Love isn’t always smiling

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There came a point in my life where I realized that being around people wasn’t about me. I didn’t need to overthink things. I didn’t need to be afraid about what people might be thinking about me. I didn’t need to hide inside my comfy turtle shell and watch the world pass me by.

Praise the Lord! The whole point of social interactions isn’t about me. I’m not the center of the world. You’re not either. We can forget about all the craziness of what’s going on in people’s minds and focus on the point of living.

Because the whole point of being in community with others is simply to reflect the love of God. That’s the beauty of the gospel. It gives us the Spirit of Christ that creates restoration, peace, and sweet fellowship among people. It gives us a sacrificial type of love that breaks barriers and searches for people’s needs, lifting up the broken and humbling the proud in the gentlest of ways.

Love God. Love people. It really is that simple.

But recently a question was hanging in my head that I didn’t know what to do with: What’s the difference between love and people-pleasing?

Because when we set out to love people on our own strength, often people-pleasing takes control instead of true, Christ-like love. A genuine desire to love people in order to bring glory to God can all too easily turn into a desire to please the world. To grant the world’s wishes, not meet their needs.

But is that true love?

“Love is patient, love is kind… It is not self-seeking.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

It really does seem all sweet and dandy when you please others, and they in turn please you back. But is that ultimately seeking for the good of your own self?

What is true love? Is it always smiling? Always pleasing? Always making sure you feel good?

Sometimes, maybe? But not all the time? How are we to define which circumstances demand which responses? It gets too complicated when you look at things that way.

Instead, we can find true love by looking at God. He Himself is Love for us, manifested in His Son, a human we can touch and see. Jesus Christ demonstrated love when He washed His disciples dirty feet, performing the job of a servant. His ultimate act of love was when He sacrificed Himself for us on the cross for our eternal salvation.

Our Savior came to serve us sacrificially, but when it came to people failing to understand the truth, He did not serve their own desires and sacrifice His own. He told them outright that they were wrong and He was right. He loved people too much to let them go astray into false beliefs.

Jesus demonstrated love when He reprimanded His disciples for falling asleep instead of staying awake at the Garden of Gethsemane, and when He rebuked His disciples for assuming that they could call fire down from heaven to destroy a Samaritan village (Luke 9:52-56).

God both serves us sacrificially and disciplines us gently because He loves us.

“And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.’ Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” – Hebrews 12:5-7

The definition of God’s love isn’t good feelings. It’s patience. Kindness. Sacrifice. Discipline. It’s meeting our deepest needs, not our surface-level wishes. And sometimes God is gracious to grant our wishes, but only with the intention of pointing us back to Him, the Giver of good gifts. Because, ultimately, love is all about bringing us closer into relationship with the God who is Himself the only source of true love.

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:8 

The way to get to know Love is by getting to know Jesus, who is God in human form. And the best way to love someone is to point them to Jesus and to help them get to know Him. He alone is what we need. He alone brings us into a secure rest in God’s love and gives us the means to love other people.

We can’t love people on our own strength without being self-seeking and people-pleasing. We need to humble ourselves before God and ask for His strength in order to love selflessly.

So, pray with me for this kind of love that only comes from God. The kind of love that casts out fear. That brings people out of hiding and into His wonderful light. The kind of love that sometimes smiles tenderly, sometimes cries with us, and sometimes disciplines us, but is always right there, giving you everything you need (Phil. 4:19). Put your faith in that kind of love, because He exists, in the form of Jesus Christ.

And together we can learn to love people in a deep way that doesn’t merely cheer them up, but instead directs their affections to the true Author of life and love.

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The One Who Surpasses

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(Photo from Pinterest)

I’ve been thinking a lot. I’ve been thinking and realizing that I made a mistake.

It’s the most awful feeling when you don’t want to admit you made a mistake but you can’t deny it.

Anyhow this post is not about my mistake, it’s about what God does with mistakes, and it’s about what God does through us to help us avoid mistakes.

Because mistakes are ugly. And they make you distant from God. Restless. Confused.

