“Love” What does it mean?

At my Church, it is a mega church.  We are encouraged to walk up and embrace total strangers and say “I love you”. I mean it.  While He was here on earth, Jesus Christ did it. However, from time to time, I get the feeling people are doing it because they have been asked to do so. Sometimes people say “God loves you and so do I”   God loves me of that I’m sure.  It’s the “so do I” that I am a little unsure about.

Here in America, we say ” I love ice cream”. I might suggest one should say “I like ice cream very much”. We sometimes say I love my pet or I love my parents and siblings. The love we have for our pets is not the same as the love we have for our parents and other siblings.  It should not be.  We say I love my children and my spouse or significant other.  That is all good but what does it mean?  One loves ice cream differently from the way one loves his/her parents or other siblings.  It is not a crime to say one loves his/her children differently from the way one loves his/her spouse or significant other.

In other countries, people are more specific in their use of the word (L O V E)  love. There is a specific word for the love of ice cream or something to eat and a different word for the love of a  pet and another word for the love of a friend or distance relative.  There is still another word for romantic love.  American English Language needs more words.  We all know what is meant by “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believe on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Keep loving. It is good for your health. Simply make sure it is the correct kind of love for each occasion.

Dr. Zhivago

There are books that should be required reading to become a public servant. If you happen to be a public servant and you don’t have the time for such a thick book as Dr. Zhivago, there is a film.  Let me warn you, it is long too.

According to Wikipedia, Doctor Zhivago is a 1965 British-Italian epic romantic drama film directed by David Lean.  It is set in Russia between the years prior to World War 1 and the Russian Civil War of 1917-1922 and is based on the 1957 Boris Pasternak novel of Doctor Zhivago.

Perhaps, those who rush to dismiss our present government should remind themselves of World History. Don’t rush to get rid of what you have if you can not replace it with something better.  What is replaced must be good for us all as a nation. I understand those who are as poor as church mice, so am I. Even those who have once had and no longer have are been frustrated. However, I do not wish to get myself into something that appears to be good but in the long run, I see it is not. Only what I have arrived at is a quick fix.  At first glance,  everything appears to be moving in the right direction.  In the end, we discover everything has gone far south ( figuratively and metaphorically).

Doctor Zhivago is basically a love story.  However, it does hint to things that were going on wrong in politics. Hopefully, our present-day public servants will glean what is said as well as what is not said.

Part 4: No Boundary

Without the cooperation of all the farmers, Mrs. Brown was at a lost as to how to handle the difficult situation she was in.  She was relentless in her fury to have her way. Farmer Brown wanted to keep his agreement with the older rabbits but he feared being uncooperative with his family. Everyone wished things would go back as they were but no one seem sure how. If Farmer Brown tore down Mrs. Brown’s fence, all the wild animals would pour in and destroy his garden. If he left the fence up, the new sheriff would seize Mrs. Brown by the authority of the law. How were they going to work out this problem?

The animals had a problem as well. One buffalo said:  We have co-existed here peacefully for decades where the deer and the antelope play without so much as a discouraging word. Another animal said: I heard one of  Farmer Brown’s boys cleaning his gun. It sound pretty discouraging to me. We  need the help of Father Time and Mother Nature. An old rabbit ask: Who will go and ask for help? An Old Snail sitting in the conner said : I’ll go.  All the animals jumped for joy. The New Sheriff and now Mother Nature and Father Time would be with them.  All they had to do was just sit back and wait. They waited and waited until the animals were getting tired of waiting. Mr. Buffalo ask one of the young rabbits to go check and see what was taking Snail so long. The young rabbit ran out the door and saw Mr. Snail on the bottom stoop. The young rabbit said: Oh, thank God, you’re back. What took you so long? Mr. Snail looked up at the young jack rabbit and said: Stop messing with me or I wont go!

It was Mrs. Brown’s first time to  sincerely get on her knees and pray. Oh yes, Mrs, Brown’s family had  seen her on her knees before, but this time was different. She was truly sincere. Because of her sincerity, her prayer was answered.

Perhaps not as she expected, but the cavalry did come and never again did the Farmers and the animals have a disagreement again as how to share the land.

