Friday, April 9, 2010

Love Life Lessons

Hey Girls,

God is an expert on love but we, well, we seem to have trouble sometimes grasping the concept. In one way, we know about love because we know we love somebody; we love our family. We know it as a feeling of attachment. Yet we also can know feelings of being 'in love'. We have different experiences of love. We change so the way we love people can change.

Yet what I'm getting at is a form of continuious love. Lasting love, not rushing emotions like the rollarcoaster deal but love as effort. Think about long term relationships for a moment and they don't have to be with a guy, it could be with your parents or a sibling. You know deep down that you love them. That doesn't change but the daily acts of love are what demonstrate those feelings. It's these daily acts that sometimes become difficult. Yet they're often what make the person feel loved. As we get to know someone better, we get to know their likes and dislikes so we can use that to show love to them better. When we stop trying to love, that's when relationships can turn rocky.

Learning to love is sometimes easy, sometimes hard. It's easy to love someone who loves us back. But it's hard to love someone who couldn't care less about us, who annoys us to no end, who may act mean to us on purpose or just be plain indifferent. It's those folks who are harder to love but who we have to love nevertheless. God loves everybody and so we should do the same. After all, Jesus ate dinner with society's cast offs and even when they killed him on the cross, he still asked God to forgive them. That's love. Even though it's sometimes the hardest to love someone that our personality just clashes with, it's important to try. We don't have to go all out and send them presents or do a big gesture but just speaking kind words, trying not to get defensive or offended, acting friendly- all that can speak of effort to love.

Everyone loves in different ways too. You've probably heard how everyone has a different love language (quality time, physical touch, words of encouragment, gifts/gestures...etc)? What's yours? Think about it for a moment because you're top love languages are the telling method of love you use to love others. People love how they want to be loved. It's just natural that way. Yet as we learn to love someone more, we discover their top love languages and if we make the effort to love them in their language than that will mean even more to them. In marriage relationships, that's an especially good thing to do. When couples step out of their 'natural' love language to love each other using their spouses preference, than good things will happen; their love for each other will deeper because they are reaching out in the way the holds the most meaning for the other person.

Although, none of us learns to love overnight. We aren't born with an inate ability to love all the time in all the right ways. We mess up. It's a process like any other. We have to learn. The more we study, the better at giving love we become. Our relationships will deepen and grow over time as we continue our efforts to love one another, continue learning on how best to do that. When people stop making effort, that's when things fall apart. So keep the effort up, at least do your part even if you don't recieve love back- God doesn't always, and yet he keeps on loving everyone anyways.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Hi Girls,

When someone mentions or talks about intimacy, what do you think about it? What does intimate entail?

The Free Dictionary online defines intimate as:

1. Marked by close acquaintance, association, or familiarity.

2. Relating to or indicative of one's deepest nature

3. Essential; innermost: the intimate structure of matter.

4. Marked by informality and privacy

5. Very personal; private

6. Of or involved in a sexual relationship.

n. A close friend or confidant

Kinda broadens the thinking when put in an order like that eh? The only physical aspect of intimacy actually turns out to be last on the list- surprising?? Well, not really actually because in order that the physical/sexual stuff has deeper meaning, there needs to be a established basis of intimacy already, built from emotional and spiritual closeness.

So can a dating couple share intimacy? Why sure! In fact, couples on the pathway to marriage (which is what dating is) should definately be establishing intimacy with each other. They should be familiar, comfortable and secure together. They should start to understand each other's personal thoughts, dreams, desires, and life experiences. They should be each other's confidant. All this stuff, sets the stage for the future. If you can't trust your boyfriend or fiance with every single thought in your mind or feeling in your heart, even telling him of difficult experiences that happened to you- than you won't be able to trust him as a husband and that makes for an unhealthy marriage. There comes a time in a relationship where this deep level of intimacy is necessary to moving forward, so if you can't trust him with everything- than there are some issues you'll have to sort out before continuing on.

