The Love of God

3 10 2011

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

I’ve been traveling a great deal lately and I’ve found an overwhelming theme in my watching and listening to people from near the Great Lakes to the Plains to the west coast of Florida.  God is wanting me to understand His love. He wants me to have full knowledge of His love. At the same time he wants me to be mystified by it.

Here’s a brief list of the people I’ve heard from in person the last 30 days:

Ed Dobson
Esther Havens
Kyle Cooper
Ann Voskamp
Ian Morgan Cron
Shane Hipps
Robert Morgan
Tommy Walker
The Greencards

All of these folks had something extremely impactful to say or to sing into my life. Each served up a platter of ribs.  And like with all forms of great cuts… you eat the meat and spit out the bones. I’ve gotten a lot to meat from these folks, but there have been some bones…. I’m just saying.

One word that I chewed on for quite a while, not because it was hard to swallow, but because it released a wonderful flavor, was from Robert Morgan regarding A.W. Tozer and his writings. He talked about how Tozer wrote his books and about how much time he spent alone with God. He explained that Tozer would sometimes buy a round trip train ticket from Chicago to a city miles away just so he could be alone in a sleeper car to write, pray and listen to God.

I have trouble listening.  I want to butt in so often.  I’m a fixer… as soon as I see the problem, I want suggest the solution. I’ve gotten better over the last 10 years I think.  I’ve learned to speak at the end instead of the middle.  Now I’m learning to not speak at all. Just to listen… to God. He wants to show me His love.  He wants me to hear about it from Him.

Today I’m adding a new feature to my time with God.  I’m reading hymns out loud.  How is that listening? I believe the Holy Spirit communicates the love of God [to me] through words penned by those who are already dialed in to His love.  There’s something unique that happens when I read out loud.  I slow down.  I see the words and I hear the words. I listen.

The words at the beginning of this post are from the third verse of the hymn “The Love of God”. The first two verses of the hymn were written by Frederick Lehman in 1917 and based on a Jewish poem from 1050. This one, the third, was written on the wall of an insane asylum by a patient.  Read it out loud. Go ahead… I’ll wait…

I love these words.  Crazy or not… I think the writer understood God’s love.

What do you use to connect with God? I’d like to know!

By the way, there is nothing really spiritually redeeming about the music of The Greencards.  I just happen to like the vibe! It’s mystifying!


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One response

3 10 2011
Judy Spinieo, Quakertown, Pennsylvania

Hi Allen,
I was the pesky woman who kept showing up in your sessions at Worship Expo this past weekend. I’m looking for the presentation you gave on “Facebook, Google and the Church” which you said we could get here, but I don’t see it yet. Maybe I’m a little early. Or, perhaps you changed your mind about releasing it. There was just so much information, I thought if I could see the slides you used I could better recall and relate the info to my pastor. (My notetaking will help, but I know I didn’t get it all.)

I have to say, I was blown away by the info you provided to us throughout the weekend. God has certainly given you a gift, and I came away in awe of the knowledge and insight you have. I just wish there had been more time to absorb (if that’s even possible) it all.

Thanks SO MUCH for your ministry.

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