Too Good to Be True?

Are you in a relationship in which you feel like you’re on a roller coaster or a merry-go-round that you can’t figure how to get off of? Is your boyfriend, fiancé, husband super sweet one moment and then moody and accusatory the next? Is there passionate lovemaking one night and explosive arguments the next day? Are there little red flags going off here and there that you’ve been choosing to ignore? Does he call his ex-girlfriends or wives crazy, manipulative lunatics? Does he play the victim in past relationships? Maybe he says he just hasn’t found the right one until he found you. Fate has brought you together. Maybe. But still, something’s off, something’s not quite right. Perhaps he’s an addict…drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex…you’re not sure if he is. Is that the problem? The underlying problem to many, if not all, addictions is a personality disorder. Maybe that’s it. There are different kinds of personality disorders and many different things to become addicted to. So, there are many combinations that can potentially become a destructive force to your relationship, your marriage, and ultimately to you, the victim. In an effort to help my fellow womankind, to warn you, to open your eyes, to validate what you might be experiencing and feeling, to let you know that YOU’RE not the one who is crazy…I write this blog…at 2:00 in the morning. This weighs heavily on my heart for you. If you’ll just consider the words that I present to you. I came across this article earlier that explains what narcissism is and what it looks like to be in a relationship with a narcissist. There were some inappropriate words in the original, so I did change a few words to make it PG. I’ve posted the link to the original if you’d like my reference to the article. If my words have rung a bell in your heart, please read this…

A relationship with a Narcissist has been compared to being on a roller coaster, with immense highs and immense lows. They have been described as the proverbial Jekyll and Hyde, one way one minute, another the next.

People usually get into relationships for love and the need to connect and bond with another. Narcissists get into relationships for entirely different reasons. They do not feel love and they lack the ability to connect and form normal attachment bonds with others.
Narcissists need people more than anyone. Because their entire sense of self-esteem and self-worth is dependent on the admiration of others, their emotions are a precarious balance of needing others and needing to be left alone.
Narcissists feel an enormous void inside of them. This void is ever present and the only thing that fills it, is the love and esteem of another. The fix is always temporary though. A Narcissist describes it this way, “It’s like my brain is constantly seeking something. It’s like I’m always chasing a carrot at the end of a stick. Nothing I do satisfies me, at least not for long. I feel like I only do things because I’m supposed to, because society does it. I don’t feel like I belong anywhere or with anyone.”
Narcissists are completely self-absorbed and are oblivious to the wants and needs of others. They enter into relationships in an attempt to fill this void and to make sure that they have someone who is always available for sex, an ego stroke or whatever need they may have. A relationship with a Narcissist always follows three phases, the over-evaluations phase, the devaluation phase and the discard phase.
The Over-evaluation Phase
A Narcissist is very careful when choosing a target. Typically, they will choose a victim based on their status. They must be attractive, popular, rich or extremely gifted in some area. The greater the status, the higher the value the Narcissist places on the Supply derived.
Once a target has been chosen, it’s almost like the Narcissist gets tunnel vision. They are hyper-vigilant in their pursuit and will project the perfect image that their victim wants them to be. They are excessively caring, loving and attentive at this stage. They shower their targets with attention, compliments and literally sweep them off their feet.
They place their target on a pedestal, idolize and worship them. Their target is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Here the Narcissist is ecstatic, full of hopes and dreams. They will talk and think about them constantly, they are euphoric. This is as close as a Narcissist will ever get to feeling love. This kind of idolization is what others would call infatuation.
The victim is likely so caught up in all the attention and is usually thinking at this point, that they have found their soul-mate. Their pursuer is exactly what they want in a partner (because the Narcissist is mirroring what they have learned appeals to their target) and they can’t believe how lucky they are and that this catch is still single.
What they don’t know, or could ever be prepared for, is what comes next.
The Devaluation Stage
The Over-Evaluation phase, if you’re dealing with a Somatic Narcissist, usually lasts anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months, just long enough for the Narcissist to be confident that they have secured their target’s love and devotion. Unbeknownst to the target, what they were witnessing in the early phase was the Narcissist’s false self. In this second phase, the mask comes off and the Narcissist starts to reveal their true colours.
The shift could be gradual or almost seemingly overnight. Suddenly the attention they so lavishly gave you is gone and replace by indifference and silence. Days or weeks could go by and you won’t hear from them. They don’t return your phone calls, they don’t keep a single promise and you’re starting to suspect that they might be involved with someone else. The target is left baffled and confused and wondering what they did wrong to cause such an abrupt turnaround.
Narcissists become bored easily and what usually starts happening in their heads at this stage, is that the void begins to emerge again. The high they were feeding off of is waning and they begin to question your worthiness, that perhaps you weren’t so special after all, because if you were then the void wouldn’t still be there.
They become moody and agitated easily, blaming you for even the slightest transgression. They start to disappear more frequently and they give you the silent treatment in an attempt to create distance. As the Narcissist withdraws, the target starts to cling and your demands for his attention and your need to understand what’s happening, grate on his nerves. The harder you cling the more the Narcissist pulls away. They start to blame and criticize the target for everything, treating them like an emotional punching bag.
At this point the target is an emotional wreck. The Narcissist has left without any explanation and they can’t figure out how one minute they were put on a pedestal and now it’s like they don’t even exist. The Narcissist is a projector and they are projecting their emotional turmoil onto you. They feed off of other people’s misery (as long as it’s caused by them) just as much as they feed off of your admiration, either way it makes no difference to them.
It is this person, this cruel, indifferent, unfeeling, sadist that is the behind the mask. Most targets desperately try to find the one they fell in love with. What they don’t realize is that that person never existed. They were a facade an act put on by the Narcissist to secure their Supply.
The Narcissist will take no responsibility for their actions, because they simply don’t care how they’ve treated you or how you are feeling.

