Jesus Loved Women Well

Jesus had deep friendships with women. A note to Christian men-it is normal & godly to love someone of the opposite gender without romantic intentions & to be loved in return with agape love.

Chatting with women and my own experiences with Christian men we all have had some bad experiences with men who either act weird, or do not love well. Love is focused only on the woman they want to marry or their biological family.

There is the guy who constantly has to say, “sister in Christ.” I confronted a guy in love once who was excessive saying that to me. I asked him, “Do you keep saying that because you think I want to date you? If so, you can stop. I have no such desire.”

I spoke to a lady where men would not even look her in the eye. She was avoided. This caused deep hurt. Why? Because in Christian community it is supposed to be more like a family than an organization. Imagine going to a family gathering and people avoided you, would not talk to you, ghosted you, refused to have any godly contact, they reminded you often they only talked to you because you are related.

I had a guy tell everyone but me I was trying to date him simply because I periodically encouraged him in the Lord because that is what the Bible said to do. It was not fun when I found out. I stopped trying to have Christian men as friends for a long time. God blessed me later with a few men who could give and receive agape love without being weird, suspicious, or immature. It healed so much and taught me so much about the love of God through a man.

Yes, have some boundaries. Also note Jesus did this well, so it can be done. My suggestions.

1. You can make eye contact and say hello.

2. Don’t assume every person of the opposite gender is interested romantically. Our culture is kind when they want something or to date. It is not that way in God’s Kingdom.

3. Before you leap to conclusions pray. “God how do I need to relate to this person?”

4. Ditch fear. More people have been wounded by fear than anything else. There is no fear in God love.

5. Understand no one can make you sin. It is possible to love with God’s love and not fall into sin if you choose to let God deal with the heart.

6. If you have an issue with lust, get deliverance. Lust is an internal issue.

7. If you think a woman is interested in you, pray (do this first) and ask God for His counsel-not everyone in the church. Treat that person how you would want to be treated. It may warrant an adult conversation or better boundaries. Please refrain from gossip, ghosting (just ignoring the person). It is not loving.

I have talked to several men in my lifetime. “Hey, what’s on your mind or heart about this connection?” Asking questions is better than assuming. Some people are just loving, kind, generous or friendly. If a guy states he is looking for a wife, we talk like adults. Intentions are shared and hearts are spared from mistreatment. Some we are still friends. I simply let them know my heart and intentions. Communication is vital.

If you are not romantically interested, it is still possible to love. Jesus loved women well! Gosh, He elevated women. I also believe for those who want to be married, learning to love women in a non eros (romantic) way will help you greatly in life.

I confess I have made associations with non Christian men because they related to me better, treated me better, did not act weird, and treated me like a person not a virus. We can, I think, do better in this area. 🙂

Love,

Erin

#men #ChristianMen

Photo: Pinterest

Love Looks Like Jesus

The dying AIDS patient who deepened my awareness of God’s love…

I have this thing with Jesus where if He asks me to do something, my heart melts under the weight of His love. I find Him mostly irresistible. Often He calls me to do things my base personality probably would not run towards. Like the day I met John (not his real name). John was covered in sores (scabbed over), dying, and sad. I stopped for John and tears filled his eyes as he told me there was no hope for him. The way he lived, the diagnosis, no hope. I felt led to pull John into my arms and hug him. Tears flowed freely from his eyes.

Could I be contaminated by John, sores covering his body, tears and saliva flowing? It did not matter in that moment. What mattered was John feeling the deep embrace of God. “John God sees you and loves you. Your life matters greatly to God. John there is always hope with Jesus.”

That day with John wrecked me. Who wanted to touch John? Most people avoided eye contact with Him. God wanted to touch John. There is no fear in love. I have attempted to love many people in my lifetime who could not see God’s love or responded poorly to love. Yet love (God) keeps calling me to love.

So my encouragement is abide in the one who is love, Jesus. When you do, love will FLOW out of you in abounding ways. No striving, abide in Him (cultivate intimacy with God). It won’t matter if you are highly introverted, or not into loving strangers. He will love through YOU! God is simply looking to love the world and it starts with me and you!

My prayer is our hearts receive more of God’s love and we give it away! The world needs love, love, love!!!

Love,

Erin

We Have This Moment

I took almost a week off social media and the news. I have one more week of ministry break. I took six weeks off from teaching, leading, free clinic, city outreach, mentoring, seeing deep inner healing clients, etc.

