Accept God Knows You ~ And Loves You Anyway

The Truly You Purpose Project

The Truly You Purpose Project God Knows and Loves You Anyway

Truth Tip #2

Accept God Knows You ~ And Loves You Anyway

What if you lived believing no matter what mistake you make, where you’ve been or what you’ve done ~ you are loved? You might say you already know all about God’s love. Of course.  The question is, do you accept it deep down enough to live like you believe it?  To live as you are meant to live?  To be truly you?

God knows you inside and out. He knows me, too.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…

Jer. 1:5

God knows my anger. I’d never felt rage before, but this was it. I closed the door to a bedroom downstairs so no one ~ kids, neighbors, astronauts would hear me because I was ready to blow! I paced, ranted, and raved. I’d be stretching the truth to call this righteous anger. Prideful anger ~ more likely. God saw me. He knew why I was angry. Yet, he let me vent and continue to call me to his side…because he loves me anyway.

God knows my sin. I had a ‘habit’ I couldn’t shake…for years. More precisely, I wouldn’t let go of it. Finally, I looked in the mirror and couldn’t see me any more. Suddenly I realized…I was looking for consolation in my habit rather than God. He was not surprised by my epiphany. He knew all about me long ago. His love healed me…because he loves me anyway.

God knows my fear. I remember being so afraid of what might come I was paralyzed ~ unable to do the next thing or even know what it was. God saw my fear and confusion and used this time in my life to comfort and draw me near…not because I ran to him, but because in his love he reached out to me…because he loves me anyway.

God knows my pain. The hurt of my heart was excruciating and it doubled as I pled for another. There was nothing I could do. The situation was out of my hands. Where was God? Even in my doubt, God heard and answered my cry. He comforted and strengthened me…because he loves me anyway.

God knows all the not~so~pretty moments of mine. Yet, he loves me. This love has drawn me close and my acceptance of his no~holds~barred, love~me~anyway love has given me courage, peace, and the ability to be more forgiving of myself and others. Through it all, he has made a way for his purposes in my life to blossom so I may draw closer to him and who he made me to be. It’s the same for you.

Loved Each Day

God is faithful on The Truly You Purpose Project

Believing in God’s love is a continuous daily challenge, for sure. It requires intentional commitment to his loving Presence. We try to hide our mistakes, pain, and sin because we feel shame, hurt, distrust, and fear. Vulnerability and rejection loom large. But God is faithful as time and time again he calls us out from our darkest moments, thoughts, and experiences into the light. He knows that for us there is no greater source of humility, peace, freedom, strength, and purpose than to be fully known, and fully loved.

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”

Timothy Keller

Accept God’s all knowing, love~you~anyway love…and be truly you.

Purpose Prayer

Thank you, Father, for knowing me and loving me anyway. I praise you that as I believe and accept your love, your purposes for my life begin to blossom. I am desperate to be all that it means to be truly me! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Purpose Step

What fear can you lay in the lap of God’s love today?  Surrender it to him and find peace, encouragement, and courage to live out your purpose believing God knows you utterly and completely ~ and loves you anyway.

Listen to Your HeartSong!

You Love Me Anyway/Sidewalk Prophets

It’s Complicated…

By: Ms. O

“It’s complicated.”

I have heard that statement more than once in my life. At times I get sucked in…thinking I can work my way through the problem and come out the victor…ready, set, CHARGE…only to realize that it is much bigger than me…and I admit defeat.

Math is not a friend of mine. Sure, you math minded people can take some algebraic equation and act as if you are doing simple addition. Me? Hmmmm…no.  The worst was word problems. It would start off simple…Jo had ten apples…he gave away four…found ten more…stepped on one third of them….ran into an apple cart and picked up sixty percent more…blah blah blah blah blah…who cares. I will go buy my own apples…make them Honeycrisp…I’ll pay top dollar. Too many twists and turns, switching gears…and I’m lost.

It just gets….complicated.

I love to bake desserts. Hello…I love sweets….probably not a good combination. There were times I would see some fancy schmancy dessert on the cover of Southern Living…think I am the next Julia Child and pay high dollar for the magazine…and the ingredients…confident that I could replicate it. Let’s just say, I realized after throwing away many unrecognizable attempts…wasting money…time…and a way too much chocolate…that I am a simple girl. I like comfort food that takes less than two dozen ingredients. I don’t want to have to be precise…I don’t like terms that I have to google to understand…and it does not have to look like a masterpiece…it simply needs to taste good.  Frankly I would have loved to see how many attempts it took to make that cover worthy dessert until it turned out the way it did. I will take simple any day over intricate…taking more than an hour to make…desserts that are way too….complicated.

