What's Love Gogt

What’s Love Got To Do With it?

love in the world

Where is love? What is Love?

If you look around our world, watch the news, or even scroll through Facebook you will see that our world seems to be all upside-down. People seem to have completely lost sight of the things of God. Or worse, they have defied Him and blatantly speak evil as if to dare God to do something about it. At times, my heart becomes fearful at what God will do. It may not be here on earth but one day there will be a judgment for all who have not bowed down to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

But isn’t God a God of Love?

You might ask about this loving God and think, “If he loves us all, surely He wouldn’t send us to hell and the burning lake of fire. He would love us too much to do that, right?” Well, do you ever punish your children because you love them. Do you warn them and warn them until finally you have to say, “Ok, you’ll have to learn this one the hard way.”

I recently heard Greg Laurie explain it this way. God loves us so much that He gives us a choice. He doesn’t force himself on us. If we want to choose Him, we can live with Him forever in heaven. However, if we wish to get as far away from God as possible here on earth, then he will give us our desire in eternity and allow us to be with Satan and His demons in Hell.

An Upside-Down Kind of Love

In essence, the problem is that we have become completely mixed up about the love of God. We use the word love in so many ways that it has lost it’s meaning completely. We love ice cream and we love God in the same breath. How is that possible and what does it really mean to love?

Let me share a few words from R.C. Sproul’s book, The Love of God.

In secular usage, love is also more passive than active. Love is something that happens to us, something over which we have no control. We speak about “falling in love.” We equate falling with an accidental action, not with a decision. We fall when we slip or are pushed or otherwise knocked over. The old ballad declared, “I didn’t slip, I wasn’t pushed, I fell … in love.” Another old standard celebrated the passive power of love with the words “Zing went the strings of my heart.” Our heartstrings do not go “zing” because of a conscious decision of the mind to engage in a certain action. This view of love portrays it as a romantic power that creates flutters in the heart, trembling in the knees, and flip-flops in the stomach.
On the other hand, the biblical view stresses the active side of love. For example, we are commanded to love not only our neighbor but even our enemy. How does one fall in love with an enemy? To love one’s enemy presupposes that enmity is real. We really do have enemies, and we usually do not like them very much. But the command is not to like our enemies; it is to love them. But how do we love someone we don’t like?
Sometimes lovers declare that they do not only love each other but like each other as well. The cultural view of love suggests that it is possible to love without liking. That may be true if love is used as a synonym for a sexual or chemical attraction. But it makes no sense if love is defined in terms of personal affection. In that sense, love goes beyond and builds on liking.
To love our enemies means primarily that we behave in a loving way toward them. We treat them with the same kindness and integrity that we treat our friends. Herein is the active aspect of love. It is action that is commanded by God, not a feeling.

The Definition of Love

The fact is, there are many different definitions of love. Even in the original Greek, The Bible uses several completely different words for “love”. Here are four of them I retrieved from Precept Ministries International

  1. Φιλἐω (Phileō) – This is brotherly love. The love you have for a friend.
  2. Ἀγάπη or Ἀγαπάω (Agapē or Agapaō) – Unconditional love. Love that keeps on loving even when love is not returned or when a person is unworthy of love, or unlovable.
  3. Στοργή (Storgē) – based on chemistry. It is a quiet, abiding feeling within a man that rests on something close to him and that he feels good about
  4. Εροσ (Eros) – erotic love. Love based on self-satisfaction.
Defining Love Click To Tweet

Discussion on Love

I recently came into a discussion about loving others, even the unworthy, unlovable or our enemies. I have been studying to find true answers and I hope that soon I will continue this discussion about the Love of God,  loving others, and loving ourselves. In the meantime, check out my post on How Jesus loved the lost.

Be blessed in His love and let it flow through you to everyone with whom you come into contact.

Mandy Farmer
What's Love Got to DO With It? Click To Tweet

broken heart

What Can We Learn From a Broken Heart?

broken heart

My experience of love these past two years has been heartbreaking. But when I look back- it’s the areas that broke my heart that taught me the most.

Broken Expectations

Broken expectations leave a person left with what remains. And what remains is the truth, no matter how painful that truth may be.

Often in family and friendship- especially the kind of friendship that is viewed as family, we expect these friends and family to always have your back, always be there for you. After all, when we think of love, that is one aspect that seems most definitive of it.

