Posts Tagged: love


19
Feb 13

A quiet life that lives loud

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Howdy.  Good to see you again.

I am pleased to announce that my fascination with South Africa and its societal and cultural challenges have waned.  So there will be no more blog entries about my recent trip below the equator.

You will be happy to know that I am back to my normal self (whatever that is).  Well, maybe I took a leap in logic to assume you will be happy to have me back to normal.

In reality my normalcy could be troubling to you.  Just so you know, people whispering and giggling under their breath has never deterred me in the past.

I will keep on pecking away at my blog in hopes that I will somehow and someway say something meaningful, funny, thought provoking or challenging to those of you who choose to hang out with me periodically.

Frankly, I am not sure which is more intriguing or troubling – myself (Jerry Rushing) actually writing a blog or that you (whomever you are) are actually reading it.

But enough of my ramblings about my quirky sense of normalcy… let’s talk about real people.

Those of you who are regular readers know that people fascinate me.  I absolutely love the variety of people in the world.

Although I think I am a pretty nice person and remarkably handsome and cool, I would hate for the world to be full of people like me.  And yes, you are correct in assuming that a bunch of Jerry Rushings running around would make the world a much better and pleasant place to be… but not nearly as interesting.

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Side Note: Yes, just in case some of you were wondering, the last couple of sentences are totally tongue in cheek.  Those of you who are regulars know that I never take myself that seriously.

My weirdness must be the withdrawal effects of South African water.

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For whatever reason I am really drawn to salt-of-the-earth type people.  These are people who are comfortable with who they are and have no pretense of trying to impress others.  They just  simply live their lives… simply.

I ran across a video of a fellow who simply loves his family and country and quietly lives a life that impacts others without any intention of doing so.

YouTube Preview Image

Humm… in a world celebrates image and are enamored by flowery words, it’s refreshing to see the power of a simple life well lived.

I am not discounting the importance of more visible talents, not at all.  It’s just that I want to celebrate the quieter invisible qualities that make life so rich and full.

Eric would probably never win a personality contest nor would he put himself in a situation that requires an electrifying persona.

But what he lacks in words his life makes up for in action.

Eric’s life forces me to ask myself some questions and I encourage you to ask yourself.

What strikes me about Eric’s story?

Is there anything I need to learn or embrace from his quiet strength?

These are questions worth asking.  I encourage you to poke at these insights over the next couple of days.

Ciao.


11
Dec 12

More Christmas Frivolity

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Welcome, great to have you hang out with me for a while.

Since it is the Christmas season I have been talking about what types of gifts men or women like.  So I will continue to unwrap the topic a bit more.

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Side Note: “…unwrap the topic…”

Yes, I know, that was really bad.  I couldn’t resist the easy layup of a pun.  And yes, I realize that puns of this nature do not reflect well on my intellectual prowess.  But it is what it is.

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The fact that men and women are different is not new news to anyone.  But the fact that we are so different is something for which I am very, very thankful.

In the last entry I mentioned that all you need to get for a guy is something that makes noise, a tool of any kind to take something apart (putting it back together is optional), a toy or some sort of electronic gadget.

Yes, women are different.  The fairer gender tends to like things that fall into one of four categories.  As I started to list them I found that they all started with the letter “S”.

Girls like things that are – Soft, Sentimental, Smell good, or Shiny.  I could throw in another “S” that girls like.  No, not Sexy, even though it is a good guess and it’s something that is both a guy and girl thing.

The other “S” I was thinking about is Silliness.  Now let me explain.  There is “goofiness”, which no girl likes.  And there is cute silliness, which girls tend to like, especially if it involves a cute guy.

I ran across a video that will perfectly illustrate my point.

As a guy I could relate to doing something like this… but would never attempt.  I wouldn’t try it because 1.)  I’m not a cute enough guy; 2.) I can’t dance; 3.) Cute is hard to pull off when you’re over 30.

Girls… enjoy the video.  Guys, it’s ok for you to watch too.  It’s a good idea to consider if you’re under the age of 30.  Make sure you get to the dancing part.

