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EVERY LOVE STORY WHISPERS HIS NAME

ever-after-movie-coverFor Valentine’s Week, we’re going to do something fun but also valuable. Perhaps you know of the famous conversation that C. S. Lewis had with J. R. R. Tolkien before Lewis trusted Christ. Lewis had always loved myths and fairy tales as a child, but he said to Tolkien: “But they are lies — though breathed through silver.”

Tolkein said “They are not lies.”

Tolkien’s point is that there is a truth deeper than the dawn of time, the truth of the Gospel, and because God has set eternity in the hearts of men, those writers have a sense of that truth, and the longing to be loved as we are, and the longing to be rescued by someone amazing comes through these stories. In the same way, wonderful love stories do the same thing. I love watching these movies and then talking to my girlfriends about the spiritual messages they glimmer. So let’s look at some of our favorite love stories and see what we can discover. I’ll help and jump in, but would love your thoughts on any of the following with which you are familiar — and I’ll give you a place to add your own recommendations. . I realize there are those who will be offended by this post, for there are elements in these movies that are not edifying. (You can read my explanation on my movie recommendations by clicking here)  I do think it is a wise parent that teaches her children to watch movies critically, looking for the Christian and non-Christian messages, and teaches them to find beauty in secular sources.  I also realize some of you will disagree, and do not watch secular movies, and do that to the glory of God. Romans 14 tells us each to realize we will stand before God and not judge our brother on these gray issues.

The following video is simply meant to quicken that longing in your heart to be loved — and to see if you can see a deeper story, a story older than the dawn of time.

1. How does the above video make you feel? Even if God never gives you a Prince Charming or turns your husband into one, how has Jesus been this to you?

2.  In what ways is the Gospel a Cinderella story?

3. Can you think of any scenes in Ever After that have a spiritual parallel to our relationship with Christ?

(Here’s mine: When she comes to the ball  and she doesn’t know how he will respond to her, she tells herself: “Breathe, just breathe.”  One day, when I am about to meet Jesus face to face, though I know I’m saved by grace, I think I will say, “Breathe, Dee,  just breathe.” to myself. And yet He promises He will come running for me, turning me into a beautiful bride.)

3. Pride and Prejudice pride_and_prejudice1

What spiritual parallels do you see from either the book or the movie?

If you have any particular lines from the book or the movie that you want to share, please do! I will too.

4. Sleepless in Seattle

What spiritual parallels do you see? What non-Christian messages do you see?

5. Gone with the Wind

What spiritual parallels do you see in the book or movie?

6. Titanic

What Christian messages? What non-Christian messages?

7. I see parallels in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Miss Potter, Camelot,  South Pacific, Jane Eyre, and so many others. Do any of you? If so, what?

8. What movie or love story touches your heart and makes you think about something concerning your relationship with Jesus?

Keller will sometimes do this with a love story. I must admit I envy his congregations who get to watch a production of a musical and then hear him preach on it. Here is the link to his sermon on Porgy and Bess:

http://sermons.redeemer.com/store/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_ID=6&Name=Porgy+and+Bess&monthrecorded=&yearrecorded=&scripture=&speaker=all&messagetype=&SKUsearch=&sort=DateNew&=go&CFID=2258236&CFToken=24082707

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100 comments

  1. Wow. This just ‘fits’ right now does it not?

    1. The video stirs up an appreciation for love in me. In most love stories actors are usually beautiful or handsome but those are never the reason they are loved. I think the physical appearance is more for our benefit. Love is based on something in the soul that is recognized by the lover. In the same way Jesus loves me whether I am beautiful or smart or productive. He loves me because of who He is, not because of what I am.

    The other thing is how love empowers and lifts people to so much more than they would otherwise be. Comparing the love of Christ in this way gives new meaning to Philippians 4:13. Not only does He strengthen us by the power of the Holy Spirit but also just by the shear power of His love on our souls.

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE romantic movies like some of these because I think they do remind me of my love relationship with Christ. It is what was placed in our heart and what we just yearn for.

    1-Video makes me smile. Makes me not feel bad for being a romantic or viewing my relationship with Christ like one.

    2-The gospel is a Cinderella story in it takes an orphan like me, desperate, having nothing and adopts me into His family and His kingdom. I was a pauper who became a princess not because of what I did but because of what He did. He reached down and rescued me and lifted me up into the best thing ever!

    3-Love EverAfter…Love the scene where she was taken and sold but then rescued by the prince and he took her in marriage though she was not royalty. Love that she was also strong enough to fight the enemy but He still came and would have broken her free. Jesus comes to our rescue as well yet He makes us strong enough to fight never being far from our sides ever. We are His though we are not royalty.

    4-Pride and Prejudice I LOVE!!Several times you see a man and woman coming together who are not on the same “level” or “status”. IN a sense these men rescue them because they love them not for what they have. Jesus too rescues us because he loved us not because of what we have done.

