Archive for the ‘Wed Day’ Category

derekwebbDerek Webb is a musician who sings about issues of faith, life and love and i really enjoy his music [and his crazy personality] and recently invited a section of the public to get involved and help him create the music video for his latest song which is titled ‘I was wrong, I’m sorry & I love you’ and which you can listen to over here. 

It’s a great song. And Derek did tell me that when life calms down a little [although not sure that will ever happen for someone like him] he will write a guest blog post for me on those three phrases and I very much am looking forward to the possibility of that.

But for this week’s relationship post I wanted to simply mention them, draw your attention to them and ask you if those are phrases you use in your relationships?

Being married, that is specifically the relationship I think of first, but this can apply to any relationship you are in with people you care about.

Do you ever say “I was wrong”? This is so huge. SO SO HUGE. And so neglected. And so damaging when it is. I’m also not just talking about saying the word ‘Sorry’ because I think some people use that word as a ‘Get out of jail free’ card replacing any actual kind of acknowledgement and responsibility for the hurt they have caused. Ah, I said the word so all good. No, have you actually really repented and meant it? Are you truly sorry that you hurt this person? Are you going to choose to live life differently so you don’t end up doing it again in the same way? I just realised I dived straight into the second one but they are so completely intimately linked.

Do you acknowledge wrongdoing on your part? Do you follow that up with genuine repentance? “I’m sorry.”

And then more than just the words again, does your life after that point echo the sentiments behind the third phrase, “I love you”?

Because once more those three words can be so empty if they are not backed up by a life commitment. If you love me do it differently. Do it better. Or possibly much more importantly, if I love you then what do I need to do differently, better, so that you feel loved? So that you experience love. Not just the feeling of love, but the reality of being loved.

It is a 1 Corinthians 13 type love that says and means that ‘I was  wrong, I’m sorry and & love you.’

‘4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, 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.’

It’s a great song [been stuck in my head the last few days] so watch out for the video. And #cough the blog post, Derek #cough.

When the beautiful Val [tbV] and I finished our time at the Simple Way, our bossman Darin suggested this wooden artwork, that  a friend of theirs could put together for us, with some words that we had spotted on the Book of Facings, as a farewell gift, and we jumped at it.

These words are powerful and are a covenant of who we would like to be as a family and the kind of home environment we are working towards, both for ourselves and for the many people we hope to extend hospitality to who will come and stay with us, and, for a short or long time, become a part of our family.

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Some of these are definitely easier than others.

But all of them are valuable to us.

And it feels like we’re making progress on a couple of them.

This list is not all-inclusive by any means, or even close to. But it is populated with words, experiences and principles that we value and want to chase enthusiastically after.

Ah, wait, I’m doing it wrong. I said WE WANT TO CHASE ENTHUSIASTICALLY AFTER! 

[That’s better]

We didn’t come up with this list, so you are welcome to borrow them and embrace them. Even come up with some of your own.

So let’s hear from you then… What are two things you would add to this list if it was in your home?

[For last Wednesday’s Search for MEDS: Married, Engaged, Dating, Single, click here]

If you ask me, ‘Is it better to be married or single, or even maybe to be dating or engaged?’ my answer to you would be, “Yes!”

‘Sometimes I think the so-called experts actually ARE experts.’ [Jack Handey]

True story. And if you don’t know who Jack Handey is, all the worst for you. Go and ask Uncle Google. [On the other hand if you don’t know who his lesser known virtual rip-off second cousin Brett Andy is, you can rectify that by going here]

But that’s not important now. What we’re going to be looking at t0day is Relationships. As in the romantic kind as well as not being involved in the romantic kind. This is not a new post but rather a compilation of posts [and unless you have a good attention span and a large mug of coffee this may require multiple visits to take it all in, so bookmark it] but what I want to suggest strongly is this: If you are presently single, start with the married posts. And if you’re married, make sure you read the singleness stories. Often we let the label of where we’re at in that dictate the stories we decided to read, but I want to suggest to you that it will be so incredibly helpful for married people to be reminded of some of the stuff you used to face when you were dating and to hear some of the struggles and joys of those who are currently single. For the singles and datings to read and get a glimpse inside of the lives of those who are married, especially some who have been for a long time, can give you so much wisdom that will benefit you in your time of singleness or dating. We need to get a lot better at being around those who are in a different place from us in terms of this stuff [and to boldly declare with them that neither place is better than the other, just different, each with its own benefits and challenges].

There is a lot here, and you don’t need to read it all, but there is some really good stuff so give yourself a chance… and if you read something that you know will benefit someone else you know then share it or send them here or cut and paste it into your own blog and pretend it’s your own…

Hopefully there is some huge encouragement or wisdom or maybe just a different perspective that you needed to read.

