Amy Winehouse

I like to read the news. I usually check the headlines on the internet news sites a few times a day. I try to be watchful over what I read, but every now and then while scanning the headlines I’ll see a picture or a headline about a celebrity. Why are those stories usually bad news? Anyway, that’s how I know who Amy Winehouse is.

I don’t remember ever reading an article about her. I don’t remember ever hearing one song by her. But I saw the pictures. I saw the headlines. That’s all I knew about her. I knew she was addicted to drugs. I knew she was a singer who was booed from a concert recently. I knew she was in an abusive relationship. And today I knew that she died at the age of 27.

When the news page loaded on my computer today and I saw the headline that she was dead, I was shocked at first, but then not surprised. Then I was sad. I was sad she had such a tragic life. I was sad that she had such a short life. I was sad we all watched it happen. We were all surprised to hear the news. But no one was surprised it happened.

Why am I saying all this on the Highway of Love blog? Because after all the headlines, after all the pictures, with all that I knew about her life, I don’t remember praying for her. I can’t say for certain that I didn’t, but I also can’t say for certain that I did. How did I see all that and not pray every time? How did I not really notice her until after she died? Lord, forgive me. Help me to see what You see. Help me to hear what You hear. Help me to love like You love.

And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Mark 2:15-17, KJV)

And when He had stepped into the boat, the man who had been controlled by the unclean spirits kept begging Him that he might be with Him. However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had compassion on you.” (Mark 5:18-19, Amplified & NKJV)

For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. (John 3:17, Amplified)

…He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her… When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8:7,10-11; KJV)

It’s Time to Move

For in Him we live and move and have our being… (Acts 17:28, Amplified)

For no prophecy ever originated because some man willed it [to do so–it never came by human impulse], but men spoke from God who were borne along (moved and impelled) by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21, Amplified)

And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean… immediately the leprosy departed from him… (Mark 1:41-42, KJV)

And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. (Matthew 14:14, KJV)

Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. (Matthew 18:27, KJV)

And Jesus… was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them… (Mark 6:34, KJV)

For the love of Christ controls and urges and impels us… (2 Corinthians 5:14)

God wants to move. Love wants to move.

Love wants to move us, in us, through us. Let His love move you to action.

It’s time for a move… a move of God, a move of Love.

It’s time to move.

…He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Luke 8:8, KJV)

A Safe Place

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten… Son …God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. (John 3:16, 17; Amplified)

And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and [especially] wicked sinners came and sat (reclined) with Him and His disciples. And the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, Why does your Master eat with tax collectors and those [preeminently] sinful? But when Jesus heard it, He replied, Those who are strong and well (healthy) have no need of a physician, but those who are weak and sick. Go learn what this means: I desire mercy… and not sacrifice… (Matthew 9:10-13, Amplified)

Jesus was and is and always will be a safe place. He is the express image of the Father Who is love. Love creates a safe place for those who need it. And don’t we all need it?

…You have loved back my life from the pit of corruption and nothingness, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back. (Isaiah 38:17, Amplified)

Above all things have intense and  unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]. (1 Peter 4:8, Amplified)

I am thinking of two people as I write this. The first is a young lady that was sent to me for help. She had been diagnosed with cancer and told she probably only had about 6 months to live. I often said of her that she knew the law, but didn’t know the love. For four years I loved her unconditionally.

She had been told all her life that she didn’t measure up to His word. She didn’t know His love. So I allowed His love in me to create a safe place for her. I was that safe place because of His love.

She got to a place where the doctors said they could do nothing for her. I kept telling her that He loved her and that He healed her because He loved her. I kept telling her that I loved her. When all hope was gone in the natural she finally received His love and she received her healing. She is now cancer-free. She needed someone to be a safe place for her during that four year battle with cancer. Love was that safe place.

The second person I think of is my husband. It’s sad that often times the people we are the hardest on are those we live with. I just had the most wonderful time at a marriage conference with my husband. The speakers shared many beautiful and helpful things that have already helped to improve our marriage. As I listened to the speakers, I also heard a still, small voice speaking to my heart. I heard God, Who is Love, tell me, “Be a safe place for him.”

Right now if you need a safe place. Run to God. Receive His love and protection. Then let His love flow through you and become a safe place for others.

For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church… (Ephesians 5:29, Amplified)

Christmas in July

I attended a prayer group the other day. As our time of prayer was drawing to an end, I heard the Lord say something unexpected. He said, “Do you see what I see? Do you hear what I hear?”

