WHEN YOU TAUGHT ME HOW TO DANCE (SONG OF SONGS) LESSON 5.

IT WAS A LOVE STORY THAT MELTED MY HEART

I UNDERSTOOD WHY IT DID IN PART,

SEEING THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY,

BUT THE SONG OF SONGS HAS LIFTED THE VEIL

AND I SEE SO MUCH MORE NOWMiss-Potter-Wallpaper-miss-potter-7330662-1280-1024

200px-Norman_Warne_and_nephew_Fred

Norman Warne with his nephew

potter

Beatrix Potter

This is the true story of Beatrix Potter, the creator of the best-selling childrens’ series: Peter Rabbit. Beatrix was a spinster who was not valued in a time when women were not supposed to have a career other than marriage and mothering.  No man saw Beatrix as lovely — and  no man ever asked her to dance — that is, until her editor, Norman Warne, came into her life.  He saw the beauty, the potential, that no one else saw — and his love drew that beauty out. In a scene so tender, he  asks her to dance, and then takes her hand in his and leads her in the dance.

Do you see? We do not comprehend the love of Christ for us. He first loved us, and He sees what beauty can be in us if we follow His lead. We do not understand the character of God. As Jesus said to Philip, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet you have not known me, Philip?” Matthew Henry says, “How affectionately he speaks “O thou fairest among women!” He calls her his love, his friend, his companion.” And as in Ezekiel 16, He discovers her, covers her, and makes her beautiful. Henry writes: “It was comeliness which I put upon thee, said the Lord God, for we were born not only naked but polluted.” But He loves, He covers, He makes us beautiful — and how beautiful the church can be when she responds to His lead in the dance of holiness and love. Watch that scene here:

I know my heart was moved in part because Norman reminded me so of my dear husband, Steve, who believed in me, sacrificed for me, saw me somehow as beautiful, and led me into a closer relationship with the Lord. And of course Norman’s early death tore me apart. When I watched the following theme song of Miss Potter sung by Kate Medula, I was, indeed, overwhelmed with emotions: the joy of having been loved like that, the sorrow of having lost that love. But I also saw Christ, who will never die. Christ is beside us, He invites us to dance, He takes our hand in His, and He teaches us to trust even when the cold winds blow. Each of us can have that now and forever in Jesus.

Watch and let the music fill your heart with His love:

I am so anticipating what this week’s study in The Song of Songs will do in your heart. If you have just joined us it’s not too late — we are barely getting started. Just follow the instructions in the link in the banner above.

Sunday/Monday

1. What stood out to you in the above and why?

2. Think of a way that Jesus has taken the lead in His relationship with you, either in wooing you, or, in recently leading you in a dance.

Monday/Wednesday Bible Study

For those who have just joined us, (Like Chelsea!) The Song of Songs is poetry, so there are repetitions, as in a song. This week we will leap ahead to Chapter 4 to see an important theme, but we will go back to journey through what we have not yet studied.

We have been seeing powerful evidences that The Song of Songs (also called The Song of Solomon) is first and foremost about Christ and His love for His Bride, and the love of His Bride for Christ. There is an application to marriage, but it is looking through the wrong end of the telescope to begin with us.

We must begin with the Lord, and then the earthly application flows downstream from that height to our lives here below. Many of you have commented that you don’t understand it, but this study has helped you love your husband more. Mike Reeves explains in the beginning of his talk this week why it is that when we fall more deeply in love with Jesus, we love others more. This also shows me why The Song of Songs must begin with Christ and the Church, and then flows downstream. (Our own Anne’s son was married yesterday — and we can pray that for them.)

Flowing Downstream by Robert Vine

Robert Vine: Flowing Downstream

When we try to bear the fruit of the Christian life on our own, we fail. For apart from Him, we can do nothing. We must begin with Him, or the grapes in our Vineyard will not be good.

A SONG OF MY VINEYARD

grapes

 

3. Read Isaiah 5:1-7

      A. How did the Lord care for His vineyard according to verses 1-2?

      B. What did He find when he came into His vineyard according to verse 2?

      C. What is His lament, according to verse 3?

      D. What will He do according to verse 5-6?

      E. Describe the bad fruit in verse 7.

Aleona Isakova

Aleona Isakova

4. Read Song of Songs 4:1-15

     A. A vital theme in The Song of Songs is His love for her. Read the opening 8 verses of chapter 4 and give your overall impression of how He feels about her. Is this a marriage based primarily on duty or on love?

     B. What does He call her in verses 9 and 10 and what significance do you see in each name?

     C. How does He describe her love in verses 10-11?

     D. How is this garden different than the garden in Isaiah 5 according to verses 12-14?

     E. Here is the BIG QUESTION. Why, is this garden so good?

Lillis Boyer

5. Read Song of Songs 4:16-17

A. What do you think the north wind represents? The south wind?

B. Listen again to Kate  Medula sing and to these lyrics: “Cold winds may blow…” What comments do you have? How might you apply this?

DON’T MISS THIS

Last week our own Diane said, “It is acceptable to revel in our beauty from the Lord.” This is so like what you will hear in the audio from Mike Reeves. Here is just a piece, but an important one. Just as we are to ask the Lord to search our heart and see if there be any wicked way in us, we should ask the Spirit of God to search our “garden” and see if there be any choice fruit in us, and then revel in it, for it is from Him. As Mike Reeves said, people tell him he is kinder than he was once, and he says that is true, and there is no pride in that, for all the glory truly goes to the to the Vine and to the One who tends His Vineyard.

6. What choice fruit does the Spirit show you in your garden? Share here in praise to the Lord!

THURSDAY/FRIDAY   MESSAGE (BE SURE TO DOWNLOAD)

I know this message is a bit hard to hear, and you really need to sit with it, but OH you will be blessed if you do. I keep listening to it — it is so rich. Download it first! Here is the link: Mike Reeves – Sibbes The Love of Christ 2

7. What notes do you have?

Saturday:

8. What is your take-a-way and why?

COMMENTS (246) Post a New Comment ↓
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Maybe we can all get together and watch it. I will bring the popcorn.

