Wednesday, March 31, 2010

LIWD :: day 37 :: Your Assignment: Wait

Naomi told [Ruth] that Boaz was a candidate for being their kinsman-redeemer....  This simply meant that the Mosaic Law allowed Boaz, as the closest kin, to redeem the childless widow and keep the family name alive....

Naomi instructs Ruth to approach Boaz and ask him if he would be their kinsman-redeemer...His willingness was directly related to the character he had noticed in her responses to life and God.


Naomi's response to Boaz's willingness may have put a damper on most single women's racing heartbeat.  "Then Naomi said, 'Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens.  For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today'" (Ruth 3:18 NIV).  Who has to wait?  The woman must wait.  Who is the one who will not rest?  The man, Boaz, will not rest.

Wait.  Such an assignment is not to cause suffering, but prevent it.  Woman experience so much needless pain when they run ahead of God's format.  Naomi knew that there may exist an even closer kinsman who would qualify to redeem her and Ruth...Naomi did not want Ruth's heart to race ahead into disappointment in case the cicumstances did not go as assumed.

Wait.  Such an assignment is not to cause suffering, but prevent it.

It's so easy to get ahead of ourselves.  It's so easy to blur the lines between fantasy and reality.  It's so easy to have our hearts broken when we wear our hearts on our sleeves.  It's so easy to blind ourselves from that which we do not wish to perceive.  It's so easy to interpret things in our favor.  It's so easy to jump conclusions.  It's so easy to believe things are the way we wish without actually looking at the facts.  It's so easy. 

I have always been a romantic.  I have always wanted that fairy tale...that happy ending.  I have always dreamed of my prince charming coming and saving me from all that ails me.  I have always let my daydreams get the best of me.  I have always tried to guess what comes next.  I have always imagined what comes next to be amazing and romantic. 

When we try to predict the future, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.  We cannot control someone elses free will.  We cannot know every thought they are having or where their heart is leading them.  I have often gotten way ahead of myself when it comes to relationships.  Things will be going well, or maybe just even okay, and I'll imagine that they are amazing.  I trick myself into believing things are better than they are.  In doing this, I only made it that harder when things didn't work out. 

When I look back at my past relationships, I know that they didn't work out for a reason.  I know that none of those guys were the one God destined for me to be with.  But I didn't always see that at the time.  There was the one I pined over for years...when we only technically were together for 3 days.  It took years for me to take off the rose-colored glasses and see that relationship for what it truly was.  It was hard when I finally accepted that we were not meant to be, that we were not good for eachother, but I'm so glad I did.  I know that if things had 'worked out' between us, we would both be miserable.  I'm so thankful God opened my eyes to that.  But, man, did I struggle to keep those rose-colored glasses.  Everything was just so much prettier with them on.

God already has plans for us.  He knows what's best for us.  It's up to us to use our free will to obtain that.  By listening to Him, and following in His word, we won't need those rose-colored glasses anymore.  Everything won't be perfect, but it will be fulfilling.  Following God is not a fix-all.  It's not a 'snap of the fingers' and everythings grand.  It's a life plan.  It's a way of ensuring that you are becoming all you can be...all God yearns for you to be.  It's a way of praising God by giving Him what He desires of you.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

LIWD :: day 36 :: Spiritual Pain

Passion makes it difficult to see that God also set physical limits to protect you spiritually.  Hebrews 13:4 (NIV) very clearly says that "marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."  God judges the sin of immorality.  It feels awful to be separated from your Lord by the guilt of sin.

Actions speak louder than words, and this is especially true regarding premarital sex.  It is difficult to share Christ with one who knows your reputation.  Your actions can also cause weaker brothers and sisters to stumble.  One night of passion can totally destroy a reputation you have built over a lifetime.  "The spiritual side of sex is often overlooked.  Even many Christians are not aware of the profoundly spirtual nature of their sex lives.  A person will feel acute spiritual pain and separation from God when engaging in sex outside of marriage, but may not even realize how spiritually beneficial and unifying sex is within marriage."

God does not intend to deny you pleasure.  He protects you so you might enjoy physical health, emotional stability, relational intimacy, and spiritual blessings.

It feels awful to be separated from your Lord by the guilt of sin.

We all have people that look up to us.  We all have someone who admires us...even when we do not deserve it...even when their admiration is misguided.  It is our responsibility as Christ followers to set the best example we are capable of.

I want to be worthy of admiration.  Not godly amiration, but inspiring admiration.  I want to invoke the love of Christ in others.  I want to shine Gods light.  I don't want people to look at me, at the way I live my life, and say, 'she says she's a christian, but look at what she's doing.'.  I don't want to be all talk.  I want to walk the walk.  I want to live the way God desires me to. 

There's a quote that has always struck a chord with me.  I'm not sure who it's's on the intro to What if I Stumble on the dc Talk album Free at Last. 
"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is christians...who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, and then walk out the door and get on with a greater lifestyle.  That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."
  I don't want to be that kind of christian.  I strongly believe there is an immense different between a believer in Christ, a follower of Christ and a leader for Christ.  I believe they are levels maturity in christianity.  I'm a follower in my walk right now, and I am striving to be a leader.

I want to inspire others to live their lives in not only believe in Him and accept Him into their hearts, but to truly live their lives for Him.  To do that, I have to practice what I preach.  I have to lead by example.  So I will speak out of my abstinence.  I will speak out of why I'm abstinence.  And I won't just be all talk.

Monday, March 29, 2010

LIWD :: day 35 :: Don't Sin Against Yourself

Have you ever been dieting but treated yourself to a huge piece of rich chocolate cake with fudge icing to celebrate some special occasion?  Cake is good.  Cake is desirable.  The more cake, the more pleasure.  But cake, in the midst of a strict diet, can really make on sick!  The pleasure of a big, luscious piece of cake depends on the right timing, just as the pleasures of sex do.

God also wants to protect you from the sexually transmitted diseases that could affect not only you, but also your future husband....

God also desires to shield you from an unwanted pregnancy.  Although precautions exist, pregnancy always remains a possibility.  A rushed marriage, adoption, or abortion only complicate the consequences.

God desires to shield you from the negative physical consequences of premarital sex.  He wants to protect you from sinning against your body.  First Corinthians (NIV) says, "Flee from sexual immorality.  All other sins a [woman] commits are outside [her] body, but [she] who sins sexually sins against [her] own body."

"He wants you to be free from an addiction to premarital sex.  Passionate physical exchange is a short-lived high.  As with drugs, you keep wanting more intense highs."

...cake, in the midst of a strict diet, can really make one sick!

Abstinence is hard.  Abstinence is so hard.  But it's doable and I believe it will be worth it.  I believe that denying myself physical pleasures now will only help me to grow closer to God, stronger in my faith. 

I know that my wedding night will be special.  I know that my wedding night will be romantic.  I know that any indescretions I have can cheapen that.  I also know that any and all indescretions I have had, have been forgiven.  I know that when I turned my life over God and asked Him for forgiveness that He granted me just that.  I know that when I asked God to wash me of my sins He replied that He had already done just that when He sent His Son to die on the cross and rise again 3 days later.  I know that because of the great sacrifice Jesus made for me that I am forgiven and that in Gods eyes I am pure again.