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YouTube Preview Image

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One of the comments below the video had a very good description of this little escapade.  They mentioned that it was so cool and uncool at the same time.

I have never been able to pull off something that is cool and uncool at the same time.  I have mastered uncool pretty well but I’m still working on the cool part.

Regardless of what you thought about the video whether it was cute silliness or just plain stupid goofiness, the guys were having fun.

FUN!!!  Innocent fun.

Regardless of age, cuteness, or ability to dance, fun is for everyone.
You may find this hard to believe, but God created fun.  What really throws some people is the notion that God is really fun.

Most people see Him as a crotchety old geezer that has no sense of humor.  Boy, are they ever wrong.

I think after Christmas I will need to dig into the funny God thing… because He really is funny… not goofy… funny.

Yes, I even believe that God can pull off the cute silliness thing… even though He is over 30 and probably can’t dance.

Ciao


13
Nov 12

Selfish Bastards

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Hello again.

I know the title put a few of you on edge.  The “B” word is not a regular part of my vocabulary.  But as you read you will understand why.

I am sitting in a hospital room with a family member.  It’s not serious enough to warrant I.C.U. treatment but bad enough to need someone handy to help with simple stuff.

So I sit here pecking away on my computer hoping that I won’t be called on to provide some sort of nursing aide.

A cough, moan, grunt or sudden beep from one of the machines round the bed sets me on edge.  It’s the type of noise that demands that I cast aside my uneasiness about such things and do what needs to be done.

It’s not that I’m not willing to help; it’s just that I’m not very good at hospital stuff.

I find that hanging around a hospital really makes me want to take care of myself.   I want to leave, run to a gym, have a workout, eat a low fat meal and bathe in Purell.

But I’m honest, all this take care of myself motivation doesn’t last too long.  I’m already trying to decide what I want for lunch and it doesn’t include yogurt or greens.

Also, there is something about hospitals that I find weird.  Hospitals completely drain you.

It’s like an energy removing machine that sucks every ounce of life out of your body.  I sit here barely staying awake as drool drops on my computer… well… I may be exaggerating a bit.  But you catch my drift.

As you can tell, I don’t like hospitals.  They give me the willies.

But my discomfort and dislike for hospitals doesn’t matter.  It’s family.

Families are there when you need them.  I would not want to be a part of a family that is only around when things are fun and happy.  Everyone can be a good friend or family member when the good times are rollin’.

But when things are tough and the situation forces us to get out of our comfort zone… then real family love is revealed.

I am not saying this to pat myself on the back, not at all.  Frankly, I’m not that special.

I have been here less than other family members.  But I do want my loved one to know that I’m willing to be there when things are tough.

If a person only makes decisions based on their own personal comfort and desires they are simply a narcissistic pig.

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Being selfish to me means that you have to look out for yourself and you don’t have to sacrifice.
- Herbie Mann
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Yep… pretty strong words… but true.

There are people like that in the world and far too many.  I have been in situations where I have had to visit the hospital or nursing homes enough to know that there are thousands of people sitting alone suffering.

There can be few things more lonely than to suffer by yourself.

That’s why I used the phrase – Selfish Bastards.  The focus of their life is “all about me” and nothing else.  They will occasionally do things but only if convenient or self-serving in some way.

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What a cage is to the wild beast, law is to the selfish man.
- Herbert Spencer
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A selfish man is a thief.
– Jose Marti
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Yes, we all want things to go our way and we all would rather not do things that are uncomfortable or put us out.

But the reality is, the more we give of ourselves the greater we grow.

Selfish people are small people.

See you later.

Ciao.


18
May 12

Gene Pool Jackpot!

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Howdy.

Wow… it seems like I have fallen off the face of the earth the past few days.  I have been slammed and wasn’t able to write and post this blog until today.

Most of you could care less, but I ended the last blog by saying that I would post the next entry on Tursday (if you wonder why I spelled Thursday this way you will need to read the last blog entry).

Not having it posted when I said I would really bugs me.  Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.

Oh well, enough of looking backward.  On with the topic at hand.

