The Love of a Child

She looked up at me with complete trust, this brand new little granddaughter I held in my arms. I knew then and there that it would be a life long love affair.

When she gazes up at me I can see complete faith in her that I will take care of her every need. She does not stress over it, she just knows.

This little girl soaks in the unconditional love that comes to her.

 She takes it without reservation and she closes her eyes and simply rests there.

She cannot yet understand what I say and she cannot yet see me clearly, but she knows nonetheless.

This is the kind of love that we often think we cannot possibly receive as adults. It is reserved for others.

Yet when we turn to Christ, He offers us that. As much as I love this little grand-daughter, the love I can give her does not hold a candle to the love Christ Jesus offers me. He takes me just as I am and He loves me. He offers me unconditional love that I can get no where else.

If only I had the same kind of faith of this child I hold in my arms. The kind of faith that says, I know you will take care of my every need Father, I will let you.

If only I had the same kind of faith that says I accept without reservation the unconditional love you offer me Father. I will receive it and rest in it fully.

The funny thing is, my Father knows my shortcomings and my fears and He loves me anyway.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

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Unconditional love, even when I am unlovable

God loves us not in spite of who we are but because of who we are!
God loves us in spite of what we do.
We hear that and have trouble believing it. We know we are not lovable all the time and we know that our hearts are in deplorable condition. We feel we do not deserve His love even for a little while.
Our narrow earthly vision has trouble coming to grips with the fact that God doesn’t just love us once in awhile and only when we are good. He loves us every single minute of every single day. How do you visualize a love like the one God offers us? What does infinite, unconditional, enduring, sacrificial, and perfect love look like?
We are used to a love that is attached to some sort of condition. Sadly, we both give love and receive love conditionally. It is human nature. It is your nature, it is my nature.
It is easy to believe that we are not good enough to be on the receiving end of such a love. We are used to thinking of ourselves as not worthy, we feel we have blown any chance we have for a love like that.
That is not however, how God works.
God loves us freely- Hosea 14:4. Imagine that for a moment. Don’t skim over the real meaning of a love that is given freely.
God has desires, plans and intentions for us specifically that are for our good benefit. Jeremiah 29:11. I don’t know about you but just knowing that the Creator of the Universe has desires, plans and intentions specifically for me gives me goosebumps.
Psalm 139- Read it and bask in the comfort and knowledge that you have a keeper who has thought of everything. Your keeper will stop at nothing to show you He loves you and is there for you.
God knows when we are feeling whatever we are feeling. If we are in pain, He feels it also. He longs for us to come to Him with our inner most thoughts.
There is no where we could go and no one who gives us the deal God does. He loves us completely for the unique and specific people we are. He loves us with a love that is whole, deep and completely honest in spite of and completely apart from anything we have done or accomplished.
Keep seeking God until you see Him for who He really is. Although God does love you, He is so much more than that. God is love. Love is His nature and His very essence. Who else do you know that lavishes that kind of love on undeserving people?
Seek Him, Find Him, Keep Him. You will not be sorry.
Dottie

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Unconditional love?

Let me remind you of one unconditional truth, the way you see yourself is in no way an accurate picture of what Christ has done for you.

Sometimes I think that we feel we need permission to love (or even like) ourselves.

We need to get to the place where we love ourselves simply because God loves us.
First however, we have to take what the Bible says and figure out how in the world to apply it in our lives.

We live on self-rejection. One time I was asked if I was happy with the person God made me to be. I answered of course I am, well except for (fill in the blank) , ok maybe I think he could have improved the design a bit.
Instead of delighting in how He created us, we call ourselves ugly, clumsy, fat, dumb and worthless. We beat ourselves up emotionally because we do not measure up to the standards we have set for ourselves. Or should I say that we have let others set for us.
Is it to much to ask to love what I see in the mirror instead of throwing the mirror in the closet where it can never haunt me again? I want to look in the mirror and see what God sees.. That means I have to start seeing myself as I really am, right at this moment. Not after I have finally lost those excess pounds, or fixed my chin, teeth or boobs and am wearing skinny jeans.

When I can look at myself and see the real me and love the real me, that is when the chains of bondage have been broken.
When I can base my self worth on my identity in Christ and not on my accomplishments, looks or the job I hold. When I can realize that God loves me for who I am not in spite of who I am. That is when the chains of bondage have been broken.
When I realize that I do no need to be loved and approved of by virtually every person in my life, only God needs to approve, that is when the chains of bondage have been broken.

God offers us unconditional love, through His grace we are saved. However, grace sometimes does not come easily to us simply because of how we have conditioned ourselves to think. We have to start giving ourselves some slack and start believing what God tells us.

