God’s Love Story — PDF online

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. - Ephesians 5:31-32The final version of what I’m going to call an “e-booklet” is now online. You can download “God’s Love Story” and read a chapter outline at this link.

Here are a couple excerpts. This first is from the introduction.

One reason we gravitate towards tales of heroism, rescue, and love is that there is a basic need in our souls for a relationship with God and His Son. Stories where the handsome prince rides up and rescues the fair princess speak to our longing to know the Prince of Peace, Who laid His life down to rescue His bride from captivity to sin. Jesus Christ is the most powerful, most loving, and most perfect hero-lover to ever exist, far surpassing even the most ambitious human attempts to fashion a story’s hero. The Bible is a living, dynamic book that includes instruction, history, prophecy, and a revelation of the plan of God which reads like a story. My personal theory as to why the Bible reads like a story is because our idea of what makes a good story comes from the sequential narrative God uses to reveal His plan.

This paragraph is from a discussion in Chapter 5 about the Greek words translated “love.”

While agape is a higher kind of love, I think there is something amazing in recognizing that it is not the only love God has towards us. Before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples that after His resurrection, “ye shall ask in My name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I came out from God.” (Joh. 16:26-27). The Father has phileo for those who have phileo for His son. This means the Father Himself has common interests and friendship with those who love and believe in His Son. In this context, it is certainly not a lesser love than agape. Philos is an incredible kind of love to share with the creator of the universe.

I hope those of you who choose to download and read the full e-booklet find it edifying and encouraging. I would love to hear your feedback.

Fortuitous Fabric Shopping

Yesterday, my brother and I went fabric shopping. This in itself is momentous, considering he suffers from an allergy to all shopping that does not involve food or manly building projects. But he wants a Medieval costume for SCA events and I told him I’d sew it if he picked out the pattern and fabric.

I stumbled upon the Society for Creative Anachronisms a few years ago, but didn’t join because I didn’t want to be by myself when I went to the meetings. Now that my brother is older, he thinks full armored combat sounds amazing and can’t wait to join me in pretending we live in pre-17th-century Europe.

While we were getting our chosen fabric cut at Jo-Anne’s, the woman who was waiting on us asked what the costume was for. We told her, and lo-and-behold she was a member of our local SCA group. She invited us to the meetings, told us what to expect, said there were a couple people close to my brother’s age there, and (best of all) that they have people in the group who practice Medieval painting. As in, illuminated manuscripts. As in, I-CAN-BARELY-CONTAIN-MY-EXCITEMENT.

I got to see a collection of illuminated manuscripts at the Cleveland Museum of Art a couple years ago. “The Glory of the Painted Page,” it was called, and it was indeed glorious. I love books, and have a great deal of admiration for those long-dead artists who hand wrote and carefully illustrated manuscripts from the Medieval period. To have the opportunity to learn that art is incredibly exciting.