Learning to love.

Bob and I sat around a table with other couples the other night, making small talk. One person asked the couple sitting to her left how they met. Everyone enjoyed the shared memory, and the smiles on the couple’s faces moved my heart. When it came to “our” story, people at the table looked surprised when they learned that Bob had asked me to marry him shortly after we met and looked even more surprised when I shared my response and thought process about making a lifelong decision. I, of course, said yes, but in my head, I thought, What the hell, let us see how long this will last.

I admit that is an outrageous thought, especially when people do not understand my life’s “back story,” this is not the time or place for it. But I will say that I was taught that being female meant not having value other than to be at the beck and call of the men in her life, to serve them(.)

The only understanding of “love” that I had was performance earned. I felt my life was disposable and allowed people to treat me that way. Once the person who received my love was tired of me, I was tossed aside without remorse.

The word “love” was used too often when I was growing up without experiencing the love described in the Bible.

With that said, one could understand my thought process when giving Bob my answer. However, to my surprise, Bob showed me the love described in 1 Corinthians 13.

Verse 1-8: Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

I am not saying that I experienced these attributes every day of the thirty-six-plus years we have been married. Because Bob didn’t experience this love growing up either, it wasn’t modeled to him.  

So, how can I explain our being together this long?

Mentors.

People placed in our lives who taught and showed us what love looks like and prayed for us. And most of all, the Word of God (Bible).

There are a lot of people in the world today who think that God is in Heaven, ready to harm, hit, and curse anyone who does not follow the “rules” or toss them out when they quit performing. This does not describe who God is. As I have explained before, GOD is LOVE.

Bob desired that our marriage would look different than the ones he watched his parents have. But it wasn’t until we both learned that God loves us (first) that our relationship started to grow.

A mentor once described it this way: Look at a triangle. Bob, imagine yourself on the bottom left corner, Georgia on the right, and love (God) on the top. By keeping your eye on love moving toward Him, what happens to the lines on the left and right? They come together.

If you can relate to my ‘back story’ and want to learn about love (God) as described in the Bible, pray for a mentor who knows GOD and is willing to invest in your life. Bob and I were (still are) blessed with such wonderful mentors.

With that said, Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

My journey this morning.

The first thing I did upon getting up was declare that I could see and am 100% healed in my body. After saying this, I realized that I allow some ailments to continue to harass my quality of life. Then a question was dropped in my heart: Can salt water and fresh water be together yet separate?

This led me to the passage found in James chapter three. Most of us have quoted verse eleven: Can fresh and salt water flow from the same spring? The first few lines of this chapter show us that this analogy refers to our tongues or words.

Wanting more understanding, I decided to read at the beginning of chapter three, and verse two caught my attention.

Anyone who is never at fault in what they say(a) is perfect (mature), able to keep their whole body in check (b).

(a) 1 Peter 3:10 For whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.

(b) James 1:26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

Of course, I want to see good days, and my whole body healed and functioning as original design. However, I know that my words do not always agree with God’s words, especially if I am saying I can’t see, but on the other hand, I am saying that I am 100% completely healed; I am just waiting for it to manifest in my body.

I am waiting for God to do something, but HE has already done it. He is waiting for me to “partner” with Him.

I had a stirring in my spirit about who I have been partnering with; asking Holy Spirit for wisdom, I realized there was something that I had to repent for and break a partnership off with my blood-bought sword. 

I won’t go into the details of the moment highlighted to me, but it was when I snickered about a comment about another person. Though I didn’t say the words that poked fun at this individual, nor was he even around to hear the sarcastic remarks. It is what I empowered with my agreement.

Poking fun – to mildly taunt or mock someone or something. Bully. Torment. Ridicule. To be Contemptuous, scornful, sneering, sardonic.

Some might think I am splitting hairs here and shouldn’t be so serious. But God’s word is HIS word, scripture, and I need to apply it to all areas of my life.

Simply put, we are to follow the example that Jesus showed us. Do we read about how a crowd was ‘poking fun’ at another person, and Jesus joined in on the mocking? No.

