Your love language

I have been leading a book study by Danny Silk for the past five weeks, which touched on the 5 Love Languages a few weeks ago.

I was struck by the truth that I need to be a student of everyone I love, to know how to best love them.

Then the lightening bolt of uber truth crashed into my brain this morning as I reread the chapter in preparation for my group tonight:

In order to love You the way You desire to be loved, I need to enroll myself in the “God study” program for the rest of my life.

Not just to know about You, learn what You have done, promise to do and Your amazing love for us all, but to discover how You like to be loved.

The Five Love Languages (as coined by Gary Chapman) are:
○Touch
○Gifts
○Quality time
○Acts of Service
○Words of Affirmation

As I read this list , I realize that each of them got their start in God
and how HE loves!

Touch:
(Lovingly touch me)

God reaches down and hold us, picking us up where He finds us. Jesus never failed to lovingly touch those in need.

Touch can also be seen through the love shining in someone’s eyes and especially His gaze, virtually loving us.

God reminds us in His Word to reach out and touch those in need, which ties closely into…

Acts of Service:
(Show me Love)

Each time we help another in need, we are not only showing God we love Him but showing those we help His love.

When our yes is yes and our no is no, we show God we are prepared to serve as He leads, and honor the One guiding us.

And each time we set time aside in our schedule to sit at His feet and meet with him? We show Him love through…

Quality Time:
(Be with me Love)

One on one time when we make Him our sole focus delights His heart.

When we deliberately carve time out to spend it with God? It also becomes a gift…

Gifts:
(Give me Love)

When we offer something that is costly to us that we know the gift’s receiver will adore, we show our love in not only the gift itself but  the thought we invested in it.

As receivers of the best gift ever, we should be seeking to offer all we are as a gift for Him and His glory.

Which leads us to the final love language….

Words of Affirmation:
(Tell me of your Love)

As the living Word, author of the Bible, we know the power and importance of words to God. Words have the power to build up, love and encourage, heal and restore.

Our words have the same ability to bless.

When we offer Him thanks for what He has done, praise for who He is and love as one of His Beloved, God receives love through our words.

As someone whose primary love language is Words of Affirmations, I am most comfortable loving my family and friends that way.

But as I was reminded working through the Love Languages that a student is supposed to study their subject, and adjust their mindset as they learn new information and put new practices into place.

God has not held back one good blessing from each of us children. His love is passionate, determined, focused, deliberate and forever.

How we love God needs to respond to Him in a way which shows Him the depth of our love, in a way which makes Him feel loved.

Invite Him to speak to you about how you express love.  As its author and inspiration, He is bound to have insight into His heart to share with you as you ask.

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Check out the 5LoveLanguages.com to learn how you best feel love, and are likely primarily showing love to those around you.

Wanting to dive deeper into love, and connecting on purpose? Visit lovingonpurpose.com and take your love assessment.

Monday mutterings

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This morning, I accompanied my eldest to her last first day of school placement for college, one of our family traditions.

I didn’t count on being jolted out of my sleep on the comfy bus by somebody angling their seat in front of me right into my knee. Coz apparently she missed seeing there was someone behind her.

It hurt. I immediately awoke and said, “There isn’t any more room, I am tall sitting behind you.”

The woman didn’t move her seat back to upright or acknowledge me in any way. Which shocked me as I was apparently loud enough to wake my daughter up beside me. :/

Did you see what just happened there?

I grumbled. Murmured. Became discontent in the blink of an eye.

A few instances after that, once I was fully awake, I forgave the woman, and kind of asked myself why.  Not in a flippant way, but part of me has always wanted to know why we need to forgive one another beyond what we are told in the Word. (freedom and release)

God whispered Love.

That got my attention.

Love? What does my forgiving a complete stranger have to do with love?

Then in a flash of “duh,” for it was still before 7 am,  I understood.

If God so loved the world (which we know is true) that out of His love He sent Jesus to save us from sin, and we are His and to be filled with His love to show one another….then when we forgive one another, we are actually loving them as Jesus did. How he still does.

For God so loved the woman on the bus who whacked my knee that He sent Jesus for her.  And as His Beloved, I am to show that love through my actions and reactions. Just one of which is to forgive.

