If there's anything in life about which we typically love to lament, it's when we find that someone loves us, but not for the entirety of who we are ---our strengths and weaknesses, our quirks, and our flaws. It's when the idea of you, or me, stirs interest, excites, and draws someone close for a moment, but as the relationship grows in intimacy, "who you turned out to be," isn't exactly who they had in mind. That maybe, who you are - or have been all along - is now a bit off-putting. The relationship stalls. It ceases to grow... or maybe it ends. I see posts about it all the time. Only because I think He wants to be loved for more than the obvious. I think He wants to be adored for more reasons than because He first loved us. I think He wants us to embrace more than His sufficient, irrational grace -- extend our gratitude for more than His provision and protection. I think He wants us to live in awe of so much more than His inexplicable mercies. I think He wants to be sought out for more than His timing when it comes to our dreams and His orchestration. I believe He wants to be loved for His core.
"Love Me for my Holy..."
Because He loves us SO much, and would love to be LOVED wholly, in return.
And there's so much room for us to acknowledge the more.. His otherness. His GOODness. His GOD - ness. His being set apart. His DIFFERENCE from all things created. His... creation of ALL things. His wisdom, and knowledge. His way... Do we love Him for His HOLY? And how about, for instance, the very thing that makes Him God - and us, in need of a Savior..? His Righteousness. .... Literally... His being RIGHT, all the time.
I'm afraid far too often we get stuck at loving Him for His love... we stop there.Yes, love drove Christ to the cross and love kept Him there...but it was His holiness that made the cross worth the suffering and sacrifice. It was His holiness that qualified Him to pay the price. How could He be God if not for His ability to do what we couldn't? ...If not for His ability to conquer and have victory over sin without ever even having to be delivered?
Without His HOLINESS, His death would have accomplished nothing at all.
Without His Righteousness, our lives would be a mess.
It's His holiness that compels me to love Him for more than His love.
We MUST love His Holy. We NEED His Holy.
If He is indeed our Father, we cannot just love "the idea of Him," choosing which parts of who He is we'd like to acknowledge today and appreciate tomorrow. I don't want to live life having occasional run-ins with His way. I don't want His characteristics to be an afterthought when I consider how I treat other people. I don't want to LOVE the concept of having a home in heaven, but lack the maturity and commitment to be His where it counts -- right here, right now in all of life's inconsistencies and moments of stretching. It's so easy to over-esteem what the world values - to, over-calculate the worth of what it looks like to have it all together without actually having the whole of who we are, settled in Him. This, I know. It's so easy to want to be called and chosen, forgiven, conquering, overcoming, and victorious...to want all of His benefits and none of His discipline. This, I know. It's so easy, to miss the mark clinging to every other convenient, accommodating characteristic of our Father. And so easy, still, to lose our souls, chasing the wind --- chasing the carnal, chasing non-factors. PROVEN. In my life. I know what it's like to have a hard time embracing holiness. We all do - we're human. Everyday we drop the ball somehow, but I must ask the question...
...Is it easy to be like Him..to be like my Father?"Love Me for My Holy," He says. "And whatever you love about me, you'll inevitably imitate."
HOLY is exactly what we'll cherish if we ever want to look like our Father..
..if we ever want to enjoy the life He intended us to live.It's understanding God's ever-present.. everywhere, and would love to play a huge part in our decision making.
I'm convinced - that the more we love His holiness, and the more we open our lives to His way, the more room we give to every flower that could blossom in the garden of His perfect will.
And please know ... I don't speak as my own best example of holiness -- that's for sure. But I am a daughter - who's learning daily, and still, re-learning... to love God for all of who He is. Not just what's easy to celebrate; not just what's easy to imitate.
I have learned to cherish what challenges and changes me.It's this heightened awareness of His Holiness, our necessary, that can only work to our benefit. It's our intentional attention to His nature that will show us our depravity. It calls us higher... It calls us closer... I think we'll fear it less, if we love it more.
Are you going to land atop the mountain of perfection within the next 24 hours? Probably not... Have I? Nope. But, you will look more like your Father.. sooner than later:) My prayer is that the posture of our hearts be fixed on loving God for His HOLY. We love Him for His love. We love Him for His grace. Let's love something else. Let's love it more.
