Love is the greatest of these…

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The one who loves all intensely, begins perceiving in all living beings, a part of himself. He becomes a lover of all, a part and parcel of the Universal Joy. He flows with the stream of happiness, and is enriched by each soul.” Yajur Veda

Today I turn forty one. This is not a spectacular feat to most. The average life span is approximately 80 years and a fair amount of the American populous makes it at least into their sixties. So forty one does not seem that great a feat. For someone like me, that never expected to make it out of his 20s, it is a pretty wonderful notion. No, I did not battle any great physical disease that could have taken my life. In fact, the only real threat to my life up until now has been myself.

See that is why I am impressed I made it to forty one. That means I have kept the demons at bay much longer then I ever expected. Though I did not accomplish this feat alone. It was with the help of many along the way, that did not even realize they were helping me. It was love that kept me going. The love of others and my love for them. I found the best way through it is to focus not on myself, but on others. I want to help others and help make them better. I truly enjoy doing things for others. To know that my existence, which I once thought was a mistake, has meaning because of love.

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Presents don’t really mean much to me. I don’t want to sound mawkish, but – it was the realization that I have a great many people in my life who really love me, and who I really love.” Gabriel Byrne

I always get moody around my birthday. It is for various reasons and depends on the birthday. There are times it is because of nostalgia, my blessings, and sometimes it is because I ponder if I was a mistake, an anomaly that should never have happened. Though it is love that binds all those things for me. When I am nostalgic, it is because I am thinking about the love of those I have lost and the times with them. When it is about my blessings, it is directly about the love I have received. When it is about my existence, it is love that reminds me I was no mistake for if I was then the very concept of love would elude me.

The love of a parent. Many of my memories before seventh grade are fragmented. They are pieces scattered throughout my brain. I get highlights here and there. Sometimes the bad memories appear and when I was younger, the bad memories were more present and could break me. Though I always remember the love of my father in particular. Yes he was flawed, as we all are in some fashion. I never questioned his love for me.

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Treat your parents with loving care, you will only know their value when you see their empty chair.”

– unknown

The fact that he would take me on drives, be involved in whatever I was doing even if he did not understand it, sit listening to me when I needed it. When I got older he would just sit out in the garage while I worked on a car to keep me company. After he passed, my desire to work on vehicles seemed to pass as well. So even with his issues with drinking when I was younger and his anger issues, I knew in my soul he loved me.

My mother loved me in her own way and I did not appreciate that until I got older. Our relationship changed also, as I got older a mutual appreciation formed. I also will always remember that my mother was the only one that seemed to truly believe me when it came to light about what a friend of the family had done to me. That in itself told me she loved me and cared about me.

Friendship can be its own kind of love connection. We moved around a lot when I was younger. Every year for about a six year span it seemed I was in a different school. We were moving yet again after 8th grade but this time my dad gave me a choice of two towns and a promise that we would stay there for me to be at the same high school until I graduated. I chose and that is where I went to high school and met some of my life long friends. It is also where I met the man that is my brother in every way,other than genetically.

Help us to help each other, Lord, Each other’s cross to bear; Let each his friendly aid afford, And feel his brother’s care.” ― Ralph Harrison

His friendship got me through many dark moments in my life. Just sitting on our car hoods chatting in the church parking lot or at the park. If you read this Dan, I have two words for you….Duck Hunt. His friendship has been one of the greatest gifts ever given me. When I got in an accident senior year, he heard from someone that I was being taken to the hospital and he drove out to the hospital to be there. I also think Dan is the only friend of mine that my father saw as sort of an adopted son.

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Because everything of value that we will know in this life comes from our relationships with those around us. Because there is nothing material that measures against the intangibles of love and friendship.”

R.A. Salvatore

When my father passed away. I texted a couple friends that we were on the way to the hospital and that dad had a heart attack. Dan and Jason both showed up at the Hospital. They stayed there as we received the news and offered support in however they could. I also remember while being overwhelmed getting everything together for the funeral, that Dan took a night and got my mind off everything. We sat there at the park like we used to do and just chatted.

Then you have love of a spouse. I am by no means a perfect man. I can be moody and flippy. I once was told by a woman that I was moodier then a woman. I also came into our marriage with baggage from my childhood. We were young, she was 17 and I was 20, with a child on the way. She endured the adjustments it would take me to truly become a loving spouse. She knew my heart, and had the patience to endure me getting to where I am now. For me to learn how to trust, since the only person I had ever truly trusted was Dan. I knew nothing really about trust especially in a relationship. Which means she endured those trust issues and covered me in her love. I would give my very life for that woman. She is my entangled and completes my soul. She has been the truest blessing any man could ask for.

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What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” -Mother Theresa

Now we get to the love of children. The gift of a child is magical. It is a gift of pure love wrapped up in a crying bundle. The unconditional love they have shown me, and I them has transformed me. They have taught me so much along the way. They have taught me what it means to love someone without any expectation. They have given me great purpose in this life. They strengthened my love of my wife and in humanity. I could no longer see humanity as a bad place. I had to learn to love others and make this world a better place. I had to do that because if I was going to send my little love bundles out into the world, I had to see the kindness and love that was out there. So I knew that no matter what they would find that kindness and love regardless of their trials.

Love from a stranger. A truly caring heart exudes love. When you come in contact with a soul that cares you feel it, you see it. You feel touched by it. The person that by the way they speak and act, you feel changed. You feel a twinge of love spark inside you. These are the truly beautiful souls in this world. The ones that share kindness that see past everything and look to the person inside. A caring soul has saved me on more then one occasion from the darkness and demons inside.

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Smile at strangers and you just might change a life.”

Steve Maraboli

Also the love found in what you see out in the world. Those that seek out to help others. Those that use their craft to share stories or love. I know the impact of a song that touches the very soul. That makes a connection. I see tragedy and yet I see those running to help. I see people rallying to lift others up. I see love in strangers every day. It gives me hope just seeing strangers helping without thought of repayment. They help because love speaks to them to help out another soul.

In fact this is the person I look to become. Someone that cares about every person I interact with. I wanted to see past any stereotype or prejudice and see the soul within that yearns to be loved. My friend Pete once said that when I ask someone how they are doing, that you can tell that I want to know. When he said this it let me know I was at least on the right path of becoming a kind person that showed my love to all. I will never be done journeying to be that person but it is because of love that I strive to be that person..

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Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it”

Siddhartha Gautama

You have love of God. God was my friend growing up. I talked to him like a friend. I was an only child so the one I trusted and shared with was God. I have always had a very strong connection to God. He has guided me and protected me over the years. I have various stories that show that, but just know that Love of and from something greater then us is a beautiful thing.

Okay one story. I was in Evansville, Indiana and was out of money and needed gas to get home. I went to the ATM machine and tried to get money. There was no money in my account to be had, yet it dispensed enough cash to get home. This was the one and only time I have ever been able to get money that was not there. The next day I got bounce fees for the withdraw which did not matter because the only thing I needed that night was enough money to get home, and it was given. Though I still believe it was given because He knew I had learned a lesson that night as well. A lesson that changed my behavior.  It could have been a glitch with the ATM, but I prefer to see God’s hand in what happened.

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Legalism says God will love us if we change. The gospel says God will change us because He loves us.” ― Tullian Tchividjian

You have love from animals as well. Anyone that owns an animal knows the love this beautiful creatures can extol upon you. They watch over you when you are sick. Show you random love throughout the day. They have even shown that owning a pet can extend your life. The fact that you are sharing love. You care for the animal and they in turn care for you. I can remember Fluffy, our dog when I was young, would come and lay beside the couch when I was sick and stick his nose up on me to check on me. He even would whimper sometimes if I was really sick.

You also have the love of community. This is whatever group you are part of, whether that be a church, work, charity, tennis club, book club, etc. There is loved shared there as well. People come in with one expectation and can gain the benefit of caring depending on the group. You tell people in your group about something troubling you, and some if not all of them can show great love and concern. I had never had this experience until my mother passed while I was at work. I work at a church, so I suppose it would be two groups in one. 🙂

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We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”

Dorothy Day

When I got the call about my mother, I was at work. By the time I had reached the janitor closet to put up my stuff I was surrounded by my co-workers all with looks of concern upon their face. The only thing they knew was that I came down the hall crying like a big baby. Then they prayed and even offered to give me a ride to go take care of my mother. I had never had that kind of love bestowed upon me before. Though after, I also had other church members inquiring how I was doing and making sure I was okay. Again, not something I was accustomed to having happen. It was another time that my life changed was then and not because I lost my mother, though that did change me, but the love shown in that moment. It changed me some for the better.

You see the reason that many religions have love in their message, is because it truly is the greatest thing you can give or receive. It truly transforms lives. I know it does because I turned 41 today and that speaks volumes to the love shown me in my life from all sources. Love is the foundation for everything else. Love is hope, faith, kindness, and more. True love does not quote books, laws, or prejudices. It simply shines upon the recipient a light that says you mean something to me.

I hope you get to feel and share love today. I ask you to think about how love has transformed you. How has even small moments of love made a change in you?

Thank you for your time. I hope you have a truly wonderful day.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

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And to my Uncle Roger, you have been an amazing blessing and demonstrated to me love in many ways. Flying in and staying here when both parents passed. Taking time to show love, to text, to care. You have been a true blessing to me and my family. To my in-laws you to have been an amazing blessing to us and shown me much love over the years thank you.

“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. “ Colossians 3:14

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Did I Just Perceive That Correctly?

“Superman: Hello, Ten.

Ten of Diamonds: I was just thinking about you. How —

Superman: You’ve got a very distinct heartbeat. Erratic breathing. And your kevlar costume squeaks when you walk. Easy sound grouping to pull out of a crowd.

Ten of Diamonds: A crowd of eleven million?

Superman: My hearing’s very acute.”

