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BEHOLD WHAT MANNER OF LOVE!

IT’S LOVE THAT CAUSES A PARENT

TO GET UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT

Norman Rockwell Two-O-Clock Feeding

IT’S LOVE THAT LISTENS, TEACHES,

DISCIPLINES IN ANGST

LONGING TO TEACH THE CHILD TO

TURN FROM THE DARKNESS TO THE LIGHT



NORMAN ROCKWELL SPANKING


IT’S LOVE THAT READS “GOODNIGHT MOON”

A THOUSAND TIMES

TUCKS HIM IN

AND PRAYS GOD WILL KEEP HIM SAFE

NORMAN ROCKWELL FEAR

IT’S LOVE THAT KEEPS ON, ALL THROUGH THE YEARS

IT’S LOVE THAT DOES NOT TURN AWAY

WHEN TAKEN FOR GRANTED

OR TREATED WITH DISRESPECT

BUT INSTEAD PRAYS FOR HIS SOUL

AND WAITS LONGINGLY FOR HIS RETURN


For the most part, children have no idea of the sacrificial love that their parents have bestowed upon them.

When I was about ten, and my dad wouldn’t let me do something, I accused him of not loving me. That was quite brash of me for I had been taught to treat him and Mother with respect. I can still remember where I was sitting — on the floor of my walk-in closet, and he was standing at the door. I’ll never forget the look of shock on his face — and the tears that sprung to his eyes. I had stunned him with my lack of appreciation for all the sacrifices he had made for me. He was a man I respected, a CEO of a large company, and yet here he was, weeping at his youngest daughter’s thoughtless accusation. He told me that everything he did was out of love for my mother and the three of us girls. His words and his tears penetrated my hard heart. It was a turning point for me.

I saw a movie this week that brought this memory back. I want to recommend it. (I received an e-mail recently from a woman questioning my recommendation of movies that were not “feel good” movies. This is another, but it  impacted me and gave me compassion  for the illegal immigrant, especially the one who is simply trying to make a better life for his loved ones.)


A BETTER LIFE

A BETTER LIFE

You may not have time to rent and watch it, but  watch these two trailers. The first gives you a summary of the movie, and the second is the pivotal conversation that this father has with his son, before he has to abandon him in America, for he is being shipped back to Mexico. It takes place in prison when they are saying good-bye. (Important things are said when time is running out.) That conversation is a turning point for the boy, for he finally understands his father’s love.

Here is the trailer for A Better Life

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaLSBdL-zCY

Here is the pivotal scene when the father says good-bye.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/a_better_life/trailers/11146907/

If a child does come to understand a parent’s love, it can make a tremendous difference in his life.

And if we, as children of God, can come to understand how great the love the Father has lavished on us, it will help us let go of our idols. Our idols cannot love us, but oh, what manner of love our Father has bestowed upon us!

Truly, though our love for our children is deep, it cannot be compared to the love our Father has for us. The phrase in 1 John 3 that says “Behold what manner of love” literally means “from what tribe or nation” is this love? Or, better said:

FROM WHAT PLANET IS THIS LOVE?


ICE-BREAKER AND DOWNLOAD SERMON (SUNDAY-MONDAY)

THE SERMON IS FREE AND SUPERB!

HERE’S THE LINK:

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/beholding-love-god

ICE-BREAKER

1. Could you identify with Dee’s story of not appreciating her father’s love? If so, why or why not?

2. Why is it, do you think, that most children are prone not to see the depth of a parent’s love?

3. What stood out to you from the movie clips from A Better Life and why?

4. Are you growing in appreciation for your heavenly Father’s love for you? If so, tell us either how this is happening or pray that it will.

5. Do you have any other comments on the opening?

BIBLE STUDY (MONDAY-WEDNESDAY) (WONDERFUL PASSAGES — BUT I’VE KEPT IT SHORT SO YOU CAN ALSO MEMORIZE AT LEAST TWO VERSES FROM THIS HYMN. PLEASE SING, SING, SING THE LOVE OF GOD INTO YOUR HEART)

HYMN ASSIGNMENT:

SING “HOW CAN IT BE?” EACH DAY — AND BY THURSDAY HAVE LEARNED THE FIRST TWO VERSES. YOU CAN USE THE ORIGINAL MELODY OR FIND INDELIBLE GRACE’S VERSION ON YOU-TUBE.