    Reply

    Julie, Sounds good! :)

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. Read Song of Songs 4:1-15

A. A vital theme in The Song of Songs is His love for her. Read the opening 8 verses of chapter 4 and give your overall impression of how He feels about her. Is this a marriage based primarily on duty or on love?
~YOu can tell He loves her, he adores everything about her, not just her outer beauty, but what is within. He does not see her flaws, even internally. The versus I especially like are 1 ” Your eyes behind your veil are doves”, to me this speaks peace. He sees her as peaceful, and full of grace and compassion. (vs) 7 “All beautiful you are, my darling, there is no flaw in you.”~again, He sees no flaw IN her. Her inward heart radiates her beauty here.

B. What does He call her in verses 9 and 10 and what significance do you see in each name?
~He calls her His sister, His bride. Im not really sure on the answer, other than deep love as a family member and deep love as a bride?

C. How does He describe her love in verses 10-11?
~Her love is more pleasant than wine, to me like she is intoxicating in the most wonderful way.
~Her fragrance, just to be near her is like none other
~ Her lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under her tongue- this was so beautiful to me. Milk is something that is nourishing and honey is something that is soothing. Her words are nourishing and soothing when she speaks. (kind of reminds me of a Proverbs 31 woman, wife of noble character.) He also calls her His bride…goes along with Proverbs 31, wife of noble character. Love how the bible does that, ties in with other scriptures so splendidly.

D. How is this garden different than the garden in Isaiah 5 according to verses 12-14?
~they have no regard for the Lord, no respect for the work of his hands. Many will die for lack of understanding, many will die for not having that reverence with God.

E. Here is the BIG QUESTION. Why, is this garden so good?
~The garden in the Song of Songs to me represents our personal relationship with the Lord, and we can not survive without that. It’s where we draw our strength and comfort, directly from Jesus. The other garden seems like the church to me, and many have neglected His was. It talks about them playing musical instruments at their banquets with no regard to the Lord. Sadly you see this even in churches today?? God longs for our personal attention, our heart. Corporately to fellowship and worship the Lord is good, but it does not save us, it does no fill our void. Only HE can do that. Also the people of the 2nd garden have given no regard to God’s ways, they have let their own desires and lust take over their hearts and appetites…

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5. Read Song of Songs 4:16-17

A. What do you think the north wind represents? The south wind?

Awake, north wind,
and come, south wind!
Blow on my garden,
that its fragrance may spread everywhere.
Let my beloved come into his garden
and taste its choice fruits. (Song of Solomon 4:16 NIV)

I have absolutely no idea what this means?? I am poetry deficient! He has been talking about her being so lovely (food) and she comes back with this? Wind? The north wind is cold and bitter at times, the south wind would be warm. When they meet, they clash; thunderstorms. She wants some kind of meeting? She is inviting Christ to be with her. The church is to be “spread” across the land.

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    Laura D-I can so relate! And you remind me of my oldest son-he struggles with poetry-so do I! :) but your posts make me smile because I love your honesty and well just your personality too. When you said this: “He has been talking about her being so lovely (food) and she comes back with this? Wind? ” -loved it.

    I thought you are thinking down the right path here-“The north wind is cold and bitter at times, the south wind would be warm….”

    I hope this encourages you, but you are doing GREAT! Remember, this is a difficult book because it is filled with riddles-and He is the only one who can open our eyes through the Holy Spirit and through Dee’s teaching. I know you are praying asking Him to help you understand..I will pray for both of us in this! I believe He is already helping you see..and one thing I am learning about Him is that He moves slow-God doesn’t seem to hurry when it comes to tending our vineyards..Actually, I think I am only beginning to understand it a little bit better as of late than when I approached it as man and wife being the primary message many years ago. I wouldn’t have known what the North and South winds represent either before I came on the blog. :)

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B. Listen again to Kate Medula sing and to these lyrics: “Cold winds may blow…” What comments do you have? How might you apply this?

I kind of saw this a bit different this time. He truly loved her-and he wooed her and she responded to his wooing loving him back with the same passion. Him teaching her to dance is really the crux of the whole picture of our relationship with God. I liked at the end when she says he would be with her, behind her. I can see him as her cheerleader, her comforter, her encourager and he helped to develop her talent and give her confidence. He also taught her to love.

6. What choice fruit does the Spirit show you in your garden? Share here in praise to the Lord!
Wow, I haven’t thought of this..okay, so He is tending my vineyard and developing His Love, patience and kindness..I don’t yell at the boys like I used to-if it happens it is very rare, and I am loving my husband more. I also see where in the past I struggled with sacrificing myself-my comfort, and my strict schedule or routine for others but that has totally changed. He has also helped me to set healthy boundaries with people by uprooting my approval idol..i just noticed that the other day in the kitchen I work at. My life isn’t about me-it is about Him..Really this is His tending in me, not me..trust me..this is NOT me and He is still tending to my vineyard..He isn’t finished yet.

Thank you Lord Jesus, you are the lover of my soul-the tender of my vineyard-I give you ALL the praise and honor and glory for any good fruit in me. Thank you for teaching me how to dance..You pursued me, wooed me, delighted in me and loved me-if there is any passion in me toward you it is because of you. You saw yourself in me when I saw nothing but a wretch-but you saw your covering of righteousness and delighted in me-God help me today to remember in the battles-the North winds I will encounter in the kitchen and at home-that you are tending my vineyard and that you are with me and I can trust that you will use whatever wind that blows to shape me to be more like you. I love you-in your name alone, amen.

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    Just wanted to say I rejoice with you in your fruit! I have two boys and before the Lord showed me my control idol I yelled at them a lot. Since the Lord unlocked my heart I don’t yell hardly at all (if I do its cuz I am reverting back to idol). I say all that to rejoice with you in that PEACE that the Lord has given us!!! So much more to say but i’ll leave it with: He is so good!

