Archives For Love

 2014-07-25_08-57-11“Thank you.” A study from the University of California showed that those who feel appreciated by their partners are also more appreciative of their partners-so it goes both ways. The next time your husband does something thoughtful, even if it’s as tiny as remembering to put your wet beach towels in the wash instead of on the floor, say “thanks” instead of “Oh, good, you’re learning!”

SOURCE:  9 Little Things Your Husband Never Gets Sick of Hearing | Love + Sex – Yahoo Shine.

I am not going to bore you with all nine things men like to hear from their wives but to me this is a timely article.

As our marriages mature we often forget to compliment each other.  That seems to be the major contention with my spouse and I’m sure many of yours. This is also likely a significant part of why divorce is so common today. We just don’t show our appreciation for our spouses as we should. We don’t show that we value them and what they do.

Let’s all make a habit of telling our spouses thank you and that we appreciate them.

My wife and I watched a DVR copy of the recent TV movie entitled “Amish Grace” last night. This is the movie about the man who shot ten girls in an Amish school house a few years back and then took his own life. Six of the girls died. The main theme of the movie was about forgiveness and not letting hate overpower you. The Amish community in Pennsylvania where it happened quickly forgave the man who committed the act and even helped the family of the murderer cope with the tragedy. As I have mentioned in the past the commitment to God that the Amish have totally impresses me. Fortunately the movie did not focus on the brutal act itself but instead on the forgiveness. It would have been very easy for most people who experienced this kind of tragedy to be filled with hate for the perpetrator.

This movie got me to thinking about just where hate comes from. Many discount the works of Satan in this world. They say that he is not a real being but instead just a concept. But I do believe that Satan exists and that hate is his primary tool for ensnaring his victims. It seems that there is much hate in the U.S. today so I guess I would say that Satan might be getting a strangle hold on us as a society. Being a U.S. history buff I am well aware that political partisanship has been a constant in one degree or another throughout our history. But I believe that it is morphing into something much more dreadful in very recent years among some of us. This is evidenced by the recent decision of several well respected people in congress who have decided to not run for re-election this year. Most often one of the primary reasons for not running is the tainted atmosphere in Washington today.

On a recent trip to Kansas I visited the high school that has been turned into a memorial to the Brown vs. the Board of Education lawsuit that started racial integration in the 1960’s. One picture on a wall is of a young girl, probably in the late teens, that is screaming at one of the black kids entering the segregated high school in Little Rock. I had seen this picture several times before but for some reason this time the pure hatred on the face of the girl totally struck me. I included a photo of it at the top of this post and as you can see it was a very scary thing. I often wonder about that young girl and how her life might be today. I have even said prayers for her even though I don’t know her. But that was not the last time I have seen that same look. It was also evident on several faces in the recent Tea Party rally in Washington that was protesting the healthcare reform law that recently passed. Their very antagonistic placards were also evidence of that hatred. Now I am not saying that all people in that rally were hateful but the ones shown in those pictures definitely were filled with hate. It was obvious from their faces and their signs. It was again a scary reminder of Satan’s presence in the world today.

“Filled with hate” is a very appropriate term. Hate starts out grabbing a small corner of our minds but if we don’t let it go it then, much like an aggressive cancer, it quickly overtakes much of the person’s total being. That is why there are numerous places in the bible where God tells us to fill ourselves with love, even for our enemies. He wants us to never allow hate even start within us. If we allow hate into our minds we are giving Satan a grip into our very souls. I know, given some circumstance such as the Amish incident I started the post out with, it is very difficult to not hate someone or something. But we, especially us Christians, must be very aware of the deadly effects of hate and fight it back when it crops up in our minds. We can disagree with someone but still love them. Hate simply does not have any place in a Christian’s life.

<<<Originally Posted on  by at RedLetterLiving.net>>>

Fear vs. Love….

May 25, 2014

A theology based on this fear seldom inspires great acts of compassion and service. When we live in constant fear of divine rejection, we focus all our attention on securing our survival. Sadly, this self-absorption only leads us further from love. Fear and love are incompatible. Fear indicates our distrust of the one who claims to love us. A child trembles when a parent threatens, “If you don’t behave, I’ll send you away.” A wife is terrorized when a husband warns, “If you leave me, I’ll kill you.” Human beings cower when God commands, “Serve me, or I’ll damn you to hell.”

Where fear is encouraged, love withers. Human beings cower when God commands, “Serve me, or I’ll damn you to hell.” Where fear is encouraged, love withers.

