Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The basics of life... Part 2

Belief system > Essentials of life

Love seems a little advanced to start a topic such as "The basics of life", yet if love is not an object but a person, love is not advanced at all because life is claimed by love to be it's progeny. That being a claim which needs research is exactly the reason I chose this posts topic to be the second in this series of "The basics of life."

What do you believe? On what do your beliefs have affect?

You do not exist because of your beliefs, nor do you exist because of someone else's beliefs. A person's beliefs cannot create something or someone, but they can affect something or someone.

Okay, so I have made several statements with which some may not agree. This only illustrates the belief system. Note my statements and you will have some idea of what I believe and what I do not believe on the topic of these statements.

I urge you my reader, listen to the statements you make and from them begin to deduce what you believe. Does what you believe properly align with truth and love, or do they produce behavior in you of ill-repute and offense?

How then do you change beliefs? Well you can try electroshock therapy, though I would not suggest it! You could even try a bit of psychology, though again I would not suggest it. Would it not be logical to seek the assistance of the maker of such a marvelous system as the human body, intellect and gave him the breath of life for the answer?

Sure you must come to this belief yourself, and I will not force the belief on you. When you are ready for the answer, I do hope you will ask Him for it.

Please allow me to leave you with a few quotes regarding our Creator.
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1Corinthians 13
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one." Deuteronomy 6:4
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them.
We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." 1 John 4:1-11
Thank you for reading! I hope and pray it gives you something to think about. I know it points you toward the right place for right and proper changes. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

The basics of life... Part 1

"What is love?"

There are so many things that fill our eyes, ears, thoughts and lives that we often can not recall where they came from. If we do an action and later question our motives; or repeat a phrase before thinking about it then in our embarrassment asking ourselves where we heard it, it can really come solely from one place.
Our heart.
 Whether it be a family expression, societal refrain or time in history, it does not matter; we refer to our heart as the seat of our emotions. We say such things as "I love you with all my heart!" or "I'll always treasure it in my heart!" Somehow by bringing our heart into our description conveys a deeper feeling for the person or gift from the one whom we so treasure.

The communication we so desire our loved one to receive is that we appreciate them and their kind actions toward us. Yet all we communicate by word or action, only represent the truth. It is similar to describing something to a blind person.

Have you ever tried to explain a sunset to someone who only has a concept of light and dark. How about describing a flower to someone who is only familiar with the aroma of flowers in general? If you can do so, it is not easy and is not done in the way that you explain the same thing to a sighted person!

I dare say to that when you have succeeded you have not given the person the sunset or flower you described, but only the essence of it!

Up to this point I've only given you, my reader, a faint essence of the fragrance that I call romance. From this point on I will describe romance; in a visual manner; as a vapor, or by sense of smell as a tantalizing and winsome aroma. Something transient and intangible.

I have spent a good many years thinking and wondering about people. What is their passion for that one they adore? What is the origin of such emotion? Some people revolt to such an expression of regard for another because they say such a fascination as "romance" will never last. Others sit back and hope that from romance, or infatuation, will grow an enduring love; such hope is the stuff of romance novels.

I know that this post began with a question of Love's true definition. A good place to start in such a case is to examine our pre-conceived notions and consider the relevance of each notion to the topic. Thus romance and infatuation often being called "love" were two of my first notions to address and prove to be "not love."

In Love's expansive reach is yet another side which we have not yet explored.

What of provision and consideration? Is it not loving someone to provide them with all the things they want? Is it loving someone to constantly go out of our way to afford them every possible consideration?

For example: After reading each interaction chose one of the two answers at the end which you think shows true love.

Romance/Infatuation: A dating couple go out to a park to walk around and talk after having dinner with a healthy chat at the table. After some time they find a bench surrounded with flower and low shrubs for some privacy, illuminated by the silvery light of the moon. "What a romantic spot!" she thinks as he too notices and suggest they take a rest. He knows that he must be careful not to move too quickly with her, because she is a little timid and would rather wait until their wedding day to show him the affection she has for him through their first kiss. He's always respected that for her sake, but he feels a little unsure that their relationship will really work out if they do not truly love each other. The only certain way that he feels they can be sure of their mutual love for each other is if she will acquiesce to his desire for a trial run at love with a romantic moonlit kiss. "After all, isn't that what a girl dreams about? Her prince appears and lays a big romantic kiss on her lips clearing all her doubts as toward whom his intentions are focused? The added ambiance can only help her be relaxed about this, right?" he asked himself as they sit down.
What is love for boy-friend toward girl-friend?
  1. Attempt a romantic kiss even though he knows her desires and convictions?
  2. Continue respecting her request to save her gift to him through their first kiss?
Provision/Consideration: Grand-daughter stops by her aging, diabetic grandfather's house everyday on her way home from work to talk with him and get him anything he may need that he can not get himself. He says, "Thank you sweet heart, but I'm doing fine. I would appreciate it though if you could bring by a carton of Tin Roof Sundae ice cream for me when you stop by tomorrow!"