And please leave your mark in the comments sections of the blogs – agree, disagree, ask questions, leave doodles… as long as you are engaging…

Singleness – A blessing for some, really painfully difficult for others – read some incredible stories that some brave friends of mine have offered to share with us. Marrieds, you really need to hear some of this stuff”

http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/taboo-topics-singleness-intro

I Kissed Dating [The Parts] – Including the always popular “How Far is too far?” in which the answer at the time was, “Belgium. Belgium is too far!”

http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/i-kissed-dating-the-parts

Marriage to the right person – You know, your ‘Neo’ person – the “One” – Do they even exist? And how do I track mine down?

http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/marriage-to-the-right-person-highly-recommendable

Sex in Marriage – A great read for anyone, single or married, as two [and hopefully more later] brave friends of ours share some of their very different journeys:

http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/taboo-topics-sex-in-marriage-intro

Ten Ways to Love – These are just some powerful ideas of how to love people in your life well and so extends past romantic relationships and is great:

http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/ten-ways-to-love-intro

On the Honeymoon phase [specifically for newlyweds and those heading towards being married]  – written by my wife, the Beautiful Val [tbV]:

http://valanderson.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/on-the-honeymoon-phase

How to love your woman better [this covers women loving their men better too] – Val and I looked at some different important aspects of really treating the person in your life who you love well:

http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/how-to-love-your-woman-better-the-parts

One way to love your husband/wife better – Another great series, this time with a bunch of my friends sharing some advice on how to love your person in a deeper, more significant way:

http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/one-way-to-love-your-husbandwife-better

How to save your marriage [Before you need to] – This is an excellent series where I invited a number of my friends [from different stages of marriage] to share one key aspect they felt was crucial to help build a strong marriage together:

http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/how-to-save-a-marriage-before-you-need-to-the-parts

Love, even [especially!] when you don’t feel like it – This was an early post on The Weekly Mash [and Peace!] and dealt with such a difficult topic – how do you continue to love your person well when you are in a time of not feeling it [because of a fight or an attitude or incident]:

https://mashandpeace.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/wednesday-wed-day-episode-3-love-when-you-dont-feel-like-it

It’s not about the nail – More discussion is probably needed with this one to get beyond just the humour of the point it is making, but I encourage you to take some time to honestly talk this through with your person – looking at the idea of a time to point things out honestly and a time to just hug [while gently tilting your head to the side so as to avoid the nail]:

https://mashandpeace.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/wednesday-wed-day-episode-11-its-not-about-the-nail

How to love well and long – Another The Weekly Mash [and Peace!] post, this one looked at four aspects hidden within a potentially cheesy saying that each contain incredible depth and are worth looking at even further:

https://mashandpeace.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/wednesday-wed-day-episode-10-slow-and-insane-and-true-and-quick

How much sex in Marriage? [Oh go and look, you know you want to!]

http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/how-much-sex-in-marriage

And no list of important relationshippy things would be complete without some deep words of wisdom in cartoon strip form via the crew of Pearls before Swine:

Tongue Before Swine

[For next Wednesday’s From I do to We do, click here]

[For last Wednesday’s It’s Not about the Nail, click here]

Thanks to my friend Leanne Bennett for passing this on to me. For married couples in particular [but seriously, everyone should watch this!] this is a powerful piece by a guy called Jason Headley:

Sometimes, even when it is completely obvious that there is a nail sticking out of your person’s head the loving thing can still be to give them a chance to speak and to really try and listen to what they are saying and hold off on your answer giving [probably more true generally for men than for women but I imagine it works differently in different couples]. And then also sometimes just valuable to take a step back from the feelings and emotions of a situation and consider the practical solution that your person might be offering as a viable solution. The question “Are you willing to take a nail indent to the forehead to give your person space to be, even if you’re pretty convinced you know they’re wrong?”

Anyone got a story like this to share of a time you were absolutely convinced you were right about something and made your person pay by the way you just refused to accept any other possibility, and then later found out that they were right all along and had to humbly ask for forgiveness?

Which of these two do you relate more to and do you think there is a time to stop mentioning the nail and just start listening or is that too big a thing?

[For next Wednesday’s Search for Meds: Married, Engaged, Dating, Single, click here]

[For last Wednesday’s Slow and Insane and True and Quick which dealt with taking a potentially cheesy saying and digging deep into the meaning there, click here]

I read this quote on Twitter just now that was attributed to Arnold Nonymous and which, on another day I might disregard as completely cheesy, but today I just find completely inspirational:

“Life is too short, so kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly”

But only if you do it. Cos as with hundreds of other “that’s amazing” quotes we can read it and nod our heads and give the “that is so completely profound” look and then return to real life and life as if nothing has changed.