Gulley, Philip; Mulholland, James (2009-10-13). If God Is Love

I will admit up front that Philip Gulley is one of my favorite authors. His Quaker roots and belief align with my current worldview.  There are some branches of Christianity that base their doctrine and dogma on the fear of God.  I at one time found this theology to be somewhat enticing to bringing people to Christianity.  Fear is one of the strongest emotions in humanity.  Much of what our current political parties do is based on fear. They use it because they know how powerful it is.

As cited by Mr. Gulley above fear and love are in reality almost opposites when it comes to human emotions. It is inconceivable that a God who says he loves us with one breath would then condemn us to an eternity of torment with the next one simply because we might be too ornery to accept his love. I have thrown away the concept of fearing God for the idea that God loves us with agape love and will eventually, in his own time, take every one of us into his arms.

 

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Love1Often in life we think we are in love with something but it turns out that we were really in love with the idea of something. I currently think I am in love with RVing. It sounds like a freedom that I seek. But have I really thought out all the ramifications of being on the road for long periods of time?  Am I in love with RVing or just the idea of RVing? That is the question.

Many of us would love to be or do certain things in our lives but once we realize the efforts it would take to accomplish that love it becomes tarnished.  Several times in the last few years I have tried to jump-start my right brain.  That side of the brain is supposed to control our creativity. I think I would love to be an artist in one form or another. I would love to be able to draw things that don’t exist.  I have tried to take up sketching numerous times recently but I have finally come to realize that I just don’t want to do all the work it takes to be a good sketch artist.

I am creative but just not in certain areas. I think I do a pretty good job of composing photographs that I take. But, I have to realize that this talent came about because of all the study and efforts I put into it in the 1970s. I studied lighting and camera details. I know the effect of varying f-stops and shutter speeds. I took hundreds of pictures for the sake of learning the art of photography. In those days it was not as cheaply done as it is now. You had to take the picture and then have all the experiments developed before seeing the results.

I have always loved the idea of putting my thought down on paper so to speak. I have kept personal journals most of my life and I have been blogging, with one degree of success, for about five years now. I love writing about my experiences and views of life but again I must realize that my skills have developed over  years of practice.

Getting back to the original thoughts that started this post. I am in love with the idea of RVing but just what the primary reason for that potential love is still unknown.  Is it the freedom from home ownership? Is it not having a discrete, I might say boring, list of things that take up my time? Why do I love the idea of RVing?  I am currently taking some baby steps to try and discover why I am in love with the idea.

It is good to be in love with ideas of what you might be or want to be but we must realize that it actually takes hard work to accomplish those loves. Being in love with an idea is different from being able to actually accomplish a skill, art, compassion. You just can’t get away from the fact that much of what you might love will take hard work to accomplish….

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FearThis is a continuation of the topic of fear and how it drives so much of our country and world.

I have been cruising some of the “gun rights” websites lately.  The reason I am paying attention to this group is to try to understand the thoughts and mentalities of the people in them and how fear appears to play such a strong part of their adamant refusal of any kind of gun regulation.

It appears that many from this group have a basic fear of their fellow citizens. They just don’t trust anyone they don’t know. They see bad guys around every corner. They think they need a lethal weapon to protect their families for the almost imminent invasion of their homes. In other words they are a paranoid group with a very negative view of mankind. They see the worst in everyone. They call those of us who are not driven by their overwhelming fear naive as to the real world. They say we just don’t “get” it.

Most of the other ninety-five percent of us outside these gun rights groups see all the damage done to this country by the preponderance of guns in our culture and we can’t understand why the gun rights groups can’t see what their almost idolatrous  attachment on guns have done to our country.  We see all the innocent people being shot down daily on our city streets. We mourn all the seemingly unending massacres happening today and mourn all the loss of so much innocent life. We see the unending supply of guns in this country purchased with drug money flooding across the border into Mexico making the drug cartels even more powerful than the police.

But I think one of the most basic differences between many of the gun folks and the rest of us is that at one level or another, we are more likely to help out a stranger than to point a gun at him.  Our first inclination is to give someone that seems down on his luck a helping hand. We just don’t have that underlying fear of the unknown or unseen that they seem to have.

We are a country that is currently divided into many different factions and many of these opposing groups are primarily driven by fear. They see everyone they don’t know as a possible attacker. How do we convince these fearful people of the damage their obsession with guns is doing to all of us?

From past experiences one thing you won’t hear from this group is an admittance that they are fearful. They will proudly say that guns eliminate their fears because now they can take out anyone who will surely be attacking them. Fear is such a powerful motivator for division and mistrust.

Am I putting all gun enthusiasts in the same basket? Absolutely not! I understand that there are many, if not most, who are willing to have things like universal background checks and some sensible gun regulations. But, like it or not, the leadership of the NRA is currently the face of all gun owners. Until the responsible owners come out from behind that group they will continue to be identified with that radical organization.

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:28-31