Love of God

Did You Believe That I Loved You?

I remember years ago hearing Brennen Manning for the first time. I had a tape of his talk Ruthless Trust which later became a book. My favorite quote from the book:

“The splendor of a human heart that trusts it is loved unconditionally gives God more pleasure than Westminster Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony”, Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”, the sight of 10,000 butterflies in flight, or the scent of a million orchids in bloom. Trust is our gift back to God, and he finds it so enchanting that Jesus died for love of it.”

So, do you believe you are loved unconditionally?

What if you just shot up with cocaine? What if you just had sex with a prostitute or looked at porn? What if you just got drunk? Does he still love you?

Brennan had to believe it. He had to because he struggled with alcohol. He remembers binges where he would literally end up in the gutter. In spite of his failures he still believed in the love of God.


So, I have had to believe it too. I have habits and struggles with what we call addictions. Please pray for me! I haven’t been or behaved as someone I am proud of or even happy to be. I have been selfish and stubborn and most of all absent (even though I was there).

I still have to read An Open Letter to a Shitty Husband to wake me up to what a donkeys butt I’ve been (an ass squared) – so I can change. And ultimately, that’s what I’m ready for now. I lost a day of productivity today because I drank too many beers last night. I had nausea and a headache all day. I’ve also developed a new theory about puking.

And yet, in spite of it all and worse I really do believe God loves me. I believe he gently receives me back and holds me in his lap and says, “Let’s talk. I want to help you not to hurt yourself anymore. Do you trust me? Let’d do this together!”

I believe. And in spite of the nausea I also feel a tingle of Holy Spirit joy in the back of my head and a bright hope for the future.

Why? Because my God is a Good Good Father.

He greeted me this morning with one of the first songs my wife and I wrote together called Faithful God. Putting together the following video was about all I managed to do today… beside loving my wife (like really-best-friend-loving-my-wife-for-real!) which, so help me God, is going to turn into a very pleasant habit. Out with the old and in with the new.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

This also means that we don’t stay drunks or porn addicts. We grow into and toward God’s unconditional love that makes us holy. Here is my talk and my song for you:

Categories: Alcohol, Depression, Love of God | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Come Around Again”, Jesus is here

So today I have a song I want to share with you that really had a profound impact on me years ago. This song served to remind me that Jesus has promised never to leave me or forsake me. This promise has helped me to overcome depression. If you are going through it, I trust this song will speak to you:

Come Around Again

I’m all messed up and I’m feelin down
Down so low I have bottomed out
In this cavern where my heart is found
Just know I am here when you come around again

You mop all my blood in every circumstance
I can’t shake you off you are in my glance
And though I try so hard sometimes against the flow
You know, I am here when you come around again

It’s the difference that makes the earth move
Under our feet
And frustration allows a heart to twist until it breaks
It’s the difference that makes the earth move
Under our feet
And frustration allows a heart to twist until it breaks
And I’m breaking for You

© 2008 Bec Recordings / Emd

Update with the mouse! The cat caught it and put it on the bed and was pouncing on it. My wife freaked out and shortly after the cat and I cornered and captured it and removed it from the house unharmed.


Categories: Love of God, Salvation | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

What kind of Monster do you think God is?

I woke up praying,”Lord Jesus, fill me with the Holy Spirit.”

I’ve been praying this prayer for over a decade and I know Jesus is and has been answering this prayer. This is a prayer that makes him really happy to hear. I started praying this on a fairly regular basis since I read the following from Luke 11 years ago:

“Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

2 Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:

“Father, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
3 Give us each day the food we need,
4 and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.”

5 Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, 6 ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ 7 And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ 8 But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.

9 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

Notice how it ends? He is telling us the best thing to ask for and seek after… the best gift of all… is His Presence in the Holy Spirit!

Now, do you think for a moment that if one of his children asks for the Holy Spirit that the Lord Jesus gives him an imposter spirit? A false Holy Spirit? A demon? Can you imagine God sitting back on his throne drink in hand laughing to himself, “Ha ha got him that time. He really trusts us, doesn’t he? Isn’t that so dumb? What an idiot! We’ll teach him a lesson.”

What kind of a monster do you think God is?

No, the Good Shepherd does not feed his lambs to the wolves. Again, can you imagine Jesus saying to you, his sheep, “You annoyed me today.” “Come here wolf and teach this one a lesson!” As he holds you down and lets the wolf gnaw on your leg for a while.

Yet, this is the very attitude I see in some “believers” that I meet. I have heard them say things like, “Having kids is scary. If they don’t accept Christ right away then it would be a blessing if they died before the age of accountability.”

Ridiculous! How could this kind of thought even enter our minds? It seems that some “believers” are bound in fear instead of delighting in the simple pure devotion and childlike trust that Jesus encourages and examples for us. He wants to set us ALL free from ALL our fears and teach us how to live in ‘his perfect love that casts out all fear’.

Perfect Love casts out all fear

Believers need not ever be afraid of our Good Shepherd.

By the way: “Being afraid” differs from what the Bible teaches us about the “fear of the Lord” – which means “to have Reverent Trust”! Listen to what Jesus says here:

“Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. 5 But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he’s the one to fear.

6 “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. 7 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

8 “I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels. 9 But anyone who denies me here on earth will be denied before God’s angels. 10 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” Luke 12 NLT

Jesus is right here with you now to deal with ALL that fear in your heart. As the Bible says, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.”

Listen to this how this passage begins and how the Lord deals with our irrational fears:

And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first.

