Thursday, August 23, 2012

True Love or Infatuation?




Picture this...

     There is this person of the opposite sex that you really like.  You think they're handsome/beautiful and you really love their personality.  The more you're around them, you feel like you couldn't imagine not being with them.  You both share a mutual interest and so you pursue it.  Now you're dating and you're both really happy together...BUT...

     Is that an infatuation with that person just because they're funny, attractive, ect?  Or is this "The One?"  How do you know?  Well this is one of the biggest questions many of us ask; myself included.  I've struggled with knowing if what I was feeling for the opposite sex was really what the world likes to categorize as "love" or if I was just infatuated with this person?  How would I know "The One" when I saw him?  First of all, God will give you a total peace about who "The One" is when it's the right time, don't worry about it.  But, you have to be able to distinct the difference between true love and just what the world likes to call love; infatuation.  I stumbled across these simple ways to tell and wanted to share.

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True Love: Has a priority to maintain a close walk with God and desires to please the Lord above pleasing a guy/girl.
Infatuation: Thinks more about pleasing self and a guy/girl than about pleasing God.

True Love: Desires to please his/her parents and seeks their approval in a relationship with a guy/girl (whether your parents are Christians or not).
Infatuation: Desires to please a guy/girl no matter what his/her parents think.

True Love: Desires the approval of godly friends and spiritual authorities (Pastor, youth leader, Sunday School teacher) in their friendship with the opposite secs.
Infatuation: Develops a friendship with the opposite sex no matter what others think and does not seek the approval of godly friends or spiritual leaders.

True Love: Is more attracted to a guy's/girl's godly character than to his/her looks or popularity.
Infatuation: Is attracted to the attention a guy/girl gives and to his/her good looks and popularity, rather than looking for godly character.

True Love: Desires to wait for any kissing until the wedding day. Seeks to get to know their special someone as a person.
Infatuation: Desires to be touched and kissed without taking time to really get to know them first. Is not willing to wait for marriage for a physical relationship.

True Love: Willing to wait for God’s timing for marriage.
Infatuation: Wants to be married NOW.

True Love: Unselfish—thinks more about how to help others and gives oneself for others.
Infatuation: Selfish—thinks only about “myself and I” and what I can get out of this relationship.

True Love: Encourages one another in the Lord, reads God’s Word privately and together, memorizes Scripture together, and attends church faithfully. Desires to grow in the Lord and serve the Lord.
Infatuation: Not too concerned about reading God’s Word privately or together, memorizing Scripture, or faithfully going to church. Is more concerned of being with that guy/girl and thinking about them than desiring to grow in the Lord and serve the Lord.

True Love: Works out disagreements with God’s help.
Infatuation: Quarrels often and makes up to each other mainly for the hugs and kisses.

True Love: Wants to obey regulations set down by parents or guardians, so are only together when and where the parents or guardians approve.
Infatuation: Pushes regulations set by parents or guardians such as when to be home, where to go, and not to be alone. Desires to do their own thing. Plans ways in which they can be together or talk or pass notes when parents do not approve or know.

True Love: Does not seek a friendship with anyone who has glaring faults.
Infatuation: Overlooks faults because, “He loves me and that is all that matters.”

The following comparisons are taken from "Design for Christian Marriage" by Dwight Hervey Small)

True Love: Love grows, and all growth takes time.
Infatuation: Romantic infatuation may arise suddenly and without warning.

True Love: Love knows the other person more thoroughly and accepts both the positive and negative characteristics.
Infatuation: Romantic infatuation may arise from am acquaintance with only one, or the best, a few characteristics of the other person.

True Love: Love is other--centered and sacrifices to meet the needs of others.
Infatuation: Romantic infatuation is self-centered and looks at the other as a means to an end.

True Love: A person in love centers his attentions in one person only.
Infatuation: An infatuated person may be "in love" with two or more persons simultaneously.

True Love: A person in love feels a true identification with the other.
Infatuation: An infatuated person tends to think of the other person as strangely separate from himself despite their strong emotional unity.

True Love: A person in love tends to have a true sense of security in his relationship based on a growing range of trust and affection and mutual concerns.
Infatuation: An infatuated person tends to have a false sense of security about his love affair, which is based on wishful thinking, or sometimes upon a compulsive need for reassurance.

True Love: When in love this idealization is not so grandiose and it is checked against reality continually, and without fear or self-deception.
Infatuation: An individual who is infatuated sustains a mental picture of the object of his attention.

