I asked to be a lover…

Photo: "...the sun shines!" LaShawnda Jones for Spirit-Harvest.com

I didn’t comprehend the magnitude of what I was asking. I thought I was ready to love. I thought I was ready for love to work through me. I thought all I needed to do was be a willing vessel… remain open… offer myself – my humanity – and my resources… and give what is needed when it’s needed. I thought the resistance to love would only be temporary – so short term as to be unremarkable. I thought the ugliest rejection I would encounter would be “no, thank you.” {Click the link to read full article.}

…and the people said “HELL NO!”

Photo: JohnLund.com

The world teaches that love is a soft thing – warm, cuddly, tender, weak. Perhaps those who bask in the labor of someone else’s love experiences warmth and softness, but those who labor to love… well we weather tempestuous storms, debilitating uncertainty and endure heart-breaking on-the-job training. We don’t immediately see the benefits of the humiliation, shame, loneliness, sadness, abuse or temptations that hammer at us throughout the workday. But when we get to a certain point on our walk, we are able to look back and see where one humiliation prepared us for the next until humiliation was no longer a concern. We see how shame shrouded us in darkness until we decided to cast off the weight of shame and expose ourselves to more light. We can look back and see how loneliness felt excruciating for a time, but it was only in our aloneness that we were able to draw closer to God.

ACAD – Helper: Acts 14

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He and the people wanted to offer a sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas. But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard about it, they tore their clothes. They ran in among the people, shouting, “Friends, why are you doing these things? We are only human beings like you. We are bringing you the Good News and are telling you to turn away from these worthless things and turn to the living God. He is the One who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. In the past, God let all the nations do what they wanted. Yet he proved he is real by showing kindness, by giving you rain from heaven and crops at the right times, by giving you food and filling your hearts with joy.” Even with these words, they were barely able to keep the crowd from offering sacrifices to them.

ACAD – Helper: Acts 11

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Then I remembered the words of the Lord. He said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ Since God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, how could I stop the work of God?”

When the believers heard this, they stopped arguing. They praised God and said, “So God is allowing even other nations to turn to him and live.”

ACAD – Helper: Acts 10

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About noon the next day as they came near Joppa, Peter was going up to the roof[a] to pray. He was hungry and wanted to eat, but while the food was being prepared, he had a vision. He saw heaven opened and something coming down that looked like a big sheet being lowered to earth by its four corners. In it were all kinds of animals, reptiles, and birds. Then a voice said to Peter, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.”

But Peter said, “No, Lord! I have never eaten food that is unholy or unclean.”

But the voice said to him again, “God has made these things clean, so don’t call them ‘unholy’!” This happened three times, and at once the sheet was taken back to heaven.

ACAD – Helper: Acts 9

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In Jerusalem Saul was still threatening the followers of the Lord by saying he would kill them. So he went to the high priest and asked him to write letters to the synagogues in the city of Damascus. Then if Saul found any followers of Christ’s Way, men or women, he would arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem.

So Saul headed toward Damascus. As he came near the city, a bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”

Saul said, “Who are you, Lord?”

The voice answered, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Get up now and go into the city. Someone there will tell you what you must do.”

ACAD – Helper: Acts 7

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Stephen continued speaking: “You stubborn people! You have not given your hearts to God, nor will you listen to him! You are always against what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you, just as your ancestors were. Your ancestors tried to hurt every prophet who ever lived. Those prophets said long ago that the One who is good would come, but your ancestors killed them. And now you have turned against and killed the One who is good. You received the law of Moses, which God gave you through his angels, but you haven’t obeyed it.”

ACAD – Helper: Acts 4

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They made Peter and John stand before them and then asked them, “By what power or authority did you do this?”

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and you elders, are you questioning us about a good thing that was done to a crippled man? Are you asking us who made him well? We want all of you and all the people to know that this man was made well by the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth. You crucified him, but God raised him from the dead. This man was crippled, but he is now well and able to stand here before you because of the power of Jesus.

ACAD – Helper: Acts 2

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ACAD – Helper: Acts 2
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a noise like a strong, blowing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw something like flames of fire that were separated and stood over each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak different languages by the power the Holy Spirit was giving them. Click to read chapter.

Testimonials

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Rhonda P. Fulford

“Great Job LaShawnda!”, as always I’m sooo proud of you. I know that our GOD is very pleased with you, and may you be blessed in ways that you can’t even imagine.

Your friend in Christ

-Rhonda .P. Fulford

Christa Clontz

Thank you for your site. I am a writer as well and have been asked to write a weekly devotional page for a church website. Your page confirmed the name God placed on my heart for this project.

God bless :)

Jared B.

Proverbs 27:12 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

If we can’t be transparent with one another then there is no way we can grow (sharpen) each other.

If we are afraid to be transparent because of shame hidden away in our life then transparency should be an encouragement for us to move beyond what brings shame and into a beneficial and strengthening relationship. See Galatians 6:1 “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

On the other hand if we are afraid to be transparent because of self-doubt or shyness then we may be robbing those around us of blessings and encouragements. 1 Corinthians 14:26 “What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.”

Your description of Christ is on the mark. He had little patience and was very blunt with those who should have, or professed, to know better. Yet, with the poor, sick, weary, and those truly seeking him he had compassion and kindness.

Your words are encouraging to me but also convicting. Nicely said, uhh Kindly said? Well put! :)

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