#LoveWins

I was away serving at camp for a week, and when I returned to my technology, I saw the Supreme Court decision. Rather than rant about whether homosexuality is right or wrong, or try and tear down people who have differing opinions than me, I’d like to offer this simple truth.

#LoveWins is plastered all over Facebook as people rejoice over the ruling. And that hashtag got me to thinking. God is love. He said so right in His perfect book, particularly in the verse 1 John 4:8, which says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

God’s perfect love will always win, no matter the circumstances. He can transform anything, any sin, any shame, sorrow, or pain, into a testimony. I’ve seen Him do it before. So as far as I’m concerned, #lovewins is just a simple reminder for me to love and pray, just like 1 John 4:8 says.

We humans have the power to love and pray, given to us by Him. He’ll take care of the rest. So the next time you see #lovewins, use it as a reminder to love and to pray.

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The Ultimate Plot Designer

This is part three of a series titled, “The Ultimate Author”. Click here to see part one and part two.

So, to recap, God made a countless number of beautifully complex and unique people; and then He put them in a beautiful and complex universe; now what to do with them?

Well, He did that, too. We’ve already seen in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has plans to prosper us, to give us hope and a future. Ephesians 2:10 promises us, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

So, God planned out our whole lives. He has plans for good works; plans for hope and prosperity.

Does your life ever feel incredibly complex? Whether you’re involved in a lot, or you feel you have a lot of internal or external battles? Or you feel like you can’t handle it all? God has designed our lives with an incredible complexity.

Again; as a writer, I’m not too bad at plots. But can I make the claim that even one of my characters has a complex life and plot? No. I really can’t. My characters usually manage a plot within their family, at school, and at youth group.

But He can say that every person He’s designed has a complex life and plot; He can say it about everyone He ever created.

Sin messed up our world; and our lives have ups and downs and swirls and twirls and a dip here and there: but He has made plans for good works, hope, and prosperity. Not only has He made the plans: He promised us.

Is your mind blown?

The Ultimate Setting Creator

This is part two of a series titled, “The Ultimate Author”. Click here to see part one and part three.

Not only did God design billions and billions of people; He also gave them a beautifully unique setting to live in.

I aspire to design a world like Narnia or Middle Earth. I’d love to write a novel with my own races of mystical peoples in a creative setting. However, anything I’d create would be piggybacking off of everything I know. And everything I know was created by Him.

He went and created all these people–countless numbers of people–complex people–and then he gave them an amazing setting to live in.

We have a gorgeous blue sky; luscious green grass; clouds with a fluffy consistency; diverse trees and plants; sandy beaches with glistening water; majestic mountains that soar high into the air; flat plains where we can see far into the distance; rivers that cut through land rich for planting. And that’s just on this part of the setting. We look at a slightly bigger picture, and we realize that there are countless beautiful stars and planets and galaxies and–is your mind blown yet?

As a writer, that much detail is unimaginable for me. To have created all of that from scratch? All of it. Not just what we see on Earth, but what’s beyond? I could never accomplish that.

But He did. And all He had to do was talk.

The Ultimate Character Designer

This is part one of a series titled, “The Ultimate Author”. Click here to see part two and part three.

There’s something unique about being able to recognize your gifts in God. It seems to affirm where they came from in the first place. God is an amazing artist who created this world; He is deserving of worship and enjoys music; and He is the Author of all we see.

The current population of the world is over seven billion. That’s seven billion people who are currently alive. This isn’t including the countless who have lived since the creation of the earth. I don’t know about you, but my mind can’t even wrap around seven billion, let alone all the people who have walked these grounds since the beginning of time.

Think about yourself for a moment. You’re rather complex. You have mental power; emotions; a physical appearance; a social aptitude (such as introverted or extroverted); a spirit; talents and gifts; unique abilities that are different, even if only slightly, from everyone else on Earth.

As a writer, the idea of pouring that much detail into one character is unthinkable. I can handle physical appearance, emotions, talents, and general common features. But all of that? Even one character developed to that point is hard for me to think about.

And God hand-designed countless of them. Currently walking the earth are seven billion of these characters, who all have beautiful detail.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”

So not only does He design billions of unique characters, He goes and designs destinies for every one of them, too.

Is your mind blown yet?

Think about walking through a Walmart. You’re pushing your cart through the isles, and you’re passing tons of people. Sometimes, you know them: you usually don’t. As we’re pushing our carts, wrapped up in our own little worlds, we tend to not think about the lives of those people. To us, unless we become personally involved with them, their lives don’t really exist. We may never see them again. And at the same time, the lady pushing her cart past you hasn’t a clue what your life is like, that you even have a life, and probably doesn’t recognize that the Lord has designed a destiny for you.

Every person you’ve passed in a Walmart was hand-designed by God, just like you, for a beautiful, unique purpose.

Now is your mind blown?

Beautiful

Every person on this earth has been designed by God with a unique purpose. In each of us, He’s placed a special destiny, accompanied by traits, characteristics, and passions of His own. Whether or not society considers someone to have outward beauty, everyone starts with the beauty of being designed in His likeness.

So much worth in our earthly society is placed on how we look; if our face and features are nice, if we’re the right balance between heavy and thin, and if we wear garments that fit into the current societal norm.

But in all actuality, these bodies of ours are our earth suits. And though we’ve been made in the image of God, this applies to more than our outward appearance.

Is there anything more beautiful than seeing people fulfill and work with the gifts they’ve been given? I find that people become even more beautiful to me when they use the gifts and passions inside them. When a friend who loves to sing takes courage and fills the air with a beautiful melody; when someone with the passion for dance perseveres and performs something filled with worship and passion; when anyone uses their God-given talents to do what they were meant to do? It’s beautiful.

As humans, we’re attracted to physical beauty. We crave emotional connections. Yet there are so many levels of each character God has designed, that it would be a shame to only get to know their earth suits. What has God placed in you that He desires to see unfolded? That brings out the beauty He’s placed in you?

Every person has been created by Him, and He has a vast number of gifts to bestow: perhaps you shine through writing. Dancing. Drawing. Singing. Leading. Your organization. Your faithfulness through difficult tasks. Your joy. Your unquenchable thirst for the Lord.

What is inside you that makes you beautiful: it came from Him. We are His workmanship, His characters, His children. Each gift was given with love, and it is as you use those gifts that His love often shines.