The times in which we are living. It doesn’t take a Doctorate Degree in anything to understand these days are troubling and crazy. The enemy of our soul would have us all hate one another & take offense at any and everything. Intelligent conversation has been replaced by “I am offended” diatribes by some with the proverbial “chip on their shoulder”. Sad. Afraid of offending this one, that one, or anyone causes division.
Here it is. This is me. I love people. I love dogs, cats, orangutans, baby goats, parakeets, and I have rescued a writhing earthworm on a hot sidewalk and placed him back into a shady patch of grass. That’s me. Offenses will come to ALL from all sides. Without the love of God we would all destroy each other because of “offenses”. All of us matter to God. ALL of us. I have been to the hot. putrid dumps of Mexico City where orphaned children live surviving on garbage that was a breeding ground for flies. Their wardrobe was discarded smelly clothing. I have washed their dirty little feet and placed brand new clean socks & shoes on them. Bragging??? A thousand times No. It did not matter their color, breeding, odor, or intellect.
I have been guarding my speech of late due to the cataclysmic gulf between races – all races. Beloved that should not be. Please don’t be so offended – any of us – Beloved, did He not say “offenses will come”? Do not let the enemy of your soul divide and conquer us! I have been to the hot, steamy rain forest in West Africa and held the sweating, feverish babies close to me. This white woman climbed a high hill in Ghana to deliver the Word of The Lord on a certain day to a certain small congregation of believers. First white person to ever go there.
Love MUST overtake hateful prejudice. Do not tell me I am racist because I am a different color from you. There is enough on all sides to cause more division.
Here’s the crux of the entire thing. We have a common enemy – his strategy has always been to “divide & conquer”- read your Bible – his aim is to divide, kill & destroy.
I refuse to hate. I refuse to give in to an enemy that hates me.
One day last week a thought came to mind about how so many say they want Christ in their life, but they are just not ready. I was sitting at my sewing machine thinking about this and I remembered how Jesus asked God that if it was His will, to keep Him from having to be tortured and crucified. Two days later I made a graphic and posted it to a few of our social media pages.
What are you waiting for? Don’t wait until it is too late!
The night that I posted the graphic to our Facebook and Instagram profiles, I had a dream.
In my dream, a group of us were sitting in a front yard and I felt that we were at home. That we all lived there. I was surrounded by family, friends, and people I don’t know. But in my dream, we were all family.
The yard had a fence and a gate. A few of us looked out and noticed other friends and family that we knew wandering around the neighborhood. They were dazed and lost, almost like they were sleep walking. Eventually all of us in the yard started calling each of them by name and shouting:
“Come home! Come home! You’ll be safe!”
Many heard us, woke up, and came running in the gate for a happy reunion while some continued wandering.
I woke up excited, but concerned.
The church is on the verge of a revival. God wants His children, our brothers and sisters, home before it gets dark.
Remember being a kid and playing outside? When it began to get dark, the porch light would turn on and everyone knew it was time to go home. I still remember the sound of my Grandma’s voice when she would call out my name. “Angela! It’s time to come home! Come on, it’s getting dark out!”
The times are getting dark, we all know that. The “porch light” is going to light up any minute, and it will be time to go to our Heavenly home. (I CAN’T WAIT!)
How many of our loved ones are too busy to realize that it is getting dark and almost time to go home? We need to start getting their attention!
Why aren’t we trying harder? Are we too busy to care about the souls that need Christ?
I want to challenge every Christian to call or message someone they know that needs Jesus. Reach out to them. Ask them how they are doing, if they have given any thought to God lately. Remind them just how much He loves them. See if they want to meet up to talk or come to church with you. Don’t make a laundry list of their sins and tell them how wrong they are. Love the lost more than the enemy hates them. Just shine the light of Jesus in to their life.
Call them in the gate so that they will be ready to go inside when the light turns on.
Some people just need that little reminder and will come running right back in. Others may not be as eager to listen. Keep praying for them and being a friend to them, don’t just shut them out.
With everything going on in the world, it is too easy to just give up and say that no one wants to listen. We need to keep fighting the good fight and bring in the lost! Wake them up and ask them to come home!
Let’s do this! Are you with me? We need to let everyone know that it is time to COME HOME!
When I woke up from my dream, I had a song in my head that was sung during many altar calls in my childhood… Listen and enjoy!
