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Monthly Archives: September 2012

My Hero (The Perfect Father)

I told you last time I would post at least two blog posts about my walk with God. Here’s number two. I hope my journey inspires you to want to know God in a deeper way, to trust Him even when it seem illogical to do so, and to fall in love with a hero.

I grew up in a home with a pastor and Sunday school teacher. We will call them papa W and mama J. Two people who shared love with every person they met. Looking back, our home was filled with love and joy. I don’t recall an unhappy moment. Though they shared the good news with me, it wasn’t until I was 7 years old that I encountered Jesus. It was Easter and my family decided to watch the Easter movie. As a 7-year-old I was simply excited to spend time with parents. I had no idea my life was about to change. There’s this point in the film where Jesus is about to go to the cross. He’s beaten, mocked, and though not as graphic as recent films, it touched my heart. “He did that for me,” were the words that came out of my mouth. And I wept. I had met my hero, Jesus. He was willing to take on the sins of the world so I could have eternal life. I knew at seven; I wasn’t sin free. I did not always do what was right. I was a good kid, but I knew I wasn’t perfect, not like God. Here was my hero taking nails for me. He took my punishment so I wouldn’t have to. He was perfect for me and that was a good deal.

Well, a year later my biological mom came to take me with her. We’ll call her mama M. I had met her before. I knew who she was. However, I never thought in a million years I would have to leave my parents and go with her. She had tried for years to get me back and this time she won. The day I left mama J and papa W was a day I will never forget. Seeing my dad cry and the look of devastation on his face is still in my memory. I still recall looking through the back window of the car, my heart in a million pieces. As we drove away from the farm-house I could only think, “What will life be like now?

Mama M is a good woman. So, please don’t judge her. She and my biological father were married. When she was 8 months pregnant with me, he bailed. He decided he didn’t want to be married or have children. He left her. Papa W offered to adopt me to help out and she could have me back when she finished college and was able to rebound.

As a child you’re looking for a hero. I thought my hero had bailed. Where was God? Where was this loving God? I’d lost a stable home with two parents? I had no idea where my biological father was or why he’d abandon a pregnant woman and his child. I begin to grow angry with God. Yep, angry. Outwardly, I was the perfect kid. I did what I was told. I got great grades in school. However, inside my heart grew more and more cold.

Mama M and I were as different as night and day. She’s not emotional. She’s extremely logical. She rarely shows weakness. She’s tough. I was a marshmallow. I learned from her not to cry, to be strong. I learned to be better than everyone else at school work because I needed to show the world what I was made of. I learned from Mama M to strive to be the best. So, I put those things on God too. God must have wanted me to suck it up and deal with life. God must have demanded perfection, and I needed to shape up. The truth is, God required none of those things. Since I believed He did, I became even more angry with Him. Why? I could not be perfect. Every time I tried and strived, I failed. He became cold, unfeeling, and stern in my eyes. I still refused to turn away from Him completely, as hell didn’t sound enticing. But He wasn’t my hero. I believed a lie that I needed to be good in order to receive God’s approval since that is what I needed to do for certain people in my life. It’s a lie that is crippling and damaging. God’s love is freely given. We don’t earn His favor. It’s a gift. Jesus was perfect for us so we rely on His righteousness and not our own.

So, when did God come to the rescue and become my champion again? It started with a boy. I told you last post I had to ditch him due to his verbal abuse. Well, he didn’t start out that way. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been with him. At first he was charming, loving, and sweet. Awe, until he wasn’t. He wanted to get married and ride off into the sunset. I was still working on two engineering degrees at the time and the workload had me swamped. Getting married wasn’t even in my mind. He kept insisting it was the right path. So, I prayed. Yes. I got down on my knees in my room and asked God (who I was still angry with) if I should marry this man. Funny thing happened. Our relationship went from okay to awful. The more I prayed, the worse things were. Hmm….that’s not good. I kept praying because I needed an answer. Feel free to laugh. One day in deep prayer (means longer than 2 minutes), I cried out to God, “Should I marry him?” And I heard a voice with my natural ears say, “NO!” I at first thought I was losing my mind. I had never heard God speak. At the time I thought, “God only spoke to people in the Bible.” He spoke to priests and holy people. He wasn’t talking to me. Maybe it wasn’t God, I resolved. But it was. Sometimes God speaks to us and other times He speaks through our circumstances. He saved me from hitching my life to someone who was not good for me. I should have seen with my own eyes, but He made sure I knew the answer was no.

