Monthly Archives: June 2016

Conversation

TALKING INSIDE copy
Talking head(s) Photoshop

 

A SHORT CONVERSATION
GOING NOWHERE
(or possibly – ‘convinced about nothing’)

 

👞 So let’s see if we can get some eternal questions sorted out, shall we?

👞 …‘We can’t’ – did you say?

👟 Yes…

👞 (Hmmm…thought you said that…)

👞 Well let’s try anyway. Ok?

👟 For religious answers – there’s no hope.
All the religions believe differently
and will never agree

👞 I See…but answers for you personally…?

👟 …Look, let me encourage you to
save some breath –
before you get started
let’s just forget the whole thing –
…. right?
You religious freaks
do my head in…

👞 So no answers then?
👟 No answers.

👞 No discussion?
👟 No discussion.

👞 No conclusions?
👟 No conclusions
…Just hours and hours of ramblings
– Some like that.
…I don’t.

👞 You will just live without any idea of
what happens when we all die?

👟 Exactly.
– we just die that’s it – we evaporate
into nothing

👞 So you are totally committed to this manifesto?

👟 Yep.

👞 Willing to lay down your life for it?

👟 NOPE! – ain’t laying my life down for any cause.

👞 Ok. Well – (better put) – you’re willing to eventually die IN
this held belief?

👟 What belief – I didn’t mention any belief?

👞 The belief that we evaporate and that’s it?

👟 Did I say I believed that?

👞 Well…yes…(?)

👟 No – I said
‘We just die that’s it – we evaporate
into nothing…’

👞 So you believe that then?

👟 Yes.

👞 So that’s your belief?

👟 Whatever…
(for sensible truth searchers I recommend ….
reading the Bible – John 3/16)

Gossip

the-gossip 2
The Gossip

 

GOSSIP

There is a thin line we might say, between sharing news and gossiping.

However any distinction has largely disappeared in the world we live in, where gossip is like a
constant saliva dripping copiously from the mouth.

The increase of ways of communicating of course has given opportunity for its viral promotion.

To a large degree there is little to no integrity exercised when it comes to sharing information, with no empathy or concern shown towards the person being gossiped about.

THE DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF GOSSIP IS:-
casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details which are not confirmed as true: he became the subject of much local gossip. (bold type is mine)

In my life with regard to all things – I try to have three imaginary drawers into which I place information, about any subject, person or given scenario.

The ‘I just don’t know drawer’, the ‘maybe – maybe not drawer’ – and the ‘I am convinced drawer’.

Concerning news about other people, the middle drawer is usually the fullest.

It is easy to conclude and form opinions without the full facts of the situation. Sometimes it is situations we cannot directly effect (e.g. world events in other places etc.). The only option open to us to effect situations and scenarios a lot of the time, is prayer.

When it comes to sharing news or information about people we know, within our own local, personal, social circle, there are two extremes to be avoided.

If we are to maintain a good conscience before God.

One extreme is to take on board everything and anything we hear through gossip.

Indiscriminately forming opinions and often adopting attitudes of abhorrence and rejection towards the person we have just heard information about.

This is often through gossip – that is, or is on – the verge of, being malicious.

And the other extreme is to fail to ‘speak up’ or ‘speak out’ and speak the truth, when it is required, for the benefit of others, for fear of speaking against something, it being perceived as criticism or judgementalism. Thus the truth doesn’t get spoken when it should.

For example – there can be an idea that the views of leaders should not be spoken against – but this becomes ‘never-ever’ spoken against, based on the idea that those in authority should not be questioned.

Whereas they too must be held accountable, and they are not always right.

It’s all to do with the state of heart in the person who is speaking against something they genuinely believe to be wrong. And there is always fair and proper procedure to be followed when there is a need to highlight something that is detrimental.

Constant backbiting and criticism based on false accusations and the like, are usually bed-fellows to unsubstantiated gossip, and it is so damaging.

A footnote to be added of course is ‘being quick to hear and slow to speak’ (James 1/19) is often the wisdom required in conflict situations, where a word in season is eventually required.

There is a verse that is a start for us in our quest for finding guidance for our actions:

I Thessalonians 5/21
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

This advice is given in the context of prophetic utterances in the church, but embraces the idea of the same spiritual discernment necessary in all contexts.

So much can fill our ‘certainty’ drawer – that just should not be there, – causing us to form opinions on half-truths and lies.

In a world that is guided by the inherent desire to sensationalise, and that feeds on controversy, let us ask for Grace to walk the narrow path of sound judgement (as in correct decision making and opinion forming).

Bearing in mind that someone is on the receiving end of our deliberations, who might not be as guilty as gossip has charged.
…………………………………………………….
I Timothy 5/13
And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.

