Archive | February, 2014

the Unforgiven, proverbs 28:9

26 Feb

drafts

closing : pain never truly closes, never really ends. When Barbara left me and I became a Christian, became focused at first on one thing: her getting saved and coming back to us, to me .

As time moved forward, my focus changed: she wasn’t coming back, so her damnation was now my focus, my prayer.

I searched the scriptures for verses that could prayerfully assist my focus. I found a key verse , the first one I memorised, Proverbs 28:9
‘ If anyone turns a def ear to the law, even their prayers are detestable.’
I prayed this verse.
It felt wrong.
I went to Keith , our marriage counsellor, and asked, shouldn’t she come back to me if she comes to God and ask my forgiveness?

Keith’s response: she lied to you and to me during our counselling. She should come back to us both and ask for…

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2 must do in marriage; with partners ‘giving the best I got’

25 Feb

In previous blogs we looked at getting her (or him) to ‘yes’ and, its opposite, how we point loved ones toward ‘no.’ These blogs are not about ‘just dating’ but about everyday real partnerships: everyday relationships. Long term loves. So, in the Venn diagram of ‘yes and no,’ here are two last bits of advice-the middle bit.

Where and when did I get these advice insights? I got them when I was at my lowest, when I was separated from a partner and going through a messy divorce. Sometimes, the greatest emptiness produces the most overflow. And simply, simple truths.

First, feeling guilty about whether I did all I could do to keep the marriage together, I couldn’t sleep at night and called our marriage counselor. I asked, ‘Keith, did I give Barbara 100%?’ Did I give our relationship all I had?’

Keith’s response: ‘Charlie I don’t know what a 100% looks like. I know that you did the best with what you had at the time. That’s all that could be done by anyone.’ Stop the guilt; give yourself grace.

Second, when, how, do you love when you don’t feel it? When your wine glasses are empty?

Listen to Anita Baker’s ‘Giving you the best I got.’ Then, listen again. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQiMhAUJNMo Then give. Dance with them as though they aren’t there and no one is watching. Not even you. Give, dance. You are the best.

Nothing more is needed.

‘Giving you the best I got.’ Lyrics here http://www.metrolyrics.com/giving-you-the-best-that-i-got-lyrics-anita-baker.html

 

stewardship; a good, bad and ugly steward all in one?

24 Feb

The unknown steward in Genesis 24 serves Abraham, his master. But does he personally know, have faith, in the Lord God? I don’t know. I am seraching fo an answer. The whole of Genesis 24 is quoted below, along with my questions.

Please, if you read, share your thoughts in comments.

Isaac and Rebekah

24 Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. 2 He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh. 3 I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, 4 but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.”

5 The servant asked him, “What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?”

6 “Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said. 7 “The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring[a] I will give this land’—he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. 8 If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.” 9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.

10 Then the servant left, taking with him ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim[b] and made his way to the town of Nahor. 11 He had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water.

12 Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14 May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

15 Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 16 The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.

17 The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.”

18 “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.

19 After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. 21 Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful.

22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka[c] and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels.[d] 23 Then he asked, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”

24 She answered him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milkah bore to Nahor.” 25 And she added, “We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night.”

26 Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lord, 27 saying, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”

28 The young woman ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring. 30 As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring. 31 “Come, you who are blessed by the Lord,” he said. “Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.”

32 So the man went to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for him and his men to wash their feet. 33 Then food was set before him, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say.”

“Then tell us,” Laban said.

34 So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35 The Lord has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36 My master’s wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and he has given him everything he owns. 37 And my master made me swear an oath, and said, ‘You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live, 38 but go to my father’s family and to my own clan, and get a wife for my son.’

39 “Then I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not come back with me?’

40 “He replied, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked faithfully, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you can get a wife for my son from my own clan and from my father’s family. 41 You will be released from my oath if, when you go to my clan, they refuse to give her to you—then you will be released from my oath.’

42 “When I came to the spring today, I said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come. 43 See, I am standing beside this spring. If a young woman comes out to draw water and I say to her, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar,” 44 and if she says to me, “Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too,” let her be the one the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’

45 “Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’

46 “She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too.’ So I drank, and she watered the camels also.

47 “I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’

“She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milkah bore to him.’

“Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms, 48 and I bowed down and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49 Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so I may know which way to turn.”

50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. 51 Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.”

52 When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. 53 Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother. 54 Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there.

When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.”

55 But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you[e] may go.”

56 But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.”

57 Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.” 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”

“I will go,” she said.

59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,

“Our sister, may you increase
to thousands upon thousands;
may your offspring possess
the cities of their enemies.”

61 Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.

62 Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. 63 He went out to the field one evening to meditate,[f] and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. 64 Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 65 and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”

“He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.