Since then He’s saved my life a few times; from allergic reactions to medication during a routine surgery which almost killed me, to changing flights prior to September 11 (I was supposed to be leaving for Florida that day and changed my flight to leave days earlier. For some reason I couldn’t book the flight for the 11th), to being trapped in a car under water and getting out even when 911 didn’t show up. He (my hero) kept stepping in to save my life. Some could call the incidents flukes or luck, but I know they were God. I’ve had too many moments where my life was spared. I’ve seen Him do amazing things through prayer. Even when I was angry with Him, He still loved me and continued to pursue my heart. When I was in college and quite broke and hungry, He’d send random people to give me money or food. He became my best friend. When I had no real friends, God was there for me. Gosh, my heart’s been through the ringer but God’s always been there. He never left my side. He heals. He saves. He delivers. Jesus is my hero.

Looking back as a child I could have simply believed God was love and experienced His love. I could have rested in my identity as His child. I had no grid for what that meant, so I took the long road. I learned more by experience. Being angry with Him was not beneficial for me, however He didn’t seem offended by my misunderstanding of who He was. He didn’t send His wrath down to teach me a lesson. God loved me right where I was. He didn’t condemn. He extended grace, love, and mercy. He was loving me all along, I just couldn’t always see it. I was blinded by pain and hurt. Neither of those things kept Him from pursuing my heart.

So, my friends. As you embark on this journey with me to know His heart, I hope and pray you dive in deeper with Him. If you’re angry with Him or don’t understand Him, talk to Him. It may seem like you are talking to the air, but you’re not. He’s listening. Keep talking. Keep seeking Him. He will speak to you. He will answer. My prayer is that He reveals His great love for you in ways that you’ve never imagined. God loves you. He is for you. He is not intimidated by your anger, sin, or failings. He is merciful, kind, compassionate, loving, forgiving, and your biggest advocate. Thanks for reading my longest blog post ever. You’re in my thoughts, in my heart, and forever in my prayers…

You are deeply loved!

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Me and Abba (The Perfect Father)

It’s good to look back and reflect on what God has done. The next two posts will give you a glimpse on my walk with God (The Perfect Father). I hope it inspires you.

Scripture tells us to forget those things which are behind and to press towards what is ahead, Phil 3:13. It also tells us to remember all the good things God has done for us. Let us not forget the things He has seen us through. Here’s a simple recap for me of the last 10 years.

In the past 10 years I’ve lost a parent (my adopted mom), who was my best friend. She died the year I graduated college. Watching her die was the worst thing I have ever lived through. She was one of the best things that ever happened to my life, and I will miss her forever. I’ve seen both my parents battle cancer. I watched my biological mom lose her job, her car, her home, endure endless pain and suffering, and endure 7 major surgeries due to a hit and run accident that nearly destroyed her body. I’ve battled my own health issues, emotional issues, and baggage from years of bad things happening and traumas. I’ve had 3 lovely stalkers, ditched one extremely verbally abusive boyfriend, survived multiple near death experiences, and endured many a relational drama. Looking back I see a person held together by the hand of God.

There’s no way I could have survived everything that happened without Him. I only gave you a summary, there’s so much more He’s seen me through. He’s everything. And though there were days where I would wish for home, He never let me go. Suffering and I were bedfellows. But I tell you that no matter how bad it hurts today, God never fails. Gosh, I wish I could rid the world of pain and suffering, but it’s here until He returns. Our comfort rests in the truth that God steps into suffering; He heals, comforts, delivers, and restores.

There is one Man who will carry you when you cannot even lift your head. He is Jesus. I take no glory in my own strength because it fails. I do lean my head on the chest of the One who took nails for me. He did it for you too! So, my prayer today is that you find hope in Jesus. He will never leave or forsake you. I can’t promise much, but I can bet my life on that one thing….Why? Because I am still alive, healthy, and still standing!

Look back at the things God has seen you through…you will see that even when it hurt to breathe, He never let you go. He will never let you go. And the sweetest thing is that God not only saves, He heals, and He delivers. 

Have a very blessed week.

Love,

Erin

P.S You are deeply loved! Today and every day.

