I spent the evening with a group of women known as “Esther Circle,” individually each has their own uniqueness but as a group we pursue to be “an area of action and influence.” Ask me how I know this? I started with the basics, definition of “Esther” is star and the definition of “Circle” is an action or influence. Yay, this isn’t rocket science! But my point is being a part of this unique group of women has and continues to influence me as I am pursuing the purpose that God is leading me to do. I am relatively new to this group and yet they have all received me into their circle and I am truly thankful. With regards to our influence, we have women of enormous faith and strong moral values and hearts overflowing with love for everyone. Our group is currently reading and discussing “Love Does,” by Bob Goff. An interesting book that illustrates the many ways that love works in and through our lives, although some stories are difficult to imagine actually happening but so are some of the many stories we read in the Bible, just because we ourselves have trouble grasping things does not mean they did not really happen. Let’s take “Daniel and the Lion’s Den,” “David and Goliath,” or what about the “The Fall of Jericho?” These stories can be difficult but for believers we know it is the power and majesty of God that ALL things are possible and it’s because of LOVE, God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to be sacrificed and sent us the Holy Spirit to guide us. The difficulty in believing is in our “humanness,” God is the only explanation. Our ordinariness is what we are before we invite God into our lives and then we are His extraordinary children. Thank you Esther Circle!
I wanted to share some of my thoughts about chapter 7 & 8 that we discussed tonight.
- Have you experienced God convincing you to love Him back? How does He do this?
- What makes you stop and stare in amazement? How might that be God pursuing you?
- How does Jesus’ logic different than our logic, or from the logic of the world?
I can remember not long ago, I spend lots of hours watching TV, not wanting to miss an episode of this or that show, thinking I would no longer be in the “know!” I was very content in waiting for “life” to come to me, perhaps a bit of a procrastination when it came to growing as opposed to existing. I had thought I knew what my life would look like at this point in my life and surprise, it’s nothing like my imagination. It is better, not by my power but through God’s amazing love. I thought moving forward would hurt too much and that I would always have a void in my life. I have learned by losing I have more to give and more to experience. The convincing that God did to me so I could love Him back/again was the lesson that sometimes we have to lose to understand what we have. In the past 5 years I have experienced losses that I truly never expected or planned for. The breakup of my partner of almost 10 years and the passing of my mom at an early age of 65 pushed me forward very quickly and I had no choice but to deal with them and make difficult decisions. Four years after the breakup, I am happily not dating and I still maintain a healthy relationship with my ex and wish her happiness. As long as I held on to the hurt I could not move forward, God showed me the road to healing and I am very thankful and happy…His convincing me to love Him back! I still miss my mom everyday after 14 months, I still want to call her, to hear her voice, to have her say one more time, “Charlotte, I love you!” She was such an amazing woman and I learned how to love from her, her strength and stamina was indescribable. My mom was very straight forward and some did not like that but even the individuals that had issue with her forwardness respected her for her convictions and values.
What amazes me…the difference a smile can do for others; saying “hello and asking how are you?” and really meaning it and having someone linger to hear your response. Making eye contact with someone, so many people live in shadows and never hear kind words or have questions ask of them. Every stranger is a friend you just haven’t met. Matthew 25:42-43 “For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.” That is a very powerful piece of scripture and yet so simple, Jesus is, the people we see day in and day out and they are with us and interact with us every single day. I am reminded of these verses when I smile at someone I don’t know or say hello and wait for a response, Love Does make a difference no matter the amount given and/or received.
Logic, Jesus’ logic is pure knowledge that is grounded in an everlasting love for all. Our logic, selfish in a very real way…it is our humanness and our sinful nature to be consumed about ourselves, but when we invite Jesus into our hearts we see the world differently, more passionately and more forgiving not because of our worthiness but entirely because God loves us and created us for His glory, we are His masterpieces.
I have included some helpful sites below in reference to the Bible passages mentioned. Thank you for allowing me to share with you and may God’s light shine upon you this very day! Esther Circle, a special thank you for the love you have shown me!