Honestly, it has not felt like a true break. People still have needs, want prayer, want advice or counsel, have crisis situations, etc. I had people messaging me on vacation with their crisis prayer needs. I have pondered quite a bit over this break what is the meaning of life? Yes, dear ones, it got real deep the past 5 weeks.

Why are we here? (I dive into the answer in a bit).

I asked God once if my life’s purpose was to simply be the go to person and support for everyone else. It has seemed that way at times. People forget I am a person not a resource, not their therapist, not a 24/7 crisis manager or their on call 24/7 prayer support, nor am I their on call prophet-“Can I get a word?!!”

I understand why pastors quit, suffer moral failure, or end it all. No I am not considering driving my life into the ditch. I do understand somewhat why it happens. Our lives must be rooted in something and someone GREATER!

We live in such a me centered society that unfortunately can revolve around finding someone to worship or meet their needs that is not God. I promise I am not God nor want His job. I need God desperately to survive and thrive. Our me centered culture also seeks out idols and putting people above God.

Our culture can be rooted in lack of tact (just read some of the online comments), or lack of consideration. “You are on break, well what about me?! You need space, what about me?!” Sometimes my heart crashes under the chorus of “me, me, me.” I run into my cave with God and dare not come out until my head stops spinning. It is not selfish to get away from the crowds.

People forget their source must be God not people. Part of the meaning of life is finding out who God is for ourselves and learning to live out of that relationship/depend on God. God must be our primary source.

Living in a World Filled With Bad News:

I returned to social media today to loads of needs, prayer needs, and tragedies. Our world needs a Savior; He has already come. We need Jesus.

I noticed if the tragedy happened to a celebrity in the world or in Christianity, people seem to care more. They cry over people they have never met simply because they were famous. In the past weeks I have seen people rally behind perfect strangers while ignoring the dying unknown person on their city streets. Am I judging? Just observing.

Our culture places a higher value on some lives over others. Jesus did not. From the thief, to the prostitute, to the tax collector, to the beggar on the street, to the leper…Jesus cared and cares about them all.

Part of life as a Christian is learning to love as God loves. Did we learn to love all people, not just famous people, not just athletes or movie stars, not just platform ministers or their children, not just people who benefit us? Did we learn to love the widow, the orphan, the slave, the poor, the outcast, and even our enemies? Did we learn to love? Love (God love-unselfish, sacrificial love) is why we are here.

We were created by love (God), to be loved, then to love.

While in LA, California a few weeks ago I made it close to Skid Row. Tents of people living on the streets. Some probably dying. I wanted to park my car and go inside their camp. I was supposed to be on ministry break. I was told it is unsafe to go there. Skid Row is full of disease, death, and gross poverty. I wondered if when someone’s child dies on Skid Row if churches would hold week long meetings to try to raise them from the dead. Where are the tributes for the dying there?

I hear people in my own city crying out for revival who will not even give a cup of water to a homeless person. Revival is bringing life to dead things. When I see Skid Row, I see a place prime for revival. It is not pretty, nor shiny. There are no celebrities or VIP people there. Yet I see Jesus walking into the pits of society to pull beauty out of the ashes.

Part of the meaning of life is learning to see as God sees. Heaven has a different vantage point than earth. Every life matters to God.

Earth is a temporary assignment that prepares us for an eternal one. It’s so easy to become fixated on what does not matter at all. Jesus said, “I was hungry and you did not feed me.”

I don’t know how long these feet will touch this earth. I do know, I want to stand before God and hear Him say, “Welcome home! Thank you for completing your assignments.”

We will not be floating on clouds in heaven. There are rewards and assignments. How we steward earth determines how we are rewarded in heaven. We don’t earn entrance into heaven, God does reward us for how we lived and loved on earth. This time on earth is the shortest time we will ever live.

My encouragement is don’t waste your life on what does not matter in the long run. Life is but a whisper. You could be here today and gone tomorrow. Forgive, love, get to know God, and live a presence driven life. Let the chorus of “me, me, me” fade into the background. May the song be, “God reduce me to love. Help me to learn how to love.”

I am still learning to abide in love. It’s a journey. God promises to meet us every step of the way. I don’t have all the answers. I hope to keep abiding in the One who does.

Warmly,

Erin

Need Joy? Seek Jesus.

Jesus had more JOY than His companions!

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You above Your companions with the oil of joy,~Hebrews 1:9.

