Thursday, November 27, 2014
"Love, Love, Love, all you need is Love!"
Well yes, well no!
Definitions. Two Tensions. Context.
No matter the situation, circumstance, belief, philosophy, or worldview, there are definitions, tensions, and contexts, which need to be understood and applied in order to operate within correct Godly parameters.
So if the subject is "Love," what about something as simple as definition? What's my definition of love, and how does it fit within my life, belief, experience and discussion?
Then we must determine if there are any tensions pulling against my beliefs.
And finally, what then is the context of my worldview regarding love? Is it correct? What's my source of truth?
Mark Drake in his remarkable book, "God's Brilliant Plan" addresses Getting Definitions Clear.
"One of the most basic rules in competitive debating is about what happens before the debate begins. The competitors get together and agree on the definition of terms that will be used in the course of the debate. Without this agreement on definition there can be no substantive discussion, no understanding and no meaningful dialogue.
If I define something differently than God defines it, I cannot possibly understand what He is trying to communicate to me. If He cannot communicate clearly to me, I cannot possibly experience what He wants me to experience. If He says one thing, and I think He means something completely different, we cannot possibly have a good relationship; we cannot communicate."
This simple but most important principle is at the foundation of most misunderstandings.
Which brings us to tensions. One tension in the Bible says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways" (Isaiah 55:8). The other tension pulling against this truth says, "You have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true - it is not a lie. So just as He has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ" (1 John 2:27 NLT).
So on one hand we are taught we do not think and thereby understand things the way God does. Yet if we are a child of God (in the sense we've given our life to Him through the experience of salvation), we have the Holy Spirit in us teaching us truth.
And who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father from eternity, and the Spirit of Jesus from eternity. He is not an emotion or enthusiasm, but a Person. All that the Father is the Spirit is. All that Son is the Spirit is. And He, God, the Holy Spirit is teaching us truth.
To have a true understanding of Godly Love, we must go beyond our own understanding, and be willing to set our preconceived ideas about love aside and listen to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise as Mark Drake stated, "If He says one thing, and I think He means something completely different, we cannot possibly have a good relationship; we cannot communicate."
To experience and communicate Love as God intended, we must come into the presence of God to receive truth. For in the presence of God through the Holy Spirit, it is possible to put everything in its proper perspective.
When you discover how much you truly love someone you in a sense have found God. God is love! If we love one another, then God dwells within us. You cannot have one without the other. And when we know love we have also found the Kingdom that so many who do not understand this simple secret, will never find. The Kingdom of God is not on a cloud. It is within us through the "spark of eternity" God has placed within all mankind which is what draws us to Him.
This love though needs a context, and the context is that of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, without the correct context, the first thing you'll hear is a phrase something like, "as long as you love, and have love, that's all that matters." It sounds nice, even godly, but in fact it is only a first step, and in the wrong worldly context it is a lie and twisting of the truth from satan.
It is from this "lie" and perversion of Godly love that we experience things like: sexual promiscuity, adultery, sexual abuse, abortion, homosexuality, pornography, even bestiality. Although some in today's society would claim these are but "variations of love" (After all, "all you need is love"), when you set these world views and lifestyles up against Biblical truth, there is direct opposition. A closer look shows these "variations of love" in fact are not patient or kind, they envy and boast, they are arrogant and rude. They insist on their own way, and they're irritable and disrespectful! (See 1 Corinthians chapter 13).
So what's a Christian to do? What shall we then do when confronted with these world views, lifestyles, and philosophies?
Og Mandino writes, "What we need to accept is that Jesus was murdered because He loved those who would kill him and they hated Him because He loved them. They could not comprehend His love, for it flew against all reason in a world that demands payment for all goods and services, and punishment for all crimes, leaving no room for love, mercy, or compassion. Sooner or later all mankind will realize that the greatest cure for all the ills and wrongs, the cares, the sorrows and crimes of humanity rests solely in acts of love [rooted in the context of Jesus Christ]. This love is the greatest gift from God. Love [rooted in Christ Jesus] is the divine Spark that everywhere produces and restores life. To each and every one of us, the love of Christ Jesus acting, moving through us gives us the power to work miracles with our own lives and those we touch."
As Christians, where we fall short is in the full comprehension of His love. For when we condemn to hell all those who operate within the parameters of the lie, the perversion of Godly love, are we not "demanding payment for all goods and services, and punishment for all crimes, leaving no room for love, mercy, or compassion?" Isn't that judgment better left to God? I am not saying, "don't tell them the truth!" rather, "tell them the truth and a better way!"
As Christians we are to grow and mature through the work of the Holy Spirit in us to a point where we too would love those who would hate us, even kill us because we love them. We are called, each one of us to love as Christ loves, so the "divine Spark that everywhere produces and restores life" is evident in our daily lives.
Godly Love is defined, it has at minimum two tensions, and has a correct context. We must therefore know the true definition of Godly Love, determine which tension we're confronted with, and make certain our love is set in the correct context.
In short, any "love" outside the parameters of Christ Jesus is no love at all!
Monday, June 8, 2009
I bid you greetings on this most beautiful of days!
See if you can remember this one...
"The spade goes
Down down baby
Down down the roller coaster
Sweet sweet baby
Sweet sweet don't let me go
Shimmy shimmy coco-bop
Shimmy shimmy rock
Shimmy shimmy coco-bop
Shimmy shimmy rock
I met a girlfriend - a triscuit
She said a triscuit - a biscuit
Ice cream - soda pop - vanilla on the top
Ooooh she-leeta, walkin' down the street
Ten times a week
I meant it, I said it
I stole my mama's credit
I'm cool, I'm hot
Sock me in the stomach three more times!"