Narcissists are not capable of forming normal healthy attachments to people. Those that aren’t familiar with the disorder are completely at a loss to understand how unnecessarily cruel their behavior can be. The target was never more than an object to the Narcissist, whose usefulness is on the decline.
The Narcissist isn’t one to throw away a potential piece of supply though. He will keep up this I love you, I love you not charade going for as long as it suits them or as long as you allow it. He will breeze in and out of your life as if nothing ever happened, completely oblivious and indifferent to your suffering.
This mind trick is deliberate and he will keep feeding you crumbs of attention, just enough to keep you emotionally invested and available to cater to his every need.
At some point one of two things will happen: either he will find a new target and begin phase one with them, thus ignoring you completely, or you will have had enough of his psychotic abuse and you will take control and put an end to it, thus ushering In phase three.
The Discard Phase
It is almost baffling to watch the ease at which a Narcissist can pull away from his partners. Many targets are left asking themselves, “Did he ever love me? Did I mean anything to him?” The simple answer is no. No one means anything to him. Women are only a means to an end – to obtain the much needed Narcissistic Supply. Once your usefulness has run its course, you will be discarded abruptly and cruelly, without warning.
Trying to get over a relationship with a Narcissist is extremely difficult. Once it is over the target is usually an emotional wreck, whose self-esteem has been annihilated by the persistent demeaning behavior, insults and cruelty of the Narcissist. Depending on when they were able to break free, the target maybe a shadow of their former self, with a lot of work ahead of them to rebuild their shattered self-image.
As a victim tries to pick up the pieces, What must be remembered is that you were deliberately targeted, lied to and manipulated by a skilled con-artist, for their own gain. There was nothing you could have done differently and none of this was your fault. The Narcissist will repeat this pattern with every person, every time, bar none.
All former targets must be vigilantly on guard, because a Narcissist always reserves the right to revisit a former source of supply, no matter how much time has passed or how badly they’ve behaved.
Once you have broken free you must close the door on any and all contact, because if you don’t you’re headed back to a watered down version of Phase One – over and over and over again.

