This post will be shorter than my usual. I experienced again tonight the power of mind renewal Romans 12 style and can’t wait to share a free sample for you if you have never known what it is like or if you have just got out of touch with the practice. If spiritual truths were like bullets, mind renewal is the gun that fires them. If news is like getting exhausted wading through a swamp trying to find a shiny tool you are missing, mind renewal is like a big pump truck with a grate where all the tools land as the swamp gets pumped out. Renew your soul.
Tonight I read some news. I am trying to only read news once a week unless I am looking up something specific and purposeful. Then I want to pray about it so I don’t pick up any unhealthy burdens or negative attitudes. Join my experiment and see if you don’t feel better and have more clarity after just one week! Anyways, I was reading news, the Alberta Health Services recently announced their reopening plan. Some of it sounds great. Yeah for outdoors times! Some of it sounds miserable like social distancing until I am 40 ( I am 32 as of this writing).
I am at the end of another week of self-isolation, reflecting, as I am sure many have been. I have been prideful in many ways about this virus stuff and how many individuals and governments have responded. I have thought that it really isn’t that big of a deal. I have judged others for how easily they have been manipulated. I have been prideful of the gifts I have been given of peace, discernment and faith. Sigh…
I have a love hate relationship with wealth.
This coronavirus/COVID-19/virus with PR has challenged everyone. For most Christians who have an active relationship with Jesus, it has challenged us to go even deeper in prayer and intimacy with the one who created everything and whom nothing happens without his permission.
Today I read Matthew 22:1-14 where Jesus tells a sobering parable of a king who wanted to throw a big wedding feast for his son’s marriage. His servants were sent to invite those that would typically be invited to a royal wedding. None of them were willing to come!
I am going to assume that most people do not like to suffer. Not liking something is not the same as believing it is bad for you. I didn’t like school. I believed school was good for me. I have also observed that it isn’t popular to talk about how suffering can be good for you apart from areas that give us surface/self-centered results. School can help us make more money or find jobs we enjoy more. The suffering of withdrawal can help us quit something bad for us. Those things are all great but I want to talk about suffering from a Christian standpoint. On the positive side that means suffering in the name of Love and suffering for eternal rewards. On the negative side that means suffering because of sin.
Why hello my readers. You probably got lost on the great interwebs trying to solve a technical problem if you ended up on my site :). Nevertheless, I am glad you are here and I hope you enjoy my rambling thoughts and a pet peeve of mine.
God does miracles. To any that have seriously researched it, that much is evident. A harder question to answer is, “Why does God do miracles?”
Ephesians 5:33 (Berean Study Bible) – Nevertheless, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
The love word is Agape. Strong’s definition of that word is
To love, wish well to, take pleasure in, long for; denotes the love of reason, esteem. Perhaps from agan; to love.
This is the unconditional love that is not based on our feelings. Instead, it is the love that our feelings are conditioned to fall in line with. The only person that we can naturally love like that is our self. That is why Paul sets the love of our self as the standard. How do I use my reason to love myself? As I am going through life, I don’t mindlessly do what feels natural all the time. I do give myself grace and favour a lot though. When I screw up, I forgive myself and determine to do better. When I feel particularly down and that life has treated me unfairly, I don’t normally second guess giving myself comfort food or going to bed earlier. However, I also don’t settle for living in the moment or applying any set of assumptions or beliefs to govern myself without also testing to see if those assumptions or beliefs seem to reflect my experience in the long run. I don’t hold myself to a standard that seems impossible or determine for myself to always do something that seems good but goes against how I feel I am wired in a good way. In short, I reason through how to treat myself and reflect on my past reasoning. I take initiative to do this reflection process. I don’t assume that my true feelings are obvious. I don’t simply take my initial reaction as the truth about who I am, how I am or what is happening to me. Just because I don’t give my initial feeling the final word doesn’t mean that I don’t value my initial feeling at all however. I am considerate and thoughtful about myself.