I want to remain pure in His sight.  So I will do my best to remain abstinent.  I will do my best to not have any more indescretions.  I will do my best.  But, if I mess up...if I slip...I know that when I come to Him, on my knees, crying out for forgiveness, that He will cleanse me of my sins and make me pure again.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

LIWD :: day 34 :: The Effectual Touch in the Will / Madame Jeanne Guyon

Madame Jeanne Guyon

Madame Jeanne Guyon was born at Montargis, France.  When she was only 15, she married an invalid who was 38 years old.  Unhappy in her marriage, she sought happiness in her devotional life.  She lived in a convent under royal order for a year and then was imprisoned in Vincennes and the Bastille because of her religious beliefs.  Almost 25 years of her life were spent in confinement.  Many of her books were written during that period.

Writing that compels the reader to move into a living experience of Jesus Christ is Madame Guyon's great contribution to devotional literature.  Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ (sometimes entitled A Short and Very Easy Method of Prayer) has had a wide influence: Watchman Nee saw that it was translated into Chinese and made available to every new convent in the Little Flock; Francois Fenelon, John Wesley, and Hudson Taylor all highly recommended it to the believers of their day.

The Effectual Touch in the Will

The Soul then receives an effectual Touch in the Will, which invites it to recollection, and instructs it that God is within, and must be sought there; that He is present in the Heart, and must be there enjoyed.

The discovery, in the beginning, is the source of very great joy to the Soul, as it is an intimation or pledge of happiness to come; in its very commencement, the road it is to pursue is opened and is shown to be that of the Inward Life.  This knowledge is the more admirable, as it is the spring of all the felicity of the Soul, and the solid foundation of interior progress; for those Souls who tend toward God merely by the intellect, even though they should enjoy a somehat spiritual contemplation, yet can never enter into Intimate Union, if they do not quit that path and enter this of the Inward Touch, where the whole working is in the Will.

The Soul then receives an effectual Touch in the Will, which invites it to recollection, and instructs it that God is within, and must be sought there; that He is present in the Heart and must be there enjoyed.

How often do we just go through the motions?  With everything in our daily lives, it is so easy to just do what we know to do without really putting much thought or effort into it.  It's just as easy when following Christ.  We can say our daily prayers, tithe to the church, sing our hymns, attend church on sunday...and not put any real effort into it. 

You may appear to be a Christian to an onlooker, but God knows better.  He knows your heart.  He knows your mind.  He knows your intentions.  God wants every piece of you.  He wants you to want to know Him.  He doesn't want a half-hearted try.  He doesn't want you to just go through the motions.  He doesn't want empty actions. 

When you truly desire to know Christ, you thirst for Him...for His love.  You want to be in His word.  You want to do as He commands.  You want to share the Truth with others. 

Relationships aren't one-sided.  It takes two.  Both parties involved need to make an effort to get to know eachother.  A relationship with Christ is no different.  When we take the time to really get to know Him and to spend time with Him, only then will we truly be filled with His holy spirit.

Friday, March 26, 2010

LIWD :: day 33 :: Cleanup Time

If you are to know God intimately, then you must seek Him, not only with a whole heart, but also a clean heart.  When you think of the word bride, you probably first imagine a beautiful, clean, pure woman in white.  No grime or dirt mars the image of purity.  As a Christian you are part of the Bride of Christ.  Any grime or dirt of sin will mar your image before Him. 

The Lord's fiance must have a clean heart.  You must clean up any blot of sin that may arise between you and your heavenly Sweetheart. disgusting to Him; He will not abide with it.  Picture a couple deeply in love.  He loves to be near her -- so near he can breathe the fresh aroma of her sweet breath!...  What do you think she does before she sees him if she has eaten onions?...  Not only does she brush, but she also "Scopes, Close-ups, and Gleems."  She doesn't want to offend her love!...  Sin is far more repulsive to God than even onion breath....  If you want your devotion to God to be complete, don't merely brush at sin lightly.  Get in there and confess it, clean it up, and clear it out.

If you want your devotion to God to be complete, don't merely brush at sin lightly.

Everyone has an achilles heel.  A great temptation.  A repeating sin.  It may be drugs, alcohol, sex, lying, anger, stealing...whatever.  It may be something you downplay.  It may be something that you can't hide.  It is often caused by an underlying issue.  So how do we stop?

How do we resist these temptations in our lives?  How do we stop doing something that has become so habitual to us?  The answer is we can't.  At least not on our own.  That's why we need to call on Jesus.  We need to ask for His help in delving into our hearts, our souls, our minds...and clearing out our sin.

As humans, we find it hard to forgive.  It's a great effort for us.  When someone wrongs us, we want to hold a grudge.  We want them to pay for any hurt they may have caused us.  Luckily, God is not that way.  He created us.  He knows us...whether or not we want Him to.  He forgives us no matter what we do.  All he asks is that we come to Him.  He wants us to fall on our knees before Him and whole-heartedly ask for His forgiveness.  He wants to help us.  He wants to make us pure.  All we have to do is ask.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

LIWD :: day 32 :: Waiting Periods

...Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may assured that God has not lost your address or your file.  He knows exactly where you are and what you need....

You make the most important decison in life, giving your life to Jesus Christ, "by faith."  The second most important decision concerns your life-mate.  This decison also demands the element of faith.  Waiting for one's life-mate and then saying "I do" to him demands secure faith, like Ruth's faith in the God of Israel.

...Your faith during the "waiting period" pleases God. 

Don't fear or resent the waiting periods in your life.  These are the very gardens where the seeds of faith blossom....

This intruding anxiety about your lack of a life-mate is not reality but rather a weakness that the Greater Reality is capable of handling.  Just go to Jesus as soon as the intruder arrives.  Such a practice will only enhance your life as a Lady of Faith.  Many single women have not recognized the trying, frustrating waiting period is the perfect classroom for the Lady of Faith.  Don't skip class!  Embrace those dateless nights and, by faith, rest in His faithfulness.

Your faith during the "waiting period" pleases God. 

My friend Michael recently wrote a blog post -  ...and Then God Showed Up.  He talks of how people claim God 'suddenly' show up in their if He hadn't been there all along.  God never leaves us.  He is there always.  We may not always be able to see, hear or feel Him...but He's there. 

Sometimes God chooses to silent.  Sometimes He chooses to get in our faces.  Sometimes He clears a path for us.  Sometimes He wants us to fight our own way through.  But He is always there and He always has a plan.  Our only job is to trust in His plans and His timing.

When we use these times, where we maybe don't know what He has in store for us, to honor Him and enrich our lives rather than sit around pining for what we don't have, we will live a full life.  No man is going to want a woman who has done nothing with her singleness...a woman who has no substance, no depth.