      Reply

      Jill, yes-praise Him! He is a tender vine-keeper. :) 

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Hi Everyone —
I’m a bit behind on the road, but have read all your comments.
I am also sending your concerns about the new website to David.
He had someone do a tutorial but I think it is too difficult to understand — so be patient with us.

Love to all

    Reply

    Dee,

    I’m working on a new way for comment replies work – thank you for your patience!

      Reply

      Testing one more follow up comment with bold text..yay!

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4. Read Song of Songs 4:1-15

A. A vital theme in the Song of Songs is His love for her. Read the opening 8 verses of chapter 4 and give your overall impression of how He feels about her. Is this a marriage based primarily on duty or on love?

I would say that she has definitely captured his heart; this is no marriage bound by duty. He finds her beautiful – even the opening, “How beautiful you are, my darling!” And then he says it again, “Oh, how beautiful!” He even notices her teeth! He also says, “All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you”. He finds NO FLAW in her. I like how he calls her “my darling”.

B. What does He call her in verses 9 and 10 and what significance do you see in each name?

He calls her “my sister, my bride”. That did stand out to me because Jesus is also called “our Brother” so we are like His sister and bride?

C. How does He describe her love in verses 10-11?

He is describing her love using the senses of taste and smell…her love is better than the taste of wine, her words are sweet like honeycomb, milk and honey. I think He loves to hear her voice and finds what she has to say pleasant to listen to. He says her perfume smells better than any spice and her clothes smell like Lebanon-I wonder what Lebanon smells like?

D. How is this garden different than the garden in Isaiah 5 according to verses 12-14?

He says, “You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.” Immediately this is different than the garden in Isaiah 5 because in that garden, though God had built a watchtower for it, he removed its hedge/wall of protection so that it could be overrun.
I am thinking that Songs describes our oneness with the Lord – using the marriage metaphor, it is meant to be a special, unique, set-apart, completely faithful relationship between husband and wife, Christ and His Bride. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit. As His Bride, we are not meant to bring anyone or anything else into this garden-He is to be our first love. Makes me think of His jealous love for us-He desires to lock, enclose, seal our hearts for Him alone.

Also, in this garden the plants are an orchard of pomegranates, while in Isaiah it describes a vineyard with grapes. Not sure if there is any significance to the difference between grapes and pomegranates? But while the garden in Isaiah 5 had bad fruit, this garden in Songs has good fruit as well as the finest spices…I notice the mentioning again of myrrh and nard (isn’t that what Mary anointed Jesus with-nard?)

The garden in Isaiah was dry when God stopped the rains, but the garden in Songs is like a fountain with a well of flowing water-water is life-giving and refreshing.
Also the imagery of a fountain or well of flowing water reminds me of how Jesus described salvation to the woman in John 4, that He gives water that becomes a spring of water welling up to eternal life. This makes me think that the garden in Songs is a “forever garden”.

E. Here is the BIG QUESTION. Why, is this garden so good?

My thoughts are everywhere but I’m having a hard time putting them down….I think this garden is a picture of what happens in a person when Jesus “moves in”. Such a mystery of what happens when He comes to live in us by His Spirit…inner transformation…fruit begins to grow and flourish…we become as a fragrance, spreading the fragrance of Christ…we become “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, and whose leaf does not wither” (Psalm 1)
I think Rebecca was the one who said “she is becoming like Him”. Jesus is the One who makes the garden good.

    Reply

    Susan, such good thoughts. I also see that when God first came to His garden in Isaiah, the grapes were sour — and it was then he removed the hedge. What do you think?

      Reply

      I’m not sure what you are asking…okay, God came and found sour grapes and then removed the hedge. He allowed judgment. This is punishment. Is this similar to Romans 1-2 where God “gave them over” to their sinful desires?
      But now we live under the shadow of the Cross…Jesus took our punishment. Now our “gardens” are forever sealed (in Him). But now comes the question, is it possible that God can find “sour grapes” in my life? Yes…but thankfully He doesn’t give me what I deserve. I am always His, but He will bring discipline to prune me.
      I was thinking about this, too…if the garden is enclosed, how does the bad stuff get in? It must be my sin nature that still lives in me.

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3. Read Isaiah 5:1-7
      A. How did the Lord care for His vineyard according to verses 1-2?
He chose a fertile hillside and did the necessary work to prepare the soil—ridding it of obstacles to growth; He used the best resources; He watched over it with anticipation of growth and good fruit.
        B. What did He find when he came into His vineyard according to verse 2?
It yielded bad fruit.
       C. What is His lament, according to verse 3?
Judge between me and my vineyard—He has done all He could to promote good fruit—but their own choices brought ruin.
       D. What will He do according to verse 5-6?
remove its hedge, break down its wall and it will be devoured and trampled down. He will leave it to waste.
       E. Describe the bad fruit in verse 7.
Bloodshed and cries of distress, no justice and no righteousness
 
4. Read Song of Songs 4:1-15
     A. A vital theme in The Song of Songs is His love for her. Read the opening 8 verses of chapter 4 and give your overall impression of how He feels about her. Is this a marriage based primarily on duty or on love?
 
He studies her beauty and encourages each part of her. He loves all of her. He never mentions anything she does “for” Him (duty)—He simply praises her.
      B. What does He call her in verses 9 and 10 and what significance do you see in each name?
Sister: fellowship of faith, closeness
Bride: life-long commitment to one another
 
     C. How does He describe her love in verses 10-11?
Her love, as was His in 1:2. is better than wine—it is beyond any earthly enjoyment
      D. How is this garden different than the garden in Isaiah 5 according to verses 12-14?
A fragrant garden, that is locked, protected.
 
     E. Here is the BIG QUESTION. Why, is this garden so good?
It stood out to me that the garden was locked, and under God’s protection. She satisfied herself with Him alone.

