Pieces: A Glimpse of Perfect Love

Spotify is a wonderful means of listening to music. Full of curated playlists for different moods, environments, and needs, Spotify has music for just about everything. I have made myself a good handful of playlists for different things. I have many different playlists for the Dungeons & Dragons games, I have classic rock mixes, I have big band classics, and I have many worship playlists which usually fill my commute to work and school with endless praise. One song in particular has caught my attention and has brought me to a place to reflect upon the nature of love. That song, which this post is titled after (Pieces by Amanda Cook), is profoundly touching as it highlights the perfect, unfailing love of God.

Growing older and having been privy through observation witnessing friends, family experience the pitfalls of our broken world. From deep hurts of chasing others, games being played with emotions, cheating, divorce, and the like, I’ve and so many others have seen or experienced the pitfalls of our shortcomings. The effects of sin, which broke creation, have corrupted the very pure, purposeful need for love and affection that we all desire. From the time we are born, our mothers, hopefully, have shown us affection. Our fathers, hopefully, have instilled in us a love that is seen in confidence and leadership. We rely on our friends to build us up and share in life with one another. But no matter how seemingly perfect, seemingly innocent the love we experience in this life, it is never complete. There is always something lacking. The failures of human love are seen throughout scripture. David sent a man to his death so that he may sleep with his wife, Samson was betrayed by the Delilah, Able was killed by Cain because of jealousy, and Jonah condemned an entire people to God’s wrath. While there are many more examples in the Bible, the few listed here show the depravity of sin and how it has ruined our ability to fully love one another. However, there is one example of love that has stood throughout time, giving testimony toward God. That is God’s love and his desire to reconcile us back to himself.

From the time Adam and Eve sinned and were cast out of Eden, God moved to bring his creation back into his fold. Beginning with Abraham, God made a covenant to make a nation out of Abraham’s descendants. Then God found favor in Noah, who was righteous and kept God’s commands, and made a covenant to never again flood the earth. Next, God made a covenant with David, to make him a king, and that his descendants would always sit on the throne of the nation God promised to Abraham. Finally, God made the New Covenant. A promise to his people that there would be one to restore Israel back into God’s design. All of the covenants God made were purposeful to bring not only Israel back into his fold, but all of creation. These covenants were preparing the way for Jesus, who would be the fulfillment of God’s perfect love for us!

Y’all, God loves you more than you could ever comprehend! The depths of his love are unfathomable! Before you or I ever walked this earth, he knew us and loved us! Furthermore, God sent his son Jesus, who was and is fully man and fully God and lived a life without sin so that he may die on a cross, a cross made of his own creation, so that you and I may return to the design God had in store for us. I cannot think of a more perfect, unfailing example of love than that. That God loved us so much, that he made a means for us to return to him. Additionally, it is not happenstance that God’s relationship to his people is described as a bride and groom. Where the shortcomings of our ability to love are apparent, God’s love abundantly reveals the inherent perfection that can only be found with him. So this is where the song Pieces returns to the fold.

Amanda Cook’s song is haunting to me for many reasons, and it, in deep reflection, rends my heart having some insight into the pain that some I know have experienced. Yet, her song is a triumphant declaration of the perfection of God’s love for us. Below are the lyrics to Pieces:


Unreserved, unrestrained, Your love is wild. Your love is wild for me.
It isn’t shy, its unashamed. Your love is proud to be seen with me.
You don’t give your heart in pieces. You don’t hide yourself to tease us.
Uncontrolled, uncontained, you love is a fire burning bright for me.
It’s not just a spark, its not just a flame, your love is a light that all the world will see.
That all the world will see
You don’t give your heart in pieces. You don’t hide yourself to tease us.
You don’t give your heart in pieces. You don’t hid yourself to tease us.
Your love not fractured, its not a troubled mind.
It isn’t anxious, Its not the restless kind.
Your love’s not passive, Its never disengaged, Its always present.
Its hang on every word we say.
Love keeps it promises. It keeps its word. It honors what’s sacred cause its vows are good.
Your love not broken. Its not insecure. Your love not selfish. Your love is pure.
You don’t give your heart in pieces. You don’t hid yourself to tease us. 
You don’t give your heart in pieces. You don’t hid yourself to tease us.
You don’t give your heart in pieces. You don’t hid yourself to tease us.