Look at Romans 8: 37-39 take a look and breathe in the truth of what can separate us from God’s love. .
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Take a minute and let this verse cloak you in the security of God’s love.

Dottie

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Self Loathing, the biggest lie yet

I hate myself when I open the checkbook and there is no money left even though I was paid only two days ago. I hate myself when I wake up in the morning with a hangover knowing full well that I had vowed it would never happen again. I hate who I see when I look in a full length mirror. I am overweight and I hate myself for letting it happen. I would like to take a sledge hammer to that mirror. You can fill in your blanks here because we all have things that we do that cause us to hate the very essence of who we believe we are.

1 Samuel 16:7 tells us The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

I think that it would do us some good to remember that God loves us for who we are not in spite of who we are. This is not a one shot deal, not something that is true when we are skinny and are eating right, when we haven’t spent money we shouldn’t have, when we didn’t overdo it at the party last night and when we are generally feeling giddy about ourselves and our life. This is who God is, He loves His children unconditionally at all times and in all circumstances.

Remember in Ephesians it says that He wants us to grasp just how wide, how long, how high and how deep His love for us is. He wants us to know that He loves us in a way that surpasses our knowledge.

Period, Bam, end of story.

So where does this self-loathing, come from?

I want you to read a definition of what self –loathing means and to help you (ok me) to understand just how big of a deal this is. Self-loathing is more than just feeling negative about yourself.  To loath is to experience a strong dislike or disgust – an intense aversion and of and for one’s self.

To loath your “Self” is to hate yourself.

Is this ringing some bells yet? Who do you think grabs any foothold that He can see in our lives and takes residence? If you said Satan, you are right. If you are looking in the mirror and hating what you see, realize what you are seeing reflected back at you is a person that God created and loves with so much passion that we cannot begin to understand. Do you have any right to hate what God so lovingly and painstakingly created?

Unfortunately self-hate is very popular in our society but it is also very, very destructive spiritually. You think Satan doesn’t want us to hate ourselves, you are wrong. You are God’s artwork and of course Satan is going to go after you with all he has got.

Your entire quality of life is downgraded and Satan’s kingdom is strengthened when you fail to love yourself and when you fail to appreciate the person God so lovingly created.

Now does God want us to  spend money recklessly, to drink or eat to a point called gluttony? No He certainly does not. There are many scriptures that tell us that. God wants us to develop skills (with His help) to control our habits and to live in a way that brings glory to Him.

But let’s take one step at a time and let’s start with learning to love ourselves as the children of God we are. I believe that only then can we bring the bad habits under control.

Start from a position of absolute knowledge that you are loved. Instead of looking in the mirror and being filled with shame, look at the person gazing back at you with the same love that God has for you. You will then be in a much stronger position to go forth and control those passions that make you do the very things that you vowed you would never do.

The road to a healthier lifestyle does not have to be a steep incline that is torture and bound to make you quit sooner rather than later. The road to a healthier life should start by looking in the mirror and saying “hello beautiful, let’s have a great God filled day, the rest will fall into place.

Christ made you a new creature and you are no longer in bondage to sin. CLAIM IT!

Dottie

…………….and so I ride2673_1024x768

“My emptiness was filling me up”

HeartSunset.text_-300x265 That seems to be a complete catch 22 statement.

We mistake the feeling of emptiness as unhappiness, depression, emotional pain, incompleteness, despair or probably a lot of other things.

The thing about it is ……empty is empty. If we let it, emptiness can fill us to the point of agony. It is at that point that we try to fill that emptiness. It is a hole, it is a deficiency and it is crying to be filled, so we do.

Off we go on a journey to fill the void that is leaving us wanting something more. Food, work, frugs, alcohol, meddling, gossiping, clothes, the list is endless. The more we try to fill the emptiness the more it takes. No matter how much we do or how much we get, it is never enough to fill the emptiness.

It doesn’t take long to discover that the void we are trying to fill is a bottomless pit. It is a void that is very much like quicksand.

There is nothing that we can provide as humans that will fill that void. We look to earthly means of filling the void, instead of Jesus. Jesus is the only one who can look into our hearts and show us that He is the one and only thing that can effectively fill our deep emptiness.

I think that God made the emptiness in our hearts with for a specific reason, to be filled by Him and Him alone. Let the Lord our God lead you back to the only thing that can quench the thirst in your soul, let Him lead you back to the only thing that can fill the emptiness in your heart.

Fill me with Your promises and the power of Your love Father for that is the only cure that will last eternally.

Mother Teresa said it so well. “It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence”.

Dottie……………………..and so I ride.