Keeping the Faith

GROUNDED

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“Good evening folks… this is your captain speaking….” statically coming over the loudspeaker.

As the flight crew pauses from their routine, he continues “We have some adverse conditions currently that are causing some delay of our on-time take off.”

“Just great!” Exclaims the man in the seat behind me. “Excuse me, do we know exactly how long this delay will be?” Asks another. “I have a connecting flight!!! This is going to make me miss everything!” A disgruntled voice yells from across the aisle.

Not going anywhere for a while?

Sometimes there are times we must weather events that cause great delay in us getting where we planned to go. Usually, we focus on all the wrong things during these times… and those things result in us really going nowhere.

We can tend to focus on the event, saying… “Why is THIS happening?”

Or we can start to examine our past and present faults and failures exclaiming “Why me?” And “Of course…this was bound to happen to me!” As if the line up of your evident errors in your circumstantial past has led to this subsequent event preventing you from reaching your final destination because everthing is all about YOU. I’m guilty!!!!

But in reality the time spent focusing on why this is happening or who caused it to happen just takes away from the experience of what is actually going on.  The subsequent event may be just what is supposed to be happening. If you are not careful… you will miss it entirely!

Staying grounded in the stormy times

We are in a love-hate relationship with everything in life. When adverse conditions hit us and we are faced with dealing with a stormy outlook, we make decisions with the flip of a coin as if there are only two outcomes to our present situation. Good or bad. And we usually don’t lean toward the good. However, there are eight-sides to every coin. If you never knew that… they are:

The right side, wrong side, left side, up side, down side, in-side, out-side and the ever unrecognized “be”side. We’ll get into all of this in more depth later as we take a look at change in our perspective of all that we wholly love and hate in life, but the point I’m trying to make here is: there is more to what you’re experiencing than just what you’re choosing to look at.

I say all of that to say this… my beloved,

Thought on love #10 

complete and true love is fully experienced through an entire course of events. The take-off and arrival to your desired destination is such a small part of it all. Don’t get stuck where those two alone are stalled.

You need to be present in every moment that you are in. I read somewhere that the present is “pre-sent”. It’s an opportune time for you to take advantage of the time you are suddenly afforded. Know who God is and who and what you are in Him, then look around to see who you are with and “Be” what you are meant to be with and for them in the moment.

You are where you are for a reason

When you’re in a place where you have nowhere to go… flip your perspective to a brighter side! Make your decision on how to be by considering every side of the situation, not just the side you’re standing on. You may need to change your view by looking at what’s right, wrong, left, up, down, in and out in this moment. You may find you are beside yourself when you see how God uses that time to change things with you in it.

Ultimately… He is the master planner behind the scenes and when we feel like our plans are thrown of course, often we are suddenly right where we need to be for His plan to take course.

Psalm: 46. 10. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

You may be halted so He can be exalted!

Apple of His Eye

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The Apple of His Eye

Today’s topic on the table is aimed at revealing more about what’s good for us in love. I’ve been spending the last few weeks deep under cover and learned, scientifically speaking, most great discoveries start with a question. One of my goals is to get healthy love choices down to a science, which means I must start with a question to get an answer. So, in regards to love; what are you really looking for? I have to admit that in my selfish nature my need for love can be a little demanding… I want it all, and then some. What I mean to say is, in relationship to finding true love for myself, I have an overwhelming need to know more about the God that pursues and loves ME alone. I know that “He so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son…” as it says in John 3:16, and I share what I know about His love because I want the world to know that He has enough love to last an eternity for every one of us.  However, there are days when the world has taken it’s toll on me and I am only interested in a love I can call my own. In His sensitive way, He gracefully and immediately responds to my need to help me (and maybe you too) get the message about his true love.

Zechariah 2:8 For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nation’s which spoiled you: for he that touched you touched the apple of his eye.

He’s so sensitive 

Have you ever accidentally poked your eye or had something suddenly get in your eye? In one blink of time, something in the eye can change everything. I have experienced both and the effect of each one incites an immediate response. It also affects more than just your sight. When something touches or gets in your eye, no matter how small… even a speck of dust, it’s pretty hard to ignore. It’s like everything in the world cannot move forward until what ever “it” is… is removed.

In Zechariah 2:8 the words “the apple of his eye” help to paint a picture that reveals how sensitive God is toward us. He says “He who touched you, touched the apple of His eye.” Defined, the apple of the eye, used as an anatomical term, refers to the central part of the eye also known as the pupil. This is the most sensitive part of the eye. So, if He regards us as “the apple of His eye” that means there is a heightened level of sensitivity to every little thing that touches us and gets in or on us. Anything He senses that does not belong has an affect and can and will trigger a response. After all, His aim is to protect and defend against anything that spoils us.

