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Posts Tagged ‘love’

I need to tell you some major truths about you and I being single.

It’s good stuff, trust me.

1. Singleness is a freedom you will never get back.
I’m not bashing marriage by any means, but if you do end up getting married and things go well, you will never be single again. And I hope that’s true for you! I hope that if you long to be married, that you get married someday and stay married. But there’s something about being unattached and single that gives you a lot of freedom. I see it as an opportunity. Why wait around for someone to come along, as if that is what determines your “arrival” in this world? Go see the world! Eat all types of food! Climb all the mountains! Learn a new language! You are free to do that. You are free to adventure. You are free to learn to swing dance and be in local theater and write a book. You are free to lose all the weight and gain all the weight you want! When you’re single, you have time to be a good kind of selfish. Take advantage!

Biblically, Paul is with me on this one. He says in 1 Corinthians, “I want you to be free from anxieties…the unmarried [are] anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord.” I just want to encourage you that Paul thinks it’s BETTER that we stay single, because he’s just that sold out on serving Jesus. So, I want to encourage you that being single makes it easier to follow Jesus in so many ways! Rejoice!

2. Singleness has nothing to do with worth or value.
I want to beat down the biggest lie I know that us single people battle. It’s the idea that if you’re dating someone, you’re somehow better or more valuable. Or take this for example: I have a lot of girlfriends growing up who were/are TOTAL BABES. They got asked out a lot. At one point or another every guy has dreamed of ending up with this dream girl, who also happens to be one of my closest friends. So, since boys started liking girls, I’ve always had at least one of those girls by my side. And I used to think that if guys were asking them out but not me, then surely there must be something wrong with me! I must be way uglier, dorkier, and fatter than I ever knew! But that’s not true at all. Guys not asking me out does not mean I am not worth dating. It means a plethora of other things. But my worth isn’t one of them.

Another reason I want to address this lie is because in the Christian world, people tell each other all the time that if you are totally content in being single, then you will find your man/woman the next day. But that’s not true. You know how I know? God doesn’t give us opportunities, relationships, or blessings based off of our performance. If he did, he wouldn’t have died on the cross for all our sins, we could have done that ourselves. God isn’t waiting for you or me to become better at loving ourselves as single people to give us relationships. I think it’s all timing. I think God lets us enter into relationships if we want to, or if it’s the lasting relationship- if now you could glorify him more as a couple than as two single people. In that same passage as earlier, Paul encourages that people should marry if his or her passions are strong, and wants to get married, they should! I think that’s kind of how God feels about it too, and he likes to bless us with people who make us better in Him.

3. Singleness is so not the drama.
It’s great to be single because you aren’t constantly living for another person, making sure that their feelings, opinions and decisions don’t clash with yours. Everyone is fair game for good friendship, and you don’t have deep obligations to any of them. This one goes alongside the freedom one, but I wanted to make it separate so you can realize how good you have it. You don’t have to deal with the agony of a long distance relationship. You don’t have to have a talk about “going too far” physically with your boyfriend/girlfriend. You don’t have to deal with jealousy. Your friends are probably not annoyed, disappointed, or mad at you for ditching them to be with your boyfriend. No one is judging your relationship because it doesn’t exist! That’s so great! And don’t get me wrong, there isn’t one hint of sarcasm in any of this.

I just think it’s so important that while we are all single, we should really embrace it, love ourselves well, and don’t let American or church culture speak lies over our identities. This is a half and half deal, friends! Your friends in couples can only do so much to take care of you as a single person, you’ve gotta do the rest!

4. CHASE JESUS
Now, this is just a piece of the best dang advice I have. In fact, I have no other legitimate advice in the world. Just this. Run after Jesus and his call with all of your heart. Even if right now you are not following him! He is the source of all of these deep desires you have. In reality, your desire for love, companionship, worth and value will only truly come from Jesus. You will only feel completely convinced of all of that in a relationship with the God of the Universe. So, while you’re single, check yourself! Where are you going to in order to fill the void? Probably everywhere else. That’s why we can be so upset about being “alone!” But really, we’re not, we never have to be. Jesus made a way so that we could be with the One who loves us most forevermore.

Now THAT’S romance!

