Tag - love

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When Love Wasn’t Loving
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Expecting Nothing in Return
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God Only Gave
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Book Review: Eight Twenty Eight
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Football & Marriage

When Love Wasn’t Loving

That’s not love. That thought has been on repeat in my head ever since we accepted our first foster placement 11 months ago. How do you explain love – true love – agape love – to a child who has mostly only experienced selfish “love.” I can barely even bring myself to say “selfish love” because, if it’s selfish, is it really love?

So, here we are, trying to teach a person how to love. It’s hard. Because love, much like C.S. Lewis continually teaches, is a choice, not a feeling. I’ve been fortunate, I’ve never had to fight very hard for love. Kevin and I have had a fun-filled marriage and drama-free dating relationship. I love him easily every day. In fact, my love for him has grown over the past year. But when the Lord adds a person to your house, even temporarily, love is a choice. I have to choose love even when told I’m hated. Because, as the refrain in my head goes, most of the love that was shown to her wasn’t loving.

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Expecting Nothing in Return

It was camping day at school and all the kids were supposed to bring a flashlight. Our kid didn’t have one so I let her borrow mine. At the bus stop, I took a moment to explain to her the importance of taking care of someone else’s stuff when you are borrowing it. That means you have to bring it back exactly as it is. You cannot throw it around or draw on it. It’s not yours. And if it gets broken or lost, you have to replace it.

I gave that little speech in part because the concept of borrowing is hard to understand when you’re six. You think, it’s in my hand’s so it must be mine. I also chose this moment to teach this lesson because, well, to be real honest, I really liked that flashlight. It’s the perfect size to fit in my purse. It’s a beautiful blue color and it has LED lights. I wanted it returned to me in good shape. I was happy to lend it out, as long as I could be assured that it would return unharmed.

This past Sunday, our middle school girl’s class had a lesson on the topic, “Love Your Enemies.” The passage came from Luke 6:27-36.

And I must admit – I felt a good eye roll coming on as I sighed and thought, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Love your enemies. Got it.” It was as if the Devil wanted me to shut my mind down before approaching Scripture. This passage is extremely familiar to me so I felt my mind drifting as I read along…

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God Only Gave

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Our six year old’s first memory verse for the Awana program at church was the first verse, to our knowledge, that she’s ever read.

For God so loved the world that He only gave His Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have an eternal life. John 3:16

That’s how she recited it to me for a week. It was so close to being accurate. Read it again if you just skimmed through it. What was her big mistake?

God only gave His Son! She had no idea why this placement of the word “only” changed the meaning so drastically. Because God didn’t just only give His Son. He gave His only Son!

The Lord of this universe sacrificed His dearly loved Son so that we would have a way back into a right relationship with Him! Now that’s love!

When I love, I don’t usually love perfectly. I love the way my child memorized the verse. I only give part of myself. I only do enough to be convincing some days. Rarely do I give up everything of myself.

Praise the Lord that His love shines brightly through the verse of John 3:16. It’s one that I am far too often tempted to skim over since I’m confident in my knowledge of it. But God used this moment last week to remind me that His word is still active and living. Even in a verse that I’ve known my entire life He is able to draw me closer to Himself.

Book Review: Eight Twenty Eight

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Our love could never be as perfect as His, of course, but as children of God we were able to receive love vertically from Him that we could learn how to extend to each other.

Ian and Larissa Murphy were not that different from my husband and me in college. They were young and in love with both God and each other. They were planning their future together when a car accident caused a severe brain injury to Ian. As Ian lie in the hospital bed, suddenly Larissa’s planning changed from their future marriage to the possible funeral of Ian.

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Football & Marriage

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(This article appeared in the most recent edition of the Baptist & Reflector)

Fall has arrived, bringing with it football on all levels. We’re an NFL household, fans of the Minnesota Vikings. As I write these words, I want you to get a snapshot of my day. I wore a purple Vikings scarf to work to celebrate the fact that we are driving to Nashville this evening to watch the Vikings play the Titans. I also packed a change of clothes for the game and had to decide which of my two Vikings jerseys to wear. On social media, I not only follow the team, but also the individual players. Put it all together and you get a pretty good idea of how much I enjoy the Vikings.

But that wasn’t always the case for me. I grew up in a sports-neutral family. To be embrassingly honest, football was that activity on the field I endured until halftime. That’s when the marching band took the field. I went to almost every game to watch my brother march for four years until it was finally my turn.

In college, I started to date Kevin (my husband). As dating got “serious,” I realized that football had the potential of igniting a lifetime’s supply of arguments because I could care less about grown men chasing after an oblong ball.

As we entered premarital counseling, we read all the standard passages and books, many based on Ephesians 5. I spent time with married women who complained when football season began. And I spent time with married women who loved the sport as much as their husbands. I decided I needed to be the latter in order to look forward to the fall season rather than dread it.

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