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Why God’s Love Is Better Than Boys’ Love

Women today, through the explosive impact of highly sexualized messages of romance in the media, have been led to believe that our love-hungry hearts will find ultimate satisfaction in modern Prince Charming. Hardly a twelve-year-old girl exists today that does not secretly believe her worth and value lay in her ability to get a boyfriend and nary a forty-year-old woman has not found herself profoundly disappointed by Prince Charming’s feet of clay.  Yet that same woman continues throughout her life to search for that loving feeling in the ubiquitous romance novel.

I’d like to offer a response through an excerpt from a book by Rebecca Manley Pippert about lifestyle evangelism:

“What drew me to [my man] was my desperate need to be loved.  He does love me, yet it feels like sand being poured through a sieve.  My heart has this unslaked thirst for love that can’t ever seem to be filled,” she said sadly.

“[Girl],” I responded, “romantic love can be real and deep, but only if it is not asked to be what it isn’t.  It is not within [your man’s] power to give you a sense of being and purpose.  No human can fill every inner crevice of our longings.”

“So it’s all a sick joke, right?” she replied.  “Why do we carry such a hunger when it can never be met?  I told him that I thought our love would give ultimate purpose and meaning to my life.  I banked all my need for love in him.  He’s already told me that he feels an unbearable pressure to be all that I need.  And it’s odd, but even knowing that he loves me, my heart is still restless and unfulfilled.  Can this immense wish to be loved ever be gratified?”

“[Girl], your longing for love is very valid.  But human love, for all its wonders, will never be able to handle the immensity of the task.  It can go away or die or fail us at the precise moment we need it most.  And if it is to meet our needs and longings, love must have a base.”

“But what base is there that is big enough and stable enough to build our lives upon?” she asked.

“The only base we can really count on is God’s love.  That’s what Jesus saw in the Samaritan woman.  He recognized a woman who was thirsting for a love that would truly satisfy her and never leave her.  So he directed her toward himself.  Jesus knew that what the soul longs for is a safe home, a place where we are loved and known perfectly – and that can only be found in God.”

[The Girl] sat for a long time, taking in what I had said.  Finally I broke the silence and said, “[Girl], would you like to come home now?  Would you like to ask Christ to come into your life?”

“Yes.  But what do I bring to the equation?”  she asked.

“All you bring to God is your faith and your willingness to let him be at the center of your life…” **

Questions?  Comment below or use the contact page for alternative ways to reach me.  Want to ask Christ to come into your life?  Pray (talk to God) something like this:

“God, I admit that I am a sinner.  I want to put my faith in Jesus Christ, whose death on the cross paid for all my sins.  I believe that you raised him from the dead and that by believing in my heart and confessing with my mouth that Jesus is Lord, I will be saved.  Jesus, save me and be the Lord of my life.  Let me know the love of God for me.  Amen.”

Now go and tell a Christian you know and trust that you have just prayed to become a Christian.  And tell me! May God richly bless you with the knowledge of the width and length and depth and height of the love of Christ which surpasses human understanding that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:18-19).

** Pippert, Rebecca Manley.  Out of the Salt Shaker & into the World: Evangelism as a Way of Life.  Second Edition.  Pages 41-42.  InterVarsity Press.  Downers Grove, Illinois:1999.  First Edition 1979.  Second Edition 1999.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2011 in Adventures in Christ

 

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Good Things Are Happening

“I’ve got news and I know how you like news.” – Mr. Knightley, to Emma.

Good things are happening in and Out Of My Mind!  It gives me great pleasure to tickle your fancy with a taste of what is coming up on my website and blog.  Let me explain:

I am at my best teaching and training others for spiritual maturity, biblical leadership, and ministry. It brings me sublime joy to witness women taking hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of them. My goal for the next year, therefore, is to expand this area of influence by developing an online ministry emphasizing teaching and training the emerging Christian women’s leader.

As the Women’s Ministry Director at my local church, I serve under the headship of our pastor and elders, enjoying their support and accountability.  It is my responsibility to provide the means for women to spiritually thrive and equip them to minister to others. In addition to exemplifying Christ in my own life, I seek to evangelize, educate, equip, and encourage women as they mature in their faith and practice. And now I’d like offer this website as a valuable resource to those women God is calling to become biblically founded servant-leaders.

While remaining flexible to God’s leading – after all, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21) – my goal is to slowly transform my website into a practical resource for women seeking to grow spiritually and women in ministry who desire to develop their leadership skills.  Look forward to participating in:

  1. Bible Studies!
  2. Bible Study Skills Lessons
  3. Biblical Leadership Studies
  4. Ministry Skills Development
  5. Leadership Development
  6. Ministry Development
  7. Webinars, eBooks, printouts, videos, etc.
  8. And much more

I am very excited about being a part of what God will do through this wonderful ministry.  Oh, that many would come and be edified, built up, and unified in the essentials as God matures the beautiful body of Christ.  I hereby commit to the LORD whatever I do, that He will establish my plans (Proverbs 16:3).  Amen!

 

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Doll Therapy

Doll therapy in Alzheimer’s – a solution to needing to feel needed.  My Alzheimama zeroes in on Shelby and pours love all over her.  