Remember, friend, you were created for more than this. You are the apple of God’s eye. You are worth more to your Creator than all the gold and riches in the world. You cannot fix a man or make him better. Only God can. Look to Him for help and guidance and never forget who YOU are and what YOU were made for. He has great plans for your life.
If you are dating or engaged to someone like this…run! Run as fast as you can! Get off the crazy train while you can! If you’re married, get help, now. Find a professional counselor to help you. If you need assistance finding someone, I can point you in the right direction.

I pray blessing, strength, boldness and emotional healing over every woman who reads these words. May God’s love fill your heart and help you to see yourself as He sees you.

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

http://esteemology.com/the-three-phases-of-a-narcissistic-relationship-cycle-over-evaluation-devaluation-discard/

 

Ouch, That Hurt

Annoyance. Anger. Resentment. Indignation. Irritation. Exasperation. Wrath. Displeasure. Hurt feelings.

When you read the words above, did certain people or situations pop into your mind? Did you experience these feelings today?  Are you struggling right now over something that happened that you can’t quite seem to get past?download

Let it go. What is “it?” No, I’m not referring to “Frozen.” It boils down to one word…OFFENSE.  As John Bevere rightly named it, “The Bait of Satan.”  (I highly recommend that book, FYI.)

Let me be transparent, as usual.  I have maybe once in a while, from time to time, battled with feeling offended.  Offended for something someone said to me or didn’t say to me.  Offended for being ignored, overlooked, not appreciated, underestimated, and so on.  There are million and one reasons that can be found to become offended.  I mean, geez, I’ve been offended by the way someone looked at me before. I’ve even been offended by a compliment given to me by my husband! For instance, he says, “Wow, honey, I really like when you wear your hair like that.”  Then I say, “So does that mean you don’t like it how I usually wear it? You never say anything about the way I wear it every other day!”  Then of course, there’s the, “Are you calling me fat?  Are you saying my butt is big?”  I’m just going to admit right now, I’m one of those wives.  tumblr_ly4bftcwwv1qbh4goo1_500

For me, the offense that I experience has mostly to do with hurt feelings and anger. It’s usually because someone does not realize what I’m about or understand how I am. They don’t know what’s going on in my life, what I’m thinking, my insecurities, my expectations, etc.  It pretty much boils down to pride.  Ew.  Pride is just gross. Becoming offended is really about thinking too much of yourself.  OUCH.  Man, I’m really stepping on my own toes here…

I have been known to say that I’m not easily offended and I can usually pass it off that I am not. But inside, I get that little twinge of uneasy, angry, irritated offense.  I stuff it down in there and log it away to be added to a list in my subconscious. I am literally holding it against the person who offended me…my self preservation mode kicks in and I subconsciously swear that they will never hurt me again.  Walls are put up.  Relationships are damaged.  Instead of dealing directly with the problem, I stuff it and resentment builds.  Hurt me once, shame on you.  Hurt me twice, shame on me.

Now, I know many of you are thinking, “Wow, Susie is one screwed up chick.”  But, that’s okay because I know that you do the same thing, even if you don’t realize it or admit it.  I have been working on myself a lot in the past few years regarding offense and I have made progress.  You can too.

It starts with not taking yourself so seriously, cut yourself some slack, don’t be so hard on yourself! Know who you are in Christ, then you won’t care so much what people say about you or do to you. Then, give other people a break.  Give them the benefit of the doubt.  When others lash out at you or say something hurtful to you, it normally has little to do with you.  Many times, it’s because they are having a bad day or are upset or insecure about something else. And most of the time, it’s because they are dealing with offense themselves. How do I know this?  Because I’ve had plenty of opportunities to deal with and examine these kind of situations.  

