Topping Up Your Faith

A well stocked pantry is essential for spontaneous bakers such as myself.  Not only is it important to have the essentials on hand, like flour and butter, but also an ecclectic array of the odd and unusual, such as saffron and vanilla beans.  It takes time to grow your stock necessary to whip up something special at a moment’s notice without having to make a grocery run.  You also have to learn to keep an ongoing mental list of how much you have on hand of each ingredient.   There is nothing more annoying than having to go to the store in the middle of a recipe because you don’t have enough of something to finish the job. Keeping your pantry topped up is important.  

Much like baking, faith needs a deep repository of ingredients that are grown over time in order to create a feast that will supply daily Bread, even during times of famine.  Basic faith, all that is needed to initially become a follower of Christ, is to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that by His death, burial, and resurrection He has overcome sin and death and has given us eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).  Scripture was written by about 40 different men, as the Holy Spirit prompted them (2 Timothy 3:16), over 1,500 years and is a wellspring of history, personal experience, wisdom, prophecy, fulfillment of prophecy, law, gospel, poetry, and letters giving first-hand accounts by eyewitnesses who had dealings with our eternal God across time.  All of these were written for our learning (Romans 15:4) and can be mined to give us everything we need in order to grow our faith through hope, truth, love, peace, joy, patience, endurance, faithfulness, forgiveness, mercy, grace, obedience, submission, goodness, kindness, gentleness, self-control, understanding, wisdom… and so much more! 

The growth of faith is directly related to how much time, effort, thought, and personal devotion we put into topping it up.  Recognizing and experiencing God in one’s personal life with the aide of the Holy Spirit, when combined with listening to Him as you study scripture and talking to Him through prayer, combine to help us live our best and fullest life in Christ.  It is this fullness of faith, one that is constantly being filled and topped up, that shifts our viewpoint from life here below to that of the promises given about life above.

As we see every day on the news, bad things happen in the world. If you have lived very long at all, you know that unsolicited bad things will happen in the lives of the ones we love and even to ourselves.  Christians are not immune from failure, brokenness, loneliness, sorrow, or hardship of all kinds.  Accidents, illnesses, viruses, diseases, and death will touch and eventually take us all. 

BUT instead of despair and hopelessness when these things happen, we Christians can reach into our diligently topped up storehouse of faith and praise God through the storm instead of blaming Him.  We find ourselves resting in His ever present, faithful hands and feel a deep assurance that He has lovingly pressed us against His heart to keep us safe.  Not necessarily that He has removed the travails that happen to us in the flesh, though He certainly can do so if it is within His will! But, no, I mean the safety of our faith.  The promise of His love and His sovereignty alive and over our lives no matter what situation or diagnosis or trouble we find ourselves in. This kind of faith is possible because Jesus Christ has overcome sin and death by His resurrection and is the source of eternal life for all who call upon His name. He has overcome everything in this world and, as a result, there is now nothing that can harm those who believe in Him – not even death!

Paul says it this way in 1 Corinthians 8:34-39, “Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”.

To me, the promise that nothing can separate me from the love of God through Christ Jesus my Lord tops me up to overflowing! If you are already a Christian, don’t forget to keep topping up your faith each and every day through scripture and prayer. If you are not a Christian, but you want to know more about how to become one so you too can be filled to the “whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 3:19), then send me a message and I would count it a privilege to share the Gospel with you!

To the praise of His glory! ❤️Amy

Animal House

We did a few days of dog sitting for family over Labor Day weekend. I discovered I like dogs better than I thought I did but, WOW, they are a lot more work than cats.

“What are we going to do now? Huh? Huh? Huh?”

This little beauty had a ton of energy and needed to go on walks as well as run around the backyard.  I dug deep to find the energy to walk her around the neighborhood a couple times per day for three days in a row.  I can see why people with MS might want a dog. Their basic needs trump even the emptiest of MS energy tanks because when they gotta go they gotta go 😁.

She’s a runner!
Those floppy ears 😂.
This is more my speed.

