Taking A Break
Don't worry, we'll be back! But The God Journey will be taking a brief hiatus. Wayne explains that for many reasons he is sensing a stirring in his heart that a change is in the wind for what he's been doing over the past seventeen years. To create the space to help sort out what that means will be taking a break from his regular postings here. Then he asks for help from God Journey audience with sorting out a definition of love worthy of the God who defines it. He offers three descriptive points to help get the discussion rolling. They are: (1) A wholehearted concern for someone's ultimate good, even at great personal cost. (2) A delighted affection for another without the need to control or manipulate. (3) A growing, ongoing engagement of knowing and being known. Join the discussion and feel free to add your thoughts, ideas, or edits in the comment section below.
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I have not listened to the podcast yet but if I am clear on the description you are asking for a little feedback and prayer. That in mind, here is what I do know about those two inexorably connected items of love and respect as the Lord has spoken them to me…
– Love is value
– Respect is the acknowledgement of free will. [not to be mistaken for esteem]
(Thus leadership is the influence of free will with others, not influence itself as we are taught)
Einstein discovered that energy is not just mass in motion, but that mass itself is energy well. The object and the object in motion describe two forms of energy. Similarly we know that Love is both a noun and a verb. If God is love, could we extrapolate that he is both value and that which values others? If so then there is not value in the universe without him. Indeed without him, I am nothing.
Just some thoughts from a bit of a mechanical perspective.
Wayne, I like your definitions. It resonates with what I’ve also learned from a Dallas Willard workshop on “How to Love Your Neighbor As Yourself”. . .
What love is: We love something when we are devoted to its good or well-being. This applies to God, our “neighbor,” our flower garden, or our bank account. Love is will-to-good. Not the same as desire. And not always directed rightly or ordered rightly. Love involves compassion.
A person of compassion is one who feels the needs of others. Com-passion. Compassion is not something that can be turned on and off like a water faucet. It is always on. It is a constant burden of life, which many people reject. It requires resources of personal strength and it requires wisdom in action. Loving your neighbor as yourself is a matter of who you are, not, primarily, of what you decide to do.
You can “afford” to be compassionate only if you know there is abundant compassion for you, toward you, by persons who have appropriate means. This is primarily God. “We love because he first loved us.” (I John 4:19) The perfect love of God toward us casts out fear. (vs. 18) Think of the role of fear in the “Good Samaritan” story! This is what allows us to set aside anger and lusting from our relationships to others.
I still love TSO’s definition:
“The wish for the happiness of another.”
David William Edwards
My apologies for sharing not as a long-time listener of the God Journey. I’ve only been here the last several months and missed the ‘glory days’ of the forum and the like. I will admit I have become a God Journey junkie with the archived podcasts, which is easy to do on my computer. All I have to do is open a folder from a particular year’s podcasts, click on ‘play all’, and voila! A constant stream!!
One of the disadvantages of not being here long is not being as far on the Journey as others, which means having to learn concepts that, to others, are like breathing. I realize many here have a doctorate on living loved. I’m still in elementary school. So, I’ll give an elementary answer to what I believe love is.
I think about how my earthly parents loved me. I call it, “Show and Tell”. My father showed me, my mother told me. Where I struggled for many years is not that my mother failed to show me, but my father failed to tell me. Then I came upon Romans 5:8, God shows His love for us in that when we were still sinners, Christ died for us. The greatest demonstration of love was an act, not a series of words. My earthly father loved me as if he were able to say “I love you”, but in every other way. It was through his life, just as God shows His love for Us through the life of His Son, Jesus.
Most people learn better when they are shown rather than when they are told. So it follows I learn to live loved being shown, not told.
What does it mean to lived loved? I think it’s separating who I think I am from who I really am and realizing who God says I am. It is realizing that God is in me, and that God is in every person I meet and every fiber of Creation. So understanding that all that exists is from God, and when I exist in God, I exist in Love, and I can be both an extension of that Love and give it where that Love directs me, but also a full and relaxed participant to receive Love without guilt, shame, or false humility.
Thanks for being the Catalyst of this conversation in the world. You mean a lot to me and many others. Enjoy your rest and time of listening. The shift you are experiencing is awesome.
Great to see you living out the lifestyle of being led by His Spirit and not just continuing to do the same old same old! Bravo! My wife & I are long time God Journey listeners and after 4-5 years I think we’re starting to get it 🙂 Sounds like you and Sarah are entering into some wonderful territory and I’m looking forward to hearing more.
We are working in an Asian setting (although I am a Westerner – from NZ) and I know Asians often think in terms of “both/and” rather than in the Western “either/or” paradigm.
