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Posts Tagged ‘Love’


Because it’s been such a strange weather season in the Sierra Foothills where I live, the plants have had a difficult time knowing when to come out, but the weeds don’t seem to have that trouble at all. They are everywhere.

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Around my little cottage, A.K.A. my little shoebox, is a large area that I have to weed whack twice a year. Once when everything starts growing in the spring, then once just before summer when everything has turned a golden brown.

Usually this isn’t an issue. I just do the front yard in one day, and the back yard the next. Then a few weeks later, I do it all again. But, this year, I look at the whole expanse that needs to be done, and it just makes me tired.

I realized this after I dropped my son off at school and pulled the truck in the back of the house. The weeds – that look a little like wheat quite frankly, so they’re not unattractive, just tall – where way taller than they should be. As I sat scanning the yard, looking at them and how tall they are, I realized that I had only done one quadrant of one days work about two weeks ago.

That’s about 1/8 of the acre that needs to be done. In short, not a lot.

It felt like a heavy weight slowly oozed through me as I sat there trying to figure out when I would be able to squeeze in the time to get out the weed whacker and actually tackle them. Then it sunk in that not only did I not have time for another two weeks, but, I was just too tired to do it.

Sometime that’s just what happens in our live isn’t it? We have a task that we know needs to be done, something we’ve done without an issue for years, when all of a sudden it’s just overwhelming. We realize for whatever reason, we just are too tired to tackle it. Then on top of that comes the sense we’ve got such a long way to go to get it done, that doing it seems like an impossibility.

We can get to that spot in a lot of different ways, maybe your workload has become heavier, or there’s been a change in your lifestyle, or your child is transitioning to another level of life, or your parents are. No matter what the change may be, when added to the current load of life, it all of a sudden becomes more than we can handle.

It’s kind of like the old story about the straw that broke the camels back.

But, as children of the Great I Am, we are not called to handle these things on our own. He makes all things possible as we look at Him, not at our current impossibility. He will make a way for us, we just need to trust Him to do it. And, He’ll help us with that too.

“I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?”

Jeremiah 32:27

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The other day, I looked around during one of the many storms that roll across our neck of the woods and realized that our cat was nowhere to be seen. Now, this wouldn’t seem too unusual except that he usually makes sure he is very much near one of his people all the time, which many times literally mean underfoot.

Safe icon

What does safety look like to you?

I scanned the house for him, which took all of one minute because we live in a little shoebox of a cottage. Since the house is small, and he is large, I thought I’d be able to see him with no problem.

He is an indoor cat, and even though he’d be okay outside, we live near a very busy road, so whenever it happens that I can’t see him I wonder if he’s gotten out. But, this particular time, I knew he hadn’t.

So, I looked around the house again. And, again, he was nowhere to be seen.

Finally I asked my son, “Have you seen George?”

My son looked up from his book at me, then did a quick scan of the house and not seeing his cat anywhere nearby replied, “I don’t know, maybe he’s in his safe spot.”

George’s safe spot. I didn’t even think to look for him there.

So, I went over to my desk and bending down saw that he was under it, lying full-length, which is almost 3-feet tip to tail, where the back of the desk meets the wall. The spot is his favorite place to be when there’s too much rain, wind, thunder or lightning outside because it gives him a lot of shelter, but, also allows him to stretch out and be comfortable.

After I sat down, I started thinking how each of us needs a safe spot too. For many of us, it’s our home where we feel loved and accepted no matter what. But for some people it’s not their home, but someplace else where they feel safe. Either way, it seems to be our very nature to seek out and find that place where we feel safe and protected and able to just be comfortable in who we are.

And, that’s what the Lord provides for us in every situation, whether we are in a storm or in the calm. A place with Him where we are loved, cared for and accepted. So much so, that after a while we realize that without Him we can have none of those things in their totality. It is only with Him that we can experience that safe place that only He can provide because He is truly the only safe spot there is.

“LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.”

Psalm 16:5

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Do you ever think about the words used by different generations? Sometimes I do.

Blocks

What words roll around your mind when you think about God?
(Photo by Inga Munster Cotton)

Words, words, words, words

There are times when my mind takes flight over the undulating terrain of words throughout time. This is usually when I probably should be writing something for work. And, although the argument can be made that sitting and thinking about words is part of my creative process, in reality it probably has nothing to do with it, but should have a lot to do with it.

Either way, whether those words end up in my stories or not, my mind flies over to them,  before wandering over them slowly. What they sound like. What they look like. What they mean. Who says them. And a whole lot more.

I turn them over in my mind, and they’re  like those little wooden blocks that children make towers to tomorrow out of before they all come crashing down around them, causing squeals of laughter, or tears of frustration and remorse. I guess you can say that I love words, and none so much as the common.

What is fierce?

Today the word ‘fierce’ came to mind. As I turned it over and over, looking for its equivalent in today’s world, ‘sick’ came to mind, along with its predecessors, ‘cool’ and ‘awesome’, along with the almost unforgettable qualifier ‘totally’.

