Monday, February 28, 2011

The Three Stages of Love

"As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you."
Isaiah 62:5b

We all know there are different types of love. But, did you know that there are three stages of love?

First Love:
Do you remember your first love? Do you remember meeting someone special for the first time? You want to be with that person as much as possible. Your eyes light up when they walk in the room & your heart leaps for joy. It's the same way when you give your heart to Jesus. Such a feeling of joy that words could never do it justice. But the title of the first song i sang as a solo in church does a pretty good job. "Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled My Soul".

Wilderness Love:
After the newness wears off of the relationship comes the Wilderness Love. You're use to each other & feel comfortable. This is a good thing, but the tender glances, the romance, dwindles a bit. There may be moments of intimacy, but they are just an occasional rendezvous in the desert. Your relationship with Jesus can become like this....routine. Prayers become monotonousness, like reading a grocery list. You read your Bible, maybe when you have time, & the same passages that moved you before, don't move you as much now. You have a strong, steady, but routine relationship with Jesus.

Invincible Love:
Sadly, most relationships never make it to the third stage because they get lost in the wilderness. But there are some who make it to the promised land of Invincible Love. There is great joy & peace in knowing & being known, & in the security that love, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, is here to stay. And even more sadly, most believers don't make it to the third stage of Invincible Love. They love Jesus & they have times of intimacy with Him. But their lives are missing the passion for Him. They are having an occasional meeting in the wilderness with the One who used to be the love of their life.

But the goal of your life should be to know a tender & mature Invincible Love with Jesus Christ. Because nothing - ABSOLUTELY NOTHING - can compare to that type of relationship with Him.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

A few years ago, i was with my best friend when she needed to stop at a Christian book store to pick up some Sunday School supplies. As she took care of her business, i was having a great time browsing. I had picked p a few things as i browsed, but i kept coming back to this one book. So, finally, i listened to God & picked the book, "Falling in Love with Jesus" by Dee Brestin & Kathy Troccoli. Now, i was single at the time & even though i was "raised" in the church, i was in the process of learning what a personal relationship with Jesus really was.

Since i read this book, i've also had the urge to study it with others, but the opportunity has never presented itself.....until now. As i search my heart for what God wants me to write in my blog each week, today, He reminded me of the book. Now, it's been 10 or 11 years since i first read this book, plus i've moved 3 times since then & still can't find all my stuff from the last move. But, today, "Falling In Love with Jesus" was an arm's length from where i sitting. Coincidence? I think not! Especially since i usually work on my blog from the couch & today am at my desk, because our 14 year old is asleep on the couch.

This week is an introduction to this wonderful book & the first in a series. I don't know how many will be in this series. I'm just writing & letting Jesus take the wheel. First, i want to make sure you know that this book is NOT just for singles. In fact, it was written by a single woman & a woman who's been married over 35 years.

So, where does it all start? " A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes". Yearning. I was yearning to build my relationship with Jesus & God led me to this amazing tool, to study, to understand.

"No matter our marital status, there is a part in each of us that God created to be a Bride. Scripture is clear that true believers will on day become the Bride of Christ."

"If women would yearn for closeness with Jesus the way they yearn for closeness with an earthly mate, their lives would be absolutely transformed." (Mine sure was!)

"As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will God rejoice over you."
Isaiah 62:5b

I hope you'll join me during the future weeks as i revisit my journey through this book. I pray that it will be a blessing to you as it was to me. And i especially would love any discussion or comments. I'm looking forward to you joining me as we "Fall in Love with Jesus" all over again.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Taking this week off......

There will be no blog post this week. With the sunshine, warmer weather & melting snow, i've started a little spring cleaning. I'll be back next week though. 

Today, i'll just wish you a very


Monday, February 7, 2011

When You Fall into a Mud Puddle....

I read a story this past weekend of a wonderful Christian woman. And even as she lay in bed in a nursing home, dying of cancer, she still was still full of encouragement & delighted everyone with stories of her life & God's goodness.
Like most people her age, her life had been full of joys & sorrows. She'd grown up without much & struggled financially through many years in her marriage. And though these years were difficult, she spoke on & on of her never ending love for her husband, their happy marriage & the joy they shared in their children.

"Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you."
Psalm 116:7 (NIV) 

This lady experienced big heartbreaks in her life. Her 80 year old mother was raped in her own yard. And later in a nursing home, her mother was physically abused by a staff member. Grief struck again when her granddaughter & great-grandson were killed in a car accident one icy night.

But through all this & more, this wonderful lady clung to Jesus. She was quoted as saying "In all that we've been through, we knew that our strength comes from the Lord. Whenever we fell in a mud puddle, we just jumped right out & into His arms."

"I will lift up the cup of salvation & call on the name of the Lord."
Psalm 116:13

Jumping out of a mud puddle & into Jesus' arms is the type of childlike excitement & trust that can bring us all through our lives. How do you respond when you've "fallen in a mud puddle"? Do you just sit there & let the wet mud soak into your clothes..... or do you jump out into Jesus' arms of safety & peace? Remember, how you react is a reflection of Jesus in your life to those around you.

"Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name....who redeems your life from the pit & crowns you with love & compassion."
Psalm 103:1,4 (NIV)