 5. A. What do you think the north wind represents? The south wind?

OK, I did cheat and read some from James Durham commentary. I like this, he said “Next, by ‘north and south wind,’ are understood the same Spirit, being conceived and taken up in respect of his divers operations sometimes cooling, and in a sharper manner nipping, as the north-wind, sometimes working in his people more softly and warmly, and in a still and quiet manner like the south-wind; yet, as both winds are useful, for the purging and making fruitful of a garden; so are the divers operations of the Spirit, to the souls of believers. In a word, hereby is understood, the different operations of the Spirit, whether convincing and mortifying, or quickening and comforting, both which contribute to make her lively and fruitful, which is the scope of her petition.”

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David–thanks again for all your hard work and patience–we are all so blessed by it!

    Reply

    You’re welcome!  Also, thank you for the kind Thank You note and gift card – you’re so thoughtful!  Anne and I will have a lovely coffee date  :D

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      Yes, David-this is wonderful! Very user friendly now. Thanks so much!

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      So you got your “brownies” in a manner of speaking from Elizabeth. That is so like her, David. You definitely deserve them. I love this!

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Mike Reeves audio is GOOD.  I’d like to listen again– so far behind I’m not sure I’ll catch up :(

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    Isn’t it? I feel I’m in the presence of the Lord when I listen to him.

     

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6. What choice fruit does the Spirit show you in your garden? Share here in praise to the Lord!

I have a nice smile. I try to use it all the time :) thank you Lord!

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There is so much in this..I had to stop and let some things sit in the first half! It is WONDERFUL.

I will post the parts of my notes that I want to sit with today:

First he draws a parallel of the Union with Christ being the foundation of communion to the union of marriage: The Union is the foundation of communion. The Union of marriage is the foundation for this type of communion with each other. They have a sweet relationship with each other because of the secure union they are in. They can be open and vulnerable toward each other.
Our culture says our communion is the foundation of union. We think by communion with Christ we secure our union with him more-no..  I only have true communion with him because I am already united and secure with Him.  Union is the foundation of Communion-as you can cry out to the one with whom you are united when your heart is cold with your sinful heart and despair-you cry out to the One with whom you are united.
 
The essence of what Christians get when they become Christians is not some abstract thing, not just justification, salvation or heaven-It is Christ-and with Him every other blessing-He is the blessing!  

This REALLY stood out to me: 

Sibbs: Let us often think of this nearness between Christ and Us-and not be discouraged with any sin in us. Who sues a wife for debt when she is married. Therefore answer all accusations to satan with this-Go to Christ with this. Many help satan and plead satan’s cause against the spirit their comforter by refusing to see what God sees in them. When we play to our own guilt as a sign of our own insecurity we are pleading satan’s role. People refuse to see what God sees in them when we do that we are pleading satan’s role.  I am weak in myself but Christ is strong in me, I am foolish but He is wise in me. He is mine and his righteousness is mine, which is the righteousness of God/Man..being held in this I stand safe .

 

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Still having troubles. Name and email have to be regular each time I am posting.

New weirdness: when I am trying to reply to someone, it gives me a tiny box to type into. I can only see one letter at a time! This is on my phone. Isn’t happening when I just post though.

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    Laura, when you reply to someone you have a small box — I’ll look at it on the phone. I think that is so more than one person can reply and it be seen on the phone.

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    Hi Laura!  When I made the updates, I changed the style of the comment box slightly.  So, you may need to close out of the browser on your phone and re-open to have the new styling take affect.  Or if that doesn’t work, you could try clearing out your browser cache/cookies or closing down the browser app on your phone and re-opening again.  I hope this helps!  Thank you!

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5. Read Song of Songs 4:16-17
A. What do you think the north wind represents? The south wind?
The first thing that grabbed my attention is that now it is the bride who is speaking…it is SHE who cries out “Awake, north wind, and come, south wind!” I think this is significant, although I’m not sure I understand fully why. Some have posted helpful parts of commentaries on this and the winds are identified as the Holy Spirit. So these verses, to me, seem like a prayer from the Bride to the Spirit, asking Him to “blow on my garden”. Commentaries suggest the north wind is the Spirit’s conviction and the south wind is comfort, or reassurance. She invites both to come. It seems to me that she is asking for transformation-to be molded, refined, shaped (even disciplined?) yet for the warm assurance that she is his. Why does she ask for this? So that the fragrance of her garden may spread abroad. That would be like a believer asking God to change me so that others can see Him in me. “Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits” – I want to be pleasing to my Lord.
 
 
 

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I’ve just gotten home and am so thankful for this user friendly format from David. He has gone above and beyond to help us and I’m so thankful to him.

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    Thank you Dee!  Please don’t hesitate letting me know if we can help with anything else.  I want this to be a pleasant and enjoyable experience for everyone participating.

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David. Thanks so much! I’m  trying this on my phone and not having trouble. Can see whole comment!

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OH THIS WAS SO WORTH LISTENING TO! I’m definitely listening again–somewhere about mid-way my heart started to burst, really–it’s beautiful!!
His love for her and her love for Him. He has a desiring love for her and she for Him—both desire one another. The relationship goes sour, cold when the desires are not there. Is love a choice? When the desire is no longer there, love is a choice. Love will wane when sin comes in. But the Christian can go to Christ and see how Christ loves the other so passionately, He died for her. As I see how Christ loves me, I become more loving. As I see how Christ loves my brothers and sisters, my spouse—then my love for them grows.
 Union is the foundation of communion. The sweet relationship with one another is because of the union, the commitment. Works based says communion is the foundation of union—that the harder we try, the closer we are to Christ—this is false. The truth—we love, we serve, we desire Him—because He first united us to Himself.
 The essence of what Christians “get”—is Christ Himself. He is the Blessing. Covenant is marriage.
 In and of herself she is from outside the land—dark—but she is brought in, made beautiful. The sinner marries Christ—and at the same time still a sinner, yet takes on His righteousness, His standing.
 *Answer all accusations like this “Go to Christ” When we play into our own guilt and refuse to see what God sees in us, we are pleading Satan’s role*
 *He declares she is beautiful, and so she is. He makes her beautiful. Whether she believes it or not, it is true because He declares. He makes His creation good.
 
