Victoria

A Christian, Homeschooled girl, Victoria lives in the marvalous state of Montana. Her intrests include cats, cooking, politics, reading, and writing both useful and not so useful blog posts and other things such as novels, poetry, and short stories.

Homepage: http://holyaspirations.worpress.net

The Meaning of Words: Love

Taken from sxc.hu. Made by ba1969

So this was the post I was actually going to write when I wrote The Meaning of Words: Awesome. I just got caught up in the introduction and realized that it was leaning towards awesome instead of love. So now, on Valentines day, I thought it appropriate to try again and hope I actually get to the right point this time.

 
Today, and for a month or two before today, actually, we are bombarded with love. We see all the hearts, and cupids, and candies and chocolate. And we are constantly shown love throughout our lives, with movies, books, and those around us.
 
And it’s not always pretty. You see the passionate, chocolate coated, I’ll love you until I die, and then if you are out in the world at all you see many of those “I Love You”s fall apart into divorce, affairs, being dumped by your boyfriend or girlfriend, or otherwise falling to pieces. I think it’s hard for us, partly because of constantly being fed the bad love image by the culture and partly because we’re imperfect humans, to see perfect, complete love. God’s love.
 
And then the word love means many things. It means everything from I love the color green to I Love You turned divorce one year later to Never going to leave you no matter what love. Do you realize how broad a spectrum that is? The first is in no way close to the latter. And I think that this also makes our ideas of love get a bit off.
 
So what does love, and I mean REAL love, look like?
 
You remember what John 3:16 says: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
 
Also:
Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
 
We’ve all probably heard these verses. But stop and realize what they really say. God loves us so much, that He sent His own perfect Son to die for us. Us sinners. Us sinners that constantly shove God aside because we’re too busy. That Jesus went through unbelievable pain to save us because He loves us too. Because God loves us with a great love (Ephesians 2:4)
 
2 Corinthians 13:11
Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
 
God is a God of love. He created love. He knows what perfect love looks like.
 
Romans 8:38-39
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 
Nothing can take away this perfect love with which He loves us. He’s not going to change His mind someday. It’s not a love that dies out.
 
Mark 12:30
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment
 
Heart, Soul, Mind, Strength. Think on those four things for a moment. That’s your all. That’s your everything. That’s what real love is. That’s how we should love God.
 
Anyway, I hope that gives you a little food for thought. I’ll end with one more verse:
2 Corinthians 13:14
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. 
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Quiet Time

Quiet time is something I’ve been working on in my life. I read the article HERE, and thought it was very inspiring and helpful. I recommend reading it. (Actually, it’s an article originally shared from HERE. So I’m sharing a share, I guess. But the point is that you read it!)

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Evaluation Day

Lamentations 3:40
Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the Lord;
 
As Christian’s, I think often we can get into an attitude of contentment in our Christian walk, and I mean that in a bad way. We get to this place where we are satisfied with our behaviours and attitudes and don’t force ourselves to grow anymore. We forget our flaws, don’t realize we have them in the first place, or brush them aside as part of our sin nature. It’s not good, and it doesn’t make a healthy spiritual life.
 
I think as Christians we need to examine ourselves often to see what flaws we have, because it is in that way that we grow. And we need to be honest with ourselves when we do it and not gloss over the black parts. And then we need to try to conform closer to what God wants us to be. Use the Word, use prayer, and remember that God gives us the strength to change into the New Man, and to put off the Old.
 
This is on my mind because today is the day I started my spiritual journal two or three years ago, and it somehow became the day that I stopped and looked over my life from the past year to see if and how I’d grown. It needs to be done periodically and often in our lives, but it helps me to have one set day to look over the year. And some things I realize hurt, and some make me glad, but they all make me grow, and that’s what’s important.
 
Psalm 26:2 says:  “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart.” We need to be able to pray that, and when the Lord reveals a crack or a smudge, we need to be willing to fix it, to fix ourselves to more perfectly shine His image.

I’m not saying it’s easy, in fact, it’s not. And I’m not saying it’s a one time and your done, because that’s not true either. The Christian walk is just that, a walk: Constantly moving. Moving towards God. Moving away from sin.

 
So examine yourself, and continue to grow, and continue to move towards Him.

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A Psalm

I don’t think I’ll comment now (maybe later) on these verses. They’re so beautiful, I’ll let them speak for themselves.

Psalm 19:

7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
         The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
         The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
         The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
 10 More to be desired are they than gold,
         Yea, than much fine gold;
         Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
 11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
         And in keeping them there is great reward.

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Some New Years Resolutions

Taken from sxc.hu. Credit goes to abeall

Holy aspirations go hand in hand with New Years resolutions, if you think about it. It’s all about trying to make ourselves better, to get closer to what we would optimally like to be. I thought it might be interesting to post some I thought of this year, (and this will help me to remember them too)
  • To put greater emphasis on Church.