There were many years that I tried to be something…someone…I was not. I would see outfits that looked so cute on slim svelte figures and convince myself it would look the same on me.  Passing by make up counters, I would be suckered into thinking that if I bought a purse full of their products, magically….miraculously…the picture perfect model they use to represent their line…would be what I would see after I played…dress up.  And hair…wow…the biggest challenge of all time. When I was in my high school years it was my goal to have hair that was full…flowing…thick…curly….all adjectives that described…someone else. I tried perms…body waves…curling irons…hot rollers…and then a ton of hair spray. In the end I realized that was just not me. I am a jeans…flowy shirt…minimal make up…as in I wear it so rarely that it expires before I use it all….and my hair works best when I let it do what it wants. I know that being something I am not wears me out…makes me look like I am trying to be someone I am not…I am more of a simple girl…and do all I can to avoid the wide world of glamour…it’s too complicated…for me.

Have you ever felt like you'll never get all of the Jesus Rules right? And since you can't, then why bother at all? YOU ARE NOT ALONE. But you need to know that all Jesus wants is….

When I gave my life to the Lord I will admit I went into panic mode. Being the people pleaser I am, I knew I had to go into overdrive to go much higher so that I could please the Lord. I listened to how people prayed…wondering how they were so free in their dialogue with the Almighty.  I was amazed…and petrified…at others vast knowledge of scripture. I wondered how in the world I could get all this “Christian living”….right. Would this be too complicated for me to handle…could I cut it?

He has told you, O mortal, what is good;

    and what does the Lord require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness,

    and to walk humbly with your God?

                                            Micah 6:8

I was shown this passage once…by a friend who wanted me to see the shear power of simplicity. As I struggled to figure out how to serve the Lord…and live FULLY for Him…I missed the forest for the trees.

God has told me what is good…HIM…and this great love He has for me. And what does He require of me? Memorizing all of the Old Testament? Sure that would be incredible…and amazing…but not plausible…for me. Do my prayers have to contain theology…SAT quality words that show my affection? I would have to carry a dictionary with me…two…Websters…and a Bible Dictionary.

What God asks me to do is simple…

Do justice…as in do what I can to level out the playing field. Help out those who need a hand up…see what breaks His heart…and stand in the gap showing mercy…and do what I can to further the healing that needs to happen.

Seek the kindness that He has placed in my heart and don’t be afraid to show it. Sure there will be times it might be misunderstood…or thrown back in my face…but that should not keep me from doing all I can to be…loving…and kind…without wondering if it is “deserved”…that is not my role…that is what would make this task…complicated…so go back to simple.Just…be…kind.

And finally…to walk humbly with God. Don’t try to take the lead….don’t fall too far behind…keep in step with Him. He has created me to be…me. It is me that makes that more complicated…thinking I need to be taking charge…trying to figure His next move for me…when instead I need to walk in joyful obedience with Him.

Life can be so complicated. Way too many choices…dozens of decisions that we make from the moment we wake up till we collapse in bed. Why do we make it so hard to serve the Lord?

He did not want it to be so elusive that we would get frustrated and give up. He asks us to be…Christ like…which may seem complicated…but it truly is not. That does not mean it will be easy…that is a different story…but it is worth the challenge…each and every day.

Clear your mind…stop trying to figure it out…so you can take control. Believe me when I say this is a hard concept for me…as in HUGE. But the way I look at it…He did the hard part for us…so I need to “uncomplicate” my efforts…and be ready to be simply devoted to serve the Lord. The great part is…He doesn’t care if my hair looks great.

…amen…and amen.

This Is What Your Valentine Desires

By Gail Armatys

Valentine’s Day is Saturday. If you’ve forgotten (yikes!) then perhaps you should stop reading immediately and think seriously about your someone special and how you are going to show your unending love for him. If there is no ‘someone special’ then consider that this applies to the someones special (friends and relatives) that make a difference in your life as well.

If you’ve remembered Valentine’s Day but regard it as just another day and that your sweetheart already knows you love him…you’d probably be correct. If that thought ends with, “so I don’t really need to do anything special”, you’re probably right again.  But..your need is not the focus here. Your love is.  And what your Valentine desires is that you show love.

Let’s see what one worthy Saint can teach us about showing love to our Valentine.

Valentine’s Love

Saint Valentine was a Roman Priest during the rule of emperor Claudias. Claudias persecuted the church and prohibited young people to marry because he believed soldiers who were unmarried were better warriors, as they would not be concerned about a wife and family left behind.