Use your singleness to grow closer to God.  Use the time you would be using to serve your husband, to serve God.  Once you have children and a family to care for you will find it increasingly difficult to find alone or quiet time.  If you use this time to build a solid foundation with God, it will be that much easier to keep up your relationship as your life gets busier and more hectic.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

LIWD :: day 31 :: Breaking Your Alabaster Box

What is in your alabaster box?  Is your box full of fantasies that began as a little girl while you listened to and watched fairy tales about an enchanting couple living happily ever after?  Have you been holding on tightly to your alabaster box of dreams, frantically searching for a man worthy of breaking your box?  Take your alabaster box to Jesus and break it in His presence, for He is worthy of such honor.  Having responded to your heavenly Bridegroom in such a manner, you can wait with confident assurance that, if it be God's will, He will provide you with an earthly bridegroom.

How do you know if you have broken your alabaster box at the feet of Jesus?  Such a decision will be reflected in reckless abandonment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ....  Take your alabaster box, with your body, soul and dreams, and entrust them to Jesus. When He is your Lord, you can joyfully walk in the path of life that He has for you.

...Have you broken the valuable alabaster box yet?

How do you know if you have broken your alabaster box at the feet of Jesus?

No earthly man will ever be truly worthy of your alabaster box...just as you will never be truly worthy of theirs.  But there's hope.  Jesus.  By submitting fully to Him, recklessly abandoning yourself to Him, you will allow Him to live through you. 

When the light of Jesus can be seen through your eyes, and you find a man who radiates that same light, together, you can unite in Jesus' name.  Together, you can give your lives to the Lord.

If it's God's will for you to marry, you will.  God will bring you your prince.  He won't be perfect.  It may take awhile.  Trust in His timing.  He knows what He's doing.  He won't bring you together before you're both ready.

So take that alabaster box and break it at the feet of Jesus.  Ask Him to cleanse you of your sin.  Ask Him to enter, not only your heart, but you're whole life.  Ask Him to live through you.  Ask Him to mold you in His image.  And pray that your godsent is doing the same.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

LIWD :: day 30 :: Marriage is Not a Dream

Realizing that marriage is not a dream but real life can also help you to wait patiently.  Instead of merely being envious, get with a godly woman and see the extra load she carries.  Look at all she cannot do, instead of the fact that she has a man in her house.  Understand that in reality, married life is not constant communication, daily roses, hugs and kisses, breakfast in bed, and sheer bliss.  Marriage is every bit as much work as it is wonderful, even in God's way and time.  It is good, but don't be deceived into mistaking it for Heaven.

Since no spouse is perfect, learning to live "as one" is not without its tears.  Marriage alone is not a cure-all or answer to every heartfelt need.  If you think it is, you had better just keep waiting, for that kind of marriage doesn't exist.  Although there is a romantic inside every one of us, you must be realistic regarding marriage or the shock could be devastating.


Developing patience is hard.  Getting married ahead of God's timing is worse.  God may not work according to your time schedule, but He does have your best interests in mind.

Although there is a romantic inside every one of us, you must be realistic regarding marriage or the shock could be devastating.

Who wouldn't want a picture perfect marriage?  Love makes everything easier...right??  If you've ever been in a relationship, you know it takes work.  You have to respect one another.  You have to compromise.  You have to learn to pick your battles.  Marriage is no exception.

I don't think I'd want a 'perfect' marriage.  I'd be bored.  I don't want someone who just agrees with everything I say.  I need a little diversity.  I know my ideas aren't always great.  I need someone to give me another view.  I don't want a copy of me.  I want someone who compliments me. 

I don't believe love fixes everything.  I do believe that love gives you the motivation to work at something.  That's all I want....a love that's worth working at.

Monday, March 22, 2010

LIWD :: day 29 :: Missionary Dating

"Here comes the bride all dressed in...chains!'  Hey, wasn't that supposed to be "all dressed in white"?  The last word in the chorus was changed to "chains," not because the bride is marrying a member of a motorcycle gang, but because she made the unwise choice of marrying an unbeliever.  The chains symbolize what she has to look  forward to as a believer married to an unbeliever.  The Word of God speaks clearly about a partnership with an unbeliever....


When a single woman experiences a prolonged period of datelessness, loneliness tempts her to compromise her conviction concerning dating a growing Christian.  her dateless state may pressure her to surrender to the temptation of dating an unbeliever.  She may justify such a date in the guise of being a witness for Jesus.  Many single women have been trapped emotionally with an unbeliever when it all began with "missionary dating."  Ponder this: Every unbelieving marriage partner arrived as an unbeliever on the first date.  As trite as it may seem, every date is a potential mate.  Avoid dating an unbeliever.

...You must set a higher standard an resist dating a guy who is not growing in his intimacy with Christ.

Every unbelieving marriage partner arrived as an unbeliever on the first date.

As a follower of Christ, your main focus is God. Or at least it should be.  Your goal in life is to grow closer to God, strengthen your faith, shine His light unto others, share the word of God, and, ultimately, spend eternity with our Savior. 

It is extremely difficult to maintain a healthy, happy relationship when you have opposite goals.  If you are both striving for the same thing, you will be working together to attain that goal.  If you're focuses are not in sync, you will both me moving towards your individual goals, and, inevitably, away from eachother.

Missionary dating will lead you nowhere.  Believe me, I know.  You will, at some point - hopefully sooner rather than later - find yourselves at opposite ends of the spectrum.  You can read more of my past experience here.

Why not make your love life that much easier by dating someone who shares your life goals?  You strive to be a godly woman, then it only seems right that you should date a godly man.  If this man ends up being your husband, and ultimately the father of your children, wouldn't you want someone who shares your life views and convictions?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

LIWD :: day 28 :: Date Fast

Clear standards for dating and relating will guard you against compromise and making wrong choices out of sudden emotion rather than a God-directed will. These guidelines for your dating friendships will keep God as your focus rather than allowing the guy to become the focus (idol). Clear standards coupled with accountability to a sister in Christ will help you walk in the convictions you establish. To guard you against haphazard meetings or just "WFs" (weird feelings) in your heart, you need standards for which you will be accountable.

...The issue of standards is most relevant, but may seem simplistic. We acknowledge that some women find it difficult to raise their standsards and change their patterns because they are still entangled in the past. Unresolved conflicts with a father, a brother, or an ex-boyfriend may over shadow and control the attraction to Bozos. In this case we suggest a possible date fast, a period of time during which you refrain from accepting another date until you can sort out some of the unresolved conflicts from the past....During the "date fast," you can find time to search for new ways of relating and dating biblically.

During the "date fast," you can find time to search for new ways of relating and dating biblically.

I am an advocate of focusing on bettering yourself rather than searching for a guy. This was not always my mindset. Everyone has 27, you'd be hardpressed to find someone who doesn't...but how you carry it is key. You can constantly lug around several huge bags that surround you and prevent anyone from getting close to you. You can hide them away, just to have them suddenly appear and trip you. You can carefully and methodically go through everything, get rid of that which you don't need and stow the rest in storage. I don't know about you, but I'd say option 3 seems like the smart choice. It takes work though. It takes alot of self-inflection and time with God. Having someone else in your life before you've properly dealt with your baggage will almost alway end up poorly.