    7-My Big Fat Greek Wedding- I love that this girl thought she had nothing to offer and did not even try to make her self beautiful. Then she learned of someone interested and made herself beautiful. He made her more beautiful because he was there in her life. Christ does the same thing for us. He does not wait for us to become beautiful.

    8-My favorite movie I love and see the most spiritual parelles in is Beauty and the Beast (disney version cartoon). It is about loving someone beyond appearances and how that love can break all things bad, how that love transforms. That is like our life with Christ.

    Cannot wait to hear the sermon linked! Love this and Happy Valentines day to everyone!! We are loved because He first loved us! 🙂

  3. All I can say is AMEN to what Anne and Angela shared! Can’t wait to get started!! This looks so good!!

  4. 1. Honestly, it made me feel a little envious that I don’t have that perfect Prince; but also thankful for the many, many times I DO feel cherished in this way by my husband, yet still pain at the times I have not. It does provoke a longing in me.
    Jesus—He has been the one constant relationship since I was 5. I knew then we had something personal, even raised in a Catholic home, I never believed I had to go through a priest…I talked to Jesus all the time. He reached down and saved me over and over from a dark lonely place in my family…where I felt homesick even at home. He holds me, He gives me HOPE new every morning. I could go on and on here, but will journal it instead of taking the room here!

    I love this topic, Dee!

    2.The meek, lowly Cinderella, who the world doesn’t notice or care for, is plucked out of her pitiful exisistence and transformed into the Princess, the daughter of the King. It is the story of all our lives, we are Cinderella, and there is no pumpkin coach 😉

    3. Oh my memory for movies is TERRIBLE! I loved that movie, but can’t remember the details! Same with all of these listed…seen them all, can’t remember the details though!

    7. I think I’m going with An Affair to Remember, the 1957 version with Cary Grant (I re-watch the classics enough to remember them!)
    There is the initial attraction with a promise of more to come, the loss of hope, when Terry assumes she is un-loveable because of her handicap (imperfection) mixed with a fear so deep it keeps her bound and unwilling to be exposed, but Nicky pursues her, unveils the truth, and that his love is strong enough to embrace her imperfection.

    8. Life is Beautiful, based on a true story, 1930s in Italy, where Jewish man and his 5 yr old son is arrested by the Germans and taken to a concentration camp. His non-Jewish wife insists to be taken too, and is sent to a different camp.
    I hate to give it away if anyone hasn’t seen it—it is an amazing movie, in my opinion.
    The part that makes me think about my relationship with Jesus is that the father takes such delight in his son and wife, and is devoted entirely to protecting them and giving them joy. In the end, he willingly gives his life for his son and it is an amazing story of sacrificial love.

  5. Happy Valentine’s Day, monday! It is Kendra’s 24th birthday also! I haven’t gotten to see all of these movies, only a couple of them, because Kendra plays her cartoon movies all the time! But a couple of my favorite’s are: Bridges of Madison County…remember what Clint Eastwood said in it….”A love like this only comes once in a lifetime”. (Jesus only comes once in our lifetime) And another favorite one of mine is: Message in a bottle. She desires so much a love like the man (Kevin Costner) had for his wife, who wrote that message in that bottle, that she had to met him. The love between them was strained as he couldn’t put his love for his deceased wife in the past and just when he finally does and allows himself to love again, he dies. This tells me our time is short, to give all our love to Jesus.

    One other favorite is: The Notebook. They had such a love for one another when they were young and now that they are old, she has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t remember him (James Garner), but he keeps coming everyday and reading from the notebook of their lives, never giving up hope that she will remember him and their love. She may have forgotten him, but he never forgets her. Doesn’t that sound like Jesus to you? He never forgets us, even tho we may forget him.

  6. 1. This video reminds me of scenes of enchantment, the desperate desire and drive of a woman giving herself to the man of her affections. I also see her longing of him wanting her yet her fear of letting go and giving herself to him when she finds he does long for her..I see a man coming to her rescue- not always handsome from the outside but rather on the inside strong, beautiful. When he holds her there is nothing else going on around her but him, his essence, his person, everything about him she adores, her life her all is wrapped up in this moment.

    2. I see Cinderella as one who is abused in her own home..oppressed, brought down by sin, not really knowing what it feels like to truly be loved..But she is transformed into a woman of beauty as she goes to meet the prince…Wow..parallel there..with God preparing our hearts to meet Jesus.. she so desired to go..When she meets him (Jesus) They fall deeply in love, he is enchanted with her and out of fear of the clock striking twelve, instead of staying in the princes’ arms she ran back because she feared he would not love her if he saw her in her natural state. (How many times do we do that? withdraw from Jesus because of the fear of some of the ugly stuff inside he might see) He pursues her anyway and in the end the shoe fit and the fairy comes again and makes her beautiful and radiant as she becomes his bride. (So too are we, beautiful and radiant when we come to know Jesus but the natural ugly is still going to rear it’s ugly head but as we become more and more intimate with Jesus the more we trust Him with our flaws and can be naked and unashamed, and how even more radiant and beautiful we become.)

