Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Heart Melters

Our Ladies' Bible Study group met today. As you may recall, we are working through For Women Only: The Bible Study by Shaunti Feldhahn. We all knew today would be interesting. This week we studied God's word regarding our intimate, physical relationship with our husbands and the differences in how men and women view this important element of marriage. I know, I're thinking that all men want is s**, all they think about is s**, can't they ever think about anything else, etc., etc. But what Shaunti points out is that yes, men do think about s** frequently...but not in the way we think they do.

Have you ever noticed that you think you know what your man is thinking or feeling? Granted, we may intuit things about our men and we do come to learn about their inner workings as we journey together with them through marriage. However, one thing that really hit me this week is that we women tend to think that our men think about things the same way/in the same frame that we do. But they don't. As Shaunti pointed out, it is being DESIRED that our men really crave. They need the nurture and confidence that our desire for them communicates. This concept is a new one that the Lord has revealed to me in several venues over the last months. And as one of the ladies so directly put it in our discussion today, "[Our husbands] aren't really all that different from us." We just communicate our needs differently, frame our references differently, and define terms differently. My man wants to be needed and wanted by me, too. He just has a different expression of this deep need. And of course, we must remember that the focus of this study is decidedly one-sided...HIS side. We're learning to focus our attention on the gift the Lord has given us in our spouse.

Our concluding exercise was to listen to the song Fly by Sara Groves. What a song! After we listened we all agreed that those words are HEART MELTERS for us. Our leader challenged us to spend a few minutes thinking about and then writing what our husband's "heart melters" would be.

Here are the lyrics to Sara Groves' song:

Speak in a summer tone
Pause in the after glow
Tenderly whisper my name
Tell me once again why I am your bride
So I can fly
So I can fly

Pause in your busy day
Look extra long my way
Wink at me across the room
Kiss me longer
Touch my arm when I am by your side
So I can fly
So I can fly

Oh how the little things
Strengthen my tiny wings
Help me to take on the world

When you love me there's nothing I wouldn't try
I might even fly
I might even fly
I might even fly

Several of the ladies in our group shared their responses to our exercise...what the Lord gave them as their husband's "heart melters." I was blessed to tears...first by the bravery of the women who shared and second by the rawness and tenderness of the longings expressed. I'm not ready yet to share what I wrote, especially in this very public forum. But I'm pondering the words I penned and asking the Lord to clarify and enrich them. My heart's desire is to truly be DH's heart melter.

That pure passion that Creator God planned for usin marriage is a Gift. It's time for us to reclaim that gift from the enemy of our souls. It's time we enjoy the treasure hidden in these earthly vessels. It's time we walk in Belief and Freedom and prepare ourselves to meet our eternal Bridegroom. HE is our ultimate heart melter.

Endnote: If I could figure out how, I'd insert the actual song so you could HEAR's lovely. The extra effort to "google" it yourself will be worthwhile!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Short List...That Could be LONG

My Sistah in the Lord, Angela at Refresh My Soul (see sidebar), tagged me quite a few days ago to list 5 things I really "dig" about Jesus.

Our family has been on the road a bunch (thus the lack of posts) and I've been pondering this tag quite a bit. There's so much to love about my's a small sampling:

1. His NAME...There truly is just something about that name! Jesus...the name at which every knee will bow, every tongue confess "He Is Lord"....Bright Morning Star, Suffering Servant, Friend, Comforter, Overcomer, Redeemer, Creator, Covenant Maker, Author, Finisher, End, Beginning, Peace, Counselor, Wonderful, Almighty, Ancient of Days, Sustainer, Truth, Lover of my soul, Gentle, Kind, Just, Powerful, Shelter, Strong Tower, Exact Representation of God's Glory...the list goes on, as does my desire to know Him more and more!

2. His COMPASSION...He associated with the motliest of the motley...the woman married five times and living with yet another, tax collectors, lepers, outcasts of every description (this is the category in which I picture myself)....As He spent time with this group His concerns were for their lostness, their hurts and pains, their neediness...I want to see others through His eyes and extend to them His compassion.

3. His WORD...It is TRUTH and it is TRUE...Would that my words reflect His truth and trueness to those around me...especially to my children.

4. His FRIENDSHIP...Jesus had friends and HAS friends. It is such a privilege to be called a friend of God. We were blessed to hear a missionary speak at our former church this past weekend while we were visiting our home state. This missionary works in Northern Africa. Did you know that our God's desire and provision for friendship with us, His creation, is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for Muslims to accepting Christ? In the Muslim's view God cannot LOVE people because that would imply that God would experience SUFFERING and PAIN along with humankind. I am a friend of God and I'm so grateful He's willing to share my every burden. (And the song I Am a Friend of God is one of my most favorite favs!)

5. His GIFTS...Some might say that's not very "spiritual." Yet EVERY good and perfect gift comes from above. I LOVE the gifts Jesus has given me and I know they've come straight from His hand: my husband, my children, my family of faith (both near and far), my friends, my family heritage, my parents and my siblings, all my "in-loves" (as opposed to in-laws), my church, my pastors, my co-laborers in the kingdom, music, books, my mini-van, my favorite squishy pillow, the list goes on and on and on...

Just like my Jesus...He goes on and on and on....

