Tag: Love

Dear Christian, before you speak openly on controversial issues… (Some observations and thoughts from a young Christian perspective on the Same-Sex Marriage Controversy)

FAITH, LOVE, HOPE

So my extremely vulnerable and “young” Christian heart has been struggling with this issue for a few days so I prayed and prayed and finally mustered up enough courage to write this post. I am troubled by my observations of how some Christians publicly voiced their stance by only quoting Scripture (throwing Bibles seemed more like it) at people that they do not agree with. Where’s the love? I just want to say, PLEASE STOP. I thought we are supposed to draw hearts near to God, not turn them away.

I am not one to join in on public forums regarding controversial issues. I have not participated in the explosion on my Facebook newsfeed over the last few days caused by the latest Supreme Court decision, but I am troubled by what I have been seeing. Perhaps I should not have said the above comment about throwing Bibles, but I did not know a better way to describe how Scripture quoting has been coming across to me.

I want to make it clear that this is not meant to point fingers at anyone in particular or make anyone feel bad, but it is my hope that it will make some people think about how their words may cause more harm than good. Christians get accused all the time of being judgmental and I was sad to see it happening on public forums this past weekend. Whether or not it was intentional, that is how it came across to me. I see people zealous for God and following His commandments and wanting to take a stance publicly on issues like this one, but God does not need for us to defend Him. We should be careful with how we share His Gospel. “Showing” people is way more powerful than “telling” people. When we speak, I think we need to put forth a big effort to do it in a way that is not going to make the people we think we’re helping shut down and turn away. As a growing Christian I want to be extremely careful with that so it is why I choose not to participate publicly in controversial issues. I know I have had my own moments during my walk, but I have grown so much and I continue to learn from my mistakes and work daily asking God to help me to be better. I want to please God. I want to draw people near to Him, not push them further away.

I will not encourage people to do what the Bible tells me is sinning against God, but if I am going to speak about an issue like this, I would much rather speak on a private level — face-to-face — IF  a door of opportunity opened up for me to do so. And if I am going to use Scripture, I am going to use it in a way that will explain not just the part I am quoting, but the surrounding Scripture as well. I want to speak in a loving manner. I will share why I believe what I believe — I will be vulnerable and share my own personal testimony…the good and the bad. It does no one any good to just quote Scripture and not explain it and it does no one any good if the Spirit of God is not leading. From what I’ve seen publicly, there have been many words void of God’s love. And the words I have read have not been Spirit-led comments — only opinions that unfortunately have been tearing people down. Scripture is powerful for prayer and fighting the war that is going on in the spiritual realm. It brings comfort, healing, and protection to us, it helps us learn to live godly and holy lives the way God intended. It speaks and breathes life into our hearts — it is God’s living Word. But lately, the use of His Word in some instances has not been loving and it breaks my heart. Yes, we should know our Scripture. There is nothing wrong with quoting it, but we need to make sure we are doing it properly. And I must add that we should not just know our Scripture, we must also make sure we are living it.

I have not been a Christian for very long and I soak up everything like a sponge. It is troubling to observe Christians throwing Scripture verses at people, especially when I can sense the emptiness of God’s love within it, even if that wasn’t the intention. Since I was seeing much of it happening this past weekend, I took a step back and put myself on the “receiving” end of it. I took myself back to where I used to be not too long ago which was a life full of sin and completely separated from God. I was unrepentant, hopeless, depressed, suicidal, and drunk. I highly doubt I would have surrendered my life to God had someone been there quoting Scripture that meant nothing to me and condemning me to hell without showing me how wonderful and loving our God really is. There’s no way that would have drawn me to give up my life completely for Him.

Maybe I am being too childlike, but this kid in me thinks it would be much better if we focused more on living His Word, rather than quoting it. That is what I am going to do the best I possibly can and I will keep leaving the rest up to God. If He wants me to open my mouth to someone with Scripture, He will make it happen and it will be filled with His Light and Love and it will be at the perfect time — His time. I cannot do that on my own.

When God reached my heart in 2010, He took away my desires that were not pleasing to Him and gave me desires that would bring Him glory. My life has never been the same. It has never been more blessed as a result and I have never been more grateful to be sober and alive and learning to live a sacrificial life. It is not an easy life, but it is a beyond blessed one. It is my hope and prayer that God will use more of us to draw people’s hearts to Him, but it is hard for Him to do if we keep getting in His way. I trust and believe that He will do for those who surrender to Him what He has done for me and I am going to keep hoping and praying and doing all He equips me to do to help draw hearts to Him for as long as He allows me to.