Yesterday I mentioned the Rashomon Effect. I was part of a study once that I got to see how this plays out. We all were introduced to the same information, same visual stimuli, etc. Then we were broken into groups to discuss it. It was an interesting endeavor for me. First I found that in the smaller group, I can end up being more outspoken. That in itself was an interesting revelation given in larger groups, I am quiet. Though more interesting were the participants.

When we began discussing you saw different views arise. Some people caught similar information others missed that information. Some heard or saw the same thing but interpreted it differently. There were those that brought very personal experience into the mix, which skewed their objectivity and twisted what they saw and heard. One particular lady focused merely on her personal experience. You would mention something presented, and she would come back with her personal experience with something similar. It was also interesting to see how it was very hard to get her to even give a little on her opinion of what was presented. She had formed an idea based more on her personal experience instead of what was seen and heard. She became emotionally vested, and even seemed to take attempts at changing her opinion as personal attacks at times.

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Life is not what happens to us; it is what we perceive has happened to us.”

Richelle E. Goodrich

It was interesting that everyone in the small groups saw and heard the same things, but yet could have very different takes on what was presented. It actually reminded me a bit of a movie I enjoy, 12 Angry Men, in that what was observed was skewed very much by personal belief, experience, and opinion. It was even more interesting when the groups were brought back together and you heard the different groups’ opinions of what was seen and heard. This being each group compromising to come to one cohesive interpretation of what was viewed then sharing it with the rest of us. It was quite an enlightening endeavor for me and I got to be paid for gaining enlightenment. Win – win for me.

There is a story I enjoy a lot about a Raja who summons men who have been blind from birth. When they arrive, he has them separated into groups, then each group is introduced to a different part of an elephant. Once they had spent some time exploring their section of the elephant, they all were brought back before the Raja. The Raja then asked the men to describe an elephant. Each had a different description. Those that had the ears said it was like a great fan, those that had the head said it was like a pot, another group that had the tusks said it was like a plow and so on. Then the men began to argue over what an elephant was, all very sure of their truth and unwilling to accept the truth of another.

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“Its all about perspective, that is how you look at things. Your own thoughts and outlook defines whether an experience, event, situation whatever is good or bad. And your definition determines your response.”

Stella Payton

I had not thought about how this was an example of the Rashomon Effect until my wife mentioned I should include the blind men and elephant in my blog today when she found out what this entry was about. It got me thinking how it was a pretty good example. I sat pondering the elements of the story, and smiled at how many times I have read the story or thought of the story, and never made the connection to the Rashomon Effect. I love my wife and the things she gets me to think about.

The thing is, we develop truths from our perceptions and when we fail to take into account another’s truth, and at least ponder how it relates to our own truth, we fail to see a bigger picture. The term we hear sometimes is “they have blinders on”. An idea that someone will not relinquish their particular truth no matter what is presented before them.

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Imagine a wall that’s green on one side and red on the other. You stand on one side and only see green. I stand on the other side and only see red. We’ll both be right about the color we see, even though we disagree on what color the wall is. Being able to realize that the other person has a valid point, even if you disagree with it, that’s maturity.”

Oliver Gaspirtz

The sad part is, I have watched how people latch onto their particular versions of truth, then not only want to fight to keep it, but then to feel safe they want to demand others have that same truth. It is okay to have your particular truth, but accept that the real truth may be bigger than that which we hold, and the only way for us to really get an idea of the bigger truth is to share and accept ideas from others.

Whether it is watching an accident happen, a sunset, or the elephant in the room. We need to understand that our view is unique to another’s view, and the truth may be different than that which we perceive. We also have to understand our particular truth is filtered through the other truths we hold.

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The nature of the universe probably depends heavily on who is the actual protagonist. Lately I’ve been suspecting it’s one of my cats.”

Wil McCarthy

I mentioned a sunset earlier, sometimes people see a green flash at sunset. In fact if you have seen Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, they make reference to this effect. I was thinking about someone who might be seeing a sunset for the first time and catch this effect. Then when describing their first sunset and mention a green flash or green horizon to someone who has observed many sunsets, and even caught the same sunset being described, yet never saw the green flash. An argument may ensue about something that was merely about each person’s vantage point.

I was looking up green flash, the optical perception that can happen at sunset, as opposed to the Flash wearing Green Lantern’s ring, and was intrigued that there are different types of green flashes observed. Some even being perceived as rays. The biggest thing we must understand is truth is based on our perceptions and to understand the larger truth that may exist, we must share what we have perceived and take in others account of was perceived.

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I can actually see the machinery and wire connecting and separating everything since it all began. This is how he sees all the time, every day. Like it’s all just us in here, together. And we’re all we’ve got….”- Lex Luthor, All-Star Superman

Do you cling to a truth that you hold dear and are unwilling to even listen to another’s view on it? Are you afraid that if you listen to another’s truth that it may change your own? Do you never share your truth because of fear to share it for whatever reason? Are you willing to hear another’s truth?

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you have a wonderful day.

“An ant can’t define shape of an elephant solely from its’ point of view. They have to unify all views. It’s a way for ant to understand elephant. In order to understand true realities, men need to do mental blending.”

― Toba Beta

‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ – 13 ways to show love….

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Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.
Ann Landers

I am apologizing in advance do to the length this post ended up being. It is probably one of the longest posts I have made. As stated below you can skip to the list below I created if you wish. Just look for back to biscuits. Also skimming is allowed. 🙂  LOL.  Have a great day. 

It‭ ‬interests‭ ‬me‭ ‬how‭ ‬many‭ ‬people‭ ‬pass‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬on‭ ‬another.‭ ‬This‭ ‬is‭ ‬a‭ ‬human‭ ‬trait‭ ‬that‭ ‬has‭ ‬been‭ ‬with‭ ‬us‭ ‬probably‭ ‬from‭ ‬our‭ ‬beginnings.‭ ‬We‭ ‬pass‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬on‭ ‬a‭ ‬person‭’‬s‭ ‬clothes,‭ ‬speech,‭ ‬job,‭ ‬and‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬Now‭ ‬this‭ ‬blog‭ ‬is‭ ‬not‭ ‬about‭ ‬judgement,‭ ‬but‭ ‬more‭over ‬lack‭ ‬of‭ ‬it.‭ ‬You‭ ‬see,‭ ‬the‭ ‬first‭ ‬thing‭ ‬you‭ ‬find‭ ‬about‭ ‬love‭ ‬is that‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬free‭ ‬of‭ ‬judgement,‭ ‬free‭ ‬of‭ ‬expectation,‭ ‬or‭ ‬any‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬normal‭ ‬pitfalls‭ ‬we‭ ‬have‭ ‬as‭ ‬humans.

Also,‭ ‬this‭ ‬particular‭ ‬blog‭ ‬entry‭ ‬may‭ ‬reference‭ ‬a‭ ‬higher‭ ‬power‭ ‬and‭ ‬touch‭ ‬on‭ ‬some‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬views‭ ‬and‭ ‬even‭ ‬beliefs.‭ ‬This‭ ‬is‭ ‬not‭ ‬my‭ ‬way‭ ‬to‭ ‬change‭ ‬you.‭ ‬For‭ ‬love‭ ‬is‭ ‬also‭ ‬acceptance.‭ ‬I‭ ‬accept‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬the‭ ‬way‭ ‬you‭ ‬are,‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬the‭ ‬way‭ ‬I‭ ‬am.‭ ‬I‭ ‬see‭ ‬it‭ ‬as‭ ‬God‭ ‬puts‭ ‬us‭ ‬all‭ ‬on‭ ‬particular‭ ‬paths‭ ‬for‭ ‬the‭ ‬possibility‭ ‬to‭ ‬learn‭ ‬and‭ ‬expand‭ ‬ourselves.‭ ‬I‭ ‬say‭ ‬possibility,‭ ‬because‭ ‬of‭ ‬course‭ ‬we‭ ‬have‭ ‬to‭ ‬choose‭ ‬to‭ ‬see‭ ‬those‭ ‬moments‭ ‬and‭ ‬reasons‭ ‬for‭ ‬the‭ ‬particular‭ ‬path.  ‭ ‬Though‭ ‬love‭ ‬is‭ ‬acceptance‭ ‬and‭ ‬lacks‭ ‬judgement. ‭ ‬Most‭ ‬religions‭ ‬would‭ ‬agree‭ ‬with‭ ‬these‭ ‬basic‭ ‬premises‭ ‬to‭ ‬love.‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬states‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬is‭ ‬for‭ ‬God‭ ‬alone.‭ ‬Part‭ ‬of‭ ‬this‭ ‬is‭ ‬because‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬hinders‭ ‬love‭ ‬and‭ ‬love‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬greatest‭ ‬commandment‭ ‬given.

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr

You‭ ‬can‭ ‬always‭ ‬skip‭ ‬to‭ ‬the‭ ‬list‭ ‬below‭ ‬if‭ ‬you‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬wish‭ ‬to‭ ‬read‭ ‬the‭ ‬following‭ ‬that‭ ‬gives‭ ‬a‭ ‬base‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬list‭ ‬by‭ ‬talking‭ ‬about‭ ‬me‭ ‬a‭ ‬little.

