Posted in Blogging, faith, God, Love, thoughts, what is love

Marly’s Big Topic: Love

What is love?


The age old question that so many of us want an answer to.  Especially topical considering the many debates going on in the world today about marriage equality and what are we doing to others in the world today.  The fighting over religious differences and whether we should let certain people into our country or not.  

I think for some of us it’s easier to state what love isn’t.  Love isn’t rejection.  Love isn’t hurting someone (although love can hurt).  Love isn’t ignoring someone.  Love is not apathy or hatred.  Love is not excluding someone based on race, religion, sex, gender, beliefs. 

But, what, then, is love?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines love first as a noun:

  • A strong feeling of affection
  • A great interest or pleasure in something
  • A person or thing that one loves
  • In tennis a score of zero or nil (which in this context we can rule out)
Then as a verb:
  • To feel deep affection for.
These dictionary definitions seem inadequate, though, don’t they?  For those who describe actually feeling loved, or being in love or showing love, it’s so much more than that.  So, what exactly is love?

Well, let me describe love to you in my words, based on my own experiences, through what I’ve read, watched, seen and lived.  

Love is the mother who repeated the message at church to her deaf daughter so she could “hear” it.

Love is those who come alongside the homeless of our city.

Love is the father who wants to protect his daughter from a mother who cannot.  

Love is staying by your partner’s side through sickness and uncertainty.

Love is the toddler who cares for her friends and looks to see why they are crying, even with no words available to them.

Love is a smile for a stranger even if you don’t feel like smiling.

Love is giving your time to another.

Love is the soldier who lay his life down for his country.  

Love is forgiving someone even when they don’t deserve it.

Love is sharing. Love is generosity.

Love is helping someone else despite your own need.

Love is trusting someone else with your fragile heart, knowing that you can be hurt.

Love is a kind word to another.

Love is being present.

Love is serving others with no thought of what you might gain from it.

Love is God who sent His Son to die for us on a cross.

Love is God.

Love is.

Love is an action, it is something we do.  It isn’t a feeling.  Feelings are fleeting.  True love is forever.  It is something we do for others.  And everyone needs love.  Everyone.  No exceptions.  

I know this is something that’s difficult to fathom, especially if we think of some of the people in this world.  Those who have perpetrated awful crimes on others.  But, think of it in the light of love.  

Put on glasses of love and you will see that they turned out that way because their own perspective of love was distorted, corrupted and they need love as much as we all do.  Even if that means we forgive them for what they did….or not push or argue that they should have the death penalty.  That would be loving them.  

A hard concept, I know, but I think one of the reasons I personally do not agree with the death penalty.  

Anyway, I sort of digressed from what I was talking about?  Or perhaps not.  Maybe the point I’m making here now is that to love is not always the easy response.  And perhaps that’s why we always turn to other responses and reactions first.  We fear that we do not know.   And out of fear we react in negative ways.  But, love is the proper reaction.   It is what we are meant to do.   

There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear, as fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18.

So, then, this is what love is.

Love is a verb.  

Love the people around you.  Start with the people in your immediate surroundings.  Your home, your workplace, your shopping centre, your frequent haunts.  Sometimes that’s enough.  Because your one act of love in one place can impact many so that they in turn can love those in their own world.  

Start a love revolution.

Just.

Love.


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Posted in God, Motherhood
I’m in a weird space right now.  I work with children, babies really.  And it’s not helping my need to be a mother.  And, yes, that’s exactly what it is; a need.  A strong, burning, sense that I am meant to be a mother.  
I know it’s also a want, but it’s one that I feel deep down inside of the depths of my being.
It doesn’t help that half the parents of the babies in my room are pregnant with their second…. 
I feel empty. 
I cried last night.  And I know that upset my husband because it makes him feel helpless.  And because he feels the same way.  
His health is a big factor as to why all this is so hard.  But, I by no means blame his health.  There are plenty of perfectly “healthy” couples who walk through this barren field.  
You know the field.  Where every other fruit is being borne, but the one of new life.  
It’s in this moment of doubt and fear that I know I need to turn to God and place all  of it at the foot of the Cross.  It’s easier said than done, though.  
But, I’ll speak it out.  
In God I trust.  
I trust Him with my waking and my sleeping. 
I trust Him with my ups and downs.
I trust Him with all my life.  
He lay down His life for me 
On the Cross at Calvary.  
I can do no less. 
For God knows the plans He has for me.  Not to harm me but for me to prosper for His glory.  
Posted in God, hands and feet, Jesus, living a life of worship, my thoughts, serving people, the church, worship

Thoughts on Worship and God

Zac spoke about worship on Tuesday night and about how when we worship NO ONE misses out on Jesus and who He is.  


