The Pursued Becomes The Pursuer


God pursued me. He chased me down, romanced me, and never let up until the day I said, “I do.” The amazing part about it is that no one else wanted me; He really had no other competition at the time. I wasn’t some special “catch” and I certainly wasn’t perfect bride material. Yet, there He was, consistently, constantly, telling me how much He loved me. He wooed me. That is an old word that we don’t use too much anymore, but here is the definition: to seek the affection or love of a woman in order to marry her. Since I was only six years old at the time, I didn’t understand anything other than the fact that God was my Father, He loved me, and He wanted me. Through a great teacher, I realized I wasn’t good enough on my own so God’s Son, Jesus, took away all my “bad stuff” and gave me a new heart. I was so desperate for love how could I say no to that?

Over the years I backslid and fell into the lifestyle of sin, again, God revealed His love for me and the wooing began anew. By this time I had experienced, all negatively, the so called “love” of the world and all it did was leave me broken and bitter. God healed me of all of the hurts by His great LOVE.
Now, I am so grateful for the changes in my life, the blessings, and so many un-imagined ways that He is real in my life that my heart’s desire is to get closer to Him.

The pursued has become the pursuer.

It shouldn’t be hard really. After all, I had a good teacher. He wasn’t nonchalant about it. In no way was His pursuit of me a low priority. He aggressively pursued me. If you are unsure of what I am talking about, read the Song of Solomon. It is all about His love, His pursuit of His Bride, and if no one has ever told you, you are His bride too, male or female, young or old, you are His Bride if you have said yes to His proposal. Here are just a few scriptures that talk about His love for you.

Songs 1:15 (NIV), “Behold, you are fair, my love; behold, you are fair; you have doves’ eyes.”
Song of Solomon 4:10 (NIV), “How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice!”

Song of Solomon 5:1 (NIV), “I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Friends Eat, friends, and drink; drink your fill of love.”

Deuteronomy 7:8 (God’s Word Translation), “You were chosen because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors. So he used his mighty hand to bring you out. He freed you from slavery under Pharaoh (the king of Egypt).”

I Thessalonians 1:4 (NLT), “We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people.”

There are hundreds of these. I could go on for ages, but you need to do a word study yourself. Just know, God loves you!

Now, how does one go about wooing, pursuing the Creator of the Universe. It’s not like I can buy Him candy and flowers. What would please Him, how can I bless Him? I can start by getting to know Him better. I can read the scriptures with the purposeful intention of finding out more about His heart, who He is. I need to remember where I was, and where I am now. This one is very important; I need to do what He says.

John 14:15 (KJB), “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

Jesus clarifies this later by saying that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, mind, and strength, and the second was to love one another. So, not only should we do what He says, but we need to share His love with those around us. Yes, even the ones that you think are hard to love. It wasn’t hard for God to love you, so it isn’t hard for Him to love anyone. How then can we withhold our love. Now let me clarify, loving someone doesn’t mean we have to agree with all of their actions, or love what they do, we just love them, who God sees them to be. He may not want flowers and candy, but He does want His family to grow. What greater gift can we give Him than souls saved?

Next, we need to pursue righteousness. He gave it to us when we surrendered our hearts to Him, but we need to be in constant pursuit. The running isn’t just to God, and His ways, but we need to run away from some things as well.

II Timothy 2:22 (NLT), “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

When we do this, really do it, our lives are transformed. When we pursue Him who first pursued us, our hearts are overwhelmed by Love.

Here is what David said, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:1-8 ESV)

I realize that some people serve God out of fear. They are afraid of death, or hell, or life in general, they are afraid of what others might think or say, and there are some who are afraid of God, and not in a healthy reverential way. They don’t love Him, they are just trying to appease Him. They see Him as hard, or distant, or uncaring, so they go through the motions of vain traditions and religious duty and their lives are never transformed. In fact, most of the time they only get worse.

Fear is the wrong motivation! The only true motivation is LOVE. Fear has bondage. Perfect love casts out all fear. Let’s take a quick look at Adam and Eve in the garden. They are a good example of the motivation of fear.