Take note of the language used by Cook and take note of who she is describing in this song. Much is steeped within the short and simple frames of this song. I am not sure why, but this song breaks my heart. It resonates with me for some inexplicable reason. Perhaps I feel the depravity of sin within myself, or perhaps I see my own shortcomings. Either way, I am awed by how simply yet extensively the simple words reveal the extent of God’s love for myself and the rest of creation.
The word choice throughout the song is purposeful. “Unreserved. Unrestrained. Your love is wild. Your love is wild for me.” God’s love is not held back, it’s not kept at bay. And the idea of wild has many different connotations. I view it like that of a wild, feral animal. Thanks to the rise of new film techniques and camera equipment, we’ve been able to see the fierce, ferociousness of nature thanks to programs like Planet Earth and other such documentaries. The wilderness can be an unforgiving place. Particularly because of the unrestrained instincts of animals. In the same view that nature is unrestrained in its wildness, God’s love is similarly displayed. Nothing stands in the way of God’s love! He does not hold it back, nor does he distribute it unevenly. It is wild, feral in it’s nature. Not in a negative or destructive way, but in a way that it lets nothing separate itself from us.
It isn’t shy, its unashamed. Your love is proud to be seen with me.” The opening stanza gives hint to a dichotomy, it is here in the second stanza where the dichotomy fully, at least for me, hits home. The dichotomy between the love between people and between God and us. I cannot help but see the lines Cook draws between the two, particularly in the context of the romantic relationship. Now, I must give some context as to my position and the lacking experience I have in this area. However, thanks to the power of observation, I am able to have some insight into the pitfalls and dangers of romantic love in our current society. God’s love is not shy. It does not remove itself from us. As with the opening stanza, this idea of shyness conveys that God’s love does not hide itself from us or from others around us. Additionally, God’s love is unashamed. The idea of unashamed conveys that love, particularly God’s love is not ashamed of us, of our failures, or of our sinfulness. God’s love transcends our sin, and seeks to speak to us.
Unfortunately, for our humanly relationships, it is possibly for our significant others to be ashamed of us. To be ashamed of ours (and theirs) shortcomings. Thus revealing the lacking, the brokenness in our ability to love. Combined, the idea of God’s love being unreserved, unrestrained, unashamed all culminate in the next phrase. God’s love is proud to be seen with us. Frankly, this is demonstrated in scripture, and gives us a sense of the depth God has gone to show us his goodness, his perfect love. You see, Christ lived with, broke bread with, and walked among sinners. Christ did not hide himself from people, nor did he hide his love from the sinners he sought to teach. The same occurs for us. God has not hidden himself from us. God has sent his son to walk among us, sent his spirit to teach us.
The chorus really tears me to shreds as it highlights the selfish nature of mankind. The majority of ‘love’ that we experience from others, from strangers, is given out purely to suit their wants and needs. Our, or rather my, generation plays games, plays with love in an inappropriate way. We give people we’re interested in just enough to get their attention, then they hide. They remove themselves from us, causing doubt and self consciousness in those who’s are left to guess why they the other person has, as the slang term goes, ghosted them. Romantic relationships today have become a game of cat and mouse, where one person, and from my observation is typically men, give enough interest and pieces of their hearts to get the other person interested, before hiding away to see whether or not they will chase after them. Pure selfishness is displayed, and it only leads to a more toxic relationship and a depreciation of self worth. However, God is not like this. His love is not like this. It is fully given to us, it is not broken. It is not given out in bits and pieces, and God does not tease us with the hope of love. God has freely given his love to us which is displayed by Christ! We’re not left to question God because he has left us. We don’t have to second guess God for loving us. We’re not played with by God. God affirms our worth and instills confidence in us! So ladies, never forget your pricelessness! You are precious to God, and his love is perfect in every way! Find yourself in God, find your worth in him! He will not fail you!
Cook builds this concept even more as the song continues, God’s love is described as a fire, being uncontrolled, un-contained! Recently, California has been subjected to devastating wildfires! The images of the fires are unprecedented, and as such show not only the power of nature, but also provide a visible, tangible illustration of God’s love. Cause really y’all, its impossible to fully understand and appreciate God’s love for us! It’s wild! How am I even capable of writing about it, let alone understanding it? God’s love being described like a fire is different than the ways in which we describe romantic love between people. Typically, described as a spark or a flame. Something short lasting and gone in a few moments! How depressing is that? To think of love as a spark or a flame that briefly appears before disappearing forever. However, like a wildfire which burns for week and even months, God’s love has not ceased for any period of time. From the time creation was made, to the time that Christ returns, God’s love for us has not changed. It has not ended! God’s love burns, as Cook described, for the world to see!