In the last blog entry I referred to a quote by the golfer Johnny Miller.

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It’s not what you accomplish in life that’s important but what you’ve overcome.

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The quote really struck me for some reason and I thought I would dig into it a little more.

The sad thing is, our society’s default to measuring success is typically by what you accomplish.  And usually accomplishment is measured in terms of money, power, position and prestige.

Here’s the problem with this definition of success.

If you won the gene pool jackpot and were born into the Bill Gates family… guess what?  By the definition above you are already a success before you are ever born.

No effort – just luck.

So what is the real definition of success?

I don’t want to sound snarky but… It depends.

It depends on the answer to a second question.  The follow-up question is, who’s asking?  Seriously.

Success to you may not be success to me.

I had a friend of mine use the football phrase “advancing the ball” as a metaphor for success.  He felt that his success was determined by how far he advanced the ball past where his father handed it off to him.

He came from humble beginnings and had succeeded in becoming fairly affluent and influential.  Although there were people with lots more money and position he was pretty successful because he advanced the ball quite a ways.

Of course, his measure for his son’s success is how much further he can advance the ball.

I think it’s an interesting theory but not sustainable.

Another interesting measure of success I ran across was in a film I saw in sociology class in High School.

It was a true story about a tribe on a South Pacific island.  The tradition was that when a man found a girl to marry a dowry had to be given to the girl’s father.

Typically it was in the form of cows.

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Side Note: Yes girls… they were traded for cows.  Get over it.

If you are offended it’s because you have a different definition of success.  Stick with the story before you go postal on me.

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On the island, the point of pride and success for women was the number of cows their suitor would pay for the privilege to marry them.

Typically, one or two cows were given for an average woman and three cows if you were exceptional.

The story in the film was about a shy girl who was average in appearance.  The father was expecting to get one, at best two cows for his daughter.

The dialog between the suitor and father was typically a negotiation.  Like any negotiation the father wants to get the most cows he can for his daughter and the suitor wanting to get a bargain.

But this story was a true love story.

The suitor in the story was the most eligible bachelor in the tribe.  He was the stud all the girls wanted.  The father was amazed he even considered wanting his average daughter.

When the suitor approached the father he did not wait for the father to ask for two cows.  The suitor immediately said, “I love your daughter and I will give you five cows.”

Five cows for a bride… a tribe first.  The girl was known throughout her life as the five cow bride.

Yep, success comes in all forms.

How do you define success?

See you Monday.


20
Feb 12

Noun or Verb

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Welcome back.

Wow… the title really weirds me out.  I am the last person in the world to be talking about anything that has to do with grammar or correct use of English.

Another strange thing about this blog entry is that it should have been posted last Monday the day before Valentines Day.  I read something this morning that stirred my thinking so I am going with it.

This blog entry is all about lieben, elsker, gra’, amore.  No matter what language you use… yes it’s LOVE.

Ahhh, Love.

Yes, I can see you now.  As you read about Love your mind explodes with visions of flowers blooming, the birds singing and little winged cherubs hovering.  Now your mind sees a handsome young man whirling his beautiful love round and round in the center of a flowered meadow.

Oh my, I have to stop before I sink into a sugar coma.  That last couple of sentences were even too much for me to handle.  I think I need to throw up.

Just kidding, just kidding… well… kinda.

There are two parts of love – Glow and Go

The “Glow”

“At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.”
-  Plato

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Life is the flower for which love is the honey.”

-  Victor Hugo
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Don’t get me wrong, I love “Love” too.  I like the “Glow”.  It feels good, it makes you smile, and you feel loved in return.  Good stuff, seriously good stuff.

But in our “feel good” society I really believe that we have tended to lose touch with the larger part of Love – the “GO”.

This is the verb “Love”… action.

This next statement is a sobering truth.  You can tell what you love by what you do.

Our actions naturally reflect what we love.

For example, we can love the “Glow” more than the object.

Let’s be honest.  It’s easy to “Go” when you feel the “Glow”.  But when the “Glow” is gone, what happens?

Real Love is more, far far more than the feeling.

