Tag Archives: love of God

Rejection chain

rejection1Jepthah was run off by his brothers. He was an illegitimate son. When he became a man, he carried out great exploits, vanquishing Israel. But he never healed his hurting heart, and in consequence rejected his daughter. His lack of family love led him to a wrong-headed idea of an unloving God. He made a stupid vow (to sacrifice whatever came first out of his house to greet him when he returned victorious from battle) and instead of repenting and recanting his vow, he stupidly carried it out. He killed his daughter.

The greatest danger of rejection is NOT how lousy we feel. It is that we will do the same to others. As the saying goes, hurting people hurt people.

Supposedly, the church is a refuge for hurting people. Instead, it turns into a lair of cruel critics. I don’t leave the church because there is no where better to go. After all, Christ left His church. Nothing else.

I wish to be different: loving, accepting, patient, comprehending, optimistic with people, seeing the positive and not the negative.

Don’t think I’m touchy-feeling. The naked truth is I have rejected too many people in my time. God, forgive!

I am determined to change. I am determined to praise my children instead of criticizing them. I am decided to see good in everybody, to be patient with problems, to love the unlovable. It is not easy. I must pray every day before the day begins because, if not, bile flows from this wicked mouth of mine.

True change is not a glib meme or a mantra. It takes work and, I believe, divine assistance.

Worst enemy

worst enemyI beat myself up more than anyone.

Maybe it was somebody else who had the unrestrained tongue. Why do I rehearse it in my head?

God wants to free us from the rants in our heads. He wants to redeem everything thought and line it up with the loving truth of Christ. The world and the devil will try to slam you. Don’t help them out.

She’ll never hurt again

She'll Never Hurt AgainLCA grad Casey McNamara bounced around five foster homes when she was a kid. During a 3-month stint back with mom, a 7-year-old Casey cared for her little siblings while mom abused meth and cocaine. “It was hell,” she said.

Casey gave her heart to Christ when she met her now-husband, Max, and enrolled in the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Santa Monica, CA, as a junior. She now teaches at the Lighthouse Church’s preschool. Expecting a baby next month, Casey has traded her nightmare for a fairy tale.

Casey had been forced to return to Mom by a judge who wanted to give the lady a chance to go straight. Instead, while mom was doing drugs, Casey and her 3-year-old sister were taken advantage of by men that her mom had brought home.

226255_1947007828610_2702427_nCasey pulled syringes out of her brother’s foot. Baths were optional, and she attended school little. Sometimes Mom locked the kids in a room while she fed her addiction. Three times, Casey and her siblings slept in a neighbor’s backyard while Mom partied.

“Dinner and breakfast was Lucky Charms,” Casey said in a live interview. “Taking care of my two younger half-siblings was like playing with life-sized dolls — it got old really fast.”

Eventually, school officials reported her truancies and poor hygiene to authorities, and the judge eventually granted adoption of Casey and her brother, Will, to the Mendelsons.

Though life became a dreamworld at the Mendelsons’ with a white-picket fence and a golden retriever, Casey fell into depression at age 14 because of all the emotional baggage she was carrying. Mean kids harassed her and called her “skinny.” She worried about her half-siblings and felt guilty for enjoying the Mendelsons.

“Why do I deserve a good life when my siblings can’t?” she wondered frequently. “I felt very alone, very empty. I was confused and angry.”

At one low moment, Casey contemplated suicide. But then she heard a male voice say, “TEACH.” It halted her suicidal thoughts, gave her a hope and ultimately led her to her current career. God was on the move in her life.

He began to move more when one day on the Promenade Max saw her. While Casey was hanging out with friends, Max McNamara was joking around with fellow Lighthouse students. He saw Casey from a distance and immediately announced to his buddies that here was the girl he was going to marry. He introduced himself.

One day soon after, Max was driving to football practice by chance on Casey’s street and saw her in her front yard raking leaves. He now knew where she lived.

For a few weeks, he would try to strike up conversations with her on Myspace social media website. Then one night, Max and his LCA pals were standing outside her window and threw pebbles against the pane to get her attention.

When she opened the window, Max asked her to hang out. She very nearly freaked out. “He seemed like a stalker,” she said. But talking to Max with some other buddies didn’t seem like a dangerous situation.

Married with Max

Married with Max

“That’s when I first laid eyes on Max,” Casey explained in an email. “The second I saw him I couldn’t turn away. He was different, different from any other boy I had met. There was a gentle spirit about him. That night on we were inseparable. We started talking on the phone, and he eventually met my parents. One thing I will never forget him telling me is that I would always be safe with him and that I would hurt no more. How right he was!”

caseymcnamaraMax invited her to Lighthouse plays and to revival services. Coming from a Catholic background, Casey at first looked for an excuse to back-out on the church services. But as she was stalling, she happened to see in the distance her younger brother drugged up, beat up and looking like a homeless man.