Just like you, I don’t want to make mistakes. But my desires sometimes become overwhelming and I convince myself that there is a good reason to make this decision, when in reality I feel like I can’t resist the temptation.

But that’s a lie. Kick it in the face; fight it to its death—Jesus has WON.

He has literally grabbed the devil and trampled him over his feet. Desire, temptation, and fleeting pleasures don’t have to rule over us. God is wise, and so we need to be, too.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” — James 4:7 (ESV)

Before you make a decision, ask yourself: Am I fully satisfied in Christ, or am I making this decision because I am restless and longing for something more to fill the hole inside me?

This really puts things into perspective. Rejoicing in the fact that HE HAS WON, and we have hope in heaven, and He cares about every detail of our lives—all this overshadows our finicky desires.

You are more precious to Him than many sparrows, so don’t be discouraged about where you are; He has you where you are for a reason.

Don’t move unless He tells you to—that is to say, treat every action as an act of worship!

You are a living sacrifice to God and you do not deserve to be thrown aside to unrighteous people who care nothing for your pure heart.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” — Romans 12:1 (ESV)

Other questions to ask yourself: Is what I am doing glorifying God? Is what I am doing worth doing in light of eternity? If I had to pay 100 dollars to do this action, would I do it for the sake of glorifying God?

But thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that when we do make mistakes, He is there! His mercies are new every morning. Don’t doubt for a second that He wants to continue the relationship with you no matter what you’ve done. Repent genuinely, and be free in Christ. Walk in the Spirit joyfully knowing God surpasses all sin and shame.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” — Romans 8:1-2 (ESV)

Just some thoughts that were on my heart to share. I would love to continue the conversation with you. God cares about you, and you matter to Him.

If He matters to you, you care about your decisions.

The White Stone

“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” ~Revelation 2:17

Serena used to glide when she had no stones. She used to leap across the sky swiftly and easily, smiling to the world, until she came to the tall, oak-wood door of home.

Then the day came when Serena lost her home, her smile—everything. She trudged down a road, slowly, never looking back at the oak-wood door.

That was her first stone, her first burden. Ever since, a dull, gray stone was added every day to the burden on Serena’s back, as she took the path to who-knew-where.
Serena didn’t know who she was anymore.

She sang a lament of a song as she fought the tears from escaping her weary eyes that had lost all brightness. She felt the stares and the glares, and sometimes she had to run because the stones hit her—people hit her with the stones. The weight would grow heavier and she would hurt deeper as she would trudge more slowly on the path to who-knew-where.

Serena had enough stones. She didn’t know if she could bear the weight of them any longer.

Serena knew she wasn’t any good—the stones told her so. After all, sometimes she’d hit the people trudging beside her with stones too. So, maybe she was the one to blame.

One day, Serena didn’t care what the stones thought—what anybody thought. The heaviness she carried was just too much. Too much.

She tried to glide again—to be free. She made a running start, but her one feeble attempt added another stone to her back. More weight, more pain, more tears.

She had made a mistake, and everybody knew it. They blamed her for it. Everyone blamed her for trying to be happy again—for trying to escape the stones that burdened her, that were now apart of her.

This was who she was. How could she have thought there was anything more for her?
And even if her leap of foolishness had worked, they said, it was the wrong way—she had taken the wrong path. All this time she had been taking the wrong path, they said. That’s why Serena had to carry the stones on her back. But which was the right path?
So many steps for nothing. So much pain for nothing.

Serena wept. Didn’t they see the stones on their backs?

People surrounded her, each gripping a stone twice as big as their fist.
Serena shuddered. She shrank back from them, but they blocked her from escaping. She became the center of the circle—the one object of attention. She was the one to blame.
Another stone was then added to her burden, and she cried out from the weight of it. Her knees gave way as she fell to the dirt ground.

It was too heavy. They were jeering at her: “Serena, with the stones on her back!”
“She tried to be free, to glide off the ground like a little bird when she’s nothing but a stone-carrier!”

“So many stones, so many stones! She’ll never find the right path, that one!”
She held her knees to her chest and sobbed at the sound of the angry voices. They blamed her, when she was too weak to carry these stones anymore.

