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Unconditional love

Giving unconditional love requires you to love without any expectations. It seems difficult to only love and not demand anything in return in today’s world where everyone is selfish and egotistic. But even in this world we see many examples of unconditional love, for example the love of a mother to her child, the love between two life partners and the love bestowed upon siblings. Loving someone unconditionally means we have to learn how to sacrifice our selves, our desires, and most importantly our egos for we are not suppose to expect anything from the person we love.

It’s true that love makes its way itself. When we love somebody with so much passion and emotion, it’s sure to come round in one way or another. But if somehow we don’t get as much as we give, we must realize not to complain or argue because in order to love someone else unconditionally, we must first love ourselves and accept the fact that as humans we all have faults and blemishes, and will inevitably make mistakes. We must be aware of our own imperfections and realize that since we are not perfect, others won’t be either. Always keep in mind that loving others and giving them everything we have will make us satisfied and happy with ourselves.

At some point in our lives, we all demand some kind of love and want to express our own love for someone. Believe in the principle of giving more and demanding less. When someone asks you for a favor always be ready to give it. Never complain that you don’t have enough or you have other tasks to do. Set your priorities in such a way that everyone else comes first and your own demands come last.

Let us keep in our hearts that when we love somebody unconditionally, we want the best for that person. Think positively about them even if they make mistakes or do not return our feelings. Give them sincere advice about their future and other decisions. Always look around for the betterment of your loved ones without any envy on your part. If you have to sacrifice something of your own for them, don’t hesitate to do so. Only then you will truly be able to love unconditionally.

Remember that unconditional love is given without any expectations or limitations. We don’t define any scope of our love or that how long will we love a person. This is an eternal feeling which should be kept alive in all circumstances and all situations. We must never lose hope and keep on loving people who are dear and close to us, only then we will be able to live a completely satisfied and emotionally balanced life.

Now being yesterday was valentines and all. I really thought about loving unconditionally. My wife and I went to dinner and then to the movie The Vow. If you haven’t heard of the movie here’s the premise:
A husband endeavors to win back his new bride’s heart after she loses her memory in a tragic car accident in this romantic drama starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum.

Basically, a man and woman get in a car accident. Woman loses her memory of the last 5 years or so and therefore forgets her husband. Her memories revert back to high school friends, family, and her previous engagement. Meanwhile her husband has to try to win her heart back. Ok, so back to the point unconditional love are we capable of that? I ask myself this question and I grasp for answers like grasping at straws. As a husband who loves his wife as much as he possibly knows how, I wish I could say “yes”. However, I don’t know how, nor believe that people know how to love unconditionally. When we walk into a relationship, we walk in with expectations of how the relationship should conduct itself. Most have relationship expectations of loyalty, respect, honesty, perseverance, compassion, and sacrifice. Now if all these and many more qualities are met we can love easily. However what if your spouse has extramarital affairs weekly? What If your spouse belittles you hourly or abuses you? Or what if  the person you married dramatically changes there values or decides they no longer want to work on the relationship and gives up on life? How long could you take that? And if one could take that, would we still love that person?

Unconditional love is a fairy tale love. However there is only one place it can be seen is by God. God loves unconditionally. It says in the bible that God shows his love by he sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8 Whoa. Imagine when everyone was the worse of the worst God offered his son to die on our behalf. Take a moment think of your spouse if they were the worst they have ever been in their whole life. If you met them in that moment, would you have still fallen in love with them?  If we are honest, we probably wouldn’t have chosen them then.  No restrictions. No reservations. God’s love is unconditional. Given freely; however, this great love is often missed because we interpret his love like how we interpret our love, with expectations. Something to consider that I believe is that God loves you as much as he possibly can right now, just as much as he does the drunk on the street. He also says there is nothing that can separate us from his love (no conditions) the only thing that can separate us from his love is our own choice to not receive it. Sadly some won’t. But think for a moment there is nothing you can do to make God love you any less and for that or more. His love is unconditional. Now some feels that makes his love cheap but I feel it’s worth more then gold. That his love unites rather then divides. His love conquers and endures rather then fades. His love is unconditional. Have you met this kind of love seek it out he wants to give it to you. Question remains are you ready to receive a unfailing, unconditional love?

Wow, it has been forever since I have written anything on this, some jerks took that privilege away by posting hateful comment. But I will leave the vengeance to the Lord besides I’m sure they realized what there actions costed them by now. (more of that and where i have been another day). Look at that first day back I already got you hooked with a teaser.