True Love: In love physical attraction plays a relatively less important role in the total relationship.
Infatuation: In infatuation physical attraction plays a more relatively more important role in the total relationship of the two persons.


Emily

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Is Purity Really That BIG of a Deal?



     Too often these days we see teenagers updating their Facebook relationship status way too frequently.  One week they're with Stephen and the next they're with Janet, but you always hear the same thing about both of those relationships.  "Oh I love him so much!" or "I don't know what I would do without her."  How is it that this new relationship feels the same to you as the old one?  Well, it's simple.  You're searching for people who can satisfy you.  In the end, you're getting what you want (security, love, adoration, ect) from this person and then moving on to the next.  Now there are a couple things wrong with that.

     #1) God has only one person out there for us.

     There are millions and billions of people on this planet; many of whom you will never meet.  But somewhere, in those millions and billions of people, is a person who you are destined to meet.  That is someone we like to call "The One."  This person is someone God has predestined for us.  They are our other half, missing puzzle piece, and significant other.  The incredible thing is God designed them to match us perfectly before we were ever born!  Now, how does that make you feel?  Kind of like there is a God who has a perfect plan for you?  Exactly.

          Now I know what you're thinking.  How am I going to find "The One" if I'm not at least taking the risk of dating someone to see?  Understood.  Many strong Christians I know dated a few times before they found "The One" and many times it was a sibling of an Ex or even a childhood best friend.  You never know!  But there is a difference, still.  These Christian friends I know prayed for God's guidance in the relationship and didn't pursue deeply until they felt His leading.  Flippant dating is where you just have a crush on someone and date them just because you're cute, they're cute, so let's be cute together!  You just become gf/bf and all of a sudden you are all over each other, trying to get every fulfillment out of this as you can.  Seeing the difference?  So dating around is perfectly okay, when you're doing it the right way.

     #2) There is only one place to find TRUE fulfillment.

     How do you know you are spiritually and emotionally ready to look for "The One?"  God has created us with a yearning to search for fulfillment and a complete satisfaction, but there is only one place we can have that and it's not with earthly, also imperfect and searching people.  He wants us to come to the point where we realize that it's Him we need.  Once we come to that realization, our mindset is focused towards the right way of gong about dating.  However, without that right focus we will be searching for people to give us satisfaction.  That is one of the steps towards flippant dating.

     #3) You could go too far and leave scars.

     Whether you believe it or not you can, and WILL, get attached to this gf/bf.  It's called an emotional attachment.  Emotional WHAT?  Emotional purity has to do with, you guessed it, emotions.  When you get emotionally attached you then desire a physical attachment.  It's only natural.  However, if you're not careful, you could get too carried away and that is how many relationships crumble.  You go too far too fast.  Don't deny it; it's how God made us!  But you can save yourself a lot of scars and pain by guarding your heart.  Yes, you can be friends, but be careful how fast and how close you get.

     Wow, now I feel like I was beat into the ground!  When the Holy Spirit brings a conviction about something, you normally feel like that.  Trust me, I felt the same way.  But I recognized these things and embraced them a truth!  When you do the same, you won't be flippantly dating and will be saving yourself for The One God has for you.  It's hard, but the ending result is worth the effort and waiting.  Trust me, they're out there. :)


"No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly."
- Psalm 84:11

Friday, March 9, 2012

Jesus, Lover of My Soul



Jesus, Lover of My Soul
Words: Charles Wesley

"Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
Oh, receive my soul at last."

"Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone,
Still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed,
All my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head
With the shadow of Thy wing."

"Wilt Thou not regard my call?
Wilt Thou not accept my prayer?
Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall—
Lo! on Thee I cast my care.
Reach me out Thy gracious hand!
While I of Thy strength receive,
Hoping against hope I stand,
Dying, and behold, I live."

"Thou, O Christ, art all I want,
More than all in Thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
Heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy Name,
Source of all true righteousness;
Thou art evermore the same,
Thou art full of truth and grace."

"Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound;
Make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art,
Freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart;
Rise to all eternity."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In Your Mercy


"In Your mercy, You have shown me Your Salvation.
Undesearving of Your favor I am free.
And I'll never be the same.
All my life I will remain,
In Your mercy, tender mercy shown to me."

"In your mercy, You have promised to be near me.
I am resting in the shelter of your wings.
Every fear I leave behind.
Every confidence I find,
In Your mercy, tender mercy shown to me."