Hubby loves dogs and they always seem to gravitate to him. It’s a good thing we kept poochie over a weekend and we could tag team watching her since we had to keep her on a leash when not in her crate. We wanted the cats to still feel like it was their home and they were safe from well-intentioned but unwelcome bouncy-flouncy invitations to “play” chase.

Just a little excited to see hubby ❤️.
“Hey, look! Did you see who’s here?!”
Touching base with me between runs.
Watching the birds from my lap.
The first interspecies meeting.
They both used their best manners and no one was traumatized.

After the doggy went home, it took a few days of solid rest to recover. I didn’t do much of anything but enjoy these beautiful, freshly fallen leaves from our River Birches.

Autumn is coming 🍂

As I mentioned in my last blog, I had my third Ocrevus infusion in late August. I self-isolated at home for a couple of weeks both before and after the treatment for a bit of extra assurance that I didn’t get sick. I’m pretty used to staying home a lot but I am certainly glad that is over. During my confinement I practiced various lessons from Dorling Kindersley’s Digital Photography Complete Course: Learn Everything You Need to Know in 20 Weeks. Naturally, I used my two favorite muses 🐈🐈. The photos below were taken as I practiced shooting from various angles.

Laudy
Pip

The big, orange bouncing ball that is MS has been all over the place: up, down, out of bounds, in play, and even deflated. Some days I’ve been able to enjoy a walk, sewing projects, baking, and even a little gardening. Other days I’ve barely been able to step out of bed, take a shower, feed myself, or muster the energy to sit in a chair. It is so bizarre, I can’t describe it. It feels like I am disconnected from myself and am living someone else’s life because it doesn’t feel like me.

I treasure the good days or hours of the day, and sometimes just the minutes of the day, when I am motoring along and feel like I have sovereignty over my body to do the things I want to do. I know God has given me every blessing in Christ so that whether it is a good MS day or not, I can give thanks to Him and live a contented life.

To the praise of His glory!
❤️Amy

Seven Current Things God is Greater Than

God is greater than all things.  But, since the number seven indicates completeness and perfection within the Bible, I chose it to represent current issues we can pray about with confidence that He is in control.

Dear Heavenly Father, with humbled hearts we pray You will fill us with joy and peace as we remember You are the great I AM.  You are in control of all things and are greater than…

…the Corona Virus with all it’s ensuing  unemployment, bankruptcy, evictions and foreclosures, businesses failing, schools resuming, and our anxiety for both the physical and mental health of ourselves and loved ones.  You are even greater than death by Christ’s victory over the grave!

Father, please help us remember you are greater than Nations and Politics, especially amidst the barrage of divisive and aggressive rhetoric, fear mongering, looming elections, and potential civic fallout. 

Lord our God, we may rest assured that You are greater than the Media that constantly fills our ears. You are greater than bias and intolerance on all sides, as well as our well-intentioned friends who’s social media posts break our hearts with aggressive, divisive, or judgmental words.

Holy One, we need Your presence to comfort and restore our weary minds with the knowledge that You have always been and will always be mightier than the Social Issues that have surrounded Your children through the ages.  You are greater than the current cancel culture, ANTIFA, riots, lootings, hate and intolerance, racism, and movements that plan destructive uprisings of any kind.      

Loving, compassionate Father, please restore us from the fatigue of living in a different and difficult new reality that seems to have no end in sight. You are greater than the Weariness of the past several months.

All-knowing Lord, we pray You will reassure our hearts that You are greater than all the Unknowns that surround our lives. We rejoice in knowing You will never leave us or forsake us through the trials, sorrows, or temptations of our journey here below.

And lastly, Almighty God, help us to remember You are greater than all our Fears. When we trust You hold us in Your mighty hands, fear dies and You are glorified.

Thank You, God our Father, for loving us with Your perfect love and for caring about each and every one of us. We ask and pray this prayer through Christ, our Savior’s name. Amen.