Biblical headship is beautiful. The husband reflecting Christ—he is Christ-like towards her, pouring out all his love on her whether she deserves it or not. The male temptation is to be unfaithful, aloof—unlike Christ. The female tendency, like the Church, is to try to earn Christ’s love. Buy his favor with duty. Biblical submission is not primarily about authority, but love. He is the Lover, she is the Beloved. The obedience of faith is to accept His love. She is to rest content in that, it is truth, whether I feel loveable or not. *
 *We so often think we’re doing Him a favor—we think after salvation, we are doing all our service for Him. But He does not come empty! He comes with all grace, to spread His treasures, to enrich the heart, to bring peace…to remove our sin, pure kindness. He comes in discipline, liberating us from enslaving sin—not for His own ends, but to empty His goodness into our hearts! He comes out of love to us!**
 
The wind blows on the garden and it is fragrantly beautiful. Christ, His Spirit blowing on us, beautifies us. Knowing Him, we become more patient, loving kind—His fruit is seen in us. *
 
He always wants closer communion with me. We should examine our hearts to see what good there is in us, that we may be thankful and praise Him.

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    I knew you would love this. Can’t you just also see how this flows down and helps us understand marriage? As Kathy Keller says, “Someone needs to lead in a dance.”

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David, thank you for continuing to work on the blog – it is getting smoother and easier to use! I like the new look, too!

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    You’re welcome Susan!  :)

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Hi – I’ve been led to this blog and I can’t even remember how…lol. I think I may have seen Dee’s book on the Barnes & Noble sight. Anyway…I’m excited about finding it and becoming involved in the study. I have been a Christian for a long time but was baptized three weeks ago and feel God working so much in my life right now. i have a 12 year old son who has high functioning Autism and we have lived a nightmare for the last ten years but I feel God is finally bringing us out of it. We are in horrible financial shape and as I am typing this my husband – who is on his way home from out of state – called to tell me his van just died. I see the hand of God in everything that happens these days so I am trusting him. Looking forward to getting to know everyone…:)

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    Oh Chris — I do believe God led you here — you’ll see why — I surely do!

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    WelcomeChrisH.!soverythankful youarehere–prayingnowforyourhusband

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    Welcome Chris! I’m so glad you were led here-even tho’ you can’t remember how! I think you will find love and support and encouragement here!

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    Welcome, Chris!

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    Welcome Chris Henderson! I am amazed at how similar your story is with mine-wow..I too have a son with high functioning Autism-He is now 13. Sounds like the North winds are blowing in your life-like they have been in mine for a while now, but let me tell you-He is so so so good. :)) 

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    So happy you are here. You will be blessed by the women and Dee:)

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WTsbooks.com has Sibbes’ Love of Christ for $9! And you can download the first 36 pages free…it’s been sitting in my amazon cart the last 2 weeks, tempting even though I have so many books by my bed I haven’t gotten to yet…but seeing the sample, oh it’s good stuff

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    Thanks for sharing this, Elizabeth!  I looked around the website for something written by Mike Reeves.  Didn’t think of checking Amazon for Sibbes!

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      Renee–the forward is by Mike Reeves; he refers to this book in the sermon,  published by Banner of Truth

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On iPad now and it is WAY easier to read than it used to be (before the recent updates)–love this :)

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Had some trouble with my “reply” on iPad–so I’ll do it this way–Welcome Chris Henderson, so thankful God led you here and I will pray for your husband’s safe travel home

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4. C. How does He describe her love in verses 10-11?
It delights him; her love is better than wine; He is clearly attracted to her.
D. How is this garden different than the garden in Isaiah 5 according to verses 12-14?This “garden” is only for Him…private, secluded, not be shared, only for His delight.  The fruit of the SoS garden is extraordinary.

 
E. Why, is this garden so good?
All because of the Lord’s love…it displays the joy of the Lord for His church/us…He sees each and every daughter and son as an individual, unique and valued, that He loves.  The righteousness Jesus provides for His sisters and brothers is the “extraordinary-ness” that would otherwise not be.
 
5. A. What do you think the north wind represents? The south wind? 

           The Holy Spirit?
           B.  “Cold winds may blow…” What comments do you have?
The “cold winds” seem to be adversity…when one can tend to feel distant from God, isolated and lonely.  The en of the lyric tells how despite “cold winds” He still finds her in her desolation; He is yet by her side desite her lack of awareness in the midst of “cold winds”.

How might you apply this?
I am never alone, the Lord is always with me whether I choose to be aware of His presence or choose to distance myself from Him…I choose the distance; the Lord is always close to me and engaged in my life.

6. What choice fruit does the Spirit show you in your garden? Share here in praise to the Lord!
Thank You, Lord for cultivating an encouraging nature in me.  Thank You for my attention to detail that allows me to note qualities that one might not be thinking or aware of that can provide needed encouragement. 
Thank You for my sense of gratitude…I am thankful for my awareness and appreciation of the many blessings that surround me.

 

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    Sorry…this mess above is mine…please disregard.

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      I love that you owned it, Nanci!  :-)  We are all on a learning curve with this new site!

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      Nanci-some of my comments did the same thing, and then I edited them–not sure why some do but no worries! I love your #6. I LOVE your attention to detail and how God has used that to bring blessings of encouragement. It’s a beautiful quality that is Christ in you–and it helps me see His heart even more. Wow–the gifts, the fruits of Him in others, help the rest of us know Him more. Thankful for you Nanci~

        Thank you, Elizabeth…you have such a sweet, lovely heart (all participants will attest to that truth…:))…glad to have gotten to know you via this blog; it is a blessing to call you “friend”.  By the way…how is the new house…is it feeling like “home”?