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Offended Mind; Revealed Heart

Most anyone who has entered into a conversation with me about anything God-related has probably heard me quote Jack Deere. "God offends our minds to reveal our hearts." So long ago was my first encounter with Deere's writings and teachings that I can't remember if I read this in one of his books or if I heard it on one of his teaching tapes. No matter. I believe there is deep truth in this simple statement and I often find myself pondering it.

This evening was one such occasion. However, it wasn't merely a passing pondering or a thought regarding someone else. MY mind was offended and MY heart was revealed. Ouch! Double Ouch! The Spirit then reminded of a recent post at The Small Scribbler (see sidebar) about potholes--"deep... greedy...cavernous...potholes." I had fallen right in to the pothole called PRIDE.

Regulary I visit several blogs...some belonging to a couple of my dearest sisters in the Lord...some belonging to "rubber stamping stars." The latter provide inspiration and motivation for my forays into card making and paper crafting. I recently happened upon a new stamping/crafting blogger. And she has become one of my favorites in the stamping world. Her creations amaze me. Not only does she stamp, she has two adorable boys, an adoring husband, and a household to run, but she also finds time to make LOTS of handmade gifts and favors...from hand-knit or crocheted baby hats for a charity group, to Japanese thimbles and monogrammed stationary sets. Just yesterday she posted a "blog candy" opportunity as she has reached quite a milestone on her blog--11,111 hits! Entering to win her candy was simple...reply to her post. To have more entries for her drawing one could answer a few questions she listed (mostly relating to how you found her site, etc.). However, another way to receive an entry was to link to her blog from yours. I replied to her post and then I thought about linking to her blog...I thought...and thought...and thought.

That's when I fell into the pothole...full force. I gave some namby-pamby comment that I'd love to link "to [her] blog from mine, but mine isn't really about stamping, though I do have SCS in my blog roll." I further invited her to email me and I'd give her a link to my blog so she could peruse it. Did I give her a description of my blog? NO! Did I mention at all the purpose of my blog--to ADORE, AMPLIFY, and ADMIRE the KING OF KINGS? NO!

I didn't want to offend my newly-found cyber-friend (who happens to live on the WEST COAST), yet I was clearly willing to offend the One who saved me!!! Forgive me, Lord! So often I fall into the pothole of pride and man-pleasing!

The Small Scribbler's observations about potholes are right on. They are deep. Often when faced with temptation to sin, we dangle a few toes over the edge and suddenly find ourselves knee-deep in a mess! They are greedy. Temption (and the author thereof) is rarely content with a passing glance. It's the repeated drive-overs--our thoughts, our feelings, our actions--that cause the asphalt to weaken and give way to pressure. They are cavernous. Temptation and sin can be covered over again and again, just like the recurring potholes in Smallville. And just like a filling covering over an abcessed tooth, the rot eventually wins out.

Take Heart! There is Hope for the potholes in our lives. His name is Jesus. He wants to fill in all those holes with living water and to enable us to walk on top of those temptations, victoriously.

Praise God, His mercies are new every day. Praise God, He is faithful even when I am not. Praise God, His forgiveness flows in unending waves. Praise God, it is only through my sweet Jesus' grace and love that I may ever glide over that pothole called pride and not fall right in! Every failure and every victory belong to Him. He is the Faithful one!

Monday, July 2, 2007


No one I know would ever describe me as overly patriotic. Now that doesn't mean I don't love the freedom I enjoy, nor does it mean that I believe that freedom is "free." However, I've never been one to decorate my house for the 4th of July or Memorial Day, and I don't listen to Sousa marches on a regular basis. This weekend my thoughts on patriotism were challenged and inspired.

Our church presented a special patriotic service yesterday morning. The choir, of which I am a part, has been practicing the music for what seems like months now. And I must admit, "Armed Services Medley" has never been one of my favorites. One night in choir I asked myself what this song had to do with worship even. The Lord quickly reminded me that everything is not always about me. Through a great post at Notes from the Soul (see my sidebar for the link), the Lord reminded me to submit to the authority He's placed above me and to make sure I have a contrite heart in worship...not a boastful one.

As the choir sang and the orchestra played the "Armed Services Medley" our pastor invited anyone who had served in any branch of the military to come to the stage and stand beside the flag of that branch. What an overwhelming sight that was. Tears came to my eyes immediately as I saw the flood of men and women approaching the stage. During the 9:30 service it was "standing room only" on that stage. At the later service it was crowded still. As those brave men and women proudly stood beside the flags of their comrades, I realized how important this service was to them. I realized that the Lord had put this together to honor and bless those men and women. And I was once again reminded that freedom IS NOT FREE.

Our Sr. Pastor and our Worship Pastor did a great job of planning a service that focused our attention on our Heavenly Father and the freedom we may all experience at Christ's expense, as well as the freedoms we enjoy in this country. And though there are disagreements and arguments in some circles as to whether or not our Founding Fathers were really Christians, those who have fought over the centuries to preserve our nation have done so to protect our freedom to exercise our Faith openly. For that I am eternally grateful.

In pondering my personal freedom I was reminded of the fifth chapter of Galatians:

"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." (Gal. 5:1, NASB)

"For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." (Gal. 5:13, NASB)

Freedom is another of life's paradoxes involves enjoying ALL that God has to the fullest, for the sake of being free, and it involves sacrificial service to others....That is the life of freedom I wish to live.