Ever heard the expression, good things come to those who wait? I fully believe in that. When you take the time to get to know yourself, and strive to be the best version of yourself, you will inevitably attract some quality people.

I wasn't looking for anyone when I met my current boyfriend. I had been single for about 6 months. My previous relationship had ended because of a difference in our convictions. It was an amicable split, but I knew I needed to do some damage control in my own life before I even considered allowing someone else in.

Taking that time to work with God, on the issues I was carrying in my heart, allowed me to be ready when I met my boyfriend. I'm still not perfect. I still have issues. But I'm in a place where there's room for him and the things of my past won't hinder our relationship. Had we tried to be together before I had worked on myself, I can't say that we'd still be together.

God knows you inside out. He knows where you struggle. He can help you deal with these things. Take the time to clean out your heart with His help.

Friday, March 19, 2010

LIWD :: day 27 :: Biblical Dating Standards

What is a Bozo? A Bozo is a guy whose outward appearance is a facade. It is hard to discern who he really is becasue of the "makeup and costume" he wears. What he appears to be physically, socially, and even spiritually is just a performance. A Bozo is acounterfeit of a Boaz.

It is possible to avoid such a clown. Your standards and convictions will help you recognize the difference....

...As a prerequisite to every date, you should examine your motive.... Some women even give up their bibilical convictions in order to get a date with a certain guy.

Have you dated more Bozos than Boazs? If your answer is yes, you may need to develop higher ideals. A very attractive and popular high school girl was challenged to develop a list of biblical dating standards and to put them into proactice. She carried a copy of these standards in her wallet for five years. Thus she dated more Boazs then Bozos becasue her convictions helped her clearly see the type of guys with whom she was relating and ultimately dating. Do you carry God's standards for dating in your heart as well as in your wallet?

Some women even give up their biblical conviction in order to get a date with a certain guy.

I was always a believer in the Princess and the Frog and in Beauty and the Beast. Sure, he may have a bad rep...but that's only because he hasn't met the girl who can change him yet! What a joke. While this may sometimes be the is definitely the exception to the rule. Only God can change someones heart. Don't fool yourself into thinking you can change someone. If they want to change, they'll change. Nothing you can do, no matter how much you love them, will affect that.

You are only in control of your own actions. You control how you are perceived. You control the kind of person you are and will be. Hold yourself to a high standard. You are the company you keep. If the last few guys you've dated have all been heavy drinkers, or have all talked down to you, or whatever their downfall may be...the problem doesn't lie with lies with you. Yes, they have downfalls they need to work on, but that's their deal. You picked these guys. You chose to be with them.

If you're noticing an unappealing trend in your dates, change it. Make a list. Decide what you want in a man, what you want out of a relationship, what your deal breakers are. Write it down. Refer to it often. Adhere to it. Don't bend your convictions because he's just so hot! Or he has such a great job! Or he gives me butterflies! In the end you'll be resentful that you bent.

If he was disrespectful on your first you or to anyone else...he'll be disrespectful on your 50th. If he was cheap on your first date...he'll be cheap on your first wedding anniversary. If he had the mouth of a sailor while you were dating...he'll have the same vocabulary around your children. You can't change someone, but you can pick who you choose to be with.

Ask God to guide your heart and make that list. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

LIWD :: day 26 :: Julian of Norwich / Revelations of Divine Love

Julian Norwich

Julian is the most popular of the English mystics.  She lived as a Benedictine nun in Norwich, beside the St. Julian Church, from which she most likely took her name.  Little is known about Julian's life, although she is mentioned by her contemporary, Margery Kempe.

Julian's book, Revelation of Divine Love, entitled her to become the first great female writer in the English language.  Despite her disclaimers of being unskilled as an author, she wrote lively prose in a style all her own.  She was well trained in the Bible as well as in teachings of the Church.

Her theology is based upon her mystical experiences.  She became ill at the age of 30 and, in the midst of suffering, prayed for a vision of Christ's sufferings.  Once in a time of prayer Julian heard the words, "I am the foundation of your praying" -- words that greatly influenced her spiritual life.  She always pointed to the goodness and love of God, a light in time of darkness for Julian, who lived in an age of social unrest and the fear of the Black Plague.

Revelations of Divine Love

...Oftentimes our trust is not full.  We are not sure God hears us, as we think because of our unworthiness, and because we don't feel right (for we are as barren and dry oftentimes after our prayers as we were before)...For thus have I felt in myself. 

And all this brought our Lord suddenly to my mind, and He showed me these words.  he said, "I am the Ground of your asking: first it in my will that you have it; and afterwards, I make you to to will it;  and then, I make you to ask it and you do ask for it. How should it then be that you do not have what you ask for?"


For it is most impossible that we should ask mercy and grace, and not have it.  For everything that our good Lord makes us to ask, Himself has ordained it to us from without beginning.  Here may we see that our asking is not cause of God's goodness; and He showed that in all these sweet words when He said : I am [the] Ground.  -- And our good Lord wills that this beknown of His lovers on earth; and the more that we know [it] the more should we ask, if it be wisely taken; and is our Lord's meaning.

I am the Ground of your asking: first it is My will that you have it; and afterward, I make you to will it; and then, I make you to ask it and you do ask for it.

God is good...all the time.  All the time...God is good.  If we are truly living in His word and following in His will, then what we ask for in prayer will surely be in His will.  I often ask for earthly things.  I pray for Him to save me from my financial distress...I pray for material goods...I ask for these things so long as they are in His will.  I'm not angry, upset or disappointed when I don't get everything I ask for.  I know there is a rhyme and a reason for everything He does, or gives, regardless of whether or not I understand it. 

I know that these materialistic prayer requests are no more than second to my prayers of spiritual healing for myself and others and to my repentance.  I know that God longs for me to be compassionate and forgiving, just as He has been (and always will be) to me.  I know that God wants to radiate through me.  I know that I have the capability of shining His light unto others.  I know that won't happen if I'm not right with the Lord.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

LIWD :: day 25 :: Pre-Romantic Stress Disorder

You have just returned home from a great singles retreat where you once again surrendered your frustration as a single in exchange for God's peace and contentment.  As you listen to your answering machine, you hear a certain voice.  The most sought-after bachelor you know sks you for a date next weekend.  Do you remain calm and give your expectations to the Lord?  Or do you jump back in your car and head to the mall to register your china and look at some wedding gowns?  Would the prospect of a date with the most eligible bachelor in town cause you to experience the "Pre-romantic Stress Disorder"?  Or would you surrender your expectations to Jesus?

For a single woman to experience genuine contentment while soloing in a "couple's world," she must avoid the ditches of discontentment.  She needs to learn the mystery of contentment and its power over the restless torture of her desire.


Circumstantially, Ruth had the perfect excuse to be discontented.  Widowed at a young age, her circumstances provided the perfect breeding ground for self-pity and bitterness....  Yet Ruth chose to cling to the God of Israel, whom she found to be trustworthy even in difficult circumstances.

Would the prospect of a date with the most eligible bachelor in town cause you to experiend the "Pre-romantic Stress Disorder"?