Right then and there, she resolved to NOT be like her mother. “I was going to break the family curse,” Casey said. “I was going to be someone different, I was going to change my life — if not for myself, for my siblings.”

She went to church that night and passed up to the altar. She was flooded with an unspeakable peace.

Next, she enrolled in Lighthouse high school, where she loved the sense of family. While she had met rejection in the public schools, at Lighthouse she was loved by all.

At the Lighthouse preschool, where she has taught for three years

“The most important thing that Lighthouse taught me was forgiveness,” Casey said. She is looking forward to seeing her dad more next year when he gets out of prison. She is working on mending her relationship with her mom.

Her relationship deepened and progressed with Max. The couple was supported by staff and students as they maintained a formal and serious courtship. She graduated with honors in 2010 and came just short of her AA degree in child development at Santa Monica College.

She is currently working on her BA in Early Child Education and plans on getting my Master’s in Childhood and Adolescent Behavior and Development.

In 2012, Casey and Max were married. Ultrasound revealed their baby’s a girl. The happy ending is almost complete.

“I still have bad dreams,” Casey said. “But I have good support. I think I’m going to make it.” She can’t wait to see her biological dad and is working on the relationship with her biological mom, who has been clean for a year.

“I’m at a good place now in my life. I married the man of my dreams. I’m expecting my first child. I have the world’s GREATEST parents, I am working on my relationship with my birth mom and my birth dad, who has recently given his life to Christ and is being released next year from prison. God is good! ”

*** This article was originally published in the Lighthouse Christian Academy’s newsblog, which I edit. http://www.thelighthousechristianacademy.com/

It was written by a student, Alex Myles, a sophomore. She also blogs on wordpress under the name Wolfbane15.wordpress.com (or something like that!)

Climbing without ropes

Like Spiderman, climbing sensation John Bachar moved quickly up the overhanging rock wall, sometimes sustaining his entire body weight with just a couple of fingers. And he did it without ropes.

When I caught up with Bachar in 1988 for interview on the dangerous sport called free-soloing, he philosophized about the freedom from cumbersome protective gear. He waxed about feeling at one with nature. It was a rush, other-worldly, like a drug.

An amateur rock climber myself, I made no plans to try it. Too many times, I had “popped off the rock” — insider lingo for losing your grip — and been saved by the combination of harness, rope, anchor and belay.

After years of feeding off the intoxicating sensation of brushing with death, Bachar fell fatally in July of 2009. Many other proponents of this extreme sport have similarly died. It would appear foolhardy to shun safety while scaling 100- and 1000-foot rock walls only for bragging rights.

Not only do I use ropes, I also go to church. I see in this body of believers a safeguard. The day I come crashing down, I have brothers and sisters to bear me up. I’m always “on belay.” (I personally am incredibly prone to crashing down.)

Others prefer to unencumber themselves of the church, to go it alone in life. It may feel restrictive, but that same restrictiveness is a safety.

The darker it gets, the clearer the Light becomes

Today I’m filled with buoyancy. The Gospel is now going to advance more than ever because apparently it is receding.

Our nation is becoming darker. Every day, there is more sin: the murder of babies, sexual sin, legalization of drug use, etc. But instead of bemoaning this “decline,” I rejoice. The

What’s the message of this pot? People need this message!

deeper into sin people get, the more desperate they become for answer to the anguish of their souls.

So, let us Christians pray and not whine. Let us outreach. Let us purify our message, eliminating hate. Let’s show love to homosexuals; after all, they are just sinners like the rest of us, not any worse than me and just as needy. Let’s stop being Pharisees condemning to Hell a world crying out for God’s love. Let’s stop trying to legislate morality and show people a better path with our testimonies.

We are on the brink of great revival. Do not blog doom and gloom. Bend your knees and pray. Go on outreach. Hug a sinner. Invite him to coffee. Talk to him and show him he’s a human being.

But have you FALLEN IN LOVE?

A little child may know that people fall in love. But until he grows up and experiences the rapturous rush of emotion of loving and being loved, his knowledge is only factual.

Honestly, most people only have a factual knowledge of the love of God. Were they to FALL IN LOVE with God, it would be TOTALLY DIFFERENT. The person who is intoxicated with love wants to spend even the time and money they don’t have with the person they love. He laughs at the person who has never experienced it: You just don’t know what love is. You may know about love intellectually. But you don’t KNOW until you have experienced it.

Before I met my wife, I knew the feeling of “loving” someone who did not reciprocate. This is a picture of God loving us humans, and we don’t reciprocate. We love our sin. We ignore God for our own desires. We even deny His existence. And He keeps longing for us, in love with us.