family life, Friendship, Love, Prayer, Uncategorized

Talking to Daddy

“People let me tell you about my best friend, he’s a warm hearted person who loved me to the end…”

courtship of eddies father

If you recognize these lyrics it means that you are either officially getting old, or that you have parents who let you watch this special show in syndication. The name of the show was, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. As each new story began to unfold, the characters would enter the scene as the end of the upbeat song continued softly in the background, (people let me tell you about my best friend…).

I loved that show. Not growing up with a Dad in my home, I used to fantasize that I was Eddie and that Bill Bixby was my kind, sensitive, Caucasian father. I was well aware that Eddie was a little boy and I was a little girl, but those minor details did not deter me from allowing my imagination to run wild about all the things I would tell my dad when he came home, just like Eddie did.

Fathers are very important to the security of a child. Not just a Father in the sense of biology, but a daddy. The term daddy brings with it a sense of intimacy, whimsy and fun. When my children were young they used to ask, “Is Daddy home yet?” There was a sense of great anticipation in their wide eyes as the words formed on their lips. There was always something that they wanted to tell him or show him, but more often then not, they just wanted to be with him.

I grew up in a time when divorce was rare. It was a time when schools still had father/daughter events to which I would bring my grandfather whom I loved deeply. When my curious classmates asked, “how come you don’t have a daddy?”, I often felt ashamed that although I had a father, I did not have a daddy. That shame ultimately led me straight to the heart of God. Abba, and Aramaic word that translates – Daddy. When I learned that Abba is one of the names used to describe God in the bible, I felt a lifting of my lonely heart. I too could have a relationship with a daddy.

father and daughter

In every episode of The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, Eddie would have an earth shattering problem that could only be solved by talking to his father. That is what prayer is for me. My mind is often filled with the troubles of the world. I don’t just muse about difficult situations in my own life, but as I look at so many of the heart breaking situations of our times, I somehow think I can take on those on as well; However, when I crawl into the lap of my heavenly father, I remember again that, “He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together”(Col. 1:17). Children often see their dads as the biggest and the strongest. My children are never afraid when Dad is near.

If you struggle at times with uncertainty and insecurity about your life like me, trust that Daddy knows. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. He promised never to leave us or forsake us. Jeremiah 29:11-13 reminds us that he has plans for our lives. We can call him and he will answer as we seek him with all of our heart.

Prayer is not some unattainable spiritual exercise set apart for the super religious among us. Prayer is best initiated in the context of love. Brandon Cruz, the actor who played Eddie on the show, did an excellent job of portraying a son who loved his dad and knew that his father loved him. In an environment of love we can talk about anything.

Gifts, Holidays, judgment, Love, self-acceptance, Uncategorized

LOVE REMAINS….

WHERE’S MY GIFT

The days leading up to February 14th were very tense, anxiety filled days for many people in our society. For many, the contentment and comfort of their world comes crashing down as they begin to muse about the question of whether or not they will be someone’s Valentine this year. As flowers and other gifts show up in offices etc., both married and single people ask the question, “What about me? Where’s my gift? Who will love me?”

valentines_heart_box

Long after all of the heart-shaped balloons, chocolate candy, flowers, jewelry and candle light dinners; after all of the media hype and marketing for February 14th, Valentines day, comes to a close, love remains. Less than 24 hours later, the same items that have been advertised as something that you must purchase to make the loves of your life feel special are marked down to 70% off of the original price. They are tossed aside to the “Clearance” section of the store, as if they have somehow lost their value. They are no longer important. We are on to the next thing, the next season.

The marketing plan appears to be intentional effort to make people believe that the absence of these material things somehow make the individual of less value, that they too should be placed in the clearance bin because no one wanted to “purchase”  them and take them home.
We are made to believe that there is some defect associated with us. That we are somehow in some way not enough.

WE WIN

One of my favorite terms associated with Tennis is “to hold love”. This term means to win the game when serving, with the opponent scoring zero points. I am so thankful that God has initiated the serve in our relationship to him. There is a wonderful sense of confidence in knowing that God is always “holding love.” I am always reminded that Romans 5:8 says, that God commended his love to us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. In the midst of all of our broken places, flaws, and poor choices, Christ stood in our place. He makes all things new. We are new creations in Christ Jesus… worthy of love in its various forms.

loveGod

Whether you are single and longing for an expression of love from another person, or if you are in a relationship where you feel that there is a deficit of tangible expressions of love, Love still remains!