Before‭ ‬we‭ ‬go‭ ‬forward‭ ‬even‭ ‬further,‭ ‬I‭ ‬guess‭ ‬I‭ ‬should‭ ‬state‭ ‬a‭ ‬few‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬views,‭ ‬then‭ ‬we‭ ‬will‭ ‬get‭ ‬into‭ ‬a‭ ‬bit‭ ‬of‭ ‬a‭ ‬list‭ ‬on‭ ‬showing‭ ‬love.‭ ‬I‭ ‬rarely‭ ‬talk‭ ‬about‭ ‬how‭ ‬I‭ ‬see‭ ‬the‭ ‬world.‭ ‬Sometimes‭ ‬people‭ ‬get‭ ‬snippets‭ ‬but‭ ‬I‭ ‬find‭ ‬stating‭ ‬my‭ ‬beliefs‭ ‬can‭ ‬hinder‭ ‬people‭ ‬being‭ ‬open,‭ ‬even within‭ ‬the‭ ‬Christian‭ ‬realm‭ ‬of‭ ‬thought.‭ ‬This‭ ‬happens‭ ‬partially‭ ‬because‭ ‬of‭ ‬fear‭ ‬of‭ ‬judgement,‭ ‬as‭ ‬well‭ ‬as‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬from‭ ‬the‭ ‬person‭ ‬speaking‭ ‬making‭ ‬assumptions‭ ‬to‭ ‬how‭ ‬one‭ ‬would‭ ‬react. ‭ ‬So,‭ ‬this‭ ‬is‭ ‬one‭ ‬of‭ ‬those‭ ‬rare‭ ‬times‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬will‭ ‬give‭ ‬you‭ ‬a‭ ‬little‭ ‬snippet‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬views‭ ‬before‭ ‬I‭ ‬proceed. Not‭ ‬so‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬judge‭ ‬me,‭ ‬but‭ ‬so‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬understand‭ ‬me‭ ‬and‭ ‬understand‭ ‬the‭ ‬list‭ ‬that‭ ‬follows‭ ‬possibly‭ ‬better.

First,‭ ‬my‭ ‬beliefs‭ ‬are‭ ‬ever-evolving.‭ ‬I‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬believe‭ ‬any‭ ‬person‭ ‬is‭ ‬actually‭ ‬a‭ ‬particular‭ ‬faith‭ ‬or‭ ‬denomination,‭ ‬but‭ ‬a‭ ‬culmination‭ ‬of‭ ‬life‭ ‬experience,‭ ‬faith,‭ ‬learning,‭ ‬and‭ ‬interactions‭ ‬with‭ ‬others.

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“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

I‭ ‬have‭ ‬said‭ ‬from‭ ‬an‭ ‬early‭ ‬age‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬my‭ ‬own‭ ‬faith.‭ ‬Back‭ ‬then,‭ ‬that‭ ‬meant‭ ‬any‭ ‬particular‭ ‬denomination‭ ‬of‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬because‭ ‬my‭ ‬scope‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬world‭ ‬was‭ ‬limited.‭ ‬Now,‭ ‬I‭ ‬truly‭ ‬mean‭ ‬my‭ ‬own‭ ‬faith‭ ‬in‭ ‬general. ‭ T‬his‭ ‬would‭ ‬include‭ ‬out‭ ‬of‭ ‬various‭ ‬faiths.‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬very‭ ‬heavily‭ ‬Christian‭ ‬when‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬young‭ ‬and‭ ‬a‭ ‬conservative‭ ‬Christian,‭ ‬which‭ ‬might‭ ‬surprise‭ ‬some‭ ‬that‭ ‬know‭ ‬me‭ ‬now.‭ ‬I‭ ‬grew‭ ‬up‭ ‬Southern‭ ‬Freewill‭ ‬Baptist‭ ‬and‭ ‬Seventh‭ ‬Day‭ ‬Adventist.‭ ‬I‭ ‬spent‭ ‬at‭ ‬least‭ ‬2‭ ‬years‭ ‬in‭ ‬Seventh‭ ‬Day‭ A‬dventist‭ ‬church‭ ‬school, and went‭ ‬to‭ ‬several‭ ‬seminars‭ ‬on‭ ‬various‭ ‬biblical‭ ‬subjects,‭ ‬including‭ ‬an‭ ‬enlightening‭ ‬Daniel‭ ‬and‭ ‬Revelations‭ ‬seminar.

When‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬an‭ ‬older‭ ‬teenager‭ ‬and‭ ‬young‭ ‬adult‭ ‬I‭ ‬searched‭ ‬out‭ ‬other‭ ‬denominations‭ ‬of‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬and‭ ‬learned‭ ‬various‭ ‬views‭ ‬they‭ ‬had. ‭ ‬There‭ ‬can‭ ‬be‭ ‬quite‭ ‬a‭ ‬bit‭ ‬of‭ ‬diversity‭ ‬even‭ ‬within‭ ‬one‭ ‬faith.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬I‭ ‬parted‭ ‬with‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬after‭ ‬my‭ ‬wife‭ ‬became‭ ‬pregnant‭ ‬and‭ ‬there‭ ‬were‭ ‬issues‭ ‬that‭ ‬arose‭ ‬from‭ ‬that‭ ‬interaction.‭ ‬Just‭ ‬so‭ ‬you‭ ‬may‭ ‬have‭ ‬the‭ ‬knee‭ ‬jerk‭ ‬reaction‭ ‬if‭ ‬you‭ ‬wish,‭ ‬my‭ ‬wife‭ ‬was‭ ‬16‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬20.‭ ‬We‭ ‬were‭ ‬dating‭ ‬and‭ ‬had‭ ‬always‭ ‬talked‭ ‬about‭ ‬getting‭ ‬married‭ ‬when‭ ‬she‭ ‬got‭ ‬older.‭ ‬Well,‭ ‬she‭ ‬became‭ ‬pregnant‭ ‬and‭ ‬we‭ ‬got‭ ‬married,‭ ‬but‭ ‬because‭ ‬of‭ ‬love,‭ ‬not‭ ‬because‭ ‬of‭ ‬a‭ ‬child.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬as‭ ‬you‭ ‬might‭ ‬foresee,‭ ‬this‭ ‬could‭ draw ‬issue with some religious folk.‭ H‬er‭ ‬pastor‭ ‬friend‭ ‬married‭ ‬us‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬woods‭ ‬where‭ ‬a‭ ‬fork‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬creek‭ ‬came‭ ‬together.‭ ‬Yeah,‭ ‬I‭ ‬like‭ ‬symbolism‭ ‬sometimes.‭ ‬:‭) My wife and daughter just took a hike at the place where we got married and she sent me a picture via text of the fork. That spot where she proved she was crazy by saying “I do”.

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“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Laozi

So‭ ‬why‭ ‬that‭ ‬story…‭ W‬ell,‭ ‬that‭ ‬parting‭ ‬with‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬is‭ ‬what‭ ‬caused‭ ‬the‭ ‬journey‭ ‬that‭ ‬brought‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬where‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬now.‭ ‬I‭ ‬should‭ ‬say‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬parted‭ ‬ways‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬institution‭ ‬that‭ ‬was‭ ‬Christianity,‭ ‬not‭ ‬the‭ ‬lessons‭ ‬of‭ ‬Christ‭ ‬or‭ ‬God.‭ ‬I‭ ‬just‭ ‬had‭ ‬an‭ ‬issue‭ ‬with‭ ‬his‭ ‬groupies.‭ (‬I‭ ‬stole‭ ‬that‭ ‬last‭ ‬line‭ ‬from‭ ‬a‭ ‬movie,‭ ‬just‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬paraphrased‭ ‬form.)

Jesus was a country boy – Clay Walker
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_c6-rF3jdg

I‭ ‬took‭ ‬time‭ ‬learning‭ ‬a‭ ‬little‭ ‬of‭ ‬various‭ ‬religions.‭ ‬You‭ ‬find‭ ‬interesting‭ ‬similarities‭ ‬between‭ ‬the‭ different ‬religions.‭ ‬One‭ ‬thing‭ ‬that‭ ‬is‭ ‬quite‭ ‬common‭ ‬between‭ ‬them,‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬ideal‭ ‬of‭ ‬Love. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬keep‭ ‬trying‭ ‬right‭ ‬now to avoid‭ ‬getting‭ ‬into‭ ‬the‭ ‬technical‭ ‬stuff‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬religions,‭ ‬like‭ ‬how‭ ‬some‭ ‬share‭ ‬similar‭ ‬bases,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬So‭ ‬excuse‭ ‬if‭ ‬I‭ ‬slip. ‭ ‬Though‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬exploration,‭ ‬I‭ ‬found‭ ‬a‭ ‬religion‭ ‬that‭ ‬spoke‭ ‬to‭ ‬me‭ ‬very‭ ‬much.

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“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

― Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!

Think‭ ‬of‭ ‬it‭ ‬as‭ ‬God‭ ‬saying‭ “‬here‭ ‬is‭ ‬where‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬suppose‭ ‬to‭ ‬be”.‭ ‬See‭ ‬I‭ ‬follow‭ ‬where‭ ‬my‭ ‬heart‭ ‬leads‭ ‬me,‭ ‬where‭ ‬my‭ ‬inner‭ ‬voice‭ ‬tells‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬go.‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬learned‭ ‬to‭ ‬trust‭ ‬that‭ ‬feeling‭ ‬that‭ ‬compels‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬do‭ ‬things‭ ‬or‭ ‬go‭ ‬certain‭ ‬directions.‭ ‬Anyway,‭ ‬I‭ ‬found‭ ‬Buddhism,‭ ‬which‭ ‬some‭ ‬would‭ ‬argue‭ ‬is‭ ‬more‭ ‬philosophy‭ ‬than‭ ‬religion,‭ ‬which‭ ‬is‭ ‬fine.‭ ‬The‭ ‬other‭ ‬thing‭ ‬about‭ ‬the‭ ‬middle‭ ‬way,‭ ‬there‭ ‬was‭ ‬no‭ ‬need‭ ‬to‭ ‬give‭ ‬up‭ ‬my‭ ‬belief‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬higher‭ ‬power‭ ‬or‭ ‬change‭ ‬sides.‭ ‬Also‭ ‬Buddhism‭ ‬is‭ ‬very‭ ‬similar‭ ‬to‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬in‭ ‬many‭ ‬of‭ ‬its‭ ‬beliefs,‭ ‬even‭ ‬if‭ ‬possibly‭ ‬said‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬slightly‭ ‬different‭ ‬way.