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2011 in Adventures in Alzheimer's

 

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Faith Is Being Sure

Have you ever received a calling of God, yet nothing in your life seems to lead you in that direction?  Have you heard His voice, but what He said would happen hasn’t at all?  Have you found yourself worrying that what you labeled as being from God is really only from your own selfish desires?  Well, join the club.  Sometimes I think I could win the gold medal for second-guessing God and myself.

I have wondered for a long time now whether or not God has truly called me to a speaking ministry.  Some days I think He has; other days I’m not so sure.   Sometimes I wonder if I merely made it up in order to feel important.  Current circumstances certainly preclude a speaking ministry:  I care full-time for my mom who has Alzheimer’s and even with a few hours off a week, I accomplish little more than teaching a Bible study, which is, by the way, a great joy for me.

And then I worry that maybe this is pride trying to garner me some of the Christian world’s applause.  After all, what do I have to say that someone else cannot say better?  And why should anyone listen to me in the first place?  A kind stranger reminded me recently that it’s not me from whom people wish to hear; it’s God.  And He can use anyone in any way at any time in any place.  That’s a freeing statement.   After all, it is His Spirit who does the actual work in people’s hearts anyway.  We’re just the messengers.  🙂

Many years ago, God showed me a picture or vision if you will.  I saw myself standing on the cliff of a high mountain overlooking a large, green valley filled with people.  My hair was short, my figure slim, the opposite of what I looked like at the time, and yes, this gave me a great deal of pleasure!  I wore a kilt of red and blue plaid, signifying family.  In my hand was a golden trumpet, which I raised to my lips and blew.   As I looked at myself standing firmly on the edge of that cliff, I understood that I was announcing what God had done in me and my [spiritual] family.   In fact, I was sharing my testimony.  I knew that God was telling me I would someday share this testimony of God’s grace, mercy, and sufficiency before crowds of people.  I had no idea how this might come about; I only knew God was telling me it would be so.  That was about 16-17 years ago.  It hasn’t happened.  And yet, despite the occasional worries, I persist in believing it will be so someday.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).  My hair is quite short nowadays, but I am far from slim and trim.  I suppose that means the time has not yet come.  LOL.

That’s probably not too far from the truth, weight excluded.  I’ve learned that God sometimes gives us an assignment well before the day it becomes due.  I believe it is because He wants us to study [His word] hard and practice, practice, practice.  And I don’t mean to merely practice my speaking ability.  I’m talking about character formation.  God takes time to build our character to match the assignment, as Henry Blackaby says.  We cannot do God’s will in the strength of the natural man.  God must cultivate within us a Christ-likeness and this takes time.  Had I tried to force a speaking career back then, it would have failed.  My character lacked maturity and Christ-centeredness.   I may have been eager, but enthusiasm is not a substitute for preparation.

I have spoken in front of groups of people in the past and looking back it’s easy to see that it was usually about me, not God.  Most of the time, I was just trying to be somebody special.  I’m glad those days ended fairly quickly.  I needed time to grow up.

Even now I cannot call myself a Christian speaker.  I do teach a Bible study and this is a cherished time to be led by the Spirit and talk about God.  My blog is certainly another opportunity.  It’s true that I’m not standing before crowds of people speaking about what God has done, but with these rich opportunities in my hand right now, I am more than willing to wait on God for the latter.   For the first time in my life, I truly understand what it means to be patient and wait on the Lord.  It is not about sitting around eating bonbons and watching soaps.  No, it is about participating with God as He forms our character into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I’ve stumbled around in the dark a bit, but I’m confident that “He who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6) .

And so I choose to wait patiently on God for the fulfillment of that long ago vision.  And as God continues to prepare my heart and my mind, I am becoming more and more sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not see.  And even if I am wrong about becoming a Christian speaker, at least I will not have wasted these years of preparation for whatever it is the Lord will bring into my life.  And to God be the glory!  Amen.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2010 in Adventures in Christ

 

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Creation Gives Us A Glimpse Of The Creator

From time to time I like to include a guest post in my blog.  This one was written by my eldest brother, John C. Yuhas, who fishes, hunts, and preaches in Big Sky Country and is Pastor of  New Life Foursquare Church (Darby, Montana).  It first appeared in the Ravalli Republic newspaper on April 17, 2008.   Enjoy!

Glacier National Park, Montana

Montana is of course beautiful, but there are times and places when the glory that is Montana can take your breath away.

For me, the time was many years ago and the place was Glacier National Park.  I stood upon a high mountain on a clear spring day looking at mile after mile of rugged mountains.  Their high peaks were still crowned with the pure white of a departing winter but from their knees downward splashed the vibrant green of a sudden spring.

Running down from white to green were what appeared to be glistening silver lines.  Even as I looked, I knew the lines to be far away streams filled with the energy of the snow melt and sparkling in the sun.  My heart was filled with wonder and thankfulness as my eyes and indeed my soul feasted on this spectacular view.

More recently, I had another perhaps not as majestic but no less soul-refreshing time as I stood knee deep in one of my favorite pools in the East Fork of the Bitterroot River.