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    Hi Nanci,
    All of that other gibberish can happen sometimes if you copy and paste text from Microsoft Word or another website.
    -David

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      Oops — David we’ve been telling them to do that so they don’t have edit — can we not do that with this new website?

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      Thank you for your grace, David…:) and many thanks for all the work you are doing on the site!

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Oh no…I forgot to put my name in for my last post…I don’t see it…4c through 6?

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4. C. How does He describe her love in verses 10-11?
It delights Him; it is better than wine.
 
     D. How is this garden different than the garden in Isaiah 5 according to verses 12-14?
This “garden” is only for Him (private, secluded, not to be shared, for His delight only).  The fruit of the SOS garden is extraordinary.
 
     E. Why, is this garden so good?
All because of the Lord’s love.  It displays the joy of the Lord for us…He sees each and every daughter and son as a unique individual, valued, and loved.  The righteousness Jesus provides for each of us gives us an extra-ordinariness that we otherwise would not have.
 
5. A. What do you think the north wind represents? The south wind?

Not exactly sure…I’m thinking the Holy Spirit…?

B.  “Cold winds may blow…” What comments do you have?

The “cold winds” are adversity…when one can tend to feel distant from God, isolated and lonely.  The end of the lyric tells how despite “cold winds” He still finds her in her desolation; He is yet by her side despite her unawareness in the midst of “cold winds”.

How might you apply this?

I am never alone, the Lord is always with me whether I choose to be aware of His presence or choose to distance myself from Him…it is my choice, He remains close and engaged in my life regardless of my awareness.

6. What choice fruit does the Spirit show you in your garden? Share here in praise to the Lord!
Thank you, Lord for cultivating an encouraging nature in me…thank You for allowing me to see details that others may not that provides opportunity to for needed, sincere encouragement.  Thank You for my sense of gratitude…thank You for an awareness and appreciation for the many blessings around me (i.e., faith, family, friends, freedom, nature, health, employment, transportation, shelter, nourishment, etc.). 

I re-posted…:)

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You are not who others see you to be, and you are not who you see yourself to be; you are who God sees you to be—His beloved child, with whom He is well pleased. – Tullian Tchvidjian

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“You are not who others see you to be, and you are not who you see yourself to be; you are who God sees you to be—His beloved child, with whom He is well pleased.” – Tullian Tchividjian
I had saved this quote earlier and thought it was appropriate to this lesson. I have been crazy busy for a few days and will continue to be for the next few days.
I would appreciate your prayers. Things are pretty intense for Krista. Please plead with God for special strength for her and for us, especially at a court appearance next Tuesday. She may have some difficult decisions to make – it is all very heart wrenching.

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    Diane–will continue to lift you all up, and especially Tuesday. So sorry.
    That quote is wonderful–so fitting for our lesson. I pray Krista, and you both can let the truth of those words be a balm. So sorry for all of you.

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    Father, I cry out for mercy for Krista. For the children. If she must make difficult decisions Tuesday, please guide her. Please work in the heart of the judge. I ask this in Jesus name.

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    Diane, I echo Elizabeth and Dee…prayers will continue for Krista, the boys, and the rest of you as well.  I will be especially praying for wisdom and discernment in decision-making…comfort and strength.  My heart goes out to you all…these are difficult roads to travel.

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    Thank you, ladies.  I truly appreciate it.

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I am reading Rich Mullins biography and in the chapter about God’s love, I found these two quotes in it-had to share:

If we know how great is the love of Jesus for us, we will never be afraid to go to Him in all our poverty, all our weakness, all our spiritual wretchedness and infirmity. Indeed, when we understand the true nature of His love for us, we will prefer to come to Him poor and helpless. We can be glad of our helplessness when we really believe that His power is made perfect in our infirmity.-Thomas Merton

The greatest honor we can give to God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of His Love.-Lady Julian of Norwich I would change ‘knowledge’ to ‘security’ of His Love.). 

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    I read that this summer too and thought it was an inspiring way to do a biography — the way Rich Mullins would have liked — exalting God.

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    All of your comments on the North and South wind have been interesting. Rebecca quoting Matthew Henry on the Holy Spirit and conviction or comforting were interesting. I’ve usually thought it was hard circumstances and sweet circumstances — but of course both come through the hand of God.

     

    Eager to hear take-a-ways.

     

    And thanks for learning a new website — we will get it. I do like it so much better. My daughter Anne is going to do a video tutorial to help us when she has a chance!

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 E. Here is the BIG QUESTION. Why, is this garden so good? 
Rumination warning! This question stumped me so I have been thinking about it all week. I think the garden is good because it’s fruit is a result of union with Christ. It is a marriage of love. In the vineyard in Isaiah the marriage was broken, dysfunctional because the bride used His love and gifts for her own purposes. There was no marital unity. 
I didn’t understand a lot of what Mike Reeves taught, only bits and pieces but what I did get was quite illuminating for me.
The garden and marriage are both pictures of we individually and corporately ‘in Christ’. A good marriage bears abundant fruit, of which children are a high example. They grow in the soil of a family into another entity that repeats the process.
My ’tea buddy’ is in Uganda for six months with her husband. Their marriage has been ’tended and well watered’ for as long as I have known them. Now, in retirement they are bearing much fruit. I can’t think of when I have ever seen a couple up close, catch the wind of a call from God. It is a beautiful garden.
A garden is a mix of individual things, soil, seed, sun, water and seasons. Each one is nothing in comparison to the garden that results from their union. That is Christ and His bride! 

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    Really lovely, Anne.

