"Daily frame me more and more into the likeness of Thy Son, Jesus Christ." - George Washington

Monday, August 23, 2010

TRUE LOVE | guard your heart

   Here I am, finally finding the time and motivation to start this project. I decided I would stick with several small posts, since my mind has been too overwhelmed to grasp the copious amount of quotes and verses. I've sorted them into several topics, and I'm planning on simply posting them, with a few comments of my own; things God has been teaching me throughout this year. I hope you can see more clearly what my heart has been struggling with, and how the Lord has been my one true love, my support, my guide, my sufficiency, my all-in-all. I hope and pray that He is yours as well.

   One thing I know all girls have struggled with since the beginning of time, is guarding our hearts. We are so emotionally driven, and whatever makes us blissfully happy, or joyfully teary-eyed, or sweetly sad is what holds our attentions and affections. We follow the leading of our deceitful hearts, and often give away so much of ourselves to something or someone who is never going to reciprocate. And our culture and media only prods us even further in that direction. Movies like Pocahontas that tell us to listen to our hearts, songs like "Your Love Is My Drug" that tell us that real love is a high feeling.

   I have prided myself on the control I have over my emotions, I'm usually able to rationalize through feelings, telling myself that they're only hormones. I can kill a crush stone dead before it even knows what hit it. But I'm still incredibly female, emotional roller-coaster included. I fell flat on my tush a few months back, my heart got tangled up in the desires of wanting to be in a relationship with a certain guy.  It had been almost years since I had had a crush that bad, I couldn't believe I was tripping over a bump that was miles behind me. It was driving me crazy, he was in control of all my thoughts, and I couldn't get him off my mind. I hated being so tangled up, and I spent all week trying to convince myself otherwise. How I hate being a girl sometimes...

   So to all you girls who have ever gone through a rough patch with your emotions - and that would be all of you, don't deny it - I'm right there with ya. And I've found a neat trick that sobers me up when I start planning our "first Christmas" and playing the name-game. I've heard it in various ways, and from different angles, but this one describes it most clearly. It's from the book "When God Writes Your Love Story" by Eric and Leslie Ludy, and I highly recommend it, for both girls and guys. Eric wrote this, but I changed it up for all the girls, so it would make more sense:
   Just imagine that God has it in his mind to bring into your life someday a courageous and handsome husband who will make your heart skip a beat every time you look at him. Can you imagine that? Now I want you to also imagine that this impressive young man can see you right now. Pretend that he is capable of watching you, everywhere you go, and he is able to see everything you do. Okay then, if he could see and hear everything, ask yourself this question. “If he followed me around throughout my day, every day of my life, would he feel respected and honored, and adored by me as he watches me interact with other guys? Would he come away each day saying ‘She sure does love me!’ or would he be deeply hurt by the way I give what is his to other young men?”
   Does that not make your heart ache? I can only think with regret of the times I've not only let my husband down, but led someone else's husband astray. When I choose my outfit for the day, am I honoring my husband by what I'm going to wear? Or am I going to cause other young men to stare, and commit adultery in their hearts? What about your foolish flirting, does that honor your husband? What about the guy you obsessively text? What about the guy you Facebook stalk? Even if your husband isn't watching you, God is.
Here’s my heart, Oh take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.
Your heart is the property of your husband, but most importantly, it belongs to God. He can take care of it for you, He will know the right person to give it to.
Song of Solomon 8:3-4  ~  His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases.
   Lastly, don't go looking for love. God will bring it in at the right time. If you don't have a boyfriend, it's because you're not ready for one. A boyfriend isn't the best thing for you. Let your heart wait, keep it pure, like your virginity, for the one whom it belongs to.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In the Works

Hey all, just wanted to let you know that I'm still here. I'm working on a big post -- so big that I'm trying to decide if I should put it on the blog in sections, or simplify it and make it short and sweet, or just post the whole monstrous thing. So it's in the works, it will appear soon. It's a topic I meant to write about a long time ago, but I chickened out, and God has rounded out my knowledge a little more since then. He's still workin' on me. =)

Just a shout out, a quick thank you to everyone who has ever read my blog. I love all of my readers and I'm more than grateful that I have any at all. =) God bless all of you.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Gain Through Loss

   I had a stroke of brilliance the other day. Why should I should do all the writing? If I can find plenty of guest writers, I would never have to conjure up another blog post ever again! lol Okay, not really. But I did want to ask a few good friends to write a blog post once in awhile; people who influence me a lot, or have challenged me to grow more. And my first guest writer is someone who I confide everything in, who gives sound Biblical advice, and never stops asking me questions to ponder. Everybody meet, my mom, Jill Rasmussen! =)

   She and I have grown unspeakably close in past few years, through private Bible studies together, and just bouncing meditations off each other. I am grateful beyond words for my mom. Y'alls should be so jealous because I have the most awesome mom ever! =)

   I asked her to write a few paragraphs about what she has been learning lately, and so devote your full attention to her sagely wisdom. ^.^

   One of my all-time favorite quotes I have written in the front of my Bible:
“Measure thy life by loss and not by gain;
Not by the wine drunk, but by the wine poured forth.
For love’s strength standeth in love’s sacrifice;
And he that suffered most, has most to give.”
--Ugo Bassi
   God works so many times in ways that seem opposite to us; counterintuitive to our human mind.  And if we can find gain by losing something, then I’m sure that is  evidence of God’s work and it is comforting to me.  “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” -- Matt. 19:29.
   Suffering and loss usually go hand-in-hand.  “In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.”  -- Heb. 2:10.  Who lost more than Jesus ever did?  Who received more glory than Jesus ever did?  Will we receive our gain here on earth for the many things we have lost or suffered?  Maybe a little bit here and there.  But I have a feeling most of the gain will be eternal reward.  It’s what we can’t see and the reason faith is required, and what we don’t know is going on in the unseen world, that is the real reason and reward for loss.
   And that leads to perseverance.  If we have lost something important -- and the really important things usually aren’t material -- it’s easy to be very disappointed and lose hope.  But if God leads us to believe in the unseen things going on in our behalf to bring about gain, it will help us to persevere and not give up.    “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance.” -- Romans 5:3.
   Whose life do you admire?  That person most likely is worth admiring because they have suffered, persevered and in the end, gained something precious  (only God knows what that gain specifically is).  “He that suffered most, has most to give.”  Hang in there.

-Jill Rasmussen