 2 times and I don't believe what I experienced in either marriage was "steadfast love". Since then I have been in and out of God's word....when I am in it seems where ever I am reading I am reading "steadfast love" in the scripture(s) for the day.

"What does love look like?" is a song sung by Misty Edwards out of the International House of Prayer. You can check it out here Between this song and the "steadfast love" that I can't escape from in the scripture has me pondering and seeking. I believe steadfast love was what compelled Christ to fulfill leave His home in heaven, to become flesh, to have all the weight of sin from that time to eternity placed upon Him, to be the propitiation...the sacrifice for my sin. So I am on a slight detour....what does love look like? what is steadfast love...THE steadfast of God look like and what are the benefits of obtaining such in one's life.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 in the Amplified reads "Love endures long & is patient & kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited(arrogant an inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it (it pays no attention to a suffered wrong). It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything & everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fade-less under all circumstances, & it endures everything (without weakening). Love never fails (never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end)." In light of this, I can honestly say I did not love like I should have. The world has put it's own justifiable twist to something so simple, so complete. Love to the world is conditional, but to God it just is an absolute truth that cannot be twisted or changed. Love like God just is....can't be explained, bought, sold or just is.

A dear friend, mentor, mom, confidant gave a good word today in church....she spoke about being Callified. How God calls us and it is our choice whether we answer that call...whether we rise up to meet the challenge of that call. One of the conditions of rising up to meet the challenge of the call was/is truth. To live, breathe and operate in truth....not the world's synthetic version of the truth where it changes like folks change their underwear...where it changes at a whim....but God's absolute truth. Not unlike 1 Corinthians 13:4-8...God's absolute truth about love. So here is the truth folks....I have been living a country song. I have been looking for love in all the wrong places. We all crave and desire to be loved, but this world's version of it will just leave us empty and longing. So I am on a need to pack my bags or take vacation time....a quest of seeking out God's steadfast love. What does it look like? Already have a glimpse or two...Jesus and God's absolute word. How can I make it a part of who I am?

My dear friend also mentioned that this season we are in is a preparation time. This Esther is rising up for a time such as this. A preparation time of love for the next chapter of this book of life I try to call my own. A preparation time of love that will be so like His pure love to be poured out like a drink offering over those around hold on dear ones that are in my inner circle for the shower of love so fresh & new. But also a preparation time of love for that one special person that God is simultaneously preparing for me. Hope springs eternal once again in my heart....thought I had lost it along this journey along with love and a few other things. I will post what I discover about steadfast love. But I challenge any and all readers today...start your own quest and then let me know what you discover.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What are you afraid of?

Today I am pondering, pensive and thinking. I have been told I over analyze things....yes perhaps so. When things or situations come into my life I look at them like one would look at a Rubik's cube. I turn it this way and that, I study it before I make the next move as I don't want the next move to be a wasted move that will cost me ground. This morning the Lord is speaking to my heart, "What are you afraid of?" It is all I can do to keep from crying.

What am I afraid of? Well other then the obvious to my friends...spiders & snakes...can't stand them, the list seems endless within me. I am afraid of truly being alone even though I know HE is with me, I am afraid of being alone in the natural. I don't like living alone, I don't like eating alone and I certainly don't want to die alone.

I am afraid of failure. My life seems a "Magoo" life. Mr. Magoo was a cartoon character I used to watch as a kid. He was an old bald man with very poor vision and he had to wear thick glasses. He never really saw where he was going, he bumbled along through life. But somehow when he stepped off into the unknown there was always a steel beam to catch him....kind of makes me think of how God is in my life....He is that steel beam I seem to step out on when I do muster up the courage to step out. But I am afraid of failure....why? Well I have no clues....still trying to Rubik cube puzzle that one out. I guess it comes from this drive within me to do things right the first time....or perhaps my drive to please others and not let anyone down as I have been let down so much myself. I don't know. Perhaps it is a trust issue. I don't trust myself to do things and trust it will work out....perhaps just the basic trusting of God & His work within me to sustain me through whatever obstacle.

I fear if I allow myself to love others, I fear I will either hurt them or get hurt myself. Hurting others is a big one for me. I know what it feels like to have one's heart ripped out by the carelessness of a friend or loved I guess this is what keeps me from loving like I should.

The fear I really don't know how to truly love or that I will truly be loved. I wonder sometimes in the course of my 2 marriages...did I really love them? I mean truly love them or did I just love the idea of being married? Will I ever be truly loved not for anything I can do or give someone but truly be loved? I know in my head God loves me, but have I truly allowed that to filter to my heart to where I know beyond a shadow of doubt that God TRULY loves me? Have I allowed God's love to permeate my very being?

Then in today's email I get this nugget of it is not written by me and I don't take any credit for it.....

Stoplight Faith
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman
Wednesday, August 18 2010

"And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith" (Matt 13:58).

You can learn a lot about people in traffic. For instance, I observe a lot when I see 20 cars in one line and only 3 cars in another. The reason for the longer line is these people want to make sure they get to make their turn after the light. I, on the other hand, want to get through the light first, then I will worry about making the next turn. This is a difference in risk taking tolerance, or perhaps faith; or even some might argue with me that I'm operating out of presumption versus real faith.

No matter which person you might be in this situation, it is sure that faith is often spelled R.I.S.K. When the priests carried the ark into the Jordan River at flood stage there was a risk they could lose the ark to the Jordan River. However, that is not what happened. "And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap" (Josh 3:13). God changed the entire environment and made it possible to walk across without the pressure of wading through the powerful water only when they took the first step.

