Archive for October, 2008

Oct
28

The Validation of a Human Heart

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What does it mean for someone to validate your heart?

I want to define “heart” as the part of us we might call our soul. Our soul is often defined as our mind, will, and emotions.  Here is more of what the dictionary renders as a definition of soul:

the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body;    the emotional part of human nature;    the seat of the feelings or sentiments;   the animating principle;   the essential element or part of something

So what I am asking you is, “What does it mean for someone to give value to your feelings, thoughts, and actions?”

Value – relative worth, merit, or importance

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Oct
17

Does God Know Me?

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Last week I wrote on The Desire to Be Known and my thoughts today will be a continuation of sorts.

Have you ever really wondered if God really knew you? If He cared enough to be personally involved in the everyday details of your life? Who is this God we talk about in our churches? Is He concerned about the big stuff but not your stuff? Where is this God when you need personal help? And perhaps, where was He when you lived through your worst day?

Psalm 139 has long been one of my favorite scripture passages. It speaks to a longing deep within my heart. The longing to be known. The need to know that my God is a God who is intimately involved with me personally not just the cosmic system of the world.

I believe this longing to believe that God knows us personally is placed within me and within you by God Himself. The desire to be known can never be satisfied apart from encountering God. You and I were destined to encounter God in a way that is deeper than just head knowledge, even deeper than a salvation experience. We were destined to encounter God as the one who loves us in whatever state He finds us. He loves us when we have blazed a trail through the enemy’s camp, and He loves us when we have blown every good thing that we have and everything that we are on the temporal pursuits of this world.

As we ask ourselves this question, “Does God know me and does He really care about me?”, let’s look at Psalm 139 to discover David’s thoughts about his intimate relationship with God as he pondered the depths of God’s intimacy with him. Permit me to include some of my thoughts alongside David’s.

Psalms 139

1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me. This thought often frightens me, but maybe God desires to comfort me by showing me His heart to search out the hidden places in my heart that He treasures and sees as no one else does or can.

2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; God is intimately aware of my every movement…

You understand my thought afar off. He knows my thoughts before I form them.

3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,

And are acquainted with all my ways. He has an intimate understanding of the path of my life.

4 For there is not a word on my tongue,

But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. God knows all my words that proceed from my heart.

5 You have hedged me behind and before,

And laid Your hand upon me. God surrounds me and touches my life.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

It is high, I cannot attain it. Lord, I can’t even begin to grasp your intimate involvement in my life.

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Or where can I flee from Your presence?

8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

9 If I take the wings of the morning,

And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,

And Your right hand shall hold me.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”

Even the night shall be light about me;

12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,

But the night shines as the day;

The darkness and the light are both alike to You. No matter where I go, You pursue me and lead me even in the darkest night of my soul.

13 For You formed my inward parts;

You covered me in my mother’s womb. You were actively creating me before anyone else even knew I existed. You celebrated my very “being”.

14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; I praise you and accept and rejoice in the way you made me – I am an amazing, wonderfully created child of Yours.

Marvelous are Your works,

And that my soul knows very well. My very soul, my emotions, my mind, my inner being declares that Your work in creating me is marvelous. I can’t deny that.

15 My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.

And in Your book they all were written,

The days fashioned for me,

When as yet there were none of them. I’ve never been hidden from You. You have always been intricately involved in my life – even from the very beginning moments. You had a plan for me as I existed in Your heart before I existed in my mother’s womb.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How great is the sum of them!

18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; Wow, God, I know that your thoughts of me are beautiful and too many to number!

When I awake, I am still with You. Every day as I awaken, you are with me.

…..23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me, and know my anxieties; Lord, I invite you to search and know my heart. Put it to the test, God. Understand my very imperfect and anxious ways.

24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,

And lead me in the way everlasting. Show me any wickedness within me. I trust You to discern the difference between my immaturity and my woundedness and any wickedness that may have taken root in my heart. I know Your desire is to lead me gently into the way that will bring fullness of life to me.

NKJV

I believe every one of us is created with an insatiable hunger to know God and know that He knows us. We cannot live fully without coming to terms with the God of the universe. There is no plan of Satan more dangerous to us than the plan to cut our hearts off from intimacy with God. When we deny God’s intimate knowledge of us, we remove part of the foundation of faith.

Now, I don’t think it is wrong to wrestle with questioning God about His knowledge of us. David, who wrote this Psalm, certainly had seasons of wrestling with God and God validated David by saying that he was a man after God’s own heart. But at the end of the wrestling match, God wants us to know that He has always been there, that He has always cared, that even in His silence, He was working in His plan for our lives.

A God who would give sacrificially of His very self to birth within us life and hope that He is real and that He has always been there and always will be there for us – personally- not just for “the world” but for me and for you – people He has been touching with His hands since our very first moment.

Does God know me? We must all come to answer that question for ourselves. Can you bring the most challenging questions to Him and trust Him to allow you to search Him out as He searches you? Will you dare take the adventure He is offering to you? Will you find Him as not just a cosmic force but as the lover of your soul? The One who knows you better than you know yourself and in that knowledge, wants you – wants to walk with you today – wants to speak to you today – wants to touch you today.

“Show me, God, that you know me.”

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Categories : God's Heart
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Oct
17

Weight Loss and Christianity

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Weight Loss and Christianity

My children love to tease me about my endless knowledge that I am forever offering to them with the precursor, “I just read about that in an article.” Oh, that is all it takes to get them going. “We know, Mom, you read another article.” (moan, groan, laugh, snicker) I can’t help it; I love to read articles! And I am almost always reading something. It has been my lifelong pastime. So today, I was reading an article (go ahead and smile), and I was amazed at how much these weight loss principles parallel the Christian life. Now, you’re really smiling, aren’t you? Just check it out!

Here’s Debbie Rocker on Yahoo! Health on “Burn the Fat, Keep it Off” with my added comments are in italics.

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Categories : Christian Living
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Oct
16

This is a Call

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One of my spiritual daughters, Song, asked me to listen to this song by a group called Thousand Foot Krutch.  Wow, how challenging are the words and the message!

She fooled all of her friends into thinking she’s so strong,
but she still sleeps with her light on,
and she acts like
It’s all right on, as she smiles again her mother lies there sick with cancer,
and her friends don’t understand her,
she’s a question without answers,
who feels like falling apart.
She knows, she’s so much more than worthless,
but she needs to find her purpose,
she wonders what she did to deserve this and..

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Categories : Emotional Healing
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Oct
07

God’s Mercy

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Categories : God's Heart
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