But here’s the other part of the love bomb God dropped into my heart this morning.

When I forgive others, I am also taking care of my temple and showing myself love and respect. Which God also desires for us all to do.

For He loves us enough to save us, cleanse us, cover us, restore and guide us, doesn’t He?

I am to love all whom God loves.

Complete strangers and myself included.

I am to love that which God loves.

Phillippians 4:8-9 reminds us what He wants for us to be loving:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received, and heard and seen, practice these things. And the God of peace will be with you.

The Message version puts that same verse into a more direct arrow right into my heart:

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies.

We need to begin putting into practice the love God has showed us. And stop grumbling when

offenses occur.

For there will always be slights hurts, sudden shocks, bad news and injustice in this world, as long as we are not all walking with Jesus, until He comes again.

But there is an end day in sight, and we are not left alone in this fight for love.

God loved us first and His way to love is for our best.

As His face out there in this hurting and broken world, we need to ask for His love to flow through us, even when we don’t want to.

For that person you forgive may just be the person He is next wooing to Himself, and your response may be the seed He wants planted.

His love isn’t just a warm cozy blankie you keep to yourself. It’s a passionate pursuing love which looks past our grumbling and hurts into the hidden places of the heart desperate for a drink of hope, purpose, love, Home.

Our part is to overflow His love wherever we go.

Leaving our muttering aside, even on Mondays.

Love Came Down at Christmas

Love came down at Christmas
Love, a lovely love divine
Love was born at Christmas
Stars and angels gave the sign

Love arrived at Christmas.
But it wasn’t a new love.

It was the same Love that yearned for someone to love beyond the loving union of Father, Son & Holy Spirit, and so Love created man & woman to love and be loved by.

This same Love decided to humble itself within the limitations of humanity, and arrive not with the triumph, pomp and circumstance He is due, but to the cries of a woman in labour, her scared husband and likely the sounds of several barnyard animals, put off by sharing their warm space with interlopers.

This Love knew we needed not only the majesty of His might, but to be captivated by the wonder of His sight.

God looked not only down on us from heaven, but up at us from the manger that night.

God is Love.  There is no separating His heart for us from how He interacts with us, as each loving parent knows.

And this Love knew we needed to know God could hold us. Understand our struggles. Get what we are unable to put into words when we are overwhelmed.

So He came to show us His face of Love, in the present of Jesus.

God with us, Presence.
God one of us, the present.

This lovely carol reminds us that God so loved us He sent us His Son, and we are to be known as Lovers of His Presence through our love for one another.

Today, be reminded that God put His love into action in the gift of Jesus.

Go show that love in action this Christmas.

Love will be our token
Love be yours, and love be mine
Love from God to all of us
Love for plea and gift a sign

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Historical Background:
This carol was written by poet Christina Georgina Rossetti in the mid to late 1800’s.

Coventry Carol

Lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.
Lullay, Thou little tiny Child.
By, by, lully, lullayb

The days in which God determines Jesus was to arrive here on earth were tremulous ones.

Great political unrest, overtaxing, long hard days forced to serve ‘landlords’ not of your choosing. Revolution was constantly simmering when it wasn’t breaking out against the oppressors.

God’s people were crying out for their Messiah.

When Herod began the slaughter of all the boy children of Israel in the hopes of destroying the newborn King, many families were suddenly grieving and wailing and grieving over the sudden loss of their children.

For you know who hoped to stop God in His tracks, in a feeble attempt to undermine His will, but a very costly one to those left with empty arms and wounded hearts.

Many likely thought all hope was lost.

And into that exact time and place, God chose to deliver His people through Jesus, soon to be delivered into the world as one of His people, as well as His Beloved son.

God did not let the madness of one fearful king halt the delivery method He was choosing to set His people free.

We know that God has always heard the cries of His people for deliverance, and mourned with them over their losses. The Bible is full of true life stories of His rescues.

If you are empty armed, missing your loved one, whether they have passed on or are on the other side of the country or world?

God hears your pain and lament.

I believe this song must have been written by someone who lost a child, and was horrified by reading the account of Herod killing an entire generation of boys.

We all should be, for God was horrified by it as well.

