A Woman's Voice


THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY ~ FIRST THINGS FIRST~ June 23, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Not too long ago, I wrote an article titled, Confidence In God.  If you happened to read it, I was referring to a little booklet my that dad gave me many years ago. Today, I would like to share a passage with you from that booklet.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

“From our childhood many of us have been told more of the punishments God has in store for us if we fail to please Him than the rewards He looks forward to giving when we do please Him….The first thing in loving our Lord is to believe Him lovable. What are the sort of persons one loves?  First, they must be easy to get on with. How many in their heart of hearts think our Lord easy to get on with? We think Him touchy, unapproachable, easily annoyed or offended. And yet all this fear of Him pains Him very much. Would our father wish us to hang our heads, be shy and shrinking in his presence? How much less so our Heavenly Father? He has an almost foolish love for us.” (Rev. Daniel Considine)

How many of you can relate to this quote? How many of you can think back to your childhood and remember the fear that was instilled in you? How many of you remember hearing about the fires of eternal damnation and that you would burn there if you didn’t do what God wanted? Yes…we learned full well the punishments of God!

On the other hand, how many of you ever heard that God loved you?

In all the teachings I learned as a child, I never once recall hearing the word LOVE to describe how God felt about me or anyone else for that matter.  If you are in my age bracket, the word God and LOVE, never went hand in hand. The word reward was never heard either. The word punishment definitely was used to describe what God was all about and what His plans for us would be if we didn’t tow the line. How much damage was done to some of the children of my era? Are you one of them?

I think Rev. Daniel Considine has it right. It took me twenty-five years to write I’m Not Perfect & It’s Okay. It’s hard to believe it took me that long to put pen to paper but in actuality it took me that long to garner the courage and determination to set the record straight.  God loves me, warts and all and He loves you too!

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6 Responses to 'THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY ~ FIRST THINGS FIRST~ June 23, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte'

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  1. Dolores,
    I really felt for you when I read this message. I had no such upbringing. Although I grew up to “fear” God, I knew He loved me and that Jesus had paid all the price – for me. I didn’t understand the true relationship thing with Jesus until 10 years ago. But never did I feel small – I knew He had a plan for my life.

    I am so happy that you and He have worked this out. God loves you and wants a relationship with all His people – that is why He took such drastic measures and sent Jesus as a ransom for us – to reach us.

    When I go on my mission trip to Poland this summer – this is exactly what we come up against; those who had never held a Bible, those who have never talked and prayed together. The release from fear; the openness of Jesus is revealed to these people. Please pray for my time there – that God will be glorified and these people can be released into the freedom of the Cross. Our whole purpose is to love them so that in time they can see the love of God.

    Many blessings and thanks for your candidness and openness,
    love
    Jan


    • Jan,
      You are very fortunate and so are many others to not have experienced this kind of upbringing and teaching. It saddens me a great deal when I think about what happened many years ago to such innocent young minds in their most formative years. I have shared my story with many people and there are others who were scarred much the same way as me. Most choose to remain silent but they have opened up to varying degrees in private conversations. I was happy to see you use the word “fear” in quotation marks to describe your relationship with God. It took me years to realize that “fear” of God actually means to be in “awe” of Him and that I am now that I know the difference. I totally agree with you that God wants a relationship with His people and at times, He chooses the very naive to help fulfill His Divine Plan. As humbling as my experience may have been, I learned a long time ago that it is the poor in spirit that Jesus works through to reach others. I never realized how poor I was until I felt God’s infinite love and mercy. For that, I am forever grateful!

      Thanks for your support and encouragement Jan. I wish you God’s blessing on your mission trip to Poland.
      Love Dolores

  2. Sharon said,

    This is so true! I grew up with a completely wrong view of God in so many areas and for so many reasons. The days are filled now with the joy of knowing God in the totality of His character. It’s important to understand His love for me along with all His other attributes. Thanks for sharing…


    • Sharon,
      Welcome to A woman’s Voice. I thank you for stopping by and for leaving your comments too. I know that there are many others who can relate to growing up with “a completely wrong view of God in so many areas and for so many reasons”. At times, I still feel at a loss as to what those reasons were but then, I rationalize to myself that the teachers only repeated history by teaching what they were taught. Although, it took me a long time to get where I am today, I too know God in the totality of His character. In all honesty, He’s is quite the opposite of everything I initially learned. Refreshing is the word that comes to mind as I describe what I discovered. Blessings to you Sharon and I appreciate what you added here today!

  3. mark said,

    Hi,
    This is my all time favorite book. Like you, I got it when I was young-in my mid-teens and reading it lead me to a very real relationship with Christ Who has never left me. I still read this excellent and helpful book. I wish more people had the opportunity to read it to see what God is really like. Thanks for posting this,
    Mark


    • Hi Mark,
      I know exactly what you mean…we were both obviously touched in much the same way by this simple little book with such a deep messag . Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and letting me know.
      Blessings,
      Dolores


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