At the same time, the church held marriage as sacred and encouraged it. As you might imagine, this presented a bit of a problem in light of Claudias’ edict. Still, Valentine secretly married young couples – which ultimately led to his imprisonment and torture.

One of the stories that came from Valentine’s days in prison includes Asterius, a man who was to judge him according to Roman law. As the story goes, Asterius had a young daughter who was blind. While in prison, it is said that Valentine prayed with the young girl and she was healed.

Later, Valentine was sentenced to beating, stoning, and finally beheading on February 14, in the year 270, because of his stand for marriage and his attempt to convert the Emperor to Christianity. Legend has it that Valentine’s last words, “from your Valentine”, were written in a note to the daughter of Asterius…words that inspired our Valentine’s Day.

In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius, marked February 14 as a day to celebrate and honor Saint Valentine’s martyrdom.

There are many take-a-ways from this story such as Valentine’s unwavering faith, his decision to persevere no matter what, and his courage – though surely he felt fear. But mostly, for me, it was his decision to show sacrificial love for another even as he looked into the face of death.

Although not very cheery, this story is inspiring and provides insight into the original meaning behind Valentine’s Day. And, it clearly reveals what we know instinctively but often forget…love calls for sacrifice.

Which reminds me of another story.

Jesus Loves Me

There is a simple song that you may have learned as a child in vacation bible school or Sunday school or from your Aunt Laura that tells the story of Jesus’ love. It probably brings a sweet smile to your face when you hear the chorus:

‘Yes, Jesus love me. Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me. The bible tells me so.’

(Did you just sing a bit of it to yourself in your head? … Me, too!)

This song perfectly relates the fact that no matter what you and I have done, where we’ve been, or how we hurt others or ourselves, Jesus is for us. Jesus loves us. The bible tells us so.

What that song does not say and the bible does – is that Jesus loves you so much that he was willing to sacrifice everything for you. No matter what – you can’t undo that or make it go away. It’s history. Not legend. You can ignore it from time-to-time or altogether. But it doesn’t change the fact that Jesus gave everything. He gave his life for you. For me. For everyone.

Jesus makes it clear. Love not only calls for sacrifice…

love is sacrifice

Show Your Love

I started this blog by saying Valentine’s Day was meant to be about showing love. Saint Valentine followed Christ’s example and showed his love by praying for the young girl and giving his life for his faith and convictions. Both holy Jesus and human Valentine made the utmost sacrifice. They took action. Action on behalf of others. Action that cost them their lives.

Considering this and recognizing that God does not call all of us to sacrifice our very breath – but he does call each of us to sacrifice our preferences, time, gifts, money, fears, and pride – I wonder what purpose God could possibly have for allowing Valentine’s Day in our lives?

And, if love really is sacrifice, what are you willing to give?

Finally, how will you show your love for your someone(s) special today…on Valentine’s Day…every day?

Purpose Prayer

Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice. Thank you for your example and the courage and selflessness we find in the story of Saint Valentine. I pray to honor you by willingly sacrificing all that I am and have to show love to those around me. In Your precious name I pray, Amen.

Purpose Steps

  1. Think of at least one way you can use your gifts, talents, time, and blessings to show love to someone today.
  2. Does fear, sense of loss, anxiety, or something else keep you from sacrificing?
  3. Notice and journal how you feel when you sacrifice for another.
  4. Have a love-filled Valentine’s Day (and beyond)!

Listen to your HeartSong here!

Jesus Loves Me/Chris Tomlin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNvrZXvz8wY

 

Live the song written on your heart

HeartSong Life Coach, LLC

The One Word Description

By: Vivian Wilson

True Love

Pastor Ben said something in his sermon Sunday, that just kept pestering my mind all day. It wasn’t something that I didn’t know or hadn’t heard before. But it was something that I have really never spent a lot of time thinking about.

It is one of those “yeah, everybody knows that” phrases.  (Sorry, Mr. Insurance Guy).  He said we are made in “the image of God”.

Genesis 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

What does that mean really? Well, I thought, man is creative and he has the ability to think and reason. God created man to be holy (set apart) and righteous (without sin). Man had fellowship with God, they walked in the garden together. (Gen.3:8) So obviously God created man to have a loving relationship with Him.

God is not a loner. He is a lover.

1 John 4:16,19  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 19,  We love because he first loved us.

There is, in every heart, an intense need to be known fully and loved anyway. Every human heart desires to be loved unconditionally. We would all agree that only God is capable of loving unconditionally. He does know us completely and loves us in spite of our imperfections and wants us to love him in return. Yet, even though we know that others cannot love us the way God does, we still long for something close to it.