So full of compassion for His people, He sent His Son to us, to give us a beacon of Hope we could reach out and touch.

Because our God is the God of all comfort, justice, hope and compassion.

He couldn’t turn away from the cries of the brokenhearted. The frustrated. The poor. The exhausted. The empty armed. Those grieving. Those without hope.

This Christmas, if you hear this song of lament, be reminded of His compassion.

Each person ever in history has mattered to Him.

Those you have lost or had taken from you included.

Jesus came as one of the weakest to show us that weakness does not mean God cannot use you.

He came as one of us to show us that God understands the frailties of humanity first hand.

He came as an expression of God’s great love for each and every one of us.

And is right there beside us when we are hurting, feeling lost, wavering in our hope, and needing a God would can reach out and hold us as we lament.

So if you need to cry this Christmas, for it isn’t the holiday you thought it would be?

Allow Him to rock you in His loving arms as you lament.

God came right smack dab in the middle of turmoil to be there with us, for us, as one of us.

That same Love has not changed, and never will.
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Historical Background:

This lyrics for this piece were written in 1534 for a Christmas pageant by Robert Croo, the composer is still unknown, but believed to be in the early 1500’s.

careless in His care

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I have been an avid bird lover since I learned that penguin parents sing to their young.

As a ‘songbird’ myself, that resonated deep within me.

I liked that love can be shown through a song.

As a child, i often wondered to myself who cared for all the wild birds I enjoyed soaring across the sky, nesting in the trees and flocking around.

That question gave me a swift shove after I became a believer as a young adult, and first read Matthew 6.

I am called to live carefree.

Nor carefree without consideration for others, but carefree in the ability not to worry.

Because I am covered under His wings, safe in His embrace, completely cared for by the God who loves me.

And the birds we all see about us remind me of that truth almost every day.

If birds are cared for, all their needs are met and they are able to chirp, fly, nest as birds are meant to do because of His care….why do we tend to think He would care less for us?

As a mom and wife, I have a tendency to make sure my kids and hubby are well taken care of before meeting my own needs.

That is a characteristic of our heavenly Father we reflect here on earth, when we care for our loved ones.

He’s a good good Father.
It’s who He is.
Not chooses to be, but intrinsically part of His very nature.

So when we read verses about living carefree in His care? He wants is to take Him literally.

For God doesn’t lie.

If He says He is caring for us, He is.

If He says we are of great value to Him, we are.

You don’t offer up your son as a sacrifice for people you don’t care about.

You give your best for those you adore, don’t you? On their birthday, graduation, Christmas?

God gave His very best on a regular day, because He knew we would need to know He cares about all our days, not just the religious ones.

Just as every bird is under His watch, so is the rest of creation.

But the pinnacle of His love is found in the ones He made in His image.

You and me.

We are the ones He cares so much for He made sure His heart of love and all the actions it inspired was recorded. A living testimony to the God of life who allowed Himself to be recorded within the Word.

In snapshots of promise, hope, purpose, love and care.

His love in action, caring for us all.

He not only shows us how much He loves us, He reminds us how much He longs to take our cares upon His shoulders and shoulder the load for us.

Every care we have matters to Him, because all of us matter to Him. All our hopes, dreams, worries, concerns…. He cares about it all.

So I don’t have to carry my cares all upon my shoulders.

He calls me to bring what I care about to Him, and allow Him to carry it for me, so I can live carefree in His care.

His love is so great for me, He not only rescued me but He holds my cares for me.

He paid a weight of love to redeem me from my sin, and carries the weight of my cares so I can be free to follow Him without worry.

Does that mean I never worry?
I can honestly say, I don’t worry as long as I used to.

God made this verse come alive to me about 15 years ago and each year I take shorter and shorter the length of time to bring my cares to His waiting hands.

I am loved by You.
It’s who I am.
Completely cared for in the safety of Your love.

May God give you too a revelation of His love for you. May it awaken within you like the song you were meant to sing. May you remove the weight of your cares, and allow Him to carry them, and you, as you follow Him into the wide open spaces of grace He has waiting for you.

love in action

Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

–Philippians 2:2-4 MSG

Living in community can be rough at times.  And God knew this.