Yet life continually happens and things continually change within us, so even when we're married, we have to continue to work on intimacy. We have to continually evaluate our level of trust. Can we open our hearts again to our husband? Confess what we've been dealing with? We have to. It's the only way to have a continually healthy relationship. Couples who can't confide in each other like that need to seek help from others and turn to God, otherwise they're going to destroy their marriage. We have to know what the other person is thinking and feeling on the deepest levels. That's how closeness is maintained. After all, I think for many people, the physical/sexual part of a relationship is easy compared to the emotional/trust part. Both have to do with intimacy.

Often us girls have our close female friends who we find it is so easy to share our personal thoughts with because we're relational like that and know that they probably understand pretty well. Yet, some girls struggle with relating in the same way to their significant other. In a relationship, your man has to be your bestest best friend, first among other people, the closest person to you (besides God that is; God needs to always be number 1 in the relationship, and in your life). Sometimes it's so easy to allow a bit of distance to form but we can't let that happen. Girl friends are wonderful but they cannot take the place of your husband because he has to know you the best, be closest to you and you have to confide in him first. That will make for a healthy, intimate relationship.

Although, I think it is important to note that intimacy doesn't happen right away; your boyfriend may not become your closest confidant right away. It takes time to build that level of intmacy but eventually, it should happen where he just becomes the most important person in your life, the closest person to you. Learning intimacy is not always easy, and sometimes not even fun, but it's worth it, and definately rewarding in the end.

Yet we can't forget about having intimacy with God either. That should be first in our lives because it paves the way for all our other relationships. I once heard someone talk on the definition of intimacy with God and how it just means 'in to me' which we have with the Holy Spirit living in us. We have that close connection. God already knows all our feelings, thoughts and concerns even before we say a word. Yet it's still good to talk them out with him because we need that release of whatever we're dealing with and he loves hearing from us. God loves to communicate with us. So, remember, before intimacy can come in other areas of our life, we need to work on it with God first. Allowing him to see every area of our heart, giving all over to him because inviting him to take over, take control, is essential to our well being.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Save The Little Ones

Hey Girls,

Ever think about abortion? Or talk about it with your friends? What do they think about it? What do you think about it? I remember when abortion was a headlining issue, like becoming legalized in different places for the first time, back when I was in high school. I didn't really understand the issue then. Course, I was surrounded by all the peer pressures of high school which can really suck and definately confused my thinking back then. I used to wonder what was so bad about it really, I knew as a Christian that I should be against it but I didn't completely understand, like what about if a girl get's raped? For awhile I just couldn't figure out the injustice of a situation like that. And it didn't help that my friends were just as wishy washy about it as I was, most believing it was okay, or if they thought it was bad, they made exceptions for the case of rape. Maybe you thought like that too or still do.

I find some topics need serious thinking time before we can truly understand. After all, how can we answer someone on an issue if we truly don't know where we stand and why? Well, I took my thinking time and ended up coming to a very certain conclusion after a bit. I needed to discover the reasons why. So incase you're unsure about it, here are some of the reasons I've discovered for why a Christian can never support abortion.

Psalm 139: 13-17
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!

Ok, if this isn't clear enough- I'd have to leave it up to God to convince a Christian how wrong abortion is! Every child, no matter how they are concieved, is a gift from God- their entire life recorded, planned and thought over in detail. No one was a mistake. God thought over everybody and carefully knit them together.

Yet, some people need scientific fact to convince them, especially non Christians. There is enough facts going around about how horrible it is but human stubbornness and pride is very difficult to overcome. When we were driving through the states, they had these billboards up encouraging women to not abort their babies by telling them that the baby's heart is beating 18 days after conception! Now, I'm not really up on much scientific facts about this so I didn't know that. It struck me though because 18 days after conception, most women still wouldn't know if their pregnant or not. So by the time they actually find out, the baby is far more than a bunch of cells. There is so much more to this as well, just pick up any book on pregnancy and you will see each developmental stage of the baby in detail. Women aren't just getting rid of a few cells, they are truly killing the child inside of them.

That's why the entire argument over the rights of the women is rather, well, stupid. Society dictates that women have the right to murder children if they are still inside of her. Sounds pretty ridicolous to me. So much for rights of the baby...

