the way of love … for the sake of the Bride

Yesterday afternoon, I began to read a new book:

For the Sake of the Bride: Restoring the Church to Her Intended Beauty” by Steve Harper

In this book, Steve talks about “the way of love” as he has been led to understand it through his Lenten experience of 2014.  I have reached the point in the book that Steve has called the “intermission”… a time to pause reading, and pray.  At this point in the book, during the “intermission”, Steve asks the readers to pray for God’s Holy Spirit to put us (me) “within the way of love as never before.”

Steve isn’t talking about “love” as the world usually thinks of love…you know, hugs and kisses and boyfriends and girlfriends and Valentine’s Day and all that stuff…

No, so far in this book, Steve has been talking about “love” as God expresses it and offers it towards us and wants us to extend to other humans…you know, unconditional love towards everybody, no matter who and no matter what…forever and ever, amen… Steve has been talking about making this type of love the basis for everything we do, think and say, as we relate to everyone in the world…well, actually, to this point in the book, he has been laying the biblical foundations for making this type of love the basis for everything we do, think and say, as we relate to everyone in the world…

And here, at this juncture, he asks each of us readers to pray for God’s Holy Spirit to put us “within the way of love as never before.”

We aren’t to pray that God’s Holy Spirit does this for “the other guy”, rather that the Holy Spirit does it for ourselves…for each one of us…

I am to pray that the Holy Spirit will put me “within the way of love as never before.”

God’s way of love, the way that I am to love others, all others, is not easy… What will God’s way of love demand of me and how will it change me and where will it send me and who will it send me to?

I suspect that I will spend the rest of my life listening for God’s guidance and answers to those questions… and asking God for the courage to say, “Yes, Lord…whatever, and whenever, and wherever and whoever”!

I will pray as Steve has asked (then finish reading the book)… and I’ll trust God for the rest.

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Been “Bugged” Lately?

A friend of mine posted this on FaceBook.  It was shared as an example of something humorous that happened to her as the pastor of her church during one of their services.  As this is a blog dedicated to sharing peoples’ varied stories and experiences, I asked if I might share this one, and Sarah agreed.  Here in her words, Sarah recounts this “perilous” and funny experience:

“I served the cup for communion today. Just as communion was beginning, and I was standing in front of hundreds of people, a small bug flew up my nose. Looking at all those people in line, I didn’t know what to do! My nose itched and burned something fierce. The perils of the pastorate”.

Being a pastor does have its hazards… some that are even funny!  I can tell you that I would have had a hard time maintaining my composure and not sneezing furiously into the communion cup and over all the people in front of me…  Sarah, I applaud you!!