So maybe take an extra minute on this one – use it as a mirror and see if there is one of the four aspects where you need to maybe up your game.

Kiss slowly: Okay, so this doesn’t necessarily apply to every single person at the moment, but maybe if you look to the heart of the phrase as ‘something that is a special thing, don’t rush it’ then it can apply to everyone. What comes to mind is exceptional photos and videos that people have of events that they had absolutely no personal investment in, because they were too busy taking pictures and videos of the thing they weren’t involved in. Put down the camera. Have an event that isn’t captured on film or for Facebook, Twitter or Instaham because you are too busy living it. Savour the meal instead of saving it. Live in the moment instead of scrap-booking it.

Laugh insanely: I don’t laugh out loud a lot, but I do still laugh and enjoy things a lot, but it is usually an inward deeper enjoyment. But then there are some people and some moments that really bring it out of me. Val is one of those people – we connect on a humour level in some specific deep ways that just bring the laughter out. It feels like a successful day when I can make her smile or laugh or snort via laughter for sure. Then there are people like  Mike Strauss, who I have spend so little time with in life, but without fail, we get together and laughter happens. My buddy Reegs is the same and usually naughty laughter in some way, but be it innuendo or movie moment or out there idea or whatever it is, some of my best laughs come with him. And there are many more people. Megan Donald and countless bad movie quotes – ‘not naughty or dodgy, just really bad as in ‘The Pacifier’ with Vin Diesel or ‘Shark Boy and Lava Lamp girl’ or even just weird or scary like the animated ‘Monster House’ or ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ – brought me much smiles and laughter [often when I inappropriately snuck movie one liners into sermons that only she and I knew about] But it is so important to find people who make you laugh [ridiculously and insanely] and then to create spaces for doing so. These people help me stay sane absolutely.

Love truly: I spend huge amounts of time in life feeling like an absolute screw up in this area of my life, when I have disappointed or upset Val yet again and am just trying to figure out how it got to that. I honestly have as a life goal to love her with everything in me and yet time and time again I have to go back to the drawing board and try figure out where I got it wrong. I feel like loving truly means being prepared to take hits periodically because it means you won’t settle for second best or let your friends getting away with not being their best and you will challenge things in love that often may not be received as having been given in love and you will face hard conversations and the need for confession and repentance and long conversations and yet it is still so completely worth it. It is the joy of seeing a friend who had completely given up on you return and initiate or allow friendship once more. It is the deep satisfaction of observing people end up making the right decisions having walked a long path with them when they were making the wrong ones. It means persevering and forgiving and showing grace and crying out to God to keep you consistent and trustworthy and giving you the strength to not give up. It means not settling for the superficial but fighting for real and deep and raw and rough and warm and long-lasting and significant. And so much more.

Forgive quickly: This is self-explanatory and walks hand in hand with loving truly. Getting past ego and rights and reputation and the need to be right and keeping records of wrongs or scorecards and so much more. But I cannot express how super important this one is. And the need to return there. Forgiveness should be a magnet to the feeling of dejavu. Haven’t I been here somewhere before? You have and you need to go back. And go back again. And one more time. Don’t tire now, forgive. And forgive. And once more. Repeat.

Because we grow old quickly, and time rushes us by, and so it may seem cheesy at first glance, but if you give it a moment and some time and a life, you will find how deeply significant and life-transforming this can be:

“Life is too short, so kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly”

[For next Wednesday’s humourous but insightful It’s Not about the Nail, click here]

[For last Wednesday’s Absurd in the hand is worth two, click here]

Have you ever been part of a flash mob?

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And I don’t mean like the majority of the people who came to the first Cape Town one and stood on the outside in a circlelike shape and largely took pictures and gawked cos they really wanted to, but they were really nervous too, but they could still say they were there, you know. [The fact that the press was literally invited to come and ‘spectate’ as well kinda soared it to ‘epic fail’ status immediately… but it was a start and so even if you were there just watching [rhymes with boozer!] then you got an idea or a taste of it.

Being Wednesday I will continue my focus on Relationships but this, like most of the other posts have been actually, is not a boy-girl relationship post but more just the relationship between people and in particular friends, and, I guess, strangers. [Those you participated with and those you ‘met’ at the event]

The rest of us have probably watched numerous different examples of flash mobs and there are links in the video I am about to share so I won’t link to any others.

This is a TED talk video and so you will need a good 15 minutes or so to watch it, but I can tell you it will be completely worth it. Do yourself a favour! This one is on what the speaker calls ‘The Shared Experience of Absurdity’ and he is going to explain it all so let me not do that once more except to define it personally along the lines of ‘Crazy is less crazy when you’re doing it together’ or something like that.

