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Showing posts from 2011

Love, Needs, and a Promise

One of the hardest things in the world is when you realize that someone's love is not unconditional. Harder still is when you realize that your actions were the cause of the loss of it. Looking at these realities from an earthly perspective will crush us in despair, because what is life for if not to love and be loved? And what hope do we have if we are unable to maintain that love?


Henry Nouwen writes, "Forgiveness means forgiving someone for not being God, for not fulfilling all of my needs." This is so true... We live in a culture of "my needs" and "how can I get my needs met"? We are angry when someone does not fulfill our needs, and we think healthy relationships mean meeting each other's "needs." The problem is that no one on earth can fulfill this simple expectation. No one can love always unconditionally, and no one can fill even one need of yours completely, including your need for love. What are we to do then? If the possibilit…

My LIght, My Salvation, My Stronghold

The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid? - Psalm 27:1

I've been quoting this verse to myself a lot recently. The process starts when someone close to me says something that really gets under my skin... I can tell something is going on because I begin to get angry, maybe start judging the other person and start having imaginary conversations in my head about what I would really like to say to them. These thoughts usually involve cutting them or their beliefs down in some way, proving them wrong and making myself look better. When something like this happens what most of us do is continue down that road: "They don't know what they're talking about... They're so closed minded... So arrogant and judgmental..." And on it goes until we convince ourselves that we are right and worthy of the other person's respect if only they could see the truth.  Or, if we are a little bolder w…

Love One Another

This is a post from Oswald Chambers. I wanted to remember it, so I'm posting it on here.

"Love One Another"
May 11, 2011 . . . add to your . . . brotherly kindness love —2 Peter 1:5, 7 Love is an indefinite thing to most of us; we don’t know what we mean when we talk about love. Love is the loftiest preference of one person for another, and spiritually Jesus demands that this sovereign preference be for Himself (see Luke 14:26). Initially, when “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5), it is easy to put Jesus first. But then we must practice the things mentioned in 2 Peter 1 to see them worked out in our lives.
The first thing God does is forcibly remove any insincerity, pride, and vanity from my life. And the Holy Spirit reveals to me that God loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to do so. Now He commands me to show the same love to others by saying, “. . . love one another as I have loved you” (John 1…

Loneliness

As a single woman one of the hardest things I face is constant loneliness. The hardest part isn't being ripped off by mechanics, paying bills alone, social stigma, or frozen dinners. It's loneliness. And it's wondering how much of my future will be filled with it. It's feeling a part of a family for a night and then going home alone. I used to not struggle with loneliness, or at least, I was really good at dealing with it when it came, but that 30 mark kicked up the potency of the loneliness ache about 100 fold. Friends try to counsel me telling me the solution is to spend more time with other people. They are all very well intentioned, but the fact is that the loneliness isn't met by spending time with equally disconnected people. It is a longing for a family. Not brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles, but a place where we belong, together, all the time, day or night, no matter what is going on around us. We are always welcome home. No one but a real family ca…

Praise God! For he dug all the crud up...

Psalm 66
8Bless our God, O peoples,
And sound His praise abroad,
9Who keeps us in life
And does not allow our feet to slip.
10For You have tried us, O God;
You have refined us as silver is refined.
11You brought us into the net;
You laid an oppressive burden upon our loins.
12You made men ride over our heads;
We went through fire and through water,
Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance.

This Psalm intrigues me. The author starts out praising God. Bless God because he keeps us in life! You would think some great thing had happened. Some great deliverance... but he goes on to say that God tried him and his people by bringing them into a net, laying oppressive burdens on them, taking them through fire and water. Why in the world would he praise God for taking them through all of these situations? Why would you be thankful that God put you in a net??? That seems almost cruel! But rather than being angry with God and complaining about all he had to go through, the author …