Thursday, March 29, 2007

God's Heart for Relationship

It is funny, but I was just talking to the Lord about this very thing this week. How He created me as a woman to be the way that I am, to have the heart that I have. I was talking to Him about true love, that He is the meaning of true love and how saying "I love you" or "I love this or that" is used almost as slang everyday, instead of from the heart, heartfelt (out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks). As a very anointed guy once taught a while back, we say I love you way to easily. Do we really "love" what we say we do, or is it just a phrase. Like in the song Chasing Cars, "those three words, are said too much, their not enough." I have heard those three words come out of the same anointed worship leaders mouth in his expression of love for God, and it totally enveloped and changed the entire place because you could tell, you could feel, you could see it was from a heart that truly loves God. That can not be faked. When we truly fall in love with Him, there is a true love that just wants to come out, to flow out of us and the more time we spend with Him in that intimate relationship, the more we want to express that love, the more saying the words "I love you" means. Do we really love Him, or is it just said out of habit. God has truly given us a heart, a capacity to love more than we ever thought we were capable of. I have learned that the more I have sought God, the more I have come into intimate relationship with Him, the more capacity He has given my heart to love. Sometimes I feel like it is going to burst. Even though I have not experienced the marriage relationship....yet, I now have a better understanding of the love and relationship God wants and intends between a husband and wife. I now understand better how it is an extension of our intimate relationship with God, that true and pure love.......The Triangle. Todays devotional is confirmation to me of what the Lord and I have been talking about this week. He has given us all His attributes, and the capacity for relationships, whether it be husband and wife (the ultimate manifestation and example of our relationship with God) or friends, or our relationship with our amazing and awesome Savior Jesus Christ. I never realized, until this week, how much God made me in His image. The very things that as a woman I desire, He desires as well. It totally opened my eyes to Him in a new light, and made me fall in love with Him even more. He has filled me with a love and a capacity for love like I have never known before. I just wanted to share.................

John & Staci Eldredge (Captivating)
"The vast desire and capacity a woman has for intimate relationships tells us of God’s vast desire and capacity for intimate relationships. In fact, this may be the most important thing we ever learn about God—that he yearns for relationship with us. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God” (John 17:3). The whole story of the Bible is a love story between God and his people. He yearns for us. He cares. He has a tender heart.

Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! (Isa. 49:14–15)
I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. (Jer. 24:7)
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. (Matt. 23:37)

What a comfort to know that this universe we live in is relational at its core, that our God is a tenderhearted God who yearns for relationship with us. If you have any doubt about that, simply look at the message he sent us in Woman. Amazing. Not only does God long for us, but he longs to be loved by us. Oh, how we’ve missed this. How many of you see God as longing to be loved by you? We see him as strong and powerful, but not as needing us, vulnerable to us, yearning to be desired."
(Captivating , 28–29)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Clay & for the reception

Clay & Rylee shopping for the wedding reception

RyLee and I went shopping today for all the stuff we need for the wedding reception. Their wedding is coming up next month and we had a great time putting it together. Clay joined us for some last minute decisions, but what he really came to look at was the Gas Grill! It was such a "Clay" grill! I love you guys so much!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Softball and Beautiful Weather

Pics with the kids

I was out at Jason & Maci's house Friday and we practiced some softball and the kids were there to help. Mr Titus was ready to be a big boy trying to walk, and Faith was cheering us on and Jeremiah was being catcher for us (when the dog was not running away with the ball). It was fun and the most amazing weather!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Great Stories...

OK, I know just putting John Eldredge here is not my words, but when you read this,it says it all. I don't know how to improve on what he has said here. I can only tell you that it is truth and this is how we feel. This is what we long for. This is where we want to live. To have my eyes opened by this book and know that those hearts desires, those things there that the world would tell you is only a fairy tale (because they are cynical and have lost sight of their heart)and know that it is from God, lets me know more about how God created me, created us. Lets me know how much He loves me, lets me know that I am not crazy.......and no amount of criticism will change my mind. It is His plan and how He created us to walk in it. I choose to walk in it......His plan. Thank you Lord for showing me my heart~Your Heart.

"Every man wants a battle to fight. It’s the whole thing with boys and weapons.

