Category Archives: Love

Never Alone

Eight years ago today our niece gave birth to her second daughter.  After the birth we received a report that something was desperately wrong with the baby.  Little Caydence had been deprived of oxygen due to an extra long umbilical cord, which had been wrapped around her neck.

She could not breathe on her own so she was immediately put on life 15360238_ssupport and rushed to the nearest full-service medical center.  The test results were devastating.  Caydence showed little evidence of brain activity and she could not breathe on her own for any length of time. She was incapable of movement, had not cried, and she was blind.

At times like this our minds nearly burst with gripping questions; does God see the baby’s helpless condition?  What does this precious soul know of her unstable circumstances?  Does she dwell in personal darkness?  It would be incomprehensible to think that she was as alone as she appeared.

The family struggled with despair;  would she live?  Then slapping ourselves into reality we thankfully remember the transforming truth that we are really NEVER alone. The Bible is full of promises concerning God’s unfailing love and faithfulness.  He tells us that He will not forsake us – any of us – at any age.

The God of the universe, the Author of life, declared that He had not forsaken little Caydence; God was with her.  Though her fate eluded us, the One who loved her most pledged to comfort, protect and provide for her temporal and eternal needs.

God allowed life to be breathed into this beautiful child for a purpose, and we were given a glorious window of opportunity to exchange love and human touch with her.  These moments are timeless, leaving an indelible Caydence shaped imprint on our hearts.

Caydence abides with God in heaven now.  She is not alone…she never was, and she never ever will be.  Happy Birthday Caydence!

Matthew 19:14 NLV But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me. Do not stop them. The holy nation of heaven is made up of ones like these.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 NLV Be strong and have strength of heart. Do not be afraid or shake with fear because of them. For the Lord your God is the One who goes with you. He will be faithful to you. He will not leave you alone.”

Psalm 131:1 NIV My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.

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The Success is in the Loving

Mother Teresa said, “The success of love is in the loving – it is not in the result of loving. Of course it is ndreamstime change name_15592174batural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done”.

Imagine loving someone desperately, though the individual does not reciprocate the sentiment; this is unrequited love, love that is unanswered or unreturned.

In 1 John 4 we read that God is love; He is the originator, embodiment and essence of all that love is! He exists as love, passionately extending it to, and over us. Yet, His gestures are often unnoticed or ignored.

The Bible tells us that God said: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature.” God purposely made us in His likeness so that He could have intimate fellowship with us; so that we could accept Him, and genuinely reciprocate His affection. Furthermore, He did this with the purest of intentions; evident by the fact that He gave us a free will.

He could have assured Himself of our life-long devotion. He could have been our addiction, our solitary passion!  But true to God’s character, He chose instead to give us the freedom to embrace or to reject Him. The God who is love, wants our devotion to Him to be heartfelt, not mandated.

I listened to a teaching by Winnie Banov recently. She pointed out that love is a wooing experience, not a legal or lawful responsibility. If we really love someone we are drawn to them and we willingly abandon ourselves into the relationship.

God hungers for reciprocal love; He wants those abandoned and tender moments with us. Let us respond and return His sentiments, and experience the ultimate success of loving.

1 John 4:16 NLT We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 12/13/2009 11:26 PM

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Just like Him

If I had followed in my father’s footsteps I would have become a plumbing contractor, but my dad discouraged it.  I eventually understood his reservations, as I was not wired for the job.

dad and donnaMy father wisely discerned the dichotomy between the raw realities of his job and my developing aptitudes.  It was not unusual for him to forge metal pipes, or to carry a bathtub up a flight of stairs on his back.  I, on the other hand, spent my time riding horses, dancing, and writing poetry.  I just wanted to be like him.

As an adolescent my desire to be like my dad meant taking on his profession and doing the job that he did each day.  I later recognized the things that I most admired about him were character traits.

I observed how he cared for others.  As a result people, even strangers quickly adopted him into their families, and they would rely on him for input or help with decisions or problems. People just seemed to feel better when he was around.

