Wednesday, February 26, 2014

'Loves' of the Bible

Lately I have been thinking about my purpose here on Earth. Our purpose as Christians. As I have been reading my Bible one thing comes up over and over and over again! It's love. I truly believe that loving others is one of our main purposes here. It is how we can reach out to others. Everyone wants to be loved. And they deserve to be.

Going to youth group in high school, I remember my pastor talking about the different types of love in the Bible. This always perplexed me because in English we only have one word for love and thats... you guessed it... love haha:] But in the original Greek there are four different words for love! So this week I dived in and researched a little bit as to what these words mean and where they are found in the Bible! :]

Eros: Sensual love or physical love between a husband and a wife (erotic love)

                   This type of love is portrayed in the Bible but doesn't appear. It is mainly portrayed in Song of                         Solomon when the husband and wife are very attracted and affectionate toward one another.

Storge: Family love, bonds among mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers

                This type of love is also portrayed in the Bible especially in the relationships between Noah and his wife, Jacob and his sons, also with Mary and Martha toward their brother Lazarus.

Philia or Phileo: Close friendship or brotherly love; spontaneous or natural affection

               Found in the New Testament.

Romans 12:10 
                        "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves."

Agape: Selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love

                 This is the highest of the four loves. It is found in the new testament. Agape perfectly describes the kind of love Jesus has for his followers and for God. Sacrificing himself for us and God. It is the mentality that, "I will give, Requiring nothing in return."

Romans 5:6-8
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  

This is the greatest of the loves... Jesus sacrificing himself to save us. Agape. It even sounds beautiful. It is.
In our culture the word love is used very lightly. Its thrown here and there without even as much as a thought to what we are saying. I wish we had these different words used in the Greek language but we don't so the next best alternative is to think about and put meaning behind love. I don't want to just say the word anymore  I want it to mean what it is supposed to mean in each situation. And guess what ladies:] I have a phileo love for you! I love you and am praying for you the rest of this week!:]

Monday, February 24, 2014

let's just take a pause

So many things in my day to day life I think.. Will this really matter? I am mostly talking materialistic items, tangible, worldly things. Like, going to work during the week, doing my mundane tasks while there, cooking food (okay yes that matters for the sake of our health) but cooking food that is "pin worthy" or "instagram worthy", obsessing over a tidy house, social media, and really this list could go on.

I took a pause from writing blog posts because I kept waiting for God to speak to me throughout my quiet time during the weeks for a good blog post. But I kept hearing silence in that department.

Sometimes we just need to pause. Put life on hold.

Because those dirty dishes will still be there waiting for you another moment. 

Someone else's photo of their food is still going to be better than yours.

My newsfeed will still be there whenever it is necessary to check.

But people. They, we, will not always be here.

Putting love into the world to pour into people's souls. That's what matters. 

Those helpless souls out there in this world looking for an answer, feeling empty, not quite sure what's next. They need us. They need our Savior's love. And that love is shown through us.

Of course, I want my home to be clean welcoming in others for a meal. But when I spend 75% of my weekend cleaning & not pouring into the souls of my sweet children, that stuff can wait but my children cannot. They need me. Not a tidy house 24/7. Include them. Be with them. Just stop. 

Same with my husband. He needs me. I want to shower him with love too. But how can I do that with my phone in my hand attached to a world elsewhere & not inside the world of my home.

I always want to minister to people, but am very standoffish about it. But my biggest ministry is within my home. Pouring in the souls of whom God has placed in my life. 

Stop. Just take a pause

It'll be worth it.

Friday, February 21, 2014

He Will Sustain You

Happy Friday friends!

 I won't keep you long but just wanted to share a quick little bit of what's been on my mind with you.

Over the past two weeks I have walked through something very difficult for myself and my family, counseled a close loved one through some difficult emotions and found out just today that another dear and precious family member is struggling through something difficult as well.  There is one verse that has been ringing loud and clear in my head:

Psalm 55:22 
Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you.  
He will never let the righteous fall.

When I came across this in a study a few weeks ago I looked up the definition for the word Sustain.  I have a general knowledge of the meaning but I wanted to know more.  Here's what I found...

Sustain: To give support or relief to, to supply with necessities or nourishment,  to support the weight of, to bear up under, to encourage, to support the spirits.

Each of these has such profound meaning to me as I sit and take in the reality that my God does ALL of these things for me.  My big, powerful, capable, loving God!  I'm especially struck by this, "to bear up under."  I literally see the Lord scooping me up in His huge hands and holding me up when I am suffering.  Will you allow the Lord to sustain you through your difficult times?

Friday, February 14, 2014

True Love

Happy Friday! I've been waiting to share something
with you that speaks everything my heart feels!  Oh
how I wish that I had written this, but it's actually a
hymn that was written by a woman named Francis
Ridley Havergal, in 1873.  One night she had a dramatic 
experience which stirred her to complete surrender
to God and she wrote these words.  Soak them in...
does your heart long to give every part to Him?  It's
true love to be surrendered to your Creator and
longing to follow Him with every breath you take!

Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee.
Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice and let me sing, always only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be, filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine. it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne,

Take my love; my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only all for Thee,

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Jesus vs. Religion

Couldn't have said it better myself. Let the love of God shine through you because He is Light!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Believing God

I have started reading an amazing book by Beth Moore called, Believing God. At its core, Beth challenges us how not only to believe IN God, but to believe God. I never thought about the difference but the further I read, the more I realize my faith has a lot of growing to do. As I've wrote before, I deal with anxiety... the kind where I think a lot about the "what-ifs" of life; I have dwelt on the tiniest symptoms in my body and thought the worst things. I feel much more comfortable when I'm in control. I like to plan ahead and dislike when the plan changes. I fear when my life takes an unplanned turned.