Buddhism‭ ‬actually‭ ‬made‭ ‬a‭ ‬big‭ ‬change‭ ‬in‭ ‬me. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬think‭ ‬one‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬other‭ ‬beauties‭ ‬was‭ ‬I‭ ‬learned‭ ‬much‭ ‬of‭ ‬it‭ ‬from‭ ‬books,‭ ‬and‭ ‬thus‭ ‬could‭ ‬learn‭ ‬it‭ ‬first from‭ ‬a‭ ‬somewhat‭ ‬scientific‭ ‬approach.‭ ‬Also,‭ ‬that‭ ‬meant‭ ‬I‭ ‬did‭ ‬not‭ ‬have‭ ‬the‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬of‭ ‬their‭ ‬groupies,‭ ‬either‭ ‬me‭ ‬judging‭ ‬them‭ ‬or‭ ‬them‭ ‬I. ‭ ‬So‭ ‬this‭ ‬was‭ ‬a‭ ‬perfect‭ ‬fit.‭ ‬I‭ ‬also‭ ‬firmly‭ ‬believe‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬directed‭ ‬to‭ ‬that‭ ‬path,‭ ‬because‭ ‬Buddhism‭ ‬was‭ ‬part‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬life‭ ‬for‭ ‬many‭ ‬years.‭ ‬Buddha‭ ‬simply‭ ‬means‭ ‬enlightened‭ ‬one. Siddhartha‭ ‬was‭ ‬believed‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬the‭ ‬first‭ ‬Buddha‭ ‬and‭ ‬the‭ ‬basis‭ ‬that‭ ‬Buddhism‭ ‬grew‭ ‬from. ‭ ‬If‭ ‬you‭ ‬were‭ ‬wondering‭ ‬how‭ ‬it‭ ‬would‭ ‬not‭ ‬conflict‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬belief‭ ‬in‭ ‬God. I make this clarification because some think Buddha is Buddhism’s god but that is not true.

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Mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us. The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love. Love is not great delight but desire to please God in everything.
Saint Teresa of Avila

Then‭ ‬I‭ ‬guess‭ ‬when‭ ‬God‭ ‬thought‭ ‬it‭ ‬was‭ ‬time‭ ‬for‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬remove‭ ‬the‭ ‬last‭ ‬jading‭ ‬I‭ ‬had‭ ‬of‭ ‬his‭ ‬groupies.‭ ‬He‭ ‬lead‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬a‭ ‬place‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬care‭ ‬a‭ ‬great‭ ‬deal‭ ‬about‭ ‬now.‭ ‬He‭ ‬lead‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬a‭ ‬job‭ ‬at‭ ‬a‭ ‬church. ‭ ‬Irony‭ ‬abounds‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬fact‭ ‬that‭ ‬the‭ ‬denomination‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬church‭ ‬was‭ ‬the‭ ‬same‭ ‬denomination‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬church‭ ‬that‭ ‬had‭ ‬put‭ ‬me‭ ‬on‭ ‬my‭ journey‬.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬the‭ ‬other‭ ‬beauty‭ ‬was‭ ‬the‭ ‬position‭ ‬is‭ ‬of‭ ‬course‭ ‬custodian.‭ ‬No‭ ‬position‭ ‬of‭ ‬great‭ ‬importance‭ ‬other‭ ‬than‭ ‬to‭ ‬make‭ ‬sure‭ ‬the‭ ‬church‭ ‬always‭ ‬looks‭ ‬good.‭ ‬The‭ ‬other‭ ‬humor‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬position‭ ‬in‭ ‬some‭ ‬ways‭ ‬matches‭ ‬Buddhism‭ ‬but‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬getting‭ ‬off ‭ ‬track. ‭ ‬The‭ ‬position‭ ‬allowed‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬get‭ ‬to‭ ‬know‭ ‬the‭ ‬people‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬church.‭ ‬It‭ ‬allowed‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬get‭ ‬to‭ ‬know‭ ‬those‭ ‬behind‭ ‬the‭ ‬scenes‭ ‬and‭ ‬see‭ ‬all‭ ‬the‭ ‬good‭ ‬his‭ ‬groupies‭ ‬did.‭ ‬I‭ ‬use‭ ‬groupies‭ ‬this‭ ‬time‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬loving‭ ‬fashion‭ ‬and‭ ‬mean‭ ‬absolutely‭ ‬no‭ ‬offense‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬word. The people that work at the church are some amazing people and I am very proud to have met them and gotten to know a little about them along my journey.

So‭ ‬after‭ ‬my‭ ‬journey‭ ‬that‭ ‬spanned‭ ‬many‭ ‬years,‭ ‬I‭ ‬found‭ ‬myself‭ ‬falling‭ ‬in‭ ‬love‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬people‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬church‭ ‬again.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬this‭ ‬time‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬not‭ ‬a‭ ‬hot‭ ‬headed,‭ ‬self‭ ‬focused‭ ‬kid‭ ‬with‭ ‬strong‭ ‬opinions.‭ ‬This‭ ‬time‭ ‬I‭ ‬had‭ ‬been‭ ‬softened‭ ‬by‭ ‬time‭ ‬and‭ ‬my‭ ‬journey.‭ ‬I‭ ‬had‭ ‬learned‭ ‬how‭ ‬to‭ ‬truly‭ ‬love‭ ‬people‭ ‬and‭ ‬see‭ ‬everything‭ ‬as‭ ‬connected. ‭ ‬God‭ ‬had‭ ‬sent‭ ‬me‭ ‬on‭ ‬a‭ ‬journey‭ ‬so‭ ‬I‭ ‬might‭ ‬first‭ ‬learn‭ ‬myself‭ ‬and‭ ‬love.‭ ‬He‭ ‬taught‭ ‬me‭ ‬his‭ ‬lessons‭ ‬through‭ ‬a‭ ‬different‭ ‬religion‭ ‬that‭ ‬happened‭ ‬to‭ ‬share‭ ‬many‭ ‬traits‭ with ‬Christianity. ‭ ‬So,‭ ‬you‭ ‬see‭ ‬to‭ ‬me‭ ‬it‭ ‬does‭ ‬not‭ ‬matter‭ ‬what‭ ‬religion‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬as‭ ‬a‭ ‬reader.‭ ‬You,‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬eyes,‭ ‬are‭ ‬a‭ ‬child‭ ‬of‭ ‬God‭ ‬no‭ ‬matter‭ ‬your‭ ‬faith‭ ‬and‭ ‬that‭ ‬makes‭ ‬you‭ ‬beautiful or if you prefer, a fellow human deserving of my respect and you are beautiful.

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“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
― Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!

 

See,‭ ‬I‭ ‬learned‭ ‬true‭ ‬love‭ ‬makes‭ ‬no‭ ‬judgement.‭ ‬It‭ ‬offers‭ ‬up‭ ‬its‭ ‬hand‭ ‬and‭ ‬only‭ ‬wishes‭ ‬you‭ ‬to‭ ‬take‭ ‬it. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬taught‭ ‬my‭ ‬kids‭ ‬not‭ ‬to‭ ‬see‭ ‬color,‭ ‬religion,‭ ‬or‭ ‬sexuality.‭ ‬They‭ ‬are‭ ‬to‭ ‬see‭ ‬the‭ ‬human‭ ‬that‭ ‬exists‭ ‬before‭ ‬them,‭ ‬and‭ ‬that person is‭ ‬deserving‭ ‬of‭ ‬love‭ ‬and‭ ‬acceptance. ‭ ‬Whether‭ ‬their‭ ‬clothes‭ ‬are‭ ‬tattered‭ ‬and‭ ‬torn‭ ‬or‭ ‬they‭ ‬are‭ ‬wearing‭ ‬the‭ ‬best‭ ‬suit‭ ‬available.‭ ‬They‭ ‬are‭ ‬a‭ ‬human‭ ‬and‭ ‬deserve‭ ‬love‭ ‬and‭ ‬an‭ ‬offer‭ ‬of‭ ‬help‭ ‬if‭ ‬they‭ ‬need‭ ‬it. ‭ ‬If‭ my children ‬are‭ ‬judged‭ ‬by‭ ‬someone,‭ ‬that‭ ‬is‭ ‬that‭ ‬persons‭ ‬issue,‭ ‬not‭ my child’s ‬issue. ‭ ‬As‭ ‬one‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬magnets‭ ‬on‭ ‬my‭ ‬fridge‭ ‬says‭ “‬how‭ ‬people‭ ‬treat‭ ‬you‭ ‬is‭ ‬their‭ ‬karma‭; ‬how‭ ‬your‭ ‬react‭ ‬is‭ ‬yours‭”‬.

So‭ ‬my‭ ‬beliefs‭ ‬come‭ ‬from‭ ‬my‭ ‬journey‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬my‭ ‬own‭ ‬faith‭ ‬or‭ ‬religion.‭ ‬I‭ ‬may‭ ‬lean‭ ‬towards‭ ‬one‭ ‬particular‭ ‬flavor‭ ‬or‭ ‬another,‭ ‬but‭ ‬I‭ ‬may‭ ‬not‭ ‬hold‭ ‬all‭ ‬the‭ ‬ideals‭ ‬presented‭ ‬by‭ ‬that‭ ‬particular‭ ‬leaning.‭ ‬I‭ ‬also‭ ‬believe‭ ‬everyone‭ ‬falls‭ ‬into‭ ‬this‭ ‬state.‭ ‬You‭ ‬can‭ ‬say‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬a‭ C‬hristian,‭ J‬ew,‭ M‬uslim,‭ ‬or‭ ‬whatever‭ ‬but‭ ‬other‭ ‬than‭ ‬those‭ ‬that‭ ‬started‭ ‬the‭ ‬particular‭ ‬faiths‭ ‬or‭ ‬denominations,‭ ‬the‭ ‬rest‭ ‬I‭ ‬believe‭ ‬just‭ ‬lean‭ ‬towards‭ ‬that‭ ‬faith‭ ‬or‭ ‬denomination.  ‭ ‬Part‭ ‬of‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬because‭ ‬we‭ ‬all‭ ‬interpret‭ ‬things‭ ‬differently,‭ ‬even‭ ‬holy‭ ‬texts‭ ‬of‭ ‬our‭ ‬faiths.  ‭ ‬I‭ ‬also‭ ‬believe‭ ‬that‭ ‬many‭ ‬religions‭ ‬do‭ ‬quite‭ ‬a‭ ‬bit‭ ‬of‭ ‬good in the world.