So I would like to suggest a possible “both/and” mash-up option with your discussion on love as all three of the definitions that you posited are good. Here it is:
Love is –
An unfolding engagement of knowing and being known, where our affection for another grows into delight, without the need to control or manipulate and where we are concerned for their ultimate good even if it costs us a great deal personally.
I’m sure others can and will do better than this mash-up but there it is for what its worth.
Keep up the good work. Love it!
“To be shown” rings out clearly in: “Sermons We See” by Edgar Guest. 🙂
I’d rather see a sermon
than hear one any day;
I’d rather one should walk with me
than merely tell the way.
The eye’s a better pupil
and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing,
but example’s always clear;
And the best of all the preachers
are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action
is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it
if you’ll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action,
but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver
may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lessons
by observing what you do;
For I might misunderstand you
and the high advice you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding
how you act and how you live.
When I see a deed of kindness,
I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles
and a strong man stays behind
Just to see if he can help him,
then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful
as I know that friend to be.
And all travelers can witness
that the best of guides today
Is not the one who tells them,
but the one who shows the way.
One good man teaches many,
men believe what they behold;
One deed of kindness noticed
is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with men of honor
learns to hold his honor dear,
For right living speaks a language
which to every one is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me
with his eloquence, I say,
I’d rather see a sermon
than to hear one, any day.
Awesome, do as the Father leads ya!
Love is a mystery. This may sound counter productive in a discussion to define it, but it fits for me. It’s a complex soup of many layers that we get to swim in. I don’t experience love unless it moves into me and then cooperate with it by watching it change me in ways that expresses itself toward others. I know it by it (Love) not being me. It is defined for me in the tension of trying to live within the two greatest commandments of loving God and loving others. I do not know how to geniunely do either so I step into the mystery of trying (?). I hear love calling out to others inside of me and sometimes I try to express it to others but most times I just sense it and learn from it. It begins to change how I perceive others and my world. It also scares the hell out of me because it is so much bigger than me. Love is a way of moving through life in a way that invites me to more. Sometimes I get glimpses of why it is something worth dying for because it is so much more.
Blessings. Just keep following Him. Never met you but boy do I appreciate you. You have no idea how God has used you over the last few years to lead me into a greater realization of His love and freedom.
Take a break and enjoy those unforced rhythms of grace.
The most beautiful thing that thouched my heart the most ever where people with Jezus living in there heart and showing this without any need to control and with a freedom in accepting me as I am, giving from everything they had abundandly. They threathed me as a king.
That did me say in my heart- This is how I want to love people – that`s my new treasure I `ve being longing and looking for with everything that is in me.
I am willing to give al for this its the most important task in my life.
This is what people need.
Jezus showed the heart of the Father in everything He did.
I love the way how you showed love to me, and how this made me go on an other course of living life.
thank you so so much.
Enjoy your break Wayne & Sara !
Living loved, to me, is all about freedom. You’re free !! I’d rather listen to one podcast per year that really counts, than one per week done out of obligation (I do hope it’ll be more than that though 😉 ) This is a perfect example of truly trying to follow Father instead of other peoples’ expectations – great stuff !
For me, love is Jesus. To know what that is, I think we have to get to know him and have him live in us. Then we can experience his love and it passes on to others through us, without any effort from us. So simple.
Looking forward to seeing you again in October.
Thanks for passing on so much love around the world.
Take your time, Wayne. I totally understand being in a place where you feel God is at work, but you’re not sure what’s next. Be blessed. Spend time with your wife and just enjoy this part of the journey.
The break will do ‘God journey addicts’ (like me) good. Whenever I start to shake uncontrolably I’ll have to listen to a past podcast or something. Either that or take up smoking or something.
Or maybe I’ll just concentrate on my own journey with Jesus!
Hmm. Now there’s a thought…
I think its really exciting that you’re taking a break with Sara, instead of us churning stuff out like lots of other people do. I really like what another listener said about living loved and freedom. It’s about being free to be myself because I am accepted by a loving heavenly father and no matter what I do good or bad I am always accepted and loved. Its about knowing that he is with me everyday and delights in me in every way. I don’t have be scared anymore and I don’t have to impress him or anyone else anymore, in fact I can relax and really enjoy life and him, living loved. Wonderful stuff!!!
Enjoy yourselves 😀
I’ll miss you, but totally understand!
With regards to the question about what it means “to love,” …. I’m currently reading Jean Vanier. Here’s something he wrote that has stuck with me:
“In effect, to love is not primarily TO DO something for someone, but it is TO REVEAL to that person his or her value, not only through listening and tenderness, through love and kindness, but also through a certain competence and faithful commitment.”