  7. This reminds me that one day my prince will come…and he does have a white horse!! 🙂

    1. I always had a yearning of my prince rescuing me on His white horse and kept expecting it to be in the form of my husband then God showed me He is that. He is the One on the white horse who saved me and is coming back for me. 🙂 He placed that yearning there I just looked in the wrong place for fulfillment.

      1. Angela
        I needed to hear that more then you could ever know.

  8. Joyce, you stole mine:) I was going to say the notebook! Love the last scene! His love was so pure and real. Jesus keeps reminding me of His love for me even when I forget to love Him back.
    I love all your insite!!!
    this is so randum and I know its way out there but my favorite love story of all time is between frodo and sam in Lord of the Rings. Its not romantic love but it is sacrificial and strong and unconditional. They do what is hard so that they can do what is right. the last scene @ the volcano is so powerful. I want my relationship with Jesus to be like the relationship between Frodo and Sam.
    I guess because my marriage is hard at times I really struggle with the romantic girl movies because i get very discontent when I watch them. I am a romantic at heart and my mind wonders and its just not good, I don’t want to feed that monster so I try to just stay away from them. but now if I can put Jesus in the male role that will make them easier for me to watch in the future.
    as i read this I realized just how hard it is for me to see Jesus in a “romantic” way. I can see him as a best friend, a brother, a savior and God but to put Him in a romantic role really makes it very hard for me to feel loved by Him.
    My entire married life romance has been sex. my husband finds it very hard to connect with me in any other way so if we have a “romantic night” and it does not lead to sex he gets very angry with me. I realy don’t want you to think bad of him, he is smart, funny, hard working, loves Jesus and our kids and me as well as he is able. He just really struggles emotionally because of his past. I would never want you to think badly of him!!! I only share this because I think it has really effected my ability to see Jesus as romantic.
    I can see that I am much more emotionally shut off then I thought I was. I have closed some places in my heart to keep them safe, I thought they were all opened back up but as I read this lesson I am discovering some that are still under lock and key.
    please pray for me this week, this has been a very hard lesson for me. I met my husband 20 years ago today, we have figured out how to do life together and I have learned to love him in a sister in Christ kind of way, but I do not get butterflies when he walks in a room, I have never felt for him what the charecters of these movies feel for each other and I have learned to live with that most days. but this has been very hard for me. I am finding it very hard to think of Jesus and not my husband.

    1. wow God really gave me a gift today at lunch time. Paul came home and gave me the biggest smile and told me a funny story from work and gave me a tender hug. thank you for praying for me. I am amazed at how fast he heard and spoke to my heart.
      I have often been so glad that Paul could not meet all my needs because it has led me into the arms of Jesus. I would not give up my relationship with Him for the most perfect marriage in the world.
      some days I just wish I could have Him with skin on! I think that is what I was given today and I am so very thankful!!!

    2. I also love that relationship between Sam and Frodo – what a friend Sam is. I want to be that kind of friend!

    1. Dee
      I feel so bad for complaining when I think of the fact that you are spending this day without your dear husband!!! Im sure your heart aches for his arms today even more then normal. you are in my heart and prayers today. I pray you have a wonderful day filled with all those who love you.

    2. I have read the C.S lewis book about Joy but not the other one. I know in my heart that I am so close to Jesus because I could not get what I wanted from Paul. It has been a “severe mercy” and I have had the blessing of also having a loving supportive husband. I have a wonderful life and family and he loves us with all he has and I do love him dearly.
      like i said, i just try to keep away from all the “romantic” movies and books because it brings up discontentment and that is not good for me, my husband or my relationship with Jesus.
      don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of this week, I think its a great one!! just a hard one for me:)

        1. its so amazing how when I let God be God and Paul be Paul how much happier I am:)

  9. I’m new here. I love this topic, Dee. Thank you. It touches my heart. All these movies speak to me, and many more. I’ve never read “Severe Mercy” but am now looking forward to that.

    What I love to see in these movies is when the man is called upon to become a savior/redeemer (the part of “God’s Image” he was created in…) When a man steps up to the base, and sacrificially becomes the warrior, hero, savior, redeemer, lover(as seen when Jesus did all this for us). Sadly, now days, we don’t see it much, but when we do, we don’t recognize and acknowledge this in our men. If I see ANY of these aspects (even in minute ways) in our day to day lives with my husband and sons, I try to let them know that they are my hero, knight in shinning armor, savior, protector,…ect. This makes them even MORE handsome because they strive MORE to do these things…LOVE this part of their image in Christ! That’s romantic!

    Cyndi, I understand what you are saying. I read a book this past year that I felt addressed this issue fairly…”No More Headaches” by Dr. Juli Slattery from Focus on the Family. I believe this helped me to see what my “Warrior, Hero, Knight in Shinning Armor…etc…” was created to be like and when that affection, I so crave will happen and come from in my man.

    1. Love the picture of the Christian life being a dance, putting our hand in his and letting him lead..I have been thinking about that since last night.

