Moments and Words from God continued…

(This is a continuation from yesterday’s post. So, if you haven’t already, I’d recommend you read it first here.)

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

Perfected love casts out fear:

That is how love can be patient – there is no fear that a reward won’t come to those who do not grow weary in well doing

That is also how love can be kind – there is no fear that our kindness won’t have a positive impact in God’s plan

That is how love does not envy – there is no fear that someone is being blessed more than me because – and love does not parade itself nor is puffed up – there is no reason to walk in pride, for God has given us all we have (1 Corinthian 4:6-13) – and love does not behave rudely or seek its own – there is no fear of not being provided (for we serve Jehavoh Jireh, My God who provides.)

That is how love is not easily provoked nor does it think evil or rejoice in iniquity – there is no fear that you’re missing out by being good and the goodness of God permeates your thoughts, leaving no room for evil thoughts.

Love that has been perfected rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, and hopes all things. Perfect love never fails.

Love

Allow the actions and words I have put on your heart and resist the fear that they are silly, won’t be received, or are not from Me – every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17)

Be a good gift to someone else and say the compliment, give the hug, pay for their food or groceries, give to the homeless, smile at the unlovable, share your testimony or lunch – forgive! Be Jesus to your world!

 

(You may have recognized that the majority of what God said to me came from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 – also known as the “love chapter.” God speaks to us in different ways, but you can be sure He will speak to you through His Word. And if you’re having a hard time hearing from God, get into His Word more. You’ll find Him speaking His Word back to you when you seek guidance or wisdom and what you put in your spirit will rise up at the very moment you need it.)

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Running and Deployments

run

I was running on the treadmill the other day… slowly. My head started doing what it often does when I begin running, telling me I wasn’t going to complete the two miles I set out to run. I pushed the thought aside and kept putting one foot in front of the other as an upbeat song played on my iPod and motivated me to keep going. Before the song ended, I looked down at the treadmill screen that read .25 miles completed.  I was one-eighth of the way done and that is when it hit me: I CAN do this. I have done it before.

I was that kid in middle school that couldn’t run. It wasn’t a lack of grace or asthma, it was my inability to breathe correctly, leading to me passing out near the finish line every time we had to run one mile in P.E.  As an adult, I decided I wanted to begin running. I bought a book, read magazines, and began building my mileage. After accomplishing 8 miles I decided I was ready and wanted to train for my first marathon. I completed my training through 16 miles and felt very confident that I was going to be able to cross off an amazing feat for the “pass-out-girl”. Three days after I ran my 16-mile run I was scheduled an easy-four. During that run I tore my meniscus and my Paris Marathon was cut short by 19 miles. (I attempted, stubborn me, and made it to mile 7 before getting on the “injured bus.”)

Then I started thinking… this is just like deployments. When my husband deploys, in the beginning there is some doubt, concern, and struggle. (I think it’s natural) However, just like running that two miles, I need to remember that I’ve done this before. (Even longer than this one.)  Then I realized the following juxtaposition of running and deployments: Continue reading

Resolutions

‘Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.’

 

Pastors Bill and Brent Purvis said the way to have your best year is found in the 3R Method: Resolution, Reason, and Routine

My Scripture text above from Psalm 51:10 talks about God renewing a steadfast spirit with us. That simply means, help me be faithful or committed. It means having resolutions.

Steadfast – resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering | synonyms: loyal, faithful, committed, devoted, dedicated

Here are the 6 areas we should resolve to be committed to growth in this year: Continue reading

Emoji’s, “Cool”, and Hallelujah

Have you ever scrolled back through your messages with a ‘friend’ and discovered that the majority of your conversation was quite lopsided – you did a lot more talking while they gave you an occasional “Cool”, “Yep”, or applicable emoji?

convo

My son was recently sharing with me his discovery that his ‘great friend’ that he has considered his best friend since high school had been quite delayed in his responses lately. Where my son looked forward to his conversations with this friend, we’ll call him Jack, Jack was barely responding within a week.

Now, if they were seeing each other every day or even once a week, sure this would be a ridiculous observation because text messages, e-mails, and Messenger aren’t a good substitute for face-to-face interaction and, truth be told, not everyone is on social media as much as everyone else. However, these boys are separated by thousands of miles and have been since my son moved away right after high school. So their entire relationship is now dependent on these mediums. For the first year, their conversations were that of best friends – sharing important events with one another shortly after they happened with a close-to-immediate response from the other; messaging each other daily just to keep the convo going; and the obligatory “Happy” this or “Merry” that on special days.

Those interactions grew fewer over the years, though, and mainly on Jack’s side. My son said he began to scroll up on his message feed with Jack and noticed something. For the past couple of months, there was only the occasional “Cool” or “Ok” responses to his 3-4 sentences of sharing. Once every couple of days, it was just an emoji response.

I asked him, “How does that make you feel?”

He responded, “Unimportant in [Jack’s] life.”

sad face

Yeah, I think I’d probably feel the same way. You see, we give attention to what is important in our lives. I’ve heard it said that you can tell where your heart is by looking at your calendar and your bank statement. I can’t say for certain, but I am pretty sure Jack has deemed something or someone else more important that his relationship with my son.

So, here’s my question for you – Does God only get an occasional “Yes, Lord”, “Ok”, “Please help [enter family or friend’s name and their need here]” from you these days? During church do you only quietly offer an “Hallelujah” or “Amen” when everyone else does?

Where is your relationship with God? Does He only get emoji responses or prayer requests or do you share your day with Him (and let Him share His with you)? Prayer is a two-way conversation, but many Christians are like Jack – giving God 5 minutes of their day to keep the conversation going, but their hearts are clearly focused on something else.

Make a new habit (one that is life changing) this week and decide to put down the phone or laptop, turn off the TV or game console, or even stop for at least an hour every day from accomplishing your reading list for the year, and invest in the greatest relationship you have- the one where the Creator of the universe and Savior of your soul is emphatically in love with you. Or will you continue to just shoot off your smiley faces at Him and give more attention to something else until a crisis arises and you need Him?

praying