Sensitivity makes sense

In my search of the meaning behind the phrase “You are the apple of my eye”, on http://www.theidioms.com/apple-of-eye/ I read that the expression is often used to reference someone cherished above all others or someone or something that is very precious. Suddenly, it all began to make more sense.  It should be common knowledge that every action spurs a reaction. A speck of dust floating in the air to the eye is like the impending ripple effect of the dropped pebble into a pond, one touch can create waves of reaction that reach farther and do more than we ever intended it would. This makes it easier to understand why God is so sensitive and has laws and instructions in His word to warn us about every thing that could harm us. Whether you know or not, we are individually cherished and very precious to him and He knows what gets in or on us can impact more than what’s seen with the naked eye; way more than just our vision.

The Vision of Love

Hindsight is 20/20 and God sees beyond that. That’s the naked truth that has been revealed to me about my vision of His love in the past.  We have our sight set on love but more often than not, our sight is limited by what is right in front of us and we usually don’t see the whole picture until things are behind us. Frankly, some of us (me included) have a tendency to stay stuck staring at the past, frozen in our faith and hope for love,  still trying to figure out how to get what’s blocking our vision behind us. We can control what we focus and feast our eyes upon but we are often overwhelmed and paralyzed by what we cannot see… all that is waiting on the other side. Thank God that He is all knowing and sees what we need at all times. As we search under his cover, He is revealing exactly what’s needed to have a loved life that’s worth living.

Proverbs 7:2

Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

There it is, plain and simple. He has put some basic things in place to help me live, and you too. His laws are laid out in love. Some things, like whatever has blindsided me or you in love past, can make us lose focus on the love He has already given us. In His love, He reminds us that He is sensitive to everything we need and says for a very precious, true love that will be cherished above all others, we need to be attentive to what he commands first.

Thought 6 of 101 on love:

If you sense that love is demanding, it is…. True love commands a response

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting for the Ripe Time

 

 

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Too Good to wait?

I’d be lying if I said that I love to wait… But sometimes it’s necessary if you want what’s good. Have you ever tasted something prematurely, like a fruit that wasn’t quite ripe enough yet? Some fruit, we are very familiar with. Sometimes we are so familiar, we have an expectation for it to be good before it really is. It is appealing to the eye because we already know it is pleasing to the palate, and it’s there to be eaten right? To us, what is good is usually the thing we already know we like. However, what we like is not always good for us and likewise, what is good for us, is not always what we like.

Timing can make a world of difference.  God knows that often something that we assume could or should be good, we quickly discover is not so good because our timing is off. In the first verse of chapter three in the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon, in all his wisdom said….

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven”

The Uncommonly Good Fruit

long-suf·fer·ing
ˈlôNG ˈˌsəf(ə)riNG/
adjective
  1. having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people.

In our society today… patience is almost considered a bad word and waiting is not our favorite option on life’s menu. As we become more and more acclimated to the ability to “click here” for instant gratification, our appetite for only what is available in the here and now is increasing by the minute. Basically, the opportunity to learn and teach how to be patient, along with the ability to recognize the benefit of suffering through waiting, is slim to none.

Patience, a.k.a. longsuffering, is not one of my all-time favorite attributes but it is one that I am grateful for. To reiterate what I have heard many say in regards to relationships; patience is key because nothing worth having comes quickly or easily. In other words, all things good should be good enough to wait for. The one who knows this best and also shows it best, is none other than God. He reminds us with our first hand account of how patient he is and always has been with us everyday.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

How long? God only knows….

The question has rolled off my tongue on more than one occasion… “How long must I wait?”

What I often get in response from those much older and wiser than me is “God only knows….” He knows what I must endure and go through.  He knows how much time it will take for x, y and z to be accomplished and in the right order. He knows even how long it will be before I “get it”, meaning it has even taken quite some time for me to get to the point of coming to Him to ask the very question that only He has the answer to.

The point I am trying to make is He knows. So if you’re wondering what the next thought on love is… I will not make you suffer and longer….

Thought #4 of 101:

Love, true love and all the good fruit to come with it takes its time.

So while you wait, remember…. if you’re wondering how long you must continue to suffer… you should patiently seek the answer from the only one who knows when the ripe time will be.

 

A Super Love Secret

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Ok Batman…. are you ready? Do know what’s coming? Are your spidey senses tingling? Do you have the power to see beyond what you see? When it comes to my undercover search for love, I know I wish I did.