      I think it is so cool how some of you can remember quotes and even content from movies. For some reason I am not able to. When I see a movie, I remember it for two days then forget unless someone brings up a scene and even then I have to jog my memory. The same goes with books..Isn’t that sad?? 😉

      But, I am enjoying listening to you all and maybe God will jog my memory on some of these or another movie. So far, there is some really neat stuff God is doing with this study already this week!!! 🙂

      Oh, I did have a movie come to mind, couldn’t remember the name so I had to look it up..It is called “Bella”..Here is the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ9AkTrbxgk

      I do remember the content because it was powerful..It was a movie about a single girl who became pregnant and while she was in the early stages of pregnancy, she was scared and considered abortion..During this time, a man who worked with her liked her, and he became her friend and he fell in love with her. He talked her out of the abortion while she was at the abortion clinic. He promised to adopt the baby and take care of her, and he did.. It is a beautiful story and was a surprise when we saw it. It was not a well known movie..The more I think about it, the more I see him as a picture of Jesus to this woman and this unborn baby girl.

      What I remember the most was how he sacrificed for this woman, how he pursued her and was there with her through this HUGE, scary, event in her life. He fell in love with her and while she didn’t return that love he still stuck with her through the process..There is so much there now that i think about it.. He has a background. He played Soccer and was professional and something happened..Can’t tell you what it was, but it broke his heart..Will think on this one a bit today..

      1. Rebecca, we loved Bella! We watched it a few years ago and were so touched, having adopted our children, and knowing their birth-moms went through similar struggling moments of questioning what to do.I LOVE your paralell to Christ–will share that with my husband, that is rich.

        And believe me, I am similar to you with my memory of movies or books! I so rarely can re-watch the same movie, (except Singing in the Rain and most classics!), so I quickly forget. But I do remember Bella was really good!

        1. Elizabeth, you and your husband adopting children is a perfect picture of Christ coming in to save us, redeem us and bring us into his arms-close to His chest, and He gives us a beautiful, wonderful family to love and be loved by as well! I see this parallel now in how the man in this movie came and rescued Bella (The baby) from sure death and gave her new life with Him. He did this by convincing her mom not to get an abortion and then took Bella into His home, his arms but at the same time had mercy on her mother as she struggled with a really tough decision..wow..what a parallel.. 🙂

  10. Did any of you happen to see the movie, Saving Milly? My husband and I stumbled upon it on TV the other night, it is a true story based on the book by politician Mort Kondracke, about his wife. She is this very powerful character, called the “glue” of the family, very strong and “in control” of everyone, and then she develops a very debilitating form of Parkinson’s, and literally falls apart. She can do nothing for herself or anyone else, utterly dependent. There is one scene where the husband is talking with a colleague and he shares that he is determined to “do this one thing (of caring for his sick wife) well”…it’s incredibly moving…but then you watch him do everything from change her diaper to spoon feed her, until her death.
    It’s interesting because many of the love stories that grip me most, have this thread–the woman is less than perfect,hard to love or even un-loveable by worldy standards…not the beautiful Cinderella, but a woman with a “blemish” of some sort. AND YET, she is deeply,genuinely loved. OH how I love that–I so identify with feeling less-than magazine perfect, struggling in my sinfulness, and to know I am deeply, genuinely known and loved by my King, it is beautiful.

    1. Oh Elizabeth, this moved me..Such depth here..

  11. Please pray for me and my son and family today! We had a very long night and today is going to be a very hard day. Luke was driving home from his friends house last night, he is 18 but has only had his lisence for 2 months. He has ADD and driving is hard for him so he is very focused when he is driving.
    That said, he was arrested last night for fleeing and abeding (sp?) because when the cops pulled behind him because my husbands plates were expired (We have no idea, the tags are not, we think the plates got switched years ago when we owned another car) he did not pull over because he was not speeding and had done nothing wrong so he thought it was for someone else.
    he continued on for 3 lights before seeing them and then 2 more because he was confused and in the left lane trying to get over but he is really bad yet at lane changes. He didn’t think you could stop in the left lane. He was going 30 miles per hour, never sped up, was just very scared and couldn’t figure out what to do. They called him out of the car at gun point!
    He has shut down and is scared to death. he really is a very good kid! I am hard on my kids but this kid is a great kid! loves God with all his heart and serves Him almost everyday, teaching sundayschool, youthgroup, inner city tudering…..a great kid.
    we have court today at 5. please pray that the charges are dropped or lessened. He wants to be a teacher and we are afraid that this may hurt that.
    also pray for me, we will have one car until we can figure all this out and with a family of 7 and me taking kids to and from school, leading worship at bible study and getting Paul to and from work, im just not sure how its all going to work.
    thank you
    cyndi

        1. great advice!!!

    1. Cyndi, Oh my..My heart is with you Cyndi and Yes we will be praying with you at 5 P.M. Eastern..

      Lord, we know that you are sovereign and Lord you can change the hearts of Kings and of men..You are the one who set us into motion..Lord I ask that you move in the court in a mighty way today! Give Cyndi your peace in the midst of this and your comfort knowing this is in your hands. Give whomever is representing Cyndi’s son wisdom and clarity in thought as to how to convince the court to drop his charges..Lord give the judge a merciful spirit toward Cyndi’s son and let him consider her son’s ADD..In your precious and holy name we pray..