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.John 15:9-14 NKJV
While praying about my one word, song, and verse for the year, I asked God to take me on a journey. I figured it would be something I didn’t expect, because that’s what He does. But I had no idea it would be this. I had no clue as to what I would learn about Him, myself, and others. It has been painful, but necessary… and I still don’t have a word, song, or scripture. Instead He gave me a phrase, a playlist, and sent me flipping through my Bible looking up all kinds of scriptures (not claiming to be an expert or anything like that. I’m definitely a student here.) I feel led to share part of this journey for some reason, even though it is very personal to me. So I’m following the Holy Spirit on this. Please know that I do not mean to offend anyone, act like a know-it-all, boast pridefully, or anything else negative. I’m simply stating what I have learned recently, because maybe just 1 person out there needs to read it… and when God says write, I write. You may not like me after reading this, and that’s okay. Feel free to stop following and reading, etc. because I don’t care about numbers, that is not why I blog. I don’t make money doing this so you’re not hurting me by quietly slipping away… though I hope you don’t and instead see the honesty of my heart in what I am going to share. This journey is far from over… but here is where I have traveled and where I am now… (It was originally going to be a simple post with a few graphics, music videos, and barely any words. Next thing you know, it’s a really long post. Bear with me on this, please and thank you.)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.John 3:16 NKJV
1 John 4:11 it says Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven" width="500" height="500" srcset="http://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/LOVE-the-lost-MORE-than-the-enemy-HATES-them-1-John-411-scripture-reference-Raising-Sticky-Hands-To-Heaven.jpg 500w, http://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/LOVE-the-lost-MORE-than-the-enemy-HATES-them-1-John-411-scripture-reference-Raising-Sticky-Hands-To-Heaven-150x150.jpg 150w, http://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/LOVE-the-lost-MORE-than-the-enemy-HATES-them-1-John-411-scripture-reference-Raising-Sticky-Hands-To-Heaven-300x300.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />
Imagine for a moment that there is a woman who has only two options of places to live. Both potential roommates offer for her to live in their homes for free.
The first one says that he loves her and will take care of her every need, but actually hates her and is extremely jealous of everything about her. While he is very abusive, he has others in the home show her ways to dull the pain, lie to her, and cause her to feel an artificial love so that she is content and does not always feel the strain of the abuse. His intent is to strip her of everything with one hand while he pretends to care for her with the other. While the smiles are false, her roommate (slave driver would be more appropriate) steals everything he is jealous of and she is constantly watching her back. The words in her ears sound positive and her body momentarily feels good.
The second one offers to care for her with nothing asked in return but love… which comes easily the more she gets to know Him. He has many gifts for her, some of which she will attain over time, and while He is honest about the fact that there will be difficult times He makes sure that she knows that He will always be there for her. He asks the others in the home to help her get settled in, but instead some of them berate her, tell her that she is not good enough for Him, and become angry at her for not already knowing the rules of the house upon arrival. While the Homeowner is grieved and tries to let her know that He does not feel this way and that the others are wrong, she is so hurt and confused that she considers returning to the home of the one who had no love at all… If the others in the home feel that way and tell her that she is not good enough for Him, she assumes that He must feel that way as well.
LOVE the lost MORE than the enemy HATES them
Okay, I didn’t promise the best writing or illustrations here. HA! It may read out pretty lame, but you probably already get where I’m going with this… because you’re smart and saw the title and the story was obvious… but anyway, this is a big part of what has been going through my heart lately. It seems that we as Christians are so often misunderstood, and to be honest, sometimes we are just flat-out harsh when we should try a different approach. We are quick to judge, defend too fast, and try to dictate instead of love. To someone who didn’t grow up in a Christian home to know and understand what some of what we are conveying to them means, it comes out kind of hateful. How would you feel if you walked into a new friend’s house and their daughter started critiquing every bit of who you were? Not so good. But that’s how we come across sometimes to people who have been lied to their entire life by an enemy that hates them more than we love them.
