MOUNTAIN HAVEN- MINISTRY AT A GLANCE
Newsletter September 2017
Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $7,100.00 and Monthly Revenue Received: $2,471.00 Remaining Need: $4,629.00
We are planning on attending a weekend Gottman Institute Marriage Retreat in Montana in a few weeks. It is time to focus exclusively on our own marriage, not just the marriages of others. We feel like we had a taste of healing with Marble Retreat two years ago; and we would like to continue our journey towards wholeness in our own marriage and the next steps for Mountain Haven. If you feel like contributing towards this, we would welcome your generosity
Current Ministry/ Ranch Projects 1.) Our lodge space is available for your retreat, get away, sabbatical, or small team building meeting; at a donation basis. Call or email to schedule today. 2.) We have a small, but generous, team coming up in a few weeks to do some small projects at Mountain Haven. If you want to bring up a team or want to help with any projects, please contact Kevin.
Something Interesting or Unexpected that Happened Last Month: 1.) Kevin had his foot jumped on by our Mare when she was crossing the creek. We had to rescue him off the Mountain and unbelievably there were no fractures. There was some severe tendon and ligament and soft tissue damage, which takes much longer to heal, but he is handling it like a champ. He is in a removable cast/immobilizer and the Dr. predicts around a 6-10 week recovery period. So grateful for the help and meals we have been receiving during this trial. 2.) Our nephew Josh moved back to Minnesota just recently. He will be missed on the mountain.
Top Prayer Requests:
If you would pray for quick healing for Kevin that would be great. Pray for strength and resilience for those who are suffering across the world. Pray for the motivation to love with action.
Motivation to Love
“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity”
Where does the motivation to love come from? Is it inborn? Jesus left us with his infamous words; to love the lord our God and to love our neighbor as we LOVE OURSELVES (see Luke 10:27). How often do we try to do and say the right thing out of love but really our hearts feel tense or angry? We do this with friends and family and our intimate partners. Often times we are struggling to love ourselves, forgive ourselves, or see ourselves the way God sees us and I think it makes the love we give; inauthentic. Once we start believing a lie about ourselves like “we are too much” or “ we are fatally flawed”, then the love we give is peppered and shadowed by our broken view of ourselves.
I like to think of love as the right kind of coat in the right kind of weather. If we put on a heavy wool coat and it is 98 degrees outside we will be sweaty and slow. Whereas, if we put on a light sweater in a blizzard, we will be shaking and immobile. So it is with love. When we are asked to “put on love”, I believe this love includes a “love of ourselves”. Our sense of our own intrinsic worth. Without it, we are like the lover with the wrong coat, our attention is on ourselves, and on our own reaction to the wrong coat that we have put on. Often the wrong coat is shame, or doubt. We become so focused on our wrongdoings and our flaws, that our love towards others becomes futile and even perfunctory; without the transformative power of love.
When we put on the coat of shame; our love is just off, it reeks of disconnectedness and offense. All hurts are filtered through the lens of pain rather than resolution. Shame is heavy and brings self condemnation and disconnectedness and eventually emptiness of interactions with the one you love. It is important to be aware of how shame works in your life because it will infect your love relationships because it infects your view of yourself; and then, your ability to love yourself the way God does. The other thing shame does is cause a spiral of reactions that are often like a snowball. Your behaviors reinforce how you feel about yourself. So if you get angry, it becomes easier to get angry again without counting the cost. If you already feel like crap for blowing it and start the seed of hating yourself for blowing it, then you have begun a self perpetuating cycle of self hate and self condemnation. This results in negativity, harsh words, and defensiveness. The coat of shame is stifling and inhibits love.
When we put on doubt, we get cynical about people, about humanity. This is my big flaw. I see pain every day, I see loss and I see bad behavior. It is easy to give way to doubt about where God is? How can this pain keep happening? Then I spiral into my own self doubts about how I could ever really be healed or different or better based on my past hurts and my past choices. I question myself and get down on my very being and forget that the creator of the universe MADE me and sees me as I am. My relevance is not in figuring it out, but trusting that He can. I am merely a servant, a vessel willing to walk with others while they are in the dark, or help pull another from a pit, or offer money, time, space, food or resources where I can. I can only win a victory for humanity by partaking in humanity, and reminding others that they are not alone. In doing that, I can perfect love. I can put on the right coat in the right circumstances for the right time.
Think about ways you love. The way you love God, the way you love others, and more importantly the way you love yourself. Are you a performer? Is your worth tied up in work, deeds, best attitude, church activities? The measure of love begins with the measure of worth. If you measure yourself with infinite value then you will measure others with infinite value. Your behaviors will be self controlled, lovely, peace pursuing, gentle and driven towards peacemaking. You will discern rightly and actions will flow from a place of wholeness not hidden self condemnation or flawed perspectives of your mistakes, or circumstances. The motivation to love starts with loving who you are; completely and letting go of who you think you should be and embracing the fact that you are whole and complete lacking nothing right now. Let yourself believe this truth and your actions of gracious love are bound to follow.The actions of love that begin in your home will have an exponential impact on you, and on the world around you- because real love is contagious; and real love will transform humanity.