Wonderings and Wanderings

"The path may bend, but With God leading us, we'll get home aright."

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The lake was great today, with the exception of multiple speedboats leaving huge wakes. But we rode them out just fine.

The lake was great today, with the exception of multiple speedboats leaving huge wakes. But we rode them out just fine.

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View from my paddleboard today…lunch on the lake, worked on the tan, used all the canoe-skills I have gathered over the years. Most excellent of days.

View from my paddleboard today…lunch on the lake, worked on the tan, used all the canoe-skills I have gathered over the years. Most excellent of days.

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Love or Infatuation? 12 Tests…

The life cycle of infatuation is nine to eighteen months. Then all those breathless and wonderful feelings leave, and you’re stuck with another person with the same kinds of needs that you have. What’s left are two unhappy people struggling with character flaws. If you don’t know the difference between infatuation and love, you’ll destroy others’ lives and your own.

1. The Test of Time
Love benefits and grows through time; infatuation ebbs and diminishes with time.
2. The Test of Knowledge
Love grows out of an appraisal of all known characteristics of the other person. Infatuation may grow out of an acquaintance with only one of these characteristics known about the other person…Infatuation is happy to know very little. Love longs to know well.
3. Genuine love is other-person centered. Infatuation is self-centered. In your most important relationships, to what degree is your attention focused on what you are receiving from them and to what degree is your attention focused on meeting the other’s needs? Do you think about how you’re going to look and feel in the relationship, or about what you can do to make that person look and feel great?
4. The Test of Singularity
Genuine love is focused on only one person. An infatuated individual may be “in love” with two or more persons simultaneously.
5. The Test of Security
Genuine love requires and fosters a sense of security and feelings of trust. An infatuated individual seems to have a blind sense of security based on wishful thinking rather than careful consideration; infatuation is blind to problems.
6. The Test of Work
An individual in love works for the other person, for his or her mutual benefit.
7. The Test of Problem-Solving
A couple in love faces problems frankly and tries to solve them. Infatuated people tend to disregard or try to ignore problems.
8. The Test of Distance
Love knows the importance of distance. Infatuation imagines love to be intense closeness, 24/7, all the time. Do you tend to get anxious and frustrated when you can’t be together all the time?
9. The Test of Physical Attraction
Physical attraction is a relatively small part of genuine love, but is the central focus in infatuation.
10. The Test of Affection
In love affection is expressed later in the relationship…in infatuation, affection is expressed earlier, sometimes at the very beginning.
11. The Test of Stability
Love tends to endure. Infatuation may change suddenly and unpredictably. In infatuation, the wind blows and you’re in love…Real love is stable. There is commitment.
12. The Test of Delayed Gratification
A couple in genuine love is not indifferent to the timing of their wedding, but they do not feel an irresistible drive toward it.

-Chip Ingram

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Within [the] Christian vision for marriage, here’s what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, ‘I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to His throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, “I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!”’ Each spouse should see the great thing that Jesus is doing in the life of their mate through the Word, the gospel. Each spouse then should give him- or herself to be a vehicle for that work and envision the day that you will stand together before God, seeing each other presented in spotless beauty and glory.
Tim Keller in The Meaning of Marriage (via dustincgeorge)

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Good Friday

All human history and the balance of the entire universe shifted some two thousand years ago through one cruel and common act on the outskirts of a dusty town in a corner of the Roman Empire.

A crucifixion.

This was a common practice. In 40 BC, two thousand people were executed by the cross in one day. Some estimate in AD 70, two hundred people were killed per day throughout the year by crucifixion. So on the surface, the Friday this act took place wasn’t anything special.

It was cruel. It was common. And it was shameful. The act was so base, so offensive and so shameful that the Romans would be careful to avoid using the word “cross” in their everyday language.

But the image of the cross predates the Romans. A short cross, with equal length vertical and horizontal bars. Early on, it didn’t point to death , but symbolized the intersection of heaven and earth.

And on that Friday, on that day of redemption, heaven and earth intersected in a way as never before as the God-Man faced His death. The Lord God chose one of the most common, cruel and shameful ways to demonstrate His love for us and His hatred toward our sin. It was a cruel death because it was wrath toward sin.

Cruel and common.

Christ was born in a lowly, common place because there was no room for Him, and He died in a shameful place, outside the city, in the common way of many before and after Him.

Some Roman did his duty by hammering a few nails into the bodies of the condemned, and when I think of that nameless soldier, in my mind I always give him a name…my name.

But in that cruel and common act, all things changed.

The symbol of the cross took on new meaning. An instrument of execution more unsettling and cruel than any gas chamber, electric chair or hangman’s noose became the ultimate emblem of grace, mercy and love. And that is why it was a scandal to the Jews and utter foolishness to the Romans to hear that only through the Cross could one know God (1 Cor. 1:23). Not only do we depend upon the Cross, we glory in it, praise it and love it for its beauty (Gal. 6:14).

3 Roman nails were not enough to hold the all-powerful, King of the Universe to 2 sticks lashed together by sinful humans…but His choice to love us kept Him on the Cross that Friday.

And then…Sunday came…