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“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
― Desmond Tutu

Anyway,‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬rambled‭ ‬enough‭ ‬on‭ ‬the‭ ‬base.‭ ‬I‭ ‬will‭ ‬say‭ ‬this,‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬always‭ ‬had‭ ‬a‭ ‬faith‭ ‬in‭ ‬something‭ ‬beyond‭ ‬us.‭ ‬In‭ a ‬God,‭ ‬though‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬not‭ ‬quite‭ ‬sure‭ ‬the‭ ‬term‭ “‬he”‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬right‭ ‬terminology‭ ‬but‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬what‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬raised‭ ‬with‭ ‬and‭ ‬thus‭ ‬what‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬comfortable‭ ‬using.‭ ‬Only‭ ‬because‭ ‬I‭ ‬believe‭ ‬God‭ ‬is‭ ‬greater‭ ‬than‭ ‬any‭ ‬gender,‭ ‬or‭ ‬for‭ ‬that‭ ‬matter‭ ‬faith.‭ ‬I‭ ‬think‭ ‬he‭ ‬uses‭ ‬everything‭ ‬in‭ ‬his‭ ‬design‭ ‬to‭ ‬accomplish‭ ‬things.

three wooden crosses – randy travis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP8lCapcqwM

I love the parables of Christ, my favourite Parable of Christ has always been “The Good Samaritan”, a beautiful example of kindness and love.

Back to Biscuits…

Now‭ ‬on‭ ‬with‭ ‬ways‭ ‬to‭ ‬show‭ ‬Love.‭ ‬Also‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬opinion,‭ ‬anytime‭ ‬you‭ ‬show‭ ‬love‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬showing‭ ‬God‭’‬s‭ ‬love. ‭ ‬So‭ ‬if‭ ‬you‭ ‬wish‭ ‬to‭ ‬see‭ ‬this‭ ‬as‭ ‬a‭ ‬list‭ ‬of‭ ‬ways‭ ‬to‭ ‬show‭ ‬God‭’‬s‭ ‬love,‭ ‬that‭ ‬is‭ ‬fine‭ ‬or‭ ‬how‭ ‬to‭ ‬show‭ ‬love‭ ‬to‭ ‬humanity.‭ ‬However‭ ‬you‭ ‬wish‭ ‬to‭ ‬see‭ ‬it‭ ‬that‭ ‬allows‭ ‬you‭ ‬to‭ ‬accept‭ ‬the‭ ‬message‭ ‬attempting‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬conveyed…..

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It’s about sharing. You just give what you have to give wherever you go, and you let God handle the rest.
Lindsay Wagner

All the Same (Free Hugs) – Sick Puppies
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr3x_RRJdd4

1.‭ ‬Acceptance.‭ ‬I‭ ‬covered‭ ‬this‭ ‬way‭ ‬up‭ ‬at‭ ‬the‭ ‬beginning.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬acceptance‭ ‬means‭ ‬true‭ ‬acceptance‭ ‬without‭ ‬judgement.‭ ‬This‭ ‬means‭ ‬who‭ ‬you‭ ‬see‭ ‬before‭ ‬you‭ ‬is‭ ‬a‭ ‬human‭ ‬of‭ ‬equal‭ ‬stature‭ ‬and‭ ‬deserving‭ ‬of‭ ‬your‭ ‬attention‭ ‬and‭ ‬love.

2.‭ ‬Without‭ ‬Judgement.‭ ‬Remember,‭ ‬Jesus‭ ‬forgave‭ ‬the‭ ‬adulterous‭ ‬woman‭ ‬while‭ imparting the ideal that ‬those‭ ‬without‭ ‬sin‭ ‬cast‭ ‬the‭ ‬first‭ ‬stone‭ ‬to‭ ‬those‭ ‬that‭ ‬brought‭ ‬her‭ ‬before‭ ‬him.‭ ‬While‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬true‭ ‬their‭ ‬intention‭ ‬was‭ ‬to‭ ‬cast‭ ‬doubt‭ ‬on‭ ‬his‭ ‬acceptance‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬law.‭ ‬Jesus‭ ‬did‭ ‬not‭ ‬have‭ ‬to‭ ‬show‭ ‬compassion‭ ‬or‭ ‬forgiveness‭ ‬to‭ ‬the‭ ‬woman,‭ ‬but‭ ‬he‭ ‬did.‭ ‬With‭ ‬the‭ ‬simple‭ ‬utterance‭ ‬of‭ ‬sin‭ ‬no‭ ‬more. ‭ ‬Showing‭ ‬Christ‭’‬s‭ ‬love‭ ‬is‭ ‬acceptance and lack of judgement. I have talked with motorcyclist covered in tattoos that were the nicest of people and various other people that do not fit the norm of society view that turned out to be amazing people. The one perk to someone with a lot of tattoos, is you have something to open the conversation with. I generally notice a particular tattoo that I comment on or inquire about.

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“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”
― Albert Einstein

The Road You leave Behind you – David Lee Murphy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6DLsf8VG5Y

3.‭ H‬elping‭ H‬ands. ‭ ‬Whenever‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬help‭ ‬someone.‭ ‬Even‭ ‬if‭ ‬that‭ ‬help‭ ‬does‭ ‬not‭ ‬seem‭ ‬like‭ ‬much‭ ‬to‭ ‬you.‭ ‬Even‭ ‬the‭ ‬smallest‭ ‬gesture‭ ‬of‭ ‬help‭ ‬can‭ ‬be‭ ‬a‭ ‬great‭ ‬gesture‭ ‬of‭ ‬love. There is a blog I read recently that talked about someone in line paying the blogger’s seventeen dollar grocery bill and giving them a hug. http://truestoriesofamidwestyankee.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/to-the-woman-behind-me-in-line-at-the-grocery-store/

 4.‭ ‬Kindness. ‭ ‬You‭ ‬can‭ ‬always‭ ‬be‭ ‬kind.‭ ‬I‭ ‬will‭ ‬not‭ ‬start‭ ‬on‭ ‬this‭ ‬one‭ ‬because‭ ‬well,‭ ‬first‭ ‬a‭ ‬previous‭ ‬blog‭ ‬covers‭ ‬this‭ ‬a‭ ‬little‭ ‬and‭ ‬well,‭ ‬I‭ ‬would‭ ‬get‭ ‬wordy‭ ‬about‭ ‬it.‭ ‬It‭ ‬is‭ ‬safe‭ ‬to‭ ‬say‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬believe‭ ‬kindness‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬greatest‭ ‬gesture‭ ‬of‭ ‬love‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬show‭ ‬anyone.‭ ‬Even‭ ‬if‭ ‬you‭ ‬cannot‭ ‬offer‭ ‬them‭ ‬anything‭ ‬else,‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬offer‭ ‬them‭ ‬kindness.

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“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

I saw God today – george strait
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q06AvQF5NOw

5.‭ ‬Smile. ‭ ‬Your‭ ‬smile‭ ‬can‭ ‬show‭ ‬so‭ ‬much‭ ‬love.‭ ‬Even‭ ‬if‭ ‬their‭ ‬is‭ ‬pain‭ ‬underneath‭ ‬that‭ ‬smile.‭ ‬Smile‭ ‬anyway.‭ ‬Someone‭ ‬else‭ ‬in‭ ‬pain‭ ‬might‭ ‬just‭ ‬need‭ ‬that‭ ‬smile.

6.‭ ‬Give‭ ‬people‭ ‬your‭ ‬attention. ‭ ‬In‭ ‬this‭ ‬tech‭ ‬age‭ ‬we‭ ‬can‭ ‬get‭ ‬so‭ ‬caught‭ ‬up‭ ‬in‭ ‬our‭ ‬tech.‭ ‬Just‭ ‬as‭ ‬today‭ when ‬I‭ ‬saw‭ ‬someone‭ ‬answer‭ ‬their‭ ‬phone‭ ‬while‭ ‬dealing‭ ‬with‭ ‬a‭ ‬cashier. ‭ ‬That‭ ‬call‭ ‬could‭ ‬have‭ ‬waited‭ ‬however‭ ‬long‭ ‬it‭ ‬takes‭ ‬to‭ ‬checkout.‭ ‬Instead‭ ‬ask‭ ‬how‭ ‬the‭ ‬cashier‭ ‬is,‭ ‬how‭ ‬their‭ ‬day‭ ‬is‭ ‬going.‭ ‬Give‭ ‬them‭ ‬your‭ ‬attention,‭ ‬not‭ ‬that‭ ‬device.‭ ‬You‭ ‬have‭ ‬a‭ ‬human‭ ‬in‭ ‬front‭ ‬of‭ ‬you,‭ ‬they‭ ‬deserve‭ ‬your‭ ‬attention.

