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From Henri Nouwen:

Waiting with Patience

How do we wait for God? We wait with patience. But patience does not mean passivity. Waiting patiently is not like waiting for the bus to come, the rain to stop, or the sun to rise. It is an active waiting in which we live the present moment to the full in order to find there the signs of the One we are waiting for.

The word patience comes from the Latin verb patior which means “to suffer.” Waiting patiently is suffering through the present moment, tasting it to the full, and letting the seeds that are sown in the ground on which we stand grow into strong plants. Waiting patiently always means paying attention to what is happening right before our eyes and seeing there the first rays of God’s glorious coming.

From Tom Petty:

Oh baby dont it feel like heaven right now
Dont it feel like somethin from a dream
Yeah Ive never known nothing quite like this
Dont it feel like tonight might never be again
We know better than to try and pretend
Baby no one could have ever told me bout this

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

Well yeah I might have chased a couple of women around
All it ever got me was down
Then there were those that made me feel good
But never as good as I feel right now
Baby youre the only one thats ever known how
To make me wanna live like I wanna live now

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more ca rd
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

Dont let it kill you baby, dont let it get to you
Dont let em kill you baby, dont let em get to you
Ill be your breathin heart, Ill be your cryin fool
Dont let this go to far, dont let it get to you

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together

I read this from Rabbi Albert M. Lewis, who is the Director of the Emeritus College at Aquinas, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a weekly columnist for The Grand Rapids Press. He wrote this using all single syllable words. Its an old discipline of simplicity, but the content is far from simplistic.

What if God were to speak to us now; to give us a fresh look at what’s real, true, and the core of our world? Might God say, “Be just, be kind, care, share, give, take, love, laugh, cry, feel the pain, and dance in the time of joy”? And what would we hear? Would it be what we want to hear, or what was said? Could we each hear in our own way? Must we all be of the same mind? Must the one who hears at twelve feet fight with the one who hears at twelve yards? Will the black one and the white one and the child of the land all know God in the same way? And if not, will they then fight?

What if God said, “I grant you a gift: a world full of peace, health, and food for all. I give you a time, now, when each may sit by his vine and by her fig tree and none will cause you fear”? Would we heed the words? If God came to each of us in a dream, would we hold the dream in our hearts and souls, or would we cast it off as just a dream? What would it take to look deep within, where we live and know truth, and there to find the one God, who cries for us and waits and hopes and says, “I am here. Do not fear. Live, love, talk, and walk hand in hand with me. Let no child learn war anymore, but let each bring what is right and just in his home and in her land!”

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middle-finger

This may come across strong. If so, cool. Because I feel pretty strongly about it.

I’m not voting.

I don’t know either of these guys. Neither do you. (Sorry for the assumptions and judgments.)

We know what we hear…from the television and online and in-print. Seriously. Are you kidding me?

When you trust your television

What you get is what you got

‘Cause when they own the information

They can bend it all they want…

I hate politics for a lot of reasons.
I’ve been lied to over and over and over again.  By democrats, by republicans.  I’ll believe in him or him when I see what they said.

Again, forgive me, but this is my blog, right?

I don’t care if you’re pink or yellow or black or grape.  I don’t care if you have endured hardship.  You’re probably where you are because you’re a liar, Mr./Mrs. Politician.  You said a lot of stuff and most likely didn’t do very much of it.  I will wait and see.  If you win and do what you say, I’ll admit that I missed the bandwagon.

Politics have done a lot of good, I have to admit.  But in the end, the Story is good and restored not because of anything political, but because of everything that seems to be the opposite of what we want or think we need.  There really is only one good way to lead nations.  The Theocracy was what was intended.  We didn’t like it.  Now we live with the consequences.

So, I’m protesting.  Not Prop X or Ballot Measure Y, but the system.  The process sucks and I don’t want anything to do with it.

We want to help the hungry and poor and needy?  Then do it.  A vote can sure help because there may be hope in the potential of a lot of money being given.  I doubt it will happen.

My family and I can make a difference.  Together, alone, with friends, in our world.  I don’t need a donkey or an elephant.

I weep over the horrors of the demise of the innocent.  I won’t rely on anyone else to do something about it.  I’ll do what I can.

I don’t trust politics or politicians.  That’s just the way it is.  It can’t save us.  It probably won’t help us.  (It will help some, and hurt just as many or more.)

My opinions.  My heart.

Take it or leave it.  Vote if you need to, if you’re led to.

I’m disgusted by the whole display.  Am I gonna fall for this again? No way.

One guy slings crap, the other doesn’t.  One guy kills the other doesn’t.  One will bomb, the other might not.   One looks you in the eye, one doesn’t.  I have no way of knowing them, except through the partial reporting and opinions of the partial and other liars.  Not a very dependable source of information for formulating very large beliefs and opinions.

Everyone is right in this, and everyone is wrong.  We’re just humans after all.

The whole circus makes me angry and dreadfully sad.  I can’t wait until it’s all over.

What a freaking waste of money and time.  But, I guess there’s no way around it.

I won’t be sharing this verbally with many.  But it’s heavy on my heart….