Some time ago, me and my teenage son were having, what I thought to be, a trivial DC vs. Marvel conversation when an interesting question came up. The question was: what makes a super hero “super”? In other words… what are the specific characteristics that stand out in one that goes above and beyond that makes them “SUPER”?

A hero, by definition is anyone that saved a life in the natural sense… but to be a superhero there has to be something about their ability to save a life that takes them to a higher level, to something supernatural.

Will the real “SUPER” stand up?

“Superman vs Batman” and the like, is a topic frequently discussed amongst brothers in my house and it can make anyone question the real existence of not so common sense. Realistically speaking though…we all long to catch a glimpse of a hero in action and some of us have a secret desire to be one, but we all have our own image of what one looks like and it doesn’t always line up with what we see out there on a day-to-day basis and especially not with what we see looking back at us in the mirror. Therefore any call to action leaves us searching for Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne at best… which is a waste of time, and with lives to be saved hanging in the balance…there is no time to waste!

My son clarified it for me. Per our discussion, the difference between Superman and Batman is that Superman is not of this world and Batman is. Therefore Superman is more “Super” because the characteristics that equip him to save lives are also not of this world. Batman’s life saving abilities stem from his gadgets, in other words he is a self-made “super”, which is not the same.

In my amazement, as I prepared to face my morning challenge of waking my son up for another super day of ninth grade… I got an epiphany about my daily quest to experience a love that is heavenly and relationships that go above and beyond… what I need to start my day off with, for my benefit and his, is no ordinary fruit. I need the fruit of the spirit!

Super fruit for super love!

 

Wondering what super fruit or fruit of the spirit will be the best for a love that is out of this world? I can guarantee it’s definitely not what you’re expecting or looking for. It’s kind of like a secret weapon.

Galatians 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness and temperance…..

It’s no secret that a super hero will have qualities that are both disguised and uncommonly good. When I think of a superhero or a super love that will save my day, suffering is the last thing that I am hoping to find. However, a true love, just like a true “super” would have the ability to withstand the worst conditions and circumstances… even the conditions that put you in harm’s way or worse, in the face of eminent death.

We’ll take a closer look at this Superfruit but for now the food for this morning thought on love is.

Thought #3 of 101:

A super true love is uncommonly good

Are You Finished?

Completely in Love

Morning tea

Maybe you’re not quite finished, but according to Jesus, It is finished.

Thought #2 of 101: True love is complete

“Love covers a multitude of sins”… is what I had on my mind for the longest time.

“Are you sure?” I asked.” You must not have seen it all yet God.” As if He didn’t know who or what He was working with.  It took a while for me to absorb the truth. I just couldn’t see it or grasp it. The idea that all that I did or was in the past being completely finished seemed like it should require so much more. Especially since I still felt quite undone.

Well, if this sounds familiar to you and one of the main thoughts that will often travel across your mind is… “a love that is complete…is something I will probably never see for myself,” then I’d like to clarify something for you, just in case you’re feeling undone about finding love or you are done and lost in your search for it…

God’s love is unlike anything you have seen before and like nothing you’ll ever experience anywhere else. If you are searching for something familiar then you’ll be searching forever. It is unique because it existed without and before you, but was and is always there for you. To further explain: God wanted you and me, before we ever wanted him or anything really. He gave his life so we could be set free, while we continued to reject him. There is nothing more final than His death or more astounding than His resurrection.

God did both so that we could move on and continue on. He died to rid us of what He never wanted us to have, our sin and He rose from the dead, so that we could receive everything He always had for us. Through these two acts, I have been presented with gift of love that withstands all of the hurt and rejection and a hope for love that goes beyond the grave.

His love is so complete that he thought enough of you and me to know we would question just how much he completely wants us… even after He paid the ultimate price.

Have you gained the understanding yet that His love goes above and beyond any and everything. So… even in times when I have doubt in His love because I am uncertain of myself, my ability, my strength, my wisdom, my future….. My hope and faith rests in His word. It says, I can look forward to the end of every day and every tomorrow….

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” 

Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

The point I am getting to at the end of this night is …. He leaves nothing He loves undone. He finishes everything He starts. He has enough love for His work and creation to keep working until all the “heart” work is done.

So… I am complete in love, with Him.

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Love Under Cover

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I’m sorry, I know there’s been a lull in the conversation but I haven’t been lying down on the job. I just had to put a few things to rest. After some reflection of my past confessions over morning fruit; alongside tabletop topics about all that’s on my plate while in sup with the king; with present company, I think it only natural to progress to pillow talk over tea.

“You made your bed, now lie in it.”