Overcoming the problem with offense is hard work.  It takes prayer, studying the Word of God and dealing with people and issues in a healthy manner, consistently.  Satan knows that if he can keep all of us mad at each other and keep us from having true relationships with one another, then he wins.  Let’s fight back and not let him win, okay?

There are many scriptures that address the issue of offense, but this one is my favorite.  It’s short and sweet and easy to remember.

“Good sense makes a man restrain his anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression or an offense.” Proverbs 19:11, Amplified Bible

I want to be known as a person who has good sense, don’t you?

And just one more, because I do love the Word of God so…

“He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends.” Proverbs 17:9, Amplified Bible

It all comes down to love.  How do I know what love is?  Because I have a heavenly Father who has shown me.  He sent His Son to die on a cross for me and my wretched sin, my offense.  All He asks is that I love Him back and love others as He has loved me. Truthfully, we have NO business being offended, ever.godsloveloveothers

And just a little side note…when God forgives us of our “offenses,” He literally forgets about them. Hint, hint.  If you say you forgive someone, then mean it.  Don’t hold it against them!

Let go and love.  Enjoy this beautiful song about God’s love.

 

I Admit, I Was Wrong

I write this because I MUST.  I have received so much revelation of God’s love and grace that I MUST share it.  Be blessed and may you experience divine revelation, as well.

Miriam Webster defines legalism as:  “strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code <the institutionalized legalism that restricts free choice>”

From the age of 6 until the age of 26, I lived an extremely legalistic life.  For 20 years, I depended on my efforts to maintain and reach a level of perfection or holiness to keep me “saved.”  If I could just be good enough, perfect enough, follow all the rules, I would be God’s favorite, I would earn His favor.  I thought that if I followed the “Steps to Salvation” (Acts 2:38) and then followed the list of do’s and don’ts outlined by the religious organization I was part of, then I would be saved. That all changed though and I thank God for His mercy in my life.

Throughout my life, the “Steps to Salvation” were taught to me as such:  First, you must repent of your sins, as in, get down on your knees and beg for forgiveness for all the wrong things you have ever done.  Second, be baptized to wash away those sins.  And thirdly, receive the Holy Ghost by speaking in tongues, which proves that you are saved.  Once these three things have been completed, your salvation has become complete.  Side note:  Repentance is not begging God to forgive you.  He already has.  Repentance is changing your mind and accepting that your sins have been forgiven.  Baptism DOES NOT wash away your sins.  We are baptized because of the forgiveness of our sins.  Baptism is an act of obedience when we become members of the body of Christ.  The infilling of the Holy Spirit, evidenced by speaking in tongues, is not the proof that you are now saved.  We receive “dunamis” power when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, which is the dynamic power given to us to be the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth. The act of speaking in tongues is not salvation.  The “proof” of salvation is in a person’s heart and only God can see that.

Once the steps to salvation are completed, then come the “standards” of living that you must adhere to if you wish to remain saved and if you wish to participate in any kind of leadership within the church.  Things like this:  women cannot cut their hair or dye their hair; women cannot wear makeup; women cannot wear pants or shorts or sleeveless shirts or anything deemed immodest by the leaders of the organization, all skirts and dresses must cover the knees; women cannot wear jewelry.  Men are not permitted to have facial hair; men are not permitted to wear shorts; men are not permitted to have hair longer than their shirt collar.  Public swimming or coed swimming is a big no-no.  School dances such as proms are off limits. No TVs are allowed and going to the movies is prohibited.  And the list goes on…You must understand the context and audience of each book of the Bible.  Books like I and II Corinthians were written to new Christians who were used to participating in pagan customs and goddess worship.  Go ahead, read it again.  Pray for understanding.  Try to read it in a different version or translation.  Research the culture of Corinth in those days.  You’ll see.   

I tried my best to live up to ALL the requirements for living a perfect and holy life, to become righteous and sanctified and justified and all that stuff while trying to keep myself from going to hell.  Now listen very carefully to my next words.   I had it all wrong.

