Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

The eyes are the window to the soul. Most of us have heard this commonly used phrase at least once in our lives, maybe even twice.

But, do we ever really stop to think about what it means? I’m sure none of us would give the exact same answer to the question of ‘what does this statement mean?’. Yet, we would hit pretty close to the same mark that the eyes of a being reveal a lot about what goes on in the soul.

When we look into the eyes of another person, what do we see?

Those with kind, gentle eyes are few and far between, while those with eyes filled with sadness, anger, bitterness and even deadness are far more common.

No matter what your observational skills are, whether you notice a lot about another or just a little, chances are you have taken note of the times that you looked into another persons eyes and saw kindness, gentleness and love because the experience is so uncommon.

Yet, this is what I think of whenever I picture Jesus/Yeshua Himself.

When He walked among us, I imagine from the biblical accounts of Him, that He had with eyes full of love, kindness, gentleness and compassion, even in the face of the great pain, fear, hatred and confusion in the eyes and hearts of those who were around Him.

His eyes were so full of His great love for people that some of those same people couldn’t help but stop, take notice and respond. And, eventually after spending time with Him, it seems their eyes were changed, becoming more like His, seeing things He saw in the way He saw them.

Scripture tell us that God made us in His image, it also tells us that God breathed His own spirit of life into Adam and Eve. This is the same spirit He breaths into us when we come into relationship with Him through the redemptive sacrifice He made for us. The same life and love that He gives us that should be visible to others through our eyes.

Yet, what do you see when you look into another person’s eyes? Or, even your own in an unguarded moment? Do your eyes show others that you are a child of God who has spent time with Him in the light and love of His gaze?

“My son, give me your heart; And let your eyes keep in my ways.” Proverbs 23:26


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Tachyon visualization. Since that object moves...

Image via Wikipedia

Have you seen the news lately? Not the economic news, or even the sports news, but the back of the paper news. Lately it’s been getting really wild. I don’t think I remember a time when so much of the strange, the bizarre and possibly the true just keeps popping up.

There was the excitement of finding a planet that orbited two suns very similar to that of the planet Tatooine, the home of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. A news story that was eerily like fact following fiction, except the fact was in existence long before the movie had come out, we just hadn’t seen the reality of it yet.

Then there’s been the discovery of what might be evidence in the dry desert of the state of Nevada that a Kraken, the stuff of deep-sea legends, may actually have existed.

Yeti hunters in Siberia now claim to have undeniable proof that the creature known by its more common name of the Abominable Snowman may actually exist. And, by extension all the other big creature known by that name around the world, like Sasquatch and Bigfoot, exist too. Can you imagine the crazy reactions of people if they actually caught one of these mythical creatures? I’m sure my good friend’s husband would be ecstatic. But, it would make everyone question what they thought was real.

The questioning of what is real is really rocked by the discovery that neutrino’s can travel faster than light. Let me say that again, it looks to be the case that neutrino’s can travel faster than light ( and, I’m not even getting into tachyons). According to Einstein’s theory, nothing can travel faster than light, which, it seems, a lot of our modern ideas about physics and cosmology pretty much are hinged on according to some commentators.

I’m no expert in these fields, so in this arena of physics and cosmology take what I say with a grain of salt. The only experience I’ve had with neutrino’s is limited to say the least, primarily revolving around the Jimmy Neutron show on Nickelodeon which has shown these intense and crazy little neutrino guys going around creating all sorts of trouble, including making whole cities disappear and more.

Come to think of it, if what scientist are saying is true about them traveling faster than the speed of light, they would be doing pretty much the same thing that they did in Jimmy Neutron, behaving badly, causing trouble and upsetting the norm.

But, it was a comment by one columnist in particular that really caught my attention about this possible dynamic shift in the way we see the universe that these pesky little neutrino’s may have unintentionally caused, he said we would all have to eventually change our theologies.

Change our theologies?

Now, I’m not sure whose theologies he’s referring to, it was an offhand sentence thrown into the column as a whole, but to my mind this discovery doesn’t change the theology of  Judeo-Christian’s that is contained in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible one whit. That ‘theology’ points to the great I Am as not only being the creator of the Universe and savior of mankind, again these thoughts are included in both the Old and New Testaments, but points to the fact that His ways are so far above ours that we don’t even understand a fragment of how it all works.

Human minds can’t understand even a thin slice of how it all works as we are discovering everyday, and this not only relates to the how the Universe works, but also how salvation works too. Because what god would come down and take the form of a human so men could be reconciled to Him? All because of love. What kind of god does that?

The answer is simple, I Am.

