Do we love Christ or desire Him?

Love and desire are not the same.

I love chocolate cake! We often confuse the two.  When we say “I love chocolate cake!” we deceive ourselves.  We don’t love it. We want to eat it! If we loved it, we’d care for it.

 Desire is simple and often reckless.  We need to manage it carefully to avoid causing harm.  Desire is the intention to change something, to reject what it is in favor of what it could be something  better, more secure, more pleasing.  Love is the intention to let that thing be for its own sake.  Love saves and serves and sacrifices.  Desire uses and consumes.  This begs an important question for  each of us.  Do we love Christ or desire Him?  It’s not just a matter of semantics arguing over the fine definition of words.  Our answer to this basic question will indicate whether we live to serve Him or  use Him.  How often do we follow Him because of what we can get from Him rather than give to Him?  How often do we couch the gospel in terms of reward rather than repentance  what we will gain?

 To love Christ is to make Him the center of our attention, with no selfish ambition.  Do we “come to Christ” to honor Him or be honored by Him?  Love and desire are not the same, and to the extent that we confuse the two we diminish our discipleship and ourselves.  When we worship the Lord for our benefit, it inevitably becomes a source of dissatisfaction and conflict.  When we serve others to meet our need for affirmation, it eventually feels hollow.  When we pray with only our needs in focus, the words shrivel in our mouths.  Loves looks outward.  Desire looks inward.  Love gives.  Desire takes.  Love submits.  Desire controls.  Love releases.  Desire holds tight.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13:34-35 (NIV)

We might equally ask ourselves whether our marriages are marked by love or desire; whether we treat our children with authentic love or thinly disguised desire.  But as followers of Jesus, the issue is just as critical.  Love is a gift, without strings, without expectations.

May we love Him (and those around us) more purely today.

Get into the boat.

God granting miracles

A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says “get in, get in!” The religous man replies, ” no I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle.”

Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in god and god will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause “God will grant him a miracle.”

With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God. He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down.” St. Peter chuckles and responds, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter.”

This Joke got me to thinking about how sometimes we take all the good things God blesses our life with.  We pray for many things and we know what we want but yet when the blessings pass us by because only see what we want to.  God can bless us in many ways  with  things that look the same, maybe a  job, a home or someone to love us.  Our idea of what we want is not going to be the same as what God will offer us, it’s up to us to not over look it and jump in the boat when it comes our direction.

Starting over

Well it’s been a week since I last saw Julie and she’s now moved to Waterloo.  I have been doing good, got a lot of work to get my apartment looking good.  Thanks God I saved most of my things, like dishes, pans, microwave etc.  Julie wanted me to get ride of them, she called it “all my junk”  but now I need it.  Got to clean it but it will come in handy.  It’s kind of quiet around here, Toby my dog is night next to me, it’s his unconditional love that keeps me going.  I have a empty spot in my heart now, I loved Julie more than she knew but I also am finding out that I am so much more that what she wanted.

I think she was holding me back and even though I miss being with her, I love my freedom.  Now I can worship the Lord any and all times.  I went to worship service list night and it was fun and went to another tonight and it ROCKED!  I am looking forward to doing more things like this and getting stronger and stronger with the word of God.  I not doing this for me as some of you may think,  God will bless me with just what I need.  I give all the praise to him and all the control too.  If I was to die tomorrow, I would die a happy man and know I’d be in his kingdom.

Looking for a place to call home.

Julie and I have been trying to find a place to call home.  We have looked at apartment after apartment and just didn’t feel like God was leading us anywhere.   We don’t want any thing too fancy as we can’t afford much. Just a place for us, maybe Katey someday plus I have a dog and a cat too.  I want some thing close to where I work and in a safe and friendly community.   I have lived in West Amana a year now and lets just say I put up with some things most of you wouldn’t!  Julie is at the Abby as is all most finished and needs to find a place in Linn county to call home.