If Only

The whole world is mad enough to chew nails and spit rivets at each other.  The wildfire of anxiety already fueled by a viral pandemic and financial hardships has roared into an inferno fanned by outrage over racial injustice.  Add all of this to an overly politicized, deeply divided, radically idealized, and seemingly diabolicaly opposed Left and Right presidential election year and, voila, here we are.  McCarthyism (“The practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigate techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.” – Dictionary.com) turned into Cancel Culture (“The popular practice of withdrawing support for public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive.” Dictionary.com).  Unsurprisingly, we (collectively as humans) have learned absolutely nothing from God or history on how to get along with each other.  Like sheep, we’ve all gone astray.  The only difference between us and sheep is that we like to point and call out the wrong courses everyone else has taken, but never look back at our own errors.

As a result, I’ve been rationing my news intake and limiting my time on social media platforms.  I can’t take all the lava-hot words and vitriol spewing out of the mouths on all sides of the world’s current, self-inflicted problems.  I don’t know how to heal or even understand the differences of opinion and the vast chasms that seem to lie between the logic and thinking of some of us.  So, with that admission, what can I do?  I have been and will continue to lay them down at my Father’s feet.  He is the answer to everything, always. God excels in doing what everyone says is impossible. 

I’m doing the same on a personal level.  While the huge fires of the world keep burning, so too do the little flames within my life.  I’m sure you understand because we’re all the same.  My personal fire is called MS but yours might be named such things as Furloughed, Job, Money, Stress, Anger, Divorce, Death, Parent, Child, Spouse, Cancer, Diabetes, Aging… just about anything, really.  For me, MS is constantly melting away tiny pieces of my own sovereignty.  It’s very difficult to let go of the things in life that make you feel like you have some control, such as driving, shopping, cooking, and walking. 

In much the same way that I realize I can’t put out the MS fire in my own life and deal with the destruction it leaves in it’s wake on my own, we, as a nation and even world, must understand we will have to work collectively to bring the flames of our society back under control.  The solution will not be conceived in fear of an unseen germ, worry over the next great depression, or riots that break our neighbors’ windows and loot their livelihoods because of injustice.  No, if it could then we would already have the answer.   The fix is to be found in love.  The kind of love the apostle Paul described in I Corinthians 13:4-7, the sort God has for us.  His love is patient, kind, happy for others instead of envious, lifts others up instead of boasting about self, is well mannered instead of rude, seeks the good of others instead of self, is slow to anger, keeps no records of wrongs, delights in holiness instead of evil, rejoices in the truth instead of sensationalism, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. 

I realize what I am about to say is very Pollyannish of me, but…  If every person would recognize the truthfulness and wisdom of this type of love and make it their own personal goal to practice it, without policing others and how they are doing as they attempt to do the same, all the infernos of the world would simply burn themselves out.  If only.

Can’t Catch Me, ‘Rona

Hi everyone, I hope you are healthy and virus free. I may not know your name, but I have been praying for everyone to make it through this this pandemic and the extensive economic impact related to the shutdowns it has caused.

Like so many others, Hubby and I are living under a stay at home order from both our county and city. Hubby teaches at a local community college and got an extra week’s worth of spring break while officials and tech got their ducks in a row. He will be teaching all of his classes online from home starting Monday. He’s been working hard to get ready since making a shift from seated Physics classes with labs to an online platform for both has taken a lot of prep and creative thinking. As always, my brilliant, hardworking guy has it all in hand and is ready to go.

Meanwhile, I’ve been labeled “vulnerable” and the only “essential” thing I can do is help prop up the local economy. Hubby has been pitching in and we’re taking our duty very seriously. For example, we’ve driven through Andy’s Frozen Custard on three occasions in the last couple of weeks for Thin Mint concretes.

The following is a collage of snapshots showing how we’ve been riding out this unprecedented time in history.

Hubby’s days have included cycling and projects and then more projects and cycling. Oh, and probably like everyone else, a lot of surfing of both the inter-web and channel varieties.