Blessings to you both from cHaPeL hiLL, nC!!!
Wayne, I like your definitions of love. What I would add for myself is a faithful, safe, connection with someone that draws us together repeatedly, ‘making’ moments where eye/spirit contact alone opens the window of the soul both calling to and feeding that hunger we are designed with. Its the magic of life, feeling really alive and fully known.
Special Blessings on both you and Sarah!
and may I add, the absence of shame.
Right now I am quite angry with God and have not spoken to him in days.
Continuing my thoughts on “to be shown” and the “sermons we see” poem, I remember many years ago being up at Camp Cedar Crest, Wayne will know of this place near Big Bear, a guest speaker asked the question “What is a one word definition of Love?”. If that’s not the exact question, it’s very close. Anyways, he then proceeds to write in big letters the word “TIME”. To be continued in future postings. . .
Thanks for sharing that beautiful rendition of SOTR and Wayne’s thoughts on prayer…So good!!!
“I’ve come to regard prayer not so much as to how I get God to do what I want, but a process by which I can discover what God is doing in the circumstances of my life. Those are the prayers God always answers and by involving us he transforms us in the process.”
Above quote is from Wayne’s article “Beyond Prayer Requests“:
When I discovered that Love is a person, that ended all the confusion and mystery for me. I can’t define a person because when I reach that satisfactory definition, I’ve got a box in which to place the person. Sounds like you’re looking for the box in which to place your God and there is no box big enough to hold Him or anyone for that matter. The whole end of everything is to rest and receive, not to define or judge.
Can’t wait to hear about your journey with Sarah and will be looking for your next podcast.
I love you both – just receive my love.
I love how honest you are. It’s okay to be angry at Papa(God).
You’re welcome Judy.
Tina, I agree with what Hannah shared. It is okay. . .
“O Lord, God Most High, may we continue to take risks with You. You are the safest One to whom we can express our anger. Thank Lord. You are King for ever and ever. We belong to You. You hear our rage. You accept our outcry, our tears and our silence. You are with us and will never forsake us. Amen!”
(Above prayer was adapted and abridged.)
In the above prayer, “Thank Lord” should have been “Thank You Lord”. 🙂
As I awoke the other morning, about a week ago, I had these words running through my head and knew I had to write them down
Gods love is not a concept to know, but a reality our Father desires his children to live in. Just thought I would put it out there as this statement is very pertinent to where Father has bought me.
I love acronyms and the English language has so many words to choose from
L iberty – Love has to be offered and received freely, no strings attached, no manipulation. God loves us and we are free to accept or reject his love. God longs for us to love him back and we are free to do it or decide against it.
O pportunity – Love is not only the “big things” like livelong commitment in marriage or as parants, love is to be visible in the small things – opportunities to love, see them, maybe even “create” them. One thing that constantly amazes me as I’m on this journey of living loved is how much Father shows his love to me in tiny details of my life, tenderly supporting me in decisions I have to take, in moments I feel overwhelmed, stressed – never pushing me, never disappointed that I’m not further along on the journey, just quietly loving me one step at a time, one opportunity at a time…
V ulnerability – Love for me has a lot to do with openness, the risk to be seen, to be known – human relationships have taught me that this is dangerous, it can be painful…. and yet if we do not open our heart, risking the pain, we’ll never be touched by love, either by Father or other humans. Yes, we are clumsy and hurt others and are hurt, but the only heart hat never gets hurt is made of stone and impenetrable to love as well (C.S. Lewis paraphraded)
E xpectancy – not expectation, a list of things to be done by the other, but expectancy, the acceptance of the fact that love is alive, changing (itself, me and the other) – of course God never changes, but our perception, or understanding of how awesome he really is.. I like what Wayne said about the cave and the meadow, after 37 years of a great marriage still discovering new things, new depth… can’t wait for that podcast and that visit to Switzerland!
Thank you Wayne for sharing. I’m very excited of what is going on your life. It’s such a encouragement for us aswell!
Best wishes on your upcoming monastic journey. Anthony headed out into the alkaline desert region for 13 years. But you’ll have to learn to eat local insects doused in honey. Who knows, maybe you’ll skip pursuing a deeper definition of agape and reemerge as the next Pope and start a new IC.
Just wanted to drop a quick note to say how thankful I am to hear from someone a little further down the trail. I’ll miss the weekly encouragement but I’m stoked that you’re taking a break. I plan on coming back here and joining in on the conversation when I’ve got a little more time. Thanks again, Wayne.