Here are the four most popular verses:

1) And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

2) He left His Father’s throne above

So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

EXTRA CREDIT — THESE

LAST GREAT VERSES — this painting goes with verse 3

ST PETER FREED FROM PRISON BY PIER FRANCESO-MOLA 1612-1666

3 ) Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

4) No condemnation now I dread;

Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.


CAN A MOTHER FORGET HER BABY?

Beth Brestin Harrington and Katherine Elizabeth Harrington

6. Read Isaiah 49:15-16

A. What rhetorical question is asked in verse 15a and what is the implied answer?

Keller, who has a great (but not free) sermon on this passage, says that Isaiah 49:15b literally says “she will forget.” As deep as our love for our children is, we will at times fail.

B. But there is One whose love never fails. What does He promise in Isaiah 49:15c?

C. What does He tell us in Isaiah 49:16? How did Jesus “engrave us” on His hands?


IT WAS I WHO TAUGHT EPHRAIM TO WALK


7. Read Hosea 11:1-4

A. What does God think of Israel in verse 1?

B. How did Israel respond to God’s tender love according to verse 2?

C. What picture does God paint of Israel in verse 3? What does this tell you about His love and patience?

D. Now he turns to a picture of caring for an animal. What tenderness and care do you see in verse 4?

8. As you reflect on the lyrics to “And Can It Be?” what stands to you and why?

Sermon (Thursday/Friday) http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/beholding-love-god

9. Keller says 1 John 3:1 is an outburst. Explain.

10. What is the subject of the outburst?

11. We want to move to understand this love, and Keller gives us some ways.

A. How does John show us that this has moved from his head to his heart.

B. Give evidence this this fact has moved from your head to your heart.

C. Keller says one of the ways you know if someone gets it is the way they respond to the question, “Are you a Christian?” Explain.

D. What else stood out to you from the sermon and why?

TAKE-A-WAY (SATURDAY)

12. What’s your take-a-way and why?

I3. If you watched A Better Life (I think it would be good for teens as well — the boy in the story is fourteen) what Christian values did you see?

NEXT WEEK PLAN TO RENT THE TREE OF LIFE! WE WILL DO A REVIEW OF THE STONECUTTER AND USE THAT MOVIE AS PART OF OUR REFLECTIONS.

THE FOLLOWING WEEK WILL BE THANKSGIVING REFLECTIONS

THEN A NEW STUDY FOR ADVENT!

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366 comments

  1. I need some prayer please . I am dogsitting for my aunt and uncle forth next two nights and they live out in the country so I am a wee bit scared they have two German shepherd dogs they said that I should be safe with them they are good guard dogs

    Love you all!

  2. 12. What’s your take-a-way and why? my take away would be the hymn that we were challenged to memorize! Tis mercy all immense and free for o my God it found out me! Amazing love how can it be that thou my God shouldnst die for me!

    I3. If you watched A Better Life (I think it would be good for teens as well — the boy in the story is fourteen) what Christian values did you see?

    Not sure what you mean by christian values but here is what i saw:

    He loved his son and, it seemed to me that, he was only thinking about his son and he was very hard working wanting to be able to provide for his son. About half way through the movie he said that he would start taking Sundays off to spend some time with his son.

    I guess that if i had a child and no job or having a hard time taking care of him i would give/ him/ her up for adoption because that is what i would want for my child a better life with someone who can provide for him/her. I am one who tends to give up! I pray that if i ever have a child that i would be a good mom and a good provider for them!

    I wasnt thrilled with the bad language in the movie, but a good movie overall!

    1. Meg,
      Have you seen the movie The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith? It is about just that – a man who is a single parent, has no job, even becomes homeless, and it’s based on a true story. It’s a wonderful movie!

      1. Susan,
        Yes i have seen it! It was a great movie i agree!

  3. 9. Keller says 1 John 3:1 is an outburst. Explain.

    It is the expression “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us”. John is having a vision, like John the Baptist when God revealed to him that Jesus is the Messiah. “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)

    10. What is the subject of the outburst?

    The “kind of love the Father has given to us”

    11. We want to move to understand this love, and Keller gives us some ways.

    We have to move from theological rational study of God’s word, or as Keller puts it, from “from standing under” God’s Word to “understanding”. Keller makes the point that we have to study God’s Word first and then the deeper experience comes.