Plus, abortion doesn't get rid of the problem either. Some women experience physical effects after the procedure since it's unatural for their bodies, while others, are haunted spiritually or emotionally for years and years. I've also heard horrible stories of what happens during the actual abortion- which I'd rather not repeat here because I don't like thinking of such things but you can do the research if you're curious.

Why do women choose abortion in the first place? Well, I think a lot of them must be really ignorant of what actually happens or what they are actually doing (the medical industry can make abortion sound pretty innocent). Others, perhpas, they don't really care, they are selfish and just want to get rid of the problem- unaware that a baby is the least of their problems. Some want to 'save' the child from the life circumstances that they would be born into but if they really cared about saving their baby, they wouldn't kill it. And then there is adoption, people always want to adopt babies- they are in such high demand, especially from those women who can't have children of their own. Yet I can admit that the childrens services system is not a perfect system and there is a lot of abuse within it but at least putting your baby into that system gives them a chance at life- it may be rough growing up or they may get a wonderful home but eventually they will have the freedom to choose their own path. I know I'd be willing to raise any unwanted baby.

Christians have no excuse it seems to me when it comes to this issue because they have God to rely on; they can trust God with the life of their baby when giving it up. Yet even Christians can get sidetracked, confused, lost like anyone. The issue is a result of sin anyways and is sin- murder is sin. Abortion is just another area of sin, like stealing or immorality but it has huge consequences. Sin is sin, and sometimes Christians may not recognize abortion that way. This is why it's so important that we decide where we stand so that when people come to us who struggle in this area, we will know what to say to them, how to encourage them towards life, towards God but at the same time, stepping aside from judging them. Everyone is responsible for their own choices but we can do our best to represent good choices, so as not to lead other searching souls astray.

God loves all life, no matter how little it is.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Hi Girls,

So trust can be a big issue for us eh? We trust some people and not others. People disappoint us and we are less likely to trust them again. What about God? Do you ever find that your trust in people effects the way you trust God? We don't always know what God will do in our lives so this uncertainty can cause us to distrust him. I think we all can admit that there have been times where we just didn't trust God, or areas of our life where we still don't, where we try to control everything.

Hebrews 11:1 says "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Seems like there is an element of trust in there to me. Trust and faith in God go hand in hand. We have faith that brings us certainity in God and we have trust in what God will do. We have to believe in God by faith but we can't fully believe if we don't trust. If we believe in God's love for us, than we have to trust that he will take care of us. Otherwise our beliefs have no action, no result or effect in our lives.

Ok, so how do we learn to trust God? People disappoint us and a lot of us have been hurt, had our trust betrayed so how do we keep that experience from effecting our life with God? First of all, our experience with people should not have any reflection whatsoever on our relationship with God. God is above people; God is perfect. God never makes mistakes. Our relationship with God should dictate how we treat people. Not the other way around.

Psalm 9:10 says "Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." This verse tells us a couple very important things. First of all, our trust in God is sure because he will never forsake us- never leave us.

Unfortunately, I have to cut this short now so I can rush off to leave.. but hopefully what I have here will encourage you! Take a leap today girls with whatever stuff you're dealing with and trust God to handle it for you. Don't stress over what is out of your control and even what you can control, allow God to take the reigns and you'll be better off for it. So let's strengthen our faith today by putting more trust in God!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Who You Are Today

Hey all,

Imagine back maybe 5 or 10 years, think of the person you were back then, what you were going through then, thoughts you were thinking. If I think back to when I was in high school and compare that to now, I can see a big difference. Think of the events that happened in your life in the in between period and the impact they had. I wonder if there is anyone one of us who can look back and see no change with today. I believe we are always changing because life is always affecting us in different ways.

There are personality changes, for example, where I can see issues I was unsure about in high school, I know where I stand now. Or physical changes, like moving to a different place or losing a bunch of weight. Life changes, such as back in high school, I was lonely whereas now, I am married. Or spiritual changes, like knowing more about God now compared to back when. Yet, perhaps some changes you see when you look back are not positive. Maybe you didn't change for the better in every area. Sometimes life experiences can effect negative changes in us.

