Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fluffy Love Isn't Enough

What is love?  Romance, family closeness,  forever friendship?

What does it look like?  A soft sweet kiss, a lingering embrace?

What does it feel like?  A yummy warm sensation like melted chocolate?

I'm afraid that when we think love, we think a little too FLUFFY. 

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy fluffy love - snuggling on the sofa with my boys, kissing my husband in the firelight. Fluffy love is....well, lovely.

But fluffy love is not enough. And sometimes love doesn't feel lovely at all, (Click to Tweet)
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters..... let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:16,18

Love Gives - OUCH! This can be uncomfortable. The kind of love that changes the world makes huge sacrifices. I don't always want to love like that. I risk my easy existence and give up my cozy life to love like God loves. 

Love Acts - We say "I love..." such a broad spectrum of things. I love puppies. I love pizza. I love people too. But it's not enough to say love, especially when it comes to people. I'm not suggesting we stop expressing love with words or speech but we gotta back it up with ACTION! And follow through is hard. 

  • I can say I love my husband, but do I demonstrate that love by respecting him as a provider, caring  for our home and managing our resources well?
  • I tell my boys I love them, but am I willing to change my plans to sit and play Minecraft, or watch funny videos on Youtube, again?
  • Do I love my friend enough to show up at her house and deliver dinner when she is hurting?

Love Operates in Truth - Truth is not always pretty. Sometimes operating in truth means confronting a destructive habit. And that can feel really horrible. It's far from fluffy for the confront-er or the confronted. Regardless of how it feels, loving in truth always brings freedom.

Fluffy love is wonderful and I'm grateful for it. But hard, uncomfortable, truth-speaking love is what rescued me.  (Click to Tweet)

Have you experienced hard, strong love that didn't feel like love in the moment? How did it rescue you?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Coyote Wonder

I left my ipod at home thinking I would spend time praying and reflecting as I walked rather than listening to someone else's dialogue of words or song.

I was headed back home when I heard something in the grass over my shoulder. 
I looked.

I heard it again, the faint rustling of drying grass in need of rain. I turned and looked straight into the dark eyes of a coyote staring back at me. A furry four-legged stalker.

(Try not to panic.)

My heart skipped a beat and adrenaline carried me quickly across the street and around a fence into the safety of our subdivision.

All I can say is I'm glad my ears were open.
I'm glad I was in the moment, aware of my surroundings.

Its easy for me to get busy and just STAY busy. And the more I have going on, the less aware I am of what is happening right over my shoulder.  Click to Tweet

I need to unplug more often.

Unplug and really be aware. Because I certainly want to be aware of any lurking danger, but I also don't want to miss out on the wonder of the world around me.

So what do you think, was the coyote wonder or danger?
I'm undecided.

Question: Are you intentional about unplugging? Do you make time for reflection? How? Why?

Special Thank you Michael Bizeau for the perfect picture!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Teleportation, Potatoes and Doing Our Part

 Do you ever giggle when you read the Bible? Lately I've run across some stories that made me smile, like the one about the guys who had their beards shaven and their robes cut off in the middle at the buttocks. I'm sure that was humiliating for them, but my brain merged Duck Dynasty with the hospital gown scene from Something's Gotta Give and I couldn't help but laugh out loud.

I cracked up when I read Acts 12. Peter was in prison. Everyone was praying and much to their surprise God answered with an angelic visitation. Personally, I think angels like the fact that human beings freak out when they show up.  Verse 7 says the angel "struck" Peter on the side to wake him. Boom! What a rude awakening. I had to laugh when I compared that to how I wake up our boys in the morning. Had it been me, I would have tip toed in, gently tapped Peter on the shoulder and whispered, "Good morning Sweetie, I'm here to rescue you."

What fascinates me about this story is that in spite of obvious supernatural intervention the angel doesn't teleport Peter to freedom. Beam me up Scottie! The angel doesn't wave a magic wand, sing a Cinderella song and suddenly Peter is clothed. The angel doesn't throw Peter over his shoulder and carry him out of prison like a sack of potatoes, although I’m sure he could have. 

No, there was action required of Peter in his release from bondage.

Peter had to get up, put on his clothes and shoes, wrap up in his cloak and walk.   

Peter had to DO something!

Nothing the angel asked Peter to do was very difficult. "Get up, put your sandals on and follow me." No problem. Totally within reason.

Sometimes I sit around on my fully-covered buttocks wondering when my life will change. Wishing things would be better. But I've learned that if I want freedom from the things that hold me back, I have to DO something! (Click to Tweet)

I do what is within my power to do and trust God to do what only he can. It's an amazing partnership, with God doing the heavy lifting.

Do your part! Get up, put your shoes on and simply take one step forward today.