I agree with Joan Clay, defining love is to box God. Maybe from a human perspective we can define love but it would always be incomplete and lack full meaning and disclosure. I suppose to try and be as conclusive as possible, love includes all the traits of God that we’re aware of and that we’re not aware of. Reading scripture should reveal some of God’s unfathomable personality that we’re aware of (though we sometimes do not comprehend the enormity of it). The unknown aspects? Well, we’ll have to live them out with the Author of Love who defined Himself as Love. The only way we can safely define Love would be to have Him reveal Himself to us. Then, despite all, we’ll also only be able to document what is truly disclosed to us, as did the authors of scripture. I suppose our journey through life is a written progressive unveiling of the definition of Love. Happy hunting!!
A working definition of love..
Like everyone else, Wayne, I will truly miss you while you’re gone, but I am excited for you and Sara for this next season of your journey with Father. It is so very wonderful when He is doing something new in our lives.
I have been thinking about the definition of love since you posted this (and really for years). Your first definition probably comes the closest to describing it for me. (Tho’ this side of glory, I don’t think we can truly understand all the aspects of it as we “see through a glass darkly.’) For me, there is such a huge difference between ‘affection’ and ‘love’. The former can certainly be a part of love, but it falls so short of encompassing all that love is.
We are so blessed that we have such a wonderful example, if not definition, of love in our Father, and Savior, and our Helper.
GOD bless you as you walk with Him.
Continuing my thoughts on “to be shown”, the “Sermons We See” poem and the word “TIME” from Camp Cedar Crest.
From Foreigner’s “I Want To Know What Love Is” lyrics.
I gotta take a little time
A little time to think things over
I better read between the lines
In case I need it when I’m older
I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what love is
I know you can show me
Wayne’s three descriptive points:
(1) A wholehearted concern for someone’s ultimate good, even at great personal cost.
(2) A delighted affection for another without the need to control or manipulate.
(3) A growing, ongoing engagement of knowing and being known
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” John 13:34-35 The Message (MSG)
“Jesus made disciples the rabbinic way. Of all the cultures and time periods that God could’ve sent His Son to earth during, God sent Jesus into a rabbi/disciple system. A rabbi had a small group of students (disciples). . .Jesus had 12 students He spent three years with. At the end of the three years, Jesus and His disciples stood on a mountain as He was about to ascend into heaven. In His last words on earth, Jesus told them to go make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). . .
It’s easy for us to let programs and events keep us from multiplying disciples through relationships. I once told a friend that I care deeply about multiplying disciples. To which he asked me: “Does how you spend your time reflect that?” My calendar was full of a lot of good stuff—events, meetings, large group times—but it wasn’t set up to allow me the time to relationally invest in students. . .” (Adapted and abridged from an online article.)
Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed. Matthew 4:19 The Message (MSG)
Information about love is good but the demonstration of love is much better. That takes an investment of TIME. How to do this in our modern day life? What does it look like? Who will show us? Awe! Those are some questions at hand. 🙂
Seems to me the bible has the best description of love.
1 Cor. 13:4-8 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
I like to read it and replace the word Love with God. When I try to insert my name in there, I have to laugh (or cry) because it’s just not what is true about me; my flesh that is. When I do reflect these virtues, it’s only when I’m trusting His ways over mine and therefore dying to me and opening up the pathway for Him (Love) to live through me.
Hi Wayne…I’ve been listening for 2 almost 3 years. I echo what some of the others have said where although I’ve never met you, (or Brad or the others) the conversations I’ve been able to listen to, the writing you’ve done has impacted me. I recognize that this is the work of Father and I deeply appreciate your focus on “it’s not me….it’s Father wanting a relationship with YOU” when we (out of deep need and complex dynamics) want to focus on you and your perspective. Thanks for pointing us back to Jesus and His walk with us. Thank you for the encouragement offered as you give us a glimpse into what God is doing in your life and in Sara’s life. This allows us to see you modelling the walk you’ve talked about and the integrity you show in letting us see “where you’re at”. It reinforces for me that as God also puts His hands on my “coping mechanisms” that I can relax and let Him lead as healing is done in places that are broken. That my “rushing” simply is no longer necessary. Blessings, Sue
I ran across this encouraging quote today. 🙂
“Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way we like to dream about. The off center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don’t get caught and we can open our hearts and minds beyond limits. It’s a very tender, non aggressive, open ended state of affairs.” Richard Rohr
I think that love, at it’s most basic, is valuing someone as a person; that is, valuing who they are over what they do, have, know, look like, or any other whats. Love is intensely personal (and hence mysterious?). Love is not a relationship or an action in itself, but may form the basis of these.