20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.” (1 John 4 NLT)

Here is our brand new song based out of the Lord’s prayer quoted above:

Holy is Your Name (Our Father) by Reflect Worship with lyrics from Daniel & Catherine Lovett on Vimeo.

Categories: Love of God | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

My Immortal Jesus

My Immortal Jesus (Evanescence) performed by Daniel, Ellie and Emma (this is the much cuter version):

Here is another (slightly better) take I did later that night:

(Want to learn how to play it? Lyrics and chords and the story of my interpretation of this song below. HERE is a link to a tutorial on how to play this song!):

My Immortal Jesus – adapted from the Evanescence son “My Immortal”

A C#m
I’m so tired of being here
Suppressed by all of my childish fears
But Jesus never leaves –
Thank you for never leaving me
Your presence still lingers here –
You’ll never leave me alone


F#m C#m F#m
Your wounds are here to heal
C#m F#m
Your love is just so real
C#m E Esus E
Your love’s too strong for any to erase


F#m D E C#m
When we cry you wipe away all of our tears
When we scream you’ll fight away all of our fears
And you’ve held our hand through all of these years
F#m D E
So you still__ have all of me

A C#m
You captivate me by your resonating light
And now I’m bound to your life you gave for mine
Your love will lead me, and intoxicate my dreams
Your voice it chased away all the insanity in me


D F#m E D
Lord Jesus thank you for your love that’s so near
Bm7 C#m D E
You make me brave just to know that you’re here now w/ me


My story and what this song means to me:

Well, it was shortly after I had learned this song that I had a dream themed around the songs idea. It is a song about a haunting. In my dream there was this woman who was seduced by an evil spirit that wanted to live in and through her. All she had to do was ritually offer herself to the spirit and stab herself. I was made aware that it was a vampire spirit and that this spirit had attached itself to me. (I had been very tired for a couple months and the existential angst had grown quite a bit. This revelation explains it. Something from the spirit realm was sucking my energy.)

I awoke to the Lord’s Presence very strong with me. He asked if I would pray the spirit of the vampire away. I prayed something like what Smeagol said to Gollum, “Go away and never come back… in Jesus name.”

The Holy Spirit then asked me if I would surrender fully to him. Why would I hesitate? I mean, think about it.

Jesus created me by himself for himself. Isn’t it right and make complete sense for the thing which was made to offer itself to it’s maker? Besides, God is love… so, I “get to” surrender to love. How awesome is that?

“Yes, I surrender completely to you!”

The LORD’s Presence was so powerful yet so very gentle. There was nothing between us and I knew it. I was completely loved and accepted. The only way I can describe it was that I felt brave in his love. I could face the world when I am submitted to him.

That was where this lyric from the bridge came from: “You make me brave just to know that you’re here now with me”. That’s what this version is about. Jesus will never leave us or forsake us. This is all the grace and strength we need to face anything and overcome all of life’s obstacles. You can get over that addiction. You can heal from that heartache or grief. There is hope to carry on… because Love itself is here with you now. One of God’s names is “I AM with you”. That may seem like a stretch for you to accept. But search it out yourself and you will discover it is true.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NLT

Categories: Gospel, Love of God | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Captivated, New Worship from Reflect Worship

Captivated Worship Song

“I am won by your unconditional love.”

This is a line from our new song Captivated. Is God’s love really unconditional? Really? I guess I find this astounding. What does it even mean?

I’m not used to that sort of love. Who is?

It’s no wonder we have difficulty with believing, much less receiving this unconditional love from our Papa.

the crossLove without conditions. You can do whatever you want with it. Receive it or Ignore it. Cherish or Spurn it. Run into the arms of love or Run from it by choosing sin instead. Honor this love or Insult it. But, nothing we choose to do could ever make him love us any less! We can’t mess this up because his love doesn’t depend on our response. He will still love you… completely. Infinitely. Forever. He is Love!

This song Captivated will appear on our new album Reflect Love. When people ask me what our new album is about I tell them the theme is, “God is Love, in whom we live and move and have our being.”

This is based on two verses:

God is Love

and, wait for it…

In him we live and move and have our being.”

God can’t help it. He just IS Love! He can’t escape it. And the awesome thing is, we can’t escape him. We are in him! Love is God’s character, his DNA, his very essence. He will always do and act and think in the most infinitely loving way toward you and everything and everyone else he has made!

So, what is love?

Recently a friend of mine challenged me to “meditate daily on Corinthians 13…above all else, love is what we need” (he sent me this link). It really made me think. I am fairly familiar with that passage of Scripture, but his challenge took me deeper into it and to ask the really hard questions. Is this what my life looks like right now? Is this what people see in my responses to convos on Facebook? How I treat my wife, kids, friends, or even enemies?

Let’s take a look at the passage:

Love Is the Greatest

…So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all. If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. Let love be your highest goal! (1 Cor 13 NLT)


The apostle whom Jesus loved (John) informs us that “we love because he first loved us.” We love each other because He first loved us. We love God because he first loved us. So receiving his love is a pretty big deal as we cannot be expected or even begin to love if we don’t first receive the love of God, right? We must connect to the vine, our source of life and love. “Abide in my love“, Jesus says.

I love to tell everyone I meet:

“It is the primary responsibility of every human being is just to let God love you!”

That’s it. Once we are good receivers of God’s love, everything else falls into place. When I was first learning this concept I would drive around and pray, “God, I receive your love… I receive your love.” I would very often feel what I call the sunshine of heaven coming into the widows of my soul and warming me. Even now I am praying this and feeling the Lords love.

Enjoy this worship song! We hope it connects you to the Lord and his love in a really special way:

Categories: Love of God, Reflect Worship Music | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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