“Whoever among you has never taken a wrong path—cast the first stone!” A male voice declared in the midst of the jeering crowd.

Serena looked up to see an unkempt man standing an arm’s length away. Standing in the center of the circle, right beside her. Being surrounded—being blamed—right beside her.
She squeezed her eyes shut, waiting for the heavy blow of the first stone from one of those people who had somehow found the right path and never strayed. She waited, sucking in her breath, listening so carefully, but only hearing shuffling footsteps and low, murmuring voices.

No stone came. Serena exhaled slowly and opened her eyes.
The dirty man smiled down at her, and behind him, there was not a person in sight. She looked left and right. She turned around to look behind her—not a single one.

“They didn’t . . . they didn’t blame me?” she asked in a small voice.

“Of course not,” the man said, reaching out his hand to her. “No one can follow the right path perfectly.”

Serena grasped his hand impulsively, using his strength to help her to her feet.

“Thank you,” she said, smiling for the first time in many years. But as soon as the words escaped her, she realized what she had done. She was on her feet again! She reached with her hand to feel for the stones on her back. Nothing. The heavy, dull stones that had burdened her for so many long years had completely vanished.

She ran and leapt over the dirt; the relief and joyous emptiness inside her was too much to contain. She was free of the stones and of everything that burdened her. The joy overwhelmed her as she felt the air blowing passed her as her feet left the ground.
When she hit the earth again, the dirty man beckoned her to come to him, so she stopped in her tracks and rushed back to the man who had saved her from the crowd and the stones.

He held out something to her—a small, polished white stone with small letters written neatly on the smooth surface.

“Whoever delights in Me, I give to them a white stone with words written to them, which only they can read.” His face beamed like a lantern in the darkest night. “I see you have found the joy to glide again, Serena. Now pursue it—never lose it. And travel the right path that leads to Me. For I have taken your burden upon myself. I have done it for you, and I will do it for you for the rest of your life if you will only trust in Me.”

Tears rolled down Serena’s cheeks, as she looked up at him through her blurry vision. The man carried an enormous burden on his back. It towered to the clouds in the vast blue sky—stones bursting out from the largest sack she’d ever seen. How had she not seen it before? He must carry the burdens of thousands of people, yet He still stood upright, smiling. Why, He must be the strongest man alive! She thought.

But she knew better. She knew that her dirty rescuer was much more than a man.
Serena hugged the man tightly, not caring that his filth spread to her cotton dress. The right path was worth such little discomforts, after all. It was worth the big discomforts too. It was worth everything she had.

Finally, Serena remembered the white stone that the man offered to her. She took it and rubbed the polished rock in her hand, stunned by its beauty. She squinted to read the message on it:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Serena looked up, but saw that the man had turned away and had begun traveling a narrow path. She hurried after Him.

From that day forward, Serena glided on the right path, following the dirty man who walked not too far ahead of her, with the enormous burden on His back. Sometimes she stumbled, but always the small white stone reminded her that there was One who carried her heaviest stones, and that someday she’d reach the tall, oak-wood door of home, never to be blamed of traveling a wrong path again.

Message on stone from Matt. 11:28-29

Holy Spirit: The Guide of a Lifetime

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What do you imagine when you think of the Holy Spirit? A presence that comes upon us by the flick of a magic wand, changing us into a new being in an abracadabra second? Or a gentle stirring, a loud whisper, a nudge in our conscience?

The Spirit of Christ is not magical, it is holy. It doesn’t transform us like a magic spell would. Instead, it directs us on the narrow path of life that leads us to the Father.

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” – John 16:13

The Holy Spirit works in our lives by:

Changing us.

Although our whole lifestyle doesn’t change in an instant, kindling God’s Spirit inside us will completely transform our perspective on life. Once you believe in Jesus, the Spirit indwells within you. But as my youth pastor said, it’s just like adding chocolate to milk–the chocolate will just sink to the bottom unless you shake it up, changing the plain milk into chocolate milk. By walking with the Spirit of Christ, and by listening and obeying to His instruction, we will become more like Jesus over time. Even Samuel as well as other prophets in the Old Testament experienced the dramatic impression the Spirit has on God’s servants.

