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#356376 03/06/02 08:44 PM
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This is the begining of a study of the book "Bold Love" by Dan Allendar<p>When I first read the book, which took all of 1 week, I probrably missed most of the wonderfulness of it. So, when I went back to re-read it, I actually started with the Introduction which was written by Lawrence J. Crabb Jr.,PH.D. I was amazed at how much I missed in the first reading, so I am going to quote and comment on some of the things that stood out to me in the intro....<p>.."God has made provision for our joy in the middle of adversity...HE empowers us to pursue, EVEN ONES WHO MISTREAT US, in the STRENGTH of FORGIVENESS & RESTORATIVE Grace."<p>Wow isn't that great! God doesn't leave us hanging. He tells us we can have joy and peace no matter what our circumstances and then goes on to empower and equip us to be able to pursue it. Now, to get down to it and make it personal, God can even do that for those of us with someone who may not be being fair with us or who is mean or who is selfish or who is being downright abusive. I don't know about you ladies, but I know that my husband can be very mean and nasty. And I have not been able to figure out what to do with that. I have tryed many, many ways to deal with it, but none have been effective so far. <p>Here is another one I liked...<p>"God's consuming pre-occupation is to DESTROY EVIL THROUGH THE POWER OF SHEER GOODNESS which is made known through His perfectly righteous Love."<p>Well, guess what, God says He wants to use us as His willing vessels to accomplish this task. I often thought that loving my hubby meant pleasing him and then unwittingly, becoming a victim. But thats wasn't right. Then I thought that it meant "tough love" and that I needed to fight like my hubby does, but that didn't work either....just made it worse. Just what the heck does that mean?? <p>Here is the last quote I chose to help us better understand what the writers of this book were inspired to do....<p>"This book takes on the challenge of helping us find the power we need to live in our world without pretense. It destroys weak notions of forgiveness. It confronts shallow attempts to love. It exposes our inclination to make life work by not admitting when it doesn't. It moves us toward a despair that will either ruin us or drive us to the reality of God."<p>
And I have found that to be true. This book is all of that and more. But a much more important book is the Bible. And the authors make sure they substantiate all of thier beliefs by the Word. <p>That completes the intro. <p>Comments are more then welcome...they are encouraged. <p>
God Bless [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img]<p>[ March 06, 2002: Message edited by: frstrtd ]</p>

#356377 03/06/02 10:09 PM
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Good start on the intro. This book as well as Jan Silvias' book called Foolproofing Your life, identify the foolish in our lives and really make the goal of seeking wisdom as such a wonderful combatant to responding to the loved one with such a bent.
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>
2:1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,
3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Proverbs 2:1-11<hr></blockquote><p>And I love this verse and the challenge for us in seeking wisdom to give thought to the steps we take, the reaction to the inappropriate actions of our loved ones:
Pro 14:15 A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.<p>And then it gives other examples for us in verses 16-18:
16 A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.
17 A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated.
18 The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.<p>And rather than me focusing on whether or not my loved one is a fool, being careful of Jesus' admonition to not call any man a fool, I am more drawn to what my response should be if my eyes are on the one who can give me wisdom and strength. <p>I think this will be a great study, Thanks for starting and leading it.<p>Father, in the journey we have been on these past 2+ years, you have taught me much about loving your way, about how you set up boundaries and desire for us to emulate you, as you show us so much about your character and the love you have for each of us and especially our loved ones. Continue to touch our hearts and teach us to love in all wisdom and knowledge. IJN, Amen.