I had some thoughts that came to me after hearing his word.  So, enjoy my thoughts.

It makes me sad the number of people who do not know the joys of a relationship with God, through Jesus. 
It is the greatest relationship anyone could ever hope to have.  He heals all the hurts in our lives and has promised us joy and life on the other side of physical death.  He has promised no more sickness, no more pain, no more suffering, no more poverty.
Who would want to reject that?  
By the same token, we who are already saved have a mandate, a responsibility and mission to be lights to the world.  Shining God’s love into the world.  
We are called to love.  
To be God’s hands and feet in a broken world. 
To those who say, why doesn’t God intervene in the world’s suffering? 
Well here’s the answer:  where God does not intervene is where humans are turning a blind eye.  WE are the ones who are responsible for doing God’s work here on earth.  And if nothing is happening to help those who are oppressed, it’s because WE aren’t doing enough. 
Do not blame God.  He has called US to work good in the lives of His people and if we do not, we are at fault.  
Not God.  Never God.
So, remember.  When we worship, live lives of worship, NO ONE misses out on Jesus.
Posted in Easter, God, Jesus, my thoughts, resurrection Sunday

Resurrection Sunday

He is risen.
He is risen indeed.
Hallelujah.

Today over all the nation, followers of that itinerant preacher, Jesus of Nazareth, will gather to praise God for the salvation that was wrought on the Cross.  Today we come together to thank Him for conquering death.  And today we claim once again that He is risen indeed, the Lamb of God, His only begotten Son. 

Thank You, Jesus for laying Your life down for mine and raising once more, King over all. 

You are better than anything in this world.  Your one life is the one that matters the most. 

Amen.

Posted in faith, God, Jesus, journey, my thoughts

My Story

Why do I follow Jesus?
I follow Jesus because He is my life.  He is my Lord and Saviour and He gives me strength and courage to do life.  I know He is always there for me, even when people aren’t.

When did I start to follow Him?
I don’t really have an exact time that I can definitely pin down.  For me it’s an ongoing journey.  I’m sure there was a point that I decided for myself that He is real and for me, but Jesus has always been a part of my life.

What have I done, as a result of following Him, lately?

Lately, I find myself being challenged to serve in my everyday.  At work especially.  I work in childcare and it is so easy to get frustrated and to want to just walk away, but setting my heart on Jesus helps to centre me, and remind me that life is not all about me.  And that He is bigger than all my cares and worries.

Posted in Easter, God, Jesus, my thoughts, prayer, Saviour

Conversations about God

This is the last full week of work before the Passover/Easter break.  My thoughts have continued to be turned to God and what He did for me on the Cross.  I’ve also had some fun watching the kids at work learning about Passover and again I think about how Jesus is the ultimate Passover Lamb. 

For me and, I know, many Christians, the period of Easter is the most important in our walk with the Lord.  The fact that He gave His life for us is humbling.  Even more so is the fact that He conquered death.  We do not need to fear Hell if we put our trust in Jesus and accept Him in our lives.

I pray that this Easter more of God’s people will accept the call of He who Created us. 

On an interesting aside, I was talking to my friend and she told me that at her church the Pastor was explaining the meaning of Eve and Adam eating of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.  The Pastor explained that it was sign of their disobedience and wanting to be separate from God, a metaphor of them rejecting God in their lives.  This is sin. 

That encouraged me, because it was like a light going off in my mind.  I realised this could be the one thing that vindicates my views on evolution.  If eating of the fruit is a metaphor, then it doesn’t necessarily negate human evolution. 

Humans at some stage in their evolution could figure out God existed then decide that they didn’t want God to rule them, and this would be where sin entered into the world. 

It doesn’t negate the severity and importance of sin, but at the same time evolution within the human species could be accepted. 

Amazing.  God is amazing.

Though, that’s all just minor in comparison to what He did for us on the Cross.  This is what matters to the people of this world. 

And I am forever grateful to God for what He has done for me.

Thank You Lord for sending Your Son to die for me on the Cross.  Thank You Lord for defeating death.  For death is what we deserve, but You so loved us that You sent Your only begotten Son. For You did not send Him to condemn us, but to be our Saviour.

Posted in commitment, faith, God, Jesus, life, my thoughts

Commitment

The word that strikes fear in many a person’s heart.  It seems such an uncomplicated word, yet it holds a huge amount of responsibility. 

There are so many things we must commit to in our lives.  From the mundane everyday things to the big commitments that come our way.  We have to commit to the decisions we make; to our jobs; to the people in our lives.  It’s a crazy thing, commitment.

These thoughts circle my mind as I think of my faith journey.  Early this season of Lent, I made a decision to commit my thoughts and time to God and hence give up something that was taking me away from Him.  However, I now realise that I don’t need to do that so restrictively to keep my focus on Him. 