“The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.” – 1 Samuel 10:6

Interceding for us.

I’m learning that I don’t have to sort my thoughts out for the Almighty God to understand me. The Spirit intercedes for us without words, but with feeling. How wonderful that our Creator understands us so intimately!

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” – Romans 8:26

Guiding us.

Once we pray to God for forgiveness and ask for His saving grace through Jesus, the Holy Spirit puts a new lens on our life (which I’ve learned that I need to reapply it more than once!). Now we can go out into the world, trying to do God’s will according to what the Spirit guides our heart to do. Reading the Bible is a huge source of thoughts directly from the Sprit of God, who guided the individuals who wrote it.

Even if we are faced with persecution, God promises to give us the words to speak through the Holy Spirit. Not only that, but the Lord directs us, by the Spirit, to do the right thing and resist temptation. So even when we’re weak, the Spirit is always strong in us!

“I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” – 1 Corinthians 2:3-5

Empowering us.

The Spirit of Christ has the power to fill our hearts with the warmth of God’s love, even when it’s initially hard for us to show that love.

Corrie Ten Boom, a Holocaust survivor, once faced a Nazi who had given his life to Christ and now wanted to shake hands with her. Unbeknownst to him, she recognized him as one of the Nazis who had dealt with her in the concentration camp. She didn’t feel any love for him, but she prayed for Jesus’ strength. Then raised her hand to shake his. Suddenly, as she shook his hand, she was filled to overflowing with love for the ex-Nazi, that could only have come from God. This is just one example of a Christian who relied on the Holy Spirit.
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:5

 

We ourselves are no exception to what the Spirit of Christ can do for us if we have even one mustard seed of faith in the Lord Jesus who saved us and calls us to a holy–not magical–life. We can now breathe new air and sing a new song that reshapes our entire lives not through spells, but through the wisest Teacher one could ask for. And through this Spirit we have the greatest gift of all–fellowship with our Heavenly Father forever and ever.

 

God’s Kind of Romance

A man is walking on the beach. The beach represents his life. There are two sets of footprints on the beach: one is God’s, and the other the man’s.  Occasionally there is only one set of footprints. “Why was there only one set of footprints during that time?” the man asked at the end of his life. God answered, “The two sets of footprints are the times I walked beside you through life. The one set of footprints are the harder times in your life, when I carried you.”

When my cousin told me that story, I exclaimed, “God is sooo romantic!” And we both laughed.

And as I thought about it more, I realized how true my whimsical statement was.

Romance doesn’t have to mean the mushy gushy falling in love with the opposite gender. In Anne of Green Gables, Anne used romance to describe nature and friendship. I think of romance as cuddled up in blankets on a winter night drinking hot cocoa, and I also think of it as God chasing after us, beckoning us to choose Him, to accept His gift of Jesus to take away our sins.

“[He] wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:4

God surely carries us in the harder time in our lives, if we choose to trust in Him. He surely walks with us if we choose to walk with Him. He longs to take the most unworthy people and transform them. He loves to show love to the unlovable.

“I will plant her for myself in the land;
    I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.
I will say to those called ‘Not my people, ‘You are my people’;
    and they will say, ‘You are my God.’” Hosea 2:23

The story Emma by Jane Austen is fresh in my mind after watching one of the movies last night. Emma is the story of a middle class young English lady in the 1800’s. She completely misunderstands everyone, and even purposely is prejudice against people (yes, very similar to Pride and Prejudice, in those respects). Mr. Knightley ends up being right about practically everything she was wrong about. Emma responds to this discovery with deep regret, realizing how much she loves him. In return, Mr. Knightley forgives her, and loves her all the more. This gives a picture of how God loves us.

Ultimately, repentance wins God’s heart. He loved us before, but whenever we show we love Him, too, and we understand He is right about everything we were wrong about–well, the angels rejoice wildly with their instruments up in heaven. Jesus intercedes on our behalf, allowing us to have a relationship with our Creator. And His Spirit comes to dwell in us, so we may have power to will and to act according to His good purpose.