God is not stuffy, stoic, nor boring. God knows how to celebrate and have a good time. Pleasure was God’s idea; sin perverted pleasure and a religious/Pharisee spirit tries to dampen any fun with God. God is fun. There is more pleasure and enjoyment in God than anything He created.

I used to examine people who got so excited about God in wonder…until I got to know God for myself. Knowing God elevated my joy quotient significantly. Knowing God has been the greatest joy of my life. Words do not adequately express the beauty, majesty, and mystery of God.

What if I don’t feel joy?

Joy is not a feeling based on what is happening. It is an overflow of abiding in the One who is joy. Jesus stated plainly that abiding in Him brings forth abounding fruit. That is why we can go through a challenging season and still have joy. Paul wrote many celebratory letters from prison. God is good even when life is not going the way we desire. Focusing on who God is, takes the focus off our momentary sorrows.

Paradise is not just a place. It is a person. God is pure JOY. In His presence as the Psalmist proclaimed is the fullness of joy.

You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand,~Psalm 16:11.

Including part of my devotion this morning. My hopes are that joy bubbles up out of your spirit! God loves you and being with God bring joy.

Devotion Excerpt:

“Go back as far as you can in prerecorded history, back to the dawn of the universe, and there you’ll find joy. The Creation is characterized by celebration (Job 38:6-7; Proverbs 8:22-31). Turning to the time of the New Testament, Christ is characterized by joy (John 8:29; 15:11). In the parable of the lost son, heaven in the present is characterized by joy, feasting, music, and dancing (Luke 15:11-32). Finally, looking forward to the future, John shows us a picture of heaven (Revelation 19:6-9). It will be a feast, where the people shout, “Let us celebrate, let us rejoice, let us give him the glory!” (verse 7).

The story of faith begins and ends in joy. And in between, there is joy. Joy permeated Paul’s life, even in the place you would have least expected it—in prison (see the book of Philippians). For more than twenty centuries, Christians have been exhibiting joy. There have been sad, even morose, Christians, to be sure. But the ones who have inspired us have been marked by joy…

Anyone who gets in touch with God gets in touch with joy. All true joy is derivative. It doesn’t originate from the world. It doesn’t originate from us. It originates from him. And when we get close to him, it rubs off,”~from the Marked by Joy devotion on YouVersion

Are you enjoying God? Enjoying life with God?

Painting: Jesus is joy by Yungsong Kim

Love,

Erin Lamb

The Parable of the Diamonds

Parable of the uncut diamond and the stranger.

There was man who prayed and prayed for blessings. He was defeated and poor. He cried out to God to bless him each day.

God heard his cry and began to send people to bless the man. He was suspicious of their kindness and refused help. He did not trust love, especially from someone he did not know.

One day God sent a stranger along the man’s path with a box, and inside was a bag of uncut diamonds. It was worth 77 million dollars.

The stranger approached the man during his lunch time meal. “Is your name John?” The man grumbled, “Yes!” He was frustrated because he could not see all the times/ways God tried to bless him.

The stranger asked to sit with him. John was already irritated and wanted nothing to do with the stranger. He was busy. His lunch break was only a half hour. He had people to see, things to do.

The stranger sensed John’s hesitation. “John, I know you are a busy man. I don’t want to take up much of your time. God sent me here to you to deliver this box.” John replied, “Can you just leave the box and GO! I am busy. I have work to do. I work 3 jobs just to pay my bills.”

The stranger honored the wishes and left the box. He walked away; John dismissed the box. He ate his lunch murmuring and complaining. “Why would God interrupt my lunch for this?! He knows I only have 30 minutes of peace.”

John’s attitude stunk like the garbage in the bin behind him. He never thought of the interruption as a potential blessing. He never saw the stranger as a gift. He saw him as a nuisance.

John opened the box before returning to his shift. “Rocks! God gave me a bag of rocks. Is this a joke?!!!” John was angry. He shoved the bag in his case and went back to work.

Years passed and John continued to pray and murmur against God.

God sent the stranger back to John. “It’s you again,” John exclaimed with roughness. “Yes, I am here for the bag I gave you. If you have no use for them, we have someone else who wants them.” “Sure take these stupid rocks.” John went into his room and pulled the bag out, brushed off the dust, and threw them at the stranger. “Thank you John. This bag of uncut diamonds worth 77 million dollars is going to help someone else.”

