"Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds . . ." Wm Shakespeare

Friday, March 25, 2011

Well . . . . Color Me Surprised!!!

I found out from my brilliant Geeky daughter how to check my 'stats' on who has checked out this Blog.

Surprise, surprise and I really mean SURPRISE, I've had hits from the following countries with the number of hits from each country:

Canada
- 658
United States
- 236
Russia -
18
Chile
- 16
Burundi -
11
China -
11
Denmark -
6
Germany -
5
Ireland -
4
United Arab Emirates -
2

So now the question begs . . . . how are they finding my simple little blog tucked way over here in Ontario??

The next question which begs to be asked is . . . . I wonder what they think of them? Since hardly anyone ever leaves a Comment, it's a bit hard to gauge the level of agreement or disagreement. I guess it doesn't really go beyond a bit of curiosity because truth be told, I mostly write this because it's what my life is about, what I'm thinking and/or what I'm dealing with in my Journey with God.

There are so many unexplained and unknowns in life, this is just one more, but if you are reading my blog and something resonates with you, please do write a comment. Some days I just plain would appreciate the encouragement.

One downer I must mention, my equally brilliant and geeky son-in-law says some of them will be hits from hackers!!! Oh well . . . .

Blessings . . . .
Journey Girl

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

These Blasted Fonts!!!

Every now and then I write a blog which when I view it in it's finished state, bears no resemblance to the original as I wrote it! ARG!!!

For some unknown reason, some of the words, sentences or whole paragraphs are different fonts than what I wrote it in . . . . ???

So this is just to let you know, one of these days I'm going to write a blog with a different font for each paragraph. Maybe I'll change the color to correspond with each paragraph and maybe I'll CAP some words or letters.

Bless you all as you walk along this adventure of writing with me ~ it's never boring is it?

Girl on a Journey

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Words & Their Original Greek Meanings

After writing that last blog I decided to post the words and original Greek meanings for each of the definitions of what Love is. To write one blog for each of them would burden you with too many posts to read and me with having to expose myself (again & again) and my sin in how poorly I love others. I apologize for the repetitive nature of these posts, but the more I learn the more I know I have still more to learn!


I think . . . . I get it . . . . *sigh*


When I read these definitions, it is so clearly true (for me anyway) when Larry Crabb says in his book 66 Love Letters, that our biggest problem isn’t how badly I ‘feel’ it’s how poorly I love others. He goes on to say, “Your failure to love Me (God speaking here) above all else and to love others at any cost to yourself defines your un-holiness. When you recognize your un-holiness and own it without excuse, your ears will be opened to hear My words of comfort and hope. And those words will set you on the narrow road to relating with holy love. There is no other kind.”


As I set myself out to learn how to love God’s way, I’m discovering just how narrow that road is. By this I mean it’s never about ME. Self has no play in this at all except to deny my ‘self’, hence the narrow and steepness of the road, and respond as Christ would, God’s way.


When God says, “your ears will be opened to hear My words of comfort and hope” it puts me in mind of Isaiah 2:12: For the LORD of hosts will have a day of reckoning Against everyone who is proud and lofty And against everyone who is lifted up, That he may be abased. Proverbs 16:5: Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; James 4:6: . . . . Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." And again, 1 Peter 5:51: . . . . and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.


What this tells me is when I’m angry and filled with a self-righteous sense of being wronged, I’m proud, full of my self and I will not hear God’s words of comfort and hope. My ears are full of my own (un)righteous anger and demand for justice (my way, not God’s) and vengeance. At the very time I need to hear from God, because I am proud and not humble ~ I CAN’T HEAR HIM.


I’m not going to give examples of how poorly I love in regard to each of these words and definitions. Rather, I’ll allow you to reflect and think on the incidents in your life that define how well or how poorly you love.


Love is patient

1) to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart

a) to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles

b) to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others

1) to be mild and slow in avenging

2) to be longsuffering, slow to anger, slow to punish


Love is kind

1) to show one's self mild, to be kind, use kindness


Love is not jealous

1) to burn with zeal

a) to be heated or to boil with envy, hatred, anger

1) in a good sense, to be zealous in the pursuit of good

b) to desire earnestly, pursue

1) to desire one earnestly, to strive after, busy one's self about him

2) to exert one's self for one (that he may not be torn from me)

3) to be the object of the zeal of others, to be zealously sought after

c) to envy


Love does not brag

1) to boast one's self

2) a self display, employing rhetorical embellishments in extolling one's self excessively


