Love Like You've Never Been Hurt: Chapter 12

I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child. Just reading the story of the Caston family stirs emotion that I never want to experience but what I do want is that that same tenacity to continue to be unshakable in my love for God. When we face a battle where we feel and think we might not make it through we must know that He walks with us, His love remains forever, and we will draw strength from Him.

See our enemy has one flaw, he will not leave bad enough alone. Sometimes he keeps pushing and pushing so much that he pushes us straight into the arms of God.” page 189

The enemy’s goal is to get you to turn from God. He loses and you win when you run to God. Life is hard and you may be in one of the hardest moments of your life but there is one who knows all things and is all powerful, is holding you, and is walking you through this.

Choose to trust Him Choose to believe!

Psalm 30:5 says Joy comes in the morning. There have been times I have wanted to shout, “Come on morning!” Until the morning comes I will continue to run to Him, praise Him, and draw strength from Him.

He will see you through this, you will make it!

Love,

Pastor Lisa

Love Like You've Never been Hurt: Finish strong!

Take this time to get caught up on our reading! I want to encourage you to spend time in God’s Word this evening. Write some areas down where God has begun to mold and change you as you’ve been reading through this book. Do you have any other areas where you need to strategically love and forgive?

“Talk again. Pray again. Try again. Forgive again. Reach out again. Go to dinner again. Refuse to give up. Refuse to allow depression and worry and anxiety and frustration to overcome. Fill your valley with prayer. Fill it with praise. Fill it with scripture.”

- Jentezen Franklin | Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt p. 182

If you’ve been reading this book and following along on this journey of truly being able to love and forgive you can now read these verses with a new revelation! Let’s continue to love like God desires us to love.

“If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poorand give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Love Like You've Never Been Hurt: Chapter 11

Have you seen the movie, Monuments Men? These men risked their lives to preserve and protect cultural and artistic objects from Adolf Hitler. Yes you heard correctly, they were willing to die to preserve what someone had deemed worthy of saving. It is amazing to me that men would die for an inanimate object that doesn’t have the ability to love or receive love, yet men and women are not willing to bring that same kind of sacrifice to save their own family.

So I placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows. Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!”

Nehemiah 4:13-14

The same thing Nehemiah told the children of Israel is the same thing the Lord is saying to you today. “Don’t be afraid of the enemy, and fight!” The enemy is coming to destroy your marriages and your children. They built a wall to protect them and fight the enemy at the same time. You are called to do the same thing.

Here is the battle plan Jentezen laid out in the book:

Strategy 1: Strip the Streaks

Check the spiritual condition of your home. If it needs cleaning, clean it.

Strategy 2: Commit to your Commitments

Do not waver or compromise in your faith.

Don’t let culture define or influence your identity, your values, or your family. page 175

Strategy 3: Live by your Convictions

Strategy 4: Fight for What’s Left

If you find your family in a rough place, determine you are going to save what is left. Anoint your home and family. Speak a blessing over your family. Serve communion in your home.

If you are behind on reading, I want to encourage you to pick back up and join me as we finish this book strong!

Love,

Pastor Lisa

Love Like You've Never Been Hurt: Ch. 10

Have you ever had hatred or just didn't like someone because of the opinion of others in your family? This person may have never really done anything to you but you could have possibly allowed the words of others to form and grow an opinion inside of your heart.

They have acted against them out of bitter revenge and long standing contempt.
— Ezek. 25:15

As children of God, this is not how we should live even if we believe we have a justified reason (at least in our human reasoning) because God says otherwise!

Every family has problems and every family has issues. The only way to make it through the storms is to have a foundation built on a relationship with Jesus Christ. This strong foundation will get us through any and all situation and makes us different than any other family.

What kind of garment are you passing down to the next generation?
— page 157

What is the tone of your family? Prayer, forgiveness, faith, love or worry, fear, bickering, bitterness? If it is the latter - it can change!

  1. Pray

  2. Stay Committed

  3. Be aware of your greatest tempation

  4. Say “I’m sorry” and mean it.

Let’s continue to let love grow on the inside of us and change us! As a result, our entire family will change too!