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in From the Author

 

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The Perfect Father’s Discipline

The Perfect Father’s Discipline

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clipart

Written by Erin Lamb, all rights reserved.

God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love, ~Psalm 145:8.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is
patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to
repentance, ~2 Peter 3:9.

Dear friends, nothing raises more arguments than the subject of how God disciplines His children. Some cling to the Old Testament examples of God striking people dead while others believe that God is okay with whatever we do. Let’s allow the pendulum to swing to truth and dissect a perfect parent’s discipline.

1. The Perfect Father protects. God is holy (has no fault; He is perfection) .God hates sin. Why? Sin is falling short of His standard. He is spotless, and sin is pollution. Sin also separates us (His children) from the best life possible. Sin is like cancer, it multiplies and destroys its host. Think of it this way, we keep poisons away from children. We tell them no when they try to get to them. We do these things out of love. We know more than they know that what they are after leads to death. The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, ~Romans 6:23. Adam and Eve didn’t die physically when they sinned but they did die a spiritual death. We too suffer when we choose our way above God’s way. He is always right. So…

The Perfect Father points His children away from things that will harm them, especially sin. He doesn’t say no because He hates us or wants to spoil the party. He knows that sin will lead to our destruction. God is love, life, peace, hope, and joy.

2. God disciplines primarily through words, not killing people. If you pick up a Bible and read it, you will notice God spoke to people either directly or through someone else to warn them of their behavior. He asks questions. Why did you do this? If He was out to kill every person who didn’t do what He said, then we would all be in trouble. Adam was the first sinner. He directly disobeyed God. Adam lived.  Abraham lied on several occasions and he lived. He became a great father of faith. David committed adultery and had someone killed to have their wife. David lived and was called a man after God’s own heart. God never condones bad behavior. He does however give us a chance to repent (change our ways), and He is generous with forgiveness. See 2 Peter 3:9.

4. God knows our hearts and weaknesses. Some of us do the wrong thing and have no idea we are falling short. There are some of us who willingly do the wrong thing. God knows whether we understand or we don’t understand. For example a parent would have a different response to a 2-year-old who destroys something in the house and a teenager. Either way, God is patient with us. If He weren’t, I certainly would not be typing to you.

5. God is not out to get you. There are so many people who have an unhealthy fear of God. It is true that we reverence Him as God. However, He is not sitting in the heavens looking down for someone to pick on. He is not cruel or blood-thirsty. God is love. More than anything He wants a relationship with His children, to protect them from harm, and to bless His offspring. Jesus came not to destroy the world, but to save it so we could all be reconciled to the Father (John 3:17).

6. The Perfect Father gives freedom. God gives us many chances to choose the right path before He allows us to be turned over to our own desires. He pursues our best interests right up until the point we say, “I don’t need or want you.” I have seen people self-destruct not because of what God was doing, but because of their own poor choices.  Even still, if they turn around and want Him, He runs with arms wide open (think..prodigal son story-Luke 15:11-25)

Lastly, just like the photo in this post, God is looking at you with the eyes of love. He is saying, “This is my child and I want nothing more than to be in this moment with you. I am so glad I made you.”  God is a loving, patient, and caring Father. My prayer is any ideas of Him you have that contradict that truth are uprooted. He does not want to harm you, but to give you an amazing life. You are deeply loved.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Who’s My Father? (The Perfect Father)

The Perfect Father

By Erin Lamb, all rights reserved

Dear friends, I am so excited about this series on God as the Perfect Father. One thing that stirs my heart is the misrepresentation of God’s heart. He doesn’t need anyone to defend Him. However, I’m passionate about His heart being accurately portrayed. Why you may ask? I’m surrounded by people who don’t know God. Some claim to be atheists, some believe God hates them, some are so overwhelmed with shame they can’t imagine a loving God, and some have been told God is a cruel task master. My heart aches for the world to know how GOOD God is. So, as we embark on this journey together, here are some things I’d love for you to ponder.

1. All human beings were created in God’s image and are His children. He is the Father of all creation (Genesis 1). Some of His kids are reconciled through Jesus and some have yet to be reconciled or may refuse His love. In His heart every child has value. God is daily pursuing reconciliation with His kids.

