The greatest love story ever.

As someone as obsessed with Disney as I am it would be easy for you to assume that some fairy tale is what I would call the greatest love story. But you would be wrong. The story of the prophet Hosea is one that truly shakes me to my core. In Hosea chapter 1 verse 2 it says, “The first time God spoke to Hosea he said: ‘Find a whore and marry her. Make this whore the mother of your children.”’ Kinda shocking for Sunday school right?
So Hoses does what God tells him and marries and has children with a prostitute. Gomer (that was the name of the prostitute. What a lovely name for a girl!) keep returning to her life of how shall we say “extracurricular activities”. Time after time Hosea went back to the seedy part of town to get his harlot wife Gomer, and bring her back home. In my mind I see her as a prostitute boomerang. Ever time he brought her home back she would go.
It is really easy to wonder why on earth someone would love a hooker, who even when removed from evil, keep going back. Take a moment and think about the last time you sinned. I don’t know about you but I sin a lot. A. LOT. I keep going back to evil.
But here is the truly amazing thing. God always comes after me like Hoses. Always. He still loves me with a fierce passion. He will always find me in the darkest of places and bring me home.  Happy Valentines day.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,  neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

Recognize

One of the first things you will notice about me is that I am a momma’s girl. This is a key piece of information for my little story. I was sitting in the library between classes working on homework when suddenly my ears perked up. Out of my homework stupor I heard a sound that was familiar to me. A cough. Not just any cough but my momma’s. The following conversation took place:

Screenshot_2015-01-19-20-55-09

 

This library has three stories and many sections. I was not listening for my mom. I was not even thinking about her (Sorry Mommy). But I knew that sound well enough to recognize it. To know without a doubt that is was her.

When God speaks do you recognize His voice? The word Recognize is defined as: identify (someone or something) from having encountered them before; know again. The only way to recognize God’s voice is to have encountered Him. We cannot recognize what we have never known to begin with.

“Jesus answered, “I told you, but you don’t believe. Everything I have done has been authorized by my Father, actions that speak louder than words. You don’t believe because you’re not my sheep. My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him. I and the Father are one heart and mind.” John 10:25-30 (MSG)

 

Stitch

My mom has this cruel practice of buying gifts when we say we like something and not allowing us to have it till the actual holiday. This was the case of several of my presents this year and the one that drove me most crazy was a stuffed animal. When my family was at Disney this past thanksgiving I saw a stuffed Stitch (as in Lilo and Stitch) that I fell in love with. Not just any stuffed Stitch, but a giant one, the size of a small toddler. I have a collection of stuffed Stitchs and naturally an abnormally large one need to be a part of it. But my mom wouldn’t even let me carry it and I had to suffer through November and December before finally getting my Stitch.

 

 
So why Stitch? Why a collection of him? That’s a good question. One I had no answer to for a while. I have in a previous post discussed my connection with the movie Lilo and Stitch and in my mind just attributed my love of Stitch to that. But then it clicked in my mind. I am just like Stitch. Let me elaborate.

 
He is an alien.
When Lilo goes to look for a dog Stitch tries to hide his extra set of arms and the things coming out of his head. He knows those are qualities others would call weird or bad, so he holds them not allowing others to see who he really is.

He is bad.
At the beginning of the movie he is just bad, and bad for the sake of being bad. That is how he was made. To be bad and do wrong is in his nature. He tries very hard to be a model citizen but, sometimes it doesn’t work out.

I hide who I am because I know sometimes others will not accept my weirdness. It is human nature to sin. Therefore, it is in my nature to be bad. Stitch didn’t know he wanted a family or to be a part of something. He didn’t even know he wanted to stop being bad. Lilo had to come find him. She had to accept him, show him how to love, and that being a part of family mattered. So we (you and I) are Stitch. Don’t see it? I’ll show you.

Thousands of years ago a man came from heaven to earth to find you. You didn’t even know you were lost. It is in your nature to sin, to be bad, to create hurt, and to do wrong. He accepted you knowing you were bad and that you may break His heart. He saw all the things others call weird and said that they are what make you special. He will love you no matter what you do and you will be a part of His family.

All the presents have been opened, the Christmas dinner eaten, and I have spent a good part of the day watching Agents of Shield on Netflix. It has been a lovely Christmas. But if it were not for the kindness and love of Jesus I would just be a bad little blue alien.

