Monthly Archives: June 2017

Speak the truth in LOVE…(Day 21) What Is Love? Challenge

 

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(Image Source)

Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to say something to someone but for whatever reason held it back?

I was watching a drama and one of the main characters in the drama could hear other people’s inner voices….most of the time, people have a lot of inner dialogue running through their mind but rarely say exactly what they’re thinking or everything they’re thinking…these thoughts are only reserved for the self and God…

Apparently we have about 50 thoughts per minute and about 70, 000 thoughts per day, can you imagine the chaos if we actually spoke out loud every single thought that crossed our mind?

…in the drama I was watching, the characters would say one thing but were actually thinking something else…sometimes people don’t really say what they’re thinking either to avoid conflict or because people aren’t all too interested in really hearing exactly how we feel…I mean most of the time, when we meet people we ask them how they are doing but we rarely expect them to really tell us how they are doing…

most people respond with a standard answer, I’m doing fine…but has anyone actually gave you the rundown of their day after asking them how they are? are they truly FINE or is there more to their story?

As an introvert, I usually have so many thoughts running through my head, but I rarely voice them out…unless I’m close to the person I’m speaking to, I’d rather be an empathetic listener and that’s one thing that I’d say I’m good at…listening and reading other people’s emotions…

but this can be a double edged sword…

Sometimes silence is the best policy, because you can avoid saying the wrong thing or even offending people, it’s the best weapon in keeping the PEACE but sometimes it can create really unhealthy relationships because you tend to hold everything inside and resent the person or the situation…also people tend to create their own opinion of you because they don’t really know what you’re thinking….

In some cases, it’s best to speak up, because how else will people know your stance, your values, your opinions and needs if you don’t really voice them?

Being able to strike the right balance between when to talk and when to listen is an art in itself and is an important part of being a great communicator….

In today’s bible verses, (Day 21 of the “What Is Love? Challenge”) we’re called to speak in LOVE…

Ephesians 4:10-16 (ESV)

10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

If you grew up in a christian household it was probably mandated that you attend church service every sunday, while this is a good thing, some of us turn this into a routine and fail to create our own relationship with God, we think because we’re attending church every sunday that’s good enough…

if you don’t really form a deep relationship with God you tend to question these routines… I’ve been there before, where I wake up Sunday morning and I’d rather stay home and rest or get some stuff done than go to church…you start making excuses like, “I really don’t have to attend church because I can pray and read the bible myself at home” and you tell yourself you can also watch a church service on TV or online…

However, in today’s verses we’re told that Jesus gave us apostles, prophets, shephards and teachers so that we can be equipped for the work of ministry and for building up the body of the christ…

One of my favorite stories about Jesus, is when he was 12 years old and his family went to Jerusalem for a festival….after the festival was over, his parents were heading back home and realised that he was missing, so they looked for him everywhere but Jesus was actually in the temple learning from the teachers there…when his mother told him they were worried and looking for him…he responded didn’t you know I would be in my father’s house (Luke 2:41-52) Jesus was there because he knew that’s where he needed to be to find God, commune with him and grow spiritually…we grow when we communicate with others…

No man is an Island and as part of the body of christ, the only way we can mature, grow and carry out our missions; is by learning from others who are further along in their spiritual journey, those who have matured in faith. And that’s why we need to attend church, to build our relationship with God and grow so that we may be able to stand firm in our faith…this can only be done in an environment with like minded individuals who will support and encourage our growth.

As we grow in our faith, we’re told to speak the TRUTH in LOVE, the scriptures say that, Death and Life are in the power of the tounge (Proverbs 18:21). A person perspective in life is built upon what has been said to them or what has been said about them…from the time we’re children we rely on the words of our parents and those around us to guide us…and the combinations of these words and our experiences form our personality and our view in life…

Words are very powerful, and once we know this we need to use them wisely…

The scriptures say that Jesus is the word (John 1:1) the truth (John 14:6) and that true wisdom comes from God (Proverbs 2 : 6 -8)

the only way we can truly speak in Love is by having a strong relationship with God where, we are filled with his word, truth, love and wisdom…

Love always,

XOXO,

Dee



The Pursuit…

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Hi loves, hope you’re enjoying the summer :) Today, I’d love to share a little passage that stuck with me this week. And the passage is from a book I’m currently reading, “The Pursuit Of God” by A.W. Tozer.

SIDE NOTE: If you’re one of those people who read on the kindle app, either on your phone or your computer, this book is currently only 99 cents.

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This chapter, really stuck out to me because it talks about one of the burdens that a lot of us struggle with…this is the burden of “pretense” and “artificiality”, we are called to be meek…

But most of us are constantly struggling to find our value in this world. We go about our lives always fighting to be recognized and valued, either through our possessions, fame, money, power, beauty, relationships, education, knowledge, career, lifestyle etc

We carry the burden of shame because we feel like we don’t measure up…we’re not good enough…and this stems from constantly comparing ourselves to others, trying to find recognition and seeking for our place in society…

ultimately we’re just trying to be accepted…and because of this, we can’t truly be our authentic selves, we’re constantly trying to be something we’re not, we’re constantly hiding our flaws and weaknesses…

so that we can win the approval of others or so we can be validated…

the result of this is living in a constant state of shame and fear, hiding our true selves under a mask, while playing a role, pretending to be something we’re not….

