Love At Last Sight Challenge: BE ALL THERE

The Love as Last Sight Challenge has begun at Oakwood Baptist Church.  For 30 days we are going to focus on adding value to our relationships using the practical insights Kerry and Chris Shook have given in the Love At Last Sight Book.  I like the fact that we are taking a look at this challenge as an ART and not a SCIENCE.  Relationships are messy and one relationship is not exactly like another because we are all uniquely created by God.

Check out this link for more details 

Three Stages of Love – We have discovered in the book that there are three stages of love when it comes to the deep relationships around us.

  1. First Glance or infatuation stage – The Monkees added a great musical touch to this first stage of love.  Here are the lyrics:                                                                                                                                                                              I thought love was only true in fairy tales
    Meant for someone else but not for me.
    Love was out to get me
    That’s the way it seemed.
    Disappointment haunted all my dreams.Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer
    Not a trace of doubt in my mind.
    I’m in love, I’m a believer!
    I couldn’t leave her if I tried.I thought love was more or less a given thing,
    Seems the more I gave the less I got.
    What’s the use in tryin’?
    All you get is pain.
    When I needed sunshine I got rain.

    Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer
    Not a trace of doubt in my mind.
    I’m in love, I’m a believer!
    I couldn’t leave her if I tried

  2. Second Look stage – you take a second look and usually it’s a harder second look and that’s the time where you ask, ”What did I ever see in you in the first place?”  All you can see is the glaring differences you have.  You say, they’re not like me at all.  We’re just opposites.  You see all of their annoying habits.  I think Pop Stars and the Media-type relationships make it right up to this stage and BAIL!
  3. Last Sight stage –  Then there is the tried and true Love Stage.   The goal is to think this,  “The last time we see each other we will be more in love than ever before.”

I believe we are all looking for Last Sight Stage people to have in our lives.  We crave people that really “get” us and know who we are.  Someone that knows my heart won’t misunderstand me as much, right?

Think about it:   What deep relationships and friendships do you have right now?  Are you deeply hurt by someone close to you?  Has your marriage lost that loving feeling?  Maybe we all need a lesson on what it takes to reach the Last Sight Stage, where we are actually growing in our close relationships like never before.
If we are going to learn to love at last sight, a great place to focus is on Ephesians 5:1-2.

“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children.  Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”  Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT)

Kerry Shook says, “The highest goal we can have this side of heaven is to love like Jesus Christ.
That’s a life-long journey of growing and developing rich, meaningful relationships.  Jesus shows us what it will take to live a life of love.  That’s why we’re told to follow the example of Christ if we are to live a life of love, a love that lasts. He paints a portrait of what God would have our relationships look like.  Relationships are an art and the master artist who offers us the clearest picture of love is Jesus Christ.  When you look at His life, His character and the relationships He shared with His Father and others, you see a perfect picture of love.”

This love at last sight thing is all about the art of relationships.  The first art is The Art of Being All There, Wherever You Are – the Bible tells us that Jesus is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  You’ll never have to worry about Him not being all there for you when you call out to Him.  Following His death and resurrection, He gave this assurance to His disciples and to us in Matt. 28:20, “… And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  He wanted them and us to be confident, “be sure of this” so that we would never doubt His presence.  Even though we may not be able to see Him, He wanted us to know that He was with us.  Faith simply believes that and says thanks!  You’ll never have to pray what I’ve heard prayed so often in churches growing up, “Father, be with us today…”  Why do we ask God that?  Wasn’t it God who said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  Heb. 13:5 (NIV)

So the first week challenge is to  BE ALL THERE in your relationships each week of this Love At Last Sight Series.  Something that has been helpful to me is the following scripture on love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.5 It is not rude, it is not self‑seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

This is ultimately Last Sight Love.  When we focus on the love of Christ, we put away our selfish pride and begin to focus on others.

How are you doing with the art of BEING ALL THERE?

your brain on technology « Don’t Stop Believing

your brain on technology « Don’t Stop Believing.

 

your brain on technology

Over the last week I read some provocative books on digital technology, including Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains; William Powers, Hamlet’s Blackberry; Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody; Michael Lewis, Next; and Tim Challies, The Next Story. Challies does an excellent job summarizing the insights of the others, and he adds his own Christian perspective. It is easily the best place to begin.

Here are five things I’ve learned:

1. Texting has a proud and distinguished history. It began in Finland, when frightened boys figured out how to use the keypads on their Nokia phones to ask girls out. They passed their skill on to their parents, who decided they liked the control and concealment that came with texting.

This week I heard of a young woman who was talking with a friend on her phone. The conversation became too emotional, so they decided to hang up and text each other. When asked why she would do such a thing, the woman replied that she didn’t want the other person to hear her cry. Maybe our technology is not connecting us as much as we think?

2. The Internet is giving us Attention Deficit Disorder. The neurons in our brains are constantly reconnecting and creating new pathways, and so our brains adapt to whatever thinking style we are currently using. The Internet encourages rapid, shallow thoughts that skim along the surface of pictures and text (mostly pictures). The more we surf the web the more difficult it is for our brains to slow down and think deeply in a single direction.

Don’t believe it? How long has it been since you’ve read an entire book? Why don’t you sit down and read one now? It’s harder than it used to be, isn’t it? We are becoming skimmers rather than readers.

3. Google encourages distraction rather than reflection. This company makes money every time we click on one of their ads, so they have a vested interested in keeping our mouses moving. The last thing they want is for you to bog down and immerse yourself in a single story.

Stand up to their manipulation by reading the rest of this blog post, slowly and with deep thought (he said, manipulatively).

4. The Internet is destroying our memories. The first step to memory formation is attentiveness. We focus on a certain event, which then enables that experience to transition from our short-term to long-term memory. So what happens to people who lose their ability to focus? They lose the ability to develop long-term memories. There is a third thing too, but I can’t remember what it is. Oops.

5. The Internet never forgets. Every click you’ve ever made is stored somewhere, so either be careful what sites you visit or make sure you never become famous—because your dirty laundry could be dredged for all to see. Of course, we’re all going to stand before God someday, so we already have the best reason to be careful, whether or not we’re planning on becoming famous.

6. I learned lots of other things, but if these books are right, then few of you have read this far anyway, and if you have, you’re itching for a break. So I’ll save the rest for another short post.