I can see some of you shaking your heads in disbelief.  I can see some of you nodding your heads because you’ve been there.  And I can see some of you frowning and becoming offended at what I’m saying because you are still there.  I’m not backslidden, quite the opposite. I haven’t fallen away from the truth, I have found the truth!  The truth has set me free and can do the same for you!

It’s not about me, it’s not about you.  It’s about Jesus.  It’s not about what I can do or what you can do, it’s about what Jesus has ALREADY done.

THIS is the truth.  Salvation occurs the moment you realize, understand, believe that Jesus Christ came to this earth, shed His blood and died on the cross for YOU.  When you repent (change your mind) for the life you’ve been living and decide to hand over the controls of your life to God, you become saved.  There is a transformation that happens between you and God in your spirit/heart at that very moment.  You become a child of God and you find all the favor you’re ever going to get from God right then and there.  He becomes completely pleased with you.  You become the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus.  There is nothing more that you could do that will earn more favor, make you more righteous or save you more than believing in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross for you.  By grace you are saved through faith in Jesus Christ.  PERIOD.

We are not saved by our works.  As Christians, we SHOULD do good deeds so that others will see Jesus in us.  Our works are not to gain favor with God or salvation, but for others’ benefit.  Since Jesus is no longer walking this earth with us, we must be His hands and feet.  That is the purpose for DOING things.  WORKS DO NOT SAVE YOU OR KEEP YOU SAVED.

News Flash!  You won’t go to hell if you don’t do works or follow the law or the rules.  And your outward appearance has NOTHING to do with it.  God looks at the heart.  The Bible says our righteousness is as filthy rags.  Basically, it’s gross and disgusting to God when we try to appear holier or more righteous or get more saved or whatever other impure motive we have for doing things.  What do you think He thinks about all these man-made rules religion is forcing upon people?  He is disgusted by them.  Gross misinterpretation of Scripture and manipulation of the Word of God has wreaked havoc in the lives of well-meaning Christians for ages.  STUDY THE BIBLE FOR YOURSELF!  Don’t just take the word of a person just because he’s a preacher or a leader in your religious organization.  YOU have access to the presence and voice of God.  He can and will speak to you if you ask Him!

Reading your Bible, praying and fasting do not change God’s opinion of you.  It changes YOU.  These disciplines are solely for your growth and development as a Christian.  Do you get that?

Here’s an example from the Bible.  The Galatians, who were Jews, were trying to force the Gentiles who were newly converted Christians into becoming circumcised like them.  That is what the law had required before.  But we know that the law was no longer the judge once Jesus died and rose from the grave.  Jesus changed it all.  Grace now rules.  The apostle Paul shows up and is like, “What the what?’’  He asks them that if they were going to start following the law again, then why in the world did Jesus have to die on the cross?  Mixing the law (rules and regulations) with the grace of Jesus is like slapping God in the face.  All your sins, all my sins were taken care of, wiped out, cast away on the day that Jesus died.  He bore ALL the sins of the world that day.  There is nothing more that needs to be done by you or me but to accept this FREE gift of love, grace, mercy, righteousness, holiness, healing and salvation from our Creator.  Read Galatians chapter 5 if you don’t believe me.  And also the entire book of Romans and Hebrews.  And how about all the words of Jesus Christ. Salvation is not based on one scripture in Acts, it’s based on the life and death of Jesus Christ, the grace of God.

Once you experience this awesome conversion in your heart, your life will change.  You won’t need a list of do’s and don’ts.  As my pastor recently said, “Your want-to will change.”  You will become a new creation in Christ.  Everything will be different.  You won’t want to be like you were before because of God’s tremendous and everlasting love for you.