The truth of love, however, is that the depth of it runs differently for each person. Their depths of love are based on their understanding and perception of love and those things are based on a person’s experience in life.


Unconditional Love is rare

All that to say, love, true, unconditional love, is rare. Love that doesn’t expect things in return and isn’t based on anything other than simply wanting the best for another person, because you simply and only care about that person’s wellbeing- that experience, is rare.

When experience breaks your heart enough- soon expectation is broken. And it’s there that humans are left to decide how they will allow love back in their hearts.

Allow Truth to Define your Heart

What I have learned is that your heart, is your responsibility. Giving someone the power to influence it is a big gift and it is one that shouldn’t be done lightly. You’re responsible for allowing what shapes and defines your heart. It is very important to have a healthy boundary for yourself and to allow truth first to define your heart. Truth takes awake selfish ambition, truth keeps you humble enough to know you’re not perfect and brave enough to know when to stand and speak up.

I’m not sure that this post is so much about love as it is about self-respect, but I believe one cannot love from a truthful place without first having self-respect.

Love and Self-Respect

Truth and an Open Heart Builds a Foundation for Love Click To Tweet

It is up to you to find Truth and to open your heart to it. When you do, you will find humility and strength. And then, you will receive the foundation to love, truly, yourself and others.

-Thoughts from Jessie ❤️✊️

Movie Review: Breathe

What a beautifully, inspiring movie!

“Breathe” is an inspiring true story. After being paralyzed by polio at age 28, Robin Cavendish refuses to be immobile and with his loyal wife, Diana, becomes an advocate for the severely disabled. “Breathe” is the feature-film directing debut of actor Andy Serkis.

I love to see how others have made their way through trials. And this movie fast became a great biography. Celebrating the lives of ones who made a huge difference for the severely disabled. So many good takeaways from the movie. The first being, “Don’t sell yourself short. Your life isn’t useless.” And then especially the loyalty and commitment of his wife and other friends. We can all learn something from this life.

Deeply Touching

“Breathe” deeply touched my heart by the determination of Robin and Diana to never give up. Even though things seemed hopeless or they had no one backing them, they moved forward and made things happen. In the end, they helped countless severely disabled people have a fulfilling life instead of one of depression with no hope.

This movie also gently spoke of allowing terminally ill patients the privilege of dying on their own terms but not only that but also that a change of venue can bring an amazing change of view on one’s viewpoint of life for the severely disabled. Each life has value and should be treated that way. It isn’t right to put people away from view in a hospital ward just because they are severely handicapped. We should be doing whatever we can to make life better for them.

In the end, Robin chose to end his life because his body could not take any more from artificial breathing. But he lived a fulfilling life for twenty years. His son got to know him and love him. He was able to die gracefully with his family nearby without a traumatic ending.

I was spellbound by this movie, cheering at times and crying at other times. Beautifully done.

Definitely a MUST SEE FILM.

Inspiring Must See Movie - Breathe Click To Tweet

Loved or Unloved – That is the Question

Are you feeling loved today?

FMF: Loved

photo credit: Five Minute Friday: Loved

Consider Roman’s 8:38

What can come between us and

the love of God’s Anointed?

Can troubles, hardships, persecution,

hunger, poverty, danger, or even death? 

 

The answer is, absolutely nothing.

 

 

In this mean and evil world, it’s hard to keep our hearts and souls from becoming singed by the fire. I recall times when the mud has been slung at me. Keeping the awful words from repeating over and over again in my mind became a difficult task. I had to continually throw these words out and replace them with God’s Word. Continue reading

Sacred Marriage – For a Better Marriage Relationship And More

I heard a radio interview the other day with Gary Thomas, the author of Sacred Marriage, and it really caught my attention. What especially drew me in was the subtitle, “What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?”. I had to purchase the book to get “the rest of the story”.

Continue reading

How to Push Past Pain to Produce Passion

produce passion

photo credit: Sasint @ Pixabay Modified by Mandy Farmer

Fibro Pain vs. Passion

As if the pain of fibromyalgia isn’t enough, the effect of said pain can wreak havoc on our personal lives. You see, it’s not just pain like a headache or even a broken bone. This pain is constant with no hope of ending. And to make matters worse the pain does not walk alone. It has “friends” that tag along as well. Fatigue, brain fog, muscle pain and soreness, weight gain, and depression are just a few of the “friends” of fibromyalgia pain.

