“It wasn’t Jesus’ love for us that led Him to the cross”

Now that I have your attention, the real title of this blog entry is “Obedience”.

But…. Ugh…. who likes the word Obedience? Especially when you think of it in relation to Christianity, God and the church. For some people it might conjure up memories of an overly constricting religion with a litany of rules that no one could ever keep and judgmental eyes constantly watching. And, frankly, if you’re like me, you simply just don’t like being told what to do. Can I get an “Amen”?

But, like it or not, obedience is an issue that needs to be discussed. In fact, as I have been considering this word these last few months, I have come to the conclusion that from the beginning of creation, all God ever desired from us is our obedience, an allegiance to Him born out of a love for Him that places Him far above everything else in our heart.

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The e-mail that started it all …

I’m contemplating what all I’m going to share. You see, when Aaron and I first met, e-mail was a thing and texting was not. So, with us having somewhat of a long-distance relationship, our courtship was forever recorded in the form of e-mails. Some of it is really, really sappy, so I warn you now. I still can’t decide if I will share it all, so you’ll have to wait and see. I do want to share the e-mail that started it all. I remember the very day that I received it in my inbox.

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Little Church

Well, it’s midnight and I have to get up early for church tomorrow morning, but I know that with these thoughts racing through my mind, I’ll never get to sleep until I write them down. My first mistake, when I laid in bed, was to reminisce about the good old days at my “little” church in Elyria, OH.

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Anytime, Anywhere, Anything

I was about 19 years old, sitting in chapel at Cedarville University. In my hand I had this card that read “Anytime, Anywhere, at any cost, to do Anything” and on the bottom there was a line for me to sign my name. The speaker was challenging us to make this commitment to God and all I could think was, “Are you out of your mind? I can’t do that! You are talking about the God of the universe who could make me do anything! I’m not interested.”

As I sat there, I actually started to panic. How could I have been a “follower” of Jesus since I was three years old and yet still not be able to make a commitment like this? I then realized that it was my absolute faith in God’s existence and the truth of His Word that made me terrified to make such a promise. It would be easier if I didn’t really believe God was the same God that I read about in the Bible, then I could just sign my name at the bottom. No big deal. It’s just a piece of paper, right? But I knew better.

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God’s Little Fighter – My Story

After I was born in Philadelphia, my mom brought me home to Elyria so we could live with her dad. The first three years of my life were spent there, just the three of us. It was there when I first heard God’s call, at the age of two or three years old. It might seem young to you, but I know that it was while I lived with my grandpa that I believed Jesus died for me and the words to the song “Jesus Loves Me” rang true in my heart.

Before I reached my fourth birthday, my Grandpa died. It was heart breaking, but I believed that he was with Jesus and I believed that I would see him again some day.

After he died, I remember we had to move out of his house. My mom and I then moved into a nearby apartment complex. I was four years old. Everything was good. I vividly remember standing in the kitchen of that apartment with my mom and thinking, “God thinks we are special. In fact, I know I’m very special to God and He’s going to use me to do great things.” (If you’re an only child, who had a doting parent, then maybe you can relate to these types of thoughts) Like Joseph from the Bible, the favorite son of his father and the only son of his mother, I had no issues with self-worth.

Little did I know that my world would soon come crashing in on me.

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