Showing posts with the label intimacy

Am I consistent enough?

  Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust. (2 Peter 1:4) Sometimes we aren't sure we are doing everything that will make a difference, so that we are living in such a way that our lives truly please God. We want to live consistently in a manner that allows God to be seen through us to a hurting and searching world, but we aren't sure we are 'consistent enough'. Let me assure you of this - if you are walking with Jesus in a genuine manner - heart, mind, will and soul committed to serving him - you are 'consistent enough'. We don't always hit the mark we are aiming at, but we are taking steps in the right direction (at least generally).

Time to get up

The feelings I get when I see the high mountain ranges—stirrings of desire, longings for the heights—remind me of you, and I’m spoiled for anyone else! Your beauty, within and without, is absolute, dear lover, close companion. (Song of Solomon 7:5-6) If you have ever been "in love", you might just understand this intense longing just to enjoy the "presence" of the one you love so dearly. When separation occurs - whether by choice or because of something out of your control - the longing builds. What many describe as "stirrings" for the presence of their loved one is really similar to how God feels about each of us - longing to just hold us close, gently stroking our backs with the tenderness of his hand, and then encompassing us with the warmth and protection of his full presence. How long has it been since you have experienced the "stirrings" in your heart for the presence of your "first love" - God himself? It could be we need to &

Easing on down the path

Awe:  an overwhelming feeling of reverence produced by that which is all powerful.  Some may stand in fear of such a powerful force in their midst, but how about you?  Do you stand in fear or reverence of the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-caring God of the universe?  Does he produce dread, or admiration?  Do you stand before him in fright, or wonder? I imagine there are those who worship at his feet in wonder and astonished honor who sometimes "dread" something bad will happen in their lives - not because they fear that "bad" thing coming from him, but just because we live in a fallen world.  ONLY those who stand in awe of the Eternal God will have intimacy with him - absolutely no one will get to know him on the deepest of levels without approaching him with the wonder and awe he so rightfully deserves. ONLY those who stand in awe of the Eternal will have intimacy with Him,  and He will reveal His covenant to them. PERPETUALLY my focus takes me to the Eternal

More than another study

We sometimes desire wisdom, but then we don't always know where to find it. We search for it in the weirdest places.  I have known some folks who go to this "seer of truth" or that "psychic" in order to get "wisdom" for some big decisions they are about to make.  Others use a "so what do you think" kind of query among their group of friends to see what the majority consensus might come out to be and then they act upon it.  Still others consult "spiritual guides" of some sort or another, all the while believing these individual possess even greater wisdom than they have access to themselves.  Either way, these methods of making wise decisions are just not going to quite cut it.  Wisdom comes from one source - truth.  There is but one source of truth - God himself. If this is the case, then every other method of seeking truth or wisdom is going to fall way short of whatever God has in mind for our lives. Lord, your rules are wond

You in his "circle of friends"?

If you have ever been accused of being a "looky loo" then you know what this term means.  In essence, a "looky loo" is one who is hanging around just because of the curiosity a particular event or happening sparks.  They are casual "browsers" in stores, and those who strain to gawk at the accident on the freeway.  I think there might even be a type of looky loo in Christian circles, as well!  Like those who come to church for the excitement of the moment, but who have very little to do with Jesus any other day of the week. In essence, their curiosity drives them, but their curiosity doesn't commit them!  This is the case one day when a huge crowd had gathered to hear Jesus speak - listening late into the day to his teachings.  At the dinner hour, there is but a meager helping of bread and fish to feed the vast crowd and no monies to buy more.  Here we find the miracle of the loaves and fishes - enough to feed the crowds from the meager offering of a y

Fire stoked?

If you have ever been "in love", you might just understand the longing for the "presence" of the one you love so dearly.  When separation occurs - whether by choice or because of something out of your control - the longing builds. Today, with so many men and women deployed into our battlefields, families are experiencing the tremendous loss of the presence of their loved ones. There is this anticipation of return which stirs the heart and keeps the embers of love alive within, but because of the uncertainty of their safety, there is also the fear that their loved one may not return at all.  What many describe as "stirrings" for the presence of their loved one is really similar to how God feels about each of us - longing to just hold us close, gently stroking our backs with the tenderness of his hand, and then encompassing us with the warmth and protection of his full presence.  How long has it been since you have experienced the "stirrings" in y

About or From - You Choose

There is a vast difference between learning "about" something or someone and learning "from" that object or person.  When we learn "about" someone, we are learning things that are closely associated with that individual, but we are not necessarily learning what makes that person "tick".  When we get to learn "from" them, we get to know the "original" and nothing is quite the same as getting to know the "original".  Anything less just doesn't quite reach the same level of experience.  The thing which makes "about" and "from" very distinct as it comes to our relationship with Christ is the danger of never drawing close enough to recognize the real thing when we see it.  As long as we are just learning "about" Christ, we get familiar with some of the nuances of his character, but we don't sense the action of that character within us. When we are learning "from" Christ, it

Hidden Treasures

If you have ever found hidden treasure, you know exactly how it feels!  At one of my Grandson's birthdays, the theme was pirates.  They have a large area of sand in the backyard, so it made sense for them to "hunt for gold" in that area.  My daughter painted everyday pebbles a brilliant gold color and cleverly scattered them just barely beneath the surface.  As the activity was introduced, the kiddos did not know what they were digging for, but they were so jazzed when they found their first "chunk" of gold!  Before long, everyone of them was digging furiously to find their own "claim" of gold.  Why?  What was once hidden was no longer - that which was exposed became a thing of interest to many!  Now, this was make believe, but in real life, I wonder how many times God cleverly places something of great worth just beneath the surface in our lives, begging for exposure and promising great delight when it is finally out in the open?  Maybe more than we t

Spend a little time today....