God tells Adam that he can eat of any tree in the garden, except one. God reserved that one for Himself (think of it as the tithe). He then warns Adam that if he did eat from that tree, he would die. Take notice that Eve has not been created yet. It is just Adam and God. However, when the serpent (Satan) comes to tempt Eve to eat, what are her words to the lying devil? “We can’t eat of it or even touch it.” Who gave Eve her instructions concerning the tree? That’s right, her husband. Why had he added to the simple command of God? He wanted Eve to fear, possibly he even feared himself. I once thought that he just loved her so much, but had his motivation been love, he never would have allowed Satan into the garden, and he certainly wouldn’t have stood by and watched her take the fruit.

I believe it played out something like this: the serpent casts doubt in Eve’s mind about God’s intentions (doesn’t he always!) then Eve touched the fruit. Remember Adam had said they couldn’t touch it or they would die. She touches it, she is safe, it looks good, smells good, and there is Adam watching to see what will happen. Finally she takes a bite. It tastes good, and then we see Adam too, partaking of this forbidden fruit.

Could this all have been prevented if Adam hadn’t lied, hadn’t added to God’s command…maybe.

Love motivates us for good, it takes away, drives out any fear in us. God loves us perfectly, better than any other ever would or could.

Sometimes when I really contemplate His love, I just get so full that I either cry, or can’t stop smiling. I want this love to be two sided. I have had enough of one-sided love to last me a lifetime. I would never, ever leave my husband, (we’ve been through too much!), but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want me to show him how much I love him, to still pursue him. In the same way, Jesus said he would never leave us nor forsake us, but are we going to just take that for granted and act like it isn’t a big deal? I am not. I want Him to know how much I love Him. Don’t be like the husband who won’t tell his wife he loves her because “she already knows I love her.” Don’t just give lip service to God and tell Him you love Him without any actions to back it up.

Don’t ever stop chasing Him, He will never stop chasing you.

Blog Tour for “Recipe Hacker”- Cookbook


Book Description:
Break the recipe code for your favorite foods!
Free of grains, gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and soy, The Recipe Hacker is a mouthwatering collection of your favorite comfort foods with a healthy twist. Learn to use easy ingredient substitutions to transform traditional dishes into real, healthy comfort food masterpieces, without sacrificing any of the flavor!
Enjoy healthier, whole-food versions of Key Lime Pie, Crispy Orange Chicken, and Banana Pancakes
Step-by-step photos, dozens of recipes, and delicious flavors will keep you coming back for more. Enjoy all the comfort foods you crave and keep your body (and skinny jeans) happy at the same time!

My Review:
I was given a copy of “Recipe Hacker” by the author in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this cookbook. It is filled with healthy recipes that contain no refined sugar, gluten, grains, or dairy. Though I don’t feel the need to follow this strict of a diet, I do believe in all things in moderation and a healthy balance. This book is great for the person like me, who wants to cut out part of the fatty, sugar filled foods, and add in more healthy alternatives, or for the person with gluten, or dairy intolerances. I give it 5 stars. The recipes are simple enough made from ingredients that are commonly found, and there are full color pictures for each dish. The author also includes some personal stories and healthy eating tips throughout. I love that she even included cinnamon rolls! This would make a great gift for a recipe book lover, or someone with restricted diets.

Want Honor?


It is nice to be honored, isn’t it? In America we like to watch awards shows where they honor actors, singers, athletes and more. We have honorary college degrees, employee of the month, customer of the day, and much more. When we get a good review at work and a raise, it feels nice. As a whole we tend to think of recognition as honor, but they are two different things. Recognition means just that, you have been recognized, identified, or remembered. Picture yourself walking down the street and you hear someone call your name, you were recognized by someone. Honor includes respect, esteem, and recognition. Bonnie and Clyde received recognition, Mother Theresa received honor. So why does it seem that some receive honor and others do not. Two people can do the same job at work, with the same production, yet not receive the same reward? The Biblical answer to that is that only the humble can receive honor.

Proverbs 29:23 (NASB), “A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.”

Matthew 23:12 (NIV), “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Proverbs 18:12 (Holman Christian Standard Bible), “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.”

Any one of us can go around “tooting our own horn” and bragging about all of our accomplishments. We could corner our bosses and demand recognition and a raise for our hard work. We could take out a front page ad to display our talents and gifts to gain fame. However, true honor, honor that hasn’t been forced or manipulated, only comes to those who are humble.