    2. lORD, Thank You for the beautiful heart You have given to this young man, and for Cyndi’s ability to see his heart and lift him up, even in times of trouble. He made a mistake and Oh, how You are able to redeem our mistakes. Protect him and his future right now Lord. Give him favor with the court as he stands in that place today. May he call upon Your name in his time of trouble and see Your love and Your power as You lift him out of this difficulty. Be glorified LORD. Amen.

      1. Yes Lord, be glorified through this, and give Cyndi peace and strength. Amen

  12. Yes! We had a major break through with my very strong willed 7 yr old, in an area of her life that truly is a strong hold. I’m not expecting it to be permanent, but yesterday was a huge victory and we celebrated it! Then my dear husband of 17 yrs exchanged small gifts and one thing he did was so special. We were high school sweethearts, and we have been through more storms than I ever, ever could have imagined. One of our counselors encouraged me to have an “escape plan” for the kids and I when they were born-because for the many years before the “right” medication, there were very scary moments–broken items,fists through walls..(just trying to give a picture of what it’s been). BUT, He has redeemed, He has healed. There are still dark clouds–New Years one came and his anger went out of control, but so far, the last 3 years, he has brought it back down and acknowledged it, and then increased medicine as needed.
    Sorry for this long story–but yesterday, my husband gave me a big red fancy bag and inside were hundreds of tissue “petals” he had cut out. Each one he had written something he was thankful to me for–everything from planning our vacations to encouraging him to seek psychiatric help…and that could ONLY happen through His amazing redemptive grace!

    1. Elizabeth, Praise God! What a testimony and i am excited at how God is using this and will use it to help others..

      How loving of your husband to do that!!

    2. Elizabeth, this is so beautiful! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You LORD!

  13. Thank you for praying for my sister on Monday. Her surgery went well and they did not have to pop the hip out of the socket, so that was an answer to specific prayer. She was supposed to stay the night in the hospital, but they sent her home; it was not good for her as she was sick and vomiting, I was lying awake last night telling the Lord I was upset and angry with the doctor or whoever made the decision to send her home! She wanted to stay, too. But they did get all the tumor removed.

    1. I can most identify with Cyndi after watching the video clips. It fills me with a longing to be loved, to be cherished, to be known and listened to. I, too, must be careful with romantic movies because they stir up discontent in me because I don’t have that kind of love in my marriage. I can remember a couple of years ago, I was feeling lonely and bereft, and I watched Nights in Rodanthe with Richard Gere and I felt worse after the movie. It hurts to think I wont experience that kind of love here on earth; and this may sound weird, but I sometimes feel disappointed that there is no love like that (with a man) in heaven, though I guess when we meet Jesus, it wont even be a concern! Yesterday was just a normal day, I didn’t receive a card or gift, but my son said he was going to get me flowers but he forgot! He gave me a good hug, which I said was an even better gift!
    My daughter made me a beautiful picture, too! I think that’s why I get so sad at the thought of my children growing up, because they are my source of love and affection.
    When I watch those movie clips, I don’t imagine anything sexual, it’s the tenderness, the touch, the special way the man looks at the woman he loves, the intimacy they share between them.
    I don’t think I know Jesus in quite this way; I have been more focused on Him being my Savior, Lord, friend.

    Cyndi, I too will pray at 5 today; so sorry to hear about what happened with your son and will pray for understanding and clear communication of what really happened. Your son has his heart in the right place.

    1. Susan, SO GLAD to hear how God answered our prayers for your sister!

      I SO APPRECIATE you, Cindy and everyone on here..How honest you all are and how God is using that honesty to minister to and encourage others here including me..I can identify with both you and Cyndi in a particularly rough season my husband and I went through..Thankfully, God has once again come to my rescue as He is doing with you..

  14. Here is my “I Spy”..It has been a process though kind of leading up to Valentines day I guess..:-)

    God has been slowly teaching me, or should I say I have been slow to listen and He has been loving and long suffering, that I can’t really truly love and release my husband from being the one to meet all those romantic needs, until I fall into Jesus’ arms daily and embrace His love..He is my husband first and foremost and when that happens, I am able to release my husband and extend Jesus’ love to Him..

    I think since I have been in this study, God has revealed to me how selfish I am..how ugly I can be..But I really believe He is in the process of making me beautiful again, although this process of making me beautiful will go on until I am perfect with Him face to face!! 🙂

    My husband even noticed. He told me I have really changed since doing Dee’s studies online..(Of course I see every day when I get on this study how far I have yet to go!!) He can see God moving in my life..To God be the glory!! I am so thankful He pursued me despite me!!