Love,

Pastor Lisa

Love Like You've Never Been Hurt: Ch. 9

70% of men will cheat on their wives.

60% of women will cheat on their husbands.

Let those statistics sink in for a moment! It is obvious that the enemy hates marriage and has an all out war on your marriage. Therefore, you must be on guard, alert, and ready to do any and everything to protect that covenant of marriage. Sex is powerful and must be kept in the confines of marriage. If not, it hurts not only the person who was betrayed, but the betrayer, and every member of the family.

Before the enemy gets you in the bed, he has to get in your head. page 139

Jentezen Franklin gives us 4 steps to affair proof your marriage:

Get it out of your head

Respect one another

Take responsibility

Rekindle the romance

Have a made up mind

“ Don’t look out for your own interest, but take an interest in others, too.”

Philippians 2:4

Quit looking to other person to fix and fix whatever problem you have. Each of us must realize that we need God, especially if you are married. We must be committed, remember divorce is not an option! Each of us has a part to play and can change the atmosphere. He also lists principles for the men and women. Make sure you read chapter 9 and let’s affair proof our marriages!

Love Like You've Never Been Hurt: Ch. 8

“I pronounce you husband and wife”. These words sound so good and yet the reality is that the battles begin with those words. The man of my dreams became the thorn in my flesh. The things I loved about him began to get on my nerves. Any one else feel the same way? It was at that point, I had a choice, stay unhappy or do something about it. You see, for us divorce was not an option so to be happy something or someone had to change.

Divorce is not an option

The thing to remember is that this is just a season not a life sentence. We are called to stick it out for better or for worse. That means we are to pray together, dream together, follow God together, raise kids together, and do life together. This doesn’t mean we can’t have our own hobbies or do things with friends (of the same sex), as long as we don’t neglect our spouses. God has a plan for every person and every marriage, don’t stop the plan by giving up.

There is a door of hope in every valley of marital trouble.

Pastor Kempie and I will celebrate 37 years of marriage this year. We have made it through the toughest seasons. Believe me, you learn to die to self! We have learned that God has the answer in every situation and if we look to Him to fulfill us, hold us, and give us wisdom, we will survive every season and grow closer to each other at the same time.

Jentezen Franklin gives 4 steps to follow if you are in that tough season:

  1. Go through the valley of trouble together

  2. Go deeper

  3. Believe in your destiny as a couple

  4. Don't give up

You have all you need - you are a child of God. Stay in His Word, spend time with Him. He will guide you, sustain you, and keep you as you walk through this difficult season. Don’t give up and stop the plan of God for your marriage.

Love Like You've Never Been Hurt: Chapter 7

Do you feel like some of these chapters hit a little bit closer to home than others? This one sure hit home for me. One little thing said or done sets me off and the minute it is over you are wondering, where did that come from? Anger itself is not a sin, the management of it is.

Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

Ephesians 4:26-27

When we begin to feel ourselves getting agitated, irritable, or tired, at that moment we need to remove ourselves from the situation. Take a couple of deep breaths, pray in the Holy Ghost, scream out “Jesus take the wheel!” Whatever it takes to not respond. Psalms tells us to be slow to anger. We don’t have to be right, get a dig in, get our point across, etc. God will see to that.

Don't let strife infect you. Be a peace manufacturer. - p. 124

If we want peace, we have to pursue it. Zip your lip! I know it is hard, but we can do it. Let’s make a conscious decision to pursue peace no matter what we think it will cost us. The only thing we lose is strife, bitterness, anger, and resentment. What we can is peace and blessings.

We can do it! Yes we can!

Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt: Chapter 6

How many of you would want a reality TV show in your house? I sure wouldn’t. We all seem to have it altogether on Sunday with our “church faces” on. Pastor Kempie and I have had those faces on as well before— talking to each other through gritted teeth while smiling the entire time.

Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

- Mark Twain

The reality is, no family is perfect and as much as we hate it; neither are we. We all have had our moments when our flesh takes control and we act in ways that aren’t very loving.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
— Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT

Doing the things in Ephesians 4 requires a conscious decision. Being kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving requires effort. No one said it was easy, but it is possible. Remember, everyone is valuable, God loves them, Jesus died for them, and the least we can do is love them.

