Friday, January 21, 2011

Where does love come from?

It really is impossible to answer that question without giving the Sunday school answer, 'Jesus!' Nevertheless, a friend asked, and after responding with 'Jesus,' she still wanted an email so that she could give her singles group a few ideas. You may find it corny, but I'm okay with that. Here is what I said:
Love comes from our deep need for attention; to be needed; to be cared for; longed for; appreciated; desired. It also comes from puppies. The way they look at you when they are hungry. Or want to play. Or cuddle. They need you. They can't survive without you. True, perhaps it is more of a dependence on you. But aren't we in fact dependent upon love? We need it. We look for it. We walk the world to find it. And when we believe we have found it, we say, "I'm in love." My new love is gentle, honest, kind, affectionate. My love has been looking for me. I hope this is the one. I want to grow old with this person. I love loving this person. My love makes me want to be a better person.
After the freshness of our new love-what we have been searching for-wears off, we realize that our love was not all we thought it was. And we begin our search again. Perhaps this time, or maybe after several repeats of finding new love, we find ourselves on the floor in tears, asking why no one loves us. No one needs us. No one cares for us. Then out of the darkness and tear-stained eyes, in the midst of sobs, we hear "I love you. I have always loved you. I have turned my attention to you since the beginning of time. I care for you. Long for you. Desire to be intimate with you. When will you realize that I am who you have been looking for all along? I am who you need. Come to me. Run into my arms. And I promise, I will never leave you. My grasp will never loose. Let me show you the love you have never known."
And through His love, we find everything to be more colorful. We see blessings we had never noticed before. And when He says it is time, He brings us someone on earth to share His love with, that will reciprocate His love, and our love becomes one that reflects His great love for us.
Love starts with Him. Ends with Him. And thrives when we abide in Him. Apart from Him, we cannot love. We love once we have been loved well. When we meet Love, He overflows into every part of our lives. And only then can true love happen.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Psalm 139

What a special Psalm. They all are special, and beautiful, and true....but Psalm 139, there is something different about it to me. The idea that God loves us enough to fearfully and wonderfully form us, and has thoughts of us that far outnumber the sand. The Most High, Creator, Redeemer, Author, Finisher, Alpha & Omega...loves me! Loves you! Does that not at times baffle you? So, I just wanted to smother today's blog in this chapter. Enjoy how much God takes care of you!
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there!
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,"
even the darkness is not dark to You; the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with You.
For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written,
every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.
How precious to me are Your thoughts, O GOd!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with You.
Oh that You would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me!
They speak against You with malicious intent;
Your enemies take Your name in vain!
Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Sometimes on my way to the office my soul is so moved by a song that it is all I can do to not speed (more than I usually do) to a place where I can blog. Then I arrive at work, and all I can think about is sharing in hopes that you will be drawn into worship and praise the way I was. And still am. How great is our God! When I heard the lyric, 'with all creation I sing praise to the King of Kings,' I began pondering if that were true. Indeed, yes. Most trees branches bend upward as they grow. Outstretched and lifted up towards the skies, in praise of their Creator. The mountains try to reach the heavens. The rivers and oceans declare the depth of God's love for us. The skies demonstrate how far He stretches His arms for us to run into His bosom. Have you ever, when singing songs of creation worshiping our Lord, actually pondered what that means? Right now, I desperately want to climb a mountain and just bask in His glorious light!
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain. Holy, holy is He.
Sing a new song to Him who sits on Heaven's mercy seat.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.
With all creation I sing praise to the King of Kings.
You are my everything. And I will adore You.
Clothed in rainbows of living color.
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder.
Blessings and honor, strength and glory and power be,
To You the only Wise King!
Jesus, Your Name is power! Breath of Living Water!
Such a marvelous mystery!
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!
Who was and is and is to come!
With all creation I sing praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything, and I will adore You.