Risk means there is a potential for loss. However, when God leads us to take a risk, then He is there whether we succeed or fail. He is there in the success and He is there in the failure. If He leads you to take a risk it may not always succeed in the way you think. In fact, it could even fail.

The only true failure is when we fail to take the risk when God is leading us to do so. Sometimes the fear of failure is the greater obstacle than the risk itself.

Has God called you to step out in an area that requires risk? This could be the place He wants you to move. Ask Jesus to give you the courage to step out.

So now another few questions I afraid of so many things because of the risk required to step out in faith and just step out?? What am I afraid of losing if I step out and do what God is calling me to do or to give Him? Is hanging onto whatever it is I have a death grip on really worth holding onto? Will this soul of mine ever get surrendered to the point where these questions will just die?

So many questions & so much confusion. Perhaps my friend is right....I do over analyze things. Perhaps the best course of action for me is to go back to step one and just "be".

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Heroes & Zeroes

I was talking with a friend, AJ, today about what I have learned about me through my failed marriage and divorce. I was telling AJ that I didn't see my husband as a hero and I didn't treat him as such. That by not doing that I was in essence disrespecting him as a person. AJ mentioned that my husband's actions didn't seem to warrant me treating him like a hero.

That is the way the world are only perceived as your actions warrant. Jesus doesn't operate that way. We are all sinners, but Jesus doesn't see us as sinners. He sees past our sins, past our weaknesses and failures, He sees us as the children of God, the children of the King that we are. That is one thing I didn't do with my soon to be ex-husband. I only saw his fault and failures and I treated him according to what I saw.

When we let our eyes or glasses get clouded with past hurts, past failures, past disappointments we don't see clearly. Our vision is muddles with the past and sometimes present hurts, failures and disappointments. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse our vision. How does He do that? Well the first step is acknowledging that we can't handle this on our own, that we need our Savior to do this for us. The only thing we can save, and we can't always do it successfully, is money or something tangible. Only Jesus can save us from our sins, hurts, failures and disappointments.

Secondly we need to surrender all control of the hurts, failures, disappointments and sins over to Him. We surrender our lives and all the control therein over to Him. We humans tend to see surrender as a weakness and in an essence perhaps it is, but when we surrender our weaknesses to Him we get HIS strength in exchange. We get the good end of the deal...He gets our junk. It makes me think of what Granny always said...."making a silk purse out of a sows ear." Jesus takes our junk and makes it into something beautiful that can be re-used to help someone else. Jesus invented re-cycling....sorry side thought there.

When we surrender all of this stuff He has the opportunity to cleanse our vision and make it like His. This makes me hopeful for the future. As I allow Him to cleanse and purge me of all the worldly beliefs that rule how I operate then I get re-cycled into His image....I get recreated into a person that can be a blessing to someone else' life. There is the hope of loving and being loved again...finally having the person He is grooming in the same way for me. There is hope.

Holy Spirit I surrender all control and ownership of my hurts, failures, weaknesses and disappointments both past & present. Remake and reshape me into the person You desire for me to be. Cleanse my vision so that I no longer see others through the murky glasses & eyes that have been clouded by the circumstances of this life. Let me see people as You see heroes, conquerors, princes, & princesses. I surrender control of my emotions and allow You the freedom to help me react as you would to circumstances and people so I no longer react out of the past hurts, failures and disappointments. I desire to be a delight and blessing to You and to others. Let it be according to Your word in Jesus' name.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Still struggling, still seeking, still alive.

Wow last post was in April and I am sure some are wondering where did she go? Is she OK? How is her walk with the Lord? I am alive, still struggling and still seeking God and His glorious face in the midst of all that I am going through. I have found that by His grace & provision I am able to stay in the home He brought me too...Thank You Father.

I am learning more about me in this transition period....I have learned that sometimes I don't mind living alone with now 3 dogs; one died last weekend =(; but sometimes it really stinketh muchly living alone. I know, I know I am not entirely alone, but in the natural I am the only fleshly person here and the walls seem to creep in on my at times. I am working on many issues in my life with God. Some days it seems to be going well, other days it is silence either on my end or His. But I am hanging in there and trying to remain in His presence.

The divorce papers were finally filed by my spouse. I didn't think he would ever get around to filing but he has. So the end of this chapter of my life is in sight. When the papers were served, kind of embarrassing to have a sheriff show up on your doorstep to serve papers...but he was nice and helped me joke my way through signing for them....but it was done. I got inside with the papers and just felt numb. No anger, no sadness just an "OK it's done" attitude. It's his birthday today and I am not sure if I should text him to wish him a happy birthday or feels odd.

I went to church Thursday night and Prophet Bob was in town. Always a great time in the Lord when Bob is in town. I had been feeling for awhile that I am supposed to write a journal or perhaps a book about what I am going through...but then was wondering if it was my "pizza" brain telling me to do this. God spoke through Bob that I was going to write....Bob wasn't sure if it was poetry, prose, a journal, a diary, or a book, but Bob saw me writing. Who knows perhaps what God was showing Bob was me posting again here...I don't know. So here it is, I started this a bit before 6 a.m. I am writing again pouring out my heart and spirit for the world to read. Don't know how often I will be posting, but I have this and a pen and paper on stand by. Ready to write whatever God drops in my spirit or my own junk. I hope you continue to get something out of what I put here....not for my own glory but for God's glory and good in your life. Hugs and blessings dear reader. Until next post.