I think I am safe, with God’s approval, to relax a little.  God knows that my heart will ever be for Him. 

My commitment to God is a lifelong decision I’ve made.  It may ebb and flow with the tides of life, but, nothing else really matters.  I love, Jesus, God, more than any other and He will always be First for me. 

My appreciation and commitment as a fan of my favourite band is something that helps me enjoy moments in my life.  And, really, in the long run, all music comes from God.

(Except maybe death metal….)

Posted in faith, God, Jesus, journey, life, personal

Sunday’s. The Lord’s Day

This is the day
This is the day
That the Lord has made
That the Lord has made

We will rejoice
We will rejoice
And be glad in it
And be glad in it

For this is the day
That the Lord has made
And we will rejoice
And be glad in it

This is the day
This is the day
That the Lord has made.

I love when there are baby dedications at church.  It really makes me have more faith when parents want to dedicate their children to God.  I think it is so important that a child is brought up in the church.  I am also an advocate of choice.  Once the child is old enough they should be enabled to make their own decisions about their faith and beliefs. 

For me, growing up in churches has really enriched my life and opened my eyes to the importance of a servant heart and that life isn’t just about me. 

Sometimes, I wonder what my life may have become if I hadn’t grown in the church.  And, it’s hard to fathom.  It has been a defining part of my life and I think I’d be a completely different person.  And in fact, that makes sense.  Being a Christian means dying to oneself and taking up the cross of Christ.  It’s not an easy journey.  It can be exhausting.  But, the wonder of how awesome God is makes it entirely worth it in the long run.

And this is what I want to impart to any child I may have.  Of course that’s a future prospect as I have no children, yet.  I have no husband yet, either. 

My parents keep trying to get me to look for someone.  I mean sure, I turn 30 next year but marriage isn’t the ultimate goal of life.  Yes, God has created us for relationship and marriage is a good thing, but marriage isn’t something to strive for.  Relationship with God through Jesus is. 

Of course, I want to get married one day.  And I want children. I admit I’m getting clucky, and my biological clock is ticking.  However, I’m first concentrating on refocusing my heart on Jesus and serving from a position of humility and love.

Amen.

Posted in Christianity, God, life, personal, religion, working with children, Writing

Life as me. Or at least some little tidbits.

Sometimes I wonder what exactly it is I’m doing with my life. Do I really want to work with children? Is my writing just an obsession? Pertinent questions. But, notice, I never, never seriously ask myself, what if God doesn’t exist? What if all the worship I do is worthless, pointless? I never seriously think about that.

I have in passing thought about what my life would be like without the God aspect, but I always come back to the conclusion that without God, life isn’t worth it. God is so important to me. He is the author of everything, and though I am personally responsible for my physical life, my physical being, my physical thoughts and acts; God is still there as well, a rock for my foundation. The guiding light for my heart.

So many things in life steer me toward God, rather than away from Him, and none more so than nature itself. Science also points to God, as far as I’m concerned. But, I don’t mean in the way many ‘Creation Scientists’ claim. I just study science, see nature and believe that God has to exist. Even if it is not the Christian God [though obviously, that is what I believe], there is still a god out there who Created this world.

But, back to my other questions. I have decided that I most definitely want to work with younger children. Beginning in Childcare of course, but perhaps ending up as an Early Childhood teacher in a pre-primary school setting. Of course, it’s not a big money-earning profession, but I’m not really in it for the money. You can’t be. It doesn’t earn you enough to warrant that. Apparently, though the Union in Australia is campaigning for a significant pay-rise and also for the industry to be recognised as a proper career choice and profession as important as teaching in schools.

No matter what, though. I believe this is the area I want to work in. For better or for worse.

Next thing. My writing. I can’t foresee myself ever really publishing anything, most of my original stories get neglected and my brain keeps churning over new ideas that never come to fruition. Though my A7X fanfiction, Shadows Creed has the potential to become an original story, at some stage. However, I can’t see myself ever quitting writing, either. I’ve gotten into a lot of fights with my mum over my writing, with her calling it all ‘crap’. Though I shouldn’t take it to heart because she’s not personally attacking me…it still hurts, and it makes me feel guilty about doing something I enjoy. Which some would say means I shouldn’t be doing it…But, I think I feel more guilty about the being sneaky than actually doing the writing.

I can and will finish my stories, it will just take a lot longer. I hope, though that I won’t tire of them before I finish them… You Don’t Mean Anything being a case in point, though I have some inspiration for it lately.

All in all…that all pales in comparison to how my personal life is going. I am content with myself in general. I have a loving family, boyfriend, wonderful friends, and an amazing God.

That’s me, really. Along with my support of my favourite bands and sporting team…I wouldn’t change any of it. Not for anything or anyone.