God desires intimacy.  In fact, love demands this kind of relating.  It cannot grow without depth of commitment and the willingness to be truthfully "naked" before one another in a spiritual and emotional sense.  We don't need to remove our clothes to "get naked" with each other - we just need to remove our masks.  Intimacy implies a certain familiarity with each other.  It comes out of frequent exposure to each other - to the real you and the real me.  It is the revealing of who we are, how we act, and what we like/dislike. It involves how we move and what moves us.  In essence, until we reach this kind of depth in relationship with one another, we cannot truly be in a place of accountability with one another - and heaven knows, we need this type of accountability if we are to plant and harvest well! Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.     Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harve

And the will reads....

In Christ's family, there is no room for division - we just cannot set one group or person up against another.  No room for slave or free - but for both.  No room for male or female - but for both.  No room for Jew or Gentile - but for both.  All are equal in Christ - all are in common relationship WITH Jesus. None of us gets into relationship WITH Christ by any unique means, nor are we held closer to his heart by anything we can claim as our "right" or "position".  I like how scripture describes it - as long as the heir (that is us) is a minor, there is no advantage he or she possesses over the slave in the household.  Legally, the minor may "own" the inheritance, but he or she still has to come of age in order to inherit it.  In the meantime, there is this "maturation" process which occurs under the tutelage of an appointed tutor and administrator of the inheritance. The purpose of the tutor or the administrator is to guide, direct and dete

Affecting or Infecting?

If you have ever struggled with a little negativity in your own life - such as just not being able to see the forest for the trees - you probably will get what I am going to talk about today.  Life choices are based on what we evaluate to be either "negative" or "positive" for our lives.  We try to avoid the negative and move toward what we consider to be positive.  The time it takes to avoid one and move toward another is really what gives us the most problems, isn't it?  One of the things we have to keep in mind is the "ease" at which the negative stuff comes into our lives.  It is like this ever-present gift that just keeps on giving!  On the other hand, the positive stuff takes a little longer, might seem a little hard to get our hands around, and sometimes even seems to evade us! Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not

New and Near - you in?

Most of the time, we glance over words as we read text - mostly because our brains are good about picking them up, interpreting them quickly and then moving us onto the next ones.  We don't have to read each individual word to get the "gist" of what is often being said, but we may miss out on something if we don't!  This is why I insist on taking scripture "in context", rather than pulling out a verse or two and hanging my hat on it.  The "context" gives us the substance we'd otherwise just "glance over".  In the 5th chapter of the Second Letter to the Corinthian church, Paul lays out the basis of hope in Christ Jesus.  He begins the chapter with a discussion about a particular hope we all have: resurrection.  In fact, he goes so far as to proclaim we get new bodies!  I don't know about you, but having one free of aches and pains seems pretty awesome to me!  Then he reminds us we don't get to "see" this "transit

Crying out?

Parents today have some neat things we did not have "back in the day".  There are all these new electronic gadgets (something near and dear to my heart) to help you with "taking care of baby".  When I first heard of the "baby monitor" - the little device with a monitor at the baby's bedside and a portable receiver you could carry around with you from room to room while baby slept, I thought this was the greatest idea!  Do you remember the days when you had to avoid doing a little yard work, or perhaps not even sit out on the patio for a little fresh air when they napped, afraid you'd not hear them when they awoke?  This device makes sense. Another device which has come out is the "middle ear thermometer" - the best device since bread was bagged for purchase on the store shelves!  Ever try getting baby to lie still long enough to get a "read" on the old rectal glass thermometer?  If you have, you will echo my sentiments about t

Who you gonna open up to?

I have had only a few relationships in life where I would hold nothing back - sharing from my heart, opening up freely, knowing those individuals would not pick me apart because of some of the things I struggle with.  It is a rare find to find one so trustworthy.  You know, I didn't start out with these kind of friends, though.  It took a long time to find these most trusted individuals!  Yet, in the places where I had no one in the "natural" sense to open up to, I always had God.  I think this is where I first learned the value of having someone I could open up to!  Trusting him first with my life's secrets and struggles was the secret to me finding those whom he placed in my path who would become some of my greatest allies, toughest "critics", and most loving companions in this journey. Open up before  God , keep nothing back;  he’ll do whatever needs to be done:   He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day  and stamp you with approval at high no