If your work, your effort, and the application of your God given gifts and talents are all used just so that you can gain recognition, then that is your reward. So, you better be happy with the recognition of men. If you want honor, which is so different than simple recognition, you better be operating out of a completely different motivation. The man who works hard on his job because he knows that his boss expects it, because he acknowledges that he is on the time clock and being paid for his time, and because he wants to represent the Kingdom well, will receive true honor. The person who uses their artistic talent to glorify God and to support their family will receive honor. The artist, who uses their talent to glorify themselves, or a certain lifestyle, may win awards, and gain recognition, but they will never have honor. It’s so easy to see the motivation in other people, sometimes harder to see it in ourselves.

We tend to want to point the finger at others and say their effort isn’t good enough, or their motivation is not right, but we want them to honor us for every little thing that we do.
Jonathan Edwards said it this way, “Some persons are always ready to level those above them down to themselves, while they are never willing to level those below them up to their own position. But he that is under the influence of true humility will avoid both these extremes. On the one hand, he will be willing that all should rise just so far as their diligence and worth of character entitle them to; and on the other hand, he will be willing that his superiors should be known and acknowledged in their place, and have rendered to them all the honors that are their due.”

Honor should never be sought after. It is earned by being humbly obedient to those in authority over us, and doing whatever our hands find to do as unto the Lord. We do our best because it is the right thing to do, because this honors God, and God will make sure that we are honored. If you feel cheated of honor, examine your heart! That is pride speaking. God will never bypass the chance to honor those who deserve it. He said in Romans 13:7, to give honor where honor is due. He doesn’t ask us to do something that He won’t do. He honors those who have a contrite spirit, a repentant heart. Pride is sin and clearly indicates a heart that has not humbled itself.

Isaiah 66:2 (NKJB), “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” Says the LORD.“But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.”

James 4:6,10 (NIV), “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble…Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

So, this all may go against our flesh, but most good things do! We have to humble ourselves. It doesn’t matter if you ever get recognized for your hard work at your job, at Church, or at home, just work hard. Do your job cheerfully and with a good attitude. Use your talents and gifts to help others, and not just yourself, to glorify God. Don’t worry if anyone is watching or takes notice. God sees. His rewards will be so much better than the recognition of man.

Matthew 6:1 (Message Bible), “Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding.”

Book Review for “They’re Rugby Boys Don’t You Know”-Christian non-fiction


I was given a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review. I loved this book. What a great story of sharing the love of God with those in need. Rugby boys is a testimony of a missionary who ended up on an extended stay in the Philippines. There she met several “Rugby Boys” who are named after the glue (rugby) that they inhale. An honest telling, she includes her mistakes, her bad days, and the failures. I can recommend for pre-teens on up. A great book for anyone who has a heart for missions. I give it 5 stars.

Don’t Bury Your Treasure


Matthew 24:14-30 (NIV), “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. “In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. ‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Every job interview I have ever had they asked me my strong points and I always said, “I am a fast learner.” But, I am sure that God would disagree. I am reading through the bible in chronological order and am now in the New Testament. So I read this parable in a few different versions, and in a few different books. The wording wasn’t exactly the same, but in all of them the “wicked servant” didn’t use his talent. He hid it, or as in this version in Matthew he buried it. As I was fasting and praying this week, one of the petitions I lifted up to the lord was that my published books would sell. I had seen little or no sells month after month even though my books were going pretty steady for quite some time. I rebuked delay, I commanded them to sell, I thanked God for the finances, and that the books would be a blessing to those who read them. When I got around to thanking Him for my talent…this verse popped in my head and God spoke into my heart, “don’t bury your treasure.”

You would think the light would have come on then. In my defense I hadn’t eaten any food for some days and my mind was a little foggy. I did think that that would make good teaching on my blog so I stopped by the table in my prayer walk and wrote down “DON’T BURY YOUR TREASURE,” and continued to pray. It wasn’t until two days later as I was pondering my lesson for Ladies Bible study that the light came on. So maybe I am not always a fast learner but thank God He has patience with us.

