Tag Archives: love

“Le Maison en Petits Cubes”, a short animation

A short animation about memories.  It is translated as “The House of Cubes.”  This is to hold you over for when I get back from an eastern city in Turkey here.  So enjoy it and watch it as many times as you can, and let me know what you think. Peace!

 

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The One Who Wears My Ring

The One Who Wears My Ring

The old Roman stones were rough,

The nearby streets hustling bustling,

With the downtown baazar filled with stuff,

I’m found wanting.

 

Though the blue sea and its warmth does please,

The carpets of Anatolia do spark wonder,

One can live life here quite at ease,

But still for one thing do I hunger.

 

Fascination is filling its appetite,

And my eyes are filled with new sights,

Curiosity is overwhelmed with the number

Of unexplored corners, and unknown streets.

But when all is still and well,

The buses and taxis have had their fill,

When the fishermen have no fish to sell,

I’m found wanting one thing, still.

 

If I could travel even more…

If I could try the world’s foods…

If I could meet the most interesting people…

If I could see the oldest ruin…

I would still be found wanting this one thing.

 

In man’s pursuit of beauty in all the land,

All he wants is to walk with her, hand in hand.

Though the world interest, curiosity, and fascination bring

Only let me be with the one who wears my ring.

“My wife married five men, all of which were me.”

I’m taking today to share with you just a golden video of wisdom from three great men I highly admire.  John Piper pastor of my youth, Tim Keller excellent author on making timeless truths relevant for the modern day man, and DA Carson one of the most respected scholars in my book.

Together they’re talking about the covenant of marriage, and how that covenant, not the feeling of being in love, will be sustaining power in a marriage.  So worth the listen.

Notable excerpts:

Tim Keller: “My wife married five men.  All of which were me….hes trying to get across the fact you change, and your spouses change….when you get married you change each other.”

John Piper: “[Covenant] is the ground where the flower grows.  If you are in a season where your flower is wilted and you think the solution is to pull the plant up out of the ground, thats not the solution.  The ground of covenant, the ground of promise, the ground of “no divorce, maybe murder” is the ground where the flower can flourish again.  And my life is a testimony of 42 years of falling in love with my wife all over again…”

The original link can be found here.

“Stop playing the role of harlot! I love you!”

When someone sleeps deeply, loud voice and violent shakings are needed to wake them.  A slight whisper will not do.  So I also am about to use strong language, because many who may be reading this may be sleeping spiritually.  It is my goal to wake you.  I pray this may aid in waking you up to soberness!

The Bible often times uses strong language to communicate a point, to allow a message to awaken a people group, to shake sleepers from their slumber.  When one enters the spiritual lair of the evil one, every spiritual tool ought to be used to save.

What if God told you to marry the most beautiful woman in the land, but with one stipulation…she would become a harlot and break your heart?  This is what God told Hosea to do, during the reign of King Uzziah, a wicked king of Israel.  Israel had once again turned their backs on God, and God was through with it.  You ever wonder if God’s patience wears thin…well it does.  He said He had enough of this rebellion that He ordered the Assyrian peoples to come and invade and plunder the land of Israel.

Hosea was a prophet, and his message was not getting across to the Israelites of that time.  Repent!  Return to the Lord!  But no one would hear him.  God was about to ask Hosea to do a very hard thing.  He was asked by God to marry the most beautiful woman in the land, called Gomer.  Have three children by her, but God promised she would fall away and play the whore on the common streets.  What a way to start a marriage!!

The prophecy soon began to be fulfilled!  Gomer conceived a child and God told Hosea to name it “Not-Pitied” for God was done with pitying his people.  And soon after, Gomer gave birth to another child, and God told Hosea to name her “Not-My-People”.  If Israel would just repent, he would receive them back, but instead he embodied his sentiment with Israel in the common form of children.  Imagine what people were saying, “Isn’t that Hosea’s kid, Not-Pitied?”

And soon on queue, Gomer began to play the whore with various men while Hosea might have been gone on preaching trips.  Word got around, the most beautiful woman in Israel was now a prostitute, and could be found in the streets.  She herself was also embodying something profound; what Israel was doing to their relationship with God.  When Israel, or we who are found in Christ, pursue other gods, whether they be money, relationships, your children, anything that competes for the affection of God, we are in effect having an affair.  We are forsaking the love, the promises, the covenants we have with God, and pursuing other things.

The story doesn’t stay like this, just as God doesn’t stay at arms length from us, for those who repent.  God said in Hosea He would once again have pity on Not-Pitied, and he would once again call his people who were Not-My-People.

To me, this may be one of the most beautiful pictures of love in the Old Testament.  Embodying the sentiment of love and the desire for restoration, Hosea goes to Gomer in her low estate, as her recent lover couldn’t pay for her food or her clothes.  Even though a spear had been thrust through Hosea’s heart as he heard, rumor upon rumor, how unfaithful Gomer had been, love triumphed gloriously.  With strides of zeal for his bride who was still his, he rescued her!  He went to her!  He bought her back!  He called to her, “Gomer, you will be mine again, and you will NOT play the whore anymore.  I love you!  You will no longer be with any other man, and I promise the same to you.”  Here is how the book of Hosea puts it.

“And the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” 2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. 3 And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.” …. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days.”

–         Hosea 3:1-3

Oh see how our God loves us?  It’s not like He loves someone who is lovable and is ready for His love.  Romans says we were actually in enmity with God, before he reached out to us.  We were enemies of God, when he considered to love us!  For His glory, lets be real.  We were not simply lost, like someone without a way.  We were actively pursuing other lovers.  We were enthralled with the world.  We were pleased with sin, therefore putting us in enmity with God.  We ourselves, like Israel were playing the role of harlot!

