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Posts Tagged ‘#godslove’

Yesterday was the day of love (does anyone else hear the voice of Barry White?). At least, the day of love, the Hallmark version.

So, I am thinking that the day after a day with so many expectations (and we have all had them at some point), some expectations that may have come to fruition, but probably many more that did not … and that is real life.

The other day, I was reminded by a poet about the love that

exceeds expectations …

every. single. time.

"He said love is patient, then He said: I am love
He said love is not not easily angered, then He said: I am love
He said love keeps no record of wrongs, then He said: I am love
He said love always protects, then He said: I am love
He said love always overcomes, then He said: I am love
He said love never fails, then He said: I am love"
- Unka Glen


As I read each line, I could (literally) feel the love.
The love of truth of those words. 

The love of One who is love. 

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We humans are a bit cra cra (crazy). We use words that simply do not make sense, or, more specifically, we use words in different situations which makes the word not make sense.

Let’s talk love.

We love our mummy.
We love our hubby.
We love pizza.
We love British Crime Dramas.
We love taking a walk.
We (or I) love math.

So … what does love mean, when we use it to describe how we feel about so many varied things?

Today marks week three of our advent season. The week we begin to anticipate the love that came to us from heaven, through the birth of Jesus.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 4:9-10

This is love …

not that we loved God … so our kind, or version or use of love is subservient to God’s. This is a really important truth to consider. And our love for God cannot undo our human condition, it cannot save us.

but that he loved us … when God says that he loves you and me (the world), he uses the word love in no other instance. His love is the ultimate love. It is the ultimate in sacrificial. It is simply the ultimate. We cannot out-love God.

and (He) sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins … God’s love for us is defined in how far he was willing to go to prove it, to rescue us. His redemption of us was through the substitute of Jesus for our good, our eternity.

I think Christina Rossetti said it best,

Love was born at Christmas

First published in 1893, Love Came Down at Christmas began as a poem by Christina Rossetti.

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.
Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine,
Worship we our Jesus,
But wherewith for sacred sign?
Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

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I have a great dad. He has been the best reflection of God the father that I could imagine, that I could need. Perfect? no, but perfect for me (one might think that was in the plans all along).

Recently hubby and I have been plowing through a show on Netflix called The Blacklist. We (and by ‘we’ I can at least confidently say ‘I’) are fully addicted. It is a violent crime drama that can leave one with might terrors. To give you a synopsis, without spoiling it, it is the story of an undercover FBI agency who, seek out the world’s most wanted, with the help of one who was the most wanted on the FBI list, himself (Red). He only works with one, brand new, inexperienced FBI agent (Lizzy). The parallel story to the crime fighting and criminal hunting is this relationship between Red and Lizzy and the mystery of Red’s need to be in her life. There is a hint to a parental connection, but …

Recently, as I was writing, the lyrics of a song were penetrating my concentration until I just had to stop writing and see those lyrics. To see them is to acknowledge that they are as we think we hear them, to acknowledge the truth of them. As I listened to the song Rescue (below) I had initially thought it is a song that should be used in an episode or season of the The Blacklist, for it’s message of one who, like a bodyguard, looks after those who they take full responsibility for.

Then …

I thought of our Father God, who does not slumber, but is always overseeing us, protecting us, rescuing us. We don’t even need to yell for help … just a whisper of SOS will bring his army to rescue us … even in the darkest night, the hardest fight.

CS Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity has said,

“His (God’s) love for us … is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.”

It is daunting to think that God is willing to wait for our SOS. For some, we come quietly to him, for others there is much kicking and screaming before we exhale in forfeit, maybe not even truly believing that rescue will come.

The idea that our Creator and Savior loves us throughout our lives, no matter the choices we make, the thoughts we think, the behaviors that we inflict on those around us … on ourselves is far beyond our human understanding. Add to that the fact that he took it to the point of the greatest self sacrifice … the sacrifice of his own child. That is God’s definition of Father love.

His pursuit of us is lifelong … that is the heart of our heavenly father. But he is a gentleman … and he will not force his ability and desire to rescue us, on us. We have to choose it.

Rescue – Lauren Daigle

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I am a big fan of the story of the Velveteen Rabbit. Though I did not read this story until I was an adult, and a mother myself, I would have to say it had a profound effect on my life, how I think, how I live.

It is the story of what it is to be real, and how one becomes real

… by being truly loved.

One of my favourite parts (and there are many) is when the Skin Horse explains to the Velveteen Rabbit what real means: “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

There was something in that message that spoke to my young mama heart, and it transformed how I lived, how I saw the experience of living … real living.

As I look back now, I think I understand why that message penetrated my heart.

As a stereotypical first born individual, I was a seeker of perfection, of pleasing others, of doing what is expected of me. That worked well for me as a child and a teen, but adults know well that there is no perfect formula for living that will draw the perfect, desired results.

Sometime, life is hard.

Sometimes, life does not work out perfectly.

It was as I began to internalize the message of the Velveteen Rabbit that, bit by bit, I began to allow my worn bits to show. I did not hide the reality of life and living to others around me. Not overnight changes, but, like the Velveteen Rabbit, slowly, through the years.

Just the other day I laughed at myself … like great big belly laugh … in front of a cashier in a store, for some silly thing I had said or done. As I was laughing at myself I realized that I would not have done that when I was a teen, a young adult. Instead I would have interpreted my error as failure, I would have hung my head in shame and embarrassment, hiding my flaws and foibles so that no one would know that I made mistakes …

… that I was real.

Learning to be really real, learning to embrace the lack of decorum, the kinks in our armour, the flaws in our personalities, is what it is to be authentic, to be real. And we are all real! We just aren’t all comfortable in the fact that being real is to embrace the good, the bad and the ugly, that we all really are.

Those years ago, when I discovered the story of the Velveteen Rabbit, it was then that I realized that, like the boy in the story, it is God who truly loves us. It is he who made us real, it is he who love us for who we really are … not who we think we need to become. And when we learn to accept the price of his love for us (the sacrifice of his own son), it is then that we become real to others around us.

“If you stick with this, living out what I tell you,
you are my disciples for sure.
Then you will experience for yourselves the truth,
and the truth will free you.”
Jesus
(John 8:31-32)

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If you have ever needed to wear corrective lenses, you know what temporary blindness is like. Peering across the bedroom, in the dark of the night, with eyes squinting, trying to figure out if the clock reads 2:50am or 5:50am. Walking down the street to see a figure ahead waving all friendly at you, as you mentally kick yourself for leaving the house without your specs. Sitting down in church (or the movie theater, or the business meeting) to discover that the day the worship team decides to introduce a new song is the same one you forgot to put your contacts in.

For those who have need of corrective lenses, you will know what it is like to put them on and find that you do not have to extend your reach to read the newspaper, and that the trees are not just a mass of color, but individual leaves.

Our vision can be corrected and our view can be cleared to see the obvious to any person around us, with good sight.

The same can be said for reading the Bible. If we read without our corrective lenses, or through the power of the Holy Spirit, things can seem rather … unclear, distorted and even outright wrong.

When we can clearly see the messages left for us, it is like discovering an unread email message or an old love letter.

“This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the payment for our sins.”
1 John 4:10

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
Lamentations 3:22-23

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11

… you’ve got mail!

 

 

 

 

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