Your Love For Me, Revised

Your Love For Me, Revised

No greater love: A poem.

O, how much You must love me!

So much that:

Before I could fully comprehend the meaning of you being “the Great I AM”;

Before I could understand that there is value in me just being who you created me to be;

Before I could have a chance to grow, You planned a life destined for greatness designed for me.

Sometimes, I plan to do right, with regrets I admit, I do wrong.

Sometimes, I don’t show you just how much you mean to me.

Sometimes, I don’t remember the grand scheme that includes me.

But, You never leave; you have never turned your back in spite of my deeds.

Yet, You are always here with unconditional Love.

And, You quickly accept me back into your arms of safety with supplication for every need.

My revelation: I can not make it day to day without you.

My realization: I am better spiritually, mentally, and physically because of you.

Ultimately, there is no greater love; than the love that connects me to You.

Cover Image Credit: iamNicholesf

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Why I Chose My Religion Part 1/3

This is a snippet of my testimony of God entering and changing my life.

Growing up in a Christian family, I experienced a lot of the Christian religion through the years. My family attended church regularly.

My parents played Christian music in the house almost every morning as we started our day, and the music followed us into the car. Christianity then followed me when my parents enrolled me in a private Christian school as my first-grade year began.

Christianity continued to follow me as I played church basketball and did activities in elementary school with the Royal Ambassadors (basically the church’s version of boy scouts).

Recreational soccer with the town of Cary was the only place where I met different people, but otherwise, I found myself in a Christian bubble.

If Christianity is true, does it seem like a good idea to only be around people who agree with you and believe the same stuff? Perhaps. Should I be hearing other people’s perspectives as well? Maybe.

What was the last thing Jesus said before he left the earth and ascended to heaven? I think he talked about something called the “Great Commission.” What did he commit and to whom?

Ah, here it is. Matthew 28:18-20 reads, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Alright, let’s go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of God, and teaching them to observe all that God commanded. That sounds tough, but God will be with us always, right?

Hold the phone. Is the “Great Commission” to take the good news of Jesus Christ to all nations, or are we those nations and can just keep this good news for ourselves?

It really seemed to me like it was something we could just take for ourselves growing up. Everyone in my bubble believed in Christ or claimed to. I didn’t see anyone but the pastors share Christ with others until middle school. It seemed like we were all talk and no walk.

I did not know any non-Christians, and hardly ever saw new faces in my Sunday school classes unless a kid or two transferred to my church from somewhere else. Wow, this is awesome, I thought. I believe in God. I’m going to heaven later. Now, it’s time to cruise through life carefree. I was selfish.

What was the point of talking about the gospel every Sunday? Perhaps it was a reminder that we’re saved and don’t have to do anything else? Maybe people viewed the “Great Commission” as something just for Jesus’ disciples and our pastors to do, but it doesn’t sound so great that way.

Anyway, here I was −- an elementary schooler trying to follow the rules just to please his parents and God. One more thing: Something horrible happened the summer after my 1st-grade year. My mom got diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease, and things began to change for my family.

My Mom's Sickness and My Depression

Let me summarize this tragedy. My mom got Alzheimer’s disease as I said, and this went over my young mind at the time. It soon became apparent to me, however.

She forgot normal things at first like getting groceries, doing laundry, or eating lunch. Then it became forgetting to pick us up from school, loss of driving abilities, how to run, and how to walk.

My mom was given a walker to use, and she was not a fan at all until she fell down enough times to know that she needed it. It was too late though, for she forgot how to walk completely.

Then she forgot how to talk, and by the time my grandfather died in my third-grade year, my mom had mostly died mentally. I did not know if she knew who I was anymore. This put me in a dark place.

All she could do was eat and drink what was placed in her mouth and use the bathroom when people set her there.

My grandparents on her side were very compassionate, and they moved nearby all the way from New Mexico to help take care of her and the rest of the family. We bought a nice leather recliner for her to sit in and a wheelchair to bring her to things like church and sports games.