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Love is cheering and sharing and compassion and giving and receiving. Love is an action thing more than a word thing, that brings comfort or joy or relief to anyone or anything.
Ziggy Marley

God’s Will – Martina Mcbride
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCRrrP0EhPc

7.‭ ‬Respect.‭ ‬Love‭ ‬is‭ ‬all‭ ‬about‭ ‬respect.‭ ‬If‭ ‬for‭ ‬any‭ ‬other‭ ‬reason‭ ‬than‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬dealing‭ ‬with‭ ‬another‭ ‬human.‭ ‬No‭ ‬matter‭ ‬how‭ ‬badly‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬been‭ ‬treated,‭ ‬I‭ ‬always‭ ‬remember‭ ‬the‭ ‬person‭ ‬is‭ ‬at‭ ‬least‭ ‬deserving‭ ‬of‭ ‬respect‭ ‬as‭ ‬a‭ ‬human,‭ ‬maybe‭ ‬not‭ ‬a‭ ‬very‭ ‬good‭ ‬human‭ ‬at‭ ‬the‭ ‬moment‭ ‬of‭ ‬our‭ ‬interaction,‭ ‬but‭ ‬still‭ ‬a‭ ‬human,‭ ‬a‭ ‬creation‭ ‬of‭ ‬God. ‭ ‬We‭ ‬seem‭ ‬to‭ ‬get‭ ‬online‭ ‬then‭ ‬lose‭ ‬the‭ ‬respect‭ ‬aspect,‭ ‬but‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬opinion‭ ‬online‭ ‬is‭ ‬where‭ respect is most needed.

 

8. ‭ ‬Listen‭ ‬to‭ ‬your‭ ‬inner‭ ‬voice.‭ ‬You‭ ‬know‭ ‬that‭ ‬voice‭ ‬that‭ ‬tells‭ ‬you‭ ‬or‭ ‬compels‭ ‬you‭ ‬to‭ ‬do‭ ‬something.‭ ‬You‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬know‭ ‬why‭ ‬you‭ ‬feel‭ ‬compelled‭ ‬to‭ ‬pay‭ ‬for‭ ‬someone‭’‬s‭ ‬drink‭ ‬or‭ ‬go‭ ‬talk‭ ‬to‭ ‬someone,‭ ‬but‭ ‬for‭ ‬some‭ ‬reason‭ ‬you‭ ‬feel‭ ‬compelled‭ ‬to‭ ‬take‭ ‬a‭ ‬certain‭ ‬good‭ ‬action.‭ ‬You‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬need‭ ‬to‭ ‬understand‭ ‬why‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬being‭ ‬compelled,‭ ‬but‭ ‬you may just‭ ‬find‭ ‬out‭ along the way‬. ‭ ‬This‭ ‬is‭ ‬one‭ ‬area‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬learned‭ ‬to‭ ‬just‭ ‬follow‭ ‬the‭ ‬compelling‭ ‬notion‭ ‬that‭ ‬strikes‭ ‬me.‭ ‬I‭ ‬learned‭ ‬not‭ ‬to‭ ‬question‭ ‬it,‭ ‬but‭ ‬you‭ ‬will‭ ‬find‭ ‬that‭ ‬some‭ ‬of‭ ‬your‭ ‬greatest‭ ‬gestures‭ ‬of‭ ‬love‭ ‬will‭ ‬come‭ ‬from‭ ‬following‭ ‬that‭ ‬voice.‭ ‬You‭ ‬can‭ ‬change‭ ‬a‭ ‬strangers‭ ‬day‭ ‬or‭ ‬possibly‭ ‬even‭ ‬life‭ ‬by‭ ‬following‭ ‬that‭ ‬compulsion‭ ‬to‭ ‬do‭ ‬something. ‭ ‬You‭ ‬may‭ ‬even‭ ‬renew‭ ‬their‭ ‬faith‭ ‬in‭ ‬humanity‭ ‬or‭ ‬God. ‭ ‬You‭ ‬may‭ ‬be‭ ‬answering‭ ‬someone‭ ‬else‭’‬s‭ ‬prayer‭ ‬without‭ ‬ever‭ ‬knowing‭ ‬it.‭ ‬Learn‭ ‬to‭ ‬listen‭ ‬to‭ ‬that‭ ‬voice.

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We all have that inner voice that is wise, even if we don’t always follow it. It’s that voice I’m trying to listen to.
Ray LaMontagne

Angels among us – alabama
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ey0HrEvh44c

9.‭ ‬Be‭ ‬nice.‭ ‬This‭ ‬seems‭ ‬to‭ ‬go‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬others such as‭ ‬respect,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬But‭ ‬I‭ ‬made‭ ‬this‭ ‬separate,‭ ‬because‭ ‬I‭ ‬always‭ ‬try‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬nice‭ ‬no‭ ‬matter‭ ‬what‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬going‭ ‬through‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬personal‭ ‬battles. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬try‭ ‬to‭ ‬smile‭ ‬if‭ ‬I‭ ‬can,‭ ‬there‭ ‬are‭ ‬days‭ ‬that‭ ‬mustering‭ ‬that‭ ‬smile‭ ‬is‭ ‬more‭ ‬challenging‭ ‬than‭ ‬others.‭ ‬I‭ ‬still‭ ‬hold‭ ‬the‭ ‬door‭ ‬open.‭ ‬I‭ ‬ask‭ ‬how‭ ‬someone‭ ‬else‭’‬s‭ ‬day‭ ‬is.‭ ‬My‭ ‬battles‭ ‬are‭ ‬my‭ ‬battles‭ ‬and‭ ‬those‭ ‬should‭ ‬not‭ ‬rollover‭ ‬to‭ ‬those‭ ‬I‭ ‬interact‭ ‬with‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬mean‭ ‬way.‭ ‬If‭ ‬I‭ ‬believe‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬so‭ ‬overwhelmed‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬going‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬mean,‭ ‬I‭ ‬try‭ ‬to‭ ‬avoid‭ ‬interaction. ‭ ‬Remember,‭ ‬you‭ ‬never‭ ‬know‭ ‬the‭ ‬battles‭ ‬the‭ ‬other‭ ‬person‭ ‬is‭ ‬going‭ ‬through‭ ‬themselves. They‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬deserve‭ ‬your‭ ‬meanness‭ ‬just‭ ‬because‭ ‬you‭ ‬have‭ ‬your own‭ ‬83‭ ‬problems‭ ‬as‭ ‬well. ‭ ‬This‭ ‬means‭ ‬being‭ ‬nice‭ ‬even‭ ‬if‭ ‬they‭ ‬are‭ ‬mean. Though‭ ‬it‭ ‬can‭ ‬be‭ ‬quite‭ ‬trying‭ ‬to‭ ‬accomplish‭ ‬pairing‭ ‬a‭ ‬bad‭ ‬day‭ ‬with‭ ‬someone‭ ‬else‭’‬s‭ ‬meanness‭ ‬but‭ ‬try‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬nice.‭ ‬At‭ ‬least‭ ‬make‭ ‬the‭ ‬effort,‭ ‬then‭ ‬use‭ ‬the‭ L‬ouisville‭ ‬slugger if effort is not enough…um‭ ‬yeah‭ ‬ignore‭ ‬the‭ L‬ouisville‭ ‬slugger‭ ‬comment. 🙂 and remember….Grinches need love too.

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“Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be true to yourself. How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you.”
― Steve Maraboli,

 Father’s Love – George Strait
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2af10YlLoc

10. Understanding. “True love is born from understanding” stated the Buddha. When we attempt to understand someone else. To see things from their perspective, it enlightens us. Before my wife and I traveled to Nauvoo, Illinois one year for our anniversary; I spent time learning about Mormans and their faith. This way I would understand the customs and beliefs of the area I was traveling. This also allowed me to avoid offending anyone. By attempting to understand someone else you are touching on accepting, respect, and non-judgement, which in turn touches on Love. A quote from Aristotle that I love is “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” You can learn and understand something without having to change your own idealogy. You are merely gaining insight and understanding of someone else’s. Which helps love flourish.

11. Be vulnerable. Sometimes to show love you must open yourself up as well. You have to put yourself out there. You have to make yourself vulnerable. Sometimes being vulnerable and honest shows a great deal of love. It shows trust not just in someone else but in yourself. It also connects us. Love is connection so anything that brings connection opens the door to love. By opening the door it not only allows love to be shown but to be accepted by all those involved. I love brene brown talks. I really think watching at least her vulnerability talk is very important to view. She’s funny so don’t worry about it being dry. 😉 http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

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A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.
Denis Waitley

Have a beer with Jesus – Thomas Rhett:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dphMriny1Js

 

12.‭ ‬Allow‭ ‬yourself‭ ‬to‭ ‬feel‭ ‬love,‭ ‬experience‭ ‬love,‭ ‬and‭ ‬see‭ ‬it.‭ ‬If‭ ‬you‭ ‬want‭ ‬to‭ ‬share‭ ‬love,‭ ‬you‭ ‬have‭ ‬to‭ ‬feel‭ ‬it‭ ‬yourself.‭ ‬You‭ ‬have‭ ‬to‭ ‬accept‭ ‬the‭ ‬love‭ ‬given‭ ‬to‭ ‬you‭ ‬by‭ ‬others‭ ‬and‭ ‬allow‭ ‬yourself‭ ‬to‭ ‬experience‭ ‬it. ‭ ‬Allowing‭ ‬yourself‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬deserving‭ ‬of‭ ‬love‭ ‬can‭ ‬allow‭ ‬you‭ ‬to‭ ‬give‭ ‬love. Only through love can you understand love.