1 John 5:3  This is love for God: to obey his commands.

John 14:15  If you love me, you will obey what I command.

But here is the problem. We focus on this heartfelt need to be the beloved. We want to be loved and and made to feel special and appreciated and valuable. This is absolutely a good thing! But the other side gets lost. Because we are made in the image of God, we also have an equally strong need to the a lover.  

This is the greatest commandment:

Mark 12:30-31  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this:  Love your neighbor as yourself.

We are to love God and we are to love others.

John 15:12  My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you.

I am beginning to understand that my need to love others is equal to my need to be loved and just as important. May I be so bold as to suggest that perhaps when feelings of emptiness or loneliness arise, it isn’t because we aren’t loved enough, it is because we are not loving enough.

Created in the image of God, love should define who I am and what I do.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8  Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.

Love expresses itself in grace, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness, compassion, patience, goodness, and humility. There are many opportunities every day to love someone. This is when we look most like the One in whose image we are created.

A work in progress,

Vivian

Did I seriously just say that?

Written by: Amy Dalke

I wish I naturally had the ability to keep my mouth shut.

What I mean is, if I ever do restrain my words, it’s not my doing. God gets all the credit. Because my natural tendency is to use my mouth like a whip, or a grenade, or in the least, like a well-shaken can of Diet Coke that spills out the unfiltered thoughts in my head.

Like those times I tear someone down with words behind their back.

Like those times I’m straight out ugly to their face.

And those times I have a handful of envy, so I cut them down to make me feel better…

And much like those times I lose my grip with a certain 8 year old, and speak at a volume often considered as yelling. (Although this verse doesn’t specifically address anger, I dare say that when my voice reaches a certain notch on the sound chart, I’m probably not saying words that are considered a gift to the receiver.)

Retro Speech Bubble_conversation post

Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, or cut them out.” -Colossians 4:6 MSG

It’s the “bring-out-the-best-in-others-in-conversation” part that gets me.

Those words sting…mainly because my passive-aggressive comments aren’t meant to offer compliments.

My husband can confirm that my words can rip at the seams of another’s spirit, rather than build up their confidence. I may or may not have done that this weekend. (But it might have been during Luke’s baseball tournament, in the middle of an intense inning.) (Little League Parent Stress is for real, friends.) (I know, I know, still not cool, and definitely not on my highlight reel of kindness.)

The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.” -Proverbs 15:28 NLT

Solomon would have included “think carefully before posting your status, writing that email, or sending that text” if he were born into the iPhone era.

You may be one of those people who always thinks before they speak. I’m usually not.

Well…perhaps we should, given that Solomon also tells us that our positive or negative words can bring life or death to the hearer (see Proverbs 18:21). Which, incidentally, would include those times we talk to ourselves.

Here’s what I see in these verses:

  1. We can speak words without thinking first about the benefit or insult they bring to the receiver.
  2. We can speak dagger-like words that we purposefully aim to cut into the soul of the hearer.
  3. We can intentionally speak words that are meant to build up, bring out the best in, and encourage the one who receives them.

How often do we go into conversation with our eye on the goal of bringing out the best in the other person?

It’s safe to say that for me personally, encouragement is likely offered more often as a default or secondary benefit more than an intent.

Along a similar line, there are many times our words can cut unintentionally, simply because we didn’t think about the result before they rolled out of our mouth. Or maybe it’s not so much that they were unintentional, but if we would have considered them through the lens of grace, we may have chosen not to say them at all.

I bet our lives would be radically changed if we measured our words with more caution, and decided to use them to bring out the best in those on the receiving end.

Think about it: the average woman speaks 20,000 words per day, and the average man speaks 13,000. (No comment from the male gallery.) So if we are tossing out 13,000-20,000 words every day of our lives, wouldn’t it be wise to be purposeful about their impact?

I’m pretty sure if we determined to carefully evaluate the weight of our words, the careless ones would decrease. And (hopefully) the hurtful ones would also become less and less.

Better still, what if our intentional goal were to deliberately use words to cheer, motivate, inspire, strengthen, or refresh others?

I’m not delusional; no one who hits a perfect mark on loving speech 100% of the time. And we can give our best effort, but if the Holy Spirit isn’t the governing source, then we’ll fail more often than we succeed.

So I dare you to try something this week:

  • Think before you speak.
  • Measure the impact of your words.
  • Decide to bring out the best of others in conversation.
  • Spare others, by just keeping a lid on the ugly.

Here’s a reminder you can print out and carry around with you this week. It could possibly be a game-changer.

Clipboard_conversation post

I’ll be on the first row of your cheering section…

Amy