Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Destructive Nature of the Pursuit of Pleasure

Oh my goodness....The following is a moving reminder that we cannot just indulge in any/all worldly indulgence without having consequences. Of course this is a very extreme example but an example none-the-less of the impact of indulgence of the sin nature. This is a must watch!!! Especially for anyone out there using pornography but even for those who have a loved one who uses. Catch what he says, EXCITEMENT. A greater sense of excitement was what he was after. I've never met anyone with a dependency who did not pursue excitement. Call it pleasure, call it feeling good, call it not wanting to feel bad. It's all the same.

Have a watch.....

Here's an example of indulging negative emotions with/without food.  These videos are profound.... Have a watch.

Here is an incredible story of the pursuit of excitement through substances.  Wonderful honesty.

The following is an example of someone who indulged in relationship dependency.  This is very moving.  What a testimony!!

Here is an example of a woman who indulges in shopping/hoarding in order to indulge her negative emotions.  Hoarding is not like it is on television.  It's incredibly destructive and just as long and painful a process of recovery as recovery from substance dependency or any other behavioral dependency with multiple relapses as part of the process of recovery.  So very sad....

Next is an EXCELLENT example of a woman who has indulged in her anger so long that she has lost control and struggles to see the way back to self-control.  Have a watch.

Well, if you were able to make it through all these video, Congratulations!!  I know there were a few, but together my hope is that these videos will give my readers a much fuller perspective on the indulgence of the sin nature.  I call it that because that's how the Bible defines it.  Psychology defines it differently and calls these behaviors "mental illness".  Yes, mentally these people have disordered thinking but it does not have to be permanent and it is not permanent or un-fixable.  People believe if they receive a diagnosis then they have officially lost the ability to change.  In fact a diagnosis is just a word to describe a group of symptoms so that health care professionals know what they are all looking at and talking about.  ANYONE can change. If you experience strong and persistent mood shifts, you can learn skills to function better and live better!  If you have persistent compulsions you can learn skills to change your thinking, resist negative emotions and say NO to compulsions.  If you, by use have taught your brain to be dependent on dopamine or a substance, you can, through abstinence and relearning how to process your emotions and meet your needs live a functional life and maintain healthy relationships.  Here is the cornerstone though, without faith in God and the surrendering of yourself to Him in Christ, the battle rages on and your flesh will win.  It is those whom I have seen walk away from their old battles into a new life, that have fully relinquished control over to God and trusted Him with their hearts and practiced brutal honesty with themselves and God. They have committed to change no matter what mistakes they make and they commit to humility--making amends, being teachable, and being a servant of others.

There is no hope in the pursuit of pleasure, only pain.  CHANGE IS POSSIBLE!

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 "For this is the will of God, your sanctification [your holiness]:...that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel [body] in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God..." (NKJV).

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Inclusivity of God's Love

Today I was with someone who is strange.  This person speaks about murdering, embarrassing people, humiliating people who hurt him, playing violent and destructive pranks on people, sexually explicit experiences, and many other inappropriate topics.  As I drove home post session I reflected about the things I heard and the person who I had spent this time with.  I thought, how was I able to withstand that?  I thought, years ago I would never have been able to do that and actually be ok and feel close to God afterward.  I would have carried this person's perversity and pain away with me and then continued to carry it until it produced so much stress that I would have had my own stress crisis. I also would have judged that person and closed my heart with judgment off to seeing through the person's defenses to the fear smothered person hiding behind.  Today I felt love.  I felt compassion.  I saw a person, broken by biology, broken by environment, broken from birth, attempting to communicate what is impossible for  this person to communicate.  I had to look beyond the presentation to the message hidden away in the words.  What was this person trying to say?  What is he trying to communicate through his twisted words?  What does he need me to hear?  I had to believe, know that there is someone hidden away inside that is human and tender and needs love, acceptance, and understanding.  I had to know this and not be told this by this person.  I had to disregard the presentation (to a certain extent), in order to reach the hidden brokenness and needs.  I had to see the miraculous in this attempt to communicate.  I had to hear God directing me though such broken words.