The important thing is that we can look back and see the changes, either good or bad. Then we can deal with the results, praising God for the good and asking him to change the bad. This allows us to be better aware of ourselves, know who we are, where we've been and where we want to go.

Some people really fight change in their lives because they don't know how to deal with it. They don't want to let change affect them. This is unfortunate because it prevents them from growing and discovering new things about themselves or the world around them. Sometimes change can be scary because we don't know what will happen to us but looking back, we are able to see how everything worked out. We can look back now and understand the changes that happened in the past so we don't need to be scared about the future because one day we will be able to look back at that too.

After all, God is constant. His love for us is constant. So as long as we push to follow him and trust him, he will lead us right and work out all the changes. I don't think change is a bad thing. Rather, it's a chance to practice trusting God.

Quite often, we seek change in our lives. We have something that we want to change or we pray for someone else to change. That's another area that only God can take care of. We have to trust him. So, as we remember who we were and now understand better who we are today, can you see where God led you? Maybe it was gentle and gradual or maybe he just took you from one place and plopped you right down in another. Looking back let's us see God's fingerprints on our lives. Let's thank God for being with us and ask that he continues to guide us through all the changes that come our way.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Time of Love

Hi Girls,

Happy Easter!! I hope that we all remember to thank Jesus for his gift of love to us today. Easter is more than what society would make us out to think that it is. What does Easter mean to you? Really mean to you? Like, all Christians would say Easter is a time to remember Jesus's life, death and resurrection. Sure, definitely. But does that go beyond Church on Sunday? How do you really celebrate Easter with that in mind and not get distracted by all the stuff with the bunny and chocolate (not to say there is anything wrong with sweet treats!)?

I think sometimes Christians are very 'churchy' like they have the fundamental head beliefs and they go through the motions but it doesn't really penetrate beyond that. Easter becomes something of a religious function I guess. Ever had that feeling? Like sitting in church or hearing someone speak on Easter, and it just strikes you as performing a function, doing the normal holiday thing? Does it really effect people's inner beings, their emotions, their faith?

Well, I hope we can change that in ourselves today. I hope that today becomes a celebration of God's love, whereby we truly and honestly can thank him from the bottom of our hearts. After all, look at how messed up we are, how much we screw up, how much we keep coming to God for forgiveness- let's thank him that we can do that. Thank Him that Jesus took sin and death and broke it's power over us, that he essentially 'killed' it from controlling us and set us free to experience his love, to have eternal life and live as free people with clean slates. This is an amazing day of thank yous! Thank you God for loving us so much that you would send your son; thank you Jesus that you obeyed your father and went through all the terrible stuff to bring the people that you love into life!

Remembering this is so important because it's like the cornerstone of our Christian faith. When Jesus rose again, he proved that death has no power. He proved that God is all powerful! And we know that one day when we die, we will all 'rise again' to live forever with Jesus in the Father's kingdom. So this is a time for celebration, happiness, and to also remember at what great cost our freedom was bought. What began when sin became rampant on the Earth, ended with Jesus's resurrection and gave us the ability to approach Jesus with our prayers and requests.

There is so much more to the story of Easter though. It's a rather complex story if you really think about it in detail. It's a story about freedom from the law (remember the law God gave Moses, who gave to the people, so they could repent and live right?), that's all gone with Jesus. We just need to follow him in all ways. It's also a story about how much God loves us. Think about it; mothers can especially attest to this. Who would want their child to experience such suffering as Jesus did? Someone would rather take the suffering upon themselves than have their family member experience it. Yet God knew what the cost of our sin was, he knew it would take his very son whom he loved so much. I think only a parent can fully understand the significance of this but most of us could probably imagine pretty well. God loved us so greatly that he sent Jesus to pay the price of our sin.

So today, let's make sure we say thank you. Let's celebrate God's love for us, celebrate Jesus's actions and faith in his Father's will. So go ahead and have fun, eat your sweet treats, lots and lots of chocolate..haha but do it with the truth in mind. Thank Jesus that you are able to have fun and eat sweet stuff with the knowledge that God loves you so much and wanted you free from sin/death so that you can have forever to spend with him in Heaven.