Okay single people, I dare you to go kick life’s BUTT! And if you fall in love with another single person along the way, and can’t help yourself, because God is so good at making people, go for it! Be brave! =)

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all of your sins were broadcast on the 5 o’clock news?

When I was nannying, I asked Angie if she knew what a sin was. She had never heard the term before. I think, in most cases, people see the word sin in a hellfire context. But here’s how I see sin: anything not glorifying God. So, every single little thing and every huge thing counts. Every tiny little lie you said to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, every time you’ve hurt someone’s feelings, if you’ve ever hurt yourself, if you ever took anything without asking, gossip, terrible words, murder, adultery, unforgiveness,  and that      whole      world    of      thoughts.

Just imagine being exposed.

A great person turns into a fraud. A hypocrite. A liar. A cheater. Heartless. A pervert.

Imagine! I thought about the implications of this. I can’t even count all my sins, or even pin point them. But I have a LOT. Endless amounts atoned for and maybe just forgotten. It’s shameful. If everyone I knew watched that news story, no matter how long it is, I may have every person turn their back on me. No one would trust me anymore. Would they? People may be repulsed by me. I would be alone.

Seriously. Think about it. What if that happened to you? Would the people in your life have much reason to want to stick around? Despite all of your sins? No. We humans walk away from bad people. We lock ’em up. We shake our heads in shame. We cut those ones off.

The guy on the radio who I heard ask this “what if?” followed it closely by, “then, we’d have no choice but to cling to Jesus.” At that moment, what has been taught to me over and over in my life was reaffirmed: Jesus is the only one who will always be there for me. He will never leave me.

Jesus was blameless, yet he took the pain and guilt of my sin (past, present, future) upon him, and died with it. He was burdened beyond belief with our problems, our faults, our screw-ups. Jesus sweat blood, he was so stressed. Jesus’ back was torn up on my account. On your account. He was spit at, ridiculed, hurled insults and lies. And he died for them too.

Imagine.

My Savior, put on the cross for a fake offense, and he is

torn

apart.

If all of my true offenses were laid bare, how would justice be sought?

Luckily, justice was sought for all my offenses (and yours). Jesus got up three days after his death, and left the sins behind. I no longer have to account for those. I don’t have to live in shame. I cling to Jesus, because he knows me, and loves me despite my repulsiveness. (And if you’re reading this, and you’re thinking, BG, you’re not repulsive you’re wrong. I am, and so are you. Anything that is unholy has no value. Again, Jesus is the way we get through this. In Him, we have value, forever.)

Thank God the atonement for all of my wrongdoings wasn’t left to the world! I would be eaten alive! I would be burned at the stake! I would be charred to a crisp! There would be no hope. There would be no second chance. There would be no grace. And I need all of that to survive.

So thank you Jesus, that you love me still. Because I am not good.

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In 1954, the Swanson Food Company made a good entrepreneurial move by creating the TV Dinner. Television was becoming a booming form of entertainment, and apparently freezers were becoming more common as well. In my opinion, this changed everything in American society forever. After TV dinners, the time that was taken to make a quality dinner was cut in half for a mediocre meal that you could eat in front of the Boob Tube.

While I’m glad for wonderful inventions that make the world go faster, like high-speed wifi, I hate the attitude this generation has about instant gratification. I was expressing this to a close friend over a year ago now and his was response was, “It’s all because of TV dinners.” After talking to my mother about it, I came to the conclusion that he’s right. In the last century, so many inventions have shaped society to want satisfaction and want it now. The microwave made TV dinners even faster. We can get information without so much as flipping a page in a book. We get impatient if is takes 15 seconds for a webpage to upload. We want love, but we want it easy, and we want it now.

Honestly, it’s unfair for me to say this about society today and America alone. We- humankind- have always been like this. We cannot wait for the good things to come. I mean, why should we?! Good things are exciting and wonderful! We shouldn’t be able to wait! But, we should wait.