My knowledge of the scripture (not that I am a scholar), Jesus was more and likely the center of the mocking and ridicule. Wasn’t the crowd sneering when Jesus was being scourged?

I end this by saying if I expect the word of God to work for me, I need to thoroughly look at his word to understand how to apply it and align with it.

Today, I see more clearly that another veil (layer) of deception has been removed.    

Disciple the nations.

It is peculiar that I sometimes start sneezing when my thoughts engage with Holy Spirit. Truthfully, it hasn’t happened for a while now. I am not quite sure when this pattern started, but I know that when it does happen, I am to slow down and hear what is stirring inside my heart.

And today, my sneezing happened.

Like most readers, I am on this quest to read the entire Bible in one year. I haven’t read all the scriptures, which may surprise some of you. I have read parts here and parts there, but not the entire Bible.

And as my readers may know, my eyes become tired quickly, and reading becomes difficult. So, I listen to the scripture as I read along. Before reading/listening, I asked for Holy Spirit’s wisdom to highlight some things.

According to the Bible plan I have committed to, today’s reading takes me to Genesis eleven, and verse six was highlighted: “… The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them.

“Same Language.” They were using the same dictionary. Read the post on January 6th.

Everyone was on the same page, understanding words and having unity, and much could be accomplished, so God confused the language.

I can understand why God did that back then. But we need unity today. As a whole, we need to understand what each is trying to communicate if we are ever going to accomplish great things for the Lord.

My heart starts to cry as I ponder how an infant communicates with others. A parent’s desire to understand their child’s gibberish and cries can lead to trying everything to their knowledge to interact appropriately.

So why would I cry over something familiar in the parenting world? Because I see each of us as infants, desperately trying to communicate with one another.

Today, we live in the times of the New Testament. What makes NT people different from the Old Testament people?

The main thing that makes us different is that the Messiah has redeemed us and that we’re under the new covenant. We also have Holy Spirit living in us.   

The NT says we will be baptized and empowered in the Holy Spirit. The role of Holy Spirit is to uncover (pull scales off our eyes) to reveal the Messiah, to arouse a hunger, and to draw us to the WORD. Also, Holy Spirit gives us understanding and infuses boldness in each of us to move past the restraints of the enemy.  

Also, in the NT, we read that we are to be unified in Christ.  

We are told to disciple the nations of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God. If we define ‘nations’ as families, i.e., the twelve tribes became the twelve nations. We are to disciple our families.

So here is where I am going.

I looked at all the branches of my nation (family): children and grandchildren, brothers/sisters, brothers-in-law/sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews. You get the picture. By teaching and learning the Word of God together, we become unified in Christ.

And as each person in my nation goes out into the “workplace” working long side of other nations (other families) but having a common language (the WORD of GOD) yet different dialects (pronunciation), what can we not accomplish?

Once we see each tribe (family, church) as one in Christ, communicating with each other using the same dictionary (the WORD of GOD), nothing we set out to do will be impossible. So, let’s get with our nation (family) and be unified in Christ.  

I want to reiterate that I am not getting lost in researching the web (blue letter bible and other tools) to accredit my thought process. Right or wrong, I am just sharing, not “shelving,” the conversations that stir my heart.  

Restored to go forward.

As I was in my quiet time before the Lord, prayer time, and communion this morning, I was reminded of one of those Holy Spirit-inspired conversations I had shelved, as mentioned in yesterday’s post.

I was grateful to Jesus and said thank you for restoring me to move forward. I thought about the original mandate in Genesis chapter one: take dominion and cultivate.  

What was one of the first things that Adam did after he was created in the image of God?

Side note: we don’t know what God looks like, but we do know that he created with spoken word: Let there be light, and there was light. So, we, too, have power in our words.

If we read in Genesis chapter two, verses 19 through 20, Adam named every animal, “whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.”

Most of us know by now that our words are powerful. It is biblical. However, many beliefs and religions agree with this and found ‘power’ declaring into the universe and the return it has. But it is only because of this truth we are created in God’s image.

