Prone to LoveForward by Lloyd Clark
My dad and mom are my heroes.
Prone to Love is as much their message as it is Karen, the kids, and mine. Their faith and love have empowered us to trust and lived loved. There was no one else on the planet I wanted to write the Forward but my dad.
Prone to Love – FORWARD
Growing up in Canada as a boy automatically made you a hockey player. It was in your blood. My friends and I (the poor kids) played on the streets and ponds while the more affluent children played in organized clubs with all the bells and whistles. But pond or rink, we all dreamed of becoming the next Gordy Howe or Bobby Hull.
So growing up in a “Pentecostal revival” as a boy automatically made me a preacher. Church was as exciting as hockey. The deaf hear- ing, the blind seeing, the lame walking—I saw it with my own eyes. It was amazing, all the promises of God alive in our church. My pastor was my hero and the glossy magazines in my house were filled with pictures of “men of faith and power.” As a boy, I knew God’s love, and I also knew I wanted to be a preacher. I spent hours standing in front of the mirror preaching up a storm. My dream was to be a revivalist like my pastor and maybe even have my own glossy magazine cover one day.
As a kid, church was every night of the week and the source of some of my best adventures. Over my past sixty-three years, I have adventured in the church deep and wide—charismatic, Baptist, Methodist, nondenominational—the persuasions and movements have all added to my story.
I’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is good. And I love the church— the bride of Christ. But over the years, the wide-eyed dreams of a boy were beaten and bloodied in the trenches of the church. Over the years, my passion was muddied as I experienced the carnage and cannibalism of power-hungry men who dreamed of having their own magazine some day. Church disappointed me. I became disillusioned with her.
Equally disappointing was that I became disillusioned with myself as well. I was convinced that I too was flawed. I would never be truly trustworthy and thus would never see the power of God flowing through my fingertips. And somewhere along the way I accidentally swore off on ever being a revivalist.
As I grew older, the lie was reinforced by my own failures. I was not trustworthy and worse, I was unlovely and unworthy. Who was I to be cynical with the church when my own life looked nothing like the promises of my youth? I became more and more reluctant to risk. My dreams of the church, a beautiful bride, were fading and I began to settle for the routine, the mundane, and the safe.
I have since learned that a lie is the only thing that can remove us from our promise, the only thing that can separate us from the tangible experience of a revived life. The only power Satan has is the power of the lie. The enemy of our souls only purpose is to conceal, distort, and destroy our true identity. He wants us to believe that we are untrustworthy, unlovely, and unworthy.
But His light has come! And light changes everything! Because of the cross, the lie no longer has a voice—unless I decide to give it one. In the last several years, I have discovered that my promise, the true dream of my youth, wasn’t a glossy magazine or the title of pastor. It wasn’t even the power of His presence or revival. My promise is simple—to know He loves me and is entirely captivated by my loveliness. And I have become so filled with anticipation that I can’t wait till morning. I am in the biggest learning curve of my life! He loves me!
It gets sweeter as the days go by,
It gets sweeter as the moments fly.
His love is richer, deeper, fuller, sweeter,
Sweeter, sweeter, sweeter as the days go by.
I sang this as a boy, and it’s truer still!
I am learning that “He loves me” isn’t just an introduction or even a chapter in our story; it’s the book. And every new chapter is a spin-off of this one central revelation. From creation to the cross, and from the cross onward, “He loves me” is the center and focal point of both this life and the life to come. His love for me is what gives me value, it’s what makes me trustworthy and lovely.
I think heaven will be an eternity of “ahs and ahas” of amazement at how deep, how wide, and how high His love really is—beautiful vistas at every new bend in the road. But what I am coming to learn is that we don’t have to wait! We can know this love and live heaven here and now!
Since the days when the fullest revelation of Love walked the earth in the form of a man, light has continued to dawn. As Jesus was leaving the earth, those closest to Him were in the biggest learning curve in their lives. And at the end of John’s apostolic journey, he was still in amazement at how much better and bigger God actually was.
John and the apostles were “getting it” in increasing measures as their capacity for “getting it” increased.
Earth may still seem a long way from heaven. But Jesus’s prayer in Matthew 6 was that earth would be transformed in the light of heaven. And this is the story of heaven, this is heaven’s song, “We are loved.”
Occasionally someone comes along who puts things into words that expose the lies and cause my heart to pitter-patter. My mind may be struggling to grasp what is going on while my heart is burning within me, for it is with the heart, not the head, that we “get it.” And Jason is “getting it!”
As Jason’s parents, we’ve had front row seats in his story. Mary and I get to watch up close. We have actually been strapped to the front of this transformation, watching the gory turn into glory, and we get to declare, although the ride is far from over and nothing short of delightful, that our hearts are burning within us!
He loves me! Jason has been living with a reckless abandon and discovering our truly good Father along the way. In this book, Jason is bringing hidden things to light, exposing lies that have kept us in bondage, and offering us more tools for transformation. And as he puts truths into stories I can understand and relate with, I find myself overwhelmed again and again at how much bigger and how much better my Father is. I never imagined He would be this accessible and good—really good.
Prone to Love is filled with fresh insights where you will discover you are as near to Him right now as you will ever be, and that access to everything has already been granted.
God willing, over the next forty years or so that Mary and I will still be on this side of eternity, we are living with joyful anticipation as we dream, explore, and continue to discover the deep love of our Father. And His love will continue to dawn in the lives of our grandkids and great-grandkids as they expound on and expand the truths of what was won for us at Calvary. He loves us!
I love the church and I see something fresh and beautiful on the horizon. And I find myself running after it with reckless abandon, willing to believe once more for brighter, better, and bolder expressions in His beautiful bride.
Lloyd Clark is an entrepreneur, a former pastor, and writer. He is passionate about being loved by our Heavenly Father and revealing that same love to everyone he meets. He and his wife Mary have 5 children and 7 grandchildren and live in North Carolina.
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Just wept over His goodness in reading this. Thanks for the reminder!! 🙂