Author Maya Angelou wrote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

It is not the good works that we do for others that matter most in our relationships, though these are both necessary and beneficial; it is our manifest belief in the individual that matters. This is a Godly principle that my dad understood.  We are all created to fulfill a matchless destiny. Knowing that someone believes in our ability to fulfill that destiny is compelling.

Jesus was the absolute Master at this! Consider the sensational change in the life of Mary Magdalene … and what about the 12 disciples?  Jesus’ investment in their lives was so believable, His confidence in them so empowering, that even after He was physically taken away, they went on to revolutionize the entire world!

Following in His footsteps, the apostle Paul wrote this to the Corinthian church. “I have the highest confidence in you, and I take great pride in you. You have greatly encouraged me and made me happy despite all our troubles”.  By caring about and believing in others we validate their personal worth.  These are the sentiments that capture people’s hearts.

He learned this from Jesus … as he sought to be just like HIM!

Colossians 3:10 NLT Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

Matthew 4:19 NLT Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 11/14/2009 8:40 PM

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Otherworldly, Powerful and Strategic

The time that we spend in the presence of others is meant to be influential.  After all, God created us in His likeness; since He is a relational God, so too are we relational beings.

Watching time passing by

Whether engaged in deep conversation with a close friend, or simply overhearing a comment from a stranger in a checkout line, consciously or not, our minds will actively capture and process what we hear.  And it is the trusted hand-pat on the back, or the sudden stab of an elbow on a crowded train that provoke an immediate response from us… it is natural for people to affect people.

A well-known youth minister by the name of Doug Fields said, “We have souls that thrive in the warmth of kindred spirits…God wired us this way.”  He uses the rub between people to communicate matters of relevance.  And this is not only achieved through our casual contact with one another, but also through a divinely inspired plan that is otherworldly, powerful, and strategic.

God’s primary message concerns His love for people and He counts on a perpetual chain of human influence to convey His love throughout the world. He could have burned an image of His beating heart in the sky, or whispered of His love through sound waves carried by the wind.  But instead, God thoughtfully chose to communicate the most vital message in the universe to us, through us.

Sometime between A.D, 85–95, John the disciple wrote, “God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him”. John walked with Jesus.  In fact, it was John who the Bible tells us laid his head on Jesus’ chest.  He learned firsthand of God’s love.

John had been privileged to listen to the beating heart of Christ …and He was there when it stopped.  He was persuaded through his relationship with the Lord to tell us of this great love. May we adopt this same sense of duty and purpose, because in all our relational endeavors there is no communication more powerful, or more relevant.

John 3:16 NLT For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

1 John 4:9 NLT God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal lift through him.

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 10/18/2009 9:01 PM

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Ready to Live

She sat in a frozen-like position on her couch. Preoccupied and bewildered, she stared at nothing, but fearfully expected anything. Supposition rushed through her mind like frenzied traffic, terrifying and hollow. She was desperate to run anywhere, but stayed in fear of everywhere.

Her hands tingled, and chills and sweats alternately washed over her with every sound that she heard. Her body had become emotionally and physiologically reactionary; sounds were magnified and people were complicated, yet silence was stifling, and aloneness brought dread.

In moments of intense fear she would whisper the name, “Jesus”.  His name was her entire prayer.

The woman described above was me. For some of my adult years I struggled with anxiety, depression, and finally panic attacks. I was in emotional bondage; dying inside, but desperately wanting to live.

heavenly raysEverybody has their own version of happiness. Mine was to understand and liberally embrace the life that Jesus died to give me. So, even in the dark times when I could not see beyond my fears, I fumbled and reached in God’s direction. Thankfully He was there.

The Bible tells us that God would dwell in a dark cloud. So even in our most desperate times, He is with us. He became a very personal help in my time of need. He showed Himself strong when I was weak, and He embraced me with a love that radically transformed my spirit, soul and body.

I still pray the name “Jesus”, but not out of fear, as I am no longer the woman on that couch. One day I looked up and HIS light had undeniably pierced my dark cloud. I was thawed, calm and unafraid; ready to live that life that He died to give me!