Take, for example, the Israelites who just escaped Egyptian slavery with Moses. They are out in the desert and have been traveling. Moses goes up on Mount Sinai to talk with God for 40 days. (This is when he gets the 10 commandments.) When he comes back down, the Israelites are worshiping this golden calf that Aaron, Moses’ brother, made for them. See, those 40 days that Moses was gone for, the Israelites were growing restless. They wanted something to worship, something to live for. Apparently, the God who took them from slavery and parted a sea for them was not enough. So when Moses found them in this state of craze, partying, drinking and dancing around a golden statue, he was really upset. So upset that he breaks the tablets with the 10 commandments on them. Another time, the Israelites (and take into account that these are God’s chosen people) get sick of the manna, God’s dietary provision for them while in the desert. They wanted real food, and were so desperate for it that they say they wish they were slaves again to be eating fish and fruit.  Would you ever think of going back to slavery?

We’re a lot like the Israelites today. We are so unsatisfied and long for satisfaction. We want to be a part of something good, big, important and exciting! However, we just can’t wait. We take that deep longing for quality, for the best thing, and we try to fulfill it with much shallower things!  My favorite analogy to make is that it takes sweat, time, and hard work to build a muscular body so why wouldn’t it take time to get other things of quality? Like a home-cooked meal. That should take at least an hour, from preparation to finish. Lasagna always takes 45 minutes to bake, cheesecake has to solidify over night.

Even as someone who has written a blog entry all about Jesus, proclaiming that he is the core of all my desires, he can only fulfill my deepest longings, I still have a long way to go to be in that place I long to be. And I want to be at a place where I speak tenderly to God as if he were my lover. I want to have such a deep relationship with him, that I have peace and joy in every situation. I want to be so obsessed with Him, that it changes my life, and makes me never stop telling people about Him. Everyone wants to be in love. Deeply in love, a place where they can give their all, and be given everything in return. We as humans, were made to glorify and worship. Everyone has a god. But none of those gods, unless it’s Jesus, will make them feel whole.

In Acts 17, Paul says:

24“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

29“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill. 30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”

32When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.”

The way Paul talks about God makes God soveriegn. Everything is because of God. He made it all for us so that maybe we’d reach out to him. He wants us so bad. He wants our worship and praise adoration because he wants to be loved back. He doesn’t need it. He wants it. And Paul makes a great point- God is different than all those other gods- he actually responds. He actually exists. He actually knows who you are and wants a relationship with you. Some people think this is bologna. But unless you know God, and have tried to know him, I wouldn’t shake my head.

Jesus is so awesome. Sometimes, his gratification is instant, but more than that, it’s lasting. And that’s my major point. It’s not a magic trick to be in love, a love like no other, with Jesus. It’s a relationship that we have to work at. And I know for some of you, that’s just not going to cut it right now.

But hear this. I was driving down the road listening to the radio tonight, and these song lyrics came on:
“Oh Tonight could last forever
We are one choice from together
You and me
Ya, you and me”
The song challenges the listener to take the chance now, to make the choice now to be a part of real love. I teared up because I know so many people that are living in selfishness, because it is so much easier to live a life of instant gratification. Whether it’s drinking or drugs or sex- things that can feel so good, they end up being really empty and pointless. I get to live this life everyday of such purpose and joy. I know real Truth. I know life and love. I don’t know a whole lot of people who don’t know Jesus and can say the same.

In John 4, Jesus meets the town slut. She’s outside the city wall, drawing water from a well at noonish, when no one else is going to be there. Jesus asks her to draw him some water, because he just walked a long way, and was tired. They are alone, he’s a man and she’s a Samaritan woman (and a sleazebag nonetheless), he doesn’t have a jug, but he still asks for water. She’s a little shocked, but the conversation quickly changes into Jesus telling her that he can give her water that will never make her thirsty again. He basically tells her, “I will quench your thirst, FOREVER.” WTF?!?!
I’m going to be honest here. This story is so important to me. For a few years now, I had such an aching heart because I wanted a man to quench my thirst for love. I wanted an intimate companion who wanted me passionately. And I had him all along! Jesus knows me. And he wants me. And he gives me love that will never go away, and never die.

So it kills me to see my peers and everyone around me copping out. Taking the easy route. The easy route does not lead you to the prize. Ever.

Perhaps I just succeeded in making you really hungry for a Michelina’s Wheels in Cheese. Truthfully, I want you to be hungry for the best meal. I really hope that your heart is aching for deep satisfaction. And I really hope that you reach out to God to get it.

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If Jesus is God, and he knew that becoming man and dying for our sins would lead him only back to Heaven, then was it really a sacrifice?

