Does Unconditional Love even exist in this Universe?

Unconditional love; we all somehow feel we deserve it. Isn’t that why someone’s rejection of us feels so UNFAIR? Somewhere deep in our being we know the only decent and right thing in this universe is the existence of unconditional love, and it should be coming our way.

Not that you would demand it. You learnt long ago that unconditional love can never be DEMANDED, because as one who also believes in giving unconditional love, to demand is one step away from a bad attitude, which quickly turns into a torrent of bitter thoughts and hey presto, you are not in the love zone any more. 

It’s hard to love unconditionally, mainly because the ball is always in your court. To receive love, we must first give love. Remember what Jesus taught us. “Give and it will be given to you, pressed down, shaken together, running over”…he urged us to forgive and promised if we could forgive, then God could too…and to top it off, a spectacular bargain; “in the measure you forgive others, God will forgive you.” Was there ever a better incentive to be bountifully forgiving? Love, demonstrated by the fruit of forgiveness and our determination to love others, faults and all is our most holy duty as Christians. The onus is always FIRST on US to give, to love and to forgive. We never have to wait for any bodies permission to do that. It is the most productive and powerful act we can ever do in this life, and every one of us has been called by God to be a proactive GIVER, NOW. Love UNCONDITIONALLY if you want to be loved that way back.

I have put in a big effort to do this in my life, and I have certainly known what it is to be loved and cherished, but I’ve also experienced the pain when people withdraw their love and in all honesty, right now, I really do wonder if unconditional love even exists at all. Don’t we all have our love limits? Doesn’t even God call it quits on some? Isnt that what hell is about? Or perhaps there’s more to this than at first glance? The failure of both myself and others to consistently and fully love sinful flesh should not lead me to doubt my God, who has to this day never left me or forsaken me and promises to be with me even if I make my bed in hell. 

I feel I am unconditionally loved by God. That makes me brave and bold. I can ask big questions. I can squander my inheritance. I can learn my lessons, repent and return and there’s nothing held over me. No strings, no hoops to leap through. My stupidity is not thrown in my face; rather the father embraces me, dresses me in his finest garments and prepares a feast before me in the presence of my enemies. That’s the kind of love God models to me and that’s the kind of love I expect to give to others. I have found however it  is rarely returned, and if people get even a whif of weakness they are more apt to act as seagulls, pecking and devouring. They certainly never forget what you’ve done and are loathe to restore you to fellowship. I have found the most diligent in religion most likely to bite hardest. The older brother type. The one who stayed home and never partied and who gets upset when I and the father do.

What do you think? Do you experience unconditional love or do you think Gods love has conditions? I define unconditional love as a love that is willing to forgive and withstand hating /dishonouring me when I am overtaken in any misbehaviour. This kindness is unexpectedly refreshing and disarming and wins me over, convincing me that His ways are indeed best.

Advertisements

Listening and the Laws of Love

I realised this morning that the story of me and how I could have possibly arrived at the conclusions I do is a long story. It’s like a Newtonian equation, it starts with obvious truth and by convoluted means, each conclusion leading to another, eventually what was unbelievable is now believed. Science and discovery, life, loss, love all work and shape the enquiring mind.

My uniqueness derives from my journey, which seems to me now as like the making of a tea pot. I have watched as the potter carefully shaped what appeared to be a most beautiful vase, then, to my great concern he took his line and cut most away, leaving just a tiny bit. But a teapot could not exist without the tiny bit which becomes the snout. I watched as I was separated from the main lump, pulled and dragged where I did not want to go, to the edge of insanity, yet with courage I managed to stretch and my new lengthened form now stands as a very sexy handle. The big belly of my form is solid and deep and round, but the potter has pierced it. But these wounds will allow the lovely warm tea to flow out to all. I see now that he intends for my wounds to be covered by what remains of the vase. This is the snout by which the love is poured out. So, I’m a little tea pot short and stout…a vessel that welcomes hot water and the herbs that flavour my particular brew.

But what does all this have to do with listening? Well, I’ve lost several friends lately. My closest friends are very conservative in their moral views, and I feel like I live in the presence of flat earthers, who run in horror when I try and tell them of my exploration of ideas of roundness and my current conclusions on life, love and sex seem too threatening to consider. I’m now off the menu. Unpalatable. Of course this is difficult. I had hoped their respect for me would enable them to listen long enough to understand how I got here and why it makes sense to me. No one likes to be labeled, discounted and discarded. No one likes to feel unworthy of the ones you love because they disapprove of how you are managing your sexual needs. I had hoped for far more from these friendships, but realistically, telling them my truth openly was more than they could bear. How could sex work ever be a sensible or holy choice? It is too rediculous! Preposterous! And then they block their ears, and instead of hearing, now see me as their imagination fuels it and they never heard my story or sought to understand how a good, beloved daughter could choose this and be reluctant to discard it. Personally, I cannot understand how they could discard me, but that’s what makes me unique. I can see and love the ugliest in mankind. That is my special superpower.