#356378 03/07/02 01:34 PM
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Thanks for starting this study frstrtd. It is an encouragement for weary warriors along the way! For even though I know it is a righteous battle, I do get weary and am "in much need of encouragement" at times. Just today I was reading how GOD exhorted Joshua to not become discouraged, but to be strong and VERY courageous.<p>I don't have the book, but I am learning these lessons also - as I go through the Daily Walk Bible each day. I have seen that GOD requires righteous living - no matter our circumstances. I can choose righteous responses and behaviors, whether my husband does or not, whether he grows or not, whether he is the fool or not. Personally, my lessons are "stop beating the rock" (as in nagging, preaching, trying to get him to grow...), choose righteous behavior (such as respond gently, not in angry outbursts, choose forgiveness, not holding on to bitterness). Also I'm learning that I can and should be myself all the time with all people. (Fits in with your quote on needing to live in a world without pretense). That means I can be soft (and not a hardened, preaching woman) with my husband, even if he doesn't take responsibilities or obey GOD himself. You can't imagine how freeing that is to REALIZE I CAN be myself - and it isn't dependent on his (or anyone elses') response or behavior, or their ability to understand or receive me. That is the empowering of GOD - what a great and awesome GOD that our own personal growth and holiness is NOT dependent on any one else! And we do that by choosing righteous, holy living in our day to day! Just like you and SueB are saying. ("destroying evil through the sheer power of goodness"). At least we destroy the evil (sin) in our own lives. What our husbands choose is up to them. My own sin (nagging, getting angry, giving up too much of myself - all the things you tried too) was destroying me. And hurting others, such as my children, by teaching them sinful responses to dealing with others.<p>This should be a good study - the road is not easy and it is helpful to have others along the way. Thanks!<p>By the way, the Revive our Hearts ministry just completed an 18 day study on 1 Cor 13 (Love chapter). You can read the transcripts of those studies on their site. I copied them and put them in a binder to read and study.<p>[ March 07, 2002: Message edited by: siftedlikewheat ]</p>

#356379 03/08/02 08:50 AM
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Siftedlikewheatm
You said
"By the way, the Revive our Hearts ministry just completed an 18 day study on 1 Cor 13 (Love chapter). You can read the transcripts of those studies on their site. I copied them and put them in a binder to read and study."
Can you give my the web address please. Thanx.<p>I have been very weary of late. To the point of exhaustion. I fall a sleep as soon as I lay down...and thats at 8PM now. I can't seem to function after work. I have a coworker friend who knows my situation at home and she suggests that I am haveing emotional fatigue. After thinking about it, I realized that it is even more, I am being spiritually attacked. Right after I recieved the book Bold Love and began reading it, I started to prayerfully apply some of the principles and wham! there was opposition. More oppositon then I had really expected. At home and at work. I have recently had more then my share of uprovoked confrontations with people,(where they are angry + abusive with me and I can't even pinpoint why) husband + and coworkers, in which I applyed 'BOLD LOVE' to the best of my limited ability. I know that God will not give me anymore then I can handle. I also fully understand and believe that the weapons of this kind of warfare are not of man, but are mighty in God....so I am asking for protection prayer from you wonderful ladies as I pursue studing the next chapter in this book so as to post it. <p>Thank you
God Bless

#356380 03/08/02 11:04 AM
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Good morning!<p>Here is the link to the site:<p>http://www.reviveourhearts.com/<p>You can go into the archives to read transcripts of programs already played on the air.<p>This morning I felt discouraged and weary also... thinking I've been doing my part and my husband continues to be the weak one who just can't seem to press on to maturity, even though he is a Christian. Loving in the agape way without love returning is hard - we get depleted if we try to do it on our own. <p>But when I did my daily Bible reading today I felt encouraged. After Joshua died the Israelites still had to drive out enemies who lived in the land. God says: "I will no longer drive out the nations that Joshua left unconquered when he died. I did this to test Israel - to see whether or not they would obey the Lord as their ancestors did. That is why the Lord did not QUICKLY drive the nations out or allow Joshua to conquer them all". Judges 2:21-23 <p>And in Chapter 3:
"The Lord left certain nations in the land to test those Israelites who had not participated in the wars of Canaan. He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle."<p>I want God to remove these "enemies" quickly - to fix things right away. But I realize that God is not removing all the enemies quickly (in my husband this means emotional barriers, resistance, not taking responsibility...) - and in that giving me the opportunity to still choose to obey God. How do we learn patience? In situations that require it! How do we really learn a gentle and quiet spirit? In circumstances that are trying - with people who DO resist. How do we really learn to speak the truth in love - with people who are hard to love? I can see God is allowing me opportunities to learn perseverance, kindness, gentleness and self-control. <p>Now this doesn't mean the lessons are all for me and my husband is "off the hook". He should be learning his lessons too. It is just that I can only look from my own side at what I'm to do. God in His grace can bring growth for me - even if my husband remains disobedient.<p>Yes, it is hard. That is why studies like this are helpful - as we encourage one another.<p>[ March 08, 2002: Message edited by: siftedlikewheat ]</p>