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What is a family?

To me, a family is a group of people who are committed to each other, not just through blood or law, but through a willful choice.

Each individual in that family must choose to look from their place of hurt, from their soul, through tears of pain and joy, into the eyes of another til they see their soul and heart.  Each one, when they look from their deep to the other’s deep, has a choice to make.  A claim must be made.

When I participate in this, I feel safe and loved and have an overwhelming urge to love.  Not because of love I may or may not receive, but because of the beauty I see deep inside the others.

Family is priceless.

Who is your family?

I claim mine today:  Linda, Geri, Lauren, Jamie, David, Katie Rose and Luke.

I love you all very, very much….

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Is And Does

do you? no I
believe
I can’t believe
it reaches out it reaches
lover, leaver, same and found
lost and found.

here and well
can you tell the reason
the rhyme it sounds so good
and all the ins and outs
of yesterday
are tomorrow, are fine.

It just is and does
It is and does
It just is and does
It is and does

not up to you
Truth is true
and that’s for sure
i’m living toward
what life is for
i can’t believe i’m found, i found

It just is and does
It is and does
It just is and does
It is and does

Its Love Love
winsome calling me is Love Love
ravage wooing me is Love Love
It is and does

the sound of Love
the Love of sound of
Love Love

i hear Love i hear Love

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My wife and I had another chance to steal away on the bike last weekend.

I can’t seem to get enough and I want to ride more and more.

Not just around town but long, leg stretching jaunts into the mountains, up or down the coast, through the city….anywhere.

It’s therapeutic to have so much time looking through the face shield of a helmet.

Thoughts come and go.

Some of them rattle through checklists of supplies and gear and things we should have grabbed on the way out the door.  Others analyze the road, the wind and the air temperature;  the traffic and cockpit display.  They sometimes turn into words spoken to the people in the cars around me who can’t seem to get out of my way.  It doesn’t matter that the tones simply reflect off of the plastic of my visor and become amplified as they return to my head in a condescending reminder that I’m the one breaking the law.

Sometimes I think about the next ride.  The whens, wheres, hows.  I’d love to see the Redwoods.  Oregon’s not far then when you’re there….

It’s a very anonymous place.  No one can see or know me.  It’s safe there.

One of my many ruminations on this trek was this poem from The Lord of the Rings (no, not the movie).  Mr. Tolkien masterfully hides so much of what’s going on and what will happen into some short verse:

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

Yeah, you should read it again…maybe a few times.

It’s beautiful.

For the purposes of this post and the divigulgence of thoughts from the road I’m forced to just reflect on one portion of this poem.

The line “Not all those who wander are lost” sang to me all weekend.

I used to be so into the destination.

Let’s get there.

Leave on time, arrive on time.

The trip is wearying at best.  Get it over with.

To be out there on the road, on the way, was a necessary evil.  God forbid if I ever got stuck there.  Oil levels, tire pressure, gas and snacks all checked pre-trip insured that all would go well and that I would arrive unscathed.

To get stuck or delayed or diverted was not going to happen.  It couldn’t happen.

I was scared that it might happen.

That was then.

I’m not like that anymore.  At least not as much.

I’m starting to get it, I think.  The journey.

What I see from here is that it is beautiful.

Sometimes it’s even much better than the destination.

My anxiety.  My fear.  My lack of control.

Those things have taken much from me.  I should say that I’ve allowed them to.

Maybe it’s peeking at 40, maybe it’s the loss of all opportunity to have control.  Maybe both, maybe neither.  What ever it is that’s got me seeing differently, I’m glad for it.

I love to wander.  More so on my motorcycle than in life, though.

But as it is, I wander in wonder at least.  Most of the time.  Well, sometimes.  It’s hard.  It sucks sometimes.

I love to realize that I’m not lost in this wandering.  My default is to see those who wander as aimless and purposeless and hopefully arriving somewhere soon.  I used to feel sorry for them or offer a hand.

Naive.  Arrogant.  “Privileged.”

The hope of the whole world rests on the shoulders of a homeless man.

That’s really mind boggling.

I think it might be raining in Oregon though.

My rain suit is out in the garage.  I guess I’ll just have to pack it, too.

photo by Linda Everly, late day shadows, HWY 101 North in Marin

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What is the world we’re not supposed to love?  Is it a thing or is it a set of ideals?

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

I have a seminary degree.  I’m pretty clued in on the original language.  I’m just thinking about what I’ve been taught my whole life.  The “world” or “worldly things” is so hard to define.  Is it my sinful self?  Is it all of our sinful selves combined?

I can see what Scripture says is in the world, but that doesn’t really define “world” does it?

For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

And then Jesus says,

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?

Why does He then say,

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…

There are basically three Greek words for ‘world’ in the Newer Testament: one that speaks of time (as in aeon), one that speaks of geographical inhabitation and one that speaks of order (which is the word used in the passages above).  The transliteration is kosmos.

So, what is kosmos?  What is this thing that God Himself loves but asks us not to?  And once we figure out what it is, what does it mean to not love it but be in it?

Just some honest questions, and I’d love to hear your thoughts….

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