    I love Him so much, and because of what He is doing in my life, my marriage is getting better. I see my husband and our physical expression of love in a different light. I firmly believe now that when God designed this universe and designed us he expressed aspects of Him and symbolism of the beauty of a relationship with Him..(Hard to put into words).. I used to cut the physical union in marriage out as something he didn’t design with beauty and symbolic purpose as well, but now I can’t do that and be intellectually honest with myself..It wouldn’t make sense to just cut that out as something he threw in at the last minute with no reason or rhyme..OR something dirty we had to endure or be ashamed of..This was hard for me to fathom due to my upbringing and our culture, but I think i get it now and am embracing it in a whole new light..EVERY aspect of it is symbolic..I see it now..I have to say God has used Dee Brestin to change my life in so many ways. It was a surprise that God would use these studies to change my thinking in this way! 😉

    On Valentines day my husband gave me flowers with a card saying, “Our love can only grow deeper.” and put 1 John 4:19…He actually gave me these flowers on Friday because he looked at the calendar and saw I was busy Monday all day..what a sweetie.. God opened my eyes to show me my husband sees His love in me extended to Him and God is making our marriage beautiful too! I am in tears..sorry.. Love you all! 🙂

    1. Rebecca, this is beautiful! I needed this reminder once again today–I cannot truly love until I am filled up with Him…and He is the One to meet my needs. It’s humbling to admit how often I have fallen into the lies of our culture and expected my husband to be what only Jesus was meant to be.
      What a gift too that your husband noticed a change in you–that is His valentine to you–what encouragement for the journey!

      And I will pray for your new job–that’s exciting! It will be fun to see how He will use you, and how He is preparing you now for it!

  15. OH and ladies, one prayer request..Nothing serious, but I now have a part time job as a sub at the school for the whole district. It fits perfectly with my family schedule..There is a lady I know who also works where I will be working but I won’t work with her a lot..God brought her into my path as she was our boys football coach! She is awesome..Pray for her heart to turn to Jesus..For God to soften her heart and to draw her to Him and to help me be aware of any opportunities to love her and to share..I am pretty sure she doesn’t know Jesus..

  16. Dee, I love your I spy question!

    I can be very moody. Up one minute and down the next. This morning I have been on the mountain top and trying to understand why. How did I get here? I really want to live here or at the very least learn how to rise up out of the pit when I am there. I am reading “1000 Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. That is where I got the idea about making this the year of eucharisteo. Yesterday I decided to start my list of things I am thankful for and I feel like my world is lit up this morning. So here are #1&2. 1. Baby cakes-that’s what I call baby kisses. 2. Sandpaper kisses at 14. Silly, aren’t they? I can’t wait to keep going.

    Last night’s BSF lesson was titled “I love you! Be mine!” and there it was in Isaiah 42-44:23. Especially 43:1-7. Susan, I hear your heart cry in your disappointment in your marriage. I am not big on love stories either for the same reason. I try to remember that marriage is only a picture, a shadow of what we will have with Christ in His kingdom, some of which is possible even now. When we come to our marriage with Christ, all of this will pale to nothing, a vapor.

    My favorite love story is Jane Eyre. I also have a least favorite love story which is Wuthering Heights. I love the soul connection between Jane and Mr. Rochester coupled with the faithfulness and joy of the ending. He loved her soul and she also loved him in the same way because even when he was reduced to nothing she still was overjoyed to be with him. But in Wuthering Heights their love was out of control and destroyed them both. That is the kind of love story I despise.

    1. You’ve inspired me to start Ann V’s book, Anne! I have had it a few weeks (if you can believe!) I haven’t started it yet, because I want to be able to give myself to it and let it change me! Beside my bed now are multiple parenting books, and I’m thinking it would probably benefit my parenting more to be changed myself with a heart of gratitude!

  17. update. We don’t know much yet. the trial will be on march 8th and until then he just has to call in once a week. we have to get letters from all the people he ministers with. will write more later. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS! THEY MEAN MORE THEN YOU KNOW!

    1. I was praying at 5! Your son belongs to the Lord, and nothing can happen to him without it being sifted through God first. I’m sure those letters from the people who know him best will be of much help.

    2. Cyndi, Amen and thanks for the update!! I too prayed for him today! I have been gone most of the day..SO glad at the update so far..Will keep praying!!

      1. im sorry, its a pre-trial where they will try to plee it down. Im new to this, i have never been in a court room before:) Law and order is the only experience I have:) We are hoping to not go to trial. We are just praying that it can be pleed to something that will not stay on his record so he can continue to tuder at the YMCA and not have issues when he goes to get a job teaching. He was called into ministry when he was 8 but last summer he interned under the childrens minister all summer and spend a lot of time in the inner city with kids who come from VERY messed up homes.
        after this he realized that most of him time as a CP would be spent in an office and was called into the inner city as an elementary teacher. he starts college in the fall.
        I know the enemy is at work here. Luke could change the world as a teacher…..
        I am doing my best to forgive my husband for not fixing the plates issue when he knew there was a problem but didn’t take the time to figure out how to fix it. I know we all make mistakes and I could have done the same thing. Its just so hard to see my son suffer because of pauls mistake. I am praying for a compassionate, loving, forgiving heart. Jesus has forgiven him, who am I not to. Im just really sad.