And look at the movies men love—Braveheart, Gladiator, Top Gun, High Noon, Saving Private Ryan. Men are made for battle. (And ladies, don’t you love the heroes of those movies? (Yes we do!) You might not want to fight in a war, but don’t you long for a man who will fight for you? (Yes we do!) To have Daniel Day Lewis look you in the eyes and say, “No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you”? Women don’t fear a man’s strength if he is a good man.)

Men also long for adventure. Adventure is a deeply spiritual longing in the heart of every man. Adventure requires something of us, puts us to the test. Though we may fear the test, at the same time we yearn to be tested, to discover that we have what it takes.

Finally, every man longs for a Beauty to rescue. He really does. Where would Robin Hood be without Marian, or King Arthur without Guinevere? Lonely men fighting lonely battles. You see, it’s not just that a man needs a battle to fight. He needs someone to fight for. There is nothing that inspires a man to courage so much as the woman he loves. Most of the daring (and okay, sometimes ridiculous) things young men do are to impress the girls. Men go to war carrying photos of their sweethearts in their wallets—that is a metaphor of this deeper longing to fight for the Beauty. This is not to say that a woman is a “helpless creature” who can’t live her life without a man. I’m saying that men long to offer their strength on behalf of a woman. (Side note from Tammy-we sing the song "....I need you Jesus to come to my rescue, where else can I go" and so it is....truth. We do desire for Him to rescue us from our lives that we have dug ourselves into, lives that He did not design for us to live in the way we are living them; but my point is, even as we sing that song can't you see where He designed us women to want to be rescued, and how He designed the men to come and rescue? His attributes placed in our hearts from the very beginning.)

Now—can you see how the desires of a man’s heart and the desires of a woman’s heart were at least meant to fit beautifully together? A woman in the presence of a good man, a real man, loves being a woman. His strength allows her feminine heart to flourish. His pursuit draws out her beauty. And a man in the presence of a real woman loves being a man. Her beauty arouses him to play the man; it draws out his strength. She inspires him to be a hero." (Captivating~John & Staci Eldredge , 17–18)

Monday, March 19, 2007

I had forgotten.................

OK, I read this today and yes, I had forgotten that I had learned this. I repented. I realized it is so easy to go back into habits that we have formed over the years. Back into what is comfortable, even though it brings us pain. I don't want to be there. I am so thankful we serve a God who loves us enough to remind us of the things that we have learned and then forgotten. Because He wants to help us, He wants us to be blessed in every area of our lives, especially in relationship with others. Here on this earth we only have each other. It's hard enough as it is without our relationships being strained and less than what God intends for them to be. So girls, if you have not read Captivating, do yourself a favor and read it. If you have, re-read it like I am, so you can fully become the Captivating Woman God has created you to be and thus be your True Self. I pray this reminder helps you as it has helped me. Jesus, I thank you for loving me.
"Awkward Love"
Honest communication in love is the only way to live and grow in friendships. There are ebbs and flows. There may be real hurt and disappointment. But with the grace of God firmly holding us, it is possible to nurture and sustain deep friendships. We are designed to live in relationship and share in the lives of other women. We need one another. God knows that. We have only to ask and surrender, to wait, to hope, and, in faith, to love. We must also repent.

For a woman to enjoy relationship, she must repent of her need to control and her insistence that people fill her. Fallen Eve demands that people “come through” for her. Redeemed Eve is being met in the depths of her soul by Christ and is free to offer to others, free to desire, and willing to be disappointed. Fallen Eve has been wounded by others and withdraws in order to protect herself from further harm. Redeemed Eve knows that she has something of value to offer; that she is made for relationship. Therefore, being safe and secure in her relationship with her Lord, she can risk being vulnerable with others and offer her true self.

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable . . . The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love is Hell. (C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves)
(Captivating by John Eldredge, 181–82)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

We have to fight for our Life!

We are in a War, in a Battle and if we don't get that then we will not understand Life. We will misinterpret 90 percent of what is happening around us and to us if we fail to see that there is an enemy to our soul, to our heart and he wants to destroy us and our hearts desires. Jesus said the He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. I know you have heard me quote that here before in this blog. Sometimes it's hard to believe that God’s intentions toward us are abundant life! That's because the enemy does not want us to see that or believe it! It's even harder not to feel that somehow we are just blowing it. Worse, we will begin to accept some really awful things about God. I know the enemy has been trying to convince me of that lately. He has been applying pressure. So the battle rages, the fiery darts pound, our armor is singed and dented. We get weary, sometimes very weary. That is what the enemy wants. He sends his propaganda in many forms and says "why don't you give up?" "God does not care about you. He is withholding your hearts desire from you because you're not good enough, or have not earned it!" Blah, blah, blah. We have all heard his propaganda and sometimes we have even believed it....... for a moment.