Well let me start off with I live in Idaho. Yes, If your keeping track that is the fifth state I’ve lived in. However something tells me my family and I are here for quite awhile. Oh also to my readers who don’t know me personally we added a little one to our family. Ava Grace Hanson was born on December 23, 2010 sometime after or before lunch. I don’t remember I am a guy after all. Anyways a daughter is the best gift anyone could ever receive. I say daughter because don’t have a son so verdict is still out on that one. I also say gift because my wife and I recognize that heavenly father is the true giver and everything we have is a gift from above. Ok, now we’re getting to sentimental. But in all honesty God has blessed my family and yours I bet exponentially. The question is do we recognize it as his blessings?

A little more about our move and how God has been faithful to my family. Immediately upon arrival i had job interviews waiting for me which is practically unheard of in this economy.
I had numerous interviews and one that I had the job till they realized they made some clerical errors. I was bummed and frustrated, had been out of work for two weeks which isn’t long but felt like a lifetime for someone who loves to work. So after this job fell through to cheer me up. Shannon took me to artic circle and I was throwing myself a pity party I was inviting everyone to my pity party. But no one was interested in joining. Let me tell you here is how the lord works mysteriously. While in my sulking moments waiting in the drive through there was a sign that said allied mental health. Since I was trying to get into counseling and there was a number I called it. It was one those moments of a drunk text or just a moment you wish you could take back because you feel like a moron afterwards. Anyways I leave this desperation message sounding pathetic as ever because I called during my pity party. My wife said the message I left must of been 4 minutes long. We went to the park with our food and I continued to wallow. Next day I was having regrets about calling and was going to call back an apologize for calling in the first place (swingers moment rent movie swingers if don’t know what I’m talking about). As I was thinking bout calling them, phone rings. It’s them telling me to submit my resume. Long story short I work for allied mental health. It’s amazing how God uses what we believe our failures as part of his plan. Something to remember our failures are just another step in Gods plans because He never lets it end with failure.

Thinking about this move it is incredible how amazing God had blessed us. Here are just a few.

– we now live closer to family and the family we don’t live by was able to fly Shannon and ava out to see them.

– we have an awesome neighbor who helps teaches me how to fix things because I am not a real man:). Same neighbor invites us over for BBQ all the time.

– Shannon found a well connected mops (mother of preschoolers) group and has been invited out numerous time.

– we found a great church and small group that we connect with and our building relationships.

– rented a house sight unseen before rented and it actually is very functional.

– Chinese food galore only three blocks away as well as my work which is only 5 blocks away and many more.

It is truly incredible how God has provided a job that he uniquely gifted me for. Then again might not be incredible because God wants to bless us. The real question is do we let him? That’s a question I have been asking myself lately. Do i believe God truly want to bless us. Shallowly we say yes, but do we live like that? Or our we living as if we our on our own and God isn’t willing to participate in our lives. Or worse we feel we don’t need him. My friends God wants to bless us it may not look how we want it but nevertheless he wants to bless us daily. How many times do we wake up and we miss the fact that waking up each day is a blessing or being able to see or hear. Now I want you all to know that working as a chaplain taught me that. Nothing like being in a nursing home daily not knowing what the next day is going to look like but being ok with that, simply because residents trust and know who holds the next day. Our hope needs to be in Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith. Keep chasing after him. Remember Jesus set the example by showing us what love is.

In His Grips
Chad

Romans 6-8
6-8Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

United we divide

Good Morning today is March 12, 2010 and it is a particularly special day for two reasons.  The first is Norfolk Panthers boys team have made it to state semifinals and in about 5 hours we will find out if they will be playing for the championship.  But more importantly this day is special because it is my dad’s birthday. So Dad I just wanted to say thank you for always pressing morality and ethics in my life.  If it wasn’t for you, and Mom’s understanding and grace; I wouldn’t be the man I am today.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY.  For the rest of everyone else out there on the net; today I like to talk about unity.  Here we go.

This week at The Shift (Jr High youth group) we talked about the Tower of Babel as it’s mention in Genesis 11 now for those of you who don’t know the story here it is:

Genesis 11: 1-8

Genesis 11

The Tower of Babel

1 At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. 2As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia[a] and settled there.

3 They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) 4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”

5 But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. 6 “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! 7 Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”

8 In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. 9That is why the city was called Babel, [b]because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.