I did not hang out with anyone in elementary school because play dates were never arranged, and even so, I was embarrassed by my mom because of the effects of her sickness. She would sit there, stare, and moan, drool, and make noises.

At one of the lacrosse games in middle school, a kid asked me if she was retarded, and I felt horrible. I explained the disease she had but feared her being at other games.

Living with my mom having Alzheimer’s was tough and even depressing, so I soon began using video games and pornography as an escape from my reality, but I will talk about that more in Part 2.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

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10 Inspirational Bible Verses That Are Relevant Even If You Aren't Religious

No matter what your religious beliefs are, I think these quotes can be applicable to your life.

Everyone has a unique path through life, so some words of advice are more relevant to certain people's situations than others. As a Christian, the Bible has always been a good place for me to go when I need words of encouragement or wisdom. I decided to ask people what they're favorite Bible verses were and why to get a variety of inspirational verses.

Hopefully, some of these will be able to shed some light on something you are going through right now.

1. Proverbs 27:12

“For the prudent see danger and seek refuge but the foolish keep going and suffer for it.”

"It’s applicable all the time and is helpful to people even outside of a religious context."

2. 1 John 4:18

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

"It’s a nice reminder that our fears are nothing compared to His love for us. I also recommend listening to the song No Longer Slaves."

"I think this verse is so powerful because it’s applicable to our society. You can experience fear for a lot of different reasons. You can fear people who don’t share your beliefs, you can fear not feeling loved and you can even fear God himself. When we truly understand God’s will for us and how deeply we are loved by him, the fear will evaporate. I think this is a good reminder of that."

3. Jeremiah 29:11

“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”

"This verse means so much to me because I am always apprehensive about the future and about what God has in store for me. It keeps me reassured to trust and keep my focus on him."

4. Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

I like this one because I am an anxious person at times and this reminds me that I am never alone and even though I might be out of my comfort zone, or am going through a rough time Jesus has my best interest and will guide me through it all.

"I did a dig-in of the book of Joshua last year, and I always loved this verse. It taught me to stay steadfast and trust God, even when I doubted my situation or, more often myself. No matter where I am or how difficult a situation may be, I can take comfort in knowing that God is with me through every moment and using those hard times to build me up into a stronger man of God."

5. Psalm 46:10-11

“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

"It’s a great reassurance to be quiet. Be still. God is still the biggest and He’s got this."

6. Romans 8:18

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

"This verse was kind of what made me consider the Christianity couldn’t be all that bad and has also helped me stay level-headed when I go through a really bad low."

7. Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

"This verse has had an impact on me since freshman year of college. I don’t remember how I found it, I think I just googled “good verses” and found it. I like it because it reminds me that we can’t always see or even feel faith, but we have the assurance that it’s there, that we are grounded in it. I also like that faith is equated to a confidence in this hope we have found."

8. Colossians 3:12

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

"It’s my favorite because it really encompasses several important Christian values, and it’s just a good reminder to try to always be kind/compassionate/patient to/with others, even when it can be hard!

9. Isaiah 40: 28-31

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

"It reminds me that God Himself is never-ending in love, strength, patience and in his provision for us. In times that we seem like we feel like we can’t go any further, we may not understand why we’re going through it. However, it doesn’t stop there, but we will succeed and be exalted, and one day never have to worry about feeling this again!

10. Matthew 6:34

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

"My bible study leader referred me to this quote during my freshmen year of college. It was during finals week and I was stressing out over every little thing. After reading this quote, I felt an instant overwhelming sense of peace. I know that sounds cheesy, but this verse is what gets me through the hard times. I am the kind of person who likes to plan everything out to a tee, but this has taught me to take every day as it comes and to live life in the present rather than worrying about the future. God has a plan for us and no amount of my worrying is going to change His will."

If you are interested in hearing more perspectives or about the harsh realities of life and people's journeys as Christians, check out Join the Story!

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