2. God’s parenting is perfect, we just don’t always experience His love. He has been misrepresented by humans. Our earthly parents may have failed but He is perfect. Developing a personal relationship with Him is the only way to fully know His heart. No person can have the relationship for us, we must accept His invitation for ourselves.

3. God knows all, sees all, and hears all. I’ve heard people say they are too far gone for God to bless or love them. Well, here’s a thought to ponder…God knew everything you would do before you were born. He is not limited by time or space. You were His idea. Your parents were His idea. He loved you before you were born. He loves you today. There’s nothing you can do to change His love!

Prayer for you:

Father I ask for every person who visits this site to have an encounter with Your heart. May they have a deeper revelation of Your love as their loving Father. For those who don’t know You, may they be reconciled to You, the One who loves them most.

P.S You are deeply loved and have a loving Heavenly Father!

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in From the Author

 

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Encountering the Perfect Father in a Dark World

“I have told you these things so that in Me you would have peace. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world,” ~Jesus. John 16:33.

Written by Erin Lamb, all rights reserved.

The photo above was taken the day my friend David died. David was the type of person you wanted to know. David was the first person to show up when someone needed help, and he was willing to sacrifice his life for others. He radiated God’s love. He loved, served, and helped so many. He gave his life working on the restoration of Haiti. He was murdered this February while serving orphans in Haiti. In the midst of building an orphanage He was robbed and shot. His death tore my heart in many places.  I wept and wept. Why do I share this with you? We live in a world that is filled with pain, suffering, wrongful death, sickness, disease, hatred, abuse, abandonment, and sorrow. In the midst of it all you may wonder how someone can say that God is good. How can we say God is love? If He is so good and loving, then why is our world filled with so much darkness.

It all started with one man, Adam. God made man in His image. He placed man on earth and said, “This is your dominion, rule and reign,” Genesis 1. Adam had everything he needed. God gave him beautiful landscape, all the food he could eat, a lovely wife, and complete communion with Him. He also gave Adam the ability to choose for himself what he wanted to do. Fast forward. Eve is deceived by the crafty serpent and Adam sinned. This is where death, destruction, sickness, and darkness entered our world, Genesis 3. Not only that, Adam surrendered authority and dominion to the devil. If you believe in God, you must believe in the devil. Evil exists and he propagates it. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy, John 10:10. He hates people. He hates love. He loves it when people blame God for his activities. He sows hatred, division, strife, death, and evil in our world.

Did God leave us helpless? Absolutely not. Jesus came, lived a perfect life, and died on a cross to restore us to right relationship with God and take back the authority Adam gave to evil. Jesus fixed the problem, we don’t always see the evidence of His work. He took back authority and dominion for those who believe in Him. Jesus provides hope and healing for those who lean on Him, and He cheated our worst enemy, death. Those who believe in Him will inherit everlasting life, John 3: 16. He handed over the authority He took back to every believer. He paid for it all. Jesus is the solution.

So, why doesn’t God rid the world of all evil? Loaded question. I will give you my understanding, but recommend you ask Him yourself. I believe that love involves freedom. God gives us the freedom to choose Him. If He was the only option, then there would be no choice. I believe God is already victorious and though our world looks dark, He continues to work through His children to bring peace, love, joy, healing, and heaven to earth. I believe and know He will make all the wrongs right. I believe that if we trust God we will see that the end of the story is better than any of the suffering we have witnessed. I believe that God is good and though He is blamed for evil, nothing in His nature is evil. I have seen Him turn tragedy into triumph, victims into victors, and the worst of situations into something beautiful. We (humans) still have the ability to choose evil. God won’t force us to love. So, when you fill a planet with people who can choose evil, there will be evil.

How do I deal? Good question. Prayer is powerful. Since God gave people dominion on this planet, He moves when we pray and ask for help. I hate to admit it but until heaven, there will be evil in the world. I’ve found no greater solution than prayer. I pray. You pray. We pray, and we ask God for help.

Final thoughts. I’m not a person typing to you who hasn’t suffered. One day maybe I will share my story in its entirety. I know what it’s like to endure physical and great emotional pain. I have had more than one near death experience. I have seen God do amazing things because someone prayed. I have seen Him heal the sick, bring life to dead situations, and so much more….You are loved my friends. No matter what you have faced in life or will face, God LOVES you! He is your best advocate. Praying you are blessed this week, beyond measure.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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