I am convinced that Gods love is inclusive.  Now dont take that so far as to include sin because that is not true but I am convinced that when God sees each one of us He looks on us with love and longing.  Maybe thats just my experience in Christ.  I know before I was in Christ I felt excluded from Gods love and outside His attention.  Its like the perspective one would have when not having been invited inside an exciting social spot versus someone who is inside enjoying the party.  Things seem to make a lot more sense once we have the full experience of inside versus outside.  When I was outside of Gods family I felt alone, hollow, isolated, futureless.  I did not tell anyone that but down deep I knew it.  I wanted someone to see me, someone to hear my message behind the presentation I gave.

It takes time, patience, self-sacrifice to listen to people....really listen.  It takes emotional boundaries to hear pain and not carry it away with you but people are craving, yearning for another soul to come alongside them and really enough to invest themselves in waiting and listening and hearing the words a person is trying to say even if its not obvious.  God wants to teach each one of us to love.  Love beyond the sight of our eyes and the understanding of our hearts and the limits of our experiences.  God wants to show us that our definition of love can expand to include whomever He sends us.

Isaiah 54:2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes."

There is room in God's house for all who will come.  The beautiful, the ugly, the rich, the poor, the fortunate and unfortunate, the intelligent and those who are of little intelligence, the functional and the dysfunctional.  See it doesn't matter how we come.  Gods going to rebuild us anyway once we get there to His house.  

Isaiah 54:11“Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones."

Halleluia!  God's love in Christ is amazing!  Father I pray you would help each one of us to be filled with your Spirit that our minds would be renewed and our hearts empowered to love as You would love each person You send to us.  Give us your sight to see as You see and your ears to hear the message of the hurting and broken and lost of this world Lord.  In Jesus's name, Amen.

Look Upon The Lord, Kari Jobe. 



Friday, March 27, 2015

A Heart of Worship

I woke with this song ringing in my head.  It's words are the cry of my heart today.  What is your theme song for this day?

Colton Dixon, More of You:

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Are you feeling numb? Do you wonder, why? What is it? Question for you: Are you repressing pain?

It does not have to be pain in the present. It can be pain from the long ago past, the not so long ago past, the recent past.

Often when things turn around for good in our lives or we leave out of a painful experience or experiences there is the danger of forgetting. Just walking away from what happened and not grieving. That grief, that pain does not disappear no matter how much we want to be "over it".

 Are your emotions feeling flat or numb? Are you repressing pain?  Let yourself grieve.  Grief doesn't respect our schedules or timetables.  It doesn't care about our loved-one's schedule, timetable, or season of life.  It will impose itself without asking.  There is a purpose though.  Your pain calls out to God.  He desires to heal you.  Even if you lack the desire, the will, the motivation to turn to Him I challenge you to turn to Him by faith and begin your healing process.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Nothing to Offer Him...Except For Brokenness

I'm haunted by the words of a song. They run over and over in my mind and communicate the cry of my heart to Jesus. I want to share them with you today.

 Kari Jobe: Find you on my knees.

Troubles chasing me again. Breaking down my best defense. I'm looking, God, I'm looking for You. Weary just wont let me rest. And fear is filling up my head. I'm longing God, I'm longing for You.

But I will find you in the place I'm in. Find you when I'm at my end. Find you when there's nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness.
 You lift me up, you'll never leave me thirsty. When I am weak, when I am lost and searching I'll find you on my knees.

 So what if sorrow shakes my faith, And what if heartache still remains? I'll trust you, my god I'll trust you. Cause you are faithful and I will...

 Find you in the place I'm in, Find you when I'm at my end, Find you when there's nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness. 
 You lift me up, you'll never leave me thirsty, When I am weak, when I am lost and searching, Find you on my knees, my knees,

When my hope is gone,
When the fear is strong,
When the pain is real,
When its hard to heal,
When my faith is shaken,
When my heart is broken,
And when my joy is stolen,
 God I know that...

You lift me, you'll never leave me searching, You lift me up, you'll never leave me thirsty,
 Find you in the place I'm in. Find you when I'm at my end, Find you when there's nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness.
 You'll lift me up, you'll never leave me thirsty. When I am weak, you'll never leave me thirsty, when I am weak, when I am lost and searching I'll find you on my knees. 