But how does God feel when I take control of everything? What am I missing out on if I'm so focused on my plan instead of God's? Why is my faith in such a BIG God, so little? God has so many amazing plans for me in this life. Because He loves me and wants to see His will fulfilled in my life.

In this book I have been challenged in my faith. Oh, how I have misunderstood and underestimated my God. A God who loves, cherishes, and forgives me. A God who has an Earthly Promised Land that He wants me to reach. I want to share with you this book as I go along, so that maybe your faith might increase. So that you may believe God and take Him at His Word. Here are some of my favorite lines from Beth Moore's book that I have read and reread. Please ponder them in your heart.

"Beloved, God has made us promises. Real ones. Numerous ones. Promises of things like all-surpassing power, productivity, peace, and joy while still occupying these jars of clay. Few of us will argue the theory, but why aren't more of us living the reality?"

"God promised us a place of blessing. God's willingness and unwavering desire to bless His people is one of the most repetitive concepts in both testaments of His Word. He is the Giver of all good gifts and greatly exults when a child cooperates enough to receive some."

"Beloved, our personalized lands of earthly promise are places we're invited by God to dwell in Christ. It's high time we stopped dropping in and started taking up residency."

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Renewing Our Minds

This weeks Good Morning Girls Intentionally Focused study is centered around renewing the mind. There are two verses that have really encouraged me this week so far and I'd like to share them with you.

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters; whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.

I absolutely love these verses. In Romans, when it says, "Do not conform to the world's patterns" it means to not be part of the "normal", don't fall into sin because it is cool or the 'in' thing to do. It is so easy for us to conform to the world, sometimes not even realizing what it is doing to our own minds, others minds, as well as our relationship with Yahweh. It's so easy to have that guilty pleasure of watching 'that' TV show or reading 'those' books. I have a couple of things I know I should get rid of! But one of my favorite things about being a Christian and spreading the Word of God, is being different, being the change. I think this is one of the best ways to show others my love for Christ. I love when people around me notice I don't cuss, don't watch most of the popular TV shows these days, or listen to the latest and 'greatest' music. Then I get to explain to them why I do what I do, to honor and serve God. Ladies... people notice different... and different isn't a bad thing, especially when you are serving our Lord!

In the Philippians verse, Paul is telling us to program our minds with thoughts that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. In my Bibles commentary for this verse, it says "What we put into our minds determines what comes out in our words and actions". Wow that is powerful!! What is it you struggle with? Books, movies, internet, conversations, TV shows, Etc? I know I struggle with watching some TV shows I shouldn't be watching because it isn't the kind of thing God wants to equip my mind with but what about you? Let's purify our minds. Replace the harmful with wholesome. It may take practice, but it can be done!

Have a blessed rest of the week!<3

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I want more

The truth is I want more.

I want more of God.

I want more time in prayer.

More time reading the Bible.

More of God's voice in my ears.

More mustard seed faith.

More promptings of the Holy Spirit.

I want my heart to be more in tune to the things of God.

I want more of the spirit and less of my flesh.

I want to desire heaven things more than the world.

I want more of you God.

Simply, just more.

More time to myself.

More time to sit quietly and hear the voice of God.

More revelations.

Just more of you Jesus.

That's all I ask.

Monday, February 3, 2014

but I love my God. I will wait for Him.

I wrote a post a few weeks back about being in Bible Study with some elder ladies. The experience. Refreshing. Unbelievable.

The study is good. It's quite different than any other Beth Moore study I have ever done. I've enjoyed it, but it was sometimes difficult for me to really grasp what she was saying or how I am supposed to apply it to my life.

Then. I heard God. Loud. And. Clear. The last week of homework.

I sat at my desk crying out to the Lord. Literally. Tears running down my face because I am so overwhelmed. To the point of frustration. And when will it end?

Everyone gets to the point in their life, and multiple times, at least for me.. What is my niche? No, really God.. What is it? Show me. Plant me in it.

I love being a "homemaker". I love being a wife to such an incredible husband. And I love being a mother to such loving kids. And I love tending to things of my home. But I also like to get out of the house. Time to myself. So I always think I know I couldn't stay at home full time. But more time at home.

I've had this struggle before. 

But this time I am solely relying on God & His timing. Because of His unfailing love, I will trust in Him. 
I sit here now fighting back the tears of frustration. But I love my God. And I will wait for Him. 

But in the meantime, this is the hardest point. The point of breaking. That point of almost turning around & walking away from God's timing. Where you just want to go do it on your own.

But not this time.

Psalm 25:4-5 -- Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your Truth & teach me, for you are God my Savior, & my hope is in you all day long.

Back to the study. The revelation. The, I hear you loud & clear Lord.

Don't worry about your rooftop until you have spent time in the closet. -- Beth Moore, Sacred Secrets

Isaiah 45:3 -- I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

I realize that I need to HEAR Him through my little ears, soak it deep into my heart, meditate, dwell, love on His Truth. Trust Him. SECRETLY. With just Him & I.

And then, when He appoints my time shout it on my rooftop, I will.

If I prematurely shout it out what He has revealed to me in SECRET, what manifestation will really take place in my heart? Probably none. I won't retain His Word to me but just spit back out the information.

And what good does that do me? Will it set me up for failure? Will my relationship with Christ not grow deep & intimately?

Trust in the unfailing love of our God, Tiffany. Trust.

Hebrews 4:16 -- Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy & find grace to help us in our time of need.