“The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort.” – A.W.Tozer

The big revelation, is realizing that our value does not come from this world but it comes from God, unless we surrender our guilt, shame and burdens to him and seek our identity in him, we will forever seek to be validated by this world…

and if this is the end goal, we will never find contentment and peace, because there will always be someone or something better out there…in essence without letting God determine our value, we’re just fighting a losing battle…

The only way to live without -

…..the burden of not being good enough,

……shame, guilt and fear,

is to PURSUE God

1 John 4:18 (ESV)

18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Love always,

XOXO,

Dee

 



We’re here for RELATIONSHIPS…(Day 20) What Is Love? Challenge

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This past Sunday, our church service was dedicated to exploring the Trinity of God…and as part of the sermon our pastor brought to our attention this beautiful piece of Art, “The Trinity” by Andrei Rublev which depicts God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Without going into the whole history of this painting, I just wanted to talk about it’s significance as explained by our pastor. That even before the heavens and earths were created, God existed within an interconnected RELATIONSHIP driven by LOVE.

If you explore the story of creation in Genesis, God created man in his image,

Genesis 1:26-28 (NIV)

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

Man (Adam) was formed to have a relationship with God and next he was given the woman (Eve) so that they can have a relationship with each other, so that they can form a union…which is the institution of marriage as we know it today, the most important institution created by God,

Genesis 2:18 (ESV)

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

Genesis 2:24 (ESV)

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

and as we discussed on Day 1 of the “What Is Love? Challenge” the greatest command is to LOVE…to love God and to love others…love can only exist within a relational state with others. We can’t say we love God and ignore to express his love that lives within us, to others. And we can’t live like Islands, as long as we live on this earth we will form various forms of relationships with others. And God calls us to love them as he has loved us.

Therefore, the whole purpose of our existence is to have a loving relationship with God and mirror God’s love in our relationships with others.

This brings me to today’s verse from Day 20 of the “What Is Love? challenge”

1 Peter 3:8-12 (ESV)

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For

“Whoever desires to love life
    and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from speaking deceit;
11 let him turn away from evil and do good;
    let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Today’s verses, teach us, how as mirrors of God’s love, we are supposed to relate to others. God calls us as a body of christ to be united and of one mind… God is our head, and although we’re part of his body and may have different functions, we all exist for one purpose to glorify him, therefore we should all strive to keep this in mind and stand together in unity.

Next we are called to be, sympathetic, loving, tender hearted (kind, gentle, compassionate) and humble…reflecting the characteristics of God.

Following in the steps of christ we are not supposed to repay evil for evil but to bless those who mistreat us and leave judgement to God….the same way Jesus forgave and prayed for those who crucified him…if we behave in this way God will also bless us…

Next we’re advised if we want love life and see good days we’re to keep our speech from evil or lies, keep everything pure and transparent, turn away from doing evil and instead do good, seek peace and pursue it…

We’re reminded that God sets his eyes on the righteous and he hears their prayer, but hides his face from those who do evil…

so today let’s pray and ask God to help us:

have a good relationship with him and with others so that we may glorify him,

exist in love and mirror his love in our relationship with others,

to be united in mind with other believers, to be sympathetic, loving, tender hearted and humble,

not pay evil for evil but have the strength to forgive and bless those who mistreat us,

turn away from evil and always do good,

keep our speech from evil and lies,

seek and pursue peace,

 - Amen

Love Always,

Dee



Real Peace Is…

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I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, today, I just wanted to share a lovely quote that stuck with me as I was reading one of my devotionals…this is from the book, “The Seven Laws Of Love.” By Dave Willis

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The pervasive access to other people’s lives through Social Media gives us a false image of reality…most people curate their online personas so they may uphold a certain image to others…because honestly, Social Media isn’t really a place to showcase our weaknesses but our strengths…

…most of us go through the cycle of our daily routines wearing a mask…hiding our burdens underneath….rarely do people ask friends, family or co-workers how they really are doing, with the intent of listening to personal burdens….

“Everyone is fighting their own battles.

To be free from their past.

To live in their present.

And to create their future.

So have heart.”

- Unkown

 

We all carry our burdens and personal experiences wherever we go or to whatever relationships we encounter on a daily basis and our reactions to situations or to others, is often deeply rooted in our personal perceptions…

Therefore, before you make assumptions or pass judgement always try to be kind, compassionate and empathetic…because most people are fighting battles you know nothing about…and behind every “I’m fine”, there’s usually a deeper story to uncover…

On a personal note, from my own life experience, I have been on both sides of the fence, where I’ve tried carrying all the burdens of life on my own verses surrendering my burdens to God…and I have found that when I surrender my burdens to him, I truly have peace that surpasses all understanding….

“Don’t tell God how big your storm is,

tell the storm how big your God is…”

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Stay Blessed,

XOXO

Dee