Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Outrageous Love Of God!

The Outrageous Love Of God- A taste of What God is Doing in My Heart.

“Love.” For the past year the subject of "Love" has been weighing on my heart. It all started last year a few days before 2011, as I was driving to work, the Christian radio station was talking about taking one word/character of God and praying that God would give you a greater understanding throughout the year. I started to pray that I would “Understand God’s love for me.” (Yeah right!) It was in the middle of praying this one day that I realized, “I really don’t believe God does love me unconditionally!” Fear seized my heart as I thought, “Here I am going to be a missionary and I don’t truly believe God’s love or even how to show it properly. “I must know it” I felt with determination. I took a weekend off and went to Colorado my “goal” by the end of this retreat was to “experience the love of God and know its surety.” I am ashamed to admit that I did not simply believe Gods word and be satisfied with it. I wanted to FEEL loved by God. The first day of the retreat I prayed…and I felt nothing, the second night I prayed on my knees with more fervency and decided I would stay there in prayer until I felt the love of God. Hours past and I felt nothing except my legs which had lost circulation. The third day my heart went cold and I sat in the hotel looking at the ceiling. Finally I reached over to my Bible and started reading...the words told me He loved me…though I felt nothing. Finally I whispered, “If this is what you give me, it is enough, I believe.” I said, and went home.

God not answering my prayer that night in the hotel to “Feel loved” (though unforeseen) was a blessing. Since then He has been sewing this tapestry, going into the deepest parts of my being and convincing me of His not only perfect and un-ending love but His impossible to understand, outrageous love! . One day when I was in college I was in tears and desperately disappointed with myself, I confessed my feelings of God’s disappointment with me to my brother Seth I’ll never forget what he said to me “Abby, you know that God doesn’t love you any more or less then when you were a wretched sinner and didn’t want Him and He won’t love you any more or less when you serve Him in the future.” The truth of those words sing like a melody in my heart. He loves me and I don’t have to earn it. I heard it in Sunday school when I was about three but it’s easy to forget. I am vile girl, shameful, selfish and constantly failing but what is this? I am loved…I am furiously loved by Jesus…I still don’t understand it, I don’t always feel it and I definitely don’t deserve it but it’s there all the same.
If there is no fear in love then he who loves must be the most courageous of all…”God give me courage!”

Emmanuel- God With Me!

We Wish You A Merry Christmas- A Bit Late.

“This is where meat comes from.” Kim said, with a wirily smile, as she looked at my grimacing face. I was observing a Bull being held down by about ten men. Being aware of the fact that the bull was Christmas feast didn't make me have a desire to see it butchered by a machete. Soon the job was done and the cooking could begin. It was about three a ’clock in the afternoon on Christmas Eve and we had a bull to cook before the next day. Only a few hours later there were fires all around, big pots, and people from the village coming to help. I was told to grab my “Little guitar” followed by hand motions of playing the fiddle. (It’s become popular at the parties now) I took out my fiddle and played to my heart’s content. At about midnight the meat was cooked and people where starting to meander home. The next day was Christmas. YEAH! Didinga people do three things for Christmas. One, they re-mud their house. Two, they get new clothes and three, they eat meat. The third one we would do together.

Christmas morning started with the drums telling us to come to church for prayers. We all sang, greeted one another and commented on the new clothes, and then we all sat in circles and ate meat, talked and I played some more of my “Little guitar”. Worn out, I wandered back home to our little mud hut with full stomach, family on my mind, and Emmanuel in my heart. Merry Christmas...a little late. Thank you for your prayers.  
 Love,   Abby