And if scripture is the absolute truth, then the words we speak have power. It either works as a blessing or as a curse. All words carry power. You can find scripture to back this up, but like I said yesterday, we all define things differently.

Without keeping the Word of God as our guide, we begin veering off in all directions.

Let me give you a senior to explain. I started making a quilt to give as a Christmas gift. I was excited to finish it, but as my vision became more challenging, I didn’t realize that I was using the wrong line to guide me, and I ended up sewing the back pieces together off by 1/8 of an inch from the pieces on the front side. You wouldn’t think that would make much of a difference with a simple throw blanket, but to my great discouragement, it did.

The front (original pattern) was four inches larger in width and length than the backside. This is like each of us; we all have our guidelines, but if not aligned with the original, we will never align together.

Secondly, I would like to point out that if Adam named all living creatures, that was its name. Then what are we naming our family members, neighbors, city, state, and federal officials?

Honestly, I have named people who hold these positions names that I know don’t align with TRUTH. I have named people by their behavior, behavior by my standards, which can be off just by 1/8 of an inch, instead of asking, “God, who did you design this person to be?” And declare from there.

Could our neighborhoods and cities be messed up because we only’ name’ the people who live or govern over them by what we see? Seeing them through the dark lens of the enemy. Instead of positioning ourselves in our redeemed positions and seeing God’s perspective?

This thought process led to asking the Lord to forgive my words and nullify each that does not align with TRUTH.

I don’t want to align my words with the accuser, making this world even more evil. No. I am restored to move forward. The original mandate is to take dominion and cultivate the Kingdom of God here on earth. I do this by using the original guide, The Holy Word of God, and calling things as they should be, not as they are.

Teaching me a lesson.

This morning, during my quiet time, I was thinking of this new journey (tuning my hearing) I am on, I asked the Lord. Are you teaching me a lesson, not in a ‘bad’ way but in a good sense?

Me just making that sort of comment. I thought, what does “teach you a lesson” mean? I looked things up on Urban Dic. It is awful; the stuff I read is very brash. I looked at other websites, too, but my eyes began to strain, so I stopped.

I then heard in my heart: There isn’t one thing you will miss; you will learn all you need. It isn’t about learning a lesson, but it is an equipping. I am equipping you.

For me, to write something without researching is intimidating. My writing will be rawer than before because it is the true stirrings of my heart; thus, I am more exposed.

Maybe my “researching” hindered my ability to listen to what God was saying in my heart. Perhaps reading what others had to say has hampered my ‘hearing ‘in those conversations initiated by Holy Spirit.

But maybe this is what is needed; perhaps this is what the Lord wants. In the past, my “researching” would take up much of my time, confusing my original revelation.

Please understand me; research is good, especially when searching in scripture, but without Wisdom from Holy Spirit, it is still just human interpretation.

My personality, I want to get things right and get an A on my test. But with that mindset, I think I am wrong about many things. I may not seem that way, but this is how I feel. This process has kept me from writing things that Trinty and I have discussed over the years.

Researching takes time, and with the busy calendar I tend to keep, I must ask: how many conversations have I left the room before true revelation was given to me? And walking out of the room (per se) only confuses my mind even more.

Because I have the world’s view on a matter and Wisdom is trying to show me another perspective, I become intimidated to speak and put the conversation on the shelf. Afraid to voice these perspectives without ‘backing it up’ with research has kept me quiet on many things. 

Today, the way our culture sees things or even defines words has, in my belief, affected the way we communicate with each other and understand scripture.

Unfortunately, when we try to come together as a society to communicate about issues in our communities, we each use a different dictionary, so to speak, because we do our research. And as many different answers we can get for the same question, we approach things in this matter.

Chaos begins to stir, pride gets in the way, and the next thing we know, there is a room full of puppets, and the puppeteer (Satan) is pulling all the strings. Nothing gets accomplished, and the wall offense becomes reinforced, making it harder to get a breakthrough.

So, as I am in this equipping journey, I have to stop straining my eyes, harken in with my ears to what Holy Spirit is saying, and step out. I pray that we can learn to do this; I believe it will be vital in the days ahead.