You see, many of the romantic relationships people engage in are quickly gone after a few weeks or a few months. They’re focus is solely on one another. Passion is fleeting and quickly gone. We’re left wanting for something more substantial. Something lasting. In this age of hookups and one night stands, we must be careful of remembering the weight and worth of ourselves to God. His love, unlike ours, is not faulty. His love ought to be on display for others. A beacon to call others into something bigger than the selfish desires we attempt to fill by taking what we want from others.
God’s love is not fractured, it’s not troubled. It is not anxious, its not restless. Here a different distinction is made which I think reveals the faults of our ability to love. We, because of sin, are broken creatures. We have doubts, we have fear, we are anxious about what our partners are feeling, thinking. Will they leave us? Are they satisfied in the relationship that we have? Because of our selfishness, its easy for us to get what we want out of a relationship and move on because we’ve become restless. We’ve become bored. We seek what we do not have, and what someone else will give us because our current relationship is not scratching that itch. It’s a devastating thought to think that we’re so broken that even our ability to love is faulty… However, as believers, we have an example of what true, perfect love embodies. God’s love is not fractured, it is not affected by sin. It is not troubled, it has no hesitation to be around us sinners. It is not anxious, nor is it restless. God’s love is relentless in its pursuit of us. It seeks us out, searches for us. God’s love is exactly everything that we lack.
God’s love is not passive, its not disengaged. It hangs on every word we say. All I can really say is wow! Wow! Y’all, how perfectly is this described and illustrated. I can think of a handful of occurrences where I’ve seen couples out on a dates where they’re both engaged solely with their phones, with minimal attention paid to one another. Worse, is when one person is seeking the attention of the other, but their partner is totally engrossed in social media. God’s love is not like this, at all. We’re too valuable to God for his love to be passive. If it were, we’d have no understanding of what love is! It’s attention is intently trained on us, it is eager to hear from us. It seeks us out, seeks to hear our hearts, our desires, our needs. God’s love is present every time, all the time! We’re not left abandoned, left wanting! Even when we choose to run, it is right there behind us ready to take us back into God’s presence.
God’s love keep its promises, which can be seen in the covenants of made to those in scripture and to us as well! God’s love keeps what is sacred. It does not compromise the vows made, the covenants made between us and God. See, God made a covenant with us through his son. Through Christ, we have been brought back to God. We can find peace, we can find true love! God has made a promise to his people, a covenant like that of a bride and groom. To treasure us, to cherish us, to maintain our honor, to care for us. In an unrelenting pursuit of our hearts, God has made every effort to reveal his love to us! To show us the perfect love that we were designed to experience! A love that is not broken, that does not play games, a love that exceeds our wildest expectations, a love that honors boundaries, our purity! God’s love is pure!
Y’all, God’s love is magnificent! I cannot come up with any other means of explaining it. No matter our brokenness, our insecurity, our doubts, our failures, God’s love pursues us! It seeks us out! It longs for us to be with us! God is truly amazing! God’s love reveals to us our worth to God! It affirms our lives, and calls us to be vulnerable! Love is a powerful thing, which is not treated with the reverence in this age. We take it for granted. We abuse it. God’s love presents an example of a love that is unconditional. That is intentional. A love that was displayed by purposeful sacrifice to reconcile our lives back to God! I am unable to fully convey this! My words are hallow compared to God’s. I am limited in my abilities to comprehend it! But I know that God’s love is constantly seeking me out! Calling me deeper! Calling me into the arms of God! So I know, that as I continue in this life, what true love looks like. That I may treat love with caution. That I may protect the hearts of those I come across. That I may know that we are worthy so much more to God, that we ought not sell ourselves short to fill some fleeting desire that will leave us worse off than before! Sin whispers those lies to us in attempt to cause us to auction off our worth to the lowest bidder. But God tells that we are priceless, and that he is better than anything we can seek in this life! So, my friends, cling to the love of God! Find yourself in it’s presence, and let not one steal your worth!
Grace and Peace,
Terren-It-Up