#356381 03/08/02 07:56 PM
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Good Evening!
I don't think it is at all by coincidence that you were at that point in your daily bible readings, Siftedlikewheat! I call those kinds of things, 'Godincidences'.<p>I also came to the very same conclusions in a different way today. I work a very demanding job and don't always have time to read scripture daily, but I have a wonderful friend/coworker whom I just love and she and I often talk and remind each other of the things of God's word. And as we discussed marriage today and the powerful covenant that we enter into in marriage, I realized that as we are to be imatators of God, that we are to imatate in our marriage covenant the same things which God would have us do as being 'the Bride of Christ'. We are to understand just how it is that we are to be the Bride of Christ and also to immatate that in our relationship with our spouses as well. Just as Jesus died for us while we were still sinners, we are to die to self for our spouses. How simple, how profound and yet how hard! Through all of this, God wants me to learn how to immatate Him. He is teaching me how to love His way through the experiences with my husband. I often do not like the lessons and resist more then I should, but I understand now that He has my best interest at heart. <p>So I have mentally gone back home and unpacked the emotional bags that I had packed in my mind and already left with. I have taken out all the anger, resentment and hate that I had stored in the luggage and have given it to God to keep. I have taken out what little patience, wisdom and kindness I could find and am putting them at easy reach. And I am praying for a whole lot more patience, wisdom and understanding to get and keep at easy reach. I have emotionally unpacked now and have mentally moved back in with my husband. <p>Praise God!<p>[ March 08, 2002: Message edited by: frstrtd ]</p>

#356382 03/08/02 08:31 PM
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Hi again,
Another way I understand imitating Christ came to me when I was reading in Numbers. When Moses disobeyed and in a moment of impatience with the people of Israel struck the rock twice God said:<p>"Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!"<p>
This made me realize I am to demonstrate the holiness of God. I don't do that when I'm nagging, have angry outbursts, preaching or whatever. I need to be demonstrating the holiness of God before my children and my husband - regardless of his behavior (the Israelites were complaining again - but God still held Moses accountable for his behavior). I do that when I choose godly responses and behavior. And that is how I love God and worship Him. It is all separate from what others are choosing to do.<p>Any more excerpts from the book?

#356383 03/08/02 10:44 PM
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Sorry for not mentioning this before...<p>I will be reading, studying and posting no later then by Mon 3/11/02. <p>In the mean time....
God Bless

#356384 03/11/02 06:11 AM
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You quoted "This book takes on the challenge of helping us find the power we need to live in our world without pretense. It destroys weak notions of forgiveness. It confronts shallow attempts to love. It exposes our inclination to make life work by not admitting when it doesn't. It moves us toward a despair that will either ruin us or drive us to the reality of God."<p>and I found it very challenging - I don't have book yet, but I will try again today.<p>I have been living with a lot of pretense. And I have not admitted my life is not working. But it isn't!<p>About the exhaustion - Pray first, but do consider physical reasons. I recently realized that the last time I was this exhausted I was diagnosed with anemia. So I am going to resume taking my iron pills.

#356385 03/11/02 08:49 AM
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Bgentle,
Thank you for your concern about my exhaustion. I take iron tabs as well as a few other needed supplements. I am fairly healthy, work out and eat well. I think that my physical problem is a combo of the spiritual battle that rages within myself and in my own household and the fact that I am 47 and entering a different stage in my life. <p>As for the lesson, Ladies, I cannot post this morning. I have off Mondays which is when I have the most undisturbed quality time to post, but my husband has taken off the next 2 weeks from work and my schedule is convoluted. I will post today, Mon. 3/11/02, but it will need to be later on in the day. <p>SueB, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your post as well. I enjoy the Proverbs and we could all benefit from reading a chaptor of Proverbs a day. <p>Thank you all for your kindness and patience,
Bev(my real name)

#356386 06/05/02 02:16 PM
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Ridiculous, I know, but in the interest of "no pretense" I admit that I have only NOW gotten myself, the book, and the computer in one place at the same time. So here goes - my comments on the intro.<p>from p. 10: "For too long, we have maintained a confidence in the power of God's Word by pretending that things aren't as bad as they are."<p>I have CERTAINLY done this and am hopeful that this book will help me stop doing that.<p>from p. 11: "When we take on merely those forces that work against our immediate comfort, and fail to engage the diabolical enemy who longs to rob God of glory, then God never becomes a reality..."<p>Well, I have recently felt that God is telling me to stop trying to save my marriage and just follow him. Don't misinterpret, I still think GOd wants my marriage to be recovered, but He is telling me to quit trying to fix it and give it to Him. What I am supposed to do is to get on His side in the battle for who is in charge of my life. There is always a battlefront in every human heart where God meets the enemy and fights for control of that heart.<p>Well, that was the foreword. I have to go get home before the kids do, but I'll be back with my thoughts on the intro.