Consider the good Samaritan.
Consider God valuing us for who we are, with what we do etc being of much less importance to Him. Continually blows me away!
Many thanks, Wayne and Sarah, for what you have done and are doing. Seriously appreciated here in my part of Oz!
Wayne, Brad, their wives and others who have joined them along the way; I don’t believe that any of them or any of us can really comprehend the true value and importance of the God Journey message. Words just are not available. I can just thank you enough for sharing it all with us.
About the homework thing; When God is Love, then it is easy to understand that anyone would strugglel at finding some definitions to bolster that. The three offered are certainly parts of the infinite of it all. But while I was visiting home again in the US last month, I found the second one to be really “right on” in what was happening with people I saw and was around. It defines exactly every second of my visit, with family, friends, and everyone else. Again, words fail in me in any way to describe that microcosam any better than the number 2 definition. 1 and 3 were certainly also there.
I believe that I am realizing more and more that it IS truly a journey, and one unlike any other I have ever been on. A beginning part of that is being overwhelmed with the thought of God as Father. What an idea to try to get my head around!!!
Wayne… journey on, bro! As others have shared, you are seriously appreciated. But we aren’t robots. Enjoy the pause.
I believe love is a Power that comes from God. I think anytime humans try to conjure it up on their own there is a seed of selfishness in it. For God to declare that he is love shows that it is no trivial thing. For me when I think of love, I instantly think of the verses from John 17 when Jesus is praying for all those who will believe in him through the word: “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us. … that they may be one just as We are one. … I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one.” I believe that we really come to know what love is when we, through the power of Jesus, are able to receive all that others are and to share with them all that we are. When the power of God, which is love, flows between two or more people, there are no earthly words to explain it. The closest I can come to it is to say that love is when the union of peoples lives becomes focused on what God is doing in them collectively and individually. When we realize that through Christ we are all connected. That what we do and how we feel affects the whole body to some degree or another.
I so appreciate that you and Sara are taking some time away from busy schedules, deadlines, and other distractions to be open and more focused on what ever God is doing in your lives. To let Him develop in you what will bring about His glory. The God Journey has played a Huge role in my coming to understand God’s immense and complete love for me individually and also His love for others. I am anxious to see where He leads us all in the near future. Your being open to His direction has blessed my life, and I will always be greatful for that. I look forward to new adventures that involve you and Sara in some way.
The single thought I had about love while you were discussing it was that love is “sharing with you the good I perceive in me.”
One of the things I discovered about you early on is the way you try and listen for the whisper of God to lead you on your journey. Thank you for inspiring us to be inspired. After listening to this short cast, I didnt have to think long about your bullets before revelation came. The reason for this is because recently God called one of His saints home that I had the privaledge of being loved by. This beautiful woman whom I will call Ms Janean, had the gift of being able to make everyone she came in contact with feel as if they were the most important thing around and that they were special to her. This saint fought a couragous and sometimes painful battle with camcer, and although she was going through the things she was going through, she never once complained about her circumstances. I unfortunatly didn’t get to see mama Janean the last couple of months of her life but for those who did, they told story after story about how when the came into mama Janean’s presence she only wanted to know how they were doing and then she would ask about the people in their families were doing, calling each one by name. Ms Janean had an uncanny ability to remember peoples name, birthdays, past illnesses, anniversaries, childrens names etc. Her husband shared how Ms Janean would get up before the crack of dawn every morning and read the word and pray for hundreds. At her memorial service hundreds upon hundereds of people came to pay honor to a Jesus legacy life lived out by this incredible woman. At one point during the service someone asked for all of those who Ms Janean had personally and intimately been touched by Ms Janean to stand, it says a lot when no one is sitting down. With Ms Janean it didnt matter what color you were or what ethinic origin you were, she loved everyone the same and you never left her not be better for it. Ms Janean never met a stranger and she had a way of believing in you in such a way that it didnt take long before you believed you could be who she said you were. Ms Janean always had an encouraging scripture and she welded it with a velvet sword delivering it with such love and concern that it rarely hurt. At her memorial service the were multiple denomonations represented and numerous churchs, but this was an occassion when it seemed that everyone just seemed to forget all that, it was like the love that Ms Janean Jesus legacy covered it all up. With Ms Janean Love was patient, it was kind, it was never boastful, it was never self serving, it was always about the other person. The pharisees asked Jesus once what was the greatest commandment and we all know how He answered them. If I hear you correctly I think this is kind of what we are all being asked, How can we fullfill the greatest commandment of loving God with all of your mind, strenth and soul, and how can you love your neighbor as He loved us. I didnt leave the memorial by the way feeling like I needed ti immitate Ms Janean, I left there feeling like I wanted to immitate Jesus in His ability to love others therefore leaving a Jesus legacy one day of my own.