What kind of rest?

SUNDAY AFTERNOONSunday Afternoon (based on 1950’s style Living Room) (Watercolour)

Which kind of rest?

Just another day?
Usually weekdays are – Just another day.

Because most folks usually work, and a lot of folks have survival in mind, as their motivation for staying in the job. Bread on the table, family to look after, mortgage etc. etc.

Weekends – begin to be celebrated at the company’s finishing time on Friday.

Now it’s time to do what you really like doing.

The weekend has arrived. Two days out of seven to do your thing.

There’s a saying ‘I work to live’, I don’t ‘live to work’.

Five or sometimes seven days labour in a job you do not like, sounds like prison.

In the Old Testament – six days were labour, and the seventh was for resting and worshipping.

In the greater agreement that is the New Testament ‘Sabbath rest’ has become an internal and constant rest position of abiding in Christ, to be guarded diligently. (Hebrews 4/1-9)

It is still however, the wisdom of God to take at least one days practical, physical, actual bodily rest.

But in the midst of a world gone wrong, in the midst of a ‘stress-lightning’-struck world, spiralling out of control and tottering about like a drunk, are you interested in the internal rest and peace offered by Christ Jesus, or do you prefer one days practical, physical, actual bodily rest?

Romantic Love

Romantic Love.♡

I was listening to a song on the album ‘Flaming Pie’ by Paul McCartney. The song is entitled: Young Boy.

A line in the song struck me as applicable to us all:

‘He’s just a young boy looking for a way to find love…’

And I thought: ‘Aren’t we all…?”

Now that’s a subject there are more angles to, than there are Arabian Nights, – humanly speaking.

Love.

Poets have been working at expressing what love is for centuries.

It’s in the same family as ‘The Human Need For Appreciation’, that I shared in a page blog (see above).

When we meet someone and fall in love, the initial great surge of emotion involved, has been variously ‘adjective-ised’ (I think you will find this word doesn’t exist, but it sounds good😊), in terms of ’goose-bumps’, ‘shivers down the backbone’, where it involves sleepless nights, food abhorrence, and an inability to concentrate on anything else.

Involving (on the male’s part) a supercharged need to protect.

It’s the kind of thing that produces good manners, Saville Row coats strewn across street puddles so that the lady remains unblemished when venturing onward on her journey, diamonds on the soles of shoes, locks locked to chains on bridges, names carved into trees, the sacrifice of the one remaining Malteser chocolate to the loved one.

It involves exclamatory proclamations such as ‘my one true love’. Lyrics like: ‘I’ve never known a love like this before…’
Valentine day rhymes – Roses are red Violets are blue etc.

It involves heightened emotional involvement that not only rings the bell at the fair ground but shatters it, through the roof and onwards to Mars.

It’s the total feeling experience, that many take as the legitimate green light for unbridled expression of the body. (I don’t)

There is no ‘high’ like the love high. The internal capacity for which, however, will vary from individual to individual.

Love is blind – they say. Taken on a natural human level – this can be explained, as an inability to see anything wrong or negative about the person who has ‘stolen the heart’ in a rapturous ‘feeling state’ of mutual adoration.

(Only disturbed slightly(?) in newly-weds when the wife makes beans on toast for dinner for the fourteenth consecutive night in a row).

Concerning The Love of Jesus, however, we read: ‘love covers a multitude of sins’ (I Peter 4/8). Inclusive of the truth that God is willing to choose to turn a ‘blind eye’ to our sins, blotting them out at salvation – only on request and total commitment to Him.

This human emotional captivation of the heart is the initial smitten state that two people find themselves in, when they first ‘fall’ in love.

And for many this experience being the strongest emotional high of their lives – they cannot comprehend, and indeed will deny, that anything could surpass it, or cause them to falter.

And yet it is de-authenticated as being the ultimate in life – by the fact that it can turn sour, and they fall ‘out of love’ at a later date.

And then go hungering for the same experience again, based on their ‘felt need’ and the belief that it is possible to fall in love again.

And so Cher asks us: ‘Do you believe in love after love?’

But why, if this love you or I have experienced is so beyond description and is so – ‘too strong’ and has never been equalled in your life…

Why, with this once-in-a-lifetime recipient of your overwhelming love – in mind, is it even possible for you or I to love again, or even contemplate the possibility?

There goes the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ confession of one true love out the window – it’s overwhelming claim of authority is saw to be false.

Because separation has occurred – and after broken-hearted pieces are mended, you find another person to fall in love with. Many having lived to love again.

How can anyone testifying to the dogmatics of love, involving ‘never ever experienced anything like this before and never will again’ do we find them recovering, often big time, when it all goes wrong, to live to love again?

