Philemon

Day 14: Love


Philemon 1:1-25 & Philippians 1:1-4:23

The following is an excerpt from our book True Intimacy.

For the next month we will be posting a chapter a day for your reading (and marital) pleasure. However, if you would like to purchase an electronic or printed copy for yourself or someone else we would greatly appreciate your support! To go to the web page for more information click here.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails; (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)

 

In the beginning, when God was creating the universe, He declared “it is good” over each creation until He got to man.  At which point God says “it is not good for man to be alone”.  And while I could come up with plenty of jokes about why men should not be alone, the point is that it’s not good for women to be alone either.  As women, we were created for companionship; and therefore, we are constantly craving intimate interactions.  Often we attempt to fill the gap with friends, co-workers and digital media like texting and Facebook only to deny ourselves the one thing we are actually craving.  Truly intimate companionship with our HUSBANDS!

Gen 3:16 tells us, among other things, that as women we will “desire” our husbands.  That word “desire” in the Hebrew is packed with significance.  It’s not just a physical desire; it’s an all encompassing, the-two-shall-become-one, kind of desire.  You know the way you feel naked without your purse or your phone?  THAT’S the kind of desire it talks about, one where your whole being desires true intimacy from your husband and you just feel like you’re missing something when it’s not there.  It’s a desire for a true love from him; where he loves you simply because you are who you are.  Not because you’ve done great things, or because you’ll be rich and famous someday, but just because you’re you.  We desire a love that goes beyond anything that anyone could ever really describe; one where, you complete each other so perfectly that it can get annoying at times.

As a husband and wife we are symbols of Christ and His Church; which means that within marriage we are to love each other as Christ loves us.  In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul explains to us not just why we should love others, but how God loves us as well.  He tells us that

“If [we] speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, [we] have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  If [we] have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if [we] have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, [we are] nothing.  And if [we] give all [our] possessions to feed the poor, and if [we] surrender [our bodies] to be burned, but do not have love, it profits [us] nothing. (1-3)

Basically what Paul is telling us is that we can do as many great and wonderful things as we want, but if we’re not doing them because we love someone enough to do them, then we might as well save our breath and time because they’re meaningless.  I can type as many kind and beautiful words as I want, but if there’s no love behind them – what’s the point?  If I know all sorts of things that can change people’s lives forever, it’s not going to amount to a hill of beans if I don’t have a heart for those people first.  I can give away every single material possession and if I’m not giving them away with love in my heart then I might as well keep them.  Paul is making us ask, “What is my motive?”.

Paul ends 1 Corinthians 13 with a profound statement that I think is being greatly overlooked in our culture today, especially in marriages.  “But now faith, hope, love abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (v. 13)  LOVE.  Why love?  What makes love so special?  Why is it more important than faith or hope?  Because while faith and hope are crucial, important and good; GOD is love.  So when everything else in this entire world fades away, love is all that’s left.  Because love – when it’s a truly patient, kind, non-envious, humble, courteous, selfless, calm, forgiving, truth rejoicing, protective, trusting, hopeful, persevering, never failing love – it’s God.

Christian’s comments:

 

Don’t confuse love with lust.  Our world today has these two terms completely distorted.  The type of love God wants is outward love.  It is to be directed towards others, not inwards towards ourselves.  You must set aside your own wants and desires.  Love others, and don’t expect anything in return.

All that sounds great, but how do we do it?  Easy, love with no holds barred.  Love with all you have.  Don’t have selfish reasons for loving.  Do things out of love for someone, not for the things it could get you.  Plain and simple, love for the sake of love.

Categories: 365 Life, Philemon, Philippians, Season 3, True Intimacy | Leave a comment

Kaleidoscope/ Finishing Your Granny Square Blanket

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Philemon & Philippians
“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

Today is a good day because I today I finished my kaleidoscope!

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She’s got at least 48hrs in the squares, 24hrs in sewing them together and then about an hour and a half in the edging. She’s heard a multitude of sermons on how much God love us and she speaks that out in each square being a different color. As varied as they each are, together they tell of the different colors of His love for each of us. Sometimes His love looks dark and brooding while other times it’s light and cheery.  But sewn with love and prayer together they make a covering that protects us from the cold harsh world around us. Each square holding tightly to the one next to it they form a thick barrier that warms the heart just as much as the body.
Yes. It’s just a blanket. But at the same time it’s SO much more. It’s a symbol of a love that surpasses all understanding. It’s a gift that never stops being given as long as it continues to be used.
God’s love was never meant to be put on a shelf to be looked at. It’s meant to be received as a gift and used day after day. His love covers over a multitude of sins,; yes even your worst ones.
He began a good work in you and He will continue working it in you until it is finished – and not a moment sooner. He won’t give up on you. I promise.

Sewing the Squares Together:

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The first thing I did was to sort the squares.  As I was making them I had tied them into groups of ten to make counting easier. I knew I wanted the completed blanket to be 4 feet square. So I made a test granny square and measured it at approximately 2.5in square.
Next I figured up the math:
I converted my desired length into inches: 4ft = 48in.
Then I converted my inches into squares: 48in length ÷ 2.5in granny squares = 19 granny squares per side.
Then I multiplied my length in squares by my width in squares to get my total squares needed: 19 squares × 19 squares = 361 squares total needed to make a 4ftx4ft blanket.
I had my work cut out for me.

Once I had double checked that I had the correct amount of squares completed I cut all the bindings loose and mixed them all together in a large paper bag. Aren’t they beautiful!

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I wanted the pattern to be completely random so as I sewed the squares together I would draw the next square out of the bag. My only rule was that two squares of the same color couldn’t be above, below, to the right or the left of each other; but diagonal was ok.
I used a whip stitch* to join them going ONLY through the back loops. I started at the corners where the chain (CH) stich is.

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Join the squares corner to corner with a cross stitch type “X” to secure them so that they don’t migrate down the whip stitch.

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Work ONLY in the back loops of the square so that you get a nice “invisible” joint between the squares.

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In last week’s granny square tutorial I told you to pull the last chain stitch tight which would make a knot. In joining the squares I found it worked best to start with the corner nearest the knot so that I could then whip stitch right over the knot and the tail making sure that the knot faced the back of the blanket.

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By doing this part first when I went to whip stitch the vertical columns of squares it went MUCH faster because then all my squares were facing the same direction so my stitches all lined up neatly AND I didn’t have any tails to worry about anymore.

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With the edging I tried to do a granny stitch style edge but it didn’t look quite right. It made the squares look like they were continuing on rather than stopping at the edging. I had worked so hard at making all their edges look straight and lined up I didn’t want to ruin that with the edging. So I switched to a double crochet (DC) in each stitch around, including the “hole” created by the chain stitch spaces. At the corners I worked (3DC, 2CH, 3DC) into the CH space of the corner square. Joining the final DC with a slip stitch to the first DC. Finish off and weave in the tail. Tada! A finished work, a long time in the making!

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*Note: to make the blanket two sided you could use a slip stitch or even a single crochet, worked in the back loops only, to join the squares. I actually would have done this but didn’t think about it until I was already halfway through whip stitching and at that point I wasn’t going back!

Categories: 365 Life, Crochet Tuesday, Jesus Loves YOU, Philemon, Philippians, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

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