So Improv flash mobs [and if you ever get the chance to take part, do it – like all improv you may feel lik a tit if you’re doing it by yourself, but once you have company it quickly becomes a comforting art form and is a great experience]

And so without much further ado about nothing, here is Charlie Todd talking about the shared experience of absurdity. I would love to hear what you think.

[For next Wednesday’s Slow and Insane and Quick and True, click here]

[for last Wednesday’s Friendship post on Making them Shut the Door, click here]

 

This is about a Dan Brearley forwarded Calvin and Hobbes cartoon:

boy and imaginary tiger

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This is about a Jamie Wright [aka The Very Worst Missionary] tweet:

Not everyone likes you. (Get comfortable with that. Trust me, it’s liberating.)

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This is a little about this interaction:

b r o o s k o l i nCan I just say that I haven’t missed @facebook AT ALL since deleting my account. In fact, I’ve appreciated reality a whole lot more.

Brett FISH Anderson: @brskln @facebook dude the amount of coffee you drink and tweet about i’m not convinced of the realityness of the reality you are perceiving

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This is a lot about a reply to an offline challenge/caution i made to a friend of mine about some online stuff he’d done which he responded to with this huge long email explaining some stuff and disagreeing with a bunch of the stuff I’d said, although understanding where it came from, and ending his email with this:

‘Spose that’s all from my side. I do appreciate the kind words and support and honesty all bundled up in an awesome package of love.’

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This is a lot about two other interactions this week with two other friends in a similar vein, but that sadly ended much more negatively from their side, with the word ‘friendship’ not feeling strongly like a great term to describe us any more. From their side at least.

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This has strong lingering after effects from three encounters with three of my best guy friends in the world:

From Duncan Houston, who let me moan and whine and get aggro with him in hockey-related gripes on the field only to always make sure I was okay afterwards, and, that if there was any negative vibe left over between us, to chase me down and make sure we were good. Every time.

From my buddy Regan Didloff, who taught me on many powerful occasions the power in continuing to pursue friendships long after the other person had shut the door on your face and to extend way above and beyond what felt like a fair or even reasonable amount of grace and love and forgiveness on multiple occasions to the other person.

From my buddy Rob Lloyd, who, when I accidentally knocked a chip of wood out of his guitar [musicians, hold yourselves back!] responded to my, “Dude, you’e gonna kill me” with a “Dude, don’t worry, it’a a thing” laying the firm foundation for a strong friendship to take root and grow [and which instilled in me a very strong life theology of “People over things every time”] and flourish.

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And so, Friendship, in various shapes and degrees and forms. I have found Friendship to be such a powerful force in my life – encouragement and empowerment, strength and belief, hope and endurance and much, much more.

I have some incredible friends in my life, for whom I am most grateful. [Seriously, it would have to be big to get me to use the word ‘whom’ in a sentence, and now another one]

I realise that there have been many times when I have not gotten it right or come across with the “kind words and support and honesty all bundled up in an awesome package of love” that I would have intended or wanted from myself.

I realise that as much as there are a lot of people who love me an incredible lot, there are also those who have somehow gotten to the point of being able to say “dude seriously i hate you so so so so so so so much!!!!!” 

Something deep inside of me fears that Jamie may have gotten it right when she writes, Not everyone likes you. (Get comfortable with that. Trust me, it’s liberating.)

But the point I want to leave you with today is this one I feel quite strongly about. When things go badly in a relationship, always allow the other person to close the door on it. They must always know that from my side, no matter how much I have been hurt or made angry or disappointed or disillusioned, that there is always the opportunity for the friendship to be healed, for forgiveness to happen, for things to start again. My door is always open, should you choose to return.

Sure, if the hurt runs really deep it might not be likely that we will end up as best of friends any time soon [especially because that is becoming quite a crowded room] but there is always space for us to try again, and perhaps do it a little bit better than last time.

The absolute biggest example of this has to be Jesus. We will never know, but I honestly believe in my deepest of places, that if Judas has come to Jesus and repented, that he would have been forgiven. But he didn’t. He chose to bear his sin by himself and it killed him. Whereas Peter, on the other hand, who didn’t do anything less offensive than Judas really [one betrayed Jesus, one pretended he never knew Him] and yet he ends up back with Jesus and receives forgiveness and has his friendship restored, and not only that but receives the hugest mandate out of all the disciples to have the church built upon him. Jesus did not forgive and then keep him at arms length in case He got hurt again. Should I?

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And lastly, this is a lot about this:

boy and imaginary tiger

[This post i dedicate to my friends, who I love deeply, and who I have received so much love from. You are way too many to mention by name. But I am so grateful for each one of you.]

[To read next Wednesday’s Absurd in the Hand is worth two, click here]

[to read last Wednesdays Together vs Not Together, click here]