66 Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. 67 Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. Footnote:

Genesis 24:63 The meaning of the Hebrew      for this word is uncertain.

Study/ guiding questions:

1.     What makes the servant the ‘Chief servant’? His age? His time of service? What is indicated in the text (24 Genesis) what does the text say?

2.     The swearing ceremony only happens in this way ’Under my thigh’ one other place in the Bible?

3.     Why does Abraham have his steward swear this way?

4.     How does the servant’s/steward’s questions and his ‘But’ reveal his skills; his character? How does his responses and statement in and to Rebekah’s household reveal his character?

5.     Essential question: Is this servant a believer in God? A person of faith? Does his faith come, change, grow, and/or decrease on this journey? Or is it all of these? Or some? How do we know from the text?

6.     The Message paraphrases these verses (18-21)

18-21 She said, “Certainly, drink!” And she held the jug so that he could drink. When he had satisfied his thirst she said, “I’ll get water for your camels, too, until they’ve drunk their fill.” She promptly emptied her jug into the trough and ran back to the well to fill it, and she kept at it until she had watered all the camels. The man watched, silent. Was this God’s answer? Had God made his trip a success or not? Compare this paraphrase with the NIV (and other translations if you like)

Is this a true to the text paraphrase? It is in a question form. Specifically, is this steward watching in questioning form? If so, what does this reveal about his character?

 7.  Verse 63 states that Isaac was living in the Negev and one evening was ‘meditating’ in the field and ‘looked up and saw camels coming.’ This word ‘mediating’ is a very difficult translation from the Hebrew. What does it mean from the context of the text to you? What was Issac actually doing?

    The steward prays in this passage twice and references the first prayer when he speaks to Laban. What does his prayers and his reference to them say about the steward’s character and his faith?

 Summary: Who is this servant serving in with his skills and faith? How is his faith similar or different from his master Abraham’s faith?

Concluding question: In your judgement, is this servant/steward a good, bad or an ugly steward? Why? Use an example(s) from the text to underscore your response. What does the text say?

the worst, wrst, cursed 4 pathways to move ‘her’ to ‘no’

19 Feb

So, let’s reverse the journey to ‘yes.’ If you have been together with a partner or married for any length of time, you will understand: you and your partner are either saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ everyday and sometimes saying an internal ‘yes’ and/or an external ‘no’ more than once a day. So, listening to yourself: then, consider,  how do I reverse all ‘her’ yeses’ into one big ‘no?’ (If  you know this reverse perhaps, just perhaps, I can stay in a ‘yes’ state; but some of these four steps you won’t be able to sidestep all the time.  ‘No’ is part of life. Just try not to make it external all the time.) So, what are the

four pathways to ‘no’???

First, tease Priscilla. She hates being teased and boys (even at 60 years of age) like to tease. Example, when people ask ‘How long have you been married?’ I say 34 years before Priscilla can say 33. She then says, ’33.’ People look strangely at us. But then I explain: I count the Asian way. I start at ‘one.’ She hates this as it calls attention to a number of things: our differences in outlook; our fighting in front of people; and our age. Tease her; lose her.

Second, don’t include her in your thoughts, plans or events-especially in discussions. Recently, I had a co-worker invited by a possible friend/partner to a Pub quiz night. Then ‘He’ withdrew the invite as he had to ‘check’ with the team. Co-worker felt: ignored; non-valued; excluded and confused: where is this relationship going to? Truth-he valued the people and the event over the co-worker. This is what long term partners due all the time: work; church; community; friends; sports; theatre-all are more important in my diary than ‘her.’ My ‘no’ message: others are of more value. You are losing her to a big ‘No…but two more steps to final termination. (By the way: co-worker went; team won; co-worker was the hero and ‘needs to come back.’ Yeah, right. Love me for my brain.)

Next, comment when asked about ‘the black dress.’ Never ever tell ‘her’ the little black dress makes her butt look fat. Never. You will die. And before termination. You are now at ‘no.’

Last, fourth path: don’t tell her you love ‘her.’ Don’t kiss ‘Her’ goodbye. Don’t hold her when she cries; or at night before sleep. Don’t look her in the eye. Close off. Final termination. ‘NO’

Eat all the chocolate by yourself. Drink the Fizz alone. Get fat. Say ‘yes’ to self.

You’re terminated. By your own actions; you are

by yourself.

Terminated

 

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the best, bset, blessed way to get ‘Her’ to say yes

18 Feb

the bset way to get 'Her' to say yes

chocolate love, walking and kissing tour

#nojudgment 8 Things You Should Never Be Ashamed Of

18 Feb

great

Typical Blogger

By May June

Our society is full of artificial norms and fake standards. Whatever is attractive is whatever you’re not. Whatever is normal is whatever you’re not. Whatever is popular is whatever you’re not.  Whatever is ideal is whatever is impossible.

