United We Stand

glass broken  heartGod has sure been stirring up a lot of things in my heart and thoughts lately.

One of the recurring issues I deal with is that I am still missing out on a father figure for my life. I understand that Scripture teaches us that God is our Heavenly Father, and He has never disappointed me.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but I am 40-something, and I still wish I could just have a normal conversation with my daddy. I have never had that. I have missed that, and struggled not to envy what others have been given.

There are so many people, of all ages, who have not had real, or healthy  relationships with their parents.  Where are the Godly men who will step up, and allow God to use them to replace what has been stolen from so many?

“When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing heart-photo-by-Carien-of-sxc.hu_nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household. (John 19:26-27 NASV)

He understood that those relationships are of utmost importance.

We are missing so much with our individualistic approach to Christianity. We are missing out on so much.

Love Is Tough

Judah 031Our American culture has adopted this practice of Tough Love when we see others doing stuff we don’t like.

I can see how this has been helpful in some situations. Some people are hurtful towards others, and destructive forces for themselves and others. Sometimes we need some kind of kick in the pants to wake us up to difficult things.

Judah 034My concern is, it seems like we often call something else “Tough Love”. When people do things that annoy, we turn our back on them. We don’t tell them what the offense is, but we ignore them in a manner that is manipulative, and honestly – mean.

I cannot see Jesus doing that with others. Not this second thing.

The second description is a form of rejection, candy-coated so we can justify our actions. It’s often the result of hearing one side of a situation through gossip. Often the person being rejected or ” Tough Loved” is the most in need of acceptance and actual Love. It is not Biblical.

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love endures all things . Love keeps No record of wrongs. Love does not rejoice in evil ( do we rejoice in turning our back on others?). Love is not jealous (does our rejection cause someone to feel jealous of others being treated better by us?). (1Cor 13)

When someone offends us, the Bible instructs us in how to deal with that. It is rare that I see that put into practice! Even by lay leaders. What most often happens is we play this manipulative game of “guess what you did wrong – no you didn’t offend me”.

We need to stop the games.

Let’s practice Tough Love on that manipulative, mean practice we use to elevate ourselves in our minds, as being better than someone else.

Let’s practice compassion by imagining ourselves in other people’s shoes, and demonstrating the very same Grace, Kindness, and Love we would hope we could expect.

I’d like to redefine Tough Love as being resilient, and sincerely loving others even more so when they are the most unloveable.

Let’s really be the Church, and effective ambassadors of Jesus. Starting right now.

Part of “revival” is repenting from Ungodly practices.

When I Say “Food”, You Say…

CutestFood_com_12It’s hard to stop pre-thinking about what I am about to read, as I blog-hop. So, let’s all just take a moment to close our eyes, and clear the thoughts ready to pounce as the words here are read.

I’ve been thinking about food today, and medical problems, and possible connections between them. I’ve had a lot of blood work done lately. So much so, that I now refer to the phlebotomist as the medical vampire. I’ve been questioning whether some of my problems are caused by what I eat.

That got me to wondering: when you think of food, what is the first thing that comes to mind? I wouldn’t be surprised if for the majority of Americans, it’s calories, fat, or weight gain.

I don’t think we have a healthy mindset about food.

We fret, we stress, we avoid, we burn, we ban, we purge, we omit, we decorate, we make scents of it…

But do we really make sense of it?

Our body needs food. That’s the one fact about food none of us can dispute. It’s the fuel our bodies are designed to function from. Do we have a healthy relationship with it?

There are certain foods our bodies have been designed around. No matter what, we need water. We need protein. We need certain salts to keep it in balance. We need minerals and vitamins. We need fiber.

It’s not supposed to be about avoiding, and focusing on counting calories. It’s supposed to be about relaxing and enjoying what the earth produces to nourish us.

Babies draw comfort from their mothers as they are nourished by their mothers. I think, there is nothing wrong with finding some amount of comfort in eating what’s good for us.

There are plenty of examples of celebration feasts in the Bible. God provided the nourishment needed as Jesus fed the 10,000 with the Word of God – Spiritual food, that our bodies have been designed to need to function in a healthy manner.

So. What do you think of when the word food is mentioned?

Are You a Riverbed of Living Water?

my phone 044A few weeks ago, my husband prayed over me, and God revealed to him how things often are for me. A scene played in his mind of a deer going from riverbed to riverbed, finding them all dry. I cried as he shared this, in awe that God would reveal something so deeply personal with accurate detail, in such a beautiful way.

God has taken this outcast and placed me right in the middle of His Living water. Now, when I thirst, I know I can always drink from His Living water, in a riverbed that never runs dry. God’s Spirit has been the water when I have been dying of thirst, with no opportunity for the type of relationships my life has often needed in order to be nurtured and healthy.

He has held me close to Him when others have kept me at arm’s length, gave me a cold shoulder or shut me out.

God made us to need other people.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????For years, I’ve had this mental picture of looking through a window I’m on the outside of. I see people enjoying each others company while listening to each other intently and celebrating life, ministering to specific needs.

It’s like watching a movie of something that has been the longing of my heart.

More and more I’m sure God has been showing me His own heart with that mental picture. I believe He wants that to be a mirror, instead of a window. A reflection of all His children included. No jealousy, no competing for favoritism or position, and no bullying. Just unconditional love, appreciating God’s handiwork in others while building one another up and spurring them on towards the prize.

Maybe, also, that’s what it will look like in Eternity.

 

Isaiah 55:1
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”

Psalm 42 NLT
1 As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. 2 I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? 3 Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, “Where is this God of yours?” 4 My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration! 5 Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and 6 my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember you— even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan, from the land of Mount Mizar. 7 I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweep over me. 8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. 9 “O God my rock,” I cry, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies?” 10 Their taunts break my bones. They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?” 11 Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!