I have said it before. It’s a phrase I kind of used to live by (if you could call it living). The phrase emphasizes that you and I are stuck with having to deal with our own poor choices. When speaking to myself, crying over spilled milk as I ate my humble pie… I would say “You’ve been served exactly what you’ve been cooking” meaning whatever I got was a result of exactly what I put into it. Which, unfortunately for me, didn’t turn out to be very much or very good, on more than one occasion. This left me somewhat bitter, mostly at myself. The end result was a sour outlook on past, present and future love for myself. As for the love I had for others… let’s just say it was nothing more than uhhh…tense. (Pun intended)

As I think about tomorrow… gratefully looking forward to a restful night of sleep,  I can’t help but recall how I used to spend night after night rest-less because the only thing I could think of was everything I didn’t have. I was stressed to the max over lack. What I was missing was the covering of God, but instead of seeking cover… like the song by Johnny Lee says, I was  “Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places”  thinking I could find what I needed elsewhere. It’s expected and some might say it’s even wise for us to search for what’s missing. I mean how else would we expect to get it. But where love is concerned, focusing on what you don’t have can prevent you from receiving what’s already there.

God reminded me that being in relationship with Him means I can be rest assured about one thing when my head hits the pillow: as long as I am with Him… I can count on being covered. This differs from what I have been accustomed to. What I am talking about is more than what is happening between my sheets… of paper… because what is already written about the subject opens up a new chapter.

The Covering Concept

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

His love covers everything? In my immature understanding, my first thought is of all the unsightly areas that I would be relieved to have covered and kept from the rest of the world. However, God sees it all, whether or not we are trying to be revealing and what’s there is not as much good as bad and ugly, which made me think (and perhaps you too), how can He still love us. It is His covering that makes the muck and mire, already seen, still worth dying for.

So I’m going under cover in this search for love for myself, in hopes to get a closer look at what’s been there all along.  If you don’t get where I am coming from you may need to go back to where I’ve been and where you got your first glance of me or revisit the fruit of my first love, where I got nothing but nuts. Being completely covered is a new concept of love for me… so under cover is where my investigation must start.

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

 

 

Abridged or Unabridged?

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How we get where we’re going…

Which version would you like? The truth or the lie? How many factors are required to make the decision? Does it depend on the book, the subject interest or lack there of… the author?

What if it was the book of love?

Or Life…???

In a fiction world, I’m an unabridged type of girl. I want to soak in all the sordid details. But when reality sets in… I admit that there are days, seasons, spans of time and definitely subjects where I just want to cut to the chase and skip to the final chapter already. However, the true story about finding love in life that lasts is… there are no short cuts.

Bridging the Gap… crossing state lines!

As I sit and get consumed in my mid-day lunch hour, I begin to digest the issue on my plate. Staying engaged in my love story is always hardest when I feel like I am on a bridge over troubled water to nowhere. Going from point A to B is not hard, (map please)… it’s connecting each D-O-T and making sense of where I am, in relation to where God says I will be in the end, that I struggle with. The inner child of God in me is whining from the back seat, in agony with stomping feet… crying out “Are we there yet?!” Then suddenly…

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 

1 Corinthians 13:4

Turning the page, I’m on the other side “you’re not in the same place you used to be…” says He. I suddenly see… there was more than just water under that bridge. I used to get myself in deep trouble being in such a hurry. Let’s just say… lesson learned… gates exist for a reason. Me being eager to get somewhere… avoiding the gate and crossing the bridge at the unappointed time caused me to wind up on board whatever vessel happened to be passing through. Can you say detour to the deep end of the emotional ocean? Now… patience is a virtue that this “virtuous woman” hopeful is definitely working on.

Skipping to the final chapter…

Perhaps the problem has always been that I’m still a prepper at heart. Sometimes I can think so far ahead that I completely miss the fact that in traveling the distance over the bridge, I cross over into a different state.

Don’t burn that bridge!

Occasionally, I have to look back at the road I’ve traveled to remind myself how far I have come. That’s why the bridge is there. It’s not there for you to go back… it’s meant to give evidence that you’re in a new place and there is something that separates where you are now from where you once were.

In the end… we all want to know what’s coming but focusing only on the destination means you can miss out on all the details. Sometimes, the very chapter we are stuck in, is where the plot thickens and the truth and beauty of all there is to love is revealed.

My revelation… in the story of my life, I know… the truth about love is not written by me. 

If I stop and plan to jump in the middle of the bridge, the chance of surviving the fall are slim to none. I must wait and trust the author, for He has the final word.

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This is just a taste of the love that makes up… His-story.