When our hearts are set on Him, anything is possible. Don’t give up, your bridegroom loves you. He calls us on the adventure of a lifetime, and in the hard times, He will carry us. In the good times, He will walk by our side.

“As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” -Isaiah 62:5

“In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.” – Exodus 15:13

 

Sympathy vs. Compassion

Sympathy

I’m so sorry for everyone

The hearts that are broken

The clocks that keep ticking but never strike one.

I’m so sorry for everyone

The longing for love

Or the fear of it

The reaching for dreams

Or the running away.

 

I’m so sorry for everyone

The anxiety

Of speaking to one or to hundreds

The anxiety of stepping into a crowded room.

I’m so sorry for everyone

The height of success

Drowned in loneliness

The sitting at a desk

And wasting hours doing things you will hate forever. Continue reading

The Tragical Sea

Ok, so this is the strangest story I’ve ever written, not necessarily due to the plot but due to the style I wrote it in… I hope you can understand it—if not, feedback please! 🙂 Parts of it only makes any sense if you read it in light of the fact that a lot of the words are meant to give you more of the feeling of what I’m talking about, rather than me straight-out saying it in the English language. Lol it’s kinda crazy, so don’t be afraid to laugh if you think it’s funny…

Back in time to a land of faraway places…

Known a lady she in a palace she swayed in the spiky mountains by the tragical sea. A queen she strode, as a ruler of high security, chosen to lead this radical land with a cocky range of authority. Beholden to a service of a life, and never to let the brothers run and knock her free. Forward on she soared the towns to work on land but never out. The ocean held bones baking wild, greasy ships in the deepest places. Whales dove to knock the over in went round the citizens.

Long before Brown the king loved by queen he floated his blood at sea. Pesterings fought kingdom to sail but she caught and jailed simpletons. Ocean hangs alone for her dead king.

Dwelled a man young and chilled, raging for adventure far off and free. Before him maiden gone his soul for love swallowed his cheer.

“Wenda, dear,” gave Man,” with me to  ghastly sea, to far-off land, to new and prodigal life full and bright–with me?”

Wenda swelled, “Wholly, no, Queen Hairna faces we to track us so!”

“Escape, yes, we bid ours gone we stake. But no right she fight for stony fate.”

“Chisel bite!” flailed Wenda. “Off into cold not out!”

Man bored in dreams flawed up and trusting on cheek Wenda he peck gentler. “Courses chop running fire my heart one all the feelings–go or no, eternal sun and stars drift as my love shifts constant scratching crumbs. Marry or no, eyes have you never I to fever off from pinnacle gaze.”

Wenda swooped in gasping stare fallen away clenched teeth and hands. Water ices cheeks, freezing pose. Wind and mirth shoot, “Queen Hairna I but rising churned and quaked before. Chisel bite! To tragical sea in haste of dropping calls must I and you–for, yes, loves still me.” Wenda deepens whole, “Stills me love from you, John Barley.”

John glided teeth, “So love is bound in fear—so rest we go in hastily runnings we create.”

Kind they sailed gruntled ship of grandfather John before queen’s time, piking darkest night cloaked grim. John roughed up the rough till fine to bob over swarms of fish and sharks and vitality. Voyaged fair, no rain nor shrieks in dome of earth, yet light from tower caught and stormed the queen.

Ordered she the servants out. Grunting wide in novelties trumping plans of their visits and wielding she their fate self-willing, flaky, puffed, and sore. Efforts flung servants out on tragical sea.

Mothers and fathers woke crazed, searching for couple and crying for charity. Hours traced days flipping into weeks caught none by kingdom servants, the man and maiden bold and jumping out of holes.

Hit rock of land John proud Wenda sore. Scribbling out of wonders, waking to dawn shifting wild and green. Up went they to garden jungle forest, whatever was lying vividly pure—land nourishing so long not seen. Leaping hearts shiny beach man and maiden rushing on.

“Light,” drifted Wenda, petting trees and grinning at oozing sand.

Her arm John pestered shot eyes away from land. “Ship of queen now birthed in sight!” sprang he.