John stood there stunned and ashamed. For years he lived in poverty while millions of dollars sat in his bottom drawer collecting dust.

The stranger said to John, “For years God has been sending people to help you and you refused help. You were curt with me and so busy that you missed provision. I was sent to give you instructions on what you had been given and you dismissed me. Therefore, you forfeited your blessing. The lady several streets over has a great need and God told me she would listen and use these diamonds for good. John, God loves you. The lesson is to not dismiss something because you do not understand. Seek God for wisdom. Every interruption or person who wants to help you is not the devil. I hope you are you blessed. These diamonds were a gift to me from my father and I asked God for someone to give them to. I have more than enough. God sent me first to you. He chose you and you relinquished your blessing. Mary, the woman who will receive part of my inheritance will never have to work again. Good day John and God bless you.”

As the stranger walked away, John wept. He was so busy trying to make it by himself that he missed God.

It’s so easy to look with the eyes of the flesh and miss God. God works through people. God does set up divine interruptions. It is possible to miss what God is doing because we are so busy judging by what our natural eyes see. Wisdom pulls us deeper to say, “God give me your eyes and help me to walk in the Spirit of God not my flesh. God show me what you are doing? Is this you God?”

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out-Prov 25:2.

I asked God to be a benefactor and partner with Him to bless the world. I cannot tell you how many people have forfeited what God wanted to give them through me because they did not recognize nor value the packaging. One minister I had thousands to offer them, they behaved so poorly and were so full of pride, “I don’t need any help.” I gave their gift to someone else. Treat people with respect, honor, dignity because it’s the right thing to do. Also understand you may be entertaining a person on assignment from heaven to bless you. Some have entertained angels unaware.

Keep your eyes open in 2020 for the blessings of God. It may not come in the way you expect.

Happy New Year! New Decade! New ERA!!

Love,

Erin Lamb

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Thoughts On Raising the Dead

Thoughts on raising the dead.

I want to be sensitive, loving, and appropriate with this post. Jesus did what He saw the Father doing and said what He heard Him speaking. Jesus operated in this holy and intimate connection with the Father. He listened intently to the agenda of heaven. Jesus did not pray for every sick person He saw, nor raise every single dead person. Those who came to Him He healed. He did not stop for every sick person He saw. Jesus listened to the agenda of heaven and followed suit.

I know of people raised from the dead. God has saved my life 7 times over from nearly dying. In each case, there was a purpose and reason. That person’s assignment was incomplete and/or someone came into alignment with heaven to see the fulfillment of their destiny. Only God knows the assignment and destiny of a person. It is not dependent on age. Some do not cry nor contend if an 80 year old person dies. Yet if their destiny in God was not fulfilled, it’s still worth mourning. An 8 year old may seem like they have not fulfilled their calling. However, only God knows why each of us are here.

It is tragic and awful when death occurs. It’s painful. When we know God can do something, it can tug at the desire for the miraculous inside of us to see Heaven invade the earth. It can be tempting to believe if we just sing louder, pray harder, believe bigger that we are somehow going to be The Avengers who snap our fingers and magically reverse death. I have seen God do incredible things. I have also seen children and older people who loved God slip right on into eternity. I love what Kathryn Kuhlman said, “It is my job to pray, God’s job to heal.”

I prayed for a man on death’s door that had thousands of people praying for him. He died. This was devastating for people. I saw light leave his body and return to God. I heard a still small voice saying, “His assignment is done. Well done my good and faithful servant.” When people were talking about calling him back, I could not link to their prayers. They were praying their will be done, not the best for the man. He was martyred for the Gospel and will receive incredible eternal rewards. While his death was tragic to us. Heaven saw someone willing to risk it all for Jesus entering into rest.

I was battling with God over someone I loved with my life who died. I loved this person with my life. This person loved, loved, loved Jesus. Lived a holy life. She died. We prayed for life. She slipped out of our arms and right into the arms of Jesus. If God can raise the dead, why didn’t He do it this time?! I talked to my best friend Jesus after grieving for awhile. I am sharing this with you to hopefully bring hope and perspective, not pain. Adding in what He spoke this morning. Certainly weigh it, test it, pray over it.

“I hate the pain that death causes. I wept over the pain of the death of Lazarus. Lazarus was my friend. I knew he would be raised, yet his death brought pain to so many. Some think the Father is the orchestrator of their pain and it is untrue. Some blame. Some grow angry. Some disappointed. They do not understand that before sin entered the world, death and sickness were not a reality.

