Friday, December 26, 2008


So my wonderful husband gave me the book Soul Cravings by Erwin Mcmanus for Christmas, and it is pretty amazing!  So far I've read about half of the entries on Intimacy.  He talks about every human being's desperation for love.  It is incredible to realize the truth that we are all made for love...made to give love, to receive love, to pursue love, to live for love.  And we are made by a God who IS love.  Mcmanus explores the concept of unconditional love.  The only love humans can really give is conditional...our best love may be close to unconditional, but we are imperfect and we love imperfect people.  But God loves us without hesitation and without requirement.  One of the greatest failings of religion is to assume that we must earn the love of God.  God is a true lover, a perfect love-giver.  He does not need a reason to love us.  He pursues us because He can do no other thing, and He doesn't want to do anything else.  He desires to be in relationship with us.  How amazing!  And the even more amazing thing is that His kind of love can explode in our lives.  True love is insatiable.  I believe Erwin Mcmanus says it best when he writes, "Love can never be simply between you and God.  It can never be limited to that relationship.  Jesus makes that clear.  Love is ever expanding.  Love always grows, not just deeper, but wider.  Love always loves people more and always loves more people.  Love calls us to community; love calls us to humanity; love calls us to each other."

So let's stop being afraid of love!  Let's work together in our mutual imperfections to rid ourselves of abandonment issues and self-doubt.  Let's join in community, leaving no outcasts, no person unloved, uninvited into our home.  Because God is that home.  And with Him, with true Love, everyone is welcome.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Consuming God

With all of the business and inherent work of this time of year, it can be hard to keep working for the right reasons.  So many of us become satisfied with just getting by in life.  I do not mean that we do just enough to get by, although that can often be the case.  I'm talking about when we work and strive for the bare necessities.  We concern ourselves with food and clothes, with relationships and accomplishments, and I find at least, that sometimes I forget what life is really about.  In John 6, Jesus is talking to a crowd that follows him across a river to where and he and his disciples have gone, and he tells him that they aren't really seeking Him or the Truth He offers.  Instead, He says that they're following Him because He just gave them food and filled up their bellies.  I believe we do that too often.  We ask God to satisfy us with things that won't last, and sometimes those things are important, like food or relationships.  But no matter how important some things may be, no matter how much we need them, our need for God must be greater than our necessities.  He is even more vital to our life, even more essential to our happiness, even more crucially fixed to our survival!  We need to stop making God the dispenser of what we need, and instead, make Him what we need!  Jesus tells the people who have followed Him seeking more fulfillment, "do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you" (John 6:27).  When our life becomes about getting by, about obtaining what we need for a comfortable life, we have lost the REAL life that Jesus offers us!  What we really and truly need, what we cannot live without, what is essential to everlasting life and eternal joy in heaven, is Jesus.  God Himself.  Not what He offers us, but what He is.  May we start seeking God instead of stuff, understanding of His will instead of what faithfulness will get us.  May we stop living to consume what God gives us, and instead, consume Him and savor the True Bread of Life.  The Giver of All Good Things because He is All Good, All Perfect, Righteousness, Love.  He is what I need.  May He be what I live for and what I seek daily.