Oh, he hates them alright. He hates all of us. 1 Peter 5:8 in the NKJV states “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Satan is jealous of us because we are made in God’s image, we serve God, and we are loved by God. When someone is living in sin, satan is happy because if he can deceive the person enough their hearts will become hard and cold towards God. It’s the only way that satan can hurt God, by stealing those that Christ loves and dragging them into eternal punishment with him instead of them spending eternity with our Father.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.John 15:18-19 NKJV
Am I saying to not call sin what it is and help others see the way? Certainly not. What I am saying is that we need patience and compassion. We also need to realize that most people who are lost have never read a Bible and many that are lost are not likely reading one currently, so we are the only Bible that they are “reading.” Ouch, hurts, doesn’t it? We are so wrapped up in our doctrine and appearance of holiness that we have forgotten the great commission of going out into the world and preaching the gospel… and that none of it means anything without love. (See below.) We are not of the world, but we are in it. We should be going out and sharing the Word of God, not judging, condemning, and nitpicking. Although our intentions are well and we know where our hearts are, we don’t take the time to listen to ourselves and hear how we are coming across. While some are brought in with tough love, it does not work for all. Especially for those who have grown up in a world that has treated them brutally. We have to speak the truth, yes, but we have to consider how we are delivering it.
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”Mark 16:15-18 NKJV
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8
I’m also going to include 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 (I suggest reading the entire chapter, it’s not long.) translated in the Amplified version, because of the depth that it explains these scriptures:
IF I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody). Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing. Love endures long and is patient and 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 and 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 and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 Amplified Bible
(Both translations, and many others, can be found at Bible.com and BibleGateway.com.)
My “AHA!” moment
We have all heard the phrase “you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.” Why do we forget this simple metaphor when it comes to winning the lost? We need to be honest and let the Holy Spirit lead us so that He may bring the conviction on their heart to turn from the sin they are living in. You see, it was in my own life, recently, where I realized that I was putting out more vinegar than honey when it came to witnessing to a particular soul that I care a great deal about. Funny (actually, not so much) thing is, that is not how I was won back to Christ when I recommitted my life to Him about 8 years ago. Many had tried that approach, because they knew that I knew the truth, but they had also made me feel shunned and unworthy. It was actually Karen and Emily’s Mom and Step Dad, Momma Ann and Poppa C, that told me that they loved me, even in my sin, and that Jesus still loved me too. They didn’t judge, condemn, or preach. But they did tell me often how much Jesus loved me. Oh how I hated hearing that at first, but eventually it got through my tough skin and caused my heart to yearn for Jesus again. It wasn’t protesters or loved ones rolling their eyes at me. Not being told that I was becoming nothing and going to hell. It was love, and hearing that Jesus still loved me after all that I had done against Him. That was what drew me back in. So why would I think that the negative approach that I hated so much should be practiced by me? Ugh. Hypocritical, much?
Ephesians 6:12 states “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Yet here I was, fighting my loved one instead of the evil and wicked that is trying to steal their life. I kept reminding them of everything wrong they were doing and how disgusting it was in the eyes of God instead of declaring the love that God has for them when they are so hated by an enemy that wants to see them dead… And THAT is how this new favorite phrase of mine was born.
I want to LOVE the lost MORE than the enemy HATES them.
Not only those that I know and love deeply on a personal level, but anyone who is living without Jesus. Just because they don’t realize that satan is there, or maybe they do not even acknowledge him, it does not mean that he is not lurking, tempting, perched and posed, ready to devour them. The fact that God loves them with more love than anyone can ever comprehend is not changed by their blindness or denial of it.
How can we make them want this love that we have? How can we fight the enemy? With fierce unbridled love!
Getting angry at a sinner for being a sinner is 1: hypocritical (Not one of us is without sin, only Jesus.) 2: like getting mad at an apple for being an apple (They need a transformation, which can only be done through Christ.) 3: getting nowhere (Stating the obvious doesn’t fix a problem.)
Love overcomes all. Love, with faith, can move mountains and transform the world. Who wants to become like the angry person? No one. It is the kind and compassionate that cause others to say, “what has that person so happy? I want to be like that…” When you show the love of Jesus fiercely, unconditionally, and abundantly… THAT is when you will see the lost running to the cross, the world transformed, and hearts softened. Not with flashy shows, angry finger-pointing, and weak theology. Too many are running lost. It is time that we sound the alarm and flood the darkness in this hate filled world with the LOVE of JESUS!
Again, my point is not to stop calling sin what it is or to not stand up for what is right… we should do those things. But we need to carefully and prayerfully consider our approach.