The deepest and grandest Love is that when the “Go” is  present and demonstrated when the “Glow” is absent.

The object of our love is more important than what I feel and what I want in the moment.

This makes Love very sacrificial.


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“Love always involves responsibility, and love always involves sacrifice. “
-  William Barclay

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This “Go” thing forces an important question, what do my actions tell me about what I love?

It’s worth considering over the next few days.

Ciao, till Thursday.


1
Dec 11

Imperfect Perfection

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Welcome back.

First, if have not read the last blog entry please take a minute to do so.  Today’s entry will make very little sense without the backdrop of the story about the mother and daughter as reference.

It was several days after seeing the mother at the business meeting before the impact of her story in my life was revealed.

The amazing thing about a Spiritual walk is that it unfolds in amazing ways if we continue to move forward and remain open to the truths God desires to impart.

One day for some reason I was reminded (I know now that it was a God reminder) of the event with the mother.  I was thinking about the exchange with the mother and I was suddenly struck by the obvious paradox of her story.

When asked about her daughter the mother immediately said, “She’s perfect, absolutely perfect.”  Then she proceeded to go into detail about how bad she was the night before.

The paradox amused me – she’s perfect and a bad girl.

The “Ah Ha”

This divine insight didn’t come in one blinding revelation.  It seemed to unfold with my flow of thought regarding the mother and daughter.

The first thing that struck me was my shallowness as a human and how easily we forget the basics.

As a Christian I believe to the core of my being that God, our Father, loves us with a love far beyond our earthly ability to love others or even comprehend.

So the truth is, as much as that mother loved her child, God loves us more.

OK… I get that… that’s really cool.

Then the next beautiful truth hit me.

If an earthly mother loves her child so much that she sees her imperfect child as perfect, and even says so; then God must be able to do so all the more.

This thought revealed another belief.  I really, really believe in my heart that those who have entered into relationship with Him, enjoy the same favor as the daughter we have been talking about.

I believe God looks down on His beloved child and just like the mother says slowly and lovingly, “He’s perfect, absolutely perfect.”

This does not mean that we don’t have issues we need to deal with, or areas that need disciplining.  But God, because of Christ, sees us as perfect.

This revelation then begs the next question.

If God sees us as perfect and loves us beyond measure, why is it so difficult for us to believe it and receive it?

Why is it so hard for us (me) to see God looking down at me and slowly and lovingly saying, “He’s perfect, absolutely perfect?”

I think that needs to be unpacked a little more.

I will do that on Monday.


28
Nov 11

God Alert

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Hi Good to see you again.

Those of you who are regular readers of my blog know that I don’t talk about God that much.

And whenever I do to talk about God or Jesus I always let you know ahead of time.

So, as you can see from the title, I will talk about God stuff.  I had a Spiritual “ah ha” recently that has stayed with me and I feel I am to share it with my friends.

For my non-believer friends, don’t worry that I’m not going to preach at you.  No way.

As always, I don’t expect you to believe the way I do.  It’s not my job to convince you to think or believe something.

I do believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to share insights and opinions that cause each other to stop and ask important questions.  The important thing is that we (including myself) must be open to hearing and exploring.

The Story

A while back I was in a business setting and saw a person that I had met a couple of times before in a social setting.

I wouldn’t categorize her as a friend… just an acquaintance.

The first time I met this person she was with her husband and bouncing along side of her was her five year old daughter.

The daughter was one of those little girls with a BIG personality.  The daughter was cute, bright, verbal, engaging, and fun.

So during the business encounter we greeted each other and since I didn’t know the person too well I immediately asked the most obvious question.

“How’s your little girl?”

I know that I can’t do it justice, but I will try to capture the mother’s response and then how it impacted me.

A Mother’s Response

When I asked about her daughter the mother literally “Lit UP”.  I am not exaggerating when I say “lit up”.

Her face instantaneously transformed.  All of a sudden her face glowed, her eyes sparkled, and the biggest smile swept across her face as she took a deep breath.  She suddenly seemed taller as she swelled with pride.

It was though she lost all sense of the business surroundings and became a loving mother.