        Frodo failed so many times and Sam just kept loving him and helping him. I want to love Paul in this way!!

      2. thanks everyone!! your prayers are being felt.

  18. I’ve not seen Ever After, or Pride and Prejudice. I saw Sleepless in Seattle so long ago, I can’t remember any particulars about it.
    I do remember Titanic, though, and one of the Christian messages I think is in that movie is how he sacrifices his life for hers when they are in the water, putting her up on the floating piece of wreckage so she wont freeze in the water.

    I enjoy movies that portray powerful sacrificial love for another, and they don’t have to be a romance or love story. Saving Private Ryan, Dancer in the Dark, I Am David, and Taking Chance come to mind.

  19. I feel like I have hijacked this blog! I hate to write any more but I wanted to share my take away for the week.
    I feel like the pride that was such a big idol has really let go of me. and the need for control has also lessoned a ton. it is amazing how when you SEE it for what it is you can then deal with it.
    with both of those gone I have found my love for my husband and children has got a new life. I have also found the courage to go on a media fast. TV and facebook are my drug, when I need to escape that is where I run.
    Paul (he is the leader in this) and I have both been convicted of this and God has led us to unplug the TV and computer (except for this blog and school) for 2 weeks. We want more time to play together and also more directed leadership in making sure they clean their room and do their chores.
    without the getting rid of the idols i could have never done this.
    I am amazed at how peaceful our home is after only 3 days!!! and even more amazed at the lack of fight we are getting from our 5 children! Luke is 18 and we gave him a choice to join us and he did, he said that he was watching TV instead of reading his Bible at night and he thought it was a great idea!!!!

    thank you all for a place to be honest and open without hurting my husband. I would never share most of the feeling I have with my friends because I would not want to dishonor him with people who know him. this has been a safe place and for that I am forever grateful!!! I am watching God heal Paul and after 20 years I did not think that would happen. I love you all and thank you for your prayers!

    1. Cyndi,

      PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was SO excited to read this update!!!

    2. Cyndi, These are wonderful victories! Thanks for sharing them with us.

  20. If you have Anne’s email address, would you forward this to her? I saw her today and she asked where I found my “Valentine” answer for question number 5-B last night.

    “Fear not for I have redeemed you.” Isaiah 43:1
    “I have called you by name.” 43:1
    “You are mine.” 43:1
    “I will give men in exchange for you and people in exchange for your life.” 43:4
    “You are precious and honored in my sight.” 43:4
    “I love you.” 43:4

    I was too tired Monday night to remember much from BSF, but this answer from a woman in my group penetrated the fog. I thought it was beautiful.

    1. Anne, Yes it is beautiful!

  21. Oh I just had to chime back in with one more, maybe my real favorite movie–Shadowlands (though Singing in the Rain is close–I know, I just love the dancing!)

    The love story of Jack and Joy–and how he cares for her in her illness, oh I love that one–the self-sacrifice, the way her love for him penetrated through his shell and brought him to life!

    1. I love that book! what I really love is how now his step son is the keeper of chronicals of Narnia and he has done such a great job of protecting that work. God KNEW that when Joy married Jack that this was going to happen. C.S Lewis had no idea that the young boy he took in as his own and talked about Narnia as it was a real place with as they strolled through the woods together would one day protect his work.

    2. Elizabeth, I had no idea what you were talking about then I read Cyndi’s response and realized that was the movie about C.S. Lewis’ life..Then I remembered seeing it. I agree.. What a great movie! I would say they both were pictures of Jesus in different seasons. Yes, I was amazed at how brutally honest she was with him, how he needed that so bad because he couldn’t see the things going on inside that she could see..Of course he didn’t know he needed it until later.

  22. Saving Millie is available on you tube. I am watching it in pieces.

    1. Anne, I am going to watch that today when I rest from cleaning..Update on health..Still feeling under the weather a bit..Yesterday and last night were strange. I have never felt that way…Everything in my body wanted to lay down-aches and pains, headache..I had Parent/teacher conferences yesterday and my middle school one at 3:30 went for two hours..By the time I got home I felt worse. SO far this morning I just have the headache left. It was like the flu, but not-so kind of weird..Trusting Jesus with today!

  23. Here is the link for the first part of Saving Millie. It is in 9 parts. Very good. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxVeheMM_1s

    1. Anne–I’m so thankful you found this! My husband and I missed the first 20 minutes, so now we can see it.
      The way love breaks both of their walls down is so inspiring to me. Our Christian marriage counselor years ago when we were in one of our roughest patches, said the only way to get out of the place we were in was to let ourselves be broken, and let Him in to heal.
      Thanks for the link!

  24. This movie was beautiful yet so sad. Elizabeth, I can see what you mean about brokenness bringing healing. Both were broken and then healed. One part that really touched me was when she wondered what she had done to deserve such suffering. Another was when she learned that she could talk to God without words and that He heard her. Mort’s love for her was incredible and lifted her up out of the desire to die. She chose to live when she saw his true love for her. Also, she saw how he would be tormented by helping her to die. How wise it is to leave life and death in God’s hands.