2 Chronicles 6:1 NIV Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud…”

Psalm 46:1 NKJV God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 7/25/2009 11:21 PM

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More than Soup

During a five day bout with the flu, on a venture from the bed to the couch, my telephone rang.  It was a friend calling to tell me that she was on my front porch. When I opened the door she greeted me with a large container soup4of homemade chicken soup; still warm. She heard that I was sick, so she made me soup to help me heal.

As I took hold of the container, I had to force away the tears of gratitude that pressed against the back of my eyes. I was privy to my friend’s hectic schedule, her personal health problems, and her family’s financial difficulties. I recognized the real value of her gesture, and I was truly stunned by her thoughtfulness.

She rushed off to work and I closed myself in with the quiet and solitude of my condition again. I expected to drag myself through the remainder of the day, but that was not the case. While my body was achy and tired, my spirit had been lifted and encouraged. Because of my friend’s gesture I felt better; she had brought me more than soup!

Proverbs 15:30 NLT A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.

Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 6/10/2009 10:36 PM

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National Day of Prayer

38652129_sbThis week, on May 7th, we observe the National Day of Prayer in America.  Established in 1952 by President Harry Truman and the U.S. Congress, this event is in its 57th year!

It is a blessing to consider the scores of people who pray throughout the country on that day.  It is a time when unity and the purposes of God are advanced, and the plans of the enemy are pushed back.  I add the prayer that is written below to the millions that will be boldly proclaimed, or silently breathed, on this powerful day.  I will be honored if you pray it with me.

FATHER we thank You for Your amazing grace that truly saved us from an eternal hell.  Your selflessness has delivered us from a life of bondage and endless suffering.  How could we repay You?  We cannot.  When we spend time with You we see glimpses of Your heart – Your thoughts – and we become very aware of who we are; how unworthy.  But yet at the same time we are stunned by the way that You love us no matter who we are, or what we do.  Full of gratitude and worship Father, we bow before You.

JESUS, we do not come to You with fluffy prayers, or eloquent words.  We do not come with a system, or a laundry list of needs.  We do not come because we expect You to perform or because You owe us anything.  We come to You because of who You are and because You have the words of life.  We come to You because You know the intents of our hearts and we empty ourselves before You for the needs of many.

We honor You as the Most High God, the One who died to prove His love, the One worthy of our lives, and the One who will never forsake us.  We regret that we have forsaken You.  We have sinned; wash us Lord with the blood spilled at Your cross. Cleanse us from human filth and selfish intents.  Purify us Lord, and give us ears to hear and eyes to see so that we can pray according to Your will.

HOLY SPIRIT, we vow to listen for Your promptings, Your direction.  We thank You for abiding so richly and faithfully within our frail tabernacles.  Thank You for never giving up on us; for seeing us through and empowering us to run this race. We honor You Lord, we desire more of You, and we seek to reflect Your love and Your power on the earth.

For the people, for the people, we cry for the needs of the people all over this world!  Such suffering, devastation, war, terrorism, sickness, oppression, broken families; sin is rampant and so many do not have the hope that You offer.  So many fear, so many do not know that they can find peace in the midst of it all. So many do not know You.

God, we plead with you today for the people.  Drop a blanket of deliverance over us all.  Release the captives from emotional, spiritual, and physical bondage.  Intervene dear Lord in the injustice and tyranny that abounds and comfort the lonely, desperate, and afraid.  As we live under Your covering, teach us quickly how to help the poor, how to feed the hungry, and how to reach the lost.  Motivate us Lord by revealing more about Yourself and Your heart’s cry to love people better, to put ourselves aside, so that we can be effective and reach beyond our human opinions and limitations.  Save, save, save the people Lord!

Lover of our souls, You deserve our faithfulness, You deserve our time, our resources, our very lives and we give ourselves to You again in this moment. Mobilize your people across the earth; let us hear the voice of our Commander; dispatch Your warriors.  We will go where You send us, and do what You ask.  We will be Your hands and feet.