Most people get stuck at some point because God appears to have abandoned them. He is not coming through. In a quote from John Eldredge he said "Speaking about her life with a mixture of disappointment and cynicism, a young woman recently said to me, “God is rather silent right now.” Yes, it’s been awful. I don’t discount that for a moment. She is unloved; she is unemployed; she is under a lot. But her attitude strikes me as deeply naive, on the level of someone caught in a cross fire who asks, rather shocked and with a sense of betrayal, “God, why won’t you make them stop firing at me?” I’m sorry, but that’s not where we are right now. It’s not where we are in the Story. That day is coming, later, when the lion shall lie down with the lamb and we’ll beat swords into plowshares. For now, it’s a bloody battle."

It sure explains a whole heckuva lot. I know many of you have seen this battle, have experienced these attacks. We won’t understand our life, we won’t see clearly what has happened to us (or is happening to us) or how to live forward from here, unless we see it as battle. A war against our heart. Don't give up! Don't give in! Fight for YOUR LIFE that Jesus came and went to the cross to give us! I am preaching to myself here as much as anyone. I felt that I could not be alone in this and I wanted to share with you all and encourage you as well. Don't let a root of bitterness into your heart. I know, when that happens we begin to look at God as if He has done something to us, withheld from us instead of the one who is bringing us through this battle.

2 Chronicles 20:15,17,20,21,22 "Thus says the Lord to you, Be not afraid or dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's." " You shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord with you..." "And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high." " Believe in the Lord your God, so will you be established; believe His prophets, so will you prosper." "....he appointed singers to the Lord, and those that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and said..Praise the Lord; for his mercy endures for ever." "And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mt Seir, which had come against Juda; AND THEY WERE DEFEATED!"

You and I are more than conquerors! We are strong in the Lord and in the power if HIS might! We can do ALL THINGS through Christ (the anointed one and His anointing)which strengthens us! We overcome by THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB and THE WORD OF OUR TESTIMONY! I love you all.........Tammy

Friday, March 09, 2007

Discontentment vs Desire

I was reading some devotionals this morning and searching the scriptures about this subject and decided to write my commentary rather than cut and paste what the devotionals said. So here goes...........
In 1 Samuel 22 we see where there were those under the reign of Saul that were discontent because the scripture tells us that they went with David because they knew there was something more, something better than where they were. In Proverbs it tells us that the desire of the righteous shall be granted (10:24, 11:23). Proverbs also tells us that when we desire for something, and it finally comes--"is sweet to the soul" and "a tree of life." (13:12, 13:19, 18:1).
We have also read where the word tells us to be content, Phillipians 4:11, 1 Timothy 6:8, Hebrews 13:5. So many think that to long for or to have desire contradicts the Word of God........but this is not true. Who put that desire there? This is a matter of the heart. Does the desire line up with what the Word says about you? With what He says He came for you to have? (John 10:10 The theif comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came that we might have life, and that more abundantly). Are we living in the more abundantly or have we just settled for all of the stealing the enemy has done to us? Are we living life to the full as this scripture says, or, are we just putting up with the enemy killing and destroying our lives, our hearts desires placed there by a Living, Loving, Live, Warrior God who say's "Fight for it, don't let the enemy rob you of what I came to give you, what I won back for you. Abide in it."
At the end of the day, when all is quiet and we are alone...we know there is much more than where we are. It nags at us. There is discontent because we know there is more to this life, more that God has called us to than where we are sitting at the moment. We are not discontent because we think God has not provided for us, blessed us, is leading us in this process.....we are discontent because God has shown us and is saying "I have so much more for you, don't stop. What does my word say, what does it show you, what have I placed in your heart?" Most of the time when the desire is too much to take, we bury it....we get into the business of life, serving, activities, because then we don't have to deal with it or think about it......until night comes, and we are in the quiet of our room, and then the nagging comes back, the calling is there, our heart starts to beat louder! We keep seeing 'glimpses', it keeps showing up in our 'dreams' when we are unguarded and God can get through to us. Even though we sleep, our desire doesn't. It IS who we are, it is the essence of the human soul, the secret of our existence. No human greatness has ever been accomplished without it. Desire fuels our search for the life we prize. The same old thing is not enough. It never will be.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Call........The Fortress

I went down to The Fortress last night in Nashville to The Call and saw some friends there (Josh and Tyler). Jeff Deyo led an amazing time of Praise and Worship. God truly moved in an amazing way. There was a great anointing there. He is calling us to a more intimate relationship with Him, a closer walk, to worship and to bring as many with us as we can. As we were in worship, praying and singing God kept speaking Jeremiah 29:11 to me. He also kept sharing with me about 2 Kings and the Shunamite woman and the resurrection of the dream.