These verses on their own capture how to help make successful community. Putting one another’s needs ahead of ours, seeking agreement, helping others fulfill their dreams, actively loving one another.

But these verses, although they contain the action steps we are to take for healthy, united community, don’t explain the why.

The first verse of Phillipians 2 does.

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if His love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor:

Because of what God has given us, His love. 

Because of the family we are now a part of, His.

Because He is awakening in us a care for  others from His heart.

Because of what our laid it all down Jesus has done for us, we are to likewise lay ourselves down for others.

There are times when we can pick verses out of the Word, examine them closely and still miss the point, if we aren’t allowing Holy Spirit to heighten our awareness of what wisdom He wants us to learn when we study it.

The Bible isn’t just a collection of writings spanning hundreds of years and dozens of authors.

It is a living Word.  God Himself inspired it through listening hearts. God Himself collected it through willing hands.  God Himself is contained within it, and knows what we need to be fed each time we pick it up and invited Him to do so.

For we are not just in community with people, but with God Himself!

May He deepen your awareness of how to live a life of community which blesses Him, those around you and yourself as you follow His lead.

Love.
Love deeply.
Love actively.
Love completely.
Love sacrificially.
Love as He leads.

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love the one you’re with- 3 ways to show it this Valentine’s Day

Love is a choice.

You may have heard that before, but this Valentine’s, may it sink in deep.

We show this love by how we care for those around us.

By choosing to love them, our love can be seen like an outer garment.

We choose to love.

How we express that love should be up to three key factors:

1. Listen:
Keep an ear out for how the person says they want to be loved, which is usually their primary Love Language.

My hubby is Physical Touch, so a long hug, hand hold or kiss he interprets as how much I love him. If we spend too long apart, those small touches remind him he is loved.

My daughter is Show Me. A spontaneous gift, a thoughtful card, going out of our way to drop her off or pick her up from school…those speak volumes too her of how much she is loved.

My son is Quality Time. Spending one on one, whether chatting, reading together, gaming or watching a comedy or action dvd reassures his heart that he is loved.

Mine is Words, or Tell Me you love me. I text, call or email loved ones regularly as a way of reminding them how much they mean to me. Hearing I was on someone’s heart or mind & they tell me about it makes my day!

(PS. Not sure what your love language is? Take the free test at:
Discover Your Love Language , it is so worth doing…for all your relationships.

2. Look:
How we see them show love usually reveals how someone wants to be loved.

It is likely no surprise that a writer & singer would love to hear loving, kind & encouraging words. Take the time to observe your loved ones as they express care & love to those around them. They will give you the best clue you need by how they show their love.

3. Get Equipped:
Learn how God says we are to love up on one another:
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Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

This is a huge list to try & do on our own. Trying to love in our own strength leaves us exhausted and empty.

Feeling stressed about how to love like the list in 1 Corinthians 13?

The good news is God helps us to love others when we come to Him to be loved…

The overflow of His love through us is more than enough to express our love to others.

This Valentine’s, let your loved ones know how much you choose to love and treasure them.

Your loved ones doesn’t need our freaking out about what you should get them by the world’s standards.

Bigger doesn’t mean better if your wife hates the roses you get her every year, coz you think that’s how you need to show her extravagant love & that she is special on Valentines… if she really loved daisies (true story!)

If you can only afford:
a small well chosen token…
genuine affection & love poured into a card…
a shared moment over coffee…
a dance to your wedding song…
a poem about love you printed off the internet and put in a dollar store frame…
then be yourself and express your love however you can. The best Valentine’s I ever got were hand written cards from my loved ones, as they showed how much they loved me by loving me back as I love to be loved!

Its not about the monetary price, but the choice you make to invest your love into another’s heart.

Love is priceless, and will live on beyond beauty, objects and time.

Choose to love from the best Source of love there is, its Inventor & #1 Lover of us all!

Love is always worth the investment when you choose to love the ones He loves, revealing His heart as you do.

His love never fails,
never gives up,
never runs out on us.

That’s the love I want my loved ones to know I have as my source of love, and that i will model for them.

Love wants the best.

Loving your beloveds as they long to be loved is the best gift you can give, every day!