NEW PATTERNS

It is so important that we do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Then you will find God’s good, pleasing and perfect will. (Rom. 12:2)

God knows about all of our deepest longings. He created us, shaped our hearts and designed our intellect to chase after him. 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 is a critical manifesto for the believer in Christ Jesus. It begins by saying, “Love Never Fails.” It goes onto say that, “Now, I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And these three remain: faith hope and love. But the greatest of these is Love.”

mp_love_never_fails-web

SOUL HUNGER

PSALM 62:5
“Truly my soul wait thou on God, he alone is my rock. All my expectation comes from him.”

Those of us in relationships must stop putting all of our emotional eggs into the basket of our mates. Those who are single must confront the lie that their emotional happiness and well-being rests with another human individual. What we really have is a soul longing. I have seen many a person reject the well-intentioned gifts of a lover or friend because it failed to meet the soul hunger.

In this world where true love is often lost in the midst of commercialism, we must be like be like David who hungered and thirsted for God in a dry and weary land. Be filled with God’s great love for you my friends so that you will hunger no more.

God’s love is sweeter than any chocolate found in a box!

Love, self-acceptance, trust, Uncategorized, worship

Deeply Loved

deep heArt

My Beloved,


I am so proud of you. Just thinking of you makes me sing (Zephaniah 3:17). You are the apple of my eye, my child in whom I have found great delight (Psalms 17:8, 149:4, Song of Solomon 4:10).
You are beautiful, my darling, unique, one of a kind (Song of Solomon 1:15, 6:9). I created your inmost being; I knit you together in your mother’s womb (Ps 139:13). See, before I established the foundations of the Earth, I knew you. Before I parted the oceans, I was waiting for you, peering through the lattices of time: Let me hear your voice! (Song of Solomon 8:13). Your voice is like the choicest perfume, like sweet honey to my lips (Song of Solomon 4:11). Do not be afraid (Isaiah 41:10).
I have chosen you among your companions, I’ve called you by name, and you are mine (Psalm 45:7, Song of Solomon 2:16). Nothing can separate you from my love (Romans 8:38-39). I am here for YOU, every day, every moment, and with every breath you breathe. There is nothing I would not do for YOU, you can believe this because I have already given you the greatest gift of all, my Son (John 3:16).
Be still and know that I am God… and that since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you (Isaiah 43:4(a)) you can “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). In the temple of your spirit, I have built my resting place (1 Corinthians 6:19). So, draw near to me, and I will draw near to you (James 4:8). Even when you do not feel me, I am here. I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).
For “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3, NIV). My love for you remains as steady as the rising sun (Psalm 103:17). It never changes, because you are my child, my creation, and I am well pleased with you (Hebrews 13:8).


Love always and forever,


Your Heavenly Abba

 

Evangelism, Gifts, Holidays, Love

Something Special (Just for you)

Have you ever heard someone say, “for me?! Oh, you shouldn’t have..” as an excited response to a gift they had been given? The response sounds like they hadn’t expected the gift or that the gift was not necessary, when in reality, they were jubilant that someone had taken the time to think about them and put together a gift that was designed specifically for them. When someone takes the time to give us a gift, it affirms the fact that someone sees us, that they have been thinking about us, and that they value us.
The holiday season can be difficult for many because it stirs up deep loneliness. In a time where all about them is bustling and preparing for times of connection with friends and family, they feel barren and empty, longing for someone to have thoughts of them while planning for that special gift to be given.
My heart goes out to people that struggle with loneliness because many of them have stopped hoping. They stopped believing that there would be anything special prepared just for them.
Image
I imagine that was how the Samaritan woman felt in John 4. The scriptures tell us in verse 4 that Jesus had to go through Samaria. In a time when Jews had no dealings with Samaritans, Jesus made it a priority. To the casual reader, it may appear that Jesus sat down at the well simply because he was tired. Yet Jesus sat down with intentionality. He had a special gift to deliver to a special person.
Sometimes we are not prepared for the gift because we feel unworthy. We are afraid to be vulnerable to the familiar rejection we may have experienced in the past. That was how the Samaritan woman felt when Jesus asked her for a drink.
The Samaritan woman said to him,
“You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])
Jesus answered her,
“If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:9-10)
 
As the holiday season winds down, let’s think about the gifts we can give with the same intentionality as Jesus had with the Samaritan woman.Just because the holiday season is ending it doesn’t mean we can’t continue to give gifts.
 Jesus told the Samaritan woman that he would give her living water so that she would never thirst again. We can give this same gift not just to our family and friends, but to all whom we encounter: The persons we meet while standing in line, The grocery store clerk, The senior citizen whose family and friends may have all passed away…
I pray that as we approach a new year we will have the same urgency as Jesus did, saying,
“I must go… I must tell everyone I meet that there is a special gift waiting just for them.”
Gift giving season is not ending. In fact, a new one is just beginning.

Christine James is a wife, mother and pastor at CareView Community Church. This is her first blog. She is glad you came.