The Muted Voice: Finding Confidence

As the weekend comes to a close I find myself reflecting upon a conversation I had with a dear friend of mine earlier in the week after our college ministry’s small group gathering. She shared with me how God had been providing many opportunities to share Christ with her coworkers. Her excitement was clear and she was elated that God had answered her prayers for opportunity! First, it is amazing that God had called us into community so that we may share in the joy of others! Secondly, how amazing is it that God uses us to spread his testimony to those who have not heard or those who are needing to hear it again? Now, my friend recounted how her peers were asking questions, hard questions, about God and how she was having to research how best to answer their inquires. The entire conversation touched me in a profound way as her confidence in her faith was palpable. The conversation really centered on her and what she had shared as the topic returned to a message we both heard from Christine Caine at Passion 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia

For those of us who went to the conference, it is still fresh on our minds. From the adventurous bus ride there which was full of unexpected stops, prolonged breakdowns, bonding time on top of the bitterly cold Stone Mountain, and time of growth. Y’all, beyond all the fun that was had at and around the conference, the Holy Spirit stirred within the hearts of those at the conference. The Holy Spirit did a work on our ministry and has begun a process of pointing us into the next season of our lives as individuals and in the life of our ministry. Now, my conversation with my friend continued bringing about a message we heard during the Passion Conference from Christine Caine. Caine, the firecracker of a speaker, spoke upon Genesis 3 and the nature of shame. Shame is the only thing the enemy has to use against us. Shame of a past mistake, a poor choice, or any other myriad of things which weigh us down and steal our strength away. Man was not designed for shame. We were never meant to experience shame. Shame shackles itself to us as a means to slow down our progress, and it swallows us up on whispered lies. Shame seeks to silence our ability to hold truth up against the truth, for it knows that the truth will cause its lies to be revealed as ridiculous. Fortunately, we have been given a savior in Christ, who has unshackled our bonds and smashed their chains… Yet, we continue to hold onto them, and we shuffle at the feet of God to reclaim them. And to mirror the word of Caine, we walk into heaven with chains. The past is not to be forgotten, but it is not to cause us shame. Yet, the goal of shame is to silence our voices and to suffocate our confidence! But not today, Satan!

Hearing my friend share her excitement about the conversations she’s been able to have reminded me of what Caine had to say. It filled me with joy to hear that my friend was fully confident in what she was doing and that she had trust the God would give her the words to say, and an ear to listen. My friend embodied the confidence that shame seeks to steal. It was genuine, it was sincere, and it was fully vested in God’s truth. Wow! What an example to myself and to our generation! In that time, and earlier in our small group discussing spiritual warfare, I was reminded of Paul and the other workers who asked, constantly, for a fearlessness to share the Word. They sought to be unburdened from anything that would keep them from being ambassadors to God’s testimony. They feared not for their lives, nor did they fear for those whom would go to take up the mantle of spreading the gospel across the known world. Paul, particularly, is a testimony of not allowing shame to tie us down with the past. Paul did not allow shame from following Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to flow through him. He wrote the majority of the New Testament, and made thorough the testimony of God known.

 

” [Praying]… also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” -Ephesians 6:19-20 ESV

 

As believers, we are free. Yesterday, I attended the wedding of my friend and college pastor where they, before saying their vows and making their covenant with the each other and with God, asked everyone in attendance to sing the hymn Amazing Grace. The famous verses echo the idea of being freed from bondage, from the chains of sin. We are no longer slaves to sin, nor are we slaves to shame. Our chains are gone, we’ve been set free. Our God, our Savior has set us free! The truth, given from God, cannot be kept from us. So why do we allow shame to silence our voices? Why do allow shame to keep us from talking to other about God? Why do we allow shame to make us timid and feeble? We give away our confidence because we’re too willing to allow shame to drag us back into what has come and gone. In the course of talking with my friend, I was reminded of something the famous magician Penn Jillette, a stout atheist, recorded and shared after he was given a Bible after one of his shows by a fan.

 

 

 

Jillette describes this gentleman as being somewhat tense in the way he went about sharing that pocket Bible. And yet, Jillette compliments the fact that the man was so willing to share that Bible with him, knowing that Jillette is a strong atheist. Jillette makes a very bold statement, one that ought to tear into the hearts of believers. He says, “I don’t respect people who do not proselytize…” Proselytize means to present your beliefs to someone in a means to try and convert them. Thus, in the context of Christianity, means that we share God’s testimony. We tell others of the love that God has for them. Jillette, an avid atheist, recognizes this and appreciates that this random person who had attended his show, cared enough about him and believed in his faith so much, that he made an attempt to share that truth with himself! My heart aches thinking about how I’ve not been committed to that same degree. That I’ve fallen into the idea that someone else will come along to do the work. To be a passive Christian who might as well condemn people to hell, because I’m not willing to speak on God’s behalf.