Last week we were out driving around looking for apartments and we stopped at the Walmart in Marion, just off Hwy 13 and 151.  When we left the Walmart we saw a sign for Squaw Creek Village a Manufactured Housing Community (mobile home park). We thought we drive through and see if any thing was for rent. We stopped in the office and talked with the owners and they told us they don’t rent but do have homes for sale. But since Julie and I don’t have the best of credit were not sure about getting financing but the owners will finance us, all we need is 10% down, first month lot rent, insurance and other fees.  All we want is something sound, good windows, good AC/heat etc, I can do repairs and fix other things and as needed. We really like Marion and Squaw Creek Village is very clean and a great place to start our life together!  We have looked at nice homes that we feel God is leading us to, were looking at homes in the$10,000 to $20,000 range.

Our biggest problem right now will be coming up with about $2,500 for the down payment. We could save up for it but Julie needs to get out of the Abby real soon. Getting Julie into a place to call home will help her with her recovery even more, plus she will be going to Carlson school of massage therapy and it will be close to Squaw Creek Village.  We are praying that God will help us find a way to come up with the money for a down payment.  Julie thought about asking her mother for help, but I think we should do it as a couple and I don’t think it’s right to ask her since she is all ready doing so much for us.   I know God will take care of us, this will be a blessing for us. We are looking forward to having the satisfaction of owning our own home and having a solid investment something that renting can do.

We have been through a lot and are ready to start a life together and pray that God will bless us with a way to get a home.  We feel that Squaw Creek Village is a warm, friendly and safe community and will be a good way to meet new friends and start a family.  Please help us pray that we find a way to make our dreams come true.

The love of my life (Part 1)

After being married for 7 years and going through a tough divorce finding the love of my life was the last thing I wanted to find.  I’ve been loved before but was it the “love of my life”, I can’t say any of the women I loved was.  I loved them all and even with a bad marriage I still though I was “loved”.  Boy was I wrong, loving someone more than they love you is not good.  It hurt trying to love someone who couldn’t be loved and knowing that I’m not getting what I needed.  Being single for over a year was the best thing for me, I learned that I could live without having someone to love me.  I tried dating for a while but think I wasn’t ready yet so I kind of put finding love on the back burner.

What changed was how I looked at dating.  In the past I was in control and had a list of what I wanted in a relation with a woman.  Since this way of finding a mate has not worked the greatest I though what not try a very different way.  Since Jesus has come into my life and saved me, I have been blessed.  Before I knew Jesus I though life was all about me and how good of a lover I was.  God changed all that, I realize it’s not all about me and thinking I am so good is wrong.  Since being saved I have been praying ever morning and ever night and some times I just talk to God.  What I did for dating didn’t work so I thought why not let God be in control of my dating.  My love for God is very strong and I am still learning so finding a mate who loves and worships God as much if not even more could be very hard to find.

I would pray at night for God to bring a lady into my life who loves you, that’s all I asked for.  I would pray,  “God, I don’t know who she is or where she is at,  just bring her into my life.  I don’t know when it will happen dear Lord but I know she is out there.  Who ever she is Lord, I will accept and love her”.  Like so many others, I have gotten hooked on Facebook and have been adding to my list of friends.  I didn’t use facebook much before being saved but since I have been going to church I use it to stay updated with my church family.  I even made a group page for my church and have made new friends both on and off facebook.  Facebook is a good way to learn about what others are doing with there faith and how God is acting in there life.  That got me to think that maybe I could do a search for women from Iowa who loved God.  I think I searched for, Single Women, God, Iowa and 35-45 years old.  The results I got  most of the time was there name and maybe a picture.  Out of the list I had, I picked maybe 10 or 12 names and sent them a friends request, some times I would include a little note about why I was asking to add them as a new friend.  Since none of them knew me at all, I was taking a chance and just wasn’t sure if this would work for finding a new friend let alone a mate.

To be continued tomorrow…..  Update, Click here to read part 2