Tuesday, June 19, 2012

it's simpler than we think.

How easy it is to lose focus.
As Christian women we must discipline ourselves to be about our Father's business. Have we forgotten what that is? Sadly, it appears to be for many women in the modern church, playing "dress-up" while leaning closer to self-fulfillment rather than God's, has become big business. In many circles the focus has shifted from living a gospel-driven life to a business-driven life. I understand and agree wholeheartedly that women in the church are to conduct themselves in an orderly fashion, are to be well trained, able to teach, available to meet the needs of the needy, and so on... But, I am certain that as Christian women, more often than I think we'd care to admit, are distracted from our real purpose; to glorify God. I am taking a huge risk in making this statement for fear I will be misunderstood, but if we are honest with ourselves it is evident that our culture, even Christian culture, feeds the notion (consciously or unconsciously), that we as women must prove ourselves worthy in some area or another. This inevitably spawns a drive to do more than we are called, ignore "the call" because it isn't satifying, compete with one another, pick and choose who and what is worth investing our time in according to self interests, plus other unrighteous motives that creep in unwittingly. This self-focus is an epidemic today. Even in the kingdom {Matthew 20:20-23}; I being the greatest of offenders.

 Its time to remember that the Gospel is for the sinner--today. Everyday. I sin everyday. Yes, the Gospel is for me today.

Its time for me, for us, serving the all-encompassing God, to be content with what He has called us to, and to let go of what He has not. We were created for beauty and we were redeemed for beauty. A particular beauty that exudes gratitude, purity, wisdom and self-control. A holy beauty that stands confidently on, rests quietly in, and waits patiently upon Her Lord.

Forgive me Father, for taking my eyes off of You & Your beauty, Your business. May the meditation of my heart and the words of my lips testify that Jesus alone is enough! May this be the goal of women in the church today: to discipline ourselves in trusting Your words, that all we are and all we need has been fulfilled in Christ. We owe nothing but the debt of love to others. To do this well we must take the time to receive all that You offer us daily--the abundant Life. Show us where we serve selfishly, needlessly, and wastefully so that we may learn to allow You to serve our deepest needs. Then and only then are we, as women, equipped to serve one another in love, simply to bring You glory. Amen. 

"Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law." Romans 13:8

{photo credit}

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I think a lot about God's love

The Bible has much to say about this peculiar love; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, probably the most well-known, most quoted passage about God's love speaks of a perfect love. More than one verse says, "God is love". In fact, the entire Book is about God's love for us. The more I grow to know God and the more I discover His love for me, I see this to be true: God's love is not a thing or verb, but a Person. The world understands love to be a profoundly deep feeling of attachment in our souls, a warm, heart-felt emotion, a compelling act of selflessness, a passionate desire or affection toward another. The world sees love as an emotion felt or acted upon, yet I am beginning to understand that the way we love is only a shadow, a reflection of what love truly is: God. 

This morning I awoke early, eyes still adjusting to the newness of day. I see God all around me. I see love. The precious husband He has given me, in peace he sleeps in the quiet beauty of heaven's rest. My daughters, tucked in the love of His comfort, still snuggling warm, soaking in the final moments of last night's "sweet dreams". The house is still, a place of contentment and calm built by the Father's hands, not yet embracing His faithful dawn. First rays sprinkle Grace on the cool tile floor, gently warming darkness away. The light and warmth of sunrise beams, just a picture of the Light of the world whose Omnipresence floods every dark corner of our hearts and home. 

I drank down the last bit of delicious vanilla coffee strong, tied on running shoes secure and headed out into the cool morning, looking forward to one of my favorite things to do with God. Ear buds plugged in tight, I began a run I will never forget. As I passed fresh rose blooms and dewy wet lawns, magnolias bursting big white and clouds even more, my mind was brought around to the thought of God's love over us, the newness of His mercies and loving kindness each and every day. O the joy of a run in the presence of love. 
I found myself wondering what others thought of God's love, not just the saints and prophets of old, but the saints of today, those living in His love today. I immediately slowed my jog to put the question out to more than 50 people: 

Please reply with one word: "What is God's love?"

{If iPhone is for anything it's for texting thought-provoking questions...}

Before I began to pick up my pace again, text responses came in one after another...ding...ding...ding...ding... and within the first 30 minutes of sending out my question over 40 responses packed my message box! Excitement flooded my heart! I couldn't help but slow my jog to a consumed walk the rest of the way home. With worshipful melodies of Hillsong praising the SAVIOUR in my ears, my eyes blurred with tears as I read each beautiful response taking in the weight of it's meaning, each and every word, over forty, one following the other, describing the love of the Infinite, Sovereign, and Everlasting Creator of all, the Precious, Forgiving, Merciful Savior of the world, the Unfailing, All-consuming, Never-ending, Long-suffering, Unconditional love of the Lover of our souls, I knew more than ever, God's love is alive!

God's love is Life, 
God's love is Constant, 
God's love is Freedom, 
God's love is Just, 
God's love is Grace, 
God's love is Truth,
God's love is Discipline--for the Father's disciplines those whom He loves, 
God's love is Peace,
God's love is Hope and Honor and Holy, 
He is our Anchor, 
He is our Sacrificial Lamb, 
He is a Consuming fire, 
He is Eternal. 

God's love is alive! 
God's love has but one name that encompasses all: JESUS!  

In that place and time God revealed Himself to me in such an overwhelming way. I was undone! 

Who can understand it? Who can explain it? Who can fathom the depths of this great love, a love so radical, so undeserving, so pure?

Only those who come humbly to the foot of the Cross and receive it.

"and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19

The love of God is alive! 

His Name is Jesus Christ!

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God. And we have known and believed that love that God has to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him." 1 John 4:7,16 
{From a heart of deep gratitude to all who inspired me to put God's love into words; a gift that impacted me in a way I had never ever expected, thank you! May you know the greatest love in a deeper way today!}