13. Empathy. Many people are just looking for someone to try and understand what they are going through. Someone that gives them the feeling of genuine caring and knows how they feel or at least tries to understand how they feel. Showing empathy for our brothers and sisters that share this earth is one of the most genuine ways we can show love for them. To listen to them, show compassion, and let them know they are not alone.The first time I ever listened to this I cried when it came to the part of shame and men. Well everytime I listen to it I at least get teary eyed at that point, but the first time I had a good cry. http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame

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“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
― William Shakespeare,

Moments – Emerson Drive
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzriEXPJ1-k

Thank‭ ‬you‭ ‬for‭ ‬your‭ ‬time. ‭ ‬Have‭ ‬a‭ ‬wonderful‭ ‬day. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬truly‭ ‬appreciate‭ ‬the‭ ‬fact‭ ‬that‭ ‬you‭ ‬took‭ ‬a‭ ‬moment‭ ‬to‭ ‬read‭ ‬this‭ ‬no‭ ‬matter‭ ‬what‭ ‬your‭ ‬opinion‭ ‬might‭ ‬be.‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬just‭ ‬thankful‭ ‬you‭ ‬took‭ ‬time‭ ‬from‭ ‬your‭ ‬day‭ ‬to‭ ‬read‭ ‬it‭ ‬or‭ ‬skim‭ ‬it.‭ ;)‬

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“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
– Dr. Seuss

Just as I am – alan jackson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meITKEI7Wdo

and I believe 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 gives one of the best depictions of how we should love.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

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He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8

if you get a chance read this interesting blog entry by moved by love:
http://www.movedbylove.org/blog/view.php?id=287

 

“OFFERING love is a mere gesture . . To become an ANGEL . . one needs to BE love . . for love is SEEN with the heart” – – Hans

From the Angels among us video by alabama above

also all pictures in this blog entry are owned by the author of this blog. If you care to use elsewhere please ask. Thank you.

a‭ ‬day‭ ‬without‭ ‬laughter‭ ‬is‭ ‬a‭ ‬day‭ ‬wasted – charlie chaplin

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“If you’re too busy to laugh, you are too busy.”

–Proverb

I‭ ‬just‭ ‬spent‭ ‬a‭ ‬night‭ ‬out‭ ‬with‭ ‬a‭ ‬friend‭ ‬that‭ ‬always‭ ‬laughs‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭ ‬enjoy‭ ‬her‭ ‬laughter.‭ ‬Then‭ ‬I‭ ‬came‭ ‬home‭ ‬to‭ ‬read‭ ‬someone‭’‬s‭ ‬blog‭ ‬on‭ ‬psychcentral‭ ‬about‭ ‬laughter.‭ ‬I‭ ‬started‭ ‬thinking‭ ‬about‭ ‬the‭ ‬impact‭ ‬of‭ ‬laughter.

The‭ ‬most‭ ‬memorable‭ ‬thing‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬mother‭ ‬is‭ ‬her‭ ‬laughter.‭ ‬So‭ ‬much‭ ‬so‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬had‭ ‬the‭ ‬title‭ ‬of‭ ‬this‭ ‬blog‭ entry ‬put‭ ‬on‭ ‬her‭ ‬gravestone. ‭ ‬She‭ ‬had‭ ‬the‭ ‬most‭ ‬amazing‭ ‬laugh‭ ‬that‭ ‬would‭ ‬brighten‭ ‬a‭ ‬room. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬thinking‭ ‬how‭ ‬much‭ ‬laughter‭ ‬impacts‭ ‬our‭ ‬lives. ‭ ‬The‭ ‬most‭ ‬commented‭ ‬thing‭ ‬about‭ ‬my‭ ‬mother‭ ‬at‭ ‬her‭ ‬wake‭ ‬was‭ ‬about‭ ‬her‭ ‬laugh‭ ‬and‭ ‬how‭ ‬she‭ ‬would‭ ‬laugh‭ ‬at‭ ‬virtually‭ ‬anything.

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“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive.”

–Bill Cosby

Laughter‭ ‬truly‭ ‬heals‭ ‬our‭ ‬soul.‭ ‬I‭ ‬love‭ ‬making‭ ‬people‭ ‬laugh‭ ‬and‭ ‬smile.‭ ‬I‭ ‬will‭ ‬make‭ ‬a‭ ‬fool‭ ‬of‭ ‬myself‭ ‬sometimes‭ ‬just‭ ‬to‭ ‬get‭ ‬a‭ ‬laugh‭ ‬or‭ ‬smile‭ ‬from‭ ‬someone.‭ ‬Even‭ ‬if‭ ‬they‭ ‬are‭ ‬thinking‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬a‭ ‬complete‭ ‬idiot‭ ‬they‭ ‬are‭ ‬smiling‭ ‬or‭ ‬laughing.‭ ‬Goal‭ ‬accomplished.‭ ‬:‭)‬

Sometimes‭ ‬laughter‭ ‬heals‭ ‬from‭ ‬laughing‭ ‬and‭ ‬other‭ ‬times‭ ‬it‭ ‬heals‭ ‬from‭ ‬making‭ ‬others‭ ‬laugh.‭ ‬Much‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬joy‭ ‬comes‭ ‬from‭ ‬making‭ ‬other‭ ‬people‭ ‬happy.‭ ‬Whether‭ ‬that‭ ‬be‭ ‬my‭ ‬wife,‭ ‬my‭ ‬kids,‭ ‬friends,‭ ‬co-workers,‭ ‬or‭ ‬complete‭ ‬strangers.‭ ‬I‭ ‬just‭ ‬like‭ ‬making‭ ‬people‭ ‬happy‭ ‬even‭ ‬if‭ ‬that‭ ‬is‭ ‬just‭ ‬for‭ ‬a‭ ‬brief‭ ‬moment. ‭ ‬In‭ ‬my‭ ‬darkest‭ ‬moments‭ ‬in‭ ‬life,‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬laughter‭ ‬or‭ ‬a‭ ‬smile‭ ‬that‭ ‬helped‭ ‬pull‭ ‬me‭ ‬through. ‭ ‬There‭ ‬is‭ ‬more‭ ‬to‭ ‬it‭ ‬than‭ ‬that,‭ ‬but‭ ‬laughter‭ ‬definitely‭ ‬had‭ ‬a‭ ‬healing‭ ‬and‭ ‬mood‭ ‬changing‭ ‬effect.

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Laughter is an instant vacation.

–Milton Berle

When‭ ‬I‭ ‬end‭ ‬up‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬lovely‭ ‬dark‭ ‬pit‭ ‬of‭ ‬emotions,‭ ‬I‭ ‬find‭ ‬myself‭ ‬watching‭ ‬mostly‭ ‬comedies‭ ‬and‭ ‬things‭ ‬that‭ ‬make‭ ‬me‭ ‬smile,‭ ‬or‭ ‬action,‭ ‬but‭ ‬even‭ ‬then‭ ‬most‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬action‭ ‬stuff‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬kind‭ ‬that‭ ‬has‭ ‬humor‭ ‬to‭ ‬it.‭ ‬The‭ ‬fun‭ ‬one-liners‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬The‭ M‬ummy‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬first‭ ‬movie‭ ‬I‭ ‬ever‭ ‬bought‭ ‬on‭ ‬dvd.‭ ‬It‭ ‬is‭ ‬probably‭ ‬the‭ ‬most‭ ‬played‭ ‬movie‭ ‬in‭ ‬this‭ ‬house. ‭ ‬It‭ ‬is‭ ‬not‭ ‬a‭ ‬masterpiece‭ ‬by‭ ‬any‭ ‬means,‭ ‬but‭ ‬it‭ ‬has‭ ‬the‭ ‬right‭ ‬tone‭ ‬and‭ ‬feel‭ ‬for‭ ‬me.‭ ‬It‭ ‬makes‭ ‬me‭ ‬laugh,‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬light‭ ‬hearted‭ ‬and‭ ‬fun. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬also‭ ‬bought‭ ‬the‭ ‬ultimate‭ ‬edition‭ ‬when‭ ‬it‭ ‬came‭ ‬out‭ ‬which‭ ‬I‭ ‬like‭ ‬listening‭ ‬to‭ ‬brendan‭ ‬fraser‭ ‬commentary‭ ‬on‭ ‬it‭ ‬because‭ ‬again,‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬fun.

 I‭ ‬think‭ ‬much‭ ‬of‭ ‬life‭ ‬would‭ ‬be‭ ‬better‭ ‬if‭ ‬we‭ ‬could‭ ‬just‭ ‬laugh‭ ‬more‭ ‬and‭ ‬not‭ ‬be‭ ‬so‭ ‬serious‭ ‬about‭ ‬everything. ‭ ‬Even‭ ‬when‭ ‬we‭ ‬must‭ ‬be‭ ‬serious‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬find‭ ‬things‭ ‬to‭ ‬make‭ ‬you‭ ‬smile.‭ ‬My‭ ‬wife‭ ‬had‭ ‬to‭ ‬adjust‭ ‬to‭ ‬me‭ ‬after‭ ‬we‭ ‬got‭ ‬married.‭ ‬When‭ ‬an‭ ‬argument‭ ‬would‭ ‬get‭ ‬too‭ ‬heated,‭ ‬I‭ ‬would‭ ‬start‭ ‬making‭ ‬jokes‭ ‬or‭ ‬finding‭ ‬humor‭ ‬in‭ ‬things. ‭ ‬She‭ ‬took‭ ‬it‭ ‬as‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬not‭ ‬taking‭ ‬things‭ ‬seriously,‭ ‬but‭ ‬I‭ ‬was.‭ ‬I‭ ‬just‭ ‬was‭ ‬trying‭ ‬to‭ ‬bring‭ ‬things‭ ‬into‭ ‬a‭ ‬more‭ ‬manageable‭ ‬state‭ ‬for‭ ‬me.‭ ‬If‭ ‬that‭ ‬makes‭ ‬sense.

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The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.

–Mark Twain

I‭ ‬also‭ ‬have‭ ‬fun‭ ‬songs‭ ‬I‭ ‬like‭ ‬to‭ ‬listen‭ ‬to.‭ ‬Things‭ ‬I‭ ‬will‭ ‬dance‭ ‬around‭ ‬silly‭ ‬to‭ ‬sometimes‭ ‬and‭ ‬just‭ ‬put‭ ‬me‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬good‭ ‬mood.‭ ‬The‭ ‬song‭ “A‬ll‭ S‬tar‭” ‬by‭ S‬mash‭ M‬outh‭ ‬is‭ ‬one‭ ‬such‭ ‬song‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬love.‭ ‬Also‭ ‬almost‭ ‬anything‭ ‬by‭ W‬eird‭ A‬l‭ ‬is‭ ‬awesome.‭ ‬During‭ C‬hristmas‭ ‬while‭ ‬I‭ ‬love‭ ‬the‭ ‬classics,‭ ‬sometimes‭ ‬you‭ ‬will‭ ‬find‭ ‬me‭ ‬playing‭ “R‬usty‭ C‬heverolet‭” ‬or‭ ‬various‭ ‬tunes‭ ‬from‭ B‬ob‭ R‬ivers. ‭ ‬Music‭ ‬is‭ ‬a‭ ‬big‭ ‬part‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬life‭ ‬and‭ ‬so‭ ‬it‭ ‬would‭ ‬hold‭ ‬true‭ ‬I‭ ‬would‭ ‬find‭ ‬songs‭ ‬that‭ ‬make‭ ‬me‭ ‬laugh‭ ‬in‭ ‬it‭ ‬as‭ ‬well.