For as long as I can remember, I've been a daydreamer.  I've fantasized about 1st kisses, weddings, vacations, relationships...just the future in general.  These fantasies or daydreams can be long as I don't let them set my expectations.  Reality rarely aligns with fantasy.  When you've set in your mind how you want something to work out...down to the most minute are sure to be disappointed.

I like to indulge myself in daydreams, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.  I just need to remember that what I decide in my fantasies is not real.  Only God can dictate the future.  Only God can decide what will happen next. 

Putting my trust fully in God can be difficult.  I know that God has plans for my future.  I know that if I follow His will I can live out the future He desires for me to have.  I know that if I stay in His word, and listen to what He is telling me and go where He is leading me, I will be fulfilling His will.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

LIWD :: day 24 :: Manipulation

When you see a woman going after the guys, you probably don't immediately say, "Yes, I see that she really is insecure!"  Insecurity dwells in the heart.  What you see outwardly is a woman's age-old ability to manipulate and maneuver.  When a woman manipulates a situation, she feels personal satisfaction because she believes she's in control.


Manipulation and maneuvering can also take the form of serving as a "surrogate (substitute) helpmeet."  Many women want to marry as badly as they want to go to Heaven.  They long to care for a man, so they run around trying to find at least a "generic" version of the real thing.  These precious (but deceived) women constantly look for a man with a need and pounce on that need in hopes of eventually winning the affection of man.  Any male in need irresistibly attracts them.

...Women may find more pleasure doing for a man than a woman because the potential "payoff" seems more valuable.  She envisions surrendering her "surrogate" apron for an engagement ring....

...Allow God to use you to minister to brothers and sisters equally with no ulterior motives.

When a woman manipulates a situation, she feels personal satisfaction because she believes she is in control.

Never do for a man what you wouldn't do for a woman. Never do for a man what you wouldn't do for yourself.  Any 'self-less' act do you for someone else should be out of the kindness of your heart -- not for what you may or may not get in return.  People will see right through you if you only do things when it benefits you. 

Would you want a man who only did things for you when if benefited him?  Or would you rather be with someone who did things for you because he cared for you and wanted to make you happy?  I know I'd opt for the former.  I don't even like accepting favors from someone who's only looking out for themselves.  I feel as though they expect too much.  We are not owed anything.  We owe everything to God...the least we can do is give to his children without expecting anything in return.

Monday, March 15, 2010

LIWD :: day 23 :: Waiting for Our Love - Basilea Schlink

Jesus is yearning to have fellowship with us and to hear words of love drop from our lips.  He is waiting for us.  He wants us to be close to Him.  He wants to speak to us in our hearts, cultivate love's intimate relationship with us.  Only in times of quiet when no one else distracts us, and nothing else draws us away, can Jesus visit us with His love.  Let him who wishes to know the presence of Jesus and who desires to enter into bridal love for Jesus keep his times of quiet holy and faithfully for Him.

Jesus is waiting for our love.  As important as our sacrifices and our obedience to the commandments are for God (the rich young ruler sacrificed, and kept the commandments), they are not enough.  Sacrifices and obedience do not necessarily yield the "eternal, divine life."  Love does not necessarily pulsate through them.  Jesus is pulsating life and love and He wants to impart His nature to us.  Therefore, only our love, which stems from the divine, eternal life which He has granted to us, is the proper response to His love for us.  This love leads us to keep His commandments, which are His wishes for us.  It will lead us to bring Him many gifts, and to offer Him sacrifices -- but in a different spirit.

...Bridal love for Jesus is filled with delight.  There is no greater, happier, higher, richer love.

He is waiting for us.  He wants us to be close to Him.  He wants to speak to us in our hearts, to cultivate love's intimate relationship with us.

I never used to think quiet time was of any importance...until I started doing it.  What a difference it makes!  Spending that time, by myself, alone with God, in His word, really fills my spirit.  I love to sit in my backyard on a nice day looking at the lake, bible in hand and just talk to God.  Sometimes I hear Him, sometimes I don't, but I always feel fulfilled. 

But I've been slacking lately.  Chalk it up to being busy, laziness or the weather...they're all inexcusable excuses.  I was much happier and more aligned with God in my walk when I was spending quiet time with Him daily.  I think it's time I step up my game and give God the quality time He desires (and deserves!) from me.  How about you?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

LIWD :: day 22 :: Deficit of a Father's Love

Women tend to struggle with insecurity because of the unique way God created them.  God made every little girl with the need to love and be loved by her earthly father.  God designed His world with a picture of a family as the theme.  The father protects, loves, and cares for his wife and their children.  The ideal earthly father models the gentle, nurturing love of the heavenly Father.  Many young women in our society did not have a father who followed God's design.  This God-given need for a father's love caused a deficit in their lives.


As a little girl, you may remember feeling the desire to be cherished, loved, and accepted by your daddy.  If he failed to show that love to you in God's way, perhaps you continued to search for a man who would.  No man, not even a husband, can fill the need you have for secure love.  Only Jesus, who "is the same yesterday and today yes and forever," will never disappoint or fail you (Hebrews 13.8).

...the man you marry cannot meet your need for security.  Only God's love brings security.

It's often said that a woman marries her father. Meaning, of course, someone characteristically similar. That's fantastic when your father is loving, kind, respectful, strong, brave, sensitive...etc...but what if your father is mean, angry, abusive, pessimistic, rude...etc.?

If you are a believer, then is God not your Father? Shouldn't you then seek a mate who shines His light? Wouldn't you love to see Jesus in your partners eyes? I pray that he will be able to see Jesus in mine.

While it's great to have someone to share your life with, another human will never complete you. At best, they will compliment you. A man you choose to spend the rest of your days with should be someone who brings out the best in you. For completion, you should be seeking God. A godly man will be able to assist you in seeking God. He should be aiding in your walk...and you in his...but only God should be your all in all.

Friday, March 12, 2010

LIWD :: day 21 :: It's Not Too Late

...If you are reading this "after the fact" and are dealing with the guilt of the lost gift, do not be discouraged.  Although it is true that there is only one first time, God is the God of the first-time experience.  Let Him heal your broken heart through forgiveness.  Agree with God that you have sinned and leave the sin before Him.  Then guard yourself from entering into that sin pattern again.  Learn a valuable lesson, but do not continue to beat yourself with condemnation.  Jesus paid for those sins at Calvary.  Do not continue to allow youself or the enemy to defeat you with remembering a sin once you have confessed it to God and those you have offended.  There may be consequences of your sin, but you do not have to live with the guilt of it.


Even though you have been freed from the guilt by confession, do not use it as an opportunity to continue in sin or to leave yourself open to temptation.  Continue to choose freedom over sin's mastery.  Lay aside every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles you and run with endurance the race set before you (see Hebrews 12.1).

Lay aside every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles you and run with endurance the race set before you.

God intended for sex to be within a marriage.  He intended for us to share that intimacy with one person only.  Yes, there is adultery and polygamy in the bible...but nowhere does it say that these things were in Gods will.  Abstinence is hard.  Especially when you're in a relationship.  But it is in Gods will for you to be this way, and through Him we can do anything!