But today I want to go where few dare to go and that is, the lack of libido leading to a strained relationship with your spouse. This is not just a problem for you the fibro warrior but probably, even more, an issue for your spouse.

Now before you stop reading because you don’t have fibromyalgia,

I would encourage you to KEEP READING

because what I am about to tell you

APPLIES TO EVERYONE – pain or no pain.

You may not want to admit it, but you may need some help in the area of passion for your own marriage.

You see, God ordained intimacy.

He created man and woman for each other and He inspired King Solomon to write a book about it. You will find his steamy love story in the Songs of Solomon. He starts right out with 

Kiss me and kiss me again,
    for your love is sweeter than wine.
How pleasing is your fragrance;
    your name is like the spreading fragrance of scented oils.

Song of Songs 1:2-3

Marriage is never a 50-50 relationship.

Continue reading

Getting Kicked in the Shins

It’s Friday! It’s Sunday! Time for the Five Minute Friday Writing Challenge. 🙂

FMF Purpose

Five Minutes Fridays

 

Time to write for five minutes on a prompt.

Click on the image to see what bloggers came up with.

The Prompt is Purpose.

 

“He kicked me on purpose!”

As a preschooler, my son often said these words or words like them coming off the soccer field. He didn’t seem to understand that when playing soccer, you are bound to get kicked in the shins occasionally. The players are not trying to kick you on purpose, but rather they are trying to kick the ball away from you. Sometimes, that results in getting kicked in the shins.

Some of us have never learned this simple lesson:

Why?

The Bible says “In this life, you will have trouble…” (John 16:33) We live in a fallen world, full of sin at every turn.  God allows each of us to make our own choices.

  • Many people are out only for themselves. But their choices affect the lives of others.
  • It may be that a person is reacting to their own demise. Possibly they just got kicked. Maybe they are sick or grieving causing them to react to life negatively.
  • Other times it is merely an accident, such as in a soccer game.

But regardless of the “why” behind our injury, the question should really be, “How do we respond?”

The answer is to respond “with a purpose”.

In other words, make a plan to respond positively when you get kicked in the shins.

And then follow through with it.

Christ had a purpose.

His purpose was to treat others with humility and love.  We are instructed to treat others as we would want to be treated. We should have the same attitude as Christ. His purpose was to bring all people to Him. (see Philippians 2 and Matthew 7:12).

What is your purpose?

  • Do you think of yourself as better than others?
  • Do you care only about your own interests?

In Conclusion, let’s follow the Apostle Paul’s instruction:

“Work hard to show the results of our salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.” Philippians 2:12

 

Finding Purpose;

Mandy Farmer

 

Finding A Priceless Love

God’s Love: PRICELESS

Psalm 36:7 “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God.

People take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.

As I read this chapter, I was reminded of the Master card commercial that I have posted above. The ad says to me, “It’s not the purchases that are valuable but the response received from the purchase.” 

Looking For Love

For as long as I can remember, I have only wanted to be a wife and a mommy. I daydreamed all my growing up years of a special husband I would have and those precious babies I would hold. I don’t know how many times I came up with names for my children. LOL!  And I must also admit, as Renee said, I am embarrassed at the things I would do to get a boy’s attention. I begged God to give me a husband, I thought about it day and night. I wondered why I I attended college.

It took a while for me to learn that WHEN I first fill my life with Jesus; THEN fulfillment comes  God kept me waiting for his perfect timing. As I waited, I learned to become filled with Him. When I got to the point that I was fulfilled by God, then God fulfilled my prayers for a family and I was ready for the challenge to be a Godly Wife, Godly Mother, and now Godly Grandmother (G.G.). Continue reading

Reignite Your Marriage by Valentine’s Day

Is your marriage getting a little dull in the romance department?

romance challenge

Click image to purchase

Have you lost the passion you once had for each other?

Sharon Jaynes has written a little book that I’m sure will help you ignite the fires again. In 14 days she can help you spark that fire. She will take you step by step, offering little things you can do to reignite the fires.

Add a spark a day for 14 days

In just a page or two a day, Sharon talks about the things that will get the passion ignited for your guy. She explains what’s going on in his head and what you need to do to get his fires going. Each day she offers 3 or 4 little things you can do for your husband each day. It could be as simple as sending a sweet text or some a bit hot and sexy. She offers testimonials from women who tried them and from the men who received them. These will certainly, be an encouragement to you to try them out.