We stand in Your presence willing to fight for what is right, we rebuke the enemy from coming near, and we contend for those who cannot contend for themselves.  We pray for protection from the evil one and we throw ourselves, our churches, our families, our cities, our states, our leaders and officials, our nation and our world on Your mercy!  Help us great God.

Thank you.  Mere words are not enough to express our gratitude, or your magnificence; we invite you to look upon the intent of this prayer – written across our hearts.  WE LOVE YOU FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT, WE LOVE YOU.  May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!  In JESUS’ name we pray. Amen.

2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 5/2/2009 8:24 PM

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The Better Thing

You may be familiar with the verses in Luke chapter 10 where the Bible talks about two sisters, Mary and Martha, being blessed by a visit from Jesus.

14175665_sOnce Jesus and His disciples arrived, Martha spent her time catering to her guests.  Mary, on the other hand, sat at Jesus’ feet and listened as He spoke. When Martha complained that Mary was not helping with the preparations, Jesus pointed out that Mary had chosen to do the better thing.

I wondered if I were more like a Martha or a Mary, and quickly deduced that Martha was my girl!   It seemed reasonable.  After all, I drive myself daily at the speed of light to get things done, I bring work home.  I spend more time managing my job in the course of the week than I do reading my Bible or praying. The choice was obvious.

Yet, I took the time to re-read the passage, and this time by studying the characters and their behaviors, I realized how much I identified with Mary.  She made a decision to let her heart drive her.  Her love for Jesus compelled her.

Martha had a propensity toward service and wanted to take are of Jesus’ needs. She may have meant well, but she was missing the deeper purpose of His visit.  When Jesus comes calling it is time to turn off the stove, shut down the computer, and set our attention on the divine.  He does not come because He wants food.  He is food.

Mary craved time with the Master, so when He arrived, she gave Him her full attention.  Jesus, the Bread of Life, showed up to satisfy her hunger, not His.

Who do you relate to beloved?  If you tend toward responsibility and accomplishment, but sense a tug on your heart when you read this entry, give the passage a second look.  Awaken the Mary in you.  The chores can wait.  Join me as we sit at the Lord’s feet, and let us experience the better thing together.

 Luke 10:38 NIV As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”  “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 4/27/2009 11:25 PM

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Up Where We Belong

Last spring a bird built a nest under the roof of our front porch where she laid her eggs.  Soon after, two baby birds were born.  We listened to their tiny chirps, and watched them stretch there little necks toward mama when she flew in the groceries. They seemed like a happy bird family.

40883033_sThen one day as I passed by the porch door, something caught my eye. One of the babies had fallen several feet to the concrete floor below and he was barely moving.  I alerted my husband who went out and gently lifted the little fuzz-covered guy back into the nest.

We wondered if baby had much hope of living after falling so far, and having been touched by human hands.   But thankfully after work that evening we noticed mama bird comfortably perched over both babies.  The bird emergency had passed… or so we thought.

Early the next day I checked the porch and there was baby again, limply plopped on the cement. At this point we assumed that mama must have reason to push him from the nest, but we did not have the heart to leave him for prey. So my husband returned him to the nest a second time.

Three days after the second rescue we heard a raucous on the porch.  Both mama and papa were present and flying around the nest, and the two babies were straining their necks high to watch.  They were alert, curious, and strong.  Hurray!  Baby was meant to live!

Jesus says, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”  He points out that birds do not process the necessary human activities of life, but they are still tended to. They simply trust their Maker for their care.  Jesus wants us to understand and apply this same principle; it is God’s provision, not our own abilities that sustain us.

Baby bird fell from great heights twice in a short period of time.  Without someone providentially appointed to lift him, he would have died.  In a similar manner people also fall.  We fall into sin and sometimes also from great heights.  Family, reputation, careers; so much is at stake when we sin that we feel hopeless and wonder if there really is a way back.