“Moses said, “What’s going on here? I can’t believe this! Amazing! Why doesn’t the bush burn up?”…God said to Moses, “I-AM-WHO-I-AM. Tell the People of Israel, ‘I-AM sent me to you.””

Exodus 3:3 & 14

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There’s an old saying, I don’t where it’s from, but it says, “Time and tide wait for no man.” I was reminded of this recently when I received a really nice letter from a reader telling me how much he appreciated a story I wrote in a local entertainment magazine.

The story was about motorcycles and motorcyclists, and although it heavily featured Harley-Davidson’s  – if only for the reason that the people I talked with had settled on Harley’s as their preferred bikes. The letter was from the PR Manager at Victory and Indian Motorcycles who saw the story I wrote when he was out here in California on business.

As I read his letter of appreciation and saw which motorcycle company he worked for, I was immediately transported back in time. I was 8-years old and my mom met, then married my step-dad. He was a presence whenever he walked into the room. He not only was intelligent and well-educated spending his career educating others, he was self-taught at pretty much everything he did, from woodworking to rebuilding cars, trucks and motorcycles. And everything he did, he did well.

Although he ended up riding Harley-Davidson bikes as he got older, it was the story of his experience on his very first motorcycle, an Indian, that forged itself into my wide-eyed 8-year old mind.

He would regal me with the story of how when he was just a young man, he and his Indian motorcycle rode from South Dakota out to California, and back again. In my mind’s eye, he was like the greatest of adventurers, fighting the winds and weathers, cruising across the country with the sun setting in the background while he rode on his white Indian motorcycle. For many years, I would get him Indian bike memorabilia for gifts on his birthday, at Christmas and on Father’s Day.

I realized as I thought about the memory I have of him on his bike, that I never really got the detailed story of his ride. I carry around an image of him as a knight of sorts riding a white Indian steed, with a backdrop of the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota as he rode steadily on a black ribbon of highway heading West.

You would have thought with me being a writer, a gatherer of people’s tales, that I would have gathered the details of that particular one, but I never did. My dad is older now and the place in his mind where the details of that ride live is locked away in the recesses of his memory. The key that would have opened that box in his memory is lost forever. So, there is no way for me to truly ever know what the details were, I waited to long to ask and now there is no way to coax it from him.

Yes, time and tide wait for no man, and in this case, no woman. Yet, the ride and the picture it draws in my mind, no matter how limited the details, in many ways represents the way that he has been in my life. A knight riding a white Indian motorcycle who rode in at just the right time.

In many respects we do the same type of thing with our own children, or others children who are dear to us, when it comes to telling them about the LORD and all He has done. We give them the basics of Him and neglect to tell them the details of His greatness, His love and His faithfulness. We leave them in the situation that if they don’t ask they don’t know, until it is too late to ask.

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”

Deuteronomy 4:9

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Image by Trevor Blake via Flickr

I’m not really much of a television watcher, like a lot of people nowadays I get my news from the web, and my entertainment too. So, it’s a pretty unusual thing for me to regularly watch a show. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I regularly tuned into something on TV. But, that has changed a little just recently.

Lately, I’ve found myself channel surfing a little more and seem to land pretty squarely on A&E which, if I remember correctly, used to be all about arts and entertainment and has somehow morphed into more reality entertainment than anything else.

The first show I really took to on the network was Storage Wars, which follows individuals as they bid for largely unseen storage lockers in an attempt to find something worthwhile in them that they can then resell and make a living off of. The show is even more fascinating to me because I actually knew people who more than 20 years ago were doing the very same thing and making a great income.  It just amazes me that they’ve made a TV show out of it and the show is pretty popular too.

Then along came Billy the Exterminator, another A&E show that I must admit fascinates me. The basic premise is a family owned pest control/extermination business in Louisiana, in which two 40-something sons who work for the business look like displaced rockers. They go out to their jobs decked out with black leather and spikes to jobs that no one else in the area will even touch, like wrangling alligators and snakes, along with relocating bees, raccoons and other critters who’ve have run awry of civilization. You get the picture.

What makes it even more compelling is when these guys open their mouths they sound like they have advanced degrees in entomology and animal behavior, which flies in the face of the stereotype of what they look like. And, even though at times you can see the show is scripted like all reality shows, they seem to be all about relocating animals when they can and not being harmful to the environment.

So, I’m watching this show and they get called out to get rid of a roach problem at a local animal hospital (be warned this show isn’t for the squeamish, there are a lot of roaches, maggots, wasps and more), and lo and behold, as they’re getting rid what looks like a truckload of roaches, they move a refrigerator and there’s a pretty tame raccoon curled up in the bottom of it right near the motor. Apparently it was looking for a safe, warm spot to get out-of-the-way, and found one hidden away in the back of the refrigerator.