How to love someone else as myself based on this Agape love is not immediately obvious. It doesn’t come easily to love ones self this way but nobody needs it explained to them why the work is worth it. Loving someone else this way requires both an understanding of the healthy way love like this as well as the reasoning behind the motivation. There is work that is required, skills to be learned, constant effort in self-control/regulation/discipline. Initiative is required outside of the individual moments these love decisions are made. Mostly importantly, God’s love is required. He is the only one that can love like this without expecting anything in return and even not making conditions upon the outcome in order to justify the cost. His Agape Love is incredible. I capitalize Love in my journal when I want to remind myself that God is Love. Love is another one of His names. We know love because we know Love as the person. That is the only way we can even define a love like this. There is no Agape apart from Him. We are all made in God’s image and capable of this kind of love like a balloon is capable of being filled with helium and floating. If we puff ourselves up with air love, we feel big but we don’t float.
The trick then is to meditate on this long and often enough about our spouses needs, desires, beliefs, internal wiring’s, current condition, past experiences etc… just as we would for ourselves both naturally and purposefully. Then we will have a Biblical marriage worth talking about.
January 17, 2019
When asking about God’s attitude for me at work…
Do the best you can in every task and trial given to you because you are deeply loved by me,
P.s. You are my joy :). I am so proud of you when you suffer in the name of love even as my heart breaks for you!
If I can keep that attitude at work and at home my whole life, I will die a satisfied man. To be loved and to be faithful in remaining in Him. Not perfect, but faithful to His love for me and who He says I am. Enduring the consequences of mine and others sin because of the look in His eye. Resting patiently when little is required of me because He has already approved of me and who I am. Taking every opportunity captive because of the hope He has given me and out of submission to His great love for others.
Doesn’t the depth and stillness of that love/posture in life outweigh any other motivation and silence all fears? Please leave a comment if there is any relationship or goal that is more satisfying.
It has been a while but my revelation I just received reading the Judges 8-9 needs to be written down. I have highly valued ministry, the work of the Church and lately (the past 5-10 years) how I can apply myself in business to make a positive difference in the world. It fascinates and thrills me to think about what a successful business person could accomplish if they started a business based on God’s values/priorities. I want to start a scaleable business that invests in younger people and trains them to solve problems and start their own missional for profit businesses. The tear drop affect of something like this can change whole countries as has already been seen. Continue reading
You are who this is really to. You have always been there for me even when I knew so little about you. I don’t understand how I have missed for so long what now seems like it should have been the beginning of my relationship with you. I guess I knew it in some ways through experiencing you but I understood so little of what was happening… it was more like I was seeing glimpses of you through a fog instead of receiving a written invitation to a new you/me.
My First Beginning
I guess to understand where I am at now it is important to understand where I began the first time. I started Continue reading
I, like I assume most people do, normally read the “love chapter” 1 Corinthians 13 as an astoundingly impossible list of criteria that we are supposed to live like. The other day though, it occurred to me (thanks God 🙂 ) that the best way to read this chapter is to marvel at God’s love for me! God is love (1 John 4:8) after all. And when we marvel at who he is, the best part is that we become more like Him. So here you go. Enjoy my rephrased version of this chapter that God has written to you.
I love you. I just can’t help it. When you struggle and feel like you are taking forever to figure out how to live this life properly, I am just patient. I love to give you good gifts and will never shame you. I don’t wish you were anyone else and I already have everything I need. I don’t look down on you and critically compare you to myself. I know who I am and the limitations I gave you when I formed you. I know sometimes it is hard to believe but trust me when I say that I never have and never will do anything carelessly or just to hurt you. Know that I am not just wrapped up in my own thoughts. I am intimately aware of what is going on with you and care deeply about your needs and desires. When you sin against others or myself, I don’t get angry right away because I understand why you choose to sin. It always makes me sad because I love you but I know how much you need me and I only judge you based on what I have given you in life. I don’t see a list of things you have done wrong when I look at you. I choose to focus on the things you have done well and I am so happy when you succeed in righteousness. When everything feels like it is falling in on you know that I will always be with you protecting you and strengthening you. I always have faith in you. I will never stop hoping for you to choose me and to become the person that I created you to be. I will never give up on you even when everyone else has. I will be with you to the end. My love is never wasted because you are worth it even if you reject me until you die and I don’t get to see you again.
Your Father in Heaven
Thank you so much for creating me and loving me like you do. Please forgive me for the times I reject you and choose sin. It never satisfies for long (if at all) and I long to remain in the peace and joy that you want for me. Please guide me and hold me close as I try to find my way. I need you,