And oh, there's so much beauty in His holiness...
*** "Worship the LORD in the beauty of His holiness; tremble before him, all the earth." Psalm 96:9 "Walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you unto His own kingdom and glory"
1 Thessalonians 2:12 "Search me, Oh God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts, and see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" Psalm 139: 23
"For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’"
This sign and his hat.. wore. me. out!
Turns out my day was packed with many surprises way more beautiful than what I had planned...We went to the movies and LAUGHED, we went for a facial and massages, then we had Sushi for lunch & Tex-Mex for dinner - 2 of my favorites! They even scheduled a nap that I failed to take but at least they knew that I love naptime!!
I'm a planner by nature and profession, so let's just say that I was IMPRESSED:) Let's also say that right down to the last moments of the day, I'd already experienced so much more of what I would have wanted for myself, but had neither the capacity or thoughtfulness for myself to get it all done!
Isn't that like God though?
As soon as He "cancels" or "postpones" our plans we get shaky and think, "Why is He ruining my plans? Howww is this supposed to work out now?" Meanwhile, He just threw in a remix and upgraded OUR plans to more than what we could have imagined, more than what we could have figured out or properly executed on our own..
THAT was my day. My day - could preach, but I won't! ; ) All I had to do was follow instructions, trust my sisters and "my driver" to take me where I would have needed to go to enjoy my birthday (or in the "GOD scheme of things," LIFE!).
I had to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. I also had to take orders, but that's okay. All things work together. This birthday was for the books:) I laughed until I cried. And now I have to figure out how to make their birthdays even more awesome in the years to come!
..If my yesterday... was any indication of my year to come, then I will continue to trust and take orders.
My birthday served a great reminder... God's plans are better than mine.
"Now to Him who is able to do (exceedingly and) FAR more abundantly than all that we [can] ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory... in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
Valentine's Day is experienced in so many ways. There are couples who go out of their way to celebrate and others who do not. There are singles who make the day about self-pampering, singles who take heart and love on their relatives, singles who insist the day bares no significance, and singles that go into hiding, admitting it brings pain. Some people are new to the grief that the day could bring because of death, divorce, or breakup. Some others find it to be a joyous occasion because they've recently embarked upon a new season of love, engagement, or marriage.
Whatever the situation, I spoke to a friend who spoke to an ex-boyfriend.. . She said he still loved her & he missed her -- but he's newly engaged, to someone else.
There are battles that belong to the Lord... future victories, and then blessings that add NO sorrow, more victories.. There are seasons of ease and effortless flow -- and then, seasons where nothing comes easy.
But my eyes are watching God..
It was just 2 weeks ago when our church and first family experienced this huge blow to our hearts. We lost one of the most passionate, quick witted, fast-talking, hilarious, resourceful, wise, inspiring, hardworking, genuine, down to earth, LOVING, inclusive, unselfish persons that you'd ever want to meet. He was life, charisma, laughter and joy all packed into one man. I can assure you that wherever he was, there were smiles... often, a result of his antics or - encouraging words.
I called him Uncle Swann Swann... We weren't related.
I love this season.. never liked it too hot or too cold so FALL and SPRING have always been my first loves. Yesterday, marked the start of warm apple cider and hot chocolate with whipped cream, baked ham, sweet potatoes, greens and cornbread, layers of warm clothing, scarves and high boots.. this is my kind of life, anything that suggests cozy living..
What relief is it to us that seasons change on their own.. no human effort required; that every 3 months or so the sky knows what to do with its rain, the wind, determines either to settle down or throw itself around, the air, is either packed with hot moisture or chill, and we... deal with it : ).. Whether you're a summer person or winter lover, it seems like we're all waiting for our preferred living conditions to arrive... we're all waiting for change to come...
The wholeee summer flew by.
I literally don't know where it went.
One minute I'm sleeping over a friend's house, then maybe I was singing somewhere, then there was church, a few family get togethers, cookouts, a wedding, and what happens...?
I'm driving to work one day and it occurs to me --
"I haven't stepped foot near one, large, body of water.."
(...and my tub, doesn't count)
... for every time You didn't give me what I asked for..
... for every prayer you "didn't answer.."
... for every replacement, every removal -
... for every clear path, out of the rubble...