    Now there is treatment for Parkinson’s that I have seen work for the drawing and tremors. It is an electric current applied to areas in the brain. What I have seen is the difference between when it is off and when it is on and it is very effective. It is sad that it was too late for her.

    1. Dee, Will do!!

        1. Done..You were covered this morning..and will continue today as God leads!

          Just so you know, I prayed about this as well: If the study you are thinking of doing is an extension of what we have been doing here and you are taking us into even deeper waters, then I am sure it will be one of the most blessed and powerful ones yet.

          To encourage you, I haven’t seen this dynamic of change and freedom in a Women’s bible study in a LONG time.

  25. Lord, I thank You so much for beginning to turn my heart of stone to flesh! And for leading Dee farther up and farther in. Encourage each one of us also as we continue to grow. I pray that you would show Dee and her agent how to lay this teaching out in book form. Please give them wisdom and discernment even now as they talk of these things. Give them favor with the right publisher as they follow Your leading. Finally, I pray for all of the women (and men) whose hearts You will change with this teaching. Prepare them now, making them open and teachable. Give them a burning desire for hearts of flesh. Amen

    1. Amen Jesus..quicken their hearts right now Lord..Put their hearts in alignment with one another on your outline and vision for this book..

  26. And ladies, This is a tribe who now can have hearts of flesh, like us and grow in their intimacy with Jesus..This is a video of a tribe who just received a bible for the first time..This is beautiful! This really moved me. Hope this link works: http://vimeo.com/17025038

    1. It did work Rebecca and was beautiful! What a wonderful work of the Spirit of God. I know that must have taken years of hard work from many people. How precious was the joy of those people. My heart was pierced with how casual Christians often are about the Bible in this country.

    2. oh, that was amazing! moved me to tears–oh that I would rejoice like that for His Word, beautiful reminder of the gift we have been entrusted with of His precious Word!

      1. Elizabeth, I know! I felt the same conviction but you know, I see you rejoicing here on this blog as you grow more intimate with Jesus-like they are rejoicing.. 🙂

  27. I have been watching too many movies this week 😉 Now trying to catch up on my studies. It has been fun though. I watched Bella and Saving Millie. Both were very good. I have to wait for the others from Netflix which is just as well.

  28. 2. The gospel is a Cinderella story in that while we were slaves, unwashed and unfavored, He loved us anyway and came for us. He loved us in spite of our circumstances. He added to the story a King’s ransom!

    3. The greatest spiritual parallel that I can see in Pride and Prejudice, from what I remember is that she rejected Mr. Darcy because she made presumptions about him. She didn’t really know him. When she did, she loved him. It has been a while since I saw the movie.

    Miss Potter was a lovely movie. He saw worth and value in her that went unnoticed by his brother. He believed in what she was doing and risked favor with his family to help her publish her work. He was inspired by what she was doing and, I think that her work blossomed in response to his love. When he died and she did not have him physically by her side she had to continue alone and I think that even then his love inspired her to do great things. I had never heard of the Lake District of England until I saw this movie.

    All of the others I either have not seen or it has been too long since I saw it, except for Jane Eyre which I can watch frequently and already commented on.

      1. Now I am going to have to find the last thing she Jayne Eyre said.. I DO remember in this old brain of mine that it was profound. I just forgot what it was..Will look.

  29. Uh-oh! Going to have to watch Jane Eyre-again 😉

  30. I can’t seem to find it. I looked on You Tube and found the scene where she did say she would marry him..It was rather profound in and of itself!

    Look forward to hearing what she said when she refused to marry him though! 🙂

    1. I don’t remember it from any of the movie versions I have seen. I wonder if it is in the book?

    1. Dee, I think i might have found it on You Tube.. Is this it?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iU0DJFli4-A

        1. Well it is a fun chase. We don’t have to find it today but we will look. I think I may want a Nook someday…

        2. haha!! Anne, agreed.. Well Dee you know now you are going to have to remember to get your book at some point and tell us. I’m dying to find out what she said..I do wonder if the movie has a totally different line there even if we did find the clip. 🙂

  31. Joey and I planted English peas this morning, and lettuce and scallions. It is like pulling teeth to get him out there but then he has fun. He even offered to help our neighbor plant the rest of the peas and scallions but she turned him down 🙁

    1. Anne, where in the world do you live that your planting peas this time of year?!?!?!?!?!?! they would be a foot under snow up here:)

      1. haha! Cyndi that is what I was thinking. 🙂

      2. It is unseasonably warm in NC. They may die in March but it is only a packet of seeds and I wanted to do something with Joey. It did turn out well. Last year my lettuce wintered over and was wonderful in the spring.

        I used to miss the snow up north…but after days like today, and older bones-not so much.

    1. Thanks Dee! Wow..I had no idea that was in the book. I don’t think the movie quotes that. It totally changes it in my opinion for the better. She did truly love him.

      I also see how he seems bent to having another woman fill his love vacuum rather than Christ.