Love

Love is the most sought after emotion for all of us. When we have it, we rejoice. When we don’t, it causes stress, heartache, depression, tears and so on.

I found true love with my husband, Bill. I cannot begin to describe the feelings I have for this man. He is everything to me. I feel so bonded, so close, so like – yes, I will say it – his soul mate. I feel I fit perfectly with him. He makes my heart swell and jump. He makes my blood rush. When I am not with him, I can feel his touch. I can smell his scent. I feel warmth and strength from him. I would do everything for him. I pray passionately for him. I would actually give up my life for him without a second thought. Should I leave this earth before him, I will wait for him.

My children and grandchildren are everything to me. They will always be my little girls and my little boy. I will never stop thinking about them. I will always pray for them. I pray for their health and their safety and their happiness. I will always worry about them and when something happens to them, I will try to rush to them to help them. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for them. If someone told me to make a choice between one child or another, or my husband or my children, or grandchildren, I would tell them to take me. There is no choice for me. I love them all equally. Passionately. Whole heartedly. All of my heart belongs to them. Every inch. Nothing is withheld. When I die, before them, I will be waiting for them.

If I can love these precious treasures like that, then just think about God’s love for us. Think about how much Jesus loves us. It isn’t just some of us. It isn’t just those that are the most special, or those who belong to a particular religious group, or ethnic group, or part of the world, or whether you are a good person or consider yourself a bad person. Jesus loves each and everyone of us. Always has and always will.

The Passion of the Christ is a movie I will never forget. I went to see it with my oldest daughter. I kept my coat held up to my face during the entire movie. Every time there was a scene which I just could not bear to see, I would pull my coat over my eyes. The movie focusses on the last twelve hours of Jesus’ life. This movie really made me aware of how Mary, his mother, must have felt. I could see, through her eyes, how she watched her son as he went through the trial, then the beatings, then carrying the cross and then finally being nailed to the cross.

Oh my God! I thought. I felt her pain. I felt her grief. As a mother, you want to do everything you can to protect your child. All she could do was watch. I wanted so much to go to the soldiers and the mocking people and do something. Did she know this was part of God’s plan? Did she know this would happen? How could she bear it?

As I watched Jesus carrying the cross, I kept thinking, Why? Why are you doing this? For us? We don’t deserve this. Look at what we are doing to you. Look at what is happening. How could we do this to you? Every Easter prior to this movie, I knew what had happened to him but until this movie, and actually seeing it, it changed so much for me. I sobbed through the rest of the movie. I couldn’t drive home, I was so overwhelmed with emotion.

This movie drove it home for me. Really made it clear about the love Jesus has for us. Jesus took a thief into Heaven with Him. He will do that for each and every one of us who asks. Jesus loves us so much that He took our sin onto Himself and died for us. Is there anyone who could do that? Do you understand how deep that love is? This love is something that will change you. You can’t and won’t be the same person when you accept that love. Jesus’ love has the power and strength to overcome everything and anything that comes your way. Without that love, you are not whole. Not the person you could be.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Need to Know or,…

My husband and I were having a discussion this weekend. There are many times when my husband will ask me something rhetorical just to see my response. Then he will answer it as well.

This weekend the issue came up about our past lives and what is going on with us now. I have told my husband pretty much everything there is to tell about my previous marriage. There are still issues going on that need resolutions and I am finding it difficult. My husband does not want to know much more about what is going on because it is stressful and frustrating. So anything that happens, I just keep it to myself and talk to my friend.

My husband has had two previous marriages that were very short lived. He has been in the navy and in the marines as a corpsman. Needless to say, what they say about navy men is very true. Especially when the man is as handsome as my husband. Also, knowing the culture and attitudes of both Canada and the US, I can just imagine what went on in his past.

I told my husband that there are things I won’t discuss with him. But they are pretty much everything that he already knows. I just won’t update him. Then he said there are things he won’t talk about to me.

I just sat there and thought out loud. So is it better for me to know about it or not? I am a writer so my imagination can take me places that would probably be far worse than what is real. Although, if I would know, it would eat at me. Could I think it through and then let it go?

This is a very difficult question to answer for anyone. Would you rather know or not? There are many times that people have questioned when they have found out that someone is cheating on their spouse. Do you tell the spouse that is being cheated on, or not? There have been television shows and movies about this issue. There have not been any good answers.