How great a love is this, that would choose to love harlots!  If that’s not a poor investment, I don’t know what is.  But God’s love is different…it changes us, it transforms us, and it readies us to be lovers of the not so lovable.

The scriptures say, Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart.  What is God saying to you?

If you feel like talking with your Father and dealing with whatever is on your heart, please do so, and perhaps let this worship song aid your time with our loving God.

Alcohol, love and the church

Jon Foreman, lead singer for Switchfoot wrote a very compelling article on RELEVANT Magazine online, here.

“I’ve played music in churches and bars all my life. In many ways, these two gatherings are very similar. Both sets of “regulars” are looking for meaning, carrying out a ritual of sorts—hoping to find purpose, something that makes sense of the pain.

At first glance, it might seem the Church is a better place to look for hope than the bottom of a bottle. Every day, alcoholism and drug abuse destroy families, ruin careers and wreck communities. On the other hand, theological beliefs and misunderstandings have been blamed for divisions, divorces and wars around the world. The trouble with each institution lies within us. True, alcohol feeds a different fire than pietism, but neither a drunk nor a hypocrite look very good in the daylight.

We carry our problems into the church the same way we carry them into a bar—they just react differently in each location. Unfortunately, the sins that exist within the walls of the Church are harder to spot.

Pride, for example, can hide incredibly well in the religious community. I rarely hear the words “I don’t know” uttered at church. And yet the triune Creator of time and space will always be wrapped in mystery and holiness. Why not start in the seat of humility? Surely all of us have gotten a few things wrong in our attempts at Christianity.

Isn’t it pride that causes divisions among us? When we begin to slander other believers in the name of God, we know we’ve gotten off course. Did our Master’s words fall on deaf ears? “Love each other as I have loved you.” “Let them be one, Father, even as we are one.” These are not optional thoughts on how things could be done, but rather prerequisites for entrance into Kingdom of Heaven life. Unity is serious business. The Church is called to be one even as the triune God is one. The comprehensive salvation of our planet is built on the final unity of the Church and her God: the bride and her Savior.

Unfortunately, unity within the ecclesial community is the exception, not the rule. It’s to our shame many folks looking for hope find more grace at the local bar than the local church. When we speak with a fire and anger that burns differently than the fresh air of the cross, we do the Gospel a disservice. We know deep down something is wrong. So we revolt against those fiery speeches. We say the method needs to change. We call the old model irrelevant. And yes! The fresh winds of the Spirit are ready to blow upon us, let us pray for new tongues of the same eternal flame.

And yet if I speak with the tongues of angels and of men but have not love, it profits me nothing. If I rise up against the cheesy Christian T-shirts but have not love, it helps no one. If I hate the legalistic hatred but have not love, it builds nothing. Has the enemy tricked us into a new form of legalism? Is not our judgment committing the same offense? Ah, we may have found a way, but it is not love.

Walking the line between the clubs and the Church, I’ve been misunderstood by both sides. I’m sure you’ve felt the same thing: people throw rocks at the things they don’t understand. But it hurts worst when it comes from well-intending brothers and sisters, the folks who are purportedly filled with the love of Christ. Our knee-jerk response is to retaliate, to fight back. And the cycle begins again. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. God will take care of the speck in my neighbor’s eye. The more faith I have in Him and His strong voice, the less I have to yell. The more faith I have in Him, the freer my hands become to serve those around me.

Washing feet is not extra credit. We are called to bear each other’s burdens. Unity is a miraculous achievement, but it’s intended for this side of the grave. Unity is the transforming work of the power of the cross in our lives. In the dark, blood-stained shadow of the cross, our boasting is laughable. Our differences are minute. Take another look at the cross. Look at how much He loves you. Look at His surrender, His sacrifice. Unity comes into focus only when we realize the magnificent grace of the Savior.

Let us acknowledge our neediness, our beautiful desperation. Yes, our unanswerable, aching, longing poverty is a prerequisite for the balm of salvation. We, the people—the failures, the losers, the outsiders—we have found our King. Christ, the King of the fools; the Lord of the sick, broken souls like us. Let us remain in continual awe of the love we have been shown. And let us love! Let us celebrate the reckless love of the one who risked all that we might be loved. And let us follow in the path of a God who loves us. The tax collectors and the rabbis. The prostitutes and the Sadducees. In the bars and in the churches. Yes, God even loves Christians.”

– John Foreman, Switchfoot

What else do you think the church can learn from the bar-scene?

The way to know if you really love God

Do you love God? Do you count him your all-in-all? There is one way by which to measure that love. The love you show to others.

Do you bravely love others? Do you selflessly love others? Do you love others without keeping accounts? Do you unconditionally love others?

Jesus said it quite plainly. John 21:15-19 narrates the account where Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” Peters response was “Of course I love you.” Jesus response was amazing! “Then feed my sheep.”

I find myself doing this and maybe you do too. I “love” God by praying to Him, by tithing to Him, by committing my life to Him…all these ways are legitimate ways to love Him, but its interesting Jesus said, “If you love me, you will love each other.”

For all the single people…a heart to heart blog!

This is a re-post, but I liked it, and thats why I’m posting it here. I want to highlight her concluding paragraph.

In dealing with the issue of contentment, when you feel like God has not given you the mate you feel like you deserve she writes this:

The bottom line is that I don’t know if God will ever grant my desire, but I do know I should not worry about it any longer. What he has granted must be embraced, Himself, His son, the guaranteed indwelling of the Holy Spirit who provides spiritual gifts to demonstrate what He has provided, His provision and His people. I may not find happiness with a mate but there is sure to be joy with attention paid towards Him. And that is where it behooves us to focus, because God never promised us a mate.

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