I am sharing this, not to bring anybody down, but just to give people something to think about before speaking. Remember, if we can speak, have power and understanding, and have mountain moving faith but have not love, we are nothing.

Thanks for listening to my heart – a once empty heart now filled with Faith, Hope and Love, and a heart that just wants EVERYONE to know the incredible and everlasting Love of God the Father. I pray that by living out God’s Word, that more will see and have the desire planted in their heart to tap into His power to change as a result. I pray that more will know His love through my life and the lives of others transformed by God. That’s what happened to me. People showed me His love. That drew me in. Then God and his anointed teachers taught me the rest as far as how I should live and it was all through LOVE. And now, I just want to give it all away…

Lord God, in the Name of Jesus, I ask that you would please do for many more, what you have done and continue to do for me. Amen. ❤

***This post is not meant to spark up any kind of debate from either side of the issue – harsh comments that tear people down will not be allowed. I will only approve comments that lift people up.  What can I say…God’s blog, God’s rules 🙂 ***

A Father’s Love…

That’s something I had longed for almost my entire life. At least since I was sixteen years of age—the time my father decided he didn’t want to be a husband or a father any longer. Here I am 32 years later, and there is still a part of me that feels a void inside my heart at this time of year. When I hear other people, especially around my age, refer to their fathers as “Daddy” that’s when I really feel the void. It makes me a little sad that I can’t even remember how old I was the last time I called my father “Daddy”. OK, enough of that. God has been too good to me to stay stuck in that kind of thinking.

I wrote a post for Father’s Day two years ago: http://wp.me/p1g1Ud-4S. Wow, time is flying. I just read it for the first time since I wrote it. I could have written that again for this year. I hope you’ll take a moment and read it, it’s from my heart and I pray it will be a blessing. It’s amazing that I still feel the same about everything I wrote. I am so grateful that I have received tons of healing of my deepest wounds since then. However, I’m discovering that this time of year still seems to bring a little heaviness to my heart. I really thought that wouldn’t happen this year, but at least it’s not so bad. It’s not even close to being like before.

I felt like sharing from my heart again this year. I know there are a lot of people like me who were not blessed with a good earthly father who was present and loving. Some of you have suffered way more than I have. I’m not in competition to see who has suffered the most by their dads. I just know that a lot of us suffer from depression and I don’t care how it happens, depression is depression. It eventually will destroy us if we let it.

My way out of depression (although I still suffer from occasional heaviness in my heart) is by reaching for God. The only One whom I’ve discovered that can take away my emotional pain like nobody or nothing else ever would be able to. I used to numb myself with alcohol. I used to wish I would just die. But I thank God that He has delivered me from all of it. God is the only One who has ever loved me unconditionally. I just didn’t know it for all those years because I kept running away from Him. I didn’t want to find out if He really existed. I didn’t want to believe He would let me be in so much pain. But now I know that He just wanted my heart. Now that I have given it all to Him, wow. Life has never been more hopeful. It has never been more meaningful. It has never been more blessed.

Now when I think of my earthly father, I no longer cry from pain that he caused me. Instead, I shed a few tears because I miss him and I wish that he could have seen the great things of God in my life. I would have loved to have seen the hand of God move in his life like He has in mine. But since I can’t, I will just keep my hope in the Lord and hold on to His promise that I will see my dad one day when I finally join him in heaven. That really makes my heart smile. For those whose dads have passed away too, my heart is with you.

So just like I have learned to do over the last couple of years, I am mainly celebrating Father’s Day by celebrating my Heavenly Father and His amazing love for me. He sent His only Son so that I may live with Him forever. THAT IS LOVE. Thank You God, for loving me that much.

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there. I pray you will be with family and your children are there celebrating you. I am blessed to see fathers loving their children. Thank you. For the broken families, I’m praying for you too. Don’t give up hope that your relationships will be restored. Anything is possible with God. Don’t forget to celebrate Him too!

And most of all, Happy Father’s Day to my amazing Heavenly Father who loves me no matter what. I love You too.

If my plans for suicide were successful, I would have missed out on the most amazing love of my life…

I have said this before and I will keep saying it…there is nothing greater than the love of the Lord God Almighty. It’s a love I have never known before. People can search in others and in things of the earth all they want, and they will never be able to find it because only God can give it. I pray more people will finally catch on to that truth so they can start to really discover His love like I have. It’s a wonderful discovery!

