Tag Archives: mjharvell

Living Love!

“If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.”  I John 3:14

What Is Love?
What Is Love?

I have talked about this before, in a several different places.  There are many different definitions and ideas about what love is.  Most people in our world now a days, seem to have made themselves very comfortable with the idea that love is something that we fall into and can fall out of.  This idea believes that love is some magical feeling we get when we meet the right person.  If this is what you think of when you think of love, then you are probably right about it being something that we can fall into and out of.

A better word for that magical feeling that we get when we meet that person that makes us feel really special is probably attraction.  Love, real love is appreciating the goodness in another person.  When the Bible speaks of God’s love for us, it is God appreciating the goodness is us.  You may think, but there is nothing good in me compared to God, and you would be right, but we can’t forget that God created us and we are made in His image.  God sees what we can’t see and His attraction to that good in us allows him to appreciate the good that he can see and that is love.

Love is active and we can create it, just by appreciating the goodness that is in another person.  This is why love really is a choice.  A choice that each of us make many times and in many different ways every day.

There are in existence, what I like to think of as different flavors of love.  There is “eros”, where we get our word erotic.  When we accept and appreciate the beauty of the physical in another person, we experience this “eros” love.  Eros love is often the next step after attraction, but it does not have to be.  “Eros” love is about physical passion, gratification and fulfillment.

There is a love called “storge”.  This is the love that parents share with children and children share with parents.  It is only natural to look at your blood and appreciate the goodness, often of yourself that is in them.  This is a love that flows almost naturally and without effort.

There is also “phileo” love.  Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love.  This is a love of affections, a love that takes delight in being in the presence of another.  This is often that warm feeling that seems to come and go.  This is a love that cares about another as if they were blood.

And then there is “agape” love.  This is the love that our Creator loves us with.  This is love that seeks the welfare and blessing of the other person.  This is a love that flows regardless of the feelings or emotions that we often get tangled up in.  This truest of loves is a choice that we make, regardless of how we feel and that is why this love is so powerful.

When we love others, it is proof that the love of God has found its way into our lives.  Proof that we are not dead, but alive to Him and His power that flows into and through our lives. We should seek this love and share this love, because it means that we are alive and being alive, really alive is a good thing!

It’s A Big Deal!

WOW!
WOW!

It is natural to want to know our place in this world.  Wisdom teaches us that knowing our purpose is not really the most important thing.  The important thing is know that we have purpose.  We search for answers that really will not make much of a difference in our lives.

Look up at the sky.  Now, look around you at the earth.  Isn’t that profound?  You did not get it?  Do it again!  Look up at the sky, really look.  Now, look around you at the earth.  Did you see it?  You are a spiritual being, existing in a human body.  You are on the earth and Heaven is above you.  In reality, you are right now living between heaven and earth.

When we look at the sky, we should contemplate heaven.  The sky is above us and we are below it, what does that tell you?  The sky is endless, vast, right before you and way beyond you.  The sky/heaven is not some abstract philosophical concept, it is a daily reality that is ever-present in our lives.

The clouds come and go, but Heaven is always there.  It is the air we breath and so much more.  It is home to the sun which warms us and gives us life.  We cannot live without the heaven and the earth.

Our spirit is in great need.  It’s contentment comes from the unlimited vastness of the Heavenly domain.  Our spirit never runs out of a new place to roam and call home.  Don’t allow your view of this world and our heavenly home to become too small, because if you do, then you might just miss a very important part of your journey…

Appreciation!

Don't Hate - Appreciate!

Someone said:  “You can’t see clearly until you appreciate fully.”  I hate to admit it, but for a small part of my life, I got distracted by people’s flaws and was unable to see and appreciate their potential.  If we focus on people’s flaws and miss their potential, then eventually the relationship/friendship will break down.

I am not perfect.  In fact, the older I get, the more I realize how just how many mistakes I have made and am still making.  Hopefully, I am at least beginning to learn from some of them.  None of us are flawless, but all of us have accomplishments and potential.  Many times our accomplishments and potential go unnoticed, because most of the people in our world are looking for what is wrong, instead of what is right.

When I was growing up, I used to hear the older folks talking a lot about appreciation.  I think appreciation may be one of the great lost art forms of our time.  To appreciate means that we make an intentional effort to look past and beyond the flaws, mistakes and mess-ups and instead focus in on a person’s value.  Every person in this life has value and contribution that makes life better.

Appreciation isn’t so much about saying “thank you”, as it is actually taking the time to recognize and understand the other person’s value and contribution that they can make.

I need to get better at appreciation.  In fact, I want to pull out this old art form from the past and put it into practice, but I can’t do it by myself.  I need your help.  If enough of us get it and practice it, then it will become a part of our nature.

Here are a few things that I am trying to do to practice appreciation for others:

1.) Accept people as they are!  I don’t have to agree with everything and I don’t have to like everything about a person to find something of value to appreciate in them.  Sure I want to see people grow, improve and live up to their potential, but I am learning that before I can help anyone do anything, I first have to accept. appreciate and love them.

2.) Be willing to learn new things!  I am a human being, but I don’t know all there is about human beings and what it means to live and succeed as one.  Since I have room in my life to grow, then I need to be open to differences of opinion, realizing that while, I don’t have to agree, that I also don’t have to let it tear apart what could be a meaningful relationship of relationships.  Sometimes we burn our bridges with no idea of who else could walk across them.

3.) Consider The Quickies:  There are a few things that I need to do and keep doing to really appreciate others.  I need to PAY ATTENTION.  I am sometime so focused on myself that I miss everything else around me – must continually work on this one!  I need to ASK MEANINGFUL QUESTIONS.  Questions help me to get below the surface, so that I can know more.  The more I know about you, the more opportunity, I have to find something to appreciate.  I need to REALLY CARE.  I care.  I have always cared, but I am learning that I can care more deeply and more real.  I am also discovering that I want to.

Appreciation is a choice.  We want others to make the choice to appreciate us, but maybe we need to make the choice first, and then take whatever might come our way.  Just a little something we all need to think about.  Here’s a question for you:  Who do you or who can you appreciate today?  Take the time to appreciate them and you will be glad you did!