[devotional] A Joy.full Giver…

It seems to me that God has put us apostles in the worst possible place. We are like prisoners on their way to death. Angels and the people of this world just laugh at us.

Because of Christ we are thought of as fools, but Christ has made you wise. We are weak and hated, but you are powerful and respected. Even today we go hungry and thirsty and don’t have anything to wear except rags. We are mistreated and don’t have a place to live. We work hard with our own hands, and when people abuse us, we wish them well. When we suffer, we are patient. When someone curses us, we answer with kind words. Until now we are thought of as nothing more than the trash and garbage of this world.
1Corinthians 4:8-13, CEV

“you are being tricked”
A friend pulled me aside to give me this piece of advice.

“I know, but I don’t want to talk about that now.”
I smile back and look into my cup of tea.

For some time, I have been thinking about the holiday season and what it means to my Christmas list. There are gifts for my girls and my husband… and then there are the gifts for my friends.

Even though the list has stayed the same, their statuses has changed in every way possible. People have moved away, have come to town, there are some that I’ve grown closer to and others that have distance (by design and by circumstance). But they are all on my list. Do I gift them or reject them? How much do I give until I are not a servant, but a fool?

Servants of disciples of God are called to assist in every single way possible to protect the Spirit of God that is within all. We listen, run people around, give use of our resources, encourage (and discourage) and anything we can to those who walk the path (or want to). And we do this knowing that some will take advantage, many will not listen, some hate us and more often than not we will never get anything in return. But the joy in this carries us and we continue.

But the question persists. Somewhat because I am a sociopathic spoiled brat, and somewhat because I don’t completely trust Abba and the Holy Spirit, but mainly because I am tired. And since then I have even paid the price for that, physically and emotionally. I have seen what my true worth is.

Let me reword this…

I now know what my true worth is to them. And that is what led me to seek a change in perspective.

And that is how the exchange above happened. They wanted to warn me, but also encourage me. I already know that there are some that think to manipulate me, some that use me and others that just don’t care and that drains me. But for every one of them, I get to help 10 others and the joy from that fills me until I overflow. I told them so.

“and that’s how you keep on even though you know you are being tricked. You serve to God for them, not to them.”

In the scripture above, the apostle Paul calls the Corinthians in to service and tells them about what this calling means. Many of the Corinthians thought that because they were well studied in theology, that was all that was needed and thought well of that and themselves. But Paul admonished them, telling them that the apostles and those other that hear the call to serve follow a path where they give all to a hard, draining, thankless job that will fill them with joy.

So I take my list and I change nothing. I give and expect nothing in return. I help when needed and sleep when I can. I grieve over losing the illusion of the family I thought I had and find joy that this is Abba’s work that I am doing, because that is how He built me. And in the end, I will always be what I have always been.

A servant of our Heavenly Father, Almighty God.
A bit of a fool.
And a joyful giver.
Thanks be to God

[devotional] But What do I Call You?

Moses answered, “I will tell the people of Israel that the God of their ancestors worshiped has sent me to them. But what should I say, if they ask me your name?

God said to Moses: I am the eternal God. So tell them that the Lord, whose name is “I AM”, has sent you. This is my name forever, and it is the name that people must use from now on

Exodus 3:13-15, Contemporary English Version

When I was a younger woman, I was in love with a God named Jehovah. Even after typing that name, I sit and think about all the love and hate I have for that name. I love the God that that name was to represent. I hate all the pain and suffering that the people that bore his name caused. But the name has strength, has purpose, and most importantly is a name.

With my return to the Church, I have started making steps toward restarting my relationship with ….


Hmmm… I am having a hard time with what to call Him now. I can’t and won’t call Him Jehovah. At this point and time, that name seems beneath my Eternal Lord. It is a name that the cowards and predators hide behind. It is a name that brings to mind megalomaniacal men and desperate, alienated, and blind followers, mostly women. Women who considered second class, washed up after a certain age, left to knock on doors in hopes that would make them righteous enough to seen fit to marry. It brings to mind the worse in religion and speaks nothing of discipleship.

But to have a relationship with someone, especially a close relationship, one needs a name. It is woven in the traditions and customs of having any kind of relationship with someone. When we first meet someone, we ask their name, we buy things because of the name of the product. We name drop, hoping to link our name with the reputation of the other name. When we marry, the woman takes the name of the man she has committed herself to. When we are close to someone, we even give them special names to demonstrate what we think of them and signify how close we are to them.

I didn’t know what to call Him. And this is a problem, because of all the years I spent worshiping and loving Him. He is very real to me, but I found that how he was represented was false. He was not a power mad, women-hating tyrant that wants to scare us into blind obedience. He isn’t an invisible cosmic bully. He loves us. He wants us to desire Him as He much as He desires us. I want to be close as I once was, but with this God; not with the God of the past. The name I called Him before does not live up to that.

So what do I do? I do what any girl who wants a relationship does, starts thinking about a special name for Him, one that means something to me and signifies that special bond that we have.

What do I call my husband and other men that I am close to?


(The theologians in the audience know where I am going with this. I swear- If you sick James Barr on me, I will cut you!)

Abba is Hebrew. In ancient times, it was translated “the Father” and is the main given to the Father of the Triune God. In modern Hebrew, it means “Daddy” (I think I hear a collective theologian cringe… it pleases me) and I want that kind of relationship with God… a love that is as close as a woman can have with someone without getting messy… or weird. A pure, loving relationship based on trust and truth.

So You are Abba. That is your name forever and what I will call you from now on…