 

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 KJV

Legacy

Today is December 5, 2014. 113 years ago on this day one of the most imporant people in my life was born. Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901, in Hermosa, Illinois. He changed the world forever. In a way, I feel like Mr. Diseny has had a big influence in my life. He created a place I love, and helped remind people that hope and goodness will always win. His ideas created a company with arugable the best customer service in the world. Although he passed away before I was born Mr. Disney will always remain a guiding light and a sort of fairy godfather to me. He left the world a legacy of hope. But were did his hope come from? While I am not attempting to judge the state of another persons heart I can not help but notice a few simalarities.
 

walt 1
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 NIV
walt 2
“If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” Proverbs 24:10 KJV
walt 3
“Honor and enjoy your Creator while you’re still young,
Before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes,” Ecclesiastes 12:1 MSG

walt 6
“The righteous shall move onward and forward; those with pure hearts shall become stronger and stronger.” Job 17:9 TLB

walt 7

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,” Ecclesiastes 9:10a NIV

images (1)
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 NIV

 
When I look back on the life of Mr. Disney and his legacy it makes me wonder what my legacy will be? Will I be showing others to Chirst in my own way? Will I leave the world with a message of hope? What will your life say?

Obsessed

If you were to ask me to describe myself very shortly, into that conversation you would hear the word obsessed used in a sentence with the word Disney. Obsessed is a bit of an understatement. Disney is my passion. I love it way more than a person should. I have very set opinions on just about anything to do with the Walt Disney Corporation. So why am I obsessed with Disney?

Let me take you on a journey for a moment. You are standing in front of Cinderella’s castle.

386591_2580097745318_343204540_n

This is a side view but, it is my favorite picture that i have taken of the castle. You are watching the night sky be filled with a wonder inspiring display of fireworks perfectly timed to this music.The smell of vanilla and baked goods drifts into your senses. For about thirteen minuets you feel like good will always win and all our wishes will come true. Being at Walt Disney World makes it possible to pretend, for a short time, that the world is a happy place and for the most part that everyone is nice and the few bad guys are very easy to spot.

Why do I love Disney? Because Disney gives me a small taste of a world of happiness. I think that is one reason that the Disney company is so successful-because people are longing for a world of happy. For me, Disney is a just a tiny sample of what Heaven is going to be like. No sadness, no bad guys, and no sickness. Everyone will be happy. Disney reminds me that this not my home. That, some day, I will get to spend eternity with a King in perfect happiness.

“For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.” 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 (MSG)

Princess Anna

deja-vu-the-recycled-feminism-of-disney-s-frozen-2afbdae7-dafb-48f6-92c2-b0eecda46d74 (1)

 

I relate a lot to Anna. I am the type of person who would want to get married after a day of knowing someone, if it was true love of course. I also truthfully believe that talking to my sister will fix almost any problem in the world, well my world at least. She would and has stopped me from making bad decisions. Although she has never frozen a country she leans more towards Elsa and I tend to be more like Anna.

Princess Anna loses her parents and in a way her sister. (Spoiler Alert)She has no family, no friends, and like Hans says no one to love her. So naturally she does what most females in her position do, she finds a truly terrible man to give her what she thinks love is. This almost destroys her life and the life of several others. All because she is missing love in her life.

Now for the scary part. We live in a world of Princess Annas. People, not just women, are desperately searching for love. I do not mean romantic love although that is what it is mistaken for I mean real true, total acceptance, love. As a follower of Christ it is up to us to show the love to the world. Not just evangelizing, but actually caring about them. This means overlooking their sins and how they have wronged you and pouring out love and kindness constantly.

The best examples of this kind of love in my life are my mom, sister, and a few close friends (A&A). They love and support me unconditionally. But they reason that these strong women are able to give me the love I crave is because of the love of God in them. They let His love show thru them. Even when I am making hard for them, they still love me.

If no one has told you today. You are loved. You have value. You have a purpose. You have someone pursing you with all of His might. He knows where you are and you are not alone. You do have the strength to make it because He will give it to you. He loves you even if it feels like no one else does.

 

“For God is sheer beauty,

    all-generous in love,

    loyal always and ever.” Psalms 100:5 MSG

 

Change

IMG_20141016_212349

The very word change strikes terror in most people. It conjures up images of the unknown with black holes filled with fear of the future. Even a bad situation can be comforting when the alternative is a mystery. Change can be literally anything. A new job, a new ministry, ending a relationship, or starting a new one. It can all be scary. This is where Lilo and Nani come in.
This moment is when Nani is about to give Lilo up. She does not want to but is being forced to. It easy to look at a situation and say, “if I just try harder” or “if I do this it will be fixed”. But, sometimes you try your hardest and things don’t work out. That’s ok. When that happens you look at the situation, acknowledge the effort you put in, and let go. Not give up but, let go knowing that God is in control and has something better for you. My grandma would always say that the Lord can’t bless you with new stuff till you get rid of the old.
Letting go of what is familiar and putting your trust in God is hard, especially when you have invested a lot. It is even harder if you are hurting. It’s a choice. Choosing to believe that God is in control may not be easy but He will always have your back.
“I call to God;
God will help me.
At dusk, dawn, and noon I sigh
deep sighs—he hears, he rescues.
My life is well and whole, secure
in the middle of danger
Even while thousands
are lined up against me.
God hears it all, and from his judge’s bench
puts them in their place.
But, set in their ways, they won’t change;
they pay him no mind.” Psalms 55:16-19​