‘Totally fierce’ tumbled around my mind for a while, and with its implications of total abandon, protection and uninhibited passion behind it, I found I really liked the sound of it.

Is fierce bad, or good?

Fierce is an interesting word because it can be either positive or negative, depending on what side of the fence you are standing. I would think most people would look at it in its most basic definition of  being, “Extremely severe or violent; terrible” which sounds pretty bad, but it is also defined as, “Extremely intense or ardent” ( both definitions come from the free dictionary.

No gray area with God

So, I got to thinking that this is exactly how God is. Depending on where you stand with Him, He is either the first or second definition. He’s definitely not anywhere in between. There is no gray area with God. He either seems fierce or extremely severe and terrible if you aren’t in relationship with Him through Jesus/Yeshua, or He is fierce about how He feels for you as someone who knows Him through Jesus/Yeshua.

The fierce I AM

It is very clear throughout scripture that the great I Am is fierce. He isn’t some wishy-washy god who changes on a dime to accommodate some vision of what some man thinks He should be. He is who He is and He cannot be anything else. He is fiercely who He is, which can be a little frightening at times because we don’t ever encounter that with anyone but Him.

The intensity with which He feels, and the lengths He is willing to go to get through to us can be frightening. Then when we are in relationship with Him through His efforts, not our own, the ardent and passionate way He loves us can be frightening in its ferocity.

God is fiercely in love with you

At the end of the day, no matter how you slice it, when you really realize that you are in relationship with the fierce One who created it all, including you, and that He is fiercely in love with you. There is no way to respond with anything but amazement, awe, and yes, sometimes even a little bit of fierceness ourselves.

“neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:39

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English: Old Cottage

Image via Wikipedia

The other day I wanted to ask my almost 12-year old son a question.

Instead of just doing the thing that the experts tell you that you should do, which would be to try to find him and look at him full in the face in order to communicate with him more effectively, I did what most parents do. I yelled my question from where I was in the office to wherever he was in the house thinking he would hear me.

“Here I am,” yelled my son from the other room after I’d called him for the umpteenth millionth time. In exasperation after there was no response to my question, I needed to know if he was even within earshot. I needed to know if he was there. So, I said, very loudly mind you, “Where are you?”

Now I don’t want to give you the wrong idea that we live in a large house where it is easy to not hear someone. No, my son and I live in a two bedroom, two bath home that is very small. In fact, I often refer to it affectionately as my little shoebox. So, the fact that I had to find out where he was in it was somewhat comical considering I usually know where my cat is at all times.

But my son, he’s a different story altogether. He’s always moving around, seemingly never in the same place for more than a second or two. In my mind, he never seems close by at all, but whenever he yells back “Here I am”(this little scenario happens more frequently than I would like to admit) inevitably he is much closer than I ever expect. Usually just around the corner.

Isn’t this usually how it feels with God? He always seems like He’s moving around, and fast too, like we just can’t get a grip on where He is only to find that He’s been right in the mix, next to us the whole time saying “Here I Am”.

“Therefore My people will know My name; therefore they will know on that day that I am He who says: Here I am.”     Isaiah 52:6

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The eyes are the window to the soul. Most of us have heard this commonly used phrase at least once in our lives, maybe even twice.

But, do we ever really stop to think about what it means? I’m sure none of us would give the exact same answer to the question of ‘what does this statement mean?’. Yet, we would hit pretty close to the same mark that the eyes of a being reveal a lot about what goes on in the soul.

When we look into the eyes of another person, what do we see?

Those with kind, gentle eyes are few and far between, while those with eyes filled with sadness, anger, bitterness and even deadness are far more common.

No matter what your observational skills are, whether you notice a lot about another or just a little, chances are you have taken note of the times that you looked into another persons eyes and saw kindness, gentleness and love because the experience is so uncommon.

Yet, this is what I think of whenever I picture Jesus/Yeshua Himself.

When He walked among us, I imagine from the biblical accounts of Him, that He had with eyes full of love, kindness, gentleness and compassion, even in the face of the great pain, fear, hatred and confusion in the eyes and hearts of those who were around Him.

His eyes were so full of His great love for people that some of those same people couldn’t help but stop, take notice and respond. And, eventually after spending time with Him, it seems their eyes were changed, becoming more like His, seeing things He saw in the way He saw them.

Scripture tell us that God made us in His image, it also tells us that God breathed His own spirit of life into Adam and Eve. This is the same spirit He breaths into us when we come into relationship with Him through the redemptive sacrifice He made for us. The same life and love that He gives us that should be visible to others through our eyes.

Yet, what do you see when you look into another person’s eyes? Or, even your own in an unguarded moment? Do your eyes show others that you are a child of God who has spent time with Him in the light and love of His gaze?

“My son, give me your heart; And let your eyes keep in my ways.” Proverbs 23:26

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With the holidays hurtling towards us at breakneck speed, I have been thinking quite a bit about focus, about what our focus is and in the process rereading a piece by A. W. Tozer titled, “The Gaze of the Soul” found in his book, “The Pursuit of God”.