We lack confidence. We as a church, we as believers, as followers of Christ; we lack confidence. However, Jillette was impacted by this one man who was confident enough, who loved God so much that he, too, loved God people, that he attempted to share the truth, the hope of God with Jillette! Jillette did not need to make that video, nor did Jillette need to compliment the man, for which he does not share the same beliefs, for doing what some might see as religious duty. Yet, Jillette was so moved, so impacted by the actions of that faithful person that Jillette filmed himself to share that moment with countless other people. Thus, the voice of that man, that faithful servant, was heard by many more ears! How convicting is it that I lack that confidence. How sad is it that I’m not willing to take the good news to those who are walking into the torment of hell. Yet, that is the result of shame. The lies that we allow to fester and whisper into our ears telling us that we’re not good enough to do the work Christ commanded. Telling us that we’re unworthy to tell others of the good news. Telling us that we’re unworthy to be loved. Telling us that we’re unworthy to have hope. Telling us that we’re unworthy to contentment. Telling us that we’re unworthy to be called children of God… but God tears those lies away and calls us into his fold. That love, that pure, unending love of God is poured out over us and it breaks the snares of shame, and breaks the chains of sin in two. We are free. Free to love, free to have joy, free to have hope! We are free! We’ve been given a purpose, a directive to love our neighbors as ourselves. To love others as we love ourselves. And like Jillette stated, we must hate somebody so badly, if we’re unwilling to share the truth of everlasting life with others! So go out in confidence, to wherever you go. To work, to school, to home, to wherever. Go confidently with the truth of Christ’s promise and share it with those who need it. Go confidently as children of God and bring light to those who are in darkness. Go confidently as ambassadors of the word and speak it fearlessly!

Converstations like the one I described are one of many example of the need for community. I am ever grateful for the community of believers God has surrounded me with. Thank you, El Presidente, for sharing your excitement with me! I pray for you as you seek to be a light to your coworkers!

 

Grace and Peace,

-Terren-It-Up

New Beginnings: Searching, Seeking, & Seeing

As the sleet and snow descend upon Texas, and I sit down with a cup of green tea steeping for maximum enjoyment I find myself looking forward to the year ahead. 2017 was a tough year full of its own struggles and difficulties. From the stresses of start at Chick-fil-A, the endless hours of school, a devastating hurricane, and changes to life and habits presented a challenge unlike most. I questioned what was I suppose to be learning through this season that I was walking, and I still have yet to really see where the lesson lies. By no means was 2017 a bad year, and in fact was one that was full of memories and experience that are unforgettable. The new year presents a metaphoric yet quite un-ironic opportunity for change. Reflecting back on the previous year and where I am now I’ve see where I’ve been drawn to leave behind some of what needs to be outgrown and a strong desire to gain some more skills that will benefit me as I continue to progress through life.

There is some importance in setting goals for ourselves as they assist in providing motivation, spurring commitment, and brings about a sense of fulfillment upon completion. So what is it that I’m seeking to accomplish, well, first of all the one each and every one of us need, a deeper relationship with God. The second is to learn how to cook, which is not only a vital life skill, but is a bonus when it comes to hosting others! Thirdly, I wish to be able to love on others better, or more effectively. This goes hand in hand with my desire to be a leader. A leader being someone who takes the initiative, who’s goal is not performance or achievement but rather the development and building up of others! These goals purely benefit in helping to make in being a more well-rounded person. So what do each of these goals entail and how am I seeking to achieve these?


Let’s begin at the end and work our way back to the beginning. What does it mean to be an effective communicator? What does it mean to love people? How does one go about accomplishing that? These are, despite the meta-quasi-author posed hypotheticals, valid questions that must be asked if for the sole purpose of providing narrative and outline. I recently sat down to read the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, while this book is swayed in the direction of (romantic) relationships it provides insight into the means in which people, both in romantic and plutonic relationships, experience love and the role it has in stirring something within them that results in what C.S. Lewis describes as Phillia (Greek) or the Friend Bond and/or Agape (Greek) or the Unconditional “God” love. Each of these types of ‘loves’ have a purpose and a means by which they are experienced.

For myself, my love language is words of affirmation, followed by both quality time and physical touch. Each of these means by which love is expressed are vital to loving others. So what do I mean by wanting to love people better? Well, specifically within the workplace, I seek to build others up. To develop a sincere, genuine appreciation of what they accomplish as individuals, as members of a team, and as members of God’s creation. Therefore, I seek to find ways in which to best express a friendly form of love to each individual member of my coworkers. Knowing best how I prefer to experience love from others, this places myself in position to see and understand how others experience love or appreciation. In many ways, this really has less to do with making myself greater or the better than others and more to do with loving others in the way in which God has communicated his love for us. Consequently, this leads us to the second aspect of loving people better, and that is being more like Christ.