Have a wonderful day! Join creation in praising the King of Kings!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Then Sings My Soul--Childlike

Tonight I was helping at my church's Wednesday night Kids program, Kidzlife. Myself and another young lady help lead the music. These are not just kid songs that sing about animals going two by two, and putting your right foot in or out-shaking it all about, and about Jesus loving you this I know. These songs are deep (not saying those aren't...) and are so full of truths, and praise, and worship. One song in particular really struck me tonight. It is all about giving your all to God. As I was leading the song, I was looking at the kids faces and longed so much for them to mean the words they were live those words. Then, within a moment, I realized how beautiful it is when those precious kids actually DO mean the words they are singing, the faith they have in their Redeemer, oh, their childlike faith. And do we not have to have faith like a child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? (Mark 10:15; Matthew 18:3)
So, this is the song, written by Hillsong for their Hillsong Kidz album, 'Tell the World.' I hope you enjoy it, and please don't read the lyrics just to read them. Absorb them, and give them back to your Father.
If I say I'll live for You for the glory of my King
If I say I'll count the cost and offer You my everything
If I pray with all my heart my way to be Your way
Then I just want to live the very words I say
My God I pray
Not my will but Yours alone
Let my life be not my own
Until everything I am is just for You
So far beyond the words I sing
I'm going to honor You as King
If You live in me, I can live for You.
Not my will but Yours alone
Let my life be not my own
Until everything I am is just for You

And I want so badly for everything I am to be just for my Redeemer.

Happiness vs. Joy

A couple of weeks ago I was reading about how much God loves us...and how much happiness is not a part of Him showing how much He loves us. By human standards, if you love someone, you try and make them happy. By God's perfect standards, He loves us by doing what is best for us, which sometimes grieves us, sometimes excites us, sometimes confuses us, and sometimes just outright gives us 'aggalio', or ecstatic joy.
It is not God's goal in life to make us happy. He desires that our lives bring Him glory. Glory through the way we live, the words we say, the thoughts we dwell on, the desires we have....our lives belong to Him. He is the incredible potter. We are the clay that He is melting, breaking, molding, and perfecting. What a blessing it is when His goal brings us overwhelming joy. But, as a Christian, are we not filled with overwhelming joy anyways? We have this treasure in jars of clay (2 Cor. 4:7) that God Himself has put within us. Oh, the Holy Spirit! The knowledge of God! The faith in Christ and His return! How could we, as daughters of the Most High, not be overflowing with joy? No--we may not always be happy. But I will take joy any day over happiness. Praise God for the way He plans our days. Our moments. Our steps. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Eph. 2:10) And I praise Him when those plans lead me to happiness. But when they lead me to sorrow, may His peace resonate so deeply that joy vibrates out of my life.

Monday, January 3, 2011


"I'll stop this pretending that I can somehow deserve what I already have." -Barlow Girl

Good evening. That lyric up above is from a song that I hear often, yet yesterday on our way home from Tennessee, I really paid attention to it. I pretend all the time that I can deserve God's love. Not out in public, of course. But in my devotional my prayer one-on-one time with my All Sufficient Father and Redeemer, I pretend that I can deserve His love. Like I can do enough, or say enough...or spend enough time with Him.
But I can't. The truth is, we don't deserve His love. Not in the slightest bit. We are evil to our core. Born into sin. Master manipulators and justifiers of wrongs. We don't even deserve to ponder His greatness! Yet, here we are. His creation. Made for His glory. And He loves us. Oh how He loves us! So dearly, and so entirely. He will never leave nor forsake us. He loves us more than we can ever understand. What we do understand of His love is overwhelming. Crushing. And I hunger for more of Him...and I hunger to learn how to love Him more.
Friends, we don't deserve His love. But He pours it out on us anyways. I need to learn to accept it, cherish it, and love Him more rather than 'doing' to 'gain His love.' Oh how perfect He is. How perfect I'm not! And He loves me anyways. Praise God!