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.John 15:12 NKJV
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.1 John 3:16 NKJV
(For those that may be curious, here are just a few of the songs on my long playlist for 2015… I’m tellin’ ya, it’s a LONG playlist!)
I don’t think there is a single part of my life where I haven’t dealt with fear.
I worry about my kids, my husband/marriage, my loved ones, money, health, the state of our world, life, the future, what everyone is thinking, how will I have enough time next week, and don’t you dare show me a picture of a snake unless you want me to slap you. Put one in front me? Well, you’re just mean. All of that at some point has deeply scared me… and some I deal with on a daily basis.
God doesn’t want us to fear. There a numerous times in the Bible that fear is mentioned, and over and over again it is stated that we have no reason for it. For our minds to comprehend that is impossible, though, right? With what we see on the news and happening to those around us?
When our faith is in God, when we know His love and let it envelop us, our focus on Him and making everything else fall behind it… That is when we are able to live without fear.
Why? Because we know that we are putting our love and trust into the creator of the universe, and He has our best interest in mind. His love forces every fear to leave us, but only once we put our full and complete trust in Him.
A servant cannot serve two masters. Love and fear cannot reside in the same house. Which one is living in your heart? Don’t allow yourself to be tormented. Choose love.
As I am writing this, it is nearly 2 am. Up until about 30 minutes ago I was in bed reading when I heard one of my kids wake up and shuffle around his room. Upon checking to see what was going on, I found that Tommy, my middle son, had a nightmare and was trying to settle himself back down. Seeing that he needed some comforting, I invited him to come into the living room. He seemed to already know what he needed to soothe him: for me to pray for him, his favorite Pandora station that we have customized over the years to play Rockabye Baby and instrumental hymns, and to lay in my specific spot on the couch.
Just as Tommy was all settled in and I had turned off all the lights he pointed over to my laptop. “Mom, why is your laptop over there? Aren’t you going to write a blog while we are up?” I assumed he was procrastinating falling asleep, so I asked him, “No, what would I write about?” When he replied it was deep. Okay, well, it was deep for a 6-year-old. “I want you to write a blog with a picture of me with you, Jeffrey, Becca, Johnny Ben, and Molly and a picture of you and dad. Then you can write about how much you and dad love us and how much you love dad, because someday I’ll read a lot and want to read it when I am a grown up.”
I was so caught off guard. I expected him to tell me about his efforts to tell The Joker about Jesus so he won’t be an arch-villain any more. (Yes, that is really a frequent topic of his.) I did not expect him to mention something so emotional and actually relevant. (Dear Mr. Future Tommy, I’m sorry for assuming you wouldn’t be relevant. But you were 6. Someday you’ll have a 6-year-old and know what I mean. Forgive me. Love always, Mrs. Mom From The Past) I promised him I would do so, but a few moments later after he fell asleep I decided to go ahead and do it now.
Why now? In the last few years I have made a lot of to do lists. Most of the items listed on those lists have never been crossed off. I do have good reason for some of that, but I really don’t care why I can’t do this that and the other any more. I’ve been in the process of reorganizing my life and re-prioritizing. (I’ll write more about that another day…) When it comes to my kids, I no longer want to put anything on the back burner if it can be done now.
So Tommy, and my other 4 children, this one is for you…
Just my kiddos and me – Summer 2013
I could never explain how much I love each of you. You guys are probably so sick of me telling you all the time, but it is true. (Okay, apparently Tommy isn’t tired of it…) These aren’t just words that I have to say nor am I making small talk. You may get tired of me stopping you to give you a hug, sending you a goofy text that ends with an “I love you” in all caps and tons of exclamation points, or saying it out of the clear blue. But I mean every word and I want to be clear to you that I do, with all of my heart, love you.
All 5 of you know how far from perfect I am and how I wish that some things had happened differently. I regret every mistake I have made that has caused you any pain. I’m sorry that because of my past mistakes we are all split in half across the country from each other. I wish that Tommy, Johnny Ben, and Molly could have grown up with Jeffrey and Becca and that you all would see each other every day. I hate that I don’t see all 5 of you on a daily basis. That does NOT mean that I love any of you more than another though. My feelings for each of you are equal. Just remember, we have had some amazing summers as a family. We have inside jokes, hobbies, and many memories that have come out of those times together. Others may think we are weird, but that’s okay. Embrace it. This is how God made us to be, a big silly family full of inside jokes, and we are happy.
