I am chewing on a different perspective of the meaning of “attraction.” I have been assuming all my life that my attractions to both men and women has been a helpless condition that I must bear as either a cross or some form of punishment. Some of these attractions have had a sexual component, and some have not. Long before I was married, I had the desire to save my sexuality for my husband. In my high school years I had to fight off and dodge the hands and mouths of the teenage boys that tried to devour me. Eventually, the dogs backed off or I sent them packing. I actually made it to my wedding bed a virgin–of sorts. There were still those females in my not so distant past. But I tried to forget the existence of that stain upon my bed.
Now that I am divorced, I have had to look back across those years at both the failure of my marriage and those outside attractions, to find new meaning. I have come so far as to accept that my sexual orientation is bisexual. However, I have decided I am not going to let that define who I am or how I will choose to live the rest of my life. And I am choosing not to view any current or future attractions as a condition I am saddled with even if the world sees it differently. I now see my attractions as an opportunity instead of a curse. I see them as something useful instead of something to be depressed about. I see these attractions as something to explore and embrace, instead of dismiss and dismantle.
What I’m discovering is that attraction is not about me. It is really about Jesus Christ. He was attracted to me long before I was even born and decided the time and place and family into which I would live my life. He planned the time in my life in which He would draw me to Himself so that I could share His attraction for me. And now the focus of my life is to show Jesus Christ to others so that they, too, will be attracted to Him. I love what the Apostle Paul says in Phil. 1: 9-11 in The Message translation:
“So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.”
I don’t expect this will be easy. I know now that God allowed some very painful things to be a part of my life so that I would need to depend on His grace to meet me in the difficulties and so become more like Him in His own suffering. Through it all, I realize just how desperately I want to know Him and why He chose me to be His own. I want to be so attracted to Christ that He becomes my most glorious obsession.
I must be feeling a bit nostalgic today. I was going through pages of my journal and found something I had written a few years back. It reminded me for one that this empty-nester stuff is not all it’s cracked up to be. When my oldest son first left home, I had no idea that I would soon be joining the ranks of the divorced. I would also begin to experience a new level of loneliness I had not thought possible. Then he announced his upcoming move to another state to continue working with his company’s headquarters. I literally felt my heart being ripped from my body at the thought that I might not see him anymore except for brief periods of time. I would catch myself thinking of how much I loved this young man with whom I had a hand in raising to his manhood, and I would sigh a very long sigh. I would think of the day he was born, of his Christian upbringing in a loving but very imperfect family, and how gracious God is to forgive and watch over my son in spite of my own failures. So, I sat down and penned the following and gave it to him the day he left.
Sighs emit from nose and mouth, unbidden.
Do you know that you are the first man I did not have to grow to love?
It was love at first sight. You were safe in your father’s arms when I met you.
Today I gave you back to your Father’s arms.
I never really owned you; you were on loan to me.
As it should be.
And now there is yearning in this empty space.
I have an awareness now that I did not have as I was growing older.
Longing will never be quenched this side of the curtain.
God’s wisdom allows us mere glimpses of His glory in those we love here.
When we love well.
There is no difficulty in a mother’s love for her children.
Moments at the breast turn to days at the knees, months in the classroom and years in the world.
All the while longing for this tiny soul to ripen into manhood. You are there.
You are on the cusp of expanding your boundaries.
You are beginning to experience this yearning of living and loving for yourself. Your heart longs for fulfillment of desire.
And so, my yearning is for your joy, and the satisfaction of all that God in His kindness toward you, bestows.
You see, He desires you most.
All our longing leads back to the Father.
He is our supreme happiness, the joy of our hearts, the satisfaction of our greatest desires.
And so we wait and hope for heaven while we live out our lives on earth with yearning.
I gave you back to your Father today.
He is listening to the sighing of my heart.
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POETRY, RANDOM THOUGHTS AND STUFF LIKE THAT....
Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell
Defending the Gospel in an Age of Skepticism
"Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life." - Proverbs 4:23
Table of Contents Digest
Encourage ... and build up one another. 1 Thess 5:11.
Life is an Amazing Journey - Educate. Elevate. Empower. Encourage. Nuture. Grow.
Weddings, Marriage, and Relationships for Christian Women
God's Word is nourishment for the soul. These are nuggets the Lord has given Jack Garrott, a missionary in Japan
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." - John 10:27
......the Lord's love is with those who fear Him.......
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Faith | Life | Society
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