It caught me by surprise as I was thinking, “Isn’t that a Christmas song? God, it’s July.”

Then I heard a scripture from Song of Solomon.

…[while you are here] …in the sheltered and secret place, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.” (Song of Solomon 2:14, Amplified)

Seeing His children gathered together, with their faces lifted to heaven in prayer, was both lovely and sweet to Him.

Those words, “Do you see what I see? Do you hear what I hear?” stuck with me the rest of the day. And I found that anytime I was tempted to see myself in an unlovely light I would think “Do you see what I see?” I am lovely in His sight.

I’ve been taking voice lessons recently. My voice teacher is challenging me to sing in ranges I am not very comfortable with yet. I don’t like what I hear. But what does He hear? “Do you hear what I hear? To Me your voice is sweet.”

What do you see and hear when you look at your children? Parents always seem to think their child is the handsomest or prettiest they’ve ever seen and their child’s voice, no matter what it sounds like, is the sweetest sound on earth.

When God sees and hears us, He hears His child singing, praying, speaking to Him. He sees His child, created in His image, learning to walk in His ways. We may see shortcomings. We may see failures. He sees and hears His child and to Him you are lovely and and to Him, no matter what you sound like compared to others, the sound of your voice is sweet.

…let me see your face, let me hear your voice… (Song of Solomon 2:14, Amplified)

Faithful Love

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34, NLT)

Faithful – Firm in adherence to, constant, true to, worthy of belief. (Webster’s, 1828)

Love (hesed) – loving-kindness, steadfast love, grace, mercy, faithfulness, goodness, devotion. (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary)

Faithful love, constant devotion.

For I am the LORD, I change not… (Malachi 3:6, KJV)

In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. (1 John 3:10, Amplified)

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son… (John 3:16, Amplified)

But God–so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us… (Ephesians 2:4, Amplified)

You are dearly prized and greatly loved. Loved with a great and wonderful and intense love. And that’s never going to change. Selah.

The Process

One of the pastors at our church made a statement recently that has stuck with me. He stated that Jesus is preparing a place for us and that the Holy Spirit is preparing us for the place.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3, KJV)

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever–The Spirit of Truth… (John 14:16-17, Amplified)

…the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you. (John 14:26, Amplified)

The pastor was teaching a message entitled “Why the Wilderness”. He spoke of the wilderness as being the place where God prepared the people for the promised land which He had prepared for them. They land was ready for them, but the people had to be ready for the land. There were things they were trying to bring in from the land they were leaving, Egypt. They had been slaves there. They had to stop thinking like slaves. The pastor made this statement, “Freedom is not getting you out of Egypt. It is getting Egypt out of you.”

As the pastor taught this message, my Comforter, Counselor, Helper, the Holy Spirit said something to me. He simply said, “Yield to the process.”

Why were the Israelites in the wilderness for so long? They fought the process. They complained about the process. They often rebuked the process. But it only delayed the process, for they could not enter what He had prepared for them until they allowed Him to prepare them.

Trust Him and yield to the process. Let Him make you what you ought to be (see Hebrews 13:21 Amplified).

One last statement from the pastor’s message to help determine what is God and what is not. “Testing is an opportunity with the goal of success. Temptation is an opportunity with the goal of failure.” God will lead you into tests for your success. The enemy will try to force you into failure through temptations. Let God’s word and His Holy Spirit help you navigate the process.

Freedom Isn’t Free

No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. (John 15:13, Amplified)

Today is the Fourth of July and here in America we are celebrating our Independence Day. We are celebrating all the freedoms we enjoy in this great nation, but they didn’t come free. Men of honor, men of valor, men of great love laid their lives down and spilled their blood so that we could be free. What did they love? They loved this nation, their families, and their God-given freedoms that lesser men try to take away at every turn.

Thank you to those who have sacrificed it all. And thank you to those men and women who are currently serving our nation. We appreciate you and are praying for you.

I also thank God for the One Who purchased our eternal freedom, Jesus Christ. He set us free from enemies that no other man could have. He knew only He could pay that price so Love didn’t hesitate. Love came. Love died. Love rose again for our freedom.

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us… (1 John 3:169, KJV)

So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free. (John 8:36, Amplified)

Be free today. Happy 4th of July 🙂