Index card notes and never ending Love

No mountain you have to climb, or valley deep and dark can separate you from Christ.
Nothing in creation- no person, no place, no danger, no toil, no frustration, no job, no broken relationship – nothing can separate you from your Father, who loves you.
In the marriage relationship, love waxes and wanes. It changes and grows, certainly, but you will have seasons when love is vibrant and seasons where love is dull and even seemingly lifeless. Because of the one-flesh relationship being the most intimate one we will ever experience on Earth, we often relate God’s love to our experience within the marriage relationship. This happens without even thinking about it. In the times we feel unloved and devalued by our spouse, we wonder if there is a God who finds us valuable, who loves us no matter what. We can learn two things from this.
First, this verse speaks truth into our lives. God does love us, come what may. He always has and He always will. Nothing in creation, nothing around us or in us, or happening to us, can change His love for us. We cling tightly to these verses as Christians for a reason – our basic need to be loved, to be known and loved in spite of all of it.
Second, what can we do in our lives to help our spouse know the truth of this verse? What are we doing daily to grow in love together, so that God can speak to them through us? This may be one of the primary means that God uses to speak His love in to the lives of those around us. If our marriages were unbelievably strong, others may take notice of a God whose love is so deep, so wide and unfathomable, that divorce rates and life challenges and petty arguments have no hold on our marriages. It would be obvious that He is clearly the one at work. This model may be more valuable to the life of the church than anything else we ever do.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Thank you, Lord, for your inseparable Love. Thank you, Lord, for being perfect in our imperfect marriages. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

God is FOR you, God is FOR your marriage

Do you have anyone “against you”?
Maybe no one is really against you, but it kind of feels like something is. It may feel like you are hitting a wall every direction you turn, every idea you have, or suggestion you make. There are seasons in ministry that feel like nothing is going right.
There are also difficult seasons in marriage. Husband and wife are on different pages. When you try to come together there is an invisible shield. You wonder if you’ll ever see things the same, or where all the romance went. Thank goodness for vows, like for better or worse, richer or poorer. Sometimes those hold a marriage together, through to the next season of laughter and joy.
Like those marriage vows, God holds everything together. God tells us in this verse, that He is in fact for us. When the world is pressing in around us, the enemy is crouching close by and life is all-askew, God is for us. He holds us tight to Him. He never forsakes His promises to us in baptism. He renews His covenant at the Table. He fills us with Himself and sends us out. 
When times are difficult, even the most steadfast wonder if God is for them. Is He with me, helping me? Does He have my best in mind, or is He just sitting back and watching? We return to the Word. He is FOR us. This is truth. He is FOR you. He is FOR your marriage. He is working and helping and growing, no matter the struggle or frustration.
And with God on our side, what else could we say,
         If God Himself be for me, I may a host defy;
         For when I pray, before me My foes confounded fly.
         If Christ, my head and master, Befriend me from     above,
         What foe or what disaster Can drive me from His love?
                                                                        (LSB 724)

When ministry becomes more important…avoiding the sin of church work.

Predestined > Called > Justified > Glorified
Predestined: We are predestined children of God. Everyday in every circumstance we can rest in being knit together by Him in our mother’s womb. We can remember that we are precious children of a loving Father. We remember that we are baptized children of God, this is our identity and no person, no hassle, no life challenge can change this. Rest in this, “I am a child of God.”
Called: Few people understand the value of calling more than church workers and their families. We place a very high value on the calls of our life. So perhaps we can understand the richness of the call on the life of every believer so much more. Our call to be His child, to follow Him in complete freedom, to receive as a free gift the indwelling of our Lord and Savior- this is a thing worth far more than anything else in life.
Because we are called, as believers, we are justified, we are glorified. Problems come in though, when as church workers, we confuse our call (serving as pastor, deaconess, DCE, etc.) with this Call. The argument could be made that they are all wrapped up and bound together so tightly, by God himself, making it impossible to see them as different things. So, let’s reflect on something tangible that happens when we elevate our call and place it with our Call.

It is easy for our calls to become our life.

The work that is done for the kingdom in our churches and in our communities is so important, so valuable, that we can easily elevate it above our families, above our wives and our children, above our relationships and people that God has entrusted to us. And the results are heartbreaking. The kingdom work of our home is simply as valuable, if not more valuable than the kingdom work of our churches. In our homes we pass on Christ to the next generation. In our homes we create a model of Christ’s love and care for His bride. When we neglect our homes, we become just like everyone else. People miss in us that we are different- predestined, called, justified, and glorified. We stand out, our baptismal identity stands out and witnesses to the Savior, when we minister to those closest to us and treasure our vocation as husband, wife, father, mother, daughter, son.

Confess to Christ the areas in your life where you have confused or neglected your calling, rest in His complete forgiveness and grace. No matter our work, He is faithful. We are predestined, called, justified, and glorified through Him.

Enjoying the vocation of mama 🙂