Archive for the ‘Love’ Tag

Relationships   1 comment

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This week I watched a TED Talk by Robert Waldinger entitled, “What makes a good life?  Lessons from the longest study on happiness”.  He was sharing what has been learned from a study which began over 75 years ago by a researcher from Harvard University.  I encourage all of you to take the twelve minutes to watch this video yourselves.  SPOILER ALERT…..  What the study has determined is that relationships are the key to a happy life.

As I listened to Dr. Waldinger, I had a mixed response.  On one hand, the conclusions which he shared did not surprise me.  Yet, there was a part of me that was surprised the simplicity and truth of these results.  I have contended for much time, based on other’s research, that we were born to be in relationship.  As a believer, I know that God created me (and everyone else) because God desired to be in relationship.  I also know that God intended us to be in relationship with others.

The core of Scripture and all of Jesus’ teachings is relationship.  Specifically, relationship in the context of love.  God created us to live in love.  Love can only be expressed and experienced in relationship.  So we are creatures who crave relationship because we crave love.  This has also been expressed through a song made famous in the musical, Moulin Rouge.  In the song, Nature Boy, we hear the great line, “The greatest thing, you’ll ever learn, is to just to love, and be loved in return.”  Only in relationship can this be a reality.

So today, I encourage you all to consider the relationships in your life.


Missing You   2 comments

Mom & Dad at College Graduation Today for some reason, my thoughts have been circling around my parents.  Early this year my Dad returned to the arms of his Lord.  My Mom has been experiencing the glory of the Lord for almost six years now.  I am very grateful for knowing that their difficulties have ended and their work is no longer laborious.  However, for some reason today I am a little sad.  This date is not significant in their or my life but today I am impacted.

There are days when I find myself thinking about them.  After my Dad’s death, I began using pictures that I had put on my computer for his tribute video as my screen saver.  When I see pictures of each of them, other family members, and the two of them together, I remember the situation during which the picture was taken.  Most days those memories bring smiles to my face.  Today, I felt a tear in my eye as I looked at the pictures.

I miss them.  Life for them and for us was not always perfect.  There were difficulties and there were fights.  But there was also laughter and joy.  Each of them brought something different as a gift to me.  I learned so many things from each of them.  I am the person who I am because they had influenced me.  I am grateful to them both.  Most importantly I always knew of their love and their never wavering support.

And today, I miss you Mom and Dad.  I will always love you!

Mom & Dad at Second Graduation

Posted May 5, 2015 by thoughtfulbeliever in Death, Family, Life

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Keep the Nugget   Leave a comment

This time of year it is so very easy to become overwhelmed.  There seems to be so many tasks to get completed.  There is a long list of activities in which to engage.  There are traditions to uphold and a hunger for some new ones.  In all the hustle and bustle of the season, being overwhelmed can lead to a distaste for the season.  Instead of having the joy of the season which we had at childhood, adults can become more eager about the end of the season.

So here is my advice…..  Reclaim the nugget of joy from which the season came into existence.  Christmas was intended to be a time of great celebration.  That celebration, as a result of great joy, was due to the realization that a child had been born many years ago.  This child was no “ordinary” child.  This child was the incarnation of our God.  This child would grow to be a man who reached out to those who had been rejected, who had brought healing to bodies and spirits, who did not only speak about love but demonstrated it in the way he lived.  This man would give the ultimate demonstration of love by willingly dying so that any punishment for sin would be erased from anyone who believed in him.  This man would defeat death through the power of the Spirit and open the opportunity for all people to defeat death.  This is the nugget that must never be lost.

So whenever you are feeling overwhelmed in your preparation for Christmas, reclaim the nugget of joy which began all of this.  Then you will still be busy and have many tasks but the joy will carry you through them.

Soul Peace   Leave a comment

This morning, this song just keeps playing in my head so I thought I would share it.

True Power   Leave a comment

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As a believer in Christ, I am so thankful that God can take difficult situations and develop good out of them.  I need to first state that I do not believe that God is some manipulative being who creates difficult situations or tragedies to set up something victorious in the end.  However, when difficulties or tragedies occur, God is able to bring about good things for the benefit of those who God has created and loves.  For me that is true power!

As I think about that power this morning, these are some random thoughts that come into my head:

  • True power is doing something to benefit someone else.
  • A difference between God and humans is that humans can only see the moment and situation in which they are living, God can see beyond those boundaries.
  • The love which God has for us is so large that God is constantly working to create good in our lives, even when we are experiencing the exact opposite.
  • In the darkest of moments, God is the spark of light.

I am brought to an overwhelming sense of gratitude as I think about this true power of God.  I am grateful to know, love, and serve such an amazing Lord!

A Waking Dream   Leave a comment


…Hope… (Photo credit: ĐāżŦ {mostly absent})

“Hope is a waking dream.”  – Aristotle

I ran across this quote this morning so I spent some time pondering it.  It made me think a lot about the word “hope.”  For me, hope is the key to making it through another day.  I personally gain great hope in my faith.  I believe that there is something more than what I see and that the something is linked to the God I believe in.  I believe that the hope, and something more, is rooted in the concept of love.  I believe that God created and sustains all of creation and each human being in love.  Love is the source of all life and therefore, the source of all hope.

We are to be in love and be about love.  It is when a person feels that love is missing that they lose a sense of hope.  When the person can no longer sense the love around them, then their hope is gone.  Hope does not produce love but love produces hope.

So I believe that the true dream of every person is to be in love and to experience love.  This is the dream that awakens to the hope which sustains.

With God, the dream is real and the hope is what sustains us each and every day.  The reason I believe this is because God is love and love is the source of all hope.

Essence of Life   4 comments

English: Official portrait of United States Se...

English: Official portrait of United States Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


This morning as I was eating breakfast and reading the newspaper, I ran across a quote from a Republican Senator who has chosen to endorse gay marriage.  Senator Mark Kirk stated this:


“Our time on this earth is limited, I know that better than most.  Life comes down to who you love and who loves you back — government has no place in the middle.”


This quote really caused me to sit back and think about the truth found in his statement.  The beginning sentence is in regard to Kirk having suffered a stroke a year ago.  I find it is often true that when the reality of our mortality confronts us in a rather dramatic fashion, a person often has a much different perspective on life and what is important.  Kirk has faced his own mortality and uses this as a basis to say the second sentence in this comment.


For Kirk, the essence of life is centered on love.  He indicates that nothing, not even government, should be interfering with love between individuals.  I think that this is a truth that has existed since the creation of humanity.  This is a truth that is at the core of the message of Jesus Christ.  But this message existed long before that and is found in the original covenant God established with humanity.  God said to us, “I will be your God and you will be my people.”  This was a commitment that extended out of the love that God wished to share with humanity.  God later would tell people that they are to express this same love to one another.  That is why Jesus says that the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31, NIV)


I would have to totally agree with Kirk’s statement.  I think love is the essence of life.  I also think that no one, especially not the government, should interfere in the love between individuals.  The world could do much better with more love and healthy relationships.