Here's a link to listen to the song:

The work I do allows me to see the brokenness and depravity in humanity.  It allows me to see the brokenness and depravity in me as well.  All of us experience the hardships of life whether they be emotional, relational, financial, social or whatever they be we all live in broken bodies and in broken relationships and in a broken world.  What is there to hope in if not in Christ?  I've tried so many things in my 40 years.  I've seen others try so many things and ways to fix the emptiness, that spot that was created for God in Christ.  If only we could see through our "individuality".  It is this that gets in the way of faith and trust and surrender.  Peter, a disciple of Christ struggled with this as well.  Peter experienced the strong pull of his own interests as he watched Christ be crucified and walked away from the cross, lost and disorientated, ashamed and afraid for his life.  And yet, Jesus, knew His struggle and next to the seashore reminded him some days later to stand back and see what to really be ashamed of and afraid of  and what his purpose really was.  His purpose was Not his "individuality" and his earthly interests but the love of God for humanity and the truth of humanity's need for Jesus.

People will not make us happy.  People will frustrate us as we frustrate them.  People will disappoint as we will disappoint them.  Another human cannot fill us up to the point of contentment.  Relationships are work...tireless work.  Getting along is tough sometimes and at other times it is less hard but life doesn't provide a smooth journey and it is at these times (which are often), us humans can begin to believe that it is the ugliness in the souls of others that is making ourselves ugly or tired or frustrated or disappointed or whatever thing we don't want to see about ourselves.  In truth we are in these moments seeing our own fallenness/sin nature and our limited definition of love.  See most of us have this small circle within ourselves in which we allow just the characteristics in others that feel good to us and serve our idea of what is "lovable" or worthy of love in them from us.  If their behavior or personality falls outside our circle of acceptableness we reject them (withhold ourselves) and in effect withhold God's love from them as well.

Oswald Chambers comments on this in My Utmost For His Highest, "Jesus has some extraordinarily peculiar sheep: some that are unkempt and dirty, some that are awkward or pushy, and some that have gone astray! But it is impossible to exhaust God’s love, and it is impossible to exhaust my love if it flows from the Spirit of God within me. The love of God pays no attention to my prejudices caused by my natural individuality. If I love my Lord, I have no business being guided by natural emotions— I have to feed His sheep. We will not be delivered or released from His commission to us."

With love as our first calling, we can become worn, tired, pained, weak, fearful.  We can lose direction as we pursue loving others in Christ, and become filled with sorrow and longing for change and reconciliation.  It is here we may struggle to sense God's presence with us.  We may even begin to feel abandoned by God and want to run to things this world can provide to comfort ourselves, but it is when we feel this that we are in exactly the right place.  God is there in that place of brokenness with us.  Don't trust your fear in this place.  Trust the character of God and who He tells us He is in His word.  Don't run from this place of humility.  Allow God to work in you and through you right in your brokenness.  God will expand your definition of love by teaching you that you are loved and safe with Him when you are at your ugliest and you will be able to provide that same comfort to those in your life who are living out their brokenness/sin nature in one form or another in your life.

Note: I am not advocating to withhold boundaries or self-care in any way.  In fact, God's love is often directed to others through me in these ways.  I am mainly talking about withholding ourselves from a person or people that we don't feel we can show love to because they are unappealing/unacceptable to us in some way (i.e. neediness, mentally disordered, poor, ignorant, annoying, poor behaviors, emotionally unstable/moody, angry, abusive, addicted,  physically unattractive, etc).  We can safely love those listed above through action and a commitment to feed Christ's sheep.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