It was a stunning and beautiful transformation.

And simultaneously with the transformation she very slowly and lovingly said, “She’s perfect, absolutely perfect.”

The mother, now very animated, immediately began talking about her daughter with that “you won’t believe what she did” lilt in her voice.

She proceeded to tell me that the night before the daughter was in a very grouchy mood and seemed to be getting into everything.

Eventually, it got so bad that the misbehaving daughter was disciplined and sent to her bed early.

As the mother told the story in detail she was smiling the entire time and continued to glow with love.

I laughed with the mother as she told the story and then went on about my business.

It wasn’t until a few days later the “ah ha” hit me.

You may be asking about  the “ah ha” . I am sorry to say that you will have to wait.

I feel kinda bad about having you wait but I want to do it justice.

See you Thursday.


7
Mar 11

The Spice of Life or A Life of Spice

Howdy.  Thanks for checking in again today.  Hopefully I will be able to say something that will make your visit worth your while.

Those of you who have hung out with me for a while know that I don’t talk about God things much.  Every now and then I will allude to some aspect of my faith but I try not to be preachy or even expect you to believe the same way I do.

I just share things from my perspective and if they make you think… great.

Today’s topic is about one slice of the amazing gifts life gives us.  Personally, I attribute these gifts directly from God.  But regardless of where you attribute the origin of the gift, I am certain you will appreciate the reminder of some of the small yet amazing blessings of life.

The big things in life are pretty easy to pick up on.  They force our attention pretty quickly.  Big things grab us around the neck and whack us on the forehead.  Or, like a child wanting mom’s attention, it reaches up, grabs our cheeks and pulls our face forward forcing eye contact.   When big things come we stop and engage.

But then there are the miraculous small things, the things easily overlooked or forgotten.  These are things we have known about or been aware of, but the responsibilities of life dull our sensitivity to these small blessings and miracles that surround.  It’s as though the droning monotonous cadence of daily duties has a way of taking over and crowding out the awareness to these joys of life.

I believe that love is most revealed in small things more so than the large.  I am talking about the small unsolicited acts that reveal the true nature of the person who loves.

What tripped this domino of thought was… spices.  Yep spices.  I think I briefly mentioned this in an earlier blog a few months back but I want to press in a bit more closely.

Have you ever thought about the gift of the amazing variety we have in life.  Spices are just one category.  The incredible variety of colors, music styles, plants, birds, on and on and on.

Now I am sure many of you are sitting there going… uh… spices… uh… music… ok?  These are nice but I think this fellow is getting a bit too excited about ordinary stuff.

Think about it, a multitude of variety for us to experience and enjoy.  Cool huh?

Now I know that lot’s of people who do not believe in God enjoy, value and appreciate the variety of things life gives us.

But this is where I really like my beliefs about God and my relationship with Him.  It is the fact that God created the multitude of spices and flavors, totally for our enjoyment.

The variety shows a God who loves His creation and gives us things completely for our enjoyment.

This may sound weird but let me use our dog as an analogy.  We feed our dog a good brand of dry dog food.  We only feed him this one thing and he is very happy.  Basically he doesn’t know any different.

God didn’t have to create things for us to enjoy.  We would not know any different if there were only five flavors, six colors, and two types of music.

Can you imagine food without basil, cumin, salt, or thyme?  Or having only polka music?  Or having only one shade of green when the leaves begin to bud in the Spring?  We would not know any different.

Take a look around.  What are the small seemingly insignificant things that bring pleasure and enjoyment?

These are gifts… just for you from someone who loves you.

See you Thursday.


14
Feb 11

Love is in the Air

The many ways of love!

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Most of the topics I write on just seem to peek their way into consciousness and eventually take shape by bouncing around in my head for a while, then they finally pop out on the written page.

Yes, you guessed it, at times there can be quite a commotion in my head with all those ideas and thoughts bouncing around bumping into each other.  I have to say though, that I find my head pretty entertaining at times, cluttered but entertaining.

But on occasion there are topics that are thrust upon you.  Today is one of those topics. Continue reading →