I’ve been hobbling along with Salonpas pads stuck all over my legs trying to get my MS related muscle spasms under control. I’ve also managed to get some sewing done, including the cat-themed wall art, with a bit of help from my two favorite felines. Our new house has a lovely patio out back and I have been been putting some miles on my new rocking chair, “See-Saw”, every chance I get!

A lot of time has been devoted to loving and being loved by, well, CATS.

I love to bake and have taken advantage of having my favorite taste-tester home with me every day. Scones, bread, muffins, biscuits–we have more bread and baked goods in our freezers than Panera!

What joy it has been this spring to watch the birds come to our feeder and move into the three birdhouses we have in our backyard! I have enjoyed snapping pictures of all the different varieties and then editing them. We have a pair of Eastern Bluebirds nesting in one house, sparrows in another, and juncos in the third.

We’ve had a mild, rainy spring and the trees and shrubs have started blooming and budding everywhere. It is beautiful to see all the colors painted across the landscape, whether rain or shine. As the back of our house faces due east, it’s been a treat to watch the sun’s orange glow as it spreads across the sky in the mornings. We added some color ourselves this week with a few flowers for the beds.

I hope you have been able to find joy despite the ‘Rona fear that has gripped the hearts and minds of the world. I encourage you to turn off the constant news feed and find a way to enjoy the people in your home and your surroundings. Remember God’s promise after the flood, “As long as the earth endures, springtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease” (Ge 8:22). It’s true, regardless of ‘Rona, springtime has come just like God promised. May we all live in the light of God’s promises, not in the darkness of the fears in the world.

Undone

We placed our house on the market three weeks ago and every day since has been like living in some alternate reality.  The endless cycle of picking up, putting away, wiping down, and clearing out in order to hide the fact two cats and their humans live here had grown old by the second day. I’ve seen vlogs of people on YouTube who want you to believe they happily clean their house every day and offer advice on how you could learn to love to do the same. I like a clean house and I’m no slacker when it comes to actually doing the deed, but there is no way I want to adopt some ritual that forces me to scrub the toilet every morning in order to feel joyful.

Nevertheless, with the knowledge people could be coming over at the drop of a hat to see the house, I found myself in a state of constant tidiness not too far removed from the feeling you get just a couple of hours before hosting a dinner party. You have ten things to do at once and the pressure is on to get it all done before the first ring of the doorbell. We don’t host dinner parties anymore thanks to my MS. I don’t have the energy to clean, cook, AND be charming anymore. Most days it’s a struggle just to do one of these through to its completion. So, it wasn’t too far into the first week my prayers grew in fervor for God to intervene and make some way for me to survive this part of the process.

We had two open houses and several showings the first couple of weeks which resulted in one low-ball offer that was $40K below asking price and begged to be rejected. However, we received and accepted a second offer this past Monday, but it was contingent on the young couple’s house selling first. It was such a great offer we thought it was worth giving it a chance. For better or worse, a contingency does not stop your house from being shown, though it usually slows things down to a trickle. So, we were absolutely flabbergasted by the number of people who crawled out of the woodwork the day after Zillow and Realtor.com listed our house as “Contingent”. Our hearts and hopes soared that maybe something would come of it all, but my MS was absolutely seething and out to take revenge because I was not complying with its dictatorial demands for rest.

My prayers took on a begging tone asking Him to help me survive and to get another offer that would press the contingency to a precipice and conclusion. With each passing day my appeals intensified to the point they became more like chants than well-spoken prayers.

In addition to keeping things tidy, it grew harder and harder with each passing day to pack up the cats and put them in the car, move the litter boxes to the garage, stash the scratching posts and then drive somewhere to wait until the coast was clear before reversing the process when I got home. By Tuesday of this week I had become so tired I couldn’t walk or be up for more than five minutes at a time. Matter of fact, my energy didn’t even last long enough for the water to boil in the electric kettle for a cup of tea. The situation was dire!