There will be one of these nights on the first Sunday of every month, and then a huge Praise and Worship and time of prayer in the Titans stadium on 7/7/07. You definitly want to be there.

What Role Are You Playing?

I wanted to share today's devotional from Ransomed Heart below. This is so very true. I have learned that I have so much to learn, but I want to live from my heart. It is hard and takes courage to be open (not hiding), to be vulnerable (it opens you up to possible hurt), to be real and honest with The Lord and with others (not striving to be in control). I truly want to be me, not put on a false self, but be the woman God has created me to be, the one He is constantly working on. That is what I have tried to do through this blog. It truly is about Jesus, loving and serving Him from the heart which in turn makes you want to love and serve others from the heart. I don't know if anyone reads these blogs, I rarely get a comment, so I have no way of knowing. But I do hope, in some way, it has touched peoples lives and that they have been drawn closer to Jesus, closer to His heart, become more intimate with Him, opened their heart more to Him and to others because of some things that have been shared here. Oh how I love Him, the one who saved me, the one who gave His all for me, the one who filled my heart with love to give and to share............Tam

John Eldredge - The Sacred Romance
"We come into the world with a longing to be known and a deep-seated fear that we aren’t what we should be. We are set up for a crisis of identity. And then, says Frederick Buechner, the world goes to work:

Starting with the rather too pretty young woman and the charming but rather unstable young man, who together know no more about being parents than they do the far side of the moon, the world sets in to making us what the world would like us to be, and because we have to survive after all, we try to make ourselves into something that we hope the world will like better than it apparently did the selves we originally were. That is the story of all our lives, needless to say, and in the process of living out that story, the original, shimmering self gets buried so deep that most of us hardly end up living out of it at all. Instead, we live out all the other selves which we are constantly putting on and taking off like coats and hats against the world’s weather. (Telling Secrets)

Think about the part you find yourself playing, the self you put on like a costume. Who cast you in this role? Most of us are living out a script that someone else has written for us. We’ve not been invited to live from our heart, to be who we truly are, so we put on these false selves hoping to offer something more acceptable to the world, something functional. We learn our roles starting very young and we learn them well." (The Sacred Romance , 84–85)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Beauty and the Beast....The Transformation

Todays devotional from Ransomed Heart.........
"Now Beauty feared that she had caused his death. She ran throughout the palace, sobbing loudly. After searching everywhere, she recalled her dream and ran into the garden toward the canal, where she had seen him in her sleep. There she found the poor Beast stretched out unconscious. She thought he was dead. Without concern for his horrifying looks, she threw herself on his body and felt his heart beating. So she fetched some water from the canal and threw it on his face.

Beast opened his eyes and said, “You forgot your promise, Beauty. The grief I felt upon having lost you made me decide to fast to death. But I shall die content since I have the pleasure of seeing you one more time.”

“No, my dear Beast, you shall not die,” said Beauty. “You will live to become my husband. I give you my hand, and I swear that I belong only to you from this moment on. Alas! I thought that I only felt friendship for you, but the torment I am feeling makes me realize that I cannot live without you.”

Beauty had scarcely uttered these words when the castle radiated with light. Fireworks and music announced a feast. These attractions did not hold her attention, though. She returned her gaze to her dear Beast, whose dangerous condition made her tremble. How great was her surprise when she discovered that the Beast had disappeared, and at her feet was a prince more handsome than Eros himself, who thanked her for putting an end to his enchantment.

It is the deepest and most wonderful of all mythic truths, unveiled here in the original Beauty and the Beast, written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. The Transformation. A creature that no one could bear to look upon is transformed into a handsome prince. That which was dark and ugly is now glorious and good. Is it not the most beautiful outcome of any story to be written? Perhaps that is because it is the deepest yearning of the human heart." (Waking the Dead , 55–56 John Eldredge)