    God’s love changes you forever. When God bestows his love on us, he calls us children. We are adopted. Our sins are wiped out. Not just legally, but actually. He gives us the family likeness. Our nature is changed. His own image comes in and becomes to change us into the Father’s likeness.

    A. How does John show us that this has moved from his head to his heart.

    It overshadows you. You are not detached, then you see the connections. If this is true, how can I be worried about this? How can it angry about this? Depressed about that?

    When the truth suddenly seems at the very same moment like something so ancient that you think it is something that you have never not known and something absolutely new, then you really understand. It connects with everything.

    B. Give evidence this this fact has moved from your head to your heart.

    Are you obeying God? Is your conscience clear? Do you have fellowship with other Christians? Are you studying the truth? And at some point you will behold it.

    C. Keller says one of the ways you know if someone gets it is the way they respond to the question, “Are you a Christian?” Explain.

    Everything is a wonder. It’s all grace. It’s an absolute mercy. It’s all grace, a miracle.
    To the degree that you behold the free grace of God, you let it become a holy fire in your heart. You will find that difficulties are from God. He doesn’t owe me a good life.

    D. What else stood out to you from the sermon and why?

    I really liked the story about elderly John risking his life to rescue the spiritual life of a young man in a mountain gang.
    I also liked his slight rabbit trail about Christian understanding of art and that all good stories are really about Jesus. Every good story is two stories. It is true.

  4. 9. 1 John 3:1 is the outburst of John’s heart as he experiences the love of God.

    10. The subject of John’s outburst is amazement that God could love him as much as He does.

    11. One way is to seek truth. Another is the understanding that I deserve nothing, yet I have been given everything. His love is miraculous and we must be able to see that.

    A. John shows us that this has moved from his head to his heart in the fact that nothing else matters to him in the face of this amazing love.

    B. As I listened to Keller state how this experience changes someone I realized that I am changed to a greater degree than I realized because I am seeing this fruit in my life. I love to obey Him. I love fellowship with other believers. My conscience is clear and I am studying the truth.

    This I think was implied by the sermon, a heart that can be thankful in all things has experienced the love of God because she knows that no matter what happens:He has seen the results of His labor and been satisfied. He sees me as worth it and that is thrilling.

    C. Keller says one of the ways you know if someone gets it is the way they respond to the question, “Are you a Christian?” Explain. The one who is working for a paycheck, does not get it. He feels that God owes him certain things because of the work he has done. The one who sees God’s grace in everything knows that he deserves nothing and has been given amazing love.

    D. This sermon was priceless because of Keller’s contagious excitement. Truth goes through the life like a lightning rod. When the truth seems like something ancient and something new at the same time. It is not new information but information that has become new. Truth gets radioactive. He is not a tame lion. He is not a god you can put in your pocket. Truth gets radioactive, it goes ballistic. Ratitionality can’t hold it back anymore. It all stood out to me because it got me excited too!

  5. 12. My take away is joy, the deep abiding kind that circumstances cannot take away. As I looked with John and Keller at this magnificent love that God has for me I wonder too how anything else could matter.

    1. MY take away is the same as yours Anne.

    2. I love your take away, too Anne:)

    3. Isn’t it contagious! I love it!

  6. 7. Read Hosea 11:1-4

    A. What does God think of Israel in verse 1?

    The metaphor here is that Israel is, in God’s heart, not just a nation, a people group, but Israel is His child, His son; and He loves them.

    B. How did Israel respond to God’s tender love according to verse 2?

    Israel ignored God, going further and further away from Him, sacrificing to other gods.

    C. What picture does God paint of Israel in verse 3? What does this tell you about His love and patience?

    Again, the picture is of a father teaching his child to walk, picking him up when he falls, ministering to the bumps and scrapes. This tells me that God’s love is always pursuing me, is always for me; as He watches me try to “walk” the Christian life, He does not watch from afar, but He is right here with me; teaching me, helping me get up when I fall; never becoming impatient and leaving me to do it on my own.

    D. Now He turns to a picture of caring for an animal. What tenderness and care do you see in verse 4?

    The cords and ties are meant for safety; this is not the picture of the dog owner yanking and dragging and choking his animal! God does not literally put leashes on us, but His kindness and love toward us are meant to bind our hearts to His, to keep us close to His side; these cords and ties are invisible cords and ties of the heart. He lifts the yoke of slavery from us; things we are enslaved to, He bends down to feed us; God bending down to us is mercy.