That’s when it happened, right at the intersection of I Can’t Do This Anymore and God, Please Help Me. We got a full price offer on Friday that ended up being the one we got to keep. The young couple who made the contingency offer on Monday was not able to buy our house until theirs sold so they, unfortunately, fell victim to the standard kick-out clause when we got the second offer.

Our realtor, in the business for years, told me that she had never had a house with a contingency offer all of a sudden get so many people wanting to see it. She was still turning down requests to view our house over the weekend well after the ink on our contract was dry Friday.

My emotions have been all over the place through this whole experience. Excitement and anxiousness mixed with a healthy dose of hope, anticipation and nervousness. But when I saw the final full-price offer I thought I was seeing something wrong. I even looked our listing up online to make sure I had remembered our listing price correctly. Sure enough, I had seen it right the first time. That’s when I started sobbing uncontrollably as a flood of relief and gratitude to God completely made me feel undone by Him. Although I had begged God to intervene on our behalf with continuous pleas, I couldn’t take in how mightily He had answered. As the reality of it all slowly dawned on me, my continuous chant turned into millions of Thank You-s and You’re so good to me-s. I couldn’t stop saying it over and over as tears of joy and thanksgiving fell unashamedly down my cheeks. The fact that, once again like so many other times in my life, He had heard my prayers and intervened on my behalf, left me feeling completely and utterly undone and humbled before Him.

I am writing this in the middle of the afternoon while reclining in bed waiting for my MS to wear out its retaliation for doing too much this week. Let my MS do what it may, I don’t care. I am glowing in the ceaseless cascades of my Father’s love for me. I’d spend every hour of every day left in my life stuck here lying in my bed if I had to just to know and to feel His tender, caring, kind, reassuring love. Thankfully, I know I won’t have to do that. It is His nature to be just that good to me!

~ See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1)

Merry Christmas

As daylight fades, I keep catching glimpses of the twinkling lights of our Christmas tree when I swivel our rocker-recliner just so. Somehow, the lights illuminate tidbits of childhood Christmases past, as if they were photographs: Grandma Lois hanging our presents on the tree like her parents did when she grew up in North Dakota in the early 1900s; our stockings hung on the mantle containing an orange stuffed in the toe; cutting out and decorating sugar cookies with Mom and my sisters; stringing popcorn with a needle and thread to hang on the tree; putting together 1000 piece puzzles with everyone; playing hand after hand of Dummy Rummy with our grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins; and playing my favorite carol, “Silver Bells” over and over from the only Christmas album my Dad had through his furniture-size stereo.  Of course, I was always excited to see what presents I got and can remember some special gifts, but my best memories are always of the special traditions and people who shared their Christmases with me.

Although many of these special people in my life are now gone, they live on in my memories. Todd and I have made our own Christmas traditions and have found joy in sharing our families with each other. The way Christmas looks through these 49 year old eyes is very different from the way they innocently gazed in wonder and excitement when I was a child.

Gratefully, although I didn’t know it at the time, I was learning the most important lesson of the holiday; it’s the people that matter. Grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, friends…whoever you share this season with. And, just as it should be every single day of our lives, not just the 25th of December, it’s about Christ and the gift He gave so that we might have life…Himself.

Merriest of Christmases to you and yours!
❤️

If Only… NASA, Amy, and Youth

Sometimes the difference between an intricate, highly complex machine working or blowing apart is down to a simple, small component’s integrity at one single moment in time. NASA learned this lesson the hard way in both the Challenger and Columbia disasters. In both cases, the defective components were made months and even years before either shuttle was assembled.

As the symptoms of my MS have progressed, I am reminded of how “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps 139:14) each of us truly are. Despite billions of dollars worth of research, centuries of learning about the anatomy and physiology of the human body, and life-long careers devoted exclusively to trying to figure out what goes wrong to make MS activate, there is still so much we don’t know. In the early 1600s, German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler was correct when he described his study of planetary movements as “thinking God’s thoughts after Him”. This statement is true in every avenue of mathematics and science, especially in the study of biology.