Let’s love on purpose today!

Love,

Pastor Lisa

Love Like You've Never Been Hurt - Pause & Meditate

I want to encourage those who may be a few chapters behind or if you haven’t even started yet — that’s ok! Start now! We will be adjusting the schedule slightly to continue reading this book throughout February and will pick back up with Chapter 6 on Monday.

Today, Let’s talk about our devotional “Restart Your Heart”

Day 15

Remember, we are not living on a playground we are on a battlefield. We might be in the biggest battle of our lives now or we might be in a season of preparation for the next battle — either way, the battles will come because there is an enemy! But God! I love on page 92 of our devotional it reads, “Even in the unbearable seasons of life, He is nearer than you might think. He promises never to leave or forsake you. Keep praising. Keep worshiping. Keep believing. Keep loving. Keep forgiving. Your greatest testimony has yet to be spoken, but when it is, it will set captives free!”

Believe this today! That God is for you and not against you. We serve a good God who has forgiven us for it all! Let’s make the choice to continually forgive others with this same love.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
— John 16:33

Love,

Pastor Lisa

Love Like You've Never Been Hurt: Chapters 4 & 5

It is unforgivable not to forgive. We don’t like to think about that, but God clearly states in Matthew 6:14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Holding on to bitterness, anger, hurt, rejection, or any type of unforgiveness hurts you in so many ways. Science has even proven that he causes sickness. Unforgiveness is nothing but poison and it affects us spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

While getting hurt is reality, getting and staying bitter is a reaction. page 54

We don't have a choice when it come to getting hurt, the opportunity will come. What we do have a choice of is our reaction to it. Do you want to swallow the bait of the enemy? I love the story of Corrie Ten Book in the book on page 74. “But forgiveness is not an emotion - and I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart……”

Let’s take our emotions out of the equation and reach out our hand to forgiveness and release it all into the hands of Jesus. We are not minimizing the pain it caused you, just the ability to let it continue to hurt you.

So with a loud voice start singing “Let it go….let it go….let it go!” Start dancing and start rejoicing!

Love,

Pastor Lisa

Love Like You've Never Been Hurt: Chapters 2 & 3

LOVE NEVER FAILS! I wish I could scream this from the rooftop. This is my mantra and I have tried to live by it. As a matter of fact- I have it hanging on the wall in my office. Every time I face a hard situation, I remember that Love Never Fails! You may not see it immediately, but love will win.

You may think, “But you don’t know what I have been through. That’s impossible!” If you remember from last month’s book, it is possible! When you became born again, you were given the very nature of God. Your old nature is gone and the new nature that is God’s nature is now in you.

Love is large and incredibly patient. love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best of others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. Love never stops loving. - I Corinthians 13:4-9

He has given you His nature, His ability to love, His ability to forgive, and His ability to overcome any and all hurts. You cannot walk in love without forgiveness.

The book explains some of the steps to let go:

  1. Choose love over hurt

  2. Choose to love always

  3. Choose to press forward

  4. Choose to heal your wounds

  5. Choose to keep driving

Is there someone in your life you need to forgive? Is there someone you need to reconnect with? Is there someone you need to love? Why not start today?

Love,

Pastor Lisa

Love Like You've Never Been Hurt: Introduction & Chapter 1


Book & Devotional : Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt by Jentezen Franklin
Blog post : by Pastor Lisa

As I began reading this book I felt like Jentezen had been at my house recording our family. Oh, the names had been changed to protect the innocent, but all the other parts, the rebellious teenager, the bringing our child home from college and leaving all their possessions behind to save them from their own destruction, and yes the yelling and tension in the home was our story too. I am happy to report that this child too now serves God right along side us. Love never fails!