The Ten Commandments is our moral code, true.  But Jesus came and said there are only two commandments which the rest of the commandments hang on.  First, love God with all your heart.  Second, love your neighbor as yourself.  If we can just get those two “rules” down, then we’re good.  Think about that.  If you love others, you’re going to treat them like you would yourself.  If you love God, that’s going to change what you do in your life.  When you understand the terrible things that Jesus went through for YOU, it becomes very personal.  Have you ever seen the movie, “The Passion of Christ?”  For me, it was so painful to see what Jesus endured because of MY sins.  Seeing a depiction of what Jesus went through makes me not want to sin every again.  I take it very personally.  That’s how it should be.  Understanding the sacrifice and love of God will change you.

God loves you so much.  He sent His son to die for YOU.  If you were the only one on earth, He still would have done it.  You are the apple of His eye, His most cherished creation.  All He wants is relationship with you.  He has made a way.  Believe it.

Once you become a new creation in Christ, the doors will be wide open for you.  Salvation is just the first of many precious gifts He has for you.  A Christ-filled life is an abundant life, bursting with blessings and favor.  Joy and peace are yours for the taking.  And so much more.

During Vacation Bible School this past summer, we taught the kids a song about God’s love.  The words to this song perfectly sum up what I’m trying to say today.

You cannot stop God from loving you.

His love is not based on what you do.

Today God wants to help you understand.

That nothing can snatch you from His hand. 

Paul’s prayer and desire for the church in Ephesus is my prayer and desire for each of you,

“For this reason I kneel before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21, NIV 

If you would like to know more about what the Bible says about salvation, grace or legalism, feel free to contact me.  Be Blessed!

“How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.”   Proverbs 16:16

Click on this link and listen to this song “Scandal of Grace”      http://youtu.be/cka7fYhWj2E

 

A Resolution to LOVE

It’s that time of year again! All over Facebook, I see people posting about how 2014 is going to be the best year yet for their lives. Out with the old, in with the new. It’s time to make those New Year’s resolutions! I, historically, have not made resolutions. There’s something about the pressure of SAYING I’m going to lose weight, become more organized, save more money, etc. that weirds me out. Maybe it’s just because I’m weird, I don’t know. I need more than a “general” statement like, “This year, I will lose 30 lbs.” It’s got to be broken down for me, week by week, month by month and so on. And then, I get all obsessive about it and think only about that one thing while the rest of the world swirls in chaos around me. I don’t have the time or energy for that! I mean, yes, I DO need to lose 30 lbs (okay, well maybe 40) and I fully intend on placing my personal well-being and health back on the list of priorities this year. Also, I DO plan on systematically organizing my house, room by room this year. I have a lot of clutter to get rid of. These are more like ongoing resolutions for me. These are goals I keep logged in my head that I’m always working on. I don’t normally say these things aloud though. I wouldn’t want anyone to try to hold me to it! Hahaha! Hey, I’m being honest! There’s nothing more annoying than my husband kindly “reminding” me of my resolution while I’m eating a piece of triple chocolate cake…

But, this year, I want to make a resolution that I fully intend on becoming obsessive about and one that I truly desire to consume my mind. And this year, I’m going to put it out there for all to see. Ok…here it goes…

In 2014, I will show more LOVE and extend more GRACE than I ever have in my life to this point. What will that look like in my life?

When my kids behave in a way that is less than desirable to me, instead of freaking out on them like a madwoman, I will gently correct them and wrap my arms of love around them. Lord knows, I’ve messed up in my life and have been extended love and mercy from Jesus. He doesn’t beat me up about my mistakes. Why should I be so harsh with my kids? The Bible says, “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required” (Luke 12:48) And then, there’s this verse from Ephesians 6:4, “And you, fathers (mothers too), do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