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not trying to complain, it’s just that I am having a lot of trouble on this new site that I never had before. It’s not easier to move around than before. I have tried to refresh the page, close out the site, turn off my phone; everything I know to do to get it to “reboot” itself. Nothing is working; I get “wonkiness!” does anyone know how to clear the “cache” list on an iPhone 3 (my phone is a dinosaur :( )

For example, the biggest problem is that when I reply to someone it gives me a 1 letter box to add a comment. I add spaces but it doesn’t accept them. You can see this under a post from nanci asking about Sarah. I tried to go edit and it said it saved my comment (which was really just telling Nanci I would post a full comment below because of the wonkiness). It didn’t save the comment.

Other things of annoyance: when I post a reply it doesn’t go back to that post after it accepts it. It takes me all the way to the top of the page again and I have to go find my post to see if it needs editing.

Still doesn’t insert name and email on the same device I have always used. I have to re-type each time.

Can’t get to the rest of the site using the little bars above the word “blog” at the top of the page.

Last question: should I be using the mobile “app” that I downloaded months ago from this site? I usually just go to the web address bar and type in deebrestin.com. Does it make a difference?

Thanks for anyone’s help!

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Take away. 
My biggest take away (and challenge) is the ‘desire’ of my Lord to be in union with me. I am not a new Christian so I have been taught (and, indeed, taught many others) that God does love us immensely and desires for us to be his bride. However, I have never felt desired for me, only desired for what I have done. This is a perspective rather than a reality for I have a few people in my life (husband, mom…) who dearly love me. This stretches to Christ in my mind. Wrong, but this is where I am. I always feel an obligation… A reluctance on Christ’s part to accept me. But I played by the rules (if any would confess with their mouth, etc) so I have to be ‘let in’. To truly believe someone would just like me for me and not for what I do or what I accomplish or that I am in the top 49% of human kind is such a difficult *feeling* and it is also salvation by works, not by grace. Other than meditation on truth and prayer I do not know how to bust this mold, but I do know I am on the way because to even be able to see my misconception is progress. 
To believe that He loved “people” and died for “people” is not difficult. But to believe He died for *me* and would have if I had been the only one, is not only humbling but to truly, truly grasp that is difficult mentally
And that is why I joined this study, to further learn of true love, true desire. I believe God led me here, that you are doing this particular study at this particular time because I need encouragement, instruction and guidance on true love, unconditional love, God’s love. I have been learning of this but this will take me heart and mind to depths it has not yet been. And I look forward to it. 
So. My take away (sorry this is long). To dwell on Christ’s love, freely given. To dwell on the concept that I am lovely to Him (even here I am tempted to insert “because”…..). 

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Nanci, thanks for asking about Sarah :) I am trying my best to remember what an amazing summer we had together. Truly a gift from God. It has been a hard few weeks recently. She struggles with social cues and can’t see others’ points of view.

Here is the short version: She got to NY and went a bit crazy going into manhattan nearly everyday for 2 weeks. Luckily she had the street smart roommate guiding her and teaching her the ropes. Whew! I had several calls to put money in her account so she could ride the train to get home (some at 12 midnight!). She isn’t very good with managing money :(

Thr third roommate moved in a couple of weeks ago. They started talking about their pasts (yikes!) and got “into” it. Unfortunately it caused a huge problem and the girl ended moving out this week. The entire family kind of went crazy on us; nothing had actually occurred, just talk but enough to annoy both sides and that was that (social cues). Now they are trying to find a new roommate. If they don’t I’m not sure what will happen.

Our intention was to get her acclimated to the area before school began. It hasn’t really worked out as well as we thought. What are you going to do? She needs to learn to take care of herself at some point.

We also had an incident where she ended up in the hospital because she drank 2 energy drinks with alcohol :( we brought her home last weekend for a break. She left this morning on a bus. That was it’s own adventure…. Never a dull moment in this family.

I am hoping she is learning life lessons and I just know God has her in His hand. He must; she should have been injured or dead with some of the things she has done in the past month.

Thank you Lord for teaching us life lessons. Thank you in advance for taking care of Sarah and helping us to be rational and not hysterical or worrisome. Thank you Lord for my husband, who is a great father and has taken care of much of these issues over the course of the month. Thank you Father.

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    Thanks for the update, Laura…you and your husband are such patient and loving parents…times like that are really difficult; it is SO hard to see your children do things where the consequence will likely be experiencing those really difficult life lessons.  I love your gratitude to the Lord for taking care of Sarah, the blessing of your husband, and even the “hard thanksgiving” of life lessons.  Blessings to you, Laura!

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How do you use the HTML commands to use italics and bold? Help please!

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    Laura–I haven’t tried yet so here goes…We love Laura-d! Assuming this comes through–I am using the B I and U at the top of the comment box–click on it like you would in a Word doc..hope that helps :)

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      You are so funny Elizabeth! Idon’t have any choices for my reply, like “b” or “I”. I guess I have to use my computer from now on:(I like using my phone,but the mobile site doesn’t seem to work for me(?)

        LOVE YOU    SISTERS!!    I’m trying this out!

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8. What is your take-a-way and why?
 My take-away is from the Mike Reeves lesson, when he said (paraphrase) “When we play into our own guilt and refuse to see what God sees in us, we are pleading Satan’s role”. That has stuck with me—the power of guilt, I think one of Satan’s favorite tools. How it robs of joy. The guilt over a purchase—even a well-prayed-over-long-awaited one, a weekend get-away without kids, though I had never done it in 9 years–I have trouble receiving good without guilt. I think that’s the enemy, robbing the joy. But I play a part—I play into my own guilt, giving it power. Power to steal the joy, or the promise that God can and will redeem brokenness in relationships. I don’t have to sink in the guilt of every mis-spoken word or parenting failure. I can believe in His promise to redeem.
And so the Song of Songs—I think also could have been called, The Song of Redeeming Love. Without wanting to sound corny or belittling—it’s like the original Cinderella story. The hard-working Shulamite, each of us—orphans who have been rescued and welcomed to live with the King of Kings. It’s no wonder that the enemy wants to rob us. I think, though I want to be careful because I know many great theologians do see this as primarily about earthly marriage—but I feel that only viewing it through that lens can rob us of the joy, the adoration, He wants to give us here.