Here’s how I see it. No one else was going to do it. No one else was capable of fixing the world we screwed up. No one can fix our screwed up hearts. Until Jesus. Imagine being given an ultimatum. Either everyone dies, or you humiliate yourself to the point of death, and then everyone lives. Imagine that humiliation to be the lowest form of degradation. Is your pride too big to save the world? I know it’s a stretch, but I have a hard time believing that being God as a man was easy. I’ve said this before, but that must be so confining. In the Gospel, Jesus is tempted in every way that man is tempted. And he doesn’t fall into sin. He is given every opportunity to indulge in himself and be selfish, but he doesn’t. He’s God! Why wouldn’t he?!?!

I think that is a sacrifice. To say, I have laid out freedom for you people. I have given you the opportunity to know me and love me and be in a perfect relationship with me. It’s either me, or not. There’s no in between. I am the Right Choice. I am the Best Choice. And Jesus knew that about his Father. That he had all these choices at the tips of his fingers. He could’ve proven his divinity in a much more grandiose way, but he chose humility. He chose to be a mere man. A perfect man. He gave up his immortality in some respect. Would you do that? Would you try to win the heart of the world and save the world by giving up your super powers and being normal?

If you were superhuman, would you just let them crucify you? They told him, get down off that cross, Oh Son of God! But he wouldn’t. He sacrificed all pride. Jesus doesn’t even know pride. Sure, he knows he’ll be back in a couple days. But think about being God in that moment. Man, who has always tested you, always rebelled and ran from you, always spit in your face and cursed at you, is challenging you to be a better God. Man is the reason Jesus was up on the cross, man will not be the reason he gets down.

Maybe a Just God is also a jerky God because free-will seems to be split in two: Choose Me or Yourself. And if you choose yourself, you can’t be with me. Which is to say, eternal gnashing of teeth. But you should always know you have that choice. To chose God or yourself. And he respects it perfectly. He didn’t deserve the death on the cross. We do. Because we suck as humans. What a sacrifice my Savior made for humans who don’t deserve grace!

I am so lucky that before I was created, God wanted me. Even though he knew I wouldn’t always want him back. Why should God want such a wretch like me? I am so selfish. But he loves me. He aches for me. He is jealous for my love. And even if I rebel and turn my back, he still got up on that cross just in case I would recieve his grace.

You are my hero Jesus. Else, I’d be dying. There would be no justice.

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I write about love. I write about Jesus. I write about passions. I write about friendships. I just wrote about Valentine’s Day.

It’s always about my heart. The story of my life is that I have never been satisfied. I have chased after things that I think will satisfy me but they never do. It’s an Epic Fail of gargantuan proportion. I think the story of my life could also be that God isn’t satisfied with my love for him. It is the plight of my heart. He is always chasing after me (just like I always wanted, someone to chase me) and always asking for my heart. But I don’t give it to him.

So much in the Bible it talks about loving God with ALL YOUR HEART. I don’t think I do! Because then I think I would be satisfied. I think my relationship with God would be way better.

I came across this series of verses tonight:
Deuteronomy 10
14 To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. 15 Yet the LORD set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today. 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt. 20 Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. 21 He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. 22 Your forefathers who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.

Did you read that? I encourage you to go back and really, truly read that. Hear it. Soak in it. My great, awesome and mighty God loves me so much. But that verse- “circumcise your hearts ” threw me off. Now, of course, I know what circumcision is, but I was like, YOU CAN  DO THAT TO YOUR HEART?! So I looked up the word, and while the definition is sexual, the Latin root means, ‘to cut around.’

Later, Deuteronomy 30:6 it says,
The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.

So, God wants to cut around my heart, in order that I may love him fully. What needs to be cut away? What am I loving before him? What things do I let latch onto my heart because of my dissatisfaction? Because I long to give my heart away completely to something! I was made to! But nothing- not a person, not a thing, not a passion or hobby will ever fill up my heart as much as Christ. I need to take my heart seriously because if I love other things more than him, my heart will grow into a tumorous mass. I need to take my heart seriously because it’s the only thing I have to offer to the God who offers me everything. I want it to look good and feel good and be a good good heart for him. He deserves my heart just as he made it.