At the same time, because I care so deeply for you, I will not let you just do everything you want. We have rules, consequences, and lots of talks (that you all roll your eyes at… Don’t think I don’t notice…) because I want you to have successful lives and relationships, now and when you are grown. I want you to know right from wrong, good manners, and most of all how much Jesus loves you and wants to be a part of your lives. There are times that you will be angry with me, but I will not apologize for doing my job as your mom.
Not only am I thankful to have you as my children, but I’m thankful that you all have each other as siblings. Even with the age and distance gaps, you all get along more than many other brothers and sisters I know. You all amaze me and bless me so much in many ways, but this is one area that I am extremely blessed. You may bicker and argue occasionally, but when it comes down to what matters, you all look out for and help each other. That’s awesome, thank you!
You may not see how it is possible now, but each of you have taught me so much. Whether it be how to have patience in a hospital with an unforeseen circumstance only to see God work a miracle in His time, how to pour tea like a princess, the name of a little known character in Star Wars, understanding more about the neural system, or something academic. You inspire me to better myself. Each of you blow me away with your wisdom. Yes, even Molly, who at the time of my writing this is 2. You’re all going to do great things. I know it.
It is no secret how much I love your Dad, Bobby. While we all know that Jeffrey and Becca have a different biological father that loves them as well, we were blessed when Bobby came along. He loved you both as if you had always been his and still does. You should know that he has not once referred to you as “step-children” and always as “my son and daughter”. I’m pretty crazy about that man, and he loves all of us very much as well. Even more than Cadillacs, Twinkies, and Coca Cola.
As I bring this to an end, I want to remind you that nothing in this world will ever compare to the love of Jesus. Never give up on Him, because He will never give up on you. Each of you know of times in your lives that He stepped in and touched you with healing or resolve. Never forget what He has done, and thank Him every day. I thank God every day for the privilege of being your Mom. I would go through every one of those pregnancies, labors, sleepless nights, and rough days again in a heartbeat if given the chance. Bobby and all of you are the best thing that ever happened to me outside of salvation. One more time:
I love you, Kids!!!
P.S. Tommy, thank you for asking me to write this. It’s not just for you, I needed it as well.
P.P.S. Are there flying cars? Did you guys ever talk me into going back to blonde? Write back your “past mom” and let me know about the future, ‘kay?
Just Bobby and Me – Summer 2010
If you read through all that and have made it down to the bottom of this post, I urge you to write a letter to your children to read some day. Not only will they be grateful that you did, but you will as well.
It’s Friday night. The boys and Molly have built a fort in our living room. Molly has since gone to bed, but the boys are watching a movie and will sleep in here all night… Most likely they will fall asleep on separate sides of the room, but will end up at some point snuggled up to each other because that is what they do. Bobby, my husband, is sitting on the other side of the couch from me. What he’s doing on his computer is beyond me, but he looks relaxed. Earlier today I was able to purchase the plane tickets for my 2 older children to visit this Summer.
To not feel loved at this moment would be impossible. I’m surrounded by a family that loves me and will see more that do soon.
In my life, I have loved many. Friends, family, children, and most of all my husband, to name a few. I have laughed, cried, and literally peed my pants over emotions brought on by those that I love. When it comes to love, I am definitely wealthy. I may not have a lot of money, assets, or possessions. But love? I have an abundance!
Unfortunately, I have learned one thing about all of these people: They are human. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying anything bad about any of them. My point is that they are going to fail me, no matter how much they don’t want to hurt me. There are those that I love that don’t feel the same about me. There have been some in the past that have outright betrayed me regardless of how much I loved them. There are even those that may not realize they are hurting me at the time, or may let me down with actions that may not seem to them hurts others. It’s human nature; We change our minds, hearts, and feelings all the time. Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to the human heart.
You know what’s amazing? The only love that I can 100% truly count on? One love that will never fail me, or you?
The love of Jesus.
It was the first love I ever learned about in the form of song. First Jesus Loves Me and then Jesus Loves The Little Children. The only love I felt while crying alone in the middle of the night, cold and helpless without anyone to turn to and unsure of where my next meal would come from. The love that held me close and let me know He was there through each and every one of my painful miscarriages. The love that has told me so many times “You can do this! Follow My lead!” when others said “What are you thinking?”