If He wounds me, He Will Also Heal Me

The other day I was driving down the road and I was carrying in my spirit a heavy burden of sorrow. I was starting my new job and it is a great job but not the job that I dreamed that I would be in after finishing my degree. I had a different vision for my life and that vision entailed a very different work environment with very different roles than I was facing in this car ride to work. I had been "sucking it up" so-to-speak for days at this point, telling myself that "this is good" and "I can do this" sort of stuff. Well it is good and I can do it but I want something else entirely and at this point I have time to put in, in order to get what and where I want. I felt humiliated. I felt a sense of unfairness. Im sure many reading this have been in this spot. Having to go through steps to achieve something and having to start in a place elementary to your abilities. uhhhhhh.... I sigh. It's humiliating. Having to face barriers in a system that seem impenetrable. Maybe you havn't climbed a ladder, maybe your barriers are inside of yourself or inside of a relationship you are in or closed doors around you socially or in some important way. And yet you know there is more and you are capable of more if you could just be allowed to break free! It feels humiliating to be kept back by something in your life and yet know that you have more to give, more to offer, more to accomplish! I broke out in tears! For the first time in a couple weeks carrying this heavy sorrow inside. Aaaand, of course, I was on my way to work and my face became a flurry (or blurry) of excitement. Anyway, that aside, my heart went from hiding my sorrow to allowing it to be exposed to myself and God. Then God said to me, "If I wound you, I will heal you." At that moment I realized I had come to a new place of trust with God. Usually I throw some kind of a tantrum with Him. I get mad. I tell Him my feelings and thoughts on why my idea is better for a few weeks. I may wrestle internally and use whatever tricks I got up my sleeve to manipulate myself, but NEVER do I just grieve my loss with grace and look to God with a patient and trusting calm. This time however, I felt sorrow and then when the tears flooded over my cheeks I felt love. After that when He told me that He was wounding me I felt a deep sense of trust and a steadfast belief that He would heal me. In other words, He would allow my heart to be broken and humbled, once again in order that out of my experiences would come a wealth of knowledge, and empathy, and love, and experiences that will serve to glorify Him for the rest of my career and my life. But that's not it, oh He will get the glory but I will receive a richness within my heart and my person and I will draw even nearer to God than I have before and I will inherit through this humbling such a richer perspective that I will then experience a changed life because then my eyes will see things that now they cannot. Mathew 26:42 “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” Oswald Chambers so eloquently stated, "You must be willing to be placed on the altar and go through the fire, willing to experience what the altar represents--burning, purification, and separation for only one purpose--the elimination of every desire and affection not grounded in or directed toward God....But you don't eliminate it, God poured out as an offering" (My Utmost For His Highest,2/6). Will you come with me today to the altar, the place where we let go of our understanding and demands, the place where we enter His presence, so that we can lay down before Him and rest in His care? Let's go together. Kari Jobe: Here.

Friday, February 6, 2015

For Such A Time As This!

"I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry" (2 Timothy 4: 1-3, NIV). If you live for Jesus and cast all of the cares of this world aside including the false doctrines that this world is throwing at Christians today expect that you will have trouble. In-other-words, your faithfulness to "the word" will bring criticism, social outrage, name-calling, labels, and rejection. Accepting suffering for doing the right thing is one of the hardest disciplines of the human experience. In fact, the body and the mind will fight you when you step out to stand for righteousness. Expect this. Don't be surprised by your sinful nature. It will sell out your integrity for comfort every time. But remember Paul's words because they give so much hope when you connect with the present reality of them.... 2 Timothy 4:16-17, " one came to my support, but everyone deserted me....But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength...". YES! We are not ever alone! How it works I do not know, but the very spirit that is God the Father's is with us presently in Christ! Wow. That idea gives me pause every time I hear it, read it, or think it. How can the Father's very spirit be with Him and us at once?! I have to fall back to God is not us and He cannot be measured by the human experience. We have been given a charge. Let's not forget it today!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Speak, For Your Servant Is Listening