Does that mean I should retreat?  No. Rather let me expound further in writing and leave such things to be discovered by those who are seeking and prepared to listen and then contribute. The church has got to quell its hysterical position and move rationally and sensibly through the sexual revolution if its going to have any chance to reach this generation. We can’t just not talk about it and we need a new model by which we can love those in our midst which are not living in the married man and woman sex bubble. In 2000 years of church history we have avoided taking this on, preferring to sweep it under the carpet or excommunicate and ignore. Is this really the best we can do? Are we not so terrified of the power of our sexuality that it confuses and undoes us? We try celibacy, masturbation; creep in a bit of porn when the burn gets too strong. When you finally get married, its easier to toe the party line, but divorced or separated Christians, complex sexuality Christians  We live in a world that allows for any sexual whim to be delighted, and an average teenager ha

Defrauding Sex vs Loving Sex

As we negotiate sex in the modern world we are faced with many choices, and some are far better than others. There is no doubt in my mind that the best sex happens between a man and a woman within a non defrauding relationship. We defraud another when we withhold what is rightfully due, or when we steal what is not ours from another.

Now there is no place in scripture where God institutes marriage, it just appears that from the earliest times marriage and the responsibility that a man has to provide security for a woman and their children has been an honourable part of all human cultures. In various ways, through Gods advice found in the scriptures, it is clear that sex comes with a price of responsibility. 

Exodus 22:16 (KJV) 

And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.

Sex is a big deal with God, and if we want to discover all sex has to offer then we should make it our aim to understand why, and it is all about defrauding sex vs loving sex. Sex is pleasurable, but it is far more than that. Sex comes with responsibility, and those who overlook that or try and escape paying the price will eventually find themselves unhappily lost in a mess of their own making.

So what does it mean to defraud another sexually? Firstly, it is the avoidance of marriage and the commitment that that entails. If you are not prepared to marry your sex partner, no matter how much you “love” them, you are not loving them, but defrauding them of their potential happiness. You cannot give everything until you give everything; and the sacred vows of marriage, where we pledge our willingness to love against all odds, is the only firm foundation upon which great sex can flourish. Now, I know that great sex happens outside of marriage, but I’m not talking about those individual lightning encounters on your timeline, but a lifetime of positive, growing sexual experience. This can only happen within a non defrauding relationship. Now there are a multitude of reasons that people have unmarried sex, some more honourable than others, but hopefully I will explore this another time. For now I want to deal with married defrauding sex, which also cannot ever bring you into sexual happiness.

Now marriage does not in itself guarantee great sex. Far from it. Many married people sell themselves short by defrauding their partner or by being defrauded sexually. So, how is it that we can defraud our partner? The most obvious and by far the most common way is by not making sex a priority and denying sex when we don’t feel like it. Good sex takes lots of practice and communication. It requires time, attention, experimentation and a keen desire to please the other. If one or both parties enter the sexual relationship without an understanding of its high importance, or carry baggage that interferes with their ability to be sexually willing, you will have issues with desire. 

The easiest way to create a non defrauding sexual relationship is to make sex a high priority in your life. This necessarily requires that you examine your priorities and adjust them appropriately. My advise is to jump in at the deep end and see what surfaces. Make a commitment, a vow even, to devote time each day to your beloved. Without fail, without excuses, nurture your sexual relationship, refresh your love and remember your sacred covenant every day. Try it for 40 days to start and then let it become a habit.

You will soon see what excuses come up in your mind, then you have a choice, to break the vow or modify your priorities. I hope you do the latter. If you take the 40 day love challenge, and embrace it with enthusiasm and a can do attitude, I promise you will discover creative and resourceful ways to fulfill your commitment that will give you plenty of fresh love experiences. What if you are separated by other commitments? Write a love poem, try phone sex, come up with something that fits the bill for both of you, but stick with it no matter what. 

What if one fails and can’t let go of their stuff? They put their work or their tiredness before the vow? For the willing partner, this can be perceived as a deep betrayal and it is. It shouts out loud and clear that they are not making their marriage top priority. If you are going to do this, don’t play with it or you may find the consequences alarming. If you have any doubts about the strength of your marriage, this little 40 day intimacy builder will expose it. 

The 40 days of sex will naturally expose the baggage that may accompany our lack of interest in sex. Don’t think for a minute 40 days will deal with all of this, but it can work wonders and kick start the journey. There are diverse physical, cultural, religious, mental, emotional and spiritual reasons that we do not experience sex positively, but the best way to work through all of these and release new levels of sexual enjoyment is with the loving and patient attention, prayer and encouragement from a committed mate.

I have to end it here, but I would love to hear your thought and experiences or questions!