Everyday‭ ‬you‭ ‬should‭ ‬find‭ ‬one‭ ‬thing‭ ‬that‭ ‬makes‭ ‬you‭ ‬smile‭ ‬or‭ ‬laugh.‭ ‬Something‭ ‬that‭ ‬makes‭ ‬you‭ ‬feel‭ ‬good.‭ ‬When‭ ‬life‭ ‬is‭ ‬putting‭ ‬you‭ ‬through‭ ‬a‭ ‬trial,‭ ‬toss‭ ‬in‭ W‬eird‭ A‬l‭’‬s‭ “D‬are‭ ‬to‭ B‬e‭ St‬upid‭” ‬song.‭ ‬My‭ ‬wife‭ ‬does‭ ‬not‭ ‬appreciate‭ ‬the‭ ‬song,‭ ‬but‭ ‬I‭ ‬believe‭ ‬it‭ ‬has‭ ‬something‭ ‬to‭ ‬do‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬cd‭ ‬getting‭ ‬caught‭ ‬on‭ ‬repeat‭ ‬while‭ ‬we‭ ‬slept‭ ‬one‭ ‬night‭ ‬and‭ ‬playing‭ ‬the‭ ‬song‭ ‬over‭ ‬and‭ ‬over‭ ‬and‭ ‬over‭ ‬again‭ ‬while‭ ‬we‭ ‬slept.‭ ‬LOL ‭ ‬poor‭ ‬girl,‭ ‬she‭ ‬endures‭ ‬a‭ ‬lot‭ ‬from‭ ‬me.‭ ‬Yet‭ ‬somehow‭ ‬finds‭ ‬a‭ ‬way‭ ‬to‭ ‬still‭ ‬love‭ ‬me.

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The earth laughs in flowers.

–e.e. Cummings

May‭ ‬you‭ ‬be‭ ‬blessed‭ ‬and‭ ‬thank‭ ‬you‭ ‬for‭ ‬your‭ ‬time.

As‭ ‬my‭ ‬editor‭ (‬my‭ ‬loving‭ ‬and‭ ‬patient‭ ‬wife‭) ‬is‭ ‬still‭ ‬busy‭ ‬with‭ “‬work‭” ‬things.‭ ‬Like‭ ‬that‭ ‬is‭ ‬more‭ ‬important‭ ‬then‭ ‬editing‭ ‬my‭ ‬blog‭ ‬post.‭ ‬Anyway…‭ ‬So‭ ‬any‭ ‬grammar‭ ‬errors‭ ‬are‭ ‬indeed‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬own‭ ‬making‭ ‬and‭ ‬as‭ ‬such‭ ‬something‭ ‬to‭ ‬smile‭ ‬about‭ ‬after‭ ‬banging‭ ‬your‭ ‬head‭ ‬against‭ ‬the‭ ‬desk‭ ‬trying‭ ‬to‭ ‬reread‭ ‬a‭ ‬sentence‭ ‬three‭ ‬or‭ ‬four‭ ‬times.‭ ‬:‭)‬ ‭ ‬Remember‭ ‬the‭ ‬mark‭ ‬on‭ ‬your‭ ‬forehead‭ ‬from‭ ‬the‭ ‬desk‭ ‬and‭ ‬the‭ ‬humor‭ ‬you‭ ‬found‭ ‬from‭ ‬it‭ ‬came‭ ‬from‭ ‬me.‭ ‬:‭)

Thank‭ ‬you‭ ‬again. ‭ ‬Remember‭ ‬to‭ ‬smile.

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Everybody laughs the same in every language because laughter is a universal connection.

–Jakob Smirnoff

ti kwan leep (boot to the head)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzAzIEOdjWs

dare to be stupid – weird al

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMhwddNQSWQ

white and nerdy – weird al

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9qYF9DZPdw

all about the pentiums – weird al
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpMvS1Q1sos

star trekkin – the firm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUq9Hxqad24

I love big bang theory but also watching bloopers from not just big bang theory but other movies and shows. They many times bring a laugh.

Season 6 big bang theory bloopers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBGL5LUELxQ

Note from The Editor: The blog has now been fixed. He is just somewhat challenged by commas and minor punctuation. 🙂 Remember folks commas save lives. It can mean the difference between “Let’s eat Grandma” and “Let’s eat, Grandma.”

Challenge Accepted….

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Its a snowy day here as it is in much of the midwest states. My little solar yard lights are under snow. It has been sometime since we have seen snow like this. I remember the 90s snow we got that was similar. We lived in Overland and I so wanted to catch the snow plow and grab the guy out and beat the heck out of him. I would shovel drive way get it all clear and he would come through and cover end of driveway with mound of snow. So I would have to shovel it to get car in or out. I actually started wondering if he was transporting snow to drop just in front of my driveway.

So I looked out this morning to a beautiful white blanket of snow. Just absolutely beautiful, untouched, just awesome. Then the young me kicked in. I had a strong urge to go out and drive in it. I see this level of snow as a challenge and I so want to accept it. The best times to drive it is when no one else is out. When I was a new driver, I would always take on roads like this. I always accept the challenge of bad weather because I wanted to be a better driver, and only way to do that was to challenge myself and learn how to navigate the most challenging weather and road conditions. Sure, I’ve put a car in a ditch, slid down an embankment that I then hammered the gas and drove straight back up and other various adventures. Though each taught me something and I am a better driver for it.

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I am not a competitive person, at least how society defines competitive. I don’t compete with others but I do compete with myself. I always challenge myself with things. I believe accepting challenges strengthen us and give us a great deal of wisdom and knowledge. I love my job at the church because I get puzzles, like figuring out best setup for Christmas candlelight service. I love stuff like that. I like being handed a problem or puzzle that I need to figure out. It is one of the reasons I love strategy games. I’ve played them from childhood on. I use to play games like Civ since they came out.

Just like being handed a home project that needs to be fixed. Something that needs out of the box thinking. I’ll observe the problem ponder it then go walk around hardware stores and contemplate solutions. When I say walk around hardware stores I mean really walk them. I never limit my solutions to an area that seems to relate. Such as I used roof flashing on the bottom of my in-laws garage door to help protect it, etc.

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I believe life is all about the challenges and our willingness to accept them. A good example, is the forecast of the coming snow posed a challenge to the church. I thought they had a rather resourceful solution and I loved the solution presented. While various other churches just said no Sunday service, or in the case of a friend’s church, chose to do an internet broadcast. My church did an impromptu service Saturday night and utilized the power of the internet to get the word out. I loved the service and thought it was rather inspired. It also showed me a different side of the associate pastor Joel. He didn’t get a chance to refine his sermon or go through his usual routine to deliver it, and I thought his sermon was one of the best I’ve seen him give. Sometimes accepting the challenge brings out something special in us, as it did Joel Saturday night.

Some of the best knowledge we gain is from those challenges we accept, and it occurs on various level from spiritual to physical. Sometimes we learn the most about ourselves in moments that instead of shying away from the challenge we pony up and say “challenge accepted” and go head first into it. I know the past years I have had many of the “challenge accepted” moments. Also sometimes we actually need to say the words “challenge accepted” it sets our brain and spirit in the direction of finding a solution because you are committing to getting it done.

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I have seen some of the best in people when they accept the challenge and commit to taking on whatever is presented them.

So today, I hope you find a challenge to accept and to enjoy. To often people walk into a challenge grumbling. Mind you there is much grumbling while trying to find a solution, but that should come more from the trial than the perception of just having to deal with a challenge. To many people just don’t want to deal with challenges they wish they didn’t have to. They want things to just go smoothly and bring a poor attitude when they have to face something.  

Life is all about challenge, I think I said that up there somewhere but it is. I don’t ever plan to stop challenging myself. I even have challenges already set in place for retirement. Most people call it a bucket list but really when you look at a bucket list you see a challenge because you have to figure out how you will accomplish that goal. 🙂

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Also be aware some challenges last longer then others. 🙂 I am facing the anxiety and grief I mentioned in other posts, but I accept the challenge. I always look to improve myself. I have cut my meds in half and see every situation that causes anxiety or would have caused it, that I handle well as a triumph. 🙂 I am getting stronger again and I see another me forming. Though over the years I have “reinvented” myself several times. The 40 year old here today is quite different then then the 20 year old I was. Change is a challenge I accept everyday.

I hope you have an amazing day. For those being impacted by winter storm Ion, when did we start naming winter storms, anyway I hope you stay warm and be safe in your travels.

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Thank you very much for taking the time to read my ramblings. May you truly be blessed in all you do and remember when faced with a trial just think to yourself or even say outloud “challenge accepted”.
…. and don’t forget the soundtrack….. always have to have a soundtrack for your challenge. 🙂 Music, just as humor, is a great traveling partner along your accepted challenge that we call life.

It’s my life – bon jovi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx2u5uUu3DE

My editor is currently enjoying a nice cozy warm bath with her nook and bath salts so I am not sure if this will be looked over by her before I post it. Thus the same rule applies as always… forgive the grammar faux pas. 🙂

His editor exited her nice relaxing bath just in time to improve his grammar before this blog was posted. So it should be OK now… 🙂

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