“Chisel bite!” crinkled she. “Pirates, yea—queen? Nay! Feathered up in jewels all day.”

Fingered Man towards tippy flag of queen and quality.

Wenda smudged, then balled fist and eyes. “Queen Hairna bolts at charming days to slay. Hide or dash must we—to flee! Strike over else trumped chins below.”

John charged, “Gaze on at sea of tragical fate. Rants storms to fracture queen and ship!”

Hovered clouds as said no speckled hope but windy dread. Clutched Wenda fierce, harried to John, “Run!”

“Wholly, yea, my dear,” lowered Man, “fly into green, still for me.”

Rushing Wenda wide, “Strut far from queen; now you dash—with me!”

“Nay! Rescue I the queen, for knowledge hoards about the tragical sea barrels in me.”

Narrowness of John cracked Maiden, so boggled now she squelched away.

Nettling rain, graphic light, jutting roars—on heart of John slammed. On grandfather ship to queen’s, dodged he power of storm. Spindling round in alacrity, sailed he the ship, water drowning eyes and legs.

On blinked Wenda shore beneath junky feet but lost from serenity. Glimpsed ship of John dawdling up to ship of queen. Over brushed the storm on Maiden’s sight, fear fled her behind rock. Far to sea stretched John knowledge to queen. Beasty waves splintered speech of John, crippling ships, and widened Maiden to behold.

Turned Queen to crew, “Pluck fast away!” Scuffled they the queen toward land on kingdom ship, forward crashing, breaking ship, but not humanity. Queen and crew hugging land and green pouring relief.

Tragical sea pained remaining vitality, dipping well to center earth—Grandfather’s ship and John the same.

Met Wenda contorting into ghastly illness. Shoulder rattled Queen Hairna gentler. “Plop,” gave she, “on trusty rock with me.”

On did they, Maiden tipsy and frowning. Toward tragical sea they stared, blinded both by washing eyes.

Littled up and crazed, Hairna played, “Man and sea clink together as beasts.”

Wenda chilled, “Chisel bite, my queen—law’s whole deepness feel I now. Grip I the grief you motioned to Brown the king.”

“Law I fixed,” steadied Queen, “but play I now allow. Before me grief gentles, grief fondles. Before me that sea floods into tranquility.”

 

Scattered Thoughts

So whenever I have an interesting thought, I write it down. I thought I’d share a few with you. The way I’m doing it is similar to my Things I’ve Learned Lately post, which you should go see if you’re interested, because it is more developed than this. 🙂

I live

To prepare for the absence

Of myself

From this world.

 

I’m a merchant

Who buys and gives away

Because nothing’s mine.

 

He gave His Son to die

So you could live,

Jesus gave all,

So you’d have all to give.

 

Do you ever think something,

And then realize you’ve thought of it before?

 

We only have ourselves,

but looking at God we see He has

Every good thing.

 

Better we be innocent

Better we be brave

Better we be ignorant

Than to know it all

And be afraid.

 

I always have a need because I’m human.

Because I love,

because I hate,

because I die.

 

Oh and one last random thing. God is all of the Divergent factions (All these are NIV):

Dauntless (brave): “The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” Psalm 118:14

Amity (peaceful): “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

Erudite(intelligent): “For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” – Proverbs 2:6

Candor (honest): “I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right.” – Isaiah 45:19

Abnegation (selfless): “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:26-28

 

 

Then, Now, and Forever

What do goals do? Move you through or out of something? Do they confound you in the present or do they promise a place of wonder in the near future?

The process is arduous at times. So often do we long for the end, for that better place, for that ideal perfection and unity that we envision to be the only way to be satisfied.

Yet does it not exist now? Doesn’t fulfillment come when we fall on our knees before Jesus, who saves us from our persistence to do what we ought not to do?

We cannot complain that life doesn’t please us. The precious end exists, somewhere in the near future, but now we ought to live for the One who is worthy of our undivided attention. We as believers should stand side by side for the One who can fill us with peace, if we fully believe it–a peace which no one can experience without the Lord. Continue reading