The ONLY love that is guaranteed. The only love that resulted in the forgiveness of every sin I’ve ever committed. The only love that can heal my illness. The only love that can help me to be the woman of God I desire to be. The ONLY love that will never fail me.
This love will never end, and is everlasting. Jesus won’t change His mind tomorrow. Nor can He “fake” his affection for me, as anything He says is made truth. His love does not play favorites, and it doesn’t get moody. His love stands beside me as I laugh, and holds me when all feels hopeless and I’m sure I can not possibly go on.
His love never fails.
I can love my husband all the live long day, and I know that Bobby will always be by my side. He is the closest thing possible to the man I prayed for as a little girl in my bedroom playing with my dolls. Our story is truly that which fairy tales are based on. However… My husband has and will fail me. He would never EVER intentionally hurt me. But he’s human as am I.
My parents may see me as their little girl. I can make them beam with pride. (And believe me, I can make them hide in shame, too!) They can do all they can to make me happy and feel loved by them. But their love will never be able to fulfill me the way the love of Jesus can.
Children are the greatest blessing from the Lord. But being a child myself, I know that my children are not required to love me. They may grow up and feel very differently about life than I do. They are going to let me down at some point. And that is okay, I will always love them.
I have been so blessed with many family members and friends. But not one of them will love me in a way that is able to whisper “all is okay” after I’ve lost a pregnancy or have received word about a loved ones death.
Only Jesus, only the love of God is everlasting. Jesus was my first love, after all.
By the way, have you met Jesus? His love is pretty awesome, if you haven’t caught on by now.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Oh, psst… D was going to be for “Down Time”. Oops! Silly blog was attacked. Bah… But to chronicle my “Down Time” you may enjoy the following photos from my weekend in Palm Springs, CA earlier this month:
For the first time in my adult life, I had a TAN!
Don’t forget to head over to Ben & Me to see all the other fantasticposts by others who are also Blogging Through The Alphabet!
Faith, Hope and Love… Three words that have powerful meaning. Words that I bought written on a t-shirt. Although I do not believe in buying biblical references on clothing. (I liked the color.) God’s love should shine from within.
In life people sometimes look for signs to change their life and maybe that sign will be my t-shirt?
1 Corinthians 13 are where those words are written, one of the most used biblical verses of all time. Why? In most wedding ceremonies they are referred to as a husband and wife’s love. In reality it is the love that Christ himself gives us.
Like so many people we have loved,lost,known or continue to meet: We touch their lives and they impact ours. I have met so many men and women in the Military that struggle through conflicts of dedication and love.
Sometimes there are sides to them we almost never want to see. A lot of them like to drink because of what they have done, seen, or experienced that we can’t even imagine. I had to edit this post because I felt like instead of writing just words or my own personal thoughts, I would share my brothers story.
Lance Corporal Gregory James Albrecht was my older brother, the deepest blue eyes, the most loving heart and the best sense of humor.
When I was a little kid, I always wanted to be like my older brother. He was cool and crazy and I could never understand why he wanted to sleep until 12pm when he came to visit. I loved him with all of my heart.
When he died he wrote Psalm 23
“The Lord is my shepherd;I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Every time I read those words I cry. Even now to picture my brother writing them down and almost feeling his pain was just too much to handle. His heart was not fulfilled and there was no one to reach out to him grab his hands and tell him how important and loved he really was. He took his own life January 6, 1995. Since that day, I have wanted to tell him everyday that I love him. That God loves him, that no one should ever suffer so much they have to take their own life.
There are a lot of men and women who suffer from PTSD. Some military members find it dishonorable to take your own life. Yes, I agree it is not the answer. However; if God knows you, he knows what you are going to do.
Do I think it’s selfish- no, do I think my brother is in hell – no. He believed in God and needed an out and it was just too late for him. I don’t want it to be too late for the rest of you especially if you know someone who is really struggling.
I know that most of the men who have been to war refuse to grow closer to God.
It is difficult to love God when they have killed, murdered, or even martyred people innocent or not.