"So great is Your love, higher than the Heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches the sky.
Be exaulted O Lord over all the earth.
Let Your glory be seen in my life.
In my life."

"In Your mercy, You have given of Your life blood.
One last heartbeat and redemption was complete.
What a deabt of love You paid.
With Your death my soul was saved.
In your mercy, tender mercy shown to me."

- In Your Mercy

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

♡ Happy Valentine's Day ♡



"Every morning that breaks,
There are mercies anew.
Every breath that I take
Is your faithfulness proved.
And at the end of each day,
When my labors are through,
I will sing of Your mercies anew.

When I’ve fallen and strayed
There were mercies anew.
For you sought me in love
And my heart you pursued.
In the face of my sin
Lord, You never withdrew,
So I sing of Your mercies anew.


And Your mercies, they will never end
For ten thousand years they’ll remain.
And when this world’s beauty has passed away
Your mercies will be unchanged.

And when the storms swirl and rage
There are mercies anew.
In affliction and pain
You will carry me through.
And at the end of my days,
When Your throne fills my view,
I will sing of Your mercies anew.
I will sing of Your mercies anew."
- Mercies Anew, by Mark Altrogge and Bob Kauflin.

 ♡~♡~♡~♡~♡~♡~♡~♡~♡~♡~♡~♡~♡~♡

Moment of truth!  No, I do not have a boyfriend or a Valentine this year.  However, after hearing that song, I really believe I have the very best Valentine of all: my Heavenly Father.
In verse 2, of Mercies Anew, I felt it spoke the most about His love for me; a rotten and foolish sinner.  Even when I've tried to do things or live my life my way, stayed, try and figure things out alone, or just forget, He pursued me.  He pursued me!  The last part is what really gets me...
"For you sought me in love
And my heart you pursued.
In the face of my sin
Lord, You never withdrew
,"
In the face of my sin, not Billy Jo's, but my sin.  He wants me.  He's the best boyfriend any girl could ask for!  He's always coming back, always faithful, and loves me unconditionally.  That right there is a true love and it's mine!
And another thing, I don't think Single Awareness Day is what this day should be called. It should be called something like A Savior's Unfailing Love Awareness Day. ;)
Now tell me whose boyfriends better? =)
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Blessings In Disguise?




"Blessings"
By: Laura Story

"We pray for blessings. We pray for peace.
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep.
We pray for healing, for prosperity.
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering.
All the while, You hear each spoken need.
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things."

"'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?"

"We pray for wisdom. Your voice to hear.
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near.
We doubt Your goodness. We doubt Your love.
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough.
All the while, You hear each desperate plea.
And long that we'd have faith to believe."

"'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?"

"When friends betray us; when darkness seems to win.
We know that pain reminds this heart that this is not, this is not our home.
It's not our home!"

"'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?
What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life, is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?
And what if trials of this life; the rain, the storms, the hardest nights, are Your mercies in disguise."

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This past week has been a emotional trying time for me.  My week was hectic and in an upheaval; things crashing down all around me.  I couldn't understand why things were happening.  I have always been the type that has bottled things up and been silent, not bothering to speak, until it all just bursts out.  Many times, I bottle anger and then it's not pretty when I unleash.  I've been working on this, but after this past week I've been harboring yet again.  This time, bitterness.  Why would God allow this to happen?  It just wasn't fair and I didn't like it.  I don't think I've ever cried so much in years, but God always uses scripture to whisper his love and promises to us. :)
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
 Yes, being one of the oldest in this situation I've been in is hard because the younger ones are looking to me for a response to this.  They need to see my strength and how to deal with this properly.  I have really wanted to do what's right, but believe me, it's hard when you want to scream at those responsible, slap them, and call down fire and brimstone to rain down upon them...

The encouragement from godly peers, close friends, and from my Heavenly Father have helped me through this week.  It was tough and I broke down in tears numerous times.  I still do.  But it's the hardships that knock those rough edges off.  Lord, thank you for not giving up on me. :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Stand Redeemed


At the dawn of eternity, when the mist of time is gone,
when the choir of heaven gathers to begin redemption's song,
I will bow before my Savior in a body new and whole;
then I'll rise to sing His praises while eternal ages roll.

Chorus:
I stand redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
The price is paid; my debt is gone.
The chains that bound me no longer hold me.
Because of Calv'ry I stand redeemed.

As I gaze upon my Savior and the wounds He bore for me,
I will sing of His salvation bought with blood upon the tree.
While the host of angels listen to a song they cannot sing,
I will voice my praise to Jesus with the song of the redeemed.