  1. She knows that he doesn't like the sugar free ice cream so should she buy the regular ice cream he is asking for?
  2. Should she not buy it for him and respectfully tell him that she can not; because of his diabetic condition?
What was your choice? If you chose answer 2. for either situation, you are right! Love does not force someone to go against their convictions, nor will it aid someone in abusing themselves.

My point in this is that love is something more than infatuation and romance or provision and consideration. Love is tangible, searchable

You can sense the signs of their love for you by sight and smell but to touch their love as anyone would hold a bouquet of freshly cut flowers is quite impossible. Even though the flowers will carry their tantalizing aroma with them after being cut, their winsome aroma will fade faster than if they had been left living in their native plant. So you see the flower is not love but it is the action from love which you can handle and the tantalizing aroma that you can enjoy.

The love in you is more tangible than that in another. For you see, love; as I said before; is tangible and personable, but not by you as it is in another. Love is a personal thing. Not that you love yourself, for that is the perversion of love. You must first receive love from the One who is love. Then as you receive love you are free to give it away by means of winsome aromas and refreshing mists. This is what I mean that love is not the flower, for if it was you would have always given refreshing mists and pleasing scents, but now we see that it is not me that is the source of the beauty merely the outlet. It is the love in me that equips and enables me to share this love in romance with my wife and a refreshing mist to my children and friends.

So if romance, infatuation, provision and consideration are only a part of love, what is love?

Love is a God who created a world and all of the matter in it, including humans to rule over and care for it. He loved it all so much that He was willing to let man choose the way he would travel (God's way, or the way which is "not God's"). Man chose "not God's" way causing a corruption in himself, his wife and all of the rest of universe because it is under his care.

Each of us were born into this corruption and guilty because we have each chosen to do things our own way rather than God's (God's way being the way of love).

Even still, love is offered as a free gift to any who will receive it. God who is love " loved the world, that he gave his only natural born Son, that whosoever believes in him should not die, but have life that has no end."

"...let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God. He that does not love does not know God; for God is love." (1John 4:7, 8 emphasis added)
 This is just the beginning, the refreshing mist I used as an illustration for romance. I hope this will wet your appetite so that you will search out the truth about love. Because life without love is a living death.

Monday, July 4, 2011

What was the point?

When the united States of America declared "That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown..." it was not a declaration of rebellion, because any study through the biographies of the men that signed the document we call "The Declaration of Independence" would reveal a surprising amount of petitioning and appeals much before any act of defensive war.

This is another point I do not wish to belabor but to remind us that rebellion is not the word for the war that won our independence from Great Britain; the British had already made acts of war on the citizens of the thirteen British colonies in the Americas. Our actions were those of self-defense not initiative warfare throwing insult and offense into the face of our political authority.

I often wonder how our friends in Great Britain feel about our celebrating over here and vilifying them as  a people. Remember this is the day we remember the signing of the Declaration of Independence! There was much work and danger after this day, 235 years ago! We are not celebrating the demise of British friends! It was painful to take-up arms against our fellow countrymen! Our document which declares us free and independent of the crown of Great Britain is clear, we relate to them as we do any other nation, "We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends."

Our desire for freedom was not simply to live free from an oppressive government under King George, III. The colonists sought to be loyal to the British crown asking for the freedom to worship as directed by the written word of God and not the dictates of a state run church.

Many people today think that the only or primary reason for our independence was because we were being taxed and not represented. The grievance of taxation was seventeenth in a list of twenty-seven! Taxation ranked in the LAST half of the grievances, not first or even primary! 

What then would be the first freedoms which they would wish to protect?

Reading the Bill of Rights, we learn that their desire was to protect the free exercise of seeking God. No interference or opposition from government!

Let us remember these thing on this day: 

  1. In this time of peace, we praise God for our friends the British (largely from whom we descend)! 
  2. In this time of history we have the peace to seek the meaning of truth without pressure of conforming to one thing or another, but making our beliefs and faith our own!
  3. We still have the freedom "to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."