Thursday, November 27, 2014

Love, Love, Love!

I bid you greetings on this most beautiful of days!

"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!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Way We Roll

I bid you greetings on this most beautiful of days!

This morning, sitting here at my kitchen workspace, listening to CD's, sipping on a cup of "Foglifter" coffee from Millstone (Medium Blend - and great tasting),  I thought I'd share a couple of favorite items. 

First: for all of you caffeine aficionados, it's the "Coffee Head's 23 Psalm!"  I love this take on the classic!  

Second: A recent song from the Newsboys, "The Way We Roll."  Great song from a great CD.  Enjoy!

Caffeine is my shepherd; I shall not doze.
It maketh me to wake in green pastures:
It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses.
It restoreth my buzz:
It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction,
I will fear no Equal™:
For thou art with me; thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of The Starbucks:
Thou anointest my day with pep; my mug runneth over.
Surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the House of Mochas forever.
~Author Unknown

"The Way We Roll"

Rewind the clock, we were
Riding a wave of Oz Rock, we were
B-Barely of age to take charge
Or pack our guitars for the long flight, She'll be right

No cash or plan, we were
Criss-crossin' the states in some van, we were
C-cookin' up beans on the block, While the motor was hot
Something's gonna blow, Let's get to the show
Give us half an inch, we'll be tackin' on a mile
Give us a half stage, we'll start up a rampage

Put on your backpack, Throw out your roadmap
God'll use anything, Check it and see
He's giving us more than we ever could ask for
That's the way we roll 'cause we've been set free
That's the way we roll 'cause we've been set free

Reset the stage, we were
Out rattlin' the cage with each show, we were
Out hockin' our shirts for more lights
'Till shine hit the brights
And we saw your faces, And we got new Bassists

The good and the lame, we were
Spinnin' our drums like a dial, we were
Blowin' up domes from a pile, It worked for awhile
If yours didn't rise, we apologize
All we've got to give is a God-given drive
He keeps us movin' keeps on provin'

Put on your backpack, Throw out your roadmap
God'll use anything, Check it and see
He's giving us more than we ever could ask for
That's the way we roll 'cause we've been set free
That's the way we roll 'cause we've been set free

Lighten up, we'll lighten up the load at the starting gate
We'll lighten up the load to a fighting weight
We'll light up the road, come on 
Kiss your mama goodbye, we gotta fly

Chorus 2x's

This song is best enjoyed with the full musical complement of driving guitars and drums and turned up loud.  

It talks to me of passion and zeal and perhaps a younger mindset.  Those days when we may have been more adventuresome and willing to take on the road and the world.  The chorus is great.  Time to grab your backpack, throwaway your roadmap and see where God takes you!

So many times in life we become paralyzed when we believe we must have a complete plan.  Well, God can use Anything - check and see!   Maybe God's pointing you in a direction.  Grab your backpack and get going, after all, "He's giving us more than we ever could ask for."  Perhaps He's given you a new dream, "Grab your backpack!"  

Entering a new phase in your life? New children, grandchildren, new job, life after divorce, a new business venture, a new or old relationship, maybe you're searching for a new church.  When you've been set free you'll "roll" easier!  Then as the song says:

Lighten up, we'll lighten up the load at the starting gate
We'll lighten up the load to a fighting weight
We'll light up the road, come on 
Kiss your mama goodbye, we gotta fly

Take a look at ridding yourself of the baggage that weighs you down.  Anything which has "rankled" you in the past.  Love every chance you can.  Forgive wherever possible (perhaps starting with yourself), count your blessings, perform those unexpected acts of kindness and then, then, "We'll light up the road, come on...we gotta fly!"


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Right Here, Right Now

The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., "Over the Teacups," 1891

Oliver had it right.  Nothing better than a hot, strong, aromatic cup of coffee in the morning.  Unless of course you add to that the blessing of my perspective.  That of an early morning Alaskan landscape resplendent with mother loon and baby, a calm lake, and the chance to share some thoughts with friends and family.  At this moment in time and space, it truly is incredible.  Which brings me to my next subject.  "Right Here, Right now!"

The actual quote is, "Where else would you rather be than right here, right now?"  Part of a motivational speech from Buffalo Bills Head Coach, Marv Levy, during one of their four Super Bowl runs.  

Those of you who know football, know the Bills never won a Super Bowl.   And for those of you who don't know football, getting to the Super Bowl just one time is an amazing feat, let alone four times.

So regarding Marv's quote, a couple of things come to mind.  First, each of us from time to time needs to take stock of "where are we right now?"  When you were a child full of dreams, is this the place you thought you'd be?  Most of us can cross that off our list "right here and right now!"  Or perhaps this is where you planned to be in your "life plan?"  How about your "retirement plan?"  Man I didn't even know I was supposed to have a plan until it was too late! 

The next thing that comes to mind is opportunity.  The Buffalo Bills not only had a great opportunity to participate in the pinnacle game of their sport, but many of them had four chances.  Four chances to be champions.  Four chances to be the best.  And after all the hard work, all the time away from family and friends, all the injuries and pain, win or lose, before these men of the Buffalo Bills was one of sports greatest opportunities, to win the Super Bowl.  "Where else would you rather be than right here, right now?"

Sounds great for great sport figures, but what about me?  What about "Joe-bag-o-donuts" regular guy Me?  How does that apply?  

Great opportunities may come once in a lifetime, but small opportunities surround us every day!    Who knows but for this time, this place, this purpose you were created.  Right here, right now.  Right where you are in this point in your life.  No matter what you may think of your life - great, mundane, or down right terrible, there are small opportunities that surround you every day which may actually be life or world changers.

Perhaps if you look just a little closer there is a difference maker.  It might be a smile here or there.  A word of thanks.  Forgiveness.  Reconciliation. An unexpected act of kindness.  And when all is said and done, and it feels like no one noticed that act of kindness.  It may actually become one of your greatest successes!  An unnoticed act of kindness.  No kudos or slap on the back.  No trophy to remind you of what you did at a particular point in life.  A simple act of kindness, acting like the ripple on a pond moving outward and affecting all it comes in contact. 

Years ago when I was a disc jockey, I used to end every shift with the phrase, "Put a smile on your face, a "Yes-sir" on your lips, and wherever you go don't walk, Dance!"  You see with a change of attitude here, a simple act of kindness there, before you know it the atmosphere is transformed for a life to be changed, for the world to change, or at least you might catch yourself dancing down the street instead of walking. 

So look closely and you will find some small opportunity to make a difference.  And then, "Where else would you rather be, than right here, right now?"


Monday, June 8, 2009

The Spade Goes

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

In Wonderment

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

Happiness Was Born A Twin

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.