Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Our Wedding Cake from 1993

Does a Bride long for her wedding day, when she will at last be united with her groom to spend the rest of her days in his company?  Or does she wait out her engagement out of obligation and duty, despising the length of time she will have to spend with her groom once the vows have been taken?

Loyalty and obligation are two very different words, but it seems like we tend to get those two confused when it comes to commitment.  When you get down to the root of those words, you have loyal and obligate. 

Here is how the dictionary defines them:

loyal |ˈloiəl|
giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution

verb |ˈäbliˌgāt|
1 bind or compel (someone), esp. legally or morally
2 [ with obj. ] commit (assets) as security
adjective |ˈäbligit| [ attrib. ] Biology
restricted to a particular function or mode of life

I’ve highlighted the words to show how contrasting those words really are.  Loyalty is birthed out of love for another and obligation is birthed out of duty.

Luke 5:34 and John 3:29 speaks of how Jesus is the bridegroom and we as his followers are his bride.  Therefore since we are the bride awaiting our groom, then we need to ask ourselves, “Am I waiting in joyful expectation to be united with Christ to spend all eternity with him?” or “Am I following Christ out of a verbal commitment to gain a heavenly security while living a life of religious duty?”

As I read the book of Ruth I saw the love of the bride and the bridegroom demonstrated towards one another.  How broken our world is when we rarely see the love of God in marriage vows.  The vows that are meant to demonstrate loyalty (giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person) are so easily broken and discarded.  It’s no wonder that so many believers in Christ are experiencing a dead, religious type of relationship while committed or “engaged” to the bridegroom.  The earthly model of the love between the bride and the bridegroom has been shattered giving the impression of a hopeless and dull future bound by vows spoken to gain security.

This is not what God desires for us.  In the book of Ruth, Ruth has been living with her mother-in-law after the death of her husband and has been working daily in the fields of an older man who could redeem her from her current life by marrying her.  She then, in Ruth 3:9, seeks him out and quietly lays at his feet.  When he notices her, she asks him to “spread his garment over her” so as to symbolize marriage. He is so blessed by her kindness towards him, as he is much older than her and she could have chosen another man much younger than he. In the end, they do wed and Ruth goes from a worker in the fields to the owner of the fields, living an abundant life.

Ruth, the bride, chose to commit to her groom out of love, not obligation and her groom, although he was lawfully obligated to wed Ruth, gave the opportunity to another out of love for her, but in the end she was rejected and so her groom, her redeemer, wed her.

Loyalty is a commitment birthed from love.  Is that the kind of relationship you are experiencing with Jesus right now?  Do you look forward to reading your Bible, praying, and talking to God or is it an obligation?  If you find yourself following Jesus out of religious duty and obligation because you “prayed a prayer” of salvation once for the hope of security, then you are in relationship with the bridegroom for the wrong reasons.  No wonder your time of “engagement” is so dry and boring! 

Recommit yourself to Jesus out of love for Him and watch what he will do.  Just like Ruth, you will go from a life of struggling to a life abundant full of joy for the coming groom.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Heart Song: Death of a Loved One

Today I lost a dear friend to a long battle for life against stage four cancer.  Her name is Colleen and you will find some of her comments on this blog.  She was an encouraging voice in my life and I will miss her immensely.

As I am sorting through my emotions of disbelief and sadness I remembered my book and how death was something Abraham had experienced as well.  So I turned to what I know best, God’s word and the inspiration that he gave me in my book.

 Here is an excerpt from my book, Path of the Blessing:

(Found in Genesis 23)

Walking Through the Valley

   Some time later Abraham was told that his brother Nahor had had sons, one of which was Bethuel who became the father of Rebekah.  This is significant because Rebekah goes on to marry Isaac, Sarah and Abraham’s son.

   Sarah then dies at 127 years old.  She died in Hebron in the land of Canaan.  The bible says that Abraham mourned for Sarah and wept over her at her side.  This is definitely a valley experience, when someone you love dies.