Now some of the youth were curious and I was too when rereading and studying this passage they asked why would God care that their united? (Verse 6)?  I mean after all isn’t unity a good thing what is God doing why did he care? After reviewing the passage again and speaking with some people about this passage.  I believe the issue of unity isn’t the problem but rather the topic of self-sustainment is.  Think about what the world would be like if everyone spoke the same language.  Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, French, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin. Etc…  How can that be bad right?  Think about it there would be fewer wars, maybe less hate crimes, no one being passed over a job because of language or background.  Everything would be great. EXCEPT… Where would God fit into the picture then, if we all spoke the same language came from the same background because the Lord wouldn’t have scattered us.  There be no persecution, be no struggles, and be no faith.  We would think there is no need for God because we would believe that we could do everything on our own and we miss out on the huge opportunity to know God as our friend.  Maybe were actually more unified since God divided us

Just my thoughts… what do you think

By: Shannon Hanson 

Happy Friday!  It is Valentine’s weekend, and so for that reason, I decided to write a blog that had to do with relationships. Whether you are married, engaged, dating, or simply friends with someone, it is likely that from time to time that person will wrong you, or you will do something to upset them.  It’s inevitable.  So then what happens?  Well, you can go on like nothing happened and harbor a deep resentment, or you can go through the sometimes painful process of apologies and forgiveness.   Now, I’ve tried my hand at both, and I would definitely have to say that the latter is much more beneficial.  There is a freeing power in forgiveness that cannot be found through any other type of resolution or coping strategy.

The other day I was driving along listening to KLOVE, a nation-wide Christian radio station, and I heard this article mentioned: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/media/releases/2010/lambert.cfm. I decided to check it out, and it is pretty to the point, so rather than summarizing, I will just post it for you.

Prayer Increases Forgiveness

We have all been guilty of a transgression at one time or another. That’s because we’re not perfect. We all commit hurtful acts, violate trust, and hope for forgiveness.

That’s simply a fact, and here’s another one: Nine out of 10 Americans say that they pray—at least on occasion. Florida State University psychologist Nathaniel Lambert put these two facts together and came up with an idea: Why not take all that prayer and direct it at the people who have wronged us? Is it possible that directed prayer might spark forgiveness in those doing the praying—and in the process preserve relationships?

Lambert and his colleagues decided to test this scientifically in two experiments appearing in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. In the first, they had a group of men and women pray one single prayer for their romantic partner’s well being. Others—the experimental controls—they simply described their partner, speaking into a tape recorder.

Then they measured forgiveness. The scientists defined forgiveness as the diminishing of the initial negative feelings that arise when you’ve been wronged. Their results showed that those who had prayed for their partner harbored fewer vengeful thoughts and emotions: They were more ready to forgive and move on.

If one single prayer can cause such a striking difference in feelings, then what could prayer over a period of time do for a relationship? In a second study, the researchers had a group of men and women pray for a close friend every day for four weeks. Others simply reflected on the relationship, thinking positive thoughts but not praying for their friend’s well-being. They also added another dimension. They used a scale to measure selfless concern for others—not any particular person but other people generally. They speculated that prayer would increase selfless concern, which in turn would boost forgiveness.

And that’s just what they found. But why? How does this common spiritual practice exert its healing effects? The psychological scientists have an idea: Most of the time, couples profess and believe in shared goals, but when they hit a rough patch, they often switch to adversarial goals like retribution and resentment. These adversarial goals shift cognitive focus to the self, and it can be tough to shake that self-focus. Prayer appears to shift attention from the self back to others, which allows the resentments to fade.

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What a powerful article!  It can be very difficult to pray for your enemies, or even for the people you love who have upset you.  Matthew 5:44 says, “But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you.”  Now, I know that we should treat everyone the way we want to be treated, but it is the last part of that verse that stands out to me – we are told to PRAY for those who spitefully use us and persecute us.  Have you tried this?  At times it can seem impossible.  We want to tell God about how our own feelings were hurt, not pray for the one who wronged us.  But perhaps at that moment, the other person could need prayer even more than you do.  When praying for the person, God will likely open your eyes to the struggles that the other person is facing, which could help to explain their hurtful behavior.

Another part of the article that interested me was that simply talking about the person, even if thoughts were only positive, did not encourage forgiveness.  Often times, forgiving someone does not come naturally to us.  Especially in our self-centered society, we are more likely to focus on our own feelings than those of people we are upset with.  That is why it is essential to pray about the situation and invite God to help you do something that you likely could not do on your own – truly forgive.

So, the next time you get in a fight with a friend or significant other, try to take a step back and talk to God about the situation.  Forgiveness and healing might be just around the corner.

Please share your thoughts and comments, and have a happy Valentine’s Day!

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