    1. Susan, this is a great point about the cords of love not being a lead with a choke collar around the neck. It’s more like the spun string of spider web. It stretches but doesn’t break and is invisible except when sunlight catches it just right. The cords of love~

  7. 8. As you reflect on the lyrics to “And Can It Be” what stands out to you and why?

    “And can it be that I should gain, and interest in the Savior’s blood?”

    To me, this just speaks of the mystery of salvation. It doesn’t say “and can it be that I should BE, or BECOME, interested in the Savior’s blood”, because it is not of my own doing. I could never think a right thought about God without Him first thinking of me. This interest is something that I “gain” because it is given to me by God. He chose me, and that is incomprehensible to me!

    1. I’m so thankful your leg isn’t worse also, Dee. Just take it easy this week….praying for you!

    2. Dee, Yeah!! So glad it isn’t anything serious.

  8. 12. What’s your take-a-way and why?

    “What planet is this love from?!?” I don’t deserve to wake up and breathe every morning but because He loves me, I do. I don’t deserve to have lived 47 years-but by His grace and His love I have. Even if he took me home at 12 years old-living for twelve years is truly a gift. God doesn’t owe me a long life-He didn’t owe me life to begin with but He weaved me in my mother’s womb-and then wonder upon wonders-HE DIED FOR ME SO THAT I CAN WEAR HIS RIGHTEOUS ROBE AND HAVE A BEAUTIFUL LIFE HERE ON EARTH PRESSING CLOSER INTO HIM-AND OH WHEN I AM FACE TO FACE WITH HIM!! God didn’t have to break these idols in my life, but He did-His love overwhelms me-I don’t deserve it, but He lavishes it on me. And my trials-how can I see His grace in my life if I am not broken? His love causes me to wake up and turn my gaze from the concerns of this world-onto the reality of the Gospel-of Him.

    1. PRAISE GOD!

  9. Just rented “The Tree of Life” via Redbox. Wanted to get a better price than on TWC. 🙂 I really want my husband to watch it with me, but his time is limited right now. We will see!

    1. Rebecca, I will be interested in your thoughts on it(as always)! we got it from Blockbuster a few weeks ago and wow–incredibly done movie, but the I struggled with one tougher scene, I say that to you only because for me I think it’s hard when it’s young boys…and maybe because the youngest looked a lot like my own!–but it’s definitely incredible.

      1. Elizabeth, Just picked it up! My husband is going to watch it with me.:-) I looked up some reviews and someone kind of gave some detailed information about it- it really looks good! I am looking forward to our discussion coming up on it next week-and also looking forward to hearing what you think about it. Wish we could watch it together in person!

  10. 12. What’s your take-a-way and why?

    I don’t deserve anything from God’s hand. My very breath is His. Any good things are a gift. I should never think I earned anything. This frees me from demanding thing go my way, from my selfish expectations of other people. It frees me from becoming being bitter when life is a struggle.

    I3. If you watched A Better Life (I think it would be good for teens as well — the boy in the story is fourteen) what Christian values did you see?

    Is there any way to rent this and The Tree of Life online directly to my computer? I live in rural Canada where we have no movie rental places except an hour away. I couldn’t find either one of them on Netflix, which I do have.

    1. Diane

      On amazon.com you can rent movies right to your computer, i know you can do The tree of life, but not sure about A Better Life

      1. Thanks, Meg, but I checked out amazon.ca (for Canada) and they don’t do that here. The American websites won’t sell or rent things to us foreigners.

        1. Thanks, Dee, for seeing me as one of you. I appreciate that. LOL! I went to school in India with mostly American children for 4 years and learned the pledge of allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner just like the other kids so I strongly identify myself as almost as much American as Canadian. My oldest brother also was born in the US when my Dad was studying down there. My stepmother is also an American citizen, originally from Puerto Rico, interestingly. Sometimes I forget we are different, but then something like this happens and I realize once again that legally I am a foreigner.

          It’s wonderful that in Christ there is no nationality difference. We are all brothers and sisters.

  11. 9. Keller says 1 John 3:1 is an outburst. Explain.