Recovering from devastation, and now testifying, on rising to a new relationship: ‘that yes that was good…but NOW I have REALLY found my soul mate – this is ‘really real’ – this time’? ‘

But that’s what you said last time…!??!’

Was the last relationship not ‘really real’ at the time?

Does this not expose the limitations and imperfections and terminability of human love-emotion?

Does not the ensuing negatives, the after-love ‘fallout’,
exposing the inadequacies, and the inconsistencies of human emotion, act as a bomb disposal unit, that defuses the ‘dynamite’ in the love bomb, formerly held to be unquenchable?

And does the relational ‘break ups’ not expose the frailty of the paper thin ‘one true love’ theory that is based on emotion alone.

We could say loving again does not trash the former engrossment of mutual desire.

But it wasn’t enough to hold together a commitment for life, that which the heated emotion confessed to be it’s sought after goal.

Admitting it was real at the time – we nevertheless see it’s temporal limitations exposed, do we not?

Is it a defence to say: ‘it was real while it lasted?’

Why does the relationship have to die? Why does it die?

The feeling factor is real alright. But I suggest that it is undependable on it’s own as a maintainer of a covenant agreement between husband and wife.

Due to the undependability of (loves) emotion, so easily the antithesis (negative emotion) – takes it’s place, when sinful man or woman violates the relationship in one way or another.

When both partners are to blame for subsequent violation and estrangement – justification for separation is often largely based on the fact that the ‘love feeling’ is no longer there.

The ability to detect where the estrangement began and to set about solving and mending it at source, seems to allude so many.

There is a failure to see that it is down to human nature common to both. And that, that nature needs to be replaced by another nature – the divine nature.

Deeply felt emotion having been replaced often with deep hurt, resentment, and bitterness carried by the one (or both) who have perhaps been betrayed and forsaken.

There are legitimate reasons for separation and break ups, but there are also a myriad of reasons that are not legitimate, and the inability to mend, only exposes that romantic love, so partaken of with seemingly all of the being – is in fact weighed in the balance and found wanting.

The struggles couples go through with accusation and counter accusation, exposes the great need of us all to find help in our dilemma.

It is not within human nature alone – to find the solutions. Proven by the epidemic breakdowns of the family unit in our society.

Without taking hold of the Biblical principles, and God’s direct help, we are left to our own devices. And increasingly the morals that make for a healthy society are being eroded.

(I wish to inform you that the above paragraphs have been written by an incurable romantic, per chance you should think for one moment, that the author is some kind of unemotional scribe who has not experienced deep love of the emotional kind).

The failure to sustain – found in emotional love, poses clearly the question: ‘Is that it?’ ‘Is this all there is?’

Is real love at the mercy of the untrustworthy feeling state of changeable and fickle hearts?

So that once this high state is trespassed into – through life’s experiences of a negative nature – we are left looking for another ‘love fix’, to get us through.

When the honeymoon high has worn off – what have we left?

Often many are so hurt they cannot take a chance with love again. But it is a love that is entirely defined by feeling alone.

Human emotional love is way up there in the experiences that make life worthwhile. To find someone and fall in love is not being spoken against in this post, just it’s overestimation as being enough to hold marriages together, while society and family life falls apart in disarray.

It is important that emotional love is very much present when two people come together in marriage. It’s absence when marriage is entered into, suggests an unnatural union.

There can be a pseudo-spirituality that some confess as a reason to bypass the need for emotional attraction toward their chosen partner, and my response to it would be to encourage the exercise of extreme caution. Absence of emotional attachment and attraction to our potential life’s partner is dangerous.

The other misdemeanour apart from basing everything on emotional love, is to think it is being somehow more spiritual when it is absent.

This is a grave mistake.

***

Concerning the greater love of Christ, I offer the following analogy:

When the central heating has been turned off, the house gets cold.
Unless it is summer time.

Summertime provides a different kind of heat.

One much more powerful – in that, it heats everything everywhere, that is exposed to it.

Central heating is only internal (emotional love). Not dependent on anything beyond what is inside.

The sun heats everything everywhere, it is greater, larger, more powerful, has attributes that are absent from any central heating system.

That is my analogy of the difference between human emotion and passion – and the Love of Christ, which is eternal. God’s love is greater, containing all the attributes of God’s character and person. It is way beyond being a feeling ‘only’ kind of love.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
(I John 4/10)
As Christ’s ways are higher than ours, so His love is unspeakably superior to human love.

And the experience of that love – yes – internally in the human spirit – is much more wonderful than human love – those who have experienced it will know what I mean.

Out of God’s loving heart He has planned untold benefits for those who will respond to His call to have fellowship with Himself, described in the following verse:

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
(I Corinthians 2/9)

There is no love as demonstrative, as the Love of Christ.