We are living in an era in which we are experiencing a drought, a famine of God’s voice. There is so much noise in our world, in our lives, in our souls. How would God’s still small voice break through such a tumultuous and screaming world that exists inside and outside of us? If we cannot hear God’s voice in all the noise, and motivations, and personal goals how will we know what direction to take? How will we know the secrets about ourselves? How will we discern other’s pain and needs? How will God be able to call us to His next work? Isn't it the Christian’s core struggle: Who will run each day? Will I allow God to lead me or will I depend upon myself? Will I listen to Him or me? I hear so often how busy people’s lives are. Honestly, I have even caught myself saying this not long ago. I was caught up in the forward drive of making money, meeting expectations, reaching goals, and seeing my loved one’s needs met. I began to think, this is just a season. When it’s over I will go back to the calm and peace of before I began this rat race. What I did not accept and acknowledge was that while I chased after all the things life was providing I was being changed from the inside out. My mind started to become foggy but driven. When I was home I started experiencing it difficult to sit quietly, to experience the coming down. I struggled to allow myself to rest. God began whispering, Rest Shannon, Rest. I ignored His voice and to my detriment. When I left my last position I was mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausted. I found myself in the quietness of my home with my mind spinning inside. My mental thought pace had been trained to move as fast as my life was moving and now the pace of my life was at a standstill. I have to say it was torture for a few days. I wanted to run around the house doing pointless tasks, go up town to run pointless errands all to keep up with the pace of my mind. Thankfully, God began to whisper, sit down. Be quiet and wait Shannon. Sit down and rest. Seriously I had to trust that if I performed the discipline of waiting and resting that the pace of my mind would pass and God would heal it and slow it to match my circumstances. It took a week but it began to slow. The second week light began to come back and the fog began to lift from my mind. I fear that we the Church are outrunning God’s voice. I hear the message of busyness in sermons and in my counseling sessions and in conversations with friends and family. I can see the evidence that busyness is at work in people’s spiritual, personal and relational lives. Busyness is spoken of as if it has a power all its own to choose to control the person, family, or relationship. Really, we are choosing to remain busy, too busy for rest, peace, silence, each other, for God. Church people are hungry for God’s voice but seemingly not hearing it or not hearing as often as they need to. Why not?! If God’s people are struggling to hear or are not hearing God’s voice our world is in real trouble. As was Eli in the story in 1 Samuel 3 of the Bible. Eli was the high priest of the tabernacle but he chose his worldly possessions over honoring God and because of that God spoke to Him one last time with a promise to destroy what Eli had built. What once was a blessing had now become a trap. Eli got caught up in his world and his worldly compulsions and replaced Gods voice and God’s relationship with service and duty. This was a time of famine, a drought so-to-speak of God’s voice. In fact, in 1 Samuel 3 a spiritual drought is recorded. The reason for this is not told in this passage but Mathew Henry comments that maybe it was the “impiety and impurity in the tabernacle” that had corrupted the nation of Israel consequently leading to God’s silence. I see this in the “tabernacle” of the modern day as well. We Christians are not taking seriously our walk with Jesus in ways that would welcome the voice of God to our lives. It seems we are willing to allow modern living to become our norm as well but then also expect all of God’s spiritual gifts to be at work in us despite our lack of piety and lack of submission. Oh, how dare I!? Maybe you believe you are serious about your faith and submissive to God. Great for you, but I am speaking to those who struggle with waking up with the compulsion to depend on their own strength, resilience, and knowledge to live the day out and then getting ate up by the modern day machine of life. I am speaking to those who hunger for God’s voice and wonder when they will hear it for the first time or the next time. I am speaking to those who long for God’s voice as evidence that He is with them and His promise to return for them still stands. Years ago my grandmother told me a story of an experience she had as we sat together sharing. She shared that she was sleeping and someone standing next to her called out her name. She heard it called twice and then on the third hearing of it she sat up in bed thinking someone was standing there but no one was there. She was reverent and confused by this experience. She wanted to know what I thought it was. I was shocked and excited to hear her story as I had experienced this multiple times as I slept not long before our conversation. I knew it was God calling her as it had been God calling me. God was giving us a gift. This was a gift that would imprint itself on the fabric of our identity changing the course of our faith and thus the practice of our faith in our daily lives. When a person experiences “the call” or experiences the comfort of God’s voice on a regular basis it changes you, keeps you focused, and keeps you connected to your purpose and your true strength. Maybe we resist rest and quiet because it is not immediately gratifying. Maybe its because the pace of our minds makes us uncomfortable when we attempt to rest and we sense our failure and come face to face with what we have done to ourselves so we run from it. Maybe we don’t rest and listen for God’s voice because we fear what He will say to us or ask of us. Maybe He will ask us to give up something or let go of someone. Maybe He will tell us to serve someone we dislike or forgive someone we hate. Maybe He will ask us to stay when we want to run from something or someone. Maybe He will show us things He knows about us that we don’t want to know or see. Maybe we are just caught up in running. Here’s the thing…If we desire God’s voice and His gifts we must desire Him first above all else including all the “blessings” of our lives. We have to position ourselves as Samuel did next to the altar under the light of God’s lamp (the Holy Spirit) waiting on His every word no matter what He decides to say. That’s going to mean making changes. Changes to schedules, activities, workloads, and mind-sets. That’s going to mean real commitments to our relationship with God as primary and real commitments to listening inward to our bodies and God’s voice. It’s also going to mean giving up ideas the world has taught us about competition, social image, and behavior. We will have to live for His eyes alone and not worry about the thoughts of those around us as we begin to discern and obey His voice. And obedience is key to growing in the identification of God’s voice. As Mathew Henry teaches, we can expect God to speak when we have shown that we are set on obeying whatever we are told. I remember a time in my life when this idea became apparent to me. The idea of being willing to obey whatever I was told by God was terrifying because what if He asked me to do something embarrassing or outside my comfort zone?! I had to ponder that but realized soon after that I did not care. I wanted God even if I looked stupid! At least if people laughed or mocked me in the future I would know that I was not alone and I had done it for Him. I also realized that I would not learn to identify His voice if I didn’t act on it each time I thought I was hearing His voice. This practice taught me well with some failures and a lot of exciting spiritual experiences. Do you long to hear God call your name? Make a new commitment to spending time quieting your soul each day. Even if you don’t know what to say, present yourself to God in prayer and tell Him, speak Lord for your servant is listening! Wait on Him. No matter how many days it takes, wait on Him each day. Commit to listening to whatever topic is His heart and obeying whatever He speaks to you. “As we listen, our ears become more sensitive, and like Jesus, we will hear God all the time….Get into the habit of saying, “Speak, Lord,” and life will become a romance” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, Jan 30). Kari Jobe: Blood of Jesus (copy & paste)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Be Still My Soul