Okay, it's from the movie "Big" with Tom Hanks. I was actually privileged to attend the "Pre-Premiere" of the movie. That's the Premiere before the Premiere with all the stars. While working for FOX TV, we we're all shipped to Catalina Island off the coast of LA for some food, fun, golf, and the premiere. But I digress.
The point to this song in the movie is it's between "best friends." It's their secret song. Only these two best buddies know the words and can perform the song.
I believe each of us should have at least three of these type acquaintances.
Definitely there has to be that "Best-Bud!" You know, as the "text-ters" say, BFF (Best Friends Forever). Anyway, you know the type friends. People you feel totally comfortable around.
Next should be your Spouse! I can't imagine living in a relationship where your spouse isn't your most very best, "Best-Bud!" I understand it happens a lot based on the amount of marriage counseling I do, but I think that's more a result of the dating process of today's morality. You know, sleep and live together first as a way of getting to know one another. Ahh, I don't think so. Here's a quote from that great prophet Louis L'amour; "Many a time when a person gets themselves involved with romance, they are so busy being in love they don't realize what it can lead to. They are all in a rosy sort of glow until suddenly they find out the one they love was great to be in love with, but hell to be married to." The point is, and I know it sounds silly in today's way of thinking. But get to know that person first before the physical contact. Be and become best friends first and chances are you'll at least have a better chance in the long run.
And finally, God! After all is said and done the creator of the universe should be your "BEST FRIEND!" Here's another quote, "If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If God had a wallet, your picture would be in it. He gives you sunrises everyday and flowers in the spring. I'd say God the Father is pretty crazy over you!" Above all things you must believe that God of all the universe really loves you! And the relationship He desires over all, is the relationship with YOU!
Now the question is, like the characters in the movie "Big," can you see these three best friends of yours and you singing "The spade goes, down down baby, down down the roller coaster.......?" I can and it's a blast!
Now If you're working on one or all three of these relationships - good, great, fantastic! It's kinda like working on learning the words of the song. Have some patience, the words of the song will come, and that relationship will too!
So here's to... "you're cool, you're hot," and you and your best friends are there together "socking each other in the stomach 3 more times!" HA!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I bid you greetings on this most beautiful of days.
Here I am in my man-chair overlooking the lake, forested shore, mountains, and enjoying a cup of the latest bean from Starbucks. Gold Coast Blend, extra bold. It's "a complex, full bodied and intense blend - our biggest and boldest offering." All I know is it goes great with a side of Hershey's chocolate. Oh Yeah! Ah the simple pleasures of life.
Which brings me to todays offering. "In Wonderment." I believe this came from one of those 60's looking boxes from Celestial Teas. Enjoy.
"In Wonderment. Children are our greatest teachers. To practice gratefulness we need to let life surprise us with a glorious sunset, a luxurious back-rub, a mysterious phone call, or the kindness of a stranger."
"The problem with adulthood is that we become jaded. "Oh yes, another great sunset, another fabulous dinner, another birthday present." We can recapture our sense of wonderment at any moment. All it takes is to open our senses and let the world - God's creation come into us anew. And when we come into contact with wonderment we will know thankfulness for the most ordinary extraordinary things in life."
So when's the last time you let the simple things of life surprise you? A sunrise, sunset, the fresh air after the rain, or just looking out across the lake with a hot cup of coffee? I know it seems way too simple, but I really believe if more people took on the wonderment of children, and opened their senses to all that surrounds us, there'd be a lot less difficulty in relationships.
And it really doesn't matter where you live. There's wonderment in every part of the country and world. You don't have to be living on a lake in Alaska. There is great wonderment in every corner of the largest city, rolling farmland, or desert. We just have to open our senses and experience our surroundings. Maybe it's the smile on a face or twinkle in the eye. Perhaps it's the enjoyment of sitting in your man-chair enjoying a cup of coffee, or maybe it's the "In Wonderment" of tasting olives from your fingers!
So until next time, here's to living a life "In Wonderment!"
Saturday, May 23, 2009
I bid you greetings on this most beautiful of days!
Schopenhaner said it, "Happiness was born a twin." And nothing is quite so beautiful as when you share it with someone else.
That I think is the reason for this blog.
The sharing of various aspects of "happiness" in random musings all while guzzling cups of coffee from my favorite "coffee-head" mug. And thus the name of the blog - Get it? As in "I've Bean There Too!
Coffee is the curious thing don't you think? What other beverage have so many gathered around, shared, discussed, argued over, experimented with, added to, charged so much for, and created so many careers.
Personally, I'm a traditionalist. I like my coffee (depending on the bean), medium to strong and black. No sugar, no creamer, no flavor. And oh no! I'm not a coffee bigot. So if you're a diluter or additionalist, I may not understand you, but I will accept and forgive you.
In coming blogs, I'll be sharing and commenting on some of my favorite sayings and quotes all with a friendly cup of coffee at my side. Some sayings and/or musings may be spiritual, some not, but feel free to add your own thoughts, comments, and or opinions. Try to keep in mind however the overriding theme; "Happiness was born a twin," and the fact it's a beautiful thing when sharing that happiness.
So for today, whatever that thing is that causes happiness to well-up within you, remember it's never really fully blossomed until you share it with someone.
Oh man! After reading this, I think I'm turning into a woman! Ahhhh!
I'm signing off for now - I need to head for the shooting range and fire off a hundred rounds with the SKS and 44 Mag.