I was happily holding on to a throbbing fly rod bent with the weight of a solid trout.  The trout made one lovely, completely out-of-the-water jump, before landing back into the cold dark waters of the Bitterroot with a splash.  It was brown and bigger than what clumsy me usually manages to catch.  So I was especially happy not only to hook it, but to actually land it.

As I was undoing the fly to release it, I was struck by its stunning beauty.  A mature male brown trout in the flaming colors of the spawn – a thing of wild beauty – and indeed very special gift from the Creator.  As I watched it swim away, I took time to gratefully thank the Creator for allowing me to catch such a treasure.

Such experiences and more are why so many call Montana home.  Montana is indeed a very special place.  But did you know that the Bible teaches that this wonderful creation is a gift from God who not only created it but gave it to us for our enjoyment.

Yes, the deer, elk, trout, the land and the waters are all gifts given by the hand of God to be a blessing to all of us who walk this good earth.  I, for one, am very glad for these precious gifts.

Yet, creation is not only a gift, but a form of revelation from God.  Looking up into a clear night sky into the vastness that is this universe, we can get a glimpse of His power, His glory and consequently our own smallness.

Looking into the face of our child, or better yet, a grandchild, we can almost see the eternal.  The mountains, the streams, the oceans, and why yes, even a single flower all have a testimony if we would but listen to it.

As great as this revelation is, the Bible teaches that there is an even more clear revelation of what God is like.  The better, or should I say, the best revelation of what God is like is the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is said, he is the express image of God.

Just as a painting will reveal to some extent, the artist who painted it, only by getting to meet the artist do you get to know what the artist is truly like.  It is the same with God.

One can learn much about Him through the artwork that is his creations, but it is only in the face of the Son of God, that we clearly see God’s face, God’s love, God’s grace and God’s will for us.

May your heart be filled with wonder and revelation as you enjoy this great place we call Montana, but even more importantly may your heart be drawn to Him who created it and unto His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2010 in Adventures in Christ

 

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Yahweh Jireh: The Lord Will Provide

Have you been longing for a more intimate walk with God?  Do you want to get to know Him better?  Intimacy and knowledge of God are mutually inclusive.  To know Him is to love Him and vice versa.  So how do we better our understanding of God and His ways?

One of the more intriguing ways to learn about God is to study the characteristics inherent in His many names and titles.  We know Him as our Lord and Savior, King of kings and Lord of lords, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor.  Our God is the great I Am, Yahweh, El Elyon, El Elohim, and El Shaddai, among others.  Experiencing God, by Henry Blackaby,  has a wonderfully LONG list of names, titles, and descriptions of God with NIV Bible references.  These can be found at the back of the book and used during prayer, a little each day.  Ask God to help you come to know Him better through these, His names.

Today, I’m acutely enamored of Yahweh Jireh, The LORD Will Provide, a title straight out of Genesis 22:14:  “And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”  Abraham came to know God as his Provider through experience when God stopped him from slaying his son Isaac and provided a lamb instead for the sacrifice.  That’s how we come to know God – through His word, through prayer, through experience.   And that’s how I got to know Him just a little bit better lately.

Once upon a time, a few days ago, I brought my vehicle in for its annual inspection, one way our state syphons money off the taxpayers.  I figured an hour or two and we’d be on our way, right?  Not. You see, my vehicle failed inspection.  I wasn’t expecting that.  And my current inspection sticker was due to expire in 2 days.  Arrgh!

As it turns out, the shop wanted $600 to fix the rear brakes, side mirror, and wipers just so it could pass inspection.  Next they wanted another $400 to fix the front brakes and another $760 to fix my leaky exhaust manifolds.   With tax, that’s almost $2000, my friends.  A hefty arm and a leg for anyone … and I have no income because I stay home full-time caring for my mom who has Alzheimers.

Upset?  You betcha.  Freaked out?   Almost.  I remember asking God, “Where on earth am I going to get that kind of money?”  It’s hard to believe that God was planning to send me a check in the mail for $2000.  Panicking just a little, I hurriedly emailed a few family members whom I thought might help.  Then I prayed:

“God, I’m really irritated by the whole thing, but I know that You are a good God and that You will provide for me in some way.  I’m going to trust in You to provide.”

Now my family is not the kind that shares money, especially when there isn’t any to share.  How often, as a teenager did I heard my mom say, “If I do it for you, I’ll have to do it for all six and I can’t afford that!”  As children, we were very concerned with fairness.  She even had to count the jelly beans in our Easter baskets because we’d quickly discover if somebody got more the rest.  Anyone who believes that humans are basically good never saw six kids complaining about who got more jelly beans on Easter morning!

As you may have guessed, I received a typical Yuhas response to my email: “$1200?  That’s ridiculous!  Get your brother to do it.”

They were right.  I did, and it ended up costing only $230 total, saving me close to $1000. Praise God for brothers who fix their sisters’ cars.  The Lord provides – His way.  I can afford $230.  God is so good.  He gives us what we need ($230), not necessarily what we want ($1200), in due season.  My God is The LORD Will Provide.  Experience really is the best teacher.  And I’m living happily ever after.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2010 in Adventures in Christ

 

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