#356387 06/11/02 11:40 PM
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Now for the intro, which has indeed whetted my appetite for the rest of the book.<p>p. 13 appears to imply that the question "What does it mean to love my enemy?" will be at least partially answered, and I need to know this answer.<p>Quote from p. 17: "For example, many people ignore the harm done to them and call it 'forgiving' the other. In fact, one reason it may be ignored is fear of causing conflict.<p>I am sure I am guilty of this. How many time has my WH hurt me and I have chosen not to say anything because it would cause conflict!<p>And I feel that what I have learned about love this year is that it doesn't always follow the rules - I must figure out (with God's help) what the truly loving response is.

#356388 06/15/02 12:57 PM
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frstrtd: What an awesome bible study to start. I myself am have been divorced once. God has since graciously presented me to a man of God whom I love dearly. We had desired to get married. However, I noted that I moved from AGAPE love to PHILIO. Oh what a difference [img]images/icons/frown.gif" border="0[/img] . The Holy Spirit showed me, that though we judge the fruit of an individuals heart, only God knows the hearts of men and whether the man will continue to produce the same fruit always (whatever it may be: pride, envy, jealousy, wrath, critical judgemental nature etc). The man that is willing to submit to God (even with his flaws), is the one we should find it easier to pray for knowing that eventually they will desire to please God. Unfortunately, I had become quite critical (thats not LOVE) in the first year of dating my spouse to be, and forgot that he is still a work in progress. Failing my love walk before marriage. God does not desire us to stop loving people because of character flaws. Jesus still loved Judas with all his issues. He loved Peter with his arrogance. He loved me with my stumborness. How do we then transition from loving who our men are now, and desiring all that God says the man is to be? First with the aid of the Holy Spirit, learning how to suffer long. Without Him we are unable to learn how to stand. Without the word of God we are unable to know how to stand. Without cultivating God's love in our heart (AGAPE - without condition) it is hard to love someone who is a WORK in progress. Love protects, adapts, lets go (1 Cor 13). The mistake I made in my first marriage I had begun to repeat before even getting to the altar this second time around. I had no strong examples of how to keep loving someone on the way to God working things out. I realize now, that since we adapt to everyone else - people at the job, in the church, on the train.. always willing to understand and to have compassion, love is willing to do the same believing that GOD WILL make the man who he should be. As long as I am obedient to God, and to the word of God.. I am doing my part. Now on the practical side, you still have to deal with the issues of the soul: Mind - Will - Emotions. What about how I feel? I am still learning to take things to the scripture, so I can adress how I am feeling. I found that if my other half criticized me, it DID hurt. However, I had a choice at that point to pray regarding whatever root was causing him to be so critical towards me. Since he is God's son.. God will deal with me, and begin to soften his heart. I also had to work on me some more, and who I am in Christ. That way I could keep on loving him with the criticism. It hasnt been easy. But I have seen God do an incredible work on both he and I. I have found both in scripture and in practical, that true biblical love - as Christ portrayed it is the only thing that will keep us to stand firm, until God has finished working on both individuals. And since neither will be exactly as Christ is till He returns.. somehow we must love and adapt till that time. Between the "His Needs Her Needs Material", Gary Smalley "Making Love Last", Creflo Dollar Family series, Bishop Dennis Leonard "Relationships" Series, I have been flooding my mind, and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach me how to adapt, and be the woman my spouse to be needs (and the one God called me to be). It's very very very very hard work. I thank God for my exhusband.. who was able to share with me honestly my flaws from my previous marriage (I used to hold everything in, explode and yell), since he has got married, he has shared with me how to be humble, not to always need to be right! Loving the way God wants us to is a huge ongoing task.. but what an awesome task He has given us. Enjoying the study! [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img]


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