The Dancing Shulamite

  
I was reading recently a Kabbalist observation of Miriums dance, that it was a prophetic dance of victory that saw a time far off, today even, when women would contribute their perspective on spiritual life. Theirs was church in the round, where all were equal; all knew the Lord and heard his voice for themselves. A day when all Gods people would know him from the greatest to the least. All would shine and participate. There would be no orphans or forgotten ones.

Today I was studying Song of Songs. 6:13 describes her beloveds adoration as she gracefully dances among the maidens. In the verses that follow, he notices the curved of her thigh, the beauty of her navel and her sandalled feet; her breasts, her graceful neck, her eyes shining like fish ponds, her towering nose, her hair…hot indeed are his glances!

So moved is he that he resolves to have her, take hold of her and bury his face in her bosom, fragrant with grapes and apples. He described the roof of her mouth being like the best wine, awaking him from slumber to life! 

He immediately calls her away to a country escape where he will give her his loves. She is very aware of the lure she possesses confident of all manner of pleasant “fruits” she has hidden for him alone.

What a sexy way to communicate and symbolize just how ravishing a Spirit led dancer can be to our heavenly beloved. I hope you will join me in the dance!

Esther’s Fast and it’s promise today

I have a special connection to the book of Esther. It runs through my brain regularly, and last night I stumbled upon Esther’s fast, the purpose of which is a gem, a glorious hope for truth seekers world wide. Not coincidentally, today is the day for her instituted fast and I have decided to join faithful Jews and perhaps other strange Gentiles who, like me, get it. It was Esther herself that called for Jews everywhere to remember the story of Purim and enter in to its celebration and message.

There are arguments over the timeline regarding the book of Esther. But no matter where we place her in history, Esther was a prophetess, as was her uncle Mordecai, and together they called forth and requested the story be added to scripture and a celebration be instituted for all Jews. The fast was to be performed on the 13 the of Adar from dawn to dusk. Then the celebration part of Purim begins, accompanied by gift giving and feasting and dressing up.

So today I’m joining in the fast. I was interested to see that 13 Adar was a fast for warriors preparing for battle.

Be that as it may, it’s not the main message.

Rather, the message of Esther’s fast is one of hope; that in perilous times God, will hear and move, and provide a strategy, which by gifts and favour with man will prevail to preserve truth. That our very supernatural God works to do wonders in our complicated, natural lives. That is a very big promise and lively hope for many of us, but under the weight of the realities of our life we can become overcome, drowning in a sea of difficulties before us. Remembering Purim inspires us to remember to hope.

My fast before Esther today is a time where I meditate on our great salvation, that extends not only to our spirit, but also our life here in earth, where it’s messy and hard. My fast is one of preparation to war, calling out for supernatural enabling for the days ahead. God can and will make a way for us to continue. Join me in remembering the message that Esther’s story illustrates, and if but for a moment, reflect and suck something nourishing out of her story with its very great, albeit hidden insights, remembering the God who prevails supernaturally in our very natural lives.

Masters and Johnson Sensate Focus Exercises for Enhancing Sexual Intimacy

When you look at Sensate Focus exercises as prescribed by Sex Therapist researchers Masters and Johnson
it is not rocket science, it’s just about couples exploring touch and sensation in their whole body, not just the obvious sex centres. It’s about building trust and expanding your expression of love within sex, and every couple can become skilled at and learn to enjoy loving touch.

But not everyone likes touch. Some don’t have time for it. They were never given it. Perhaps touch frightens them because it exposes feelings of abandonment or abuse. Yet touch is just the thing God has decreed for us as our first and most primary experience as humans. A baby is touched often. He is bathed, cleaned, fondled, kissed. 

Touch is meant to draw us closer to one another, and if you don’t like it, you should learn to. If your partner does not like touch, and especially if they don’t like sex, Sensate Focus Exercises are a great place to start.
  

 

The Riddle of the Fox & the Grapes, Lost Love and the Power of Forgiveness

I lost a friend today. We had shared much, and genuinely loved one another. How many times have I lost a friend? Too many to count!
The temptation that always greets us, is to think differently about the person we once loved; to see them as sour grapes, defective, no longer worthy of us. They have offended our very deepest self! The have rejected us, or stood coldly by, or done something to offend us; whatever it is for you or me, inevitably we start to have bitter thoughts towards somebody who once made us feel wonderful.

This not helpful, nor is it accurate. 

The person you once loved is still the same person. If you are determined to love all men as Christ commands, and I say that again, determined…then forgiveness and grace, not bitterness has to be your only choice.

Jesus tells us to pray blessings upon our “enemies” and to do good to those who have hurt us. How much more should we then forgive and bless the ones we love? 

When we are hurting, it is so easy to fall into the trap of bitter thinking. The discipline of blessing and praying and speaking well of others is a powerful protection against the devastation that bitterness can bring into your life.

I’ll be working on it today and every day. I hope you do the same, because it is a great key to a happy life.