Despite this, people are going to judge. You can’t stop them. But you can stop caring. Instead of worrying what others are going to think, embrace your quirks and guilty pleasures.

Surround yourself with people who love you for who you are and screw the haters. You should never have to start a sentence with, “No judgment, but…”

Be unique. Be spontaneous. Be free. If you’re not going to be you, then who will?

To get you started, here are 8 things you should embrace and never have to hide. Enjoy!

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some basic marriage advice

12 Feb


Having married at 17, divorced at 26, married for a second time at 26, I have some strong feelings about marriage, love, and having someone near you, near enough to touch, without intimate love making; yet so near they are you; your heart.

A friend once told me he just enjoyed waking with Anita next to him, and her sleeping beside.
Another friend once told me, after being married a month, that awaking and seeing Mike on his knees praying in the room next to their bed, moved her to tears.
These moments above don’t need advice; they are moments of love. Images of real people in love. in love with God, each other, giving, love itself. The advice below is for those who are missing a moment like those above. It is advice about treading water and then building to not treading water.

I told friends that my marriage seminar book will be titled: stop, drop and roll.

Stop-stop saying anything, listen
Drop-drop the crap; the self-pity;the ‘I could of should have’…drop to the ground and be humble.
Roll-roll in the moment, good or bad. Roll to put out the fire; roll with and to enjoy the other; in water; in your bed; your life. Roll.

Second bit of advice: find a newly married couple (less than a year) and make them your accountability in your marriage. Why? Look for people who should have the passion there with them everyday; watch; listen to them; recapture life, your love.

Next, spiritually consider your spouse to be a holy messenger from God to you. Just for you. Why? Listen. Me? I walk fast. Priscilla? She walks slowly. She looks at birds; the moon; flowers; people. Me? I walk fast-point a to point b. What is God telling me thru Priscilla’s slow pace? Charlie, look. Listen. To me, because I am all around you. Isaiah 6 has Angels, messengers, giving us these words: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ Question: if the whole of our earth is full of God’s glory how is it we can walk down the streets and not see the glories of God?
Answer: Sin blinds us so we take glory; his gift; his indescribable gift, 2 Corinthians 9:15 for granted. Just like I do after many years of marriage. She, Priscilla, is part of his glorious message, his gift, just for me. Look slowly. Listen carefully. Watch my walking.

Fourth, and last point for today: as I have written in this blog post earlier, ask her, ask him, everyday-internally and externally-everyday to marry you. Everyday.
And if you do this fourth bit everyday, you may have some, some special moments of glory in your life. A love message just for you. For you.

everyday, everyday… ‘Avellino’

4 Feb

everyday, everyday,  I ask Priscilla to marry me. She has said ‘yes’ 4 (four) times in 33 (thirty-three) years. I think she gets distracted when I ask her; she laughs; smiles and then asks me some question which is right off the topic. I sometimes think that she still has a hard time saying ‘yes’ (or  ‘no’) for a variety of reasons. Honestly, I am not quite sure why there is not an immediate answer. But, why ask, every, everyday? My response to myself: to try to keep my love for her in desire, fresh, fresh love. New.

Recently, in London, I have been kept waiting for her at a number of restaurtants. Priscilla has, I think, a poor sense of time. (But then, again, maybe it is me.) The waitress or waiters ask, ‘Are they coming? Would you like to order now?’ I wait.

I sometimes have to explain that I am waiting for my fiancee and that ,hopefully, tonite I am going to ask her to marry me. Perhaps, she will say ‘yes’? They smile. Then, when Priscilla arrives, they are very nice to her (and me). This past week I was at the ‘Greek Way’ restaurtant in Convent Garden area. Priscilla was late. I was asked, ‘Are they coming? Would you like to order?  I shared this narrative of my coming proposal (without mentioning that we have been together for a number of years) with a youngwaitress. Maria was from Italy. She said, ~’Where are you going to marry…Paris?’

I said yes-I would love to marry at Notre Dame. Then, at that moment,  Priscilla arrived. We ordered our food; when our waitress, Maria, returned with our food, she asked Priscilla where she would like to marry, ‘Paris?’

Priscilla laughed. She asked Maria if she was married and when the answer ‘no’ returned, Priscilla asked Maria where she would like to marry when her moment came. Maria said, ‘No, not Paris. A small town in Italy-Avellino-with my family. A small place.’

That is what I want; when my yes, my moment comes, an ‘Avellino.’ A small and quiet place with my love.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avellino