Those verses where “Jesus, seeing his ministry drawing huge crowds, withdrew” sort of ring in my ears, counter cultural to what people now adays expect from those who are onto something.
I’m an analytical guy, I too like definitions of what something is so I can then classify it and then use that to classify other stuff (people, emotions, ideas, books etc) as either in the same ilk or different. Here I am stumped. I am at a place where I just want to enjoy living loved, not define it as I am not sure why I need to do that? I have missed stuff in the past I reckon because I have tried to define my emotions, or more sadly, someone elses, instead of just enjoying it. To be honest I have always asked myself, when will this love (or emotion) end? Should I define it so I know it has ended or help to keep it going? What if I fall into error, a good definition will help me to get back on track! I’m trying to let go and just receive.
My daughter doesn’t want a definition of my love, she just wants to experience it and enjoy it, to live in it. Maybe the definition is as much in the result as it is in the intent?
For me I am enjoying the emotion of acceptance & delight my Father has for me, the constant presence of my Father God even if it doesn’t feel that way. This has effects on not only me but others around me, either to really tick them off or invite them into a conversation.
For a while I have been asking myself “why would I want to invite someone into a relationship with God that I currently experience?” As I find myself enjoying his love more rather than trying to define it that question gets easier to answer, or not actually answer but the quesiton kind of dis-appears.
Some concluding and ongoing thoughts on our subject at hand. This excerpt is from Wayne’s recent article “Knowing and Living”:
“I meet a lot of people on this journey who are staunch advocates for the “love message” or “grace message”. They can espouse the theory well enough, but they have no idea how to live a life of loving and it’s obvious in the way they treat others. Instead of being honest, gracious and, well… loving, they treat people harshly, especially those who might disagree with them. Then I know, they’ve just jumped on a bandwagon. In the end it’s just a message to them, one they may be genuinely believe, but one they haven’t begun to learn to live.
The world’s bandwidth is filled with people who have opinions and theories they want to force on others. What the world needs is people who will live differently, who love others without trying to exploit them for their own ministry or their own gain. They don’t just expound the theory, but live radically as those who put others above themselves, care for people who hurt or are in need, and demonstrate that love is not a theology but a way of life. When you love that way, the world opens up to you. And you learn it not on outreaches to strangers or speaking to crowds, but by laying your life down for the people closest to you–your spouse, your neighbors and your co-workers.
And I’m glad we have an older brother who fully lived love in this world, tempted in every way like we are and yet found the Father’s love the greatest reality to embrace. We can fully entrust our lives to him and learn from him what he knows so well. That’s how his joy lives in us, and our joy becomes full.” Wayne Jacobsen
“Words are the vehicle, but eventually there is a point in the journey where you have to part the vehicle and walk the rest of the way.” Anonymous
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Grace for all of us,
Nomad Dave 🙂
Enjoy your break, and the extra time it will give you to connect with that most special person in your life. I know a lot more goes into producing a podcast of this quality than just punching the “Record” button, and I’m sure it’s time-consuming. Honestly I don’t know how you manage to pull it off week after week. Please know that I and many others are grateful the effort, even as we understand your need to take some distance from it for a season.
As for a definition of love: I’m not sure if I can fit one worthy of God Himself into this comment box 🙂 but I do believe the ultimate goal of love is oneness. That’s not much of a definition, but maybe it is the destination.
Blessings on you and Sara as you take this time to deepen your relationship together, and discover what God has in store next.
My heart resonated with the experience of love described in the link above.
Wow, reading the above comments seems to indicate that love keeps on getting bigger and bigger, it seems indescribable. Everytime I was reading the above I thought, yep that too, and this too, and also that…
When i enjoy Love is when I am not aware of it, it just is, it just is. I enjoy it because when later you think about it, my heart feels light, and a smile is on my face and I think, That was fun!
This will be inadequate but it’s what I have so far: Love is; having a high regard for someone’s well being and taking the time to go the extra mile by their side, not out of commitment but out of the overflow Father placed in your heart.
I probably shouldn’t do this but hey, when the cat is away, the mice will play. Also, I think it is in keeping with the theme of the God journey; i.e. open dialog. So here goes: I am struggling on how to view suffering with respect to a relational Father. One site I was at recently claimed Satan was the one who caused it all. They were on a similar page that God is only good and that it wasn’t necessarily because of sin. It was basically that Satan was just a full time bad dude. I don’t know if this bad dude even exists anymore (after being out of the IC for a while), but if he does I can’t conceive of a loving Father letting some enemy in to take shots at His kids especially after the cross (just my opinion).