We are not just talking about spouses who cheat. It could be any number of issues. Would you want to know? For me, I really do need to know. Like I said, I have an over active imagination. I can be melodramatic but it is the way I am and with all the things I am going through, I think I deserve some slack.

I see as knowing what is going on as being honest with your partner. A spouse knows when something is not quite right with their partner. If you are truly in love, then there shouldn’t be any secrets. Whatever happened in the past, can be resolved, especially if it was against the partner. Or I should say, it needs to be recognized, resolved, apologized and forgiveness needs to happen. Otherwise, keeping secrets from your partner just festers. What other secrets are you willing to hold against your partner? If it was in the past and not against your partner, then your partner has a right to know.

There needs to be total honesty in relationships. If you can’t be honest with the person you love the most in the world, what kind of a relationship is that? Jesus hears and sees and knows everything. You can’t hide anything from Him. You need to be totally honest with him. And so it holds for the person you are bound to in marriage. Marriage is sacrosanct. It is what God intended for us.

Do I want to know or not? I know I do.

#2 – Summing up the Ten Commandments

“Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” Exodus 20: 18-19.

No kidding. I would be afraid too. God told Moses that the people weren’t even allowed to touch the base of the mountain or they would be put to death. The people told Moses that he would have to tell them everything God was telling Moses. They wanted him to be the go between or the mediator. I think this is what God wanted.  Could you imagine everyone up on the mountain, listening to God? There would be questions, people wanting to eat or drink, people needing to use the facilities, interruptions galore. I could just see the mayhem now. There is at least one or two people who just can’t sit still.

God came down to the top of the mountain in fire and smoke and clouds. That would be pretty intimidating. (Also, answers my question about is heaven really up there? The Bible definitely says God came down to the top of the mountain.) I also would wonder about God’s voice. What did it sound like? Moses was lucky enough to hear it. He also knew the rules and knew what God expected from him. A few other people got to go up the mountain but they were only at God’s invitation. It was all respected.

However, the people definitely did tell Moses to be their mediator. They weren’t going to take any chances. God said that no one could even touch the base of the mountain or they would be put to death by stoning or arrows. I can’t imagine either one of those being a fast or easy death. Not unless someone had a really good arm and could make the first blow or arrow the fatal one. Moses was willing and he became their mediator. The ten commandments were the first set of laws for the Israelites.

The ten commandments are still relevant to everyone today. In my previous blog, I said that we are all sinful and that keeping the ten commandments is difficult. Probably next to impossible. It isn’t just keeping the commandment. It is everything leading up to the commandment. All your thoughts and actions before the final act of disobeying the commandment.

We don’t have Moses today to be our mediator but we have someone that is the best mediator of all time. Jesus. We are so lucky to have Jesus on our side. He was on earth in human form. He knew exactly what it was like for us. He walked with us, beside us. Talked to us. Had all the same things happen to him physically (and more) that we are dealing with. It doesn’t mean that we are home free. We can’t just keep sinning and think, oh well. It’s okay. I’ve got Jesus on my side. It’s just too hard to keep obeying these commandments and doing the right thing. I’ll just do what I can and then at the end, beg for forgiveness and Jesus will give me a free pass.

I don’t think that is how it is going to work. I think at the end of your life, you will be held accountable for everything you did. I know at the end of my life, I will be asking for forgiveness. I will probably ask God that He spare all the people I love. A lot of people believe that at the end times, Christians will be taken up to heaven. I will be that person who tells God, I can’t go. I need to stay behind and make sure everyone I love is saved. Well, this is for another topic.

The ten commandments apply very much today. We all need to look them over and think about them with deep honesty. With our whole heart. We need to say, oh my! These commandments are difficult but I will honestly try. When I mess up, I need to ask for forgiveness. We are all so lucky that we have Jesus looking out for us. There is peace in that.

The Tenth Commandment

The tenth commandment. The entire commandment is “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” Exodus 20:17.

This is the only commandment that legislates thought. All the others legislate action. To covet is much more than just wanting something. The Hebrew verb, lachmod, means to want to the point of seeking to take away and own something that belongs to another person. That is just wrong.

There is nothing wrong with seeing something that someone else has and think to yourself, “Gee. I would like something like that too, so I am going to put money to the side and buy one for myself.” The problem happens when a person sees what another person has and wanting that item for yourself. When that happens, then how do you actually get that item? Steal it? Kill for it? Lie for it? You can see how covet means much more.