Each day she offers 3 or 4 little things you can do for your husband each day. It could be as simple as sending a sweet text or some a bit hot and sexy. She offers testimonials from women who tried them and from the men who received them. These will certainly, be an encouragement to you to try them out.

One Act of Romance a Dayadmiration

Each day she challenges you to do one small act of love. She offers 3 or 4 little things you can do for your husband each day. It could be as simple as sending a sweet text or something a bit more hot and sexy. She offers testimonials from women who have tried them and from the men who received them. These will certainly, be an encouragement to you to try them out.

The Best Little Romance Reference Book

In the last third of the book, Sharon includes some great addendums.

  • 150 additional Ways to Romance Your Husband
  • 10 Ways to Romance Your Husband According to His Love Language
  • 14 Tips for a More Romantic Bedroom
  • 10 Easy steps to Writing a Love Letter

Even if you don’t complete an act every day, you will find the passion in your marriage escalating. This is a book you will want to keep in your bedstand as a reference for whenever you need to add a spark to your relationship. Go out and buy yours today!

Mandy Farmer

 

 

 


Love your pastor all year long

How to Love Your Pastor All Year Long

Does your Church Have a Special Day for Pastor in October?

I’m hoping that your church does remember the pastor(s) during Pastor Appreciation Month. If not, I hope that you remembered to reach out to him personally. If you haven’t, it’s actually not too late. The truth is, we really should love our pastor all year long. Pastors are usually far from home and family. They need you to be their family and friend.

The truth is, we really should be loving our pastor all year long.

Pastors are usually far from home and family. They need you to be their family and friend.

Four decades of pastoral ministry is a pretty good perspective from which to share some thoughts with you on how to love your pastor all year long. You might think, “Hey, we had pastor appreciation day. Isn’t that enough?”

Isn’t Pastor Appreciation Day Enough?

Now, anytime is a good time to express appreciation for our pastors. You and I know; however, that unless we put some things on the calendar, they just never seem to happen.

So, someone did just that by designating the month of October as the time for local churches to show their pastors that they are appreciated.

Pastors and their families live under incredible pressures today.

Their lives are played out in a fishbowl, with the entire congregation and community watching their every move.

They are expected to

  • have ideal families,
  • be perfect people,
  • always be available,
  • never be down and
  • of course, have all the answers we need to keep our own lives stable and moving forward.

Those are unrealistic expectations to place on anyone, yet

most of us are disappointed when a pastor

  •  becomes overwhelmed,
  • seems depressed,
  • lets us down
  • even preaches a bad sermon or
  • subsequently, completely burns out.

 

That’s why God has instructed us to recognize His servants.

 

“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching” (1 Timothy 5:17 NJKV).

 

It’s always a good thing when church boards plan a special day for pastors in October for the entire church.

Believe me, this means so much to pastors!

Here are a few meaningful ways you can Love Your Pastor All Year Long:

  1. Love his family. Remember their anniversaries and birthdays. Not only his birthday but his wife and children as well. This should include the anniversary of his arrival and other events such as his ordination.
  2. Make his family part of your family. Whenever you have something happening in your family, include the pastor’s family. Invite them to special family events. Invite them to your family reunions, graduations, etc. This is how you will build a friendship and cause them to feel loved and important.
  3. Get to know him and his family personally. Establish a real friendship. Invite them to join you for lunch or other activities. Your pastor is a person, too. He would love to just get out and play golf, or go to a ball game. Many pastoral wives and children are very lonely. They feel like they have no friends. When they are out among others, they feel separated because “They are the pastor’s wife/kid”. Try just being a friend. You might find you like them! 🙂
  4. Give words of encouragement. Send a card or make a call occasionally when you are inspired by his sermon or are impressed by something he does. It would surprise them if you just called to see how they are or just to chat.
  5. And discourage any negative talk about him. When you hear others cutting him down, stand up for him or at least stop the negative talk.
  6. Finally, and most importantly, pray for him and tell him you are praying for him. Your pastor has troubles and needs prayer just like you. Pray for him often. Pray that God will bless his studies, his preaching, but also pray for him emotionally, financially, physically, personally. He has the same issues in life that you have.

Your pastor needs to be loved throughout the year. Be sure to think of him all year long, not just in October. Put a monthly reminder on your calendar if needed.

Thanks!

Michael & Mandy Farmer

 

 

P.S. I’ve created some images to remind you all month to love on your pastor. Follow me on my Facebook Page to see them each day, then share the posts each day to get the word out.