So what about you? What do you love more than the Maker of the Universe? Is it the opposite sex? Is it sex? Is it some hobby? Is it one person? Is it a video game or music or art or your intellect? What do you need to get surgically removed? It’s not just the plight of my heart. This is THE PLIGHT. We all want him. We just don’t quite know it. Everything we want at the core of our wants is Jesus. I promise you that. And he wants us right back. How easy is that?

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There’s something about airports and planes that I have always loved. I always meet someone I like. But, I guess that doesn’t take much for me.

Well today, I met 5 people I like. The first was a girl named Sasha. She overheard me talking to a girl who I had met earlier in the week about ministry and she wanted to ask me about it. As she ate her burger, we talked all about ministry and what we want to do on our campuses. There I am, wanting to read my book, but right as I try, someone else talks to me. I do tend to talk a lot, but this life is just not about my desires is it? Then, on the plane were another two young adults from the conference I was just at. They talked the entire plane ride while I slept and read. Later, all three of us talked about a lot of things. Half the people on the plane went to Urbana.

So, I am alarmingly extroverted, as I like to say. But I was so into finishing this book and I didn’t want to talk, I wanted to read. But everything around me was against it. So I took it with a grain of salt because all that these people want is companionship. And I owe that to anyone who asks of it from me, even if for 3 hours. Because I long for it. And I’ve said this a million times but God made us for relationship! And I love that.

Then, I happened to be sitting across the aisle from a woman who was in St. Louis for a wedding. She began to ask me about the conference and just seemed to want someone to talk me to as well. She even got out her camera and showed me pictures from the wedding. I sat there, fighting with myself because I wanted to read, but this woman wanted attention and me to tell her something good. I didn’t even get her name. But we’d talk in waves. We sat at the back where people kept coming to the bathroom. So she would keep coming back to the idea of all these people being at this big conference celebrating Jesus and learning to take his love into the world. She told me she believes it’s time for her to go out and get involved with a church. She wants to find something good and real, and fun. So I’m going to pray for her.

But what is this inside all of us, that compels us to connect so easily and seek companionship in one another? What is it in all of us that longs for something more and heavier and deeper and more profound and exciting? We want relationship! I think God is funny in that he gives us the choice, but innately he made us to worship, long and cry out to Him. Smarty.

So despite my selfishness, I had a beautiful time traveling back to Phoenix.

It’s not about me: John 1:3- Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

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A bit of mourning…

I am going to to take this moment to mourn. I think recently, I have lost a lot of true feeling for those who I have lost. I have disregarded that they are no longer in my life like it is normal. And maybe it is becoming normal.

No, I’m not talking about death. I am talking about the handful of good friends that I have lost over the years for whatever reason. Sometimes, I don’t even know that reason. Some of the fading relationships were just that-we slowly grew apart, and others had dramatic ends. Still others ended in a deceitful way, and some broke my heart. I guess I’m in a place where my heart is hardened toward these losses and I feel I need to say something about that.

Dear Old Friend,

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if we were just as close now as we used to be. You and I have both changed, but I wonder what it would be like if we both still loved each other as the people we’ve turned into or if we’d be different people if we were still best of friends. I believe that I am who I am because of the people around me and my circumstance, so maybe we’re not supposed to be friends. But I still wonder.

In a way, I haven’t forgiven you for believing that I was dispensable and replaceable. I still see some of you and I am appalled when you are surprised at things about my personality. I am frustrated when we talk small talk when we never used to. I hate that you don’t want me like you used to. And I don’t know if you feel this way about me.

But I owe you an apology. Whether our friendship faded, you walked away, or I failed you, I am sorry. I am sorry that I did not love hard enough. I am sorry that I did not endlessly forgive you or give you the benefit of the doubt. I am sorry if I was not a friend who respected and loved you clearly. I am sorry that I was not relentless.

Because I believe in the kind of love that never ends. I believe in a love that does not know that apathy exists. I believe in a love that draws you in and holds you tight. This love also loves when it is not loved back. Like with God. He loves you even if you don’t love him. And I didn’t do that. I barely know what that is like.

So there’s my apology. My apology of my unforgiveness and unlove. I shouldn’t un-anything.

And, I miss you.

Trying to Love a Little,

Bridget Gee

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