Mankind chose sin, sin brings pain. It impacts those who love me and those who hate me. You live in a sin filled world, yet I have overcome the world. Even those who love me and abide in me will face challenges on your side of eternity. Have hope that what you live now is not the full story. Eternity awaits and there is no death in Paradise.

I love faith. I love when the children of God lift their eyes to the promises of God and believe. I love the boldness to declare with unwavering faith what has been spoken from the Father’s heart in scripture. I also desire for closeness and pursuit of heaven’s vantage point. There are things at work that humans do not always see nor understand. They think, ‘How could a loving God allow this?,’ instead of asking, ‘How can I grow to know God through this?’

We are not causing tragedy to build intimacy. We do not prevent all bad things from happening. It requires a different perspective to see as we see. We move intently into the middle of grief. I am close to the broken hearted and save those crushed in spirit. I hold the hurting in my arms and love them to life.

Some do not realize to every life there is an assignment and many fulfill it and come home. The timing is not what others desire for it is in the human heart to live for eternity. Those who are united with me will live forever, simply not in your realm. The conditions are far more pleasant where there is no sin, no sickness, no death.

Some desire to come home and I will not violate their will. They may never tell their loved ones, yet they get a glimpse of where they will be, who I am, and never want to go back. I care for each person’s wishes as well as completing the will of the Father.

In the moments where you do not understand, sink into my heart. Inquire and listen. Heaven has a different viewpoint than the sons and daughters of Adam.”

I believe in praying bold, faith filled prayers. I also believe in asking God, “What are you doing in this situation and how should I pray?” When my friend was sick and we had been praying for weeks for a miracle, I finally stopped praying our will be done and started praying, “God what is heaven’s best in this situation? I want that.”

Sure we want people to live forever on earth, yet the reality is sin created an environment where we will all leave earth. Some will be gathered into the eternal arms of God. Some will slip into a godless realm. Either way, earth is the shortest time we will live.

Should we pray for the sick and expect healing. I think so. Should we leave the results in God’s hands, yes! We cannot heal or raise anyone from the dead. It’s only by God’s power. Do we believe for what looks impossible? Heck yeah! Do we also recognize we do not command the Universe, God does? Yes.

I don’t always get it. I do know God is good. I do know the wisdom of God is FAR beyond our wisdom.

Blessing you!

Love,

Erin Lamb

When God Love is Unrecognized

Loving People Who Do Not Grasp God’s Love

Have you ever tried to love someone with God love and they either misconstrued it as eros (romantic love), rejected the love, misunderstood the love, did not believe you loved them, tried to use you, or trampled it under foot? I have. It used to bother me greatly, I confess. Then God allowed me to see Jesus loved everyone perfectly, yet some still could accept His love, receive His love, understand Him, nor reciprocate His love.

Jesus, the love of God through Him, was foreign to the religious. His love was not recognized, God was not recognized, He was neither believed nor accepted. The love of God is so lavish, so selfless, and so pure.

The world without knowledge of God cannot recognize what it has no grid for. Love in our culture is often lust (based on selfish gain, fleshly passions, self gratification). It is not holy, pure, nor does it sacrifice anything for another unless there is hopes to gain something.

When you love people without knowing them, it can scare them. If you are too lavish, some think you have ulterior motives. Why? Because our world system is upside down to God’s system. God loves us first and sacrificially. God is not selfish. My point is, and I have to say this to myself, love is not wasted. It may feel that way, yet if it’s for God it’s not.

I served a homeless guy for a bit who ended up off the street and with a job. He rejoiced and thought I was amazing while he was being blessed. Years later I saw him drunk and back on the streets. He cursed me and shooed me away. Did I waste my time for that year I served him and helped him? That hot summer day he cursed me in broad daylight it felt that way. Yet the truth is, Jesus was glorified that year. That man cannot stand before God and say no one ever showed me your love. And guess what, I still keep showing up on the streets.

Whether people clap, boo, talk about me, slander my name, wrongly judge my intentions, trample love underfoot, I keep waking up to love the world. Yes, use wisdom and set boundaries. But don’t let people not full of God’s love destroy your desire to love. Those who do not love, do not know God, for God is love (1 John 4:8).

My encouragement is ask for wisdom and keep your love on for Jesus. Sometimes the prayer is, “God help me to love!”

Warmly,

Erin Lamb