It is considerably more difficult to abstain when you've already had sex than it is when you don't know what you're missing.  This is what God wants.  Who am I to doubt Him or His will?  Just because it's been done doesn't mean it has to be done again. 

Suppose you stole from someone and they found out and forgave you.  Would you feel blessed by their forgiveness and earn a new respect for them and their belongings?  Or would you continue to steal from them and tell them 'well I've stolen from you before so it's no big deal.'.  I hope you would choose the former.  It's the same way with sex.  God gave us this pleasure to share only in our marital bed.  We are stealing from Him when we betray His word.

I'm not saying abstinence it's easy.  Quite the opposite.  When you put your trust in the Lord, He will give you strength.  You'll be surprised at what you can accomplish with Him on your side.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

LIWD :: day 20 :: Dating Standards

Don't set standards "as you go."  Emotions can be tricky.  You must make wise choices before the "flutters" and "heartthrobs" become so loud you cannot hear yourself think.  Write them down and read them often!  Commit them to God regularly in prayer.

...Here are some examples of "dating standards" that many godly woman have made.  They will help you resist the pressure to "open the gift" too early....

I will date only growing Christian men.  (You will most likely marry a man you date.  This is important!!)

I will concentrate on the friendship -- not romance.  (Don't be tricked!)

I will not spend time with him at home when we are alone.

I will not give kisses and hugs freely.

I will not lie down beside a man.


Women are easily turned on by words....Another way to protect your purity is to stand on guard when you hear "sweet talk."...

...words have trapped many ladies -- beware!  When you catch yourself rationalizing what you are doing and assuring yourself you are in control, make a second check.  You'll be glad you did.

Don't set standards "as you go."

Drawing firm, definitive lines or boundaries are essential if you want your dating life to honor God.  Everyones boundaries are different.  Everyones temptations are different.  Every couple is different.  Knowing what your limitations are, when enough is enough, or too much is too much, is something you need to figure out for yourself. 

It's not enough to push your tempations to the very edge.  Once you tiptoe up to that line it's too easy to step over it.  You need to set these boundaries a step ahead of the step that will push you over.  It's too easy to cross that line.  It's too easy to get caught up in a moment.  It's too easy to justify your actions in a split second.  Setting these boundaries...and sticking to them...will help you to honor God in your relationships.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

LIWD :: day 19 :: Don't Give Too Easily

Don't let your heart be given away too easily.  If a man says he loves you, you don't have to echo the phrase.  To men these three words can mean all kinds of things, like "I lust for you" or "I want you to kiss me."  Or maybe he just can't think of anything else to say at the moment!...  Gradually those "I love you's" can trap you emotionally and lead you on physically.  To guard the key to your heart, make a commitment to say you love someone only if you love him with a committed love, not a casual love feeling.  You will remain much more in control of your friendship.  Real love will have time to blossom and grow without those three words.  Guard and save them to be whispered when God reveals it is time.  What a gift to tell your fiance, "you are the first person I have ever said this to: 'I love you.'"  Give meaning to those precious words, and you may use them and hear them with fondness through many happy years of marriage.

There's a second step you can take to guard your purity.  It's a radical statement, but save all your kisses for your future husband....

A woman's kiss or embrace is not just another way of saying thank you!  A kiss should say something more intimate. all your kisses for your future husband.

I have a few qualms with todays devotional.  While I think it's a great thought for the only man you ever kiss to be your husband, it's not very practical.  It's about 13 years too late for me to save all my kisses.  This is just a concept I can't quite fathom.  I mean, more power to you if you choose to not kiss until your wedding day, but that's just not something I feel is necessary.  I don't think kissing is a sin.  I don't believe it's against Gods will.  I do believe that it can lead to other things, it's just a matter of drawing a definitive line and holding fast to your convictions. 

I do agree that you should guard your heart.  I am a romantic.  I love a good love story.  I've been known as boy-crazy - I'd like to say I am no longer that way.  I fall easily.  I become enraptured quickly.  I have an obsessive personality.  When I like something (or someone), I really like it (or them).  It takes effort for me not to fall completely.  Past experiences...past heartaches...have had a part in making this easier.  Every time your heart is broken, it hardens a little.  So for everytime I've let myself be vulnerable enough to get hurt I've made it that much harder for my godsent to break through to my heart. 

I am guarded with the words 'I love you'.  I use them freely when talking to my friends and family.  I want them to know they are loved and that I care.  When it comes to dating, however, that is not something I take lightly.  They are not just words.  They are a pledge of your affection.  I am blessed, in that, my boyfriend feels the same way.  I would not want him to say he loved me because that's what he's supposed to say.  I only want to hear those words from his lips when he truly means it.  That's when it means something.  That's when it's special.  That's when it's romantic.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

LIWD :: day 18 :: Hannah More / Do We Really Love God

Hannah More

Born in 1745 in Bristol, England, Hannah More was to become a champion of the disenfranchised of the world.  Instead of quiet domesticity, in obscurity, Hannah blazed a trail for women.  As a powerful writer she earned a fortune which she used to set up a cottage industry that printed millions of moral tracts that were distributed around the world.  She became friends with John Newton, the ex-slave trader, who became her mentor.  She joined in with William Wilberforce in the battle against slave trade.

She has the honor of making English ladies the foremost agent in the education of the poor.  The intensity of her love for the Lord Jesus was reflected in a life given for His people.

What an example of balance: the hearts of Mary and Martha beating within the same bosom.  Hannah More proves that you can be passionate about His presence and at the same time be a servant to fellow man.

Do We Really Love God?

Our love to God arises out of our emptiness; God's love to us out of His fulness.  Our impoverishment draws us to that power which can relieve and to that goodness which can bless us.  His overflowing love delights to make us partakers of the bounties He graciously imparts.  We can only be said to love God when we endeavour to glorify Him, when we desire a participation of His nature, when we study to imitate His perfections. 

We are sometimes inclined to suspect the love of God to us, while we too little suspect our own lack of love to Him.  When the heart is devoted to God, we do not need to be perpetually reminded of our obligations to obey Him.  They present themselves spontaneously and we fulfill them readily.  We think not so much of the service as of the One served.  [The motivation which suggests the work inspires the pleasure.]  The performance is the gratification, and the omission is both a pain to the conscience and wound to the affections....

Though we cannot be always thinking of God, we may be always employed in His service.  There must be intervals of our communion with Him, but there must be not intermission of our attachment to Him.

Our love to God arises out of our emptiness; God's love to us out of His fulness.

There is a certain joy you feel when you do something selfless.  Whether it be donating money to a worthy cause, watching someones kids free of charge, helping someone move, making a meal for someone in need, giving someone a ride...whatever it is that you can do to help lighten someones load.  That warm fuzzy feeling you get from doing something good is like no other.

God has given us all gifts. How selfish is it of us when we hoard these gifts rather than using them to help others and spread His love. What will you do to get the warm fuzzies this week?

Monday, March 8, 2010

LIWD :: day 17 :: Your Gift

Since sex is desirable, why not have sex?...