He didn’t just say it – He demonstrated it.

Not only did He allow Himself to be crucified. But He who knew no sin, allowed himself to be separated from His Father, on the cross, thus becoming the embodiment of every conceivable atrocity and perversion known to man. He descended into hell on our behalf.

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (II Corinthians 5/21)

Think of it – He who knew no sin, became sin…

That we (committed believers in Christ) might become the righteousness of God IN HIM.

In our deeply felt need for love – we all will herald our experience of falling in love as the epitome of all we have been looking for, having found the person of our dreams.

But we must admit, it is possible that – that kind of limited love – can be relived with another person, at a later date.

It is not – in itself – eternal.

My heart is as romantically in love with my wife after thirty-seven years of knowing each other, as it ever has been – but it is not that aspect of our love alone that has sustained our happy marriage.

The romance takes on a different form in the love of Christ.

It is energised with different fuel, than that in common use.

It is embedded in the experience we have had and have of The Love of Christ shed abroad in our hearts by The Holy Spirit. (Romans 5/5)

It is a ‘many-sided’ love not just dependant on fluctuating emotional feeling.

It is born in and sustained by a higher Agape love.

We (my wife and I) are prone to failure in our relationship like everybody else.

But there is a cement that we keep applying to mend the brickwork.

It is available everyday to repair any scrapes or bruises we might inflict on one another, applied by good will and prayer through mutual forgiveness and maintained communication.

We both experience the peace of God ruling in our hearts.

In the Old Testament speaking of this wonderful love of God, we are told that Jonathan’s heart was knit to David’s. So that their spiritual God-given love surpassed the love of women (i.e. the human kind of love). This was not a physical or sexual love, it involved their souls.

I Samuel 18/1 – And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan* loved him as his own soul.

I always advise young couples concerning the David and Jonathan example of being ‘knit’ – ‘Notice when you drop a stitch, and put it back in place right away’.

It’s much easier to do so than to allow the ‘wool of negativity’ to get so entangled that the pain of hurting each other spirals into a mess.

NB: (Try untangling a fishing line when it gets into a ‘bird’s nest’ state of entanglement)!

Much easier to simply restore the slight hurts you have caused to each other, swiftly and with sincerity, cemented with forgiveness and yes – often topped off with a new romantic encounter.

It is understandable that love and falling in love between a male and a female is perceived as the greatest human experience to be had.

But notice I say: ‘human’.

Genuine Christians have experienced the divine nature, that supplies something higher and more wonderful.
(II Peter 1/4).

It is our inherent human nature that is always there to ‘war’ against the divine nature – that can put us low, and present the road of unbelief to us again.

Christians are not saying that everything is roses and chocolate.

We need a love that sustains us through thick and thin until death us do part.

That love is the love that Christ knew when a faithful heavenly Father raised Him from the dead and restored Him to His right hand side as the head over all things, giving Him to the church, as Lord, Saviour and Master.

The fickleness of feeling and emotion will be with everyone until they leave this planet. Equally so for the Christian as anyone else.

Now is the time to reach out in faith for something eternally sustainable – a love that is based on promises made. A love that passes understanding. A love that will never leave us nor forsake us, because we have accepted it with thanksgiving. A love that is experienced in the human spirit when it comes alive on meeting The Lord Jesus Christ.

A love supplied to the heart of faith.
A faith that believes when feelings are rock bottom – His love is still here, and His watchful eye is only benevolent towards us.
A love that is the person called Jesus Christ.

God is love. (I John 4/8)

The unseen hand

Poem

The unseen hand

The sun beats down on
old familiar adjective street

Later the moon showed-off it’s roundness
scaring away all clouds
by arrangement with the weather

Starry starry night so oft referred to
In painting, poem, and song

All on the back-cloth of that blue

That blue from dark outer value
to cobalt hue near the light
That’s the blue – memories are made of

That’s the blue that in partnership
with fresh air and approaching spring

Galvanises the senses in smell, sight
sound and touch
in impressionable youth
when emotions are fixed for good

It’s that night of sensing weather
that repeats the memory
for years
on it’s return

the essence of human emotion
when the experience of
similar landscape
hints at the eternal

when all is well – with feelings of safety
and just being young and interested

in all that is about us –
in activities engagement
of one kind or another.

In moments – just moments

God placed His hand
Just to say: ‘I’m still here’
And I mistook it for enjoyment of life
in those things He had made

Like young Samuel I could hear
But I didn’t know
I could see but thought only
what was visible
was what I saw.

My dear, dear friend – Jesus Himself
As one who knows better
overlooked my youthful ignorance
and stayed knocking
despite my infliction of pain
through foolishness of sin

Until one more spring arrived
this time
in spiritual surprise – to give new birth
to me again.