Christ loved the sinner and the saint, he ate with those who were despised, and with those who were adored, he corrected the religious elite and taught the everyman. The life of Christ was God living in the flesh and displaying to all who encountered him what love looks like. Everything in Christ’s life was a display of love that was fully culminated on the cross where he was hung as a sinner to be, like the sacrifices of the time, an atonement for sin. Having knowledge of who Christ, who God is causes within us a reaction. A dismissal of God or a yearning to seek answers. Being a follower of Christ, being a disciple, I am called to live a life that bears evidence of the work of Christ in myself. Therefore, how can I reflect the love that God has for me to those around me? How can I be a living testimony to the testimony of God who loved us first, from the beginning of creation, through the fall, through the period of reconciliation, and through the ends of eternity? How can I, even in the smallest fraction, share the love of God to those around me?

This is a huge question, one that is not so easily answered or experienced. The goal, as I’ve said, is not to bring attention to myself but to point back to the source that has freed me from the chains of sin that weigh me down. To cause others to be drawn to God for the love and freedom that has been given to me for absolutely nothing, yet costing everything of Christ. The nature of this desire to be a better disciple,  to be faithful to the calling that God has placed upon all of his children. Thus, as I continue to pursue the calling of ministry that God has placed before me, how can I better love the students in our youth ministry? How can I better love my peers in our college ministry? How can I better love those whom I work with? The answer is simple, and that is by devoting myself discipline. To further build and grow my relationship with God, which is the first goal that I listed and will be addressing later on.


The second goal I have for myself is one that is rather simple, but has a greater importance than it probably should, which is to learn how to cook. At the moment, I am fairly proficient in using the microwave. I make a mean quesadilla, and can patiently wait for the perfectly golden grilled cheese. Not to brag, but those are the few culinary achievements that I’ve been given (by myself). However, over the last year I’ve sought to be more adult, which was largely formed out of discontentment in my current stage of life. My perspective was largely decided by what achievements or checkmarks of life I had accomplished versus my peers. This was inherently wrong and decidedly influenced my perspective, which caused quite a bit of discontent over the last year. Yet, despite my own faulted perspective, I’ve come to a place where I understand that life isn’t a game of checkmarks, accomplishments, or keeping up with what society states as being the norm. And for myself, I’ve come to a place recently where I’ve accepted my spot in life and seek to own it. Perhaps my sense of confidence is higher because I’ve behind a computer, yet I am excitedly seeking to pursue life without comparison to others.

So why learn to cook? Cause why not? Really, the idea is really take on more responsibility and to, again, be more well rounded as a person. I understand that the premise of cooking is not difficult, if you can read you should be able to cook. Well, I know how to basic half decently and should be able to transfer some of those skills to cooking. Anyway, its a basic goal, but it has real world reward and fulfillment.


Finally, I wish to better develop and strengthen my relationship with the Lord. As I’ve gotten older, the more I’ve realized the innate need I have for God. He brings not only peace, but joy, and understanding, and fulfillment! All of these, and more, are vital to life and my sense of purpose. Like hunger and thirst, I have need of sustenance which spurs in my subconscious a response telling me that my systems are out of sync. Furthermore, growth only occurs when we purposefully and intentional practice something and are disciplined in some skill or trait. Therefore, spending time with God and engaging in study if his laws and dominion ought to be easy. And it is, yet it is perhaps the most neglected thing in my, somewhat busy, life. Admittedly, there are plenty of other things I’d rathe do or that are more entertaining. Yet those things are not life-giving nor are they beneficial to my overall wellbeing. This, then, is indicative my own selfish tendencies and a reflection of my outlook toward both God and spirituality. I see a problem with that, and I’m intent on addressing it. Though I am with many fault and deficiencies, I am capable and determined to address my own shortcomings. Fortunately, I am not alone in this. From friends to family, I have people to keep me accountable for these things. Like the rest of life, this is a process. It’s not something that we busy and apply once for immediate results. Its not like a steroid which instantaneously effects the body. No, this is a process which requires both dedication and energy to complete. Yet the results of such discipline award results which only reveal the inherent goodness that is only found in God.

Grace and Peace be Upon you,

Terren It Up