Back to my question, does anyone have some thoughts from their life experiences in tying in the idea of living loved and suffering? This is an honest question and thanks in advance.
Quote, “Back to my question, does anyone have some thoughts from their life experiences in tying in the idea of living loved and suffering?”
“One must live in the middle of contradiction, because if all contradiction were eliminated at once, life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life an expression of leaning into the light.” Barry L.
“Our limited perspective is the problem here. We only see what’s here. Scripture says there is much wisdom in realizing that our time in this age is like the morning dew on the grass. It is brief in the grand scheme of things. It is not the whole thing, only a bit.” Wayne Jacobsen
May I also recommend slowly reading, taking your time not rushing through, three articles by Wayne Jacobsen in the order given. May God bless your journey.
“Lessons from the Rubble” November 2001:
“Living in Two Worlds” February 2004:
“The Power of Living In Love” June 2008:
“All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get
a full measure of that, too.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 The Message
Hi Nomad Dave: Thanks for the information, although 2 Cor 1:3-5 has definitely not been my experience so far. I’ll check out the lifestream articles you listed.
I’ve been thinking some more about defining love and it seems to me that we can talk about love but finding a finite definition is a bit like trying to fence love in. If we managed to do that we would probably lose the very essence of what we were trying to define in the first place, if you see what I mean !
Anyway, it all made me think of an old John Denver song called “Perhaps Love”. When I first heard it (1982) I didn’t know Father, so it’s been a revelation for me to hear it again now. I don’t know if John Denver was a Christian but this song really struck me at the time and has come back to me, so many years later, with new meaning :
Perhaps love is like a resting place
A shelter from the storm
It exists to give you comfort
It is there to keep you warm
And in those times of trouble
When you are most alone
The memory of love will bring you home
Perhaps love is like a window
Perhaps an open door
It invites you to come closer
It wants to show you more
And even if you lose yourself
And don’t know what to do
The memory of love will see you through
Oh, Love to some is like a cloud
To some as strong as steel
For some a way of living
For some a way to feel
And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go
And some say love is everything
And some say they don’t know
Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict, full of pain
Like a fire when it’s cold outside
Thunder when it rains
If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you
Which brings me back to saying God is love, love is God and he’s way too big for us to define in human terms. That doesn’t stop us enjoying trying to though !!
Love to you all
Diane – enjoying living loved, whatever that may be, it feels good !
Love evokes beauty. It brings out the best in the other.
“Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness.” Eph 5:25-28 The Message
That’s what I see the Jesus of the gospels doing time and again.
Hi Jim, you’re welcome. “And all we ever were. . .”
Pressing Onward by David Morsey
Pressing onward to th’ eternal portals;
Struggling with life;
Reaching out for that to which their soul may cling.
A moment of pleasure,
A moment of pain,
A moment of purpose;
And then—to wing!
And all we ever were
Is in the hands of God.
Thank you for prioritizing your wife, Sara, and this season the two of you are entering. It is exciting to hear how Father is continuing to draw the both of you together after 37 years. Growing into deeper relationship is mysterious and FUN! When we’re free to expose more and more of ourselves to one another (without fear or shame), all involved receive a beautiful gift.
Speaking of gifts, thank you for nearly 400 podcasts over the past few years. You, Brad, and your families have lived sacrificially to bring increasing health into the Body of Christ. I thank the LORD for your spiritual giftedness and the unique gift of your ministry.
To God be the Glory!
Love You Brother,
You come to love not by finding the perfect person but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly…
Great post Diane! 🙂
“Perhaps Love” (Adapted and Abridged)
“Perhaps God is like a window
Perhaps an open door
He invites us to come closer
He wants to show us more
And even if we lose ourselves
And don’t know what to do
The loving hand of God
will help to see us through”
You guys probably know that I’m really not one for beautiful poems, sayings etc (too high in carbohydrates for me). So I went out to look for one on the internet so that I could include one too. Found this one on the FBN site which was quoted from Rabbi Allan:
People are looking in the wrong places.
God is the still small voice within.
God is the voice of compassion,
the light of love,
the expression of kindness,
the seeking of peace,
the humility in one’s soul.
God is found at the edge of suffering,
in the presence of purpose,
in the loss of fear,
in the endless quest for goodness,
in the expression of caring,
in the presence of healing,
in the longing for wholeness,
in the discovery of oneself.