The Bible tells us that if we humble ourselves before the Lord, He will lift us up.  Like baby who needed a rescuer, we too need someone greater than ourselves.  We need Jesus!  He has been providentially appointed to lift us up where we belong!

Psalm 30:1 NIV I will exalt you, O LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.

James 4:10 NIV Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 4/11/2009 10:16 PM

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He Watches and Waits

These words dropped into my heart today.  “Do not frolic in Solomon’s garden with someone else and expect to marry Jesus”.  The Lord watches the adulterous tendencies of mankind.  He sees all, yet, because of who He is, He continues to long for fellowship with us, for our most sincere adoration; He  desires to embrace us utterly.

14054179_seditWho or what draws us from our greatest love? Has something taken His place? Jesus is the bridegroom who watches us affectionately, waiting for His bride to come to Him. Yet we frolic with false gods, we satisfy our fleshly appetites and chase selfish goals.  We indulge in thoughts and activities that keep us from investing in the most important relationship of our lives.

Jesus waits for us to repent. He was waiting and watching yesterday, and He will do the same today!  He is the most faithful of all loves. In the book of Song of Solomon, chapter 5 it reads, “His eyes are like doves, soft and bright, but deep-set, brimming with meaning, like wells of water.”

Jesus looks on us with the gentleness of a dove, seeing through eyes that are untainted; His vision is unveiled, so He sees us in the purest sense. His gift of salvation presents us as faultless before the Father. His eyes are deep-set; the depth of His character beckons for our attention. His deep calls to our deep. He cries from His essence, “Come”.

Lock eyes with Jesus and let the wells of water that spring from Him cleanse and renew your human soul. Like waterfalls that rush over stone, soil, and flora, everything is washed, and your relationship with Him is refreshed once again.

Frolic with Jesus and lack no good thing. Respond, engage, and prepare for the privilege of being His bride.

Song of Solomon 4:9 NIV You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 3/21/2009 9:10 PM

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Go To Your Room

My husband and I raised three children, two girls and a boy. Looking back to their childhood I remember that our girls, being less than two years apart, squabbled a lot.  I acted as referee for countless disputes doughertygirls_slidsbetween them, and on the occasions when mediation failed, I would separate the two by sending them to their rooms.

It was at this point that a remarkable phenomenon would take place in the Dougherty household – these two pint-sized opponents would, without hesitation, become the closest of friends!  The girls would crouch down on either side of the air vent that was between their bedrooms, and they would talk, whisper, and giggle for as long as I left them alone.  When isolated, the nearest voice they heard became their closest friend.

In that setting the voice and attention of one another is all they had, so they sought a means to connect.  Is it not the same between us and God?  If we intentionally separate ourselves from all others and seek Him privately, we will most certainly connect with Him.

How often were you told to go to your room as a child, and how often do you go there now?  What quiet place do you go to in order to talk, whisper, and giggle with God?

Jesus knew how important this private time was. He would often leave the crowds of people and go aside to be alone with His Father. So, follow Jesus’ example, and go to your room.  When you do, the nearest voice you hear will become your closest friend!

Mark 1:35 NLT Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 3/15/2009 8:07 PM

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Draw Near

When our son was 18 years old he acted in a school drama.  He played a homeless person who lived on the street.  His character did not say a word throughout the entire drama. dreamstime_xs_28054815However, from his position in the corner of the stage, he watched as a theatrical Jesus multiplied loaves and fish, raised the dead, forgave sin, died on the cross, and rose from the grave.

The interesting thing about our son’s performance was the fact that he was not a member of the drama club that year. The drama coach wrote him into the script 30 minutes before the curtain call.  It was fascinating to watch his unrehearsed character evolve.

As the streetwise, disadvantaged outcast in the corner of the stage, his character was compelled by the witness of true love that he saw among Jesus and His followers.  He very curiously observed them from afar… and then from a closer proximity until his interest drew him from the position of onlooker, to participant.

Watching this drama I wondered how many of us, regardless of status, feel like outcasts. While we may live boldly in the face of others, there are secret reserved parts of us that quietly huddle in corners, yearning for acceptance.