When my husband doesn’t “measure up” to my expectations of him (which he normally isn’t even aware of), instead of pouting and giving him the silent treatment, I will show him love and extend grace to him. Instead of thinking only of myself and what I want from him, I will focus on meeting his needs and giving of myself to him in a more selfless manner. When Jesus was being tortured, beaten and crucified for MY sins, for my sickness and disease, He was thinking only of me, not Himself. He wasn’t concerned with His own comfort and desires. So for heaven’s sake, can’t I lay my self-centered point of view aside every once in a while and show my husband the love and attention that I would like to receive? Plus, it’s the Word, ladies! “ Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.” Ephesians 5:21-24, The Message

When my family or friends disappoint me, not follow through on what they said they would do, cancel plans on me, talk about me behind my back, hurt my feelings or criticize me, I will not retaliate. I will NOT live by the “eye for an eye” rule. I will show them love and grace. I will give them the benefit of the doubt. I will turn the other cheek. I will keep my mouth shut when I want to say something back. When I feel left out or slighted, I will remember how Jesus was alone on the cross, how He had to bear that day by Himself. Isaiah 53:7 says, “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.”

This is just a small sampling of the people who cross my path in life. How about the people on the street, at the mall, at the grocery store? Or how about those whose way of life I don’t agree with? What about those who are different than me in every way? I resolve to show them the love of God. I may be inconvenienced at times and I know I will have to swallow my pride a whole lot, but His love is in me and I must let it out.

Here are some verses to help encourage me, maybe they’ll encourage you to show love, too!

But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” I John 3:17

“And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Ephesians 5:2

Jesus even said it Himself as recorded in John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

And finally, take a moment to read I Corinthians 13.

So, all you Facebook peeps, I join you. I join you in making a declaration that 2014 WILL indeed be the best year yet!

A Woman in Love

“He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us oh,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way… “

The words to this song get me EVERY time. I don’t care how many times I’ve heard it, when the very first few notes of this song are played, the waterworks start. In the car, in the kitchen, at church, at my girl’s dance school…wherever. David Crowder and his band have done an excellent job in capturing the essence and emotion behind the very present fact that Jesus loves ME!!!! And you, too.

I’ve been a born again Christian for 30 of my 35 years of life, but I still have trouble, at times, understanding and grasping the idea that the Creator of this whole universe, the Maker of ALL things, the Alpha and Omega, the Son of God….cares about me and loves me sooo much.

I read a blog by Marilyn Meberg the other day that really opened my eyes to the love of God. She talked about how we all imagine that we were created to fulfill this great, amazing, fantastic purpose in life….you know, like, be a missionary in Africa or become some great author or prophet or something. When in fact, the purpose for our very existence is simply to be loved by God. That’s it…in a nutshell. God made me just so He could love on me for all eternity. All I have to do is understand and believe what Jesus has done for me and I’m in…oh, and that goes for you too!

Not only did He make every star, galaxy, mountain, ocean, flower, cloud, and animal for my discovery, my enjoyment, pleasure, and delight….He came down from the splendor of Heaven, clothed Himself in human flesh and became a man on this earth…then He endured unbelievable torturing, naked in front of thousands of people, put to shame, and nailed to a tree with spikes through His wrists and His feet…for ME. And you, too.

If I were the only one He had ever created, or if YOU were the only one ever created, He would have STILL done all these things. That’s how He loves us. It’s true. He’s my God, Savior, Redeemer, Comforter, Provider, BEST Friend (ever), my Husband (especially when I had none!), my Lord, my Strength, my Rest, my Peace, my Deliverer, my Joy….I could list a thousand things He is to me. I only wish that I could love Him back as much as He has loved me.

Love is an action word…I know this because He DEMONSTRATED His love to us by dying on the cross for our sins so that we could be reconciled to Him and live with Him forever!!!! So, to follow His example, I try to show Him my love for Him by doing things that are pleasing to Him…serving and loving His creation. I want to speak and act in a way that shows my love for Jesus and my love for people. That’s my way of giving back to a God who gave so much. Oh, how He loves us. And, oh, how I love HIM!!!!

” Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.Psalm 19:14