God is present in the endless striving for what is right and what is just,
and in the search for truth.
God is alive in a baby’s cry, a person’s laugh, and in the never-ending
life force igniting the road ahead.
May God’s presence be manifest in all of us.
Oh my, Wayne, where to start. I believe I need to give you a bit of an overview of my journey to give you an idea of the path that led to where I am now.
The God Journey touches on things that have been a God-thread weaving through my life. Born into a traditional Presbyterian Church, moved into a Presbyterian Church [at 12] that moved into the Charismatic movement, which, as you can imagine, caused years of upheaval.
The catalyst God used to move us in that direction was the pastor’s son developing cancer in one of his legs. A close Presby-pastor friend of the pastor was talking to him about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the miracles they were seeing and experiencing. So our pastor moved in that direction. My parents and I moved with him because a neuromuscular condition began developing in my body [at 14] and ended me up in a wheelchair at 16-17, a power w’chair at 38.
The idea that God heals today was mind blowing. I dragged my poor mother all over the country to healing conferences and inner healing gatherings. One day, a friend said to me, “Carole, you’ve got God by the throat in your life and He can’t move…” Three years later, I came to where I could hear and surrender to that truth.
He brought me to acceptance of my physical disability as His instrument in my life. It brought back memories of sitting in church services when I was 12 singing “Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee…” with every fiber of my being longing for that very thing. Every hymn that sang that type of prayer resonated in me… In the following years, Ian Thomas, Watchman Nee, Andrew Murray, T. Austin Sparks and others struck a chord in me that is alive and well today, almost 60 years later: Christ in me, me in Christ, He the Vine, me the branch.
Isn’t this the essence and source for your “love worthy of the God who defines it”? The life of God’s Vine flowing through me, His branch, as me. Isn’t that the only love that is truly love? To me, it fits right in with your “Relax into Jesus.”
It sounds so simple – and very likely is BUT…
Thanks for sharing Carole. For me the story of your journey speaks volumes.
Thank you, Jim, for your response. I knew The God Journey is on hiatus but that same notice went on to say “Then he asks for help from God Journey audience with sorting out a definition of love worthy of the God who defines it.” The latter is what I was responding to…
Wayne, when you get back, you could gather up all your thoughts and write a follow up to Rick Warren’s “A Purpose Driven Life”. You could call it “The Purposelessness Of A Driven Life”. -Just a thought in case you get bored 😉
Carole, for me your post brought up an interesting aspect of love – i.e. the relationship between love and pain/suffering. The cross scenario seems to link the two, or maybe I’m just crazy. In any case, I think your comment adds a dimension to the love definition – but hey don’t trust a crazy guy’s thoughts.
Not crazy at all, Jim. Just reflecting the Cross and Jesus’ sacrificial love. Thank you…
God already gave us the definition of Love and named him Jesus! In my experience getting to know Jesus IS the joyous journey. It draws me out of my fears into his heart. I’m learning to see others as beautiful because he sees me that way. My security is in Jesus’ personal love for me…and no longer in my accomplishments. Jesus really is the heart and soul of our Faith…the cause of our joy!
to live in love simply meens to CARE FOR , for god so cared for the world that he gave himself personaly for us .(IT)
Love “Defined”: perhaps Lavish Affection & Delight is the core, and everything else radiates from that.
God is Love. I have been chewing on this for a long time, asking God what it means, seeking to understand love. Some things have come into focus for me:
If God is love then He is love to His very core, all He does and says is love, there is nothing coming from Him that does not contain love. Where love is God is, where love is absent God is absent.
I have written 1 Cor 13 as if God were speaking to me:
My Child I am patient with you and kind to you.
I don’t act enviously or boastfully towards you.
I am not arrogant or rude towards you.
I do not seek to have my way at your expense, but I consider you.
You do not provoke me to anger.
I do not keep account of your mistakes.
I do not rejoice in unrighteousness but I rejoice with the truth in you.
I bear all things for you.
I believe all things for you.
I hope all things for you.
I endure all things for you.
I will never fail you.
Also I discovered that there is knowledge and discernment in love that can we can grow in. (philip 1:9)
Love is a verb 🙂
Love is something you do for the benefit of someone else, so that they can gain something good by it, so that they can be blessed, built up, set free, restored or any other good thing you can think of.
Love is the purposeful consideration of another expressed through kindness, forgiveness, patience, humility, respect, etc.
Dear brothers I believe that you all have chosen a proper path , and will do well by it . there are no absolutes other than being in the Spirit and following after HIM . I,m one of those people that would like to give of my energy $$$ please contact me as to how and where yours truly dave harder