God wants you to be a Lady of Purity because He wants to protect you from the consequences that sex before marriage brings.  These consequences can be physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual....

Have you secretly opened a Christmas gift before Christmas Day and rewrapped it, putting it back under the tree?  How thrilling and exciting it was when you saw the surprise.  But what about the "big day" when the gifts were supposed to be opened for the first time?  Where was the excitement when you opened your gift?  The gift did not seem quite as special because it had already been opened for the first time.  Each woman receives one "first time."  God desires for your precious gift to be given to a committed lover who will cherish, keep, and protect you in marriage.  God wants you and your gift to this man to be treasured and cherished, not trampled and conquered.  Song of Solomon 8:4 (NIV) says, ... "Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires."  God wants to protect you from losing your virginity.

God desires for your precious gift to be given to a committed lover who will cherish, keep, and protect you in marriage.

We live in a world full of lust. Sex is everywhere. It's in magazines. It's on tv. It's in movies. And it's socially acceptable. If you are abstinent, you are most likely the odd man out. The topic of abstinence comes up often in conversations with friends and coworkers. They don't understand it.

I am abstinent because I believe it is in Gods will for me to be. I am abstinent because my body is a temple to God. I am abstinent because I value my sexuality. I am abstinent because I think sex is sacred. I am abstinent because I believe all sex outside of marriage is adultery. I am abstinent because I want my wedding night to be special. I am abstinent because I want to 'make love' not -insert profanity here-.  I am abstinent because I am strong enough to be...or at least I am with Gods help. I am abstinent because I want to obey my Lord and Savior.

God has blessed me with a wonderful man who feels the same way I do.  Abstinence within a relationship would be difficult, if not impossible, when both partners aren't committed to it.  It's not a matter of either one of us not wanting to have sex, or to share that intimacy.  We just feel that sex is meant for marriage and we want our relationship to be Christ-centered rather than sex-centered.  Just because we're in agreeance does not mean it's easy.  We struggle.  My boyfriend is attractive.  I love him.  There are times when I waiver.  There are times when he waivers.  Luckily, when I am weak, he is strong...and vice versa.  We both have a strong faith and know we can rely on God to keep us on track.  We strive to have a relationship that honors Him and abstaining is a way of accomplishing just that.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

LIWD :: day 16 :: Choose: Him or What He Can Give

Many seek God, but only for His hand.  They don't want God as much as they want something from God, such as a man, happiness, or a family.  This impure search for God is limited to what you can get.  It is more of a self-love than a God-love.  This seeking will end in misery, not in the union of love you desire.  God...knows your motives.  To grow in your knowledge of God, you must seek God correctly, which means you must also seek God with a pure heart.

A woman with a pure heart for God does not focus on what He gives, but delights in who He is.  She seeks God's face, not just His hand.  Would you want someone to say he loves you just so you would do something for him?  To find, God, you must seek Him with pure motives.  Seek Him for who He is, not just for what He can do for you....


Singleness does not have to be a curse....Singleness puts you in an advantageous position because, more than likely, you have much more time to seek the Lord now than you will ever have if you marry. must seek God correctly, which means you must also seek God with a pure heart.

God loves us.  Period.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it.  He loves us.  There's nothing you can do to make Him love you more.  There's nothing you can do to make Him love you less.  He loves you matter what.

As humans, we are naturally selfish.  We live in a world of gimme, gimme, gimme.  Most of us have been guilty, at one point or another, of falsely believing that the world revolves around us.  It's natural that everytime we want something, we turn to God.  Please get me out of this situation.  Please let this happen for me.  Please make this happen.  Please give me this.  Please spare me that.  How often are those pleases followed with thank yous.  How often are those pleases followed by an if it is in Your will?  If you are anything like me, not often enough.  The world does not revolve around us.  Everything does not happen to benefit ourselves.  No matter what we do, how much we try to make things happen, God is in control...always was, always is, and always will be. 

He loves us not despite our flaws and not because of our talents.  He loves us because we are His children.  He created us and He just loves us.  As soon as we can realize that we do not deserve any of the things He has chosen to give us and accept the love that He gives us unconditionally, only then can we truly love Him back the way He deserves to be loved.

Friday, March 5, 2010

LIWD :: day 15 :: True Love

Seeking God is very similar to developing a friendship.  You talk a lot, you listen, you write each other letters, you think about each other, you find out what the other likes and does not like, and you try to do things that please that person.  The more you spend time together, the more intimately you know your friend.  And the more intimately you know your friend, the greater your love will be.  It works the same way with your relationship with God.

Jeremiah 29:12-13 promises that a woman who diligently seeks God with all her heart will find Him.  Your heart is the key to devotion to God.  A halfhearted search is not sufficient.  This means you cannot seek God while you do your own thing.

Is God demanding too much to require that you seek Him with all your heart?  No way!... Christ your heart means you are not free to give it away to other things or people that come into your life (in idolatry)....  Devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ is giving everything or nothing at all.  Your devotion to Christ must be a serious commitment.

Devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ is giving everything or nothing at all.

Who is your best friend?  Someone who works with you?  Someone you went to school with?  A family member?  A neighbor?  Are you closer with them than you are with God?  No matter how well you think your best friend knows you, God knows you better.  I want to know God as well as He knows me.  I want to love God as much as He loves me.  Sounds simple right?  Yeah, not so much.  Just like any human relationship, a bond with God takes time and effort.  He wants to talk with me.  He wants me to share my innermost thoughts with Him -- my hopes, my dreams, my fears, my aspirations.  This relationship is not all about me though.  I need to learn about Him too.  I need to spend time in His word and listen to what He's telling me.

He's not interested in a lack-luster relationship.  He wants all of me.  He wants everything I have to give.  And I want to give it to Him.  I feel it's the least I can do.  He created me.  He created the world around me.  He sacrificed for me.  He forgives me when I don't deserve to be forgiven.  He died for me.  The least I can do is make Him my best friend.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

LIWD :: day 14 :: Basilea Schlink / First Love, Divided Love

Basilea Schlink

Basilea (Dr. Klara) Schlink was born in 1904.  Her education included social welfare training and a doctorate in psychology.  She was a leader of the Women's German Student Christian Movement and bravely stood against Nazi policy during the Hitler regime.  She risked her life during World War II, publicly speaking out on the unique destiny of Israel as God's people.  Mother Basilea appeared two different times before the German Gestapo for boldly proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord; she was released despite her unwavering stance.  As Mother Basilea and another leader, Mother Martyria, led Bible studies (even teaching the Old Testament that was forbidden by the Nazis) for young people, they began to see revival.  The young girls encountered God in a fresh way; His holiness, His justice, His Lordship were experienced anew.  Those who were lukewarm in their Christianity repented; hidden sins were confessed and forgiveness flowed.