Recently, I went through a season with the Lord in which I and Him became very close. I drew away from dependency on the world, my husband, my job, and my friends for my comfort and drew near—within Gods comforting arms. I began to have thoughts that I was really getting somewhere spiritually. I had thoughts that said to me that I had attained a place in which I did not no longer need the things of this world to comfort me because I had my love with Jesus and I was fulfilled. Sadly, my mind was deceiving me and my pride was telling me lies. It is so easy to believe that one’s self is close to God when you have all the things that you are rejecting for Him, but when one or more of those things is removed things change! This is when our romance, our loyalty to God alone is shown for what it is. This is when our wanton hearts are exposed! I had told God that all I needed is Him and all I wanted is Him. He is so wise and patient friends! He must have smiled when I prayed those things. He knew my eyes were blind to my humanity, my basest needs. Oh, I love Him friends! He is so patient and so wise that He gently moves us in front of His heavenly mirror to show us what He sees and then wraps His arms around us as we stand exposed in His reflection. He holds us quietly while we go through shock, denial, anger, sadness, and then acceptance. Oh friends, what a perfect friend He is! What an amazing God is the Father of Jesus! This is the God people say does all these great harms? No, they do not know the God that I have experienced and know—and I only know Him a little by His standard. I experienced two wounds to my life, my identity, in two areas close to my pride—my job and my marriage. Oh, I thought that my identity was in Christ alone but I found that when these comforts were truly removed my heart hardened and I began to feel my flesh once again clawing and clambering for the comforts that this world provides. I was shocked! How could this be??? I thought that I didn't need these things anymore to be happy?! Friends, what a deception! We NEVER escape the flesh. Don’t be deceived. We need one another. We need God’s provision in our lives. It’s not that we need idols of these things but God created us for Him first and one another next and finally to build a world that reflects His glory. Our purpose in Him is worked out in our daily lives through the people we love and the work we are given and the places we find rest. God doesn’t want us to get to a place in which we no longer need one another or our daily activities. Our Father in heaven wants to be first, not only, but first. He does not want our love greedily but wants us to come to Him to be filled to overflowing so that we might turn from His face and pour it out upon those standing near. O God I pray that you would make me a loving person!!! Love me Lord, so that I can show love to those standing near me and to those I pass by on my journey. Friends, God knows us far more than we know ourselves. Never forget that. The places in which we are blind within our identities, our humanity, God sees fully. Here is the song that was playing when God began to speak to me and reveal that I am seen by Him in ways that I am blind. Worship! Worship, all you God's people!!!