    Keller says in the previous two chapters, John has been instructing us, and suddenly, he begins to emote. He cries out from the page, “BEHOLD! HOW GREAT IS THE LOVE THE FATHER HAS LAVISHED ON US!” John is knowing God right in front of us, and the truth of what he knows is overflowing his mind, to his heart, and into his whole being. He has known God’s love for years, and yet it is suddenly all new again.

    10. What is the subject of the outburst?

    The subject of the outburst is the truth that the Father loves us so much, that we are called, and in fact are, the children of God.

  12. 11. We want to move to understand this love, and Keller gives us some ways.

    A. How does John show us that this has moved from his head to his heart?

    John doesn’t just say, “I know God has done this…” Keller says the truth gets radioactive, or like lightning going through a lightning rod. He’s not analyzing the truth, it’s bubbling up out of him. It’s knowing a truth and then being overshadowed by it.

    B. Give evidence this truth has moved from your head to your heart.

    This has encouraged me, because I’ve struggled lately feeling God’s love for me, but I can remember (and Keller says you don’t forget those times) being overwhelmed by a passage of Scripture, or a message I was listening to. At those times, it wasn’t just oh, yes, I believe that, I agree with that. It was more a realization, like something dawning on me; an ‘old’ truth that was suddenly new and fresh.

    C. Keller says one of the ways you know if someone gets it is the way they respond to the question, “Are you a Christian?” Explain.

    The moralistic person will reply, “Of course I am, or I’ve always been a Christian”. They will point to their good deeds. The Christian will speak of God’s grace to save a sinner such as they; they will speak wonderingly of it; there is no ‘of-course’ about it.

    D. What else stood out to you from the sermon and why?

    If we are not experiencing God in this way, we are to remember the three tests John gives us in the previous chapters: am I obeying God? am I fellowshipping with other Christians? Am I studying, reflecting on, beholding, the truth of God in His Word?
    I also liked the word study on the words translated “great”; that is means “behold, what country this love comes from”. From what planet? This helps me understand the meaning John is trying to convey here.

  13. 13.
    We watched A Better Life last night. Oh, it was a heart-pulling one for me, deepened the empathy I have always had for minorities. It did a great job of reminding us that illegal aliens are PEOPLE. And I was again struck by how blessed we are, all of us, so far beyond what we deserve…that even as hard and uphill-battle-like their struggle is, their life is a gift.

    A few things I thought of on Christian values: obviously, the father’s love for his son, and how he lived out putting his son’s needs ahead of his own–down to giving his son the one bedroom while he took the couch. Also the sister giving sacrificially and Carlos’ struggle to accept the gift, his humility and sincere gratitude. And while they portrayed the boy as not appreciating the father for much of the movie, all along I saw more his uncomfortableness at believing the love his father had for him–like he was afraid to let himself believe it. And when he finally does, Luis’ demeanor, his heart, his actions, soften. **Ah, he is changed when he accepts his father’s love!

    1. O.K. now I HAVE to get a hold of that movie!! Loved both of your reviews. There is a ministry I am aware of called Mission Adalente’ where they go in and minister to the Hispanic community here in Kansas City.

    2. Dee, right after I posted my comments, my husband said what struck him most was exactly the things you just mentioned. He was really struck by the father doing right even when wronged, and not seeking revenge, but showing his son the example of forgiveness–especially the scene with Santiago–and then the later cop scene… I’ll stop here so I don’t spoil it 😉

  14. 9. Behold! How great a love the Father has lavished on us! We have become the sons of God. John is bursting forth with this joy. It is eminating from his being. Not a head knowledge but heart.

    10. A moment in which you cross a line where God bestows on us His ownership of us. We get the status, God loves us like He loves Jesus. We ARE ACTUALLY His children.

    11. 1.The way of loving/knowing God- the truth overflows the mind and takes over all of you! To know God transforms me from knowing to beholding. 2. The mark of loving God-Two kinds of people a real christian and the moral christian.

    A. It flows out of irrationality. The knowledge electrifies him.

    B. My walk has become this adventure Dr. Keller talks about. Every day is electric. I get up and I don’t just face the day, I look forward to what God will do through me, the victory He has for me and signs of His love and pleasure upon me. I look forward to being with Him and enjoying Him. Keller calls this beholding Him and what a joy it is to behold Him.