Love is not arrogant

1) to make natural, to cause a thing to pass into nature

2) to inflate, blow up, to cause to swell up

a) to puff up, make proud

b) to be puffed up, to bear one's self loftily, be proud


Love does not act unbecomingly

· improperly

· inappropriately

· incorrectly

· unsuitably


Love does not seek it's own

· want my own way (so to speak)


Love is not provoked

1) to make sharp, sharpen

a) to stimulate, spur on, urge

b) to irritate, provoke, arouse to anger

1) to scorn, despise

2) provoke, make angry

3) to exasperate, to burn with anger


Love does not take into account a wrong suffered

1) to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over

a) to take into account, to make an account of

1) metaph. to pass to one's account, to impute

2) a thing is reckoned as or to be something, i.e. as availing for or equivalent to something, as having the like force and weight

b) to number among, reckon with

c) to reckon or account

2) to reckon inward, count up or weigh the reasons, to deliberate

3) by reckoning up all the reasons, to gather or infer

a) to consider, take into account, weigh, meditate on

b) to suppose, deem, judge

c) to determine, purpose, decide



Love does not rejoice

1) to rejoice, be glad

2) to rejoice exceedingly


. . . . in unrighteousness

1) injustice, of a judge

2) unrighteousness of heart and life

3) a deed violating law and justice, act of unrighteousness


Love bears all things

(See previous post)


Love believes all things

1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in

a) of the thing believed

1) to credit, have confidence

b) in a moral or religious reference

1) used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul

2) to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith

3) mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith

2) to entrust a thing to one, i.e. his fidelity

a) to be intrusted with a thing


Love hopes all things

1) to hope

a) in a religious sense, to wait for salvation with joy and full confidence

2) hopefully to trust in


Love endures

1) to remain

a) to tarry behind

2) to remain i.e. abide, not recede or flee

a) to preserve: under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one's faith in Christ

b) to endure, bear bravely and calmly: ill treatments


Meaning of all things

1) individually

a) each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything

2) collectively

a) some of all types


Well there you have it. This is what it means to love God’s way, a way which is pleasing to Him, to love others well regardless how we are treated, selflessly, giving with no thought to ourselves.

In the light of all this I wonder now at our notion of Tough Love? Is it a God-concept or man’s idea?

More blessings coming your way from my pen and God’s heart.

Journey Girl

The Steep & Narrow Path of Love

If you've been following my blog at all, you know I've been writing of my journey into learning to love God's way. This has to be the biggest challenge of my life. Loving God's way, as I'm finding out, is a multi-faceted concept of which I am just learning. When Jesus says the 'road' is narrow He wasn't kidding and finding out about this has just made it more narrow and steep. It's beginning to pinch!!

When I read 1 Corinthians 13, I realized I needed to find out what some of the words meant in the original Greek language.


The first one I looked up is verse 7: "Love bears all things". What I thought it meant was to 'handle' things, bear up under the weight of things that negatively affect me. You know, keep a stiff upper lip, forgive them, refuse to be offended, the 'sighing' martyr . . . . honestly eh???

What it means is:

1) deck, thatch, to cover
- - - a) to protect or keep by covering, to preserve
2) to cover over with silence
- - - a) to keep secret
- - - b) to hide, conceal
- - - - - - 1) of the errors and faults of others
3) by covering to keep off something which threatens, to bear up against, hold out against, and so endure, bear, forbear

I can see I fail to love well when it comes to 'bearing' with life's stuff, especially under definition 2.1: to cover over with silence of the errors and faults of others. I don't keep quiet at all! What I do is tell a caring listener of the incident and hope they sympathize and agree with me. How utterly horrid. The motive behind that is to find someone to agree with me that I'm quite justified in feeling angry and hurt, hoping said listener will agree that I deserve better thus justifying my very own pity-party.
I am so not a nice person!!!


When I look back and see those past incidents, trust me there are many, I see how such 'venting' has caused a downward spiral into gossip, hatred and bitterness which in turn drags the listener into my angst causing them to take up offense on my behalf which causes them to sin!! My talk causes others to sin, hokey . . . . the weight of that truth . . . .