In light of these thoughts about focus and our oftentimes random, unfocused way of being – I am constantly amazed at how easily we allow ourselves to be dragged hilly-milly here and there – I am resharing my own thoughts on focus from a long ago written piece.

—————

Focus.

When I first had my son, I remember one bit of parenting advice among many. I don’t even know where it came from, but, it went something like this, what you focus on when parenting is what kind of parent you will become.

At the time, I took it to mean that if I focused on the things that I didn’t like about my own parents parenting then I would repeat those same things. And, if I focused on the things I thought were good about their parenting, along with those things that I thought were important about being a parent, then I would be able to work towards the goal of what I thought a decent parent was.

Focus.

In time, the idea took on a mind of its own to me. I realized that what I focused on is what I became, even if I didn’t like the focus. If my focus was uncontrolled, and, I didn’t make sure my focus was on what I respected or held dear, then I inadvertently walked in a direction that I neither liked nor felt comfortable in because those paths weren’t what I wanted. But, because my focus was not controlled, that was where I went.

We all have this focus problem that ultimately translates into a behavior problem. Even Paul himself wrote the things he wanted to do, he didn’t and the things he didn’t want to do, he did. It’s all about focus. Our hearts may be in the right place, but, if our focus is off, we have a problem.

Focus.

God is very clear about where our focus should be. On Him. All the time. Without ceasing. This isn’t for His good, (after all He is whole in who He is, He doesn’t need us to focus on Him) it is for our good, because He knows how we are. Where our focus is, there we shall merrily go, until we find out we’ve actually gone too far, don’t know where we are and in our wanderings have lost our focus. Again.

“Sh’ma Yis’ra’eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad. V’ahav’ta eit Adonai Elohekha b’khol l’vav’kha uv’khol naf’sh’kha uv’khol m’odekha.”

“Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might,”

Deuteronomy 6:4-5

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Tachyon visualization. Since that object moves...

Image via Wikipedia

Have you seen the news lately? Not the economic news, or even the sports news, but the back of the paper news. Lately it’s been getting really wild. I don’t think I remember a time when so much of the strange, the bizarre and possibly the true just keeps popping up.

There was the excitement of finding a planet that orbited two suns very similar to that of the planet Tatooine, the home of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. A news story that was eerily like fact following fiction, except the fact was in existence long before the movie had come out, we just hadn’t seen the reality of it yet.

Then there’s been the discovery of what might be evidence in the dry desert of the state of Nevada that a Kraken, the stuff of deep-sea legends, may actually have existed.

Yeti hunters in Siberia now claim to have undeniable proof that the creature known by its more common name of the Abominable Snowman may actually exist. And, by extension all the other big creature known by that name around the world, like Sasquatch and Bigfoot, exist too. Can you imagine the crazy reactions of people if they actually caught one of these mythical creatures? I’m sure my good friend’s husband would be ecstatic. But, it would make everyone question what they thought was real.

The questioning of what is real is really rocked by the discovery that neutrino’s can travel faster than light. Let me say that again, it looks to be the case that neutrino’s can travel faster than light ( and, I’m not even getting into tachyons). According to Einstein’s theory, nothing can travel faster than light, which, it seems, a lot of our modern ideas about physics and cosmology pretty much are hinged on according to some commentators.

I’m no expert in these fields, so in this arena of physics and cosmology take what I say with a grain of salt. The only experience I’ve had with neutrino’s is limited to say the least, primarily revolving around the Jimmy Neutron show on Nickelodeon which has shown these intense and crazy little neutrino guys going around creating all sorts of trouble, including making whole cities disappear and more.

Come to think of it, if what scientist are saying is true about them traveling faster than the speed of light, they would be doing pretty much the same thing that they did in Jimmy Neutron, behaving badly, causing trouble and upsetting the norm.

But, it was a comment by one columnist in particular that really caught my attention about this possible dynamic shift in the way we see the universe that these pesky little neutrino’s may have unintentionally caused, he said we would all have to eventually change our theologies.

Change our theologies?

Now, I’m not sure whose theologies he’s referring to, it was an offhand sentence thrown into the column as a whole, but to my mind this discovery doesn’t change the theology of  Judeo-Christian’s that is contained in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible one whit. That ‘theology’ points to the great I Am as not only being the creator of the Universe and savior of mankind, again these thoughts are included in both the Old and New Testaments, but points to the fact that His ways are so far above ours that we don’t even understand a fragment of how it all works.

Human minds can’t understand even a thin slice of how it all works as we are discovering everyday, and this not only relates to the how the Universe works, but also how salvation works too. Because what god would come down and take the form of a human so men could be reconciled to Him? All because of love. What kind of god does that?

The answer is simple, I Am.

“Moses said, “What’s going on here? I can’t believe this! Amazing! Why doesn’t the bush burn up?”…God said to Moses, “I-AM-WHO-I-AM. Tell the People of Israel, ‘I-AM sent me to you.””

Exodus 3:3 & 14

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