First Love, Divided Love

Jesus, who so often says "Whoever loves Me..." and asks "Do you love Me?" is concerned about our LOVE!  He is concerned about a special kind of love.  It is the love which is shadowed in the relationship between a bride and her bridegroom; that is, it is an exclusive love, a love which place the beloved, the bridegroom, above all other loves, in the first place.  As a Bridegroom, Jesus has a claim to "first love".  He who has loved us so much wants to possess us completely, with everything we are and have.  Jesus gave Himself wholly and completely for us.  Now His love is yearning for us to surrender ourselves and everything that we are to Him, so that He can really be out "first love."  so long as our love for Him is a divided love, so long as our heart is bound to family, possessions, or the like, He will not count our love to be genuine.  Divided love is of so little value to Him that He will not enter into a bond of love with such a soul, for this bond presupposes a full mutual love.  Because our love is so precious to Jesus, because he yearns for our love, He waits for our uncompromising commitment.

As a Bridegroom, Jesus has a claim to "first love."

Of course God should come first in our lives...but does it always end up that way? This was also the topic of the sermon at Church at the Bay this past Sunday. Make God your number one, your significant other your number two. It's easy to say that God is number one in our hearts, but does your life reflect that? I know mine often does not. Whether it be because of being 'too busy' or laziness or whatever. Putting God first takes discipline. You have to want Him to be there. You have to work to keep Him there. That doesn't mean that anything else in your life isn't of importance, it just means He is more important. He created you. He gave His life for you. He loves you unconditionally. Can you say all that about anything else?

I'm not sure if this is completely relevant, but it keeps popping in my head. The song None But Jesus by Brooke Fraser has powerful lyrics. They hit me everytime. I pray that they pull at your heart too and that these words are your hearts song.

in the quiet, in the stillness
I know that You are God
in the secret of Your presence
I know there I am restored
when You call, I won't refuse
each new day again I'll choose
there is no one else for me
none but Jesus
crucified to set me free
now I live to bring Him praise
in the chaos, in confusion
I know You're sovereign still
in the moment of my weakness
You give me grace to do Your will
when You call I won't delay
this is my song through all my days
all my delight is in You, Lord
all of my hope, all of my strength
all my delight is in You, Lord forevermore

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

LIWD :: day 13 :: A Need, A Right, A Completion

Every single woman must at some point come to grips with the fact that not all women will marry.  Marriage is not a need, though God chooses to let marriage meet some needs a woman may have.  Marriage is not a right, though God chooses to plan marriage for the majority of women.  Marriage does not complete a person, though women who properly marry find that marriage rounds out some of their weaknesses.  If marriage were a need, a right, or completion for women, then all godly women would marry.  There are many examples of true, God-honoring women who had no earthly mate but were still Ladies of Patience.


Don't let your impatient longings rob you of the life God wants to bless you with as a single.  Realize you do not need marriage for happiness or a full life.  If you are holding onto marriage as a right, relinquish this right so it will not keep you from God's fullest blessings.  God knows what is best for you.  His timing is perfect and He will take care of His Lady of Patience.

If marriage were a need, right, or a completion for women, then all godly women would marry.

I know I've talked of this before, but what a hard pill to swallow.  I pray that I will be blessed with someone to share my life with.  Someone to raise a family with.  What if that's not in my future?  Does that mean I will lead an empty, lonely life?  No, of course not!  I'm surrounded by people who love and care for me.  I am blessed to have made forever friends.  I don't need a man to make me whole.  All I need is my Lord and Savior.  That's not to say I don't want a husband.  It's only to say, I know that I don't need one.  I've lived 27 years without one, I'll continue to thrive if that doesn't happen for me.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

LIWD :: day 12 :: Back to the Basics

May we go back to the basics for just a moment?  What is a conviction and how does one develop biblical convictions?  A conviction is a standard that serves as a springboard for your choices.  Consider where your standards, in the area of relating and dating, originated.  Are your standards based more on Hollywood's terms of love and romance, or have you allowed God's Holy Word to shape your perspective?

The Lady of Conviction gives the Lord permission to renew her mind on a daily basis.  She spends time searching the Word of God for standards that will guide her safely to God's best...She has surrendered her mind to a new persuasion:  God's perspective on love and romance.  The convictions that she establishes, based on the Word, allow her to resist being squeezed into the mold of this world.  She is a non-conformist in a biblical sense, as in Romans 12:2 (NIV) which says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- His good, pleasing and perfect will."

The Lady of Conviction gives the Lord permission to renew her mind on a daily basis.

Over the past few years my ideals and convictions have made a major shift. As I've grown in my faith, and grown closer to God, what I want (or thought I wanted) out of life has changed. If I had made a list 5 years ago of what I was looking for in a guy, it would have looked something like this:
  • tall
  • dark hair
  • dark eyes
  • olive skin
  • slender
  • nice smile
  • makes me laugh
  • outgoing
  • not a pushover or a 'yes man'
  • good job...or on track to having a good career
Now, while all of those things are nice, they're not essential. My list has greatly changed! Especially since doing the Lady in Waiting study. While that list was more superficial, my wants...needs, really....for a mate are more about him as a person.
  • God-fearing 
  • serves God before all else 
  • involved in a church 
  • seeks Gods will in his life 
  • wants children...but does not have any yet 
  • chivalrous 
  • considerate 
  • has life goals and actively pursues them 
  • makes me smile 
  • smiles because of me
Don't get me wrong here...tall, dark and handsome is still a major bonus...just not a necessity. Lucky for me, my boyfriend is tall, dark and handsome...and he loves Jesus.

Monday, March 1, 2010

LIWD :: day 11 :: Your Destiny

Do you think your ideals and standards are too high?  Do you feel the pressure to compromise and settle for the generic version of life?  Ruth lived in an era that was exactly like modern America.  Judges 21:25 describes the era in which she lived: "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes."  We too live in a culture where it seems that no one fears God and people just "do their own thing."

You, like Ruth, will be greatly affected by your choices.  Ruth's wise choices allowed her to break a godless family cycle and begin a new cycle that the Word of god triumphantly records.  God has not changed -- and neither have men.  The high standards in God's Word are not irrelevant, but completely applicable to finding God's best for your life.  Choices, guided by your convictions rather than by chance, determine your destiny....

You cannot make good choices without proper, biblical convictions.  Don't carelessly leave your dating/relating standards to chance.  Too much depends on your decisions in this area.

Choices, guided by your convictions rather than by chance, determine your destiny...

I strongly believe that even the smallest choices can greatly impact your life.  Bad choices can snowball quickly...believe me, I have alot of experience in that!  I don't think that anything really happens by 'chance', it's all a result of how you, or others, have employed free will. 

I choose to go to work.  Sure I wouldn't be able to eat, pay my bills or anything else if I didn't...but still, it's a choice.  I choose to go to church.  I need it to feed my faith and converse with other believers.  I choose to only date believers.  I've done the alternative and it is stifling to my hearts desires. 

I don't always make the best decisions, but I know that when I apply Gods will to my life that I am doing the right thing.  I know that the resulting implications will be for the best...even when I don't understand it.  For every action there's an equal and opposite reaction.  I want my actions to shine of Gods light.

By applying Gods word in even the the most insignificant decisions, I am ensuring that I am following Gods will.  I pray that I will have the strength, the will and the determination to do just that every day of my life.