I think of coveting similar to lusting. A person is so filled with desire to own what another person has that they become obsessed with that item. All you can do is think about it. It fills your dreams and your day time thoughts. Lusting is not just limited to another person’s spouse. People have lusted or coveted after a car, artwork, jewelry, house, and the list does go on. People have murdered to possess someone else’s “goods”.

Whatever belongs to another person must be regarded as sacrosanct. This coveting thing started with Eve. Satan tempted her by telling her about the forbidden fruit. If she would eat it, she would be like God. She was not intended to have the fruit but she was envious and coveted the fruit.

Not all our desires are bad. Our desire to do something useful motivates us to work. Our desire for friendship moves us to become part of a community. Our desire for food motivates us to eat. Our desire for intimacy, including sexual intimacy, moves us to seek marriage. The deepest of all our desires needs to be to know God. To let God and Jesus into our hearts. Every person should have this desire.

Neighbor in this commandment goes beyond who lives in your neighborhood. It does mean anyone, anywhere. Even if it is a celebrity or someone you see in passing. When the commandments were written, people did not travel far. They only knew the people in their village. Today, our neighbors have reached much further with the internet and by all the social media we are able to tap into.

We need to be content with what we have. Too many of us start to wish “if only,”. Problem with if only’s is that there is always another one that follows. The if only’s spiral out of control. A person may think, but I want the best it can be. It was the best it could be in the beginning. You can drive yourself crazy thinking it could be better. Being content does not mean make do. It means be content with what you have. Strive towards getting to know Jesus better. He is everything you really need.

 

The Eighth Commandment

Exodus 20:15 “You shall not steal.” The eighth Commandment.

This one is pretty straight forward, right? Do not take anything from anyone if it isn’t yours. One author says that if you follow this commandment, then you are pretty much obeying all of the commandments. Murder is stealing a person’s life. You steal another person’s spouse when you commit adultery. When you are envious of another person’s possessions, it could lead to stealing the possession. If you don’t tell the truth, you are stealing justice from another.

We have all been given the right to possess property. No one has the right to steal anything that belongs to that person. The reasoning for this is that God has given us these material items in order to be good stewards for Him. Whatever we have, we are to happily and willingly give to others, especially the poor. The Bible talks about tithing 10% of what we have to God. Stealing from what God has given us, is basically stealing from God.

What about when someone steals something that isn’t material? Perhaps like a person’s good name or dignity, or an idea or song. That is stealing. God has given us all gifts or talents which are to be used for Him. God gave me the gift of writing. I know I don’t always use my writing for His glory but, dear Lord, how I try.

It is interesting that when Christ was crucified, He was placed in between two thieves. The first thief to be saved was the one who said to Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” The thief knew. Jesus took all our sins upon himself and died for us. He died for thieves, so that every thief who trusts in Him will be saved. Is there any way we can possibly thank Jesus for this?

The Fourth Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11

This is the fourth commandment in its entirety. As I am typing this verse, I am wondering, what about the wife? Or does the you imply both man and woman? Husband and wife? Mother and father? That has to be the answer since the fifth commandment is to honor your father and mother. I better move on from this question.

It has been said that this commandment is the longest and has three parts to it. Verse 8 tells us what to do, then verses 9-10 specifies how we are to do it and verse 11 explains the why.

God has explained that we are to work or labor for six days of the week but on the seventh, we are to rest, give God glory and show mercy. Apparently, we were made to work or labor. We are to work for God’s benefit. Any task that we undertake, should be done with happiness and mercy. Every person needs to be working, whether you are employed, unemployed, a student, an at home caregiver, retired or disabled. Each one of us is meant to be able to work at something.

I like those affluent people who think they need to work seven days a week. Some have said it isn’t efficient to believe in God because it takes away from their business. Perhaps they would have a better business if they took one day a week off and observed a day of rest, gave honor to God and spent time with families. Or perhaps doing community work. I just think they are being greedy in wanting more.

Now for those people who provide emergency services, they are needed on Sundays. They are showing mercy to others by attending to those injured or those who need help. These people then do need to take another day off for rest and honoring God.

However, Christians today are just so busy and rush from place to place, job to job, one commitment to another. People are so wrapped up in themselves that they tend to forget others. The day of rest is to honor God, show mercy and spend time with family and loved ones. The biggest issue, these days, is time. Everyone has so little time. If someone infringes on that time, then there is a feeling of desperation. Not being able to finish everything. Do Christians not see that by giving themselves one day off to rest and honor God, this will give them a fresh start to the rest of the week? Just my thoughts.