This was something that I really lacked in during the past year.  It was so easy to make an excuse NOT to go. I was tired. I didn’t really feel like I was growing at my Church. It was a long drive. We were in the middle of a move. When you boil it all down to the heard treason thought, it comes to one thing: I didn’t feel like it. (I’ll probably make a post about church one of these days. It’s been something really brought to my attention lately). Since this was something that started about January, it was really easy to look back and see where it impacted my faith during the year. It wasn’t good, is the short way to say it. I found that without Church to ground my week in Christ, even a church which I didn’t think was deep and helping me, my week was less likely to be focused on Him. My thoughts of Him, my prayers, were less long and frequent. This year I am going to put much more effort into church, and forcing myself to go even when I don’t feel like it.

  • To stop treating time with God as something I want to check off my to do list, and make it much more personal.

I often find myself falling into the habit of saying “Oh, better read two chapters of my Bible today.” It doesn’t sound bad, on the surface. But dig into it and you see that I’m really just doing it because I feel duty called to, not because I so crave to see deeper into God’s word. I’ve been working on reading the New Testament over Christmas break, and though I don’t think I’ll actually finish it all, it has pointed something out to me. When I read two chapters for the sake of reading two chapters, I’m generally focused on one thing: finishing two chapters. But when I sit down and just start reading, with an end point far in the future or not set at all, I fucus much more on the words themselves and not how many verses I’ve gotten past. I want to fucus on the Bible because I want to grow and find my Lord’s will for me, not because I should as a good little Christian. Something I’ m working on and hopefully growing in. The same goes for prayer sometimes. It’s something I’m going to change, with God’s help.

  • To be much more helpful around the house.

I’ve often been frustrated about not knowing what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ve paced, and thought, and tried to figure out the path I was to take. And I kept asking God what I was to do. And somewhere in my thoughts an idea would always pop up: Maybe I’m not sure where I’m going now, but I do know where He has placed me at the moment, and there I should be working diligently. I might be frustrated about not knowing about jobs or school, but home is where He has placed me to work right now.

  • To post here more often

This isn’t just a “I should be a better blogger” thing. When I post on here it draws my thoughts to Him more, makes me grow more, makes me learn more. I will think throughout the day about what I need to post and then post it. It helps me put my mind on “things above, not on things on the earth.” When I post here, it often means me discovering verses I hadn’t noticed before, things coming to mind that wouldn’t have otherwise. I often think of how much this blog is often best for me, and not for everyone else in cyberspace.

  • To chip away at some of my terrible habits and sins

We all have them, different ones, all rooted in our sinful nature. One of my big issues is I can be so downright lazy and procrastinate so often. I want to fix this, to get better at it, to grow closer to what I should be. There are so many things I could have done this year, should have done this year, but I didn’t get around to because I was watching TV, or reading a book. Or didn’t feel like studying and doing hard work. This and other things, obviously. I want to be polished more to shine for God.

I’m sure I’ll think of more (New Years Resolutions are often a few day thing for me). What was going to be a short post with a list has become this (and it’s helped me to lay out my thoughts even better, trust me. Part of the posting more often resolution.) I hope you’ve got your own resolutions, even if you only have one, and are working to get closer to Him who we owe are all to.

With His help, without which we are helpless on our own, (Amen!)

Victoria

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A Spirit of Fear

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

I have a confession. I can sometimes be, er, paranoid. I might go so far that it comes into my head that I’m allergic to something, which I’ll proceed to avoid for quite a while until I force myself out of it (one of my current issues. Grr). It’s annoying. Even though I know nothing is wrong, I can’t help myself worrying over it. I was telling some such thing to my mother the other day, when she quoted the above verse to me.

Now, I’m pretty sure I memorized that verse once upon a time, but I had never actually thought of it the way she was telling it to me. I don’t have to be worried about anything, because it’s all in God’s hands, He’s in control, and whatever happens He has already planned. That’s a load off my shoulders!

Of course, I’m not cured off all my little worries. I’m probably never going to be. But when they pop up, I can think of that verse, and remember that even though I have these fears, I don’t need to.

Anyway, just a thought to share. Isn’t it great we have a Lord and Savior who doesn’t want us to be afraid? 🙂

Praise be to Him!
Victoria

P.S. If you’re wondering why there’s no picture, it’s because when I searched for one I kept getting pics of spiders. Oi! I wasn’t going to look through all those.

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Stars: The Heavens Declare

Taken from sxc.hu. Credit goes to magicmarie

Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.

There is something so beautiful about a star filled sky. I’ve pushed my bed against the wall, where at night I can look up into it at night. It makes me smile. When I see them, I think there is no way something so grand, so majestic, so perfectly formed could be brought about by random chance happenings out of nothing. They declare Him and His glory.

I know we live in a fallen world, with pain and thorns and death, where nothing gets better. But even so, you can still see His glory through it. It’s like a picture faded with time. It is not at all like the real place, but you can still see what it is, and who is in it. In creation we can see the work of God.

Psalm 148:1:4

Praise the LORD!         
         Praise the LORD from the heavens;
         Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
         Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
         Praise Him, all you stars of light!
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
         And you waters above the heavens!

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