Farmer Brown and the other farmers were happy, the animals  were happy and the New Sheriff was happy. Never again did the farmers try to preserve it all for themselves. We live on this planet together.

Part 3: No Boundary

Jerry’s little four years old daughter told the sheriff: No! Daddy got it from Mrs. Brown. The sheriff continued to eat and said: Yummy Yum, this meat sure is good! After he left  Farmer Jerry’s house, he said to himself: Now I have a complete puzzle.  There are many things I will do. First, I must let Mrs. Brown, Farmer Brown’s wife, know I am on to her. Second. If she doesn’t want to go to jail, allow all of the animals to roam free. It is not fair to the other farmers that the only path of the animals run around Farmer Brown’s farm. Third, make sure they only hunt during the correct season. Three simple rules I’m sure can be followed.

 

Mrs. Brown was still fat. However, she was not so jolly and rosey cheek after the new sheriff visited her farmhouse. Mrs. Brown habitually did whatever she please without being told she couldn’t or shouldn’t. When Farmer Brown and the boys came home after working the fields all day, they expected to find the house filled with the sweet aroma of fresh wild meat. Mrs. Brown was on strike. The sheriff had upset her.  She was not accustomed to anyone telling her she had done wrong.  The entire family suffered because short, fat Mrs. Brown did not like the message the new sheriff had given her. Luckily, the boys had asked their dad for time off from the field so they could go fishing.  Farmer Brown quickly fried the fish and baked a white potato(s) for each child and he and Mrs. Brown. They ate raw beets and carrots from the garden. The girls made fresh slaw from cabbage brought in from the field. Thanks to the children, the Brown ate a satisfying dinner that night.

Mrs. Brown told Farmer Brown all that the new sheriff had said.  Nothing Farmer Brown said pacified Mrs. Brown. She insisted that all the Farmers should vote to run the new sheriff out of town.  According to Mrs. Brown, he was meddling where he did not have the right to as a sheriff. His only duties were to catch bank robbers and other bad guys. He should leave the farming up to the farmers.  We were doing just fine before the new sheriff came and we can get alone without him now. The only thing wrong with her theory, only a few Farmers agreed with it.  In the old days, the pesky wild rabbits ate some of their vegetables, but they always had enough to carry to market. Redirecting the traffic of the wild animals did not serve the other farmers well. If they could not pay the price Mrs. Brown sat, and if they did not want to buy on credit, the families of the other Farmers went meatless. Their only recourse was to kill off their farm animals. Some Farmers were afraid if they got rid of their chickens and ducks, they would have no eggs. If they killed off their cows and goats, the would have no milk and cheese. They would also lack the other by-products produced by those animals. Their  pigs and domesticated animals were at risk as well.

With one simple act of control, all were at risk. Christina was a bold little rabbit. She was neither rude nor impudent, but she would speak up when she saw something going too far wrong.  Her intentions were not to hurt Farmer Brown or his family nor none of her fellow animals.

to be continued

Part 2: No Boundary

Everyday Farmer Brown came in from his day’s work, sweet-smelling meat was on the table. Mrs. Brown sent her four boys out hunting for fresh wild meat.  It was also profitable for the farmer’s wife. Her smokehouse was filled to capacity. She cut off the path of the wild animals so that they would not pass the other farmer’s farms.  All the meat her family could not eat was sold to the neighboring farmers for a lesser price than they could buy at the market. What they could not afford to buy, she sold on credit.  Not only was Mrs. Brown happy to have good meat, but she was also becoming very rich. She was the goto person.

The girl’s chores were to take the animals from the smokehouse to the slaughterhouse in town and have the butcher portion the meat into different portions for cooking. The butcher enjoyed seeing the girls come because his business had been slow. Whenever the new sheriff came around, he would say business was just so, so.  Mrs. Brown knew she ran a well-organized ship.