Arise, my soul, arise,
shake off your guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice,
in my behalf appears;
Before the throne my Surety stands,
Before the throne my Surety stands,
My name is written on His hands.

Arise, my soul, arise.
Arise (arise), arise (arise), arise
Arise, my soul, arise.
Shake off your guilty fears and rise

He ever lives above,
for me to intercede;
His all redeeming love,
His precious blood, to plead;
His blood atoned for every race,
His blood atoned for every race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

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    Elizabeth, I think you hit the nail on the head…Satan loves to bind us in guilt and self-judgment to rob us of joy…and unfortunately, quite often we do play the part.  I loved when Reeves said that Christians in response to Satan should tell him to “go to Jesus” …:) 

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Chris and Elizabeth…thanks for mentioning “A Praying Life”…I downloaded it from Amazon middle of the week and am reading it too…:)  Best wishes with the study, Chris…you will be a great leader, I have no doubt!

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    Nanci–I do think you’ll really enjoy the book–so glad you’ll be reading it. How are things with your daughter and grand baby going? I know it’s been a hard road for you all too, much love & prayers to you dear friend~

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      Thank you for your kind words, love and continued prayers, Elizabeth.  This is officially the second week of “shared placement”…my daughter misses not being with her daughter when she is with dad; last weekend was especially tough…first weekend away with dad.  I think this is what Laura-d was talking about regarding children having to learn “life lessons”…it just hurts my heart that the consequence also falls so heavily on my granddaughter.  I keep “circling” my granddaughter in prayer and will continue to do so…I pray for her well-being and successful co-parenting of mom and dad.

      Regarding “A Praying Life”, I really like Miller’s manner of writing…I have enjoyed what I have read so far and look forward to continued reading. Have you ever read “The Circle Maker”?

        I just wanted to say to you, Nanci J., that I am praying for you, your daughter, and granddaughter. I truly understand when you say that it “hurts” your heart. This is so hard. I ache for my grandsons as well who are hurting as a result of the split up of their parents. Lord, have mercy on us, sinners in the hands of grace.

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have been loving your responses to Sibbes! And honest reflections

Laura dancer, so sorry for frustration. Perhaps this site won’t work on your phone.  A tutorial is coming that may help with some of your frustration

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7. What notes do you have?
An incredible podcast…loved it!
*SoS is about mutual love…His love for her and her love for Him…it is a “desiring” love, both desire each other.
*when relationship goes cold it is because desire is not there; when desire is not there then love comes a choice.  Desire wanes with sin (i.e., self-focus).
*love is reawakened when the Christian looks to the compassion of Christ…with Christ there is hope for reawakening love.
*Union of marriage is the foundation of communion…there is only true communion when one is secure in the union.
*Similar to the dual identity of the beloved in SoS (i.e., “dark like Kedar” yet “lovely like the curtains of Solomon’s tents”), the Christian has a dual identity…sinner, yet in Christ.
*One’s response to the devil should be “go to Christ”…I have a righteousness in Christ that answers ALL…I am foolish in self, but wise in Him.  With Jesus’ righteousness, I stand safe against conscience; there is more righteousness in Jesus than sin in me.
*By refusing to see what God sees in me, I am helping the efforts of Satan (when we plead to our own guilt, we are pleading Satan’s role).  We need Jesus’ Spirit in us to know what is good in us…whatever is graciously good in us is Christ…my becoming more “Christ-like” pleases Him.
*The beloved needs to believe s/he is maximally loved and needs to accept that love…s/he needs to rest content in His love.  The Lord doesn’t come for His own ends, but to empty His goodness into our souls…He comes to us out of love for us.
*He declares the beloved beautiful, and so she is…justification, beautification by His declaration.
*Christ by His Spirit changes us; He genuinely beautifies us by letting us know of His love which changes us to become as He is.  He makes known is love, humility, kindness and patience with us; by our knowing Him we become more loving, humble, patient, and kind…this is “His” fruit and it delights Him.

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    love how you word this Nanci “He declares the beloved beautiful, and so she is…justification, beautification by His declaration.”
    Will continue prayers for your family~

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      Thanks, Elizabeth, but I can’t take the credit…this was something that Reeves mentioned…I think I pretty much quoted him…:)

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    I love your notes on the podcast. I have had no opportunity to listen yet, but this gives me an idea of the treasures there. Thank you.

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      This note re the notes on the podcast is for Nanci J. I forgot to say that. I cannot see any way to edit.

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      Diane, you are going to love it…it is truly one of my favorites; one I will listen to from time to time.

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Thinking of you Joyce and praying for you today~

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I’m taking away a lot (again), even though I haven’t been around enough to post much.  The whole combination of the questions, Scripture, the talk by Mike Reeves, the music, — and then when Elizabeth posted the lyrics for “All the way my Savior leads me” and I listened to it, it ALL started to soak it.  I’m sure not taking much of an intellectual approach; for me, at least right now, absorbing the message through multiple senses has been SO GOOD!  Who’da thunk?

I can clearly identify times that I am really RESTING in His love (vs being so exhausted I drop, although that happens, too)

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    Renee–this post made me smile…resting in His love–yes, I see that so in you–and I love the multi-sensory approach ;)

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    Wonderful, Renee.

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Thank you Elizabeth

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Hello Everyone!

I’ve made some improvements to the comments yet again so I’m hoping this will make it even easier for you to participate.  When you submit your comments now, you should see a message saying your comment is posting and to wait…and then it will post without having to re-load the whole page again.  I’ve also made a few minor tweaks to comments displayed on mobile phones.  Tomorrow, I’ll add a video tutorial Anne recorded to the “Getting Started” page with more detailed instructions on using the style tools in the comment box.

Thanks!

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    Thanks, David. You are a treasure! And thanks for being sensitive to all our frustrations and questions!

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