To think of all the years I had missed out on knowing God’s love, I am so grateful that those days are over. As another year comes to an end, I am looking back in such awe of what God has done in this past year alone. It has been a year filled with growing pains, but also a year filled with the most incredible blessings that I didn’t know could be possible. I believe I was tested like never before and I also believe I passed the test with flying colors. This testing has made my relationship and connection with the Lord, as well as my faith, stronger than ever. The blessings always outweigh the tough times. My hope and dreams for the future continue to build. God has given me the dreams and I know that none of them will be possible without Him. What an amazing thing that is to realize. I know that I am nothing without Him in my life. I am nothing without His power working in and through me. It is so awesome to actually be a witness of what all He can do with a willing heart. A willing heart…that’s all we need! I have learned to trust Him with everything on this journey and He is making everything fall into place. I am truly looking forward to whatever He has for me in the near future and in the coming years. I know this New Year is going to be another tough one, probably more so than this last one, but I am ready for it. The Lord has been preparing me for it over the last few years. Boy, has He been preparing me for it!  I truly love my life. I love it because it is SO not about me. I learned that the hard way, but it has been one of the greatest lessons of my life.

Imagine that just a few years ago, the pain I lived with for so many years from walking around with an empty and broken heart almost killed me. I almost completely gave up on life. This precious life that is such a wonderful gift from God that should never be taken for granted. But I was hurting more than anyone who has never been there can ever imagine. When we hurt that badly and we do not know the Lord’s love, there’s really only one way we can think of stopping the pain. Some of us weren’t able to hang in there and that breaks my heart for them and for their loved ones. Only God knows why I am still here. I have learned to accept that it’s not for me to know. That helps me to move forward.

I always think that if I would have just had one person share about Jesus and His love with me back then, maybe I would not have become so severly depressed. Maybe I would not have turned to alcohol to numb the pain. (That is why I am writing this. I want to share His love with others, I want to share what I went through and where I am today. Maybe someone will find hope.) I was just remembering that I started mixing dangerous medication with it because I was hoping that I would just die in my sleep one night. I thought that would be the most peaceful way to go. I am so very thankful that my plan to die didn’t work. Even though this journey with God is tough and there’s still pain that comes with it, it’s a different kind of pain when you’re always walking in the Light of Jesus. It’s a pain worth enduring because everything I do is all for His glory. And for me to say today that I love my life, considering where I was not too long ago, well that’s just another amazing miracle that I am eternally grateful for.

There are so many broken hearts around me. I can’t possibly know who you all are, but I can feel your pain. I’ve been trying to write a new blog post for about a month, but was having a hard time with it. Now I know why. God wanted me to write these words that you’re reading now instead. I’m glad that I’m learning to listen to Him, even though it might take some time for me to catch on. I am thankful for the gift that the Lord has given me to be able to share my heart the way I do. Writing this today has made me cry. I have tears from remembering the pain I lived with for so long and for knowing that pain that people are going through right now. But thankfully the tears turned into tears of Joy from the Lord because I know how great He is and I am so grateful for what He has done with my broken heart. I am grateful for my sobriety.

God is pouring His love through me to reach broken hearts. I know your pain and I know you want it to stop. I pray you will turn your eyes upon Jesus. He is just a whisper…a prayer away. I admit that there are times that I struggle to feel His presence. When that happens I start talking to Him whenever and wherever I am. I’ll just say something simple like “Jesus, make me aware of you” or “Jesus, I need you…” and I start to feel His love, presence and amazing peace inside of me. He helps me through every single day because I open my heart to Him and ask Him to guide me through it. He will do the same for anybody who asks.

The Lord heals the broken hearted. He brings full restoration. I am only one example of many. I pray that you will reach up to Him today. I know He’s waiting for you. He will save you. I am so glad I didn’t give up and that I didn’t let the enemy win. The enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy. Don’t let him. In Luke 19:10 Jesus said “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Thank You, Jesus.

I’m still a young Christian. I have learned many things in a short period of time, but I know I will be learning until my last breath on this earth. I have much to learn. What I do know for sure though, is that Jesus loves us so much that He laid down His life for me and for you and there is no greater love than that, dear friends. Will you accept His love and forgiveness and start living your life for Him and Him alone, today? I pray you will. If you do, you are in for a challenging, but exciting and rewarding journey as you travel with Him on this incredible highway to Heaven.  May God bless you richly. ♥