Saturday, January 15, 2011

He Loves You Snow Much...More

Last Friday I answered a letter; It was from my new step mother (she is not “legally” my step mother- they just had a “ceremony” with their pastor). In it I told her many things I don’t believe she knows. One thing I said was that my Dad doesn’t know how to love me. I told her how God has helped me through that in the past and how He continues to sustain me. I told her about the trials my Dad and family went through in February of 2010. These things happened partly because of bad decisions made by my Dad’s church, my Dad and because of a novice con-artist. And my Dad had got mad at me? Me? I live 2000 miles away and had nothing to do with it! It hadn’t even been a year since my mom passed away (April 2009)- once again (as this has happened before) my family sunk into anger, confusion and chaos. It was the week of February 7th and it was about the worst week I’ve ever had in my life! (it’s definitely in the top ten!)I would talk to my sister and we’d both work ourselves up talking about this “problem” and what to do about it----- but there was nothing we could do! “Let go and let God” By the week-end I was so aggravated that I “unfriended” some of my dad’s “friends” on facebook (After all THEY got him into this mess, it stands to reason THEY should get him out) Then I stopped answering the phone and instructed my family to do likewise- my sister didn’t call anyways- I think she was sick of talking about it all too.

Then that Sunday it snowed! It was beautiful and we spent the day playing in the snow with our kids- (all but Teddy who was playing in the snow at the University of Georgia).That was February 14th. I said (in my letter) to my step mother that it was like God saying to me, “I’m sorry your Dad doesn’t know how to love you Susan, but I love you” That’s good enough for me! Then on Monday (January 10, 2011) God told me again (with this ice storm) and now I realize that He says it to me everyday…like when my husband, Bob or my children say, “I love you”, when He answers my prayers, when I get what I asked for for Christmas (or my birthday), when I spend an evening playing “Taboo” with the family and laugh so hard that I cry, when I hear a song or read something that speaks to me personally– even when my dog wags her tail and my cats purr…’s all God saying, “I love you.”

I rediscovered an old book of my mom’s in November (2010), it’s called, “Letting God” and it was written by A. Philip Parham. It’s a devotional with an entry for every day of the year. One of the first one’s I read was from November 17th; Mr. Parham tells the story of Mr. Kline; “He was a sad, sorrowful sort who felt that no one, especially God, cared for him. One Sunday he walked by a church and heard the words to an old hymn; ‘Saved by grace alone, this is all my plea, Jesus died for all mankind, and Jesus died for me’
When he heard the third line, ‘Jesus died for all mankind’ he thought he heard, ‘Jesus died for old man Kline’ He shouted ‘Why that’s me!’ Stopping in his tracks, he went into the church, accepted Christ’s special invitation and love, and became a Christian.
Whenever we feel a special and personalized call or prompting from God, it is no mistake. Individuals are brought to salvation one by one, and each encounters and then embraces Christ. Mr. Kline heard correctly. Jesus died for each unique individual. His love is reserved for each of us. Our recovery from addiction depends on believing that our Lord truly loves us, each one, with a special kind of attention that fixes on us- as if we were all that mattered.”

In my 2007 Christmas letter I wrote on the theme of “Love” and things that had happened to me that year: “I rediscovered my old weight loss seminar (The Weigh Down Workshop) this past spring and lost 20 lbs. I was dismayed to find out, however, that the founder has turned this weight loss seminar into a cult! Gwen Shamblin has strayed from her initial focus of loving God (instead of food) with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, to legalistic rules and coming out from all other churches (where her classes used to be taught!) to her church because she thinks it is right and all other denominations are wrong.” What I didn’t say though, was that Gwen Shamblin was “into” asking God for “signs” – even though in Mathew 12 Jesus says, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign.” He does not say, however, that He won’t give a sign. There are many places in the Bible where God gives His people “signs”. But there are also many warnings about them, like in Matthew 24:24 Jesus says, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Bob and I were recently sharing with someone how Christians are supposed to, “test the spirits” because everything that is really “supernatural” is not from God. (I John 4:1) The Bible says that Satan can transform himself to appear as, “an angel of light” (I Cor. 11:14) So we, as Christians need to be especially careful because we can even be deceived! With all this in mind and my doubts about Gwen Shamlin and her new church, however, I said a crazy thing to God. Since Gwen’s questions to Him were always about Him showing His personal love to her, I said, “God, do you love me as much as you love Gwen Shamlin?” He answered me with a Matthew West song I heard on K-Love : “Susan” He said to me, “I love you MORE”

“…I'm always thinking of you, Take a look around you, I'm spelling it out one by one…I love you more than the sun And the stars that I taught how to shine You are mine, and you shine for me too, I love you yesterday and today And tomorrow, I'll say it again and again I love you more….”
Ironically or rather Providentially next Sunday is “Snow day” in Awanas; One craft idea I had seen before is “Jesus Loves you Snow Much”

To read Part 2 of  "He Loves You Snow Much...More" go to my May 27th post (2011):
The Warrior Princess