We just do not know how to love - all the time. Oh, we can love when we agree with one another….We can love when we share the same lifestyle. We can even love strangers or those who don’t know us well. But it sure is harder to love those who are closer to us. Why? Because they can hurt us the most. Page 29

Every single family has gone through something, I can promise you that someone will hurt you, reject you, betray you, offend you, and leave you. It is part of life. You will experience heartache - it is part of life. But you have a choice to remain there or to keep moving until you get to the other side. You don’t have to make the trip alone, God will be with you.

Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun,And the light of the sun will be sevenfold,As the light of seven days,In the day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His peopleAnd heals the stroke of their wound.
— Isaiah 30:26

Let’s take this journey together and move toward a new beginning, a new start, and a new heart. A heart that can and will love like it has never been hurt.

Schedule

Mondays & Thursdays
January 10 - Chapters 2 & 3
January 14 - Chapters 4 & 5
January 17 - Chapters 6 & 7
January 21 - Chapters 8 & 9
January 24 - Chapters 10 & 11
January 28 - Chapters 12 & 13
January 31 - Chapter 14

Love,

Pastor Lisa



This New Kind of Love: Chapters 21 & 22

Everything we are, everything we need, and all we hope to be is wrapped up in this new love commandment. It is something that is so a part of us that it shines through us daily. The transformation begins in us and then begins to shine through us.

This life is Heaven’s light. It is letting Jesus loose in us. It is translating the Jesus-life into daily life. It is Jesus set free in us! p. 77

How do you know if this transformation has happened in your life? By listening to what is coming out of your mouth.

Live a cheerful life, without complaining or division among yourselves. For then you will be seen as innocent, faultless and pure children of God, even though you live in the midst of a brutal and perverse culture.
— Phil 2:14-15 TPT

If you are born again, then God lives inside of you and therefore you have the ability to walk in love. It is a love nature that has been imparted to you. This love walk governs the new kingdom we are now a part of. You can pray, read the Bible, and confess all day but if you are not walking in love it will all be powerless.

I Corinthians 13 describes how this new Kingdom operates —

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
— 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

So again, I want to encourage you to practice, practice, practice! Your life depends on it literally.

Love,

Pastor Lisa









The New Kind of Love: Chapters 19 & 20

“The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing.” p. 70

Right now that has to be my favorite quote! Why? There should never be a time in the life of a Christian that they should be down. When you realize what love did, what love Jesus brought into this world, and what love He has deposited into you, there is no reason to be down. Love gives hope, love brings peace, and love brings life. This love makes the dry land glad and the desert blossom as the rose!

No matter what you are going through this one thing you can hold on to — you have a God, who loves you. He loves you, God the Father loves you! Go ahead and say it, “My Father God loves me!” Hallelujah!

“To live in Love’s realm, and to learn Love’s language, Love’s methods and Love’s way is a liberal education. Now we will whisper again, God is Love and this Love God is my Father; I am His child. I am in Love’s family.” p. 73

Let’s begin the habit of love. Practice, practice, practice until it is perfected in you.

Love you all!

Pastor Lisa

The New Kind of Love: Chapters 17 & 18

The cross was Love’s method of war on sin.

The cross was Love unleashed, let loose, set free from every anchorage. It was Love becoming weak, and Love accepting defeat.

p.65

We don’t think much about the power of love and what it can do in our lives. We operate daily feeling like satan is always the victor. We typically feel, see, hear, and talk defeat more than we talk victory.

Just like love died on that cross, we too must die to self daily. It is what love does. It is our cross that we must pick up daily to follow Him. It can be a person, a hurt, a sickness, a pain, or anything that keeps you from freely operating in love. Yet, He has given us grace enough to sustain us, to cause us to be unshakeable, unmovable, and still lovable.

What do you do when grace is low? Get in the Word, spend time in His presence with praise and worship. As we fellowship with Him, grace is infused in our being. We come out like superman. We are no longer common, operating in the natural. We are supernatural operating in love.

We then become like Jesus, seeing others the way He does. Our thinking goes from “what can I get out of this”, to “what can I do for you?” If you want to change your circumstances, if you want to change you marriage, or your relationships with those you love, then you must walk in love.

This Jesus kind of love is the answer to the heart cry of childhood, of youth, of manhood, and of old age. p. 68