God wired people to desire and prize the companionship and sanction of others.  If consistent aloneness was God’s intention, He would have created one immortal man in the Garden of Eden.  But, in fact, He said, “It is not good for man to be alone”, and then He proceeded to thoughtfully execute a plan to populate earth with kindred souls.

If you find yourself on the outside looking in, it is not too late to be written into the script.  Look center stage at Jesus’ compelling message of love.  Then draw near.

Ephesians 2:19 NLT So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.

Hebrews 7:19 NLT  For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 2/2/2009 12:31 AM

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One – Two – Punch!

It is Christmas week and I wanted to honor Jesus by writing about His birth in this entry.

I wrote the first draft and passed itdreamstime_xs_7533551-1 by my husband before publishing it.  He said, “It’s good, but your entries usually have a punch to them and I miss the punch.”  Then he thought about it for a moment and said, “Hmmm well, you know what, Christmas has its own punch.  How can you add to what God did at Christmas?”

Then I saw it.  That is the message of Christmas. There is nothing to add.  God sent us His Son, who, with His own one – two – punch, knocked the stuffing out of sin!  That was the very purpose of His birth.

In Matthew’s gospel we read that Mary would have a son, that His name would be Jesus, and that He would save His people from their sin.  … Mary did have a son (One!), He was called Jesus (Two!), and He came to save (Punch!).

Jesus was born in a lowly place, but He was destined to reign in power and in Kingship. He is our Savior; our Champion!  Hallelujah Jesus!  Merry Christmas everyone!

Matthew 1:12-23 NLT And she will have a Son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save his people from their sins.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a Son, and they will call Him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 12/20/2008 4:27 PM

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Real People, God’s World-Changers

Our family watched a movie about one of the most historical events ever; “The Nativity”. The way the film portrayed the personality of Mary, the mother of Jesus, was curious to me because she rarely smiled.  Being the mother of Jesus, Mary was a world-changer, so I expected her character to meet certain expectations.

dreamstime_10092825bIn the movie Mary was portrayed as a responsible young woman who lived with her family in a region under Roman governance.  King Herod was the ruling authority at the time. Herod was considerably threatened by rumors of another King emerging in the land and he made regular attempts to identify his rival. Sadly his methods imposed treacherous and sometimes lethal assaults on the common people.

As I observed Herod’s desperate efforts to protect his monarchy, I began to see reason for Mary’s stoic countenance. It was not unusual for Roman soldiers to sweep into an area without warning in order to intimidate, capture, or kill.  Mary lived in a day when public abuse and punishment were marked. The striking sight of a human corpse in a tree or dangling from scaffolding was not uncommon, and the emotional effect of such scenes had to be reckoned with. As a result, the movie portrayed a Mary who had to manage her passions and emotions like anyone else in order to cope with the dissonance in her day.

Considering Mary’s calling to be a world-changer I was expecting a very different Mary; one protected from ugliness, pretty much glowing with joy, skipping through life under a God-beam.  With each on-screen appearance I searched Mary’s face for a hint of happiness.  And then I got the revelation; the character portrayed in the film was the more accurate one. God was identifying the disparity between the ‘human’ person, and the ‘superhuman’ or ‘supernatural’ God.

In order for Jesus to be born as both God and man, a human vessel was required.  Mary was the perfect representation of humankind.  She was a young woman living in and grieved by a sinful world, moved by humanity’s deprivation, unpretentiously waiting for the promised Savior’s appearance. God overshadowed a respectable and willing vessel to incubate the perfect union of flesh and Spirit.

So Mary did not live an advantaged life in the protective glow of a God-beam.  She was not the product of royalty, and she did not possess exceptional powers.  She was simply real, and she was willing.  God seeks real people to fulfill His sensational purposes.  They are the ones who will honestly say, as Mary did, “May it be done to me as You have said”.  From such an allegiance the world is forever changed.