In the Bible there are so many references to War, and if you read Jeremiah, Kings, and Samuel you will know that God wanted the bad to be gone. The filth to be taken away from the world. He still does, and yet, there are a lot of bad things that happen to good people. It is not the person it is just the sin, yes the sin of the world.
God knows what you have done before you do it, He places us where He wants us, we experience things that He knows we will experience.
People die when you live, there will never be an answer to these questions until you are at the right hand.
When you are with Jesus and He looks upon you how will you feel? Do you think Jesus hung out with people who were all good? No, he was around prostitutes, murders, adulterers, thieves, homosexuals and the list goes on.
He loves you and He loves me. He knows what you want and He knows what you need. He has seen your struggles, strife and afflictions.
Even if you are the “best” christian you can get divorced, you can go to jail, you can even succumb to having impure thoughts.
I feel like though we have all sinned and some have gone through much worse then I that no matter what you have done, if you ask for his forgiveness with a whole heart you are forgiven.
Once you release yourself and stop trying to fight the world and yourself that you will find what you have always been looking for. LOVE
For those men and women in the military, past or present whom, I love and adore, who keep me free in writing what I want, loving God and fighting so that the rest of us don’t:
If any of you are struggling with what you have done, remember what Jesus Christ did for you. He was beaten, His flesh torn away from His body, a crown of thorns impaled into His head, hands and feet nailed. Above all a promise He kept and through the scriptures He foresaw what his life was for- US.
There is not a right or a wrong scenario there is not.. well maybe it happened– NO it happened.
It happened so that we may find what we all long for and that is Christ. He loves you so much and knew who you were before you were even born.
Why not get to know the man who loves you? Why be afraid of what you have done? Even if you do sin again, He will still love you.
Life is too short to waste it on the “what ifs,” in life- make it happen. Although you will never forget you can always remember where it lead you and what type of person you have become.
Faith, hope and Love are all you need.. He loved you first.
God Bless, Merry Christmas – Thank you Vets, and Active Duty Military, for your love and devotion to this country.
Animals are amazing. I was at the St. Louis Zoo one spring day & decided to visit the orangutans. I had broken off from the rest of the crowd and am so glad I did. If there had been a lot of people around this probably would never have occurred.
Behind a huge window were the primates – most were napping or sitting & eating what had been given to them that day. Over in the corner just out of public view, I noticed a slight movement & turned just in time to see a very large female nursing her newborn. We made eye contact instantly & I smiled & pointed to her baby.
She gently got up, walked over to the window & sat down directly in front of me. I was so stunned I dared not move. She kissed her baby & held it up to the window for me to see. I touched the window & nodded in her direction, held my hand on the window & smiled. She then grinned, held the baby to her & kissed it again.
I think about it from time to time & the wonder of communicating with such a magnificent creature who took time to show off her baby to another Mom who happened to be strolling through her world one afternoon.
Some of the most miraculous, amazing things are accomplished by unknown people in obscure little corners of the world. In each of us, there is a spark placed there by our Creator, that when ignited, can affect thousands! My life has been touched by giants in small places. Small or tall, He will use us all – to proclaim His divine love, protection and provision.
Yesterday, I turned my back on my 3 year old son for a minute while I cared for my infant. When I turned around, I wanted to both laugh and cry. He had gotten into a RED ink pad and smeared it all over him, the wall, and the carpet.
I took him right in, cleaned him up, and told him why we do not do things like this. Frustrated? Yes, but I kept my cool. At that point I think I was just relieved it wasn’t blood!
Minutes later, as I was still cleaning up the mess, I heard the kitchen sink turn on. I stood up from where I was cleaning ink out of the carpet. Lo and behold, there was the same child standing on a chair at the sink playing in the water. Right back to the bathroom for clean up.
The rest of the day was full of constant lectures on why we don’t do certain things. (Why kids always decide to learn so much of these lessons in one day is beyond me…)
Imagine how it is for God. We are CONSTANTLY getting in to things we shouldn’t. Making one mess after another, while He is constantly cleaning up our messes. How frustrated our good Lord must be.
However, just as we still love our children, our Heavenly Father loves us. He wants nothing but the best for us, and will give us as many chances as we need to get it right.
Remember, He is a loving God. A forgiving God. Not a judgmental, begrudging, and hateful God. He wants what is best for you. Won’t you let him help you clean up the mess of your past?
Today, I am thankful for grace and patience. What about you?