Somewhere, somehow, some way, long before I ever had any symptoms of my Multiple Sclerosis, all the viral, environmental, hereditary, and biological elements were just right to kick this disease into action in the biological petri dish that makes me me.

My immune system got all confused and started destroying itself. Thanks to MRIs, I have seen for myself the white smears and dots scattered across my brain and spinal cord where tell-tale signs of damage can be easily seen. It remains inexplicable how it happened, but that doesn’t stand in the way of it being true. All my progressive, worsening problems with balance, walking, incontinence, dropping things, quick and excessive fatigue, tingling, and slow processing are all due to these white globs that made their initial marks nearly thirty years ago.

It’s staggering to imagine that such small blobs etched out so long ago have created the big problems I deal with every day.

Hmm, I feel a life lesson coming on. Sometimes it’s the little, but wrong, things we allow ourselves to do early in life that eventually turn out to be our undoing in the end.

If only someone would have checked the integrity of the O-ring on the right solid rocket booster before the Challenger took off, seven lives would have been saved. If only one day we could figure out what causes MS and how to stop it before other people’s neurologic integrity becomes comprised and they end up going through a progressively worsening disease process. If only we ourselves strove to live Godly lives and to teach the young how to choose right, so many lives would flourish and God would be glorified. If only.

Father’s Love Letter

Get ready to feel loved.

My Child,

You may not know me, but I know everything about you.   Psalm 139:1 

I know when you sit down and when you rise up.   Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways.   Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.   Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image.   Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being.   Acts 17:28 

For you are my offspring.    Acts 17:28 

I knew you even before you were conceived.   Jeremiah 1:4-5 

I chose you when I planned creation.  Ephesians 1:11-12 

You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book.   Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live.   Acts 17:26 

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.   Psalm 139:14 

I knit you together in your mother’s womb.   Psalm 139:13 

And brought you forth on the day you were born.   Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me.   John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love.  1 John 4:16 

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.   1 John 3:1 

Simply because you are my child and I am your Father.   1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.   Matthew 7:11 

For I am the perfect father.   Matthew 5:48 

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.   James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.   Matthew 6:31-33 

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.   Jeremiah 29:11 

Because I love you with an everlasting love.   Jeremiah 31:3 

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore.  Psalm 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing.   Zephaniah 3:17 

I will never stop doing good to you.   Jeremiah 32:40 

For you are my treasured possession.  Exodus 19:5 

I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul.   Jeremiah 32:41 

And I want to show you great and marvelous things.   Jeremiah 33:3 

If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me.   Deuteronomy 4:29 

Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart.   Psalm 37:4 

For it is I who gave you those desires.   Philippians 2:13 

I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine.   Ephesians 3:20 

For I am your greatest encourager.   2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles.   2 Corinthians 1:3-4 

When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you.   Psalm 34:18 

As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart.   Isaiah 40:11 

One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes.   Revelation 21:3-4 

And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth.   Revelation 21:3-4 

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus.    John 17:23 

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.    John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being.   Hebrews 1:3 

He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you.    Romans 8:31 

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.    2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.    2 Corinthians 5:18-19 

His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you.   1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love.    Romans 8:31-32 

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me.    1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you from my love again.   Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen.   Luke 15:7 

I have always been Father, and will always be Father.    Ephesians 3:14-15 

My question is…Will you be my child?     John 1:12-13 

I am waiting for you.    Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad.

Almighty God

*Permission to copy and reprint providing that it is used in its entirety and the following copyright notice is displayed…Father’s Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications ©1999 FathersLoveLetter.com

(Sometime earlier this week I got the idea to write a letter imagining it was from God to us, His children, using a compilation of verses. I got a little way into the project before thinking I should Google it to see if anyone else had embarked on the same endeavor. Sure enough, someone had done so and did such a masterful job there was no need to recreate the effort on my own. Thankfully, the anonymous person has allowed the letter to be reprinted, provided the copyright be sourced. I hope you have been as touched by these words as I have. To the glory of God!)