    C. The moralistic person says look at my works the true believer says look what God has done, they glory in the grace and love lavished on them an undeserving child of God.

  15. D. What else stood out to you from the sermon and why?
    This statement was written next to the sermon and I think it says it well: “Knowing God is not an anti-rational mystical experience. Knowing God occurs when the truth overflows from your mind into your entire being. Knowing God is when the truth you’ve heard a thousand times becomes experientially real, and you marvel at the miracle of God’s love for us.”

    12. What’s your take-a-way and why? My christian life has become a great adventure. I am beholding Him and in beholding I am transforming into His image. I have left my morality behind and embraced the wonder of Him and what He has done for me. I and humbled by His love and mercy and forever indebted to Him. Amazing love! My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

      1. Thank you for the encouragement, Dee, I am not the same woman who started this study. I can barely recognize myself!

  16. my take away this week

    GOD LOVES ME, AND YOU PASSIONATELY! like David dancing in the streets because he was so taken with Gods overwhelming love. us americans are so “proper”…I think God wants me to laugh and dance and let loose, go a little crazy, be overcome with HIS love and forget about my self…..I think this can go back to the “making love with GOD” thing.

    HES CRAZY ABOUT ME

    when my kids disapoint me; when my house is a mess; when my van should be condemed; when im thicker in the middle then i would like, the muffin top is visiting my house, when im sick on the couch ; when the laundry is not done; when i stay up late watching tv and dont get up early to spend time in HIS word…..

    HE IS CRAZY ABOUT ME

    when i teach sunday school, homeschool my kids, work at an innercity church, listen to a hurting mom, have 15 kids at my home, decorate my home, when i keep up with the laundry, housework and cooking, when im fitting into my skinny jeans, and have an hour quite time in the morning.

    HE IS CRAZY ABOUT ME

    that is what i am taking away this week

    I hope all of you are taking the same thing away:):)

    1. Cyndi, wow..strange but what you wrote above reminds me of the mom in the movie-she is such a picture of Grace-of Jesus-of Love! 🙂

  17. LOL i just had a friend put on her facebook status that “tree of life” was the only movie she has ever seen that she could not sit all the way through;;;:) she said it was “very strange” she is a “universalist” wonder if that is why she just cant get it. i have not seen it yet, but i just had to laugh…

  18. my friend posted this today, thought it was PERFECT with what we are talking about

    My youngest taught me a good lesson tonight as she wept in my arms, telling me how much she missed me when I had to leave her in Haiti & how’s she’s missed me being sick… I had to leave her in Haiti so I’d get to be with her forever & fulfill the hard task of getting her here. Every time we cry in agony saying where are you, Jesus? Why did you have to leave this earth? He had to leave so we could be with Him forever my friends. Just because you may have times you think he’s not there, He always loves you & longs to be with you, too.

    1. I love this Cyndi!

  19. Just finished watching Tree of Life. WOW! Loved it! I loved all the lamenting and talking to God- So much symbolism-A LOT of water symbolism. I was able to write down some things.

  20. w1. During our journey, name at least one heart idol you identified and ways that You saw the Stonecutter move in your life, both in chiseling the stone and in being to you what your idol could not be.
    At the beginning of the study, God showed me that I was turning to idols of comfort and security as well as the idol of affirmation and approval. He just revealed to me another way the idol of affirmation and approval was rearing its ugly head. I was tempted to brush it off, because it seems like a rather small issue, but God spoke to me and said that there is no small idol. Each idol reveals a heart issue and unfaithfulness is never insignificant.
    My husband and I have settled in a church that we have found to be relational and scriptural. We sensed that this is our new church family and this is where we are settling in. A couple weeks ago, I realized that I have something that I need to return to a member of the church we were attending previously. I have been putting off bringing it to this woman because I don’t want to face her and feel her disapproval that we aren’t going to that church anymore. I didn’t even realize until tonight that this is an idol.
    Jesus is my Lord and the only one I need approval from–looking to others for approval is an indication that I have a divided heart. Lord, forgive me for looking to others for approval. You are the one I love, only you, and I repent of seeking approval from others. Thank you for speaking to me, and showing me how you are jealous for my love.

    After several days of tooth/mouth pain, I did have a root canal late this afternoon. On pain meds now, so I am logging off for the night.