My books pretty much stopped selling when I stopped writing on a consistent basis. I even ran into a parent of one of my past students and she asked me how the writing was going. I was honest and said I hadn’t done much and pointed to my beautiful nine month old grandson who I have been watching every day while his parents are at work. Finally I see that all my prayers, begging, frustrations were for nothing. My books weren’t selling not because Satan was withholding, or because God wasn’t blessing, it wasn’t because I was self published and I wasn’t doing enough marketing, it was because I had buried my talent.

It is so important that we use what God has given us, for His Glory!

II Timothy 1:6 (Holman Christian Standard Bible), “Therefore, I remind you to keep ablaze the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands.”

Paul had to remind Timothy to “stir up” the gift that God had placed in Timothy’s life. He didn’t say, “Ask God to fan the flames and get you going again.” It is something each one of us has to do for ourselves. We have already been given the talents, the gifts, the character traits that God needed in us so that we could do what He has asked us to do. He put them there. Now it is our job to use them and when things seem to settle on the bottom we have to stir up the pot. He chose what He placed in us. It’s amazing that our simple mortal bodies can contain such wonderful gifts. When we see someone who can really sing or play an instrument we can’t help but acknowledge that they got that gift from a loving Father, even if they aren’t using the gift for Him, He is still the one who put it there.

II Corinthians 4:7 (NIV), “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

Even some of the most wicked, worldly entertainers us the words, “I give God the glory” when accepting their awards and we know they are not in relationship with Him. How much more should we be using our gifts and talents to honor and glorify Him. If we are using them to glorify ourselves, we have stolen His glory. Those that I mentioned above may be doing lip service, but they haven’t truly glorified God, their messed up lives have a louder messages. Their pride and arrogant lifestyle negate the few words they speak at awards night. A vessel of honor doesn’t allow its contents to be used for dishonorable things.
It doesn’t matter if we’ve been given one, two, or many talents, what matters is what we do with what we have.
Charles H. Spurgeon in one of his sermons on the subject had this to say,

“You say, when such a man dies, who stood in the midst of the church, a triumphant for the truth, the angels will crowd to heaven’s gates to see him, for he has been a mighty hero, and done much for his Master. A Calvin or a Luther, with what plaudits shall they be received! — men with talents, who have been faithful to their trust. Yes, but know ye not, that there is many a humble village pastor whose flock scarcely numbers fifty, who toils for them as for his life, who spends hours in praying for their welfare, who uses all the little ability he has in his endeavor to win them to Christ; and do ye imagine that his entry into heaven shall be less triumphant than the entry of such a man as Luther? If so, ye know not how God dealeth with his people. He giveth them rewards, not according to the greatness of the goods with which they were entrusted, but according to their fidelity thereunto, and he that hath been faithful to the least, shall be as much rewarded, as he that hath been faithful in much … Ah! if there be degrees in glory, they will not be distributed according to our talents, but according to our faithfulness in using them.”

Having talents and gifts and not using them at all is like burying your treasure. It isn’t benefiting you and it certainly isn’t brining glory to God. How foolish would we think the next Publisher’s Clearinghouse winner, if they took their winnings and just buried it somewhere to rot away. Or think of those people who “hoard” things. If you’ve ever watched the show you know what happens…it spoils, it smells, it ruins, and rots.

Maybe you don’t see any talent in yourself. Sometimes, like my writing, it just needs to be developed. Other times you may be overlooking your talent or gift because it isn’t as obvious as musical ability or artistic ability. A good example is my husband. He is mechanically inclined and can fix just about anything. He has not only used this talent (just one of his many) to keep our own cars and appliances in working order, he has helped countless others with similar issues. He has used this talent to bless others. Or think of someone you know who loves children, maybe they aren’t great at teaching, but they sure know how to hug, and rock, and play with the little ones. Often you find them volunteering in nursery or working at a daycare. Then there are those who use their talents to provide for their families, or to earn a lot of money and distribute to the poor, or give into the Church. There are many ways to use our talents that glorify the Lord. One is not better than another. My husband’s mechanical talent isn’t less than Aaron Roger’s talent in sports, or Adam Levin’s singing talent. They are all supposed to be used for good, and they are all important to God’s plan.

So what is your talent?

What are you going to do with it?