God’s Attributes

One of my favorite Christan authors, Merrill C. Tenney, who was Professor of Bible and Theology at Wheaton College in Illinois, wrote a book titled, Galatians:The Charter of Christian Liberty.  Within it he explained and applied ten different approaches to studying the meaning of Biblical text “so that the reader can imitate the procedure and thus have the joy of making discoveries in the divine revelation.”  Over the course of the past two years, I have applied these strategies to four different books of the New Testament and found them to be like a key that has unlocked beautiful treasures of incomprehensible wealth.  

I just finished my journey through Romans and would like to share my new found favorite component within one of these methods, the “Theological Method.”  This method includes going through the book and finding all references to God’s personality and attributes, Christ’s personality and attributes, the Holy Spirit’s personality and attributes, and then the specific instructions for what Christ’s churches as well as each individual Christian’s personality, attributes, and behavior should be in order to reflect the Godhead. I found this particular exercise hugely beneficial, faith-strengthening, and awe-inspiring.

The following is a list of the attributes I found describing God’s personality and who He is as I read through Romans.  You can easily follow along, if you wish, by reading Romans yourself, since I wrote this list in chronological order as I read through the book.  If a particular attribute or personality trait was mentioned more than once, I did not repeat it on the list. However, several of His revealed traits were stated in slightly different contexts so I included them on the list.

God’s Personality and Attributes:

God is a promise-keeper

God is Father

God loves us

God witnesses our works

God has a plan for us

God made the gospel as the power for our salvation

God is righteous

God is wrathful against wickedness

God has made plain His truth

God made His invisible qualities evident through creation

God is eternally powerful

God is divine by nature

God is full of glory

God is immortal

God is truthful

God is creator

God is to be forever praised

God gives us over to wickedness when we defy Him

God made the knowledge of Himself evident

God makes righteous decrees

God is judge

God is kind

God is tolerant

God is patient

God leads us

God is wrathful

God is Giver of eternal life

God is angry at evil

God does not show favoritism

God sees

God has a relationship with us if we have faith

God is to be honored

God speaks

God entrusted us with His Word(s)

God is faithful

God is true

God is available when we seek Him

God is to be feared

God is the giver of grace

God is forbearing

God is just

He is God of Jews

He is God of Gentiles

God is the only God

God is to be trusted

God is to be believed

God credits righteousness to us through Jesus Christ

God is our guaranteeror

God gives life to the dead

God raised Jesus from the dead

God gives peace (We do not have to fear judgement)

God gives hope

God poured out His love to us through the Holy Spirit

God loved us while we were still sinners

God is to be rejoiced in

God gifted grace through Christ to us

God has given us an abundant provision of grace

God makes us alive to Him once sin dies in us

God is the One to whom we bear fruit

God is our master when we die to sin

God sent Christ to be a sin offering for us

God is our Abba, Father

God is the giver of true freedom

God works for the good of those who love Him

God has foreknowlege 

God predestined that we be conformed to Christ

God has called us

God justifies us

God is for us!

God chose us

God has loved us with an inseparable love

God does not fail

God has a purpose for His children

God is merciful

God is compassionate

God hardens whom He wants to harden

God formed us

God does not reject His own

God answers

God is stern to those who fall

God grafted Gentiles into the branches of Israel

God’s gifts and calling are irrevocable

God has bound all (at some point) over to disobedience in order that He may have mercy on us all

God’s wisdom is deep and rich

God’s knowledge is deep and rich

God’s judgements are unsearchable

God’s paths cannot be traced

God has made all things from Him, through Him, and to Him

God’s will is good, pleasing, and perfect

God gives us a measure of faith

God avenges

God repays

God established earthly authorities

God’s kingdom is of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit

God gives us endurance

God gives us encouragement

God gives us a spirit of unity

God gives joy

God will crush Satan under His feet

God is wise

I hope this has encouraged you as much as it does me.  Perhaps you can use this technique yourself as you read through scripture in order to get to know God more completely.

May God’s blessings be upon you.