Chorus:
I stand redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
The price is paid; my debt is gone.
The chains that bound me no longer hold me.
Because of Calv'ry I stand redeemed.

I Stand Redeemed
By: Ron and Shelly Hamilton

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Yet another of my favorite songs.  When I sang this in our church choir, I literally got goosebumps and tears!  When we presented it in church, I have never heard us so sure.  The words we sang were a message from our hearts.  This whole song is a story about our victorious salvation, a picture of Heaven, and one day our standing there looking into God's face.  What a moment that will be.

I always love it when a arranger puts music to words that you can tell just fit.  Ron Hamilton did that with this piece.

Sample: I Stand Redeemed: Ron and Shelly Hamilton

Thursday, January 26, 2012

None Like You

Creator of the moon and stars, of mountains reaching high,
Creator of the galaxies who hears a baby’s cry.
Eternity, with all its years, stands present in Your view.
Alpha and Omega, Lord, there is none like You.

You make the wilderness to bloom and in the desert sand,
Provide the gentle, soaking rain, refreshing thirsty land.
You send the warming of the sun, the fragile snowflake too.
We bow in gratitude, O Lord, there is none like You.

You paint the rainbow on the storm and tell the wind to cease,
You reach out with tender hand, creation is at peace.
You speak Your Word and it is done, the universe obeys,
But we are free to choose, Your children sing Your praise.

Creator of the moon and stars, of mountains reaching high,
Creator of the galaxies who hears a baby’s cry.
Eternity, with all its years, stands present in Your view.
Alpha and Omega, Lord, there is none like You.

- None Like You -
By: Craig Courtny

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That song, None Like You, by Craig Courney, is one of my favorites.  I pretty much love all his work, but this one has been a constant hit for me.  Every time I hear this song, I picture each thing he mentions.  The majesty and complete beauty of my Savior overwhelms me without fail.  When I hear the recording of the choir come to the part,

"Creator of the galaxies, who hears a babies cry."

That gives me chills.  Our God; who is beyond everything we know of in the universe, who created us and breathed exsistance into what we know as being "life", can still hear a tiny infant's cry.  He takes notice of the little, weak, and helpless things.  Beautiful.  Also,

"Eternity, with all it's years, stands present in Your veiw."

Our God was there before time began.  We can't comprehend it, but He was.  There is no time in Heaven.  He can see all of eternity, but we can't.  Isn't our God amazing?  When you really think about it, you really feel small, don't you?

"Alpha and Omega (the beginning and the end), Lord, there is none like You."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What is God's Will For My Life?


     There always comes that time when you are months away from College and you're faced with the choice of where to go and what to study.  The determining factor has been that question.  After all, 4 years is a long time to be doing something you hate, or you wouldn't want to use again, or you would regret.

     At this moment in my life, I am a graduating Senior from High school and that question has crossed my mind.  I have struggled with finding my place and knowing what to do ever since I started High school.  All my friends seemed to know; why didn't I?  As Sophomore year ended and Junior year started, crunch time began.  I still was at a loss for what to do with my life.  To be honest, panic set it.  I was so lost and confused.  And that is where I made my mistake.  I started trying to figure it out on my own.  Each step I took, the doors just started shutting in my face.  Soon, they were slamming.  It wasn't until I had my nose firmly punched by one shutting door that I finally gave up.  As confused as ever, I was about to tears; until I heard a message on finding God's will for my life.  Like a fool, I had been looking in all the wrong places.  All I needed was in the bible.  I needed to seek God when I made plans for my future.

Proverbs 16:9
A man's heart deviseth [plans] his ways: but the Lord directions his steps.

     It was simple; I needed Him.  I turned to Christ and placed my future in his hands and it wasn't until after I did that, that everything started falling into place.  I had been so caught up in doing it my way, I had missed so many of the beautiful and simple clues God had woven through my whole life.  Now that I'm approaching this in a different way, the outcome has changed too.  I only wish I had done this the right way to begin with. =)

Psalm 37:4-5
4 Delight thyself in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.

How to find God's will for your life:

1: You will find it in the Bible.

Psalm 119:105
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path

2: If you're saved, you will understand and do God's will.

Psalm 32:8
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which though shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.

3: To do God's will, you must be willing to wait.

Ephesians 5:17
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

4: You need to grow spiritually.

Colossians 1:9-10
9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.


"When Christ is the center of your life,
everything else falls into it's proper place."