    At some point in all of our lives we will find that we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  This can be experiencing the death of a loved one, or the death of a relationship.  Just because we are finding ourselves in a valley on our path, doesn’t necessarily mean we have gotten off of our path of blessingGod has led us there and he will lead us through.

 Psalm 23 “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures, 
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. 
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. 
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, 
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (NIV)

   If you are finding yourself in a valley right now, keep trusting and following the Lord to lead you through. 

As I finished reading these words, it stood out to me that not only will Jesus lead me through, but that death itself is merely a shadow of the reality of eternity we experience as believers and followers of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 23 in the King James version puts it this way in verse 4, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Colleen is now reveling in the presence of the Lord, dancing, and basking in the bliss that only Heaven can offer without a care for the old shadow that this world has now become to her.

So I write all this to say, be comforted by Jesus.  He will lead you through and this life is merely a shadow of the eternity to come.  We will see our loved ones again because of our relationship with Jesus.  AND that brings me great comfort.
Love you Colleen.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I Finally Finished Something!

Isn't it such a good feeling when you accomplish something?  Well, after a year since my last one time attempt at Youtube, I braved it again today.  

If you click on the link that says, "God Has a Unique Plan for Your Life."  Then you will find another link to my Youtube video.  (I'm not technically inclined, so forgive me for any imperfections)

So now it's time to accomplish another task, grocery shopping!

What are you going to finish or start today that you've been putting off?

Friday, May 17, 2013


Dear Reader,

Yes, you have the right blog!  After using my last template for a year, I realized that some of the features it had were not working properly and I do not have the mind for re-writing computer code so I switched.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog in it's new sleek magazine style and thank you to all my readers for your support as I haven't been blogging lately, but now I'm back!

*Don't forget you can follow me through the subscribe button on the right sidebar at the bottom.  (It's a funny looking symbol)

The Raven-Haired Girl

Monday, May 13, 2013


Have you ever asked yourself, “What does it mean to be a Christian?”  There are millions of people around the world that claim that label for themselves, yet that label seems to send a confusing message. 

We hear of people who kill others because they say God told them to; claiming they are Christians.  Alternatively, we hear of people who serve others generously with their time and resources. 

We have friends who gossip constantly about others who claim Christianity.  Then again, we know of a select few who never gossip and hold their tongue when it comes to others weaknesses. 

What about others who protest with literal messages of Hate written on signs who claim they are Followers of Christ?  Contrasting the message of Hate, we quietly search for the few who will stand for truth in Love.

No wonder the world pushes away the idea of being a Christian, which is simply a Follower of Christ.  Why is the negative seemingly so dominant?  Why isn’t Love being loudly proclaimed from every Christian life? 

John 13:34-35
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  This is a command from Jesus himself!  When others see Christians they should see Love

Love.  As you and I both know, there are many forms of Love.  So if Followers of Christ are to show Love to others, what form of Love would set believers apart from others who don’t follow Jesus? There are people I know who happen to be Atheists that display Love better than some Christians I know.  So what kind of Love is Jesus talking about?

He is talking about a self-less kind of Love, the kind of Love where you don’t expect to get anything in return.  I’m talking about where the person you are showing Love to couldn’t repay you physically, emotionally, or monetarily.  That is the form of Love that Jesus took on the cross.  John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.

God demonstrated his Love for ALL people when he gave Jesus as a sacrifice for our punishment for sin.

You see the form of Love that Jesus commands us to live out is a self-less, sacrificing of ourselves kind of Love.  Do you claim the label of Christian for yourself?  Are you living out the kind of Love that Jesus commands us to?  If you haven’t been, then start TODAY!  Find one person this week that you can show Love to that will cause you to sacrifice something (time, money, emotional investment) and with no benefit to you.  Then tell me and others who read this blog in the comments section if you took action and did it!

Let’s show the world what being a Christian really means, LOVE.