Luke 1:38 NIV ”I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 11/22/2008 11:08 PM

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Do not Arouse or Awaken Love until it so Desires

This book of Song of Solomon is an intimate depiction of God’s love for His bride, the church.  The words in the book are so descriptive that many avoid dreamstime_xs_15305176it.  In fact, it is considered one of the least read books of the Bible.  The intimacy between the Bridegroom and His bride can be uncomfortable if read nonchalantly, or when the reader is not spiritually prepared.  It is in this book that the Lord graphically describes the sacred romance between His people and Himself.

“Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires”. These words are penned in more than one passage. There are precious times during our walk with the Lord when He calls us to deepen our relationship with Him, and our union becomes more meaningful.

In these times our spiritual man overtakes our soul, our humanity is exposed in His presence and we experience God more intimately.  He manifests with a perceptive fullness, a weight of spiritual love so great, that all flesh pales.  What a genuine and holy encounter.

The passage reads, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”  Our Bridegroom knows when the bride’s desire for Him is disposed for such an infilling, and He will approach at that time.

The meeting is yours for the asking. Invest time and seek God as you would any love. Chase Him and wait; when the time is right, expect to be swept off your feet!

Song of Solomon 8:4 NIV Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 11/1/2008 8:22 PM

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The Only You

If I eat something sweet, can you taste it?  When the rain runs down my face, can you feel it?

We were born with the entitlement and propensity to experience life in a personal and unique way; each of us created for an incomparable destiny. Amazingly, during a lifetime we are all subject to much of the same stimuli; yet our reactions to the stimuli vary due to the uniqueness of our individual character, intellect, senses, and physiological constitution.

74962-2560x1600When God created mankind He made a conscious decision to give us exclusive DNA.  We are each a masterpiece with meaning and purpose in this life.  He could have just as easily made us all exactly the same with predictable responses and dependable behavior.  Yet, His nature compels Him to do the most wonderful, loving, and entirely perfect thing at all times.

Every person who ever lived or will live is a divine original, formed by our Creator for a purpose.  As the Shepherd of our souls, He broods over us with love and care.  The Bible refers to us as sheep, and so valued are we that if we get lost or go astray, God shows up.  It is His commitment and desire to return us to the purpose for which we were born.

I urge you to relish the taste of something sweet, and experience the fresh wash of rain on your face.  Let the things that touch your life stimulate the distinctive forces inside, and be you, the one and only.

Luke 15:4 NIV Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.  Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 10/11/2008 8:26 PM

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Daddy’s Here

Feeling a bit sad, I spent the morning alone and in prayer, asking the Lord to talk to me. After a time, I placed my computer on my lap to check my email in case someone was trying to get in touch. The first email I opened came from a woman in my church.

I was delighted with the treasure that she sefirerainbow300nt. Her email included an image of a Fire Rainbow that had been visible in the sky for one hour on the Idaho border. This phenomenon is rarely seen, because in order for one to form the atmospheric conditions must be atypical. The clouds have to be cirrus, floating at least 20,000 feet in the air, with just the right amount of ice crystals, and the sun must strike the clouds at precisely 58 degrees.

The woman who sent the image had no way of knowing that I have a fascination with such things, yet she forwarded the email to only four people, and I was one of them!

Since my adolescence, I have been captivated by the fact that God paints extraordinary pictures in the sky to communicate with mankind. He generously displays His handiwork as evidence of His paternal nearness and certainty. The Aurora Borealis, more commonly called the Northern Lights, are another brilliant example of God releasing a most splendid color palette into the heavens. He sends these out and they wave above us as if to say… “Daddy’s here!”

At a young age such heavenly phenomenon confirmed to me that our Father God most certainly did exist. I knew that this beauty could not be a result of atmospheric chance, but that it was, in fact, fashioned and displayed by a divine hand.

I may never see such displays in person, but today I was overwhelmed by the magnificent Fire Rainbow image on my lap. When I needed Him most, the God of creation spoke to me in a language that I would understand… “Daddy’s here”.

Genesis 16:13 NIV She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 10/4/2008 2:33 PM

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