But, they weren’t there to take care of a raccoon, they were there to get rid of roaches. They were to take care of one issue, but ended up taking care of two.

This got me thinking about the times in our lives when the LORD starts to point out things we need to look at and take care of. Many times He’s working an issue out of us, so we can see it, then take it to Him so He can heal it and the whole time we’re looking for one thing, something disgusting like roaches, which are there, but at the same time we find something unexpected like a hidden raccoon who’s tame and calm, and actually pretty cute.

We’re looking for the horrible and find something else that’s surprisingly appealing. This go me thinking that sometimes the LORD not only wants to heal of us things that have wounded us, but He wants us to see the good things that we may have hidden away that we associate with those hurts. Because true healing comes when we can see the hurtful and the wonderful in our pasts, allowing Him to heal the one and taking His courage to see and cherish the other.

“The hidden things belong to the LORD our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our children forever, so that we may follow all the words of this law.”

Deuteronomy 29:29

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The other day I wanted to ask my son a question.
Instead of just doing the thing that the experts tell you that you should do, which would be to try to find him and look at him full in the face in order to communicate with him more effectively, I did what most parents do. I yelled my question from where I was in the office to wherever he was in the house thinking he would hear me.
“Here I am,” yelled my son from the other room after I’d called him for the umpteenth millionth time. In exasperation after there was no response to my question, I needed to know if he was even within earshot. I needed to know if he was there. So, I said, very loudly mind you, “Where are you?”
Now I don’t want to give you the wrong idea that we live in a large house where it is easy to not hear someone. No, my son and I live in a two bedroom, two bath home that is very small. In fact, I often refer to it affectionately as my little shoebox. So, the fact that I had to find out where he was in it was somewhat comical considering I usually know where my cat is at all times.
But my son, he’s a different story altogether. He’s always moving around, seemingly never in the same place for more than a second or two. In my mind, he never seems close by at all, but whenever he yells back “Here I am”(this little scenario happens more frequently than I would like to admit) inevitably he is much closer than I ever expect. Usually just around the corner.
Isn’t this usually how it feels with God? He always seems like He’s moving around, and fast too, like we just can’t get a grip on where He is only to find that He’s been right in the mix, next to us the whole time saying “Here I Am”.
“Therefore My people will know My name; therefore they will know on that day that I am He who says: Here I am.”     Isaiah 52:6

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There are certain people in scripture that really appeal to me and King David is one of them. Not because he became king, but because he believed the LORD would do what He said He would do no matter what. David believed the LORD even when he was living in caves and it looked like there was no way ever that he would become king.

He is referred to as a man after God’s own heart, and despite all that he did, the wrong decisions, the breaking of Torah law, the self-reliance, he always came back to the LORD, and quickly too. Not only that, but he shared everything with the LORD, he praised Him in his sorrow, his fear, his joy and his love.

He shared everything with the LORD, it just bears repeating doesn’t it?

In Psalm 56 David states that the LORD collects every tear we cry, that He collects them in a bottle and cherishes them because they are ours, and I dare say because they represent all of our life’s emotions.

Just recently I was thinking about this very thing, tears in a bottle, and that David was talking about the sorrows of life. All of us have shed more than our fair share, Christ Himself said there is trouble in this world, but not to fear because He has overcome the world.  If Christ Himself says you’re going to have trouble, you’d better believe it, and you’d better believe that it will come with tears.

Yet tears don’t always come with pain do they? Although that’s the most common thing we think of when we think about tears, they also come with great joy, with laughter and with love. They express the full spectrum of our emotions from the unbearably painful to the unbearably lovely.

And, I’m sure that the LORD catches those joyful tears too. Not just the ones we shed in our pain, but also the ones we shed when we are overwhelmed by love and the beauty of life. He is there with us in them all, experiencing every emotion with us, catching every tear that slides down our cheeks because they are precious to Him, and that’s because we are precious to Him.

“Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears;….”

2 Kings 20:5a

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ancient tomb in cemetery grounds

Image by Daves Portfolio via Flickr

Sometimes it’s worth thinking about the LORD and the fact the He is the giver of life in its totality whether we recognize that or not. He gives life even from something that not only seems dead, but is in actuality dead. Think of the line of the House of David, Lazarus, and Jesus Himself.

True life from total death, it’s something only He can do and all because of His extreme love and faithfulness.

“Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.”

Isaiah 11:1

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