If not for God's gift of forgiveness, I would be a most bitter and angry woman, but I see now I need to pull up my bootstraps and choose to love others in a way that is pleasing to God. In 'to bear all things', rather than venting to others, those wonderful people who love me and want to support me, I need to go vent to God and ask Him to comfort me and give me grace 'to bear' with the sins of others. He's the only One who can help me deal with it anyway right? When I've gone to God, I discovered when He was done helping me to 'bear' with it, I ended up filled with compassion for the one who hurt me in the first place and I had love for them. When I vent to others I don't have compassion, I am angry and whether I believe it or not, I seek vengeance in my heart of hearts, expecting God to 'get them' on my behalf. It instills in me a sense of entitlement for that vengeance, after all . . . . I've just been wronged!

That's just not God's way! It's my way, our human way of handling our hurts and disappointments and it causes division, a breaking down of relationships when God is all about restoring and building up strong relationships.

Here are two other verses which support the above meaning of 'to bear;
to cover over with silence of the errors and faults of others':

Proverbs 10:12: "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions".
1 Peter 4:8: "Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins".


I could write more, but I'll silence myself now and let the word and definition speak for itself. I'll silence myself and let God speak to me.

Blessings to you as you daily learn 'to bear all things' as you love those around you ~
2) to cover over with silence
a) to keep secret
b) to hide, conceal
1)
of the errors and faults of others
~ in silent prayer to God.

Right now I have to go and repent for loving others so poorly . . . .


Journey Girl

Friday, March 11, 2011

How Poorly "I" Love

I just finished watching the devastation of the earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan ~ I have to say I'm a bit undone. I'm also sad that I say a 'bit' when I should be completely undone by what has happened to so many people.

I wrote a silly post on Facebook a few hours ago and it came to mind as I lay in bed thinking about what I saw on the news. I had to get up and write my thoughts or they would just go around and around in my head! I wrote "So . . . . does this falling snow mean I have to wear boots again? haven't worn boots for 2 weeks - lol".

How utterly frivolous! Yes, Facebook is a place to socially interact with others, have a bit of fun, keep in touch with friends and family, but in the light of what's happening half-way around the world, it saddens me in some small way. I know I cannot be serious all the time and in my defense I had not seen those videos nor was aware of how bad it was at the time I wrote that, but right now I'm feeling pretty petty and small.

So many people without water to drink, beds to sleep in, missing clothes, homes, vehicles and friends and family who cannot be found. Trauma galore and I don't know what to do about it except pray. But, what do I pray for? The only thing I can think of is Grace, Mercy and Comfort. I can ask God to provide basic necessities but I know it will be days before some people are found and who will bring them a drink of water or a bit of food? I think of the diseases which usually follow such calamities as bodies of dead animals and people float around contaminating any water that's available for drinking. Food supplies have been washed away, looters will swarm still standing and vulnerable businesses. The list just goes on and on about things those who have survived will have to handle while trying to make sense of everything emotionally. It truly boggles my mind to try and understand especially since I've never experienced such a magnitude of destruction and devastation. I am freshly aware of how poorly I love in the face of all this . . . .

God have mercy. Who are the fortunate ones I wonder, those who've survived or those who find themselves in the arms of a loving heavenly Father?

God's grace and mercy and peace be yours as you try to figure things out which cannot be understood.

Girl on a Journey

That LOVE thing again ~ Part II

I just got back from Florida where I flew down last week to look after Mom. She ended up in the hospital with double pneumonia and when I heard, I knew she would not be able to look after herself when she got out.

So of course I love my Mom, but living with a cranky elderly person, cranky because she is unwell, weak and unable to look after her own basic needs. I know that would push a few of my buttons!!

Here's the thing . . . . she is used to being in control, so when she picks at what I'm doing, how will I respond? Will I just consider her stress, her feelings, her 'crankiness' or will I defend myself and let her know I'm trying my best to consider how she likes things done?

I will confess I did a bit of both! Especially when it comes to driving her car, she is very specific and she would not consider how it was for me to drive a car for which I am unfamiliar, (it's an automatic - lol) under the kind of scrutiny of a 'Mother' watching my every move, seeing every manhole cover or pothole before I can avoid them and being stressed out and tired from working right up until I leave, making all the plans and packing rush-rush! So for the first day I did defend myself and asked her to please consider that 'I'm trying'!

To give Mom every credit, after I said that she refrained from saying a word and graciously handed me the keys each time we went out. I know it was hard for her, she knew it was hard for me, and we got along just fine.

I think I can say I did OK this time. Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not seek it's own way, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, bears all things and endures all things. I did OK with Mom but can think of others I loved more poorly.

*Sigh* guess I'll go and confess my sin and ask for more grace (the power of Christ to do God's will) to start all over again tomorrow.

Blessings on your own journey of loving God's way1
Girl on a Journey