That too came to an end. While the new sheriff was slow to make a call,  his mind was not slow. He knew something was going on among  Mrs. Brown, the butcher, and the other farmers, but he just couldn’t put his finger on it. The new sheriff silently kept looking and watching. One day, he discovered the animal’s path had been redirected. He knew what was done,  but he could not prove who did it.  The new sheriff had his suspicions.  It was obvious to the animals and other framers but not to the new sheriff. The new sheriff had to wait and catch the Browns eating their meat out of season. During this time, there were few deep freezers. Each time the new sheriff drop by unexpectedly at dinner time,  he was offered to dine with a substitute in season meat. The sheriff could not spend all of his time on the Browns. There were bank robberies and other crimes still going on. The sheriff had to be smart to catch the Browns. Farmer Jerry was not as devious as Mrs. Brown. One day the new sheriff stopped by Farmer Jerry’s house at dinner time. Farmer Jerry and his family were eating out of season deer meat and offered the sheriff to have dinner with them. The new sheriff said: yummy, yum this is good fresh wild meat!  Did you purchase it at the meat market?

to be continued

No Boundary!

There was no boundary of greed for the farmer’s wife.  Farmer Brown’s wife had a taste of fresh wild meat and she wanted more.  None of the animals were safe anymore. They were all in danger from Farmer Brown’s wife and children.  He had four boys and three girls. Farmer Brown taught the girls to use the rifles and the boys learned both to use rifles and bow and arrows. Farmer Brown remained the most accurate shooter with his guns and bows until one day his oldest boy outshot his father.

Mrs. Brown stood proudly and shouted “good shot!”.  Now Mrs. Brown could have as much fresh wild meat as she please. Her appetite had no boundary.  In season or out of season, she figured she would never get caught. The sheriff was a good friend to Farmer Brown and she figured even if she happens to get caught, he would never expose her. Now the old rabbits were really afraid. They now realized even Farmer Brown would not protect them from his wife.

One day her luck ran out. The sheriff never exposed her but, he got a well-deserved promotion. The new sheriff was unknown to Farmer Brown.  He was a no-nonsense sheriff.  Either you were right or you were wrong.  It did not matter who you were. You were good or bad.  He fought for you when you were right and he didn’t mind putting you away when you were wrong.  He had a sense of justice.  The sheriff did not take any body’s word for what was right or wrong. He watched the behavior of his suspects carefully to make sure no one made up information unjustly.  Farmer Brown warned his children and his wife to stop. Did they listen? Only time would tell.

 

to be continued:

Yea! The Good Old Days

I ask once before. The good old days- when were they? Were they when the governor of Alabama stood in the doorway of The University of Alabama and yell “Segregation Today, Tomorrow and Forever!”? Have some of us become too soft? Or, have some of us allowed our hearts to become too harden?  Or are we being lead by an unknown force? Be careful in joining forces with a group only because it sounds right. Let me remind you, the good old days does not mean the same thing to everyone. For one person, the good old days means taking out people of color and hanging them.  Or, it could mean when White Supremacy was king.  It could possibly mean King Black Supremacy. Now it means people of wealth have power over others. That infuriates those who have had power by virtue of their birth.

We as Christians, must take off the old man and put on the new man of forgiveness, According to the good book (The Bible), we as Americans all agree, it is a good book. We should practice forgiveness. We have all done something wrong. I know I have. When a person acknowledges ten,  twenty, thirty or more years ago they did something they now regret doing, we should believe them. They also show us by practice and deeds they no longer believe or do those things, we should forgive them. I’m not saying they get a free pass. However, in our hearts, we should forgive. Perhaps, it is their desire to do something good to make up for their past sins. They should be given an opportunity.  If then, they prove themselves unworthy, that’s another story.

For some, old age will not permit them to do the things they once did. If they could magically bring back their youth, they would do the same thing even sooner than they did the first time.  For others, they have genuinely been convicted of their wrongdoing. No one but God knows the heart of man. There is the psychologist who is 85%-90% correct with the thoughts of man but God is 100% accurate.  Let us be slow to judge our sisters and brothers.  Go to them and speak calmly about their sin. If they do not stop,  carry someone with you.  If the sin continues, carry the matter before the church or make it public.  If you have not done your due diligence, you have nothing to say.  For all, we know you may be lying or making something up on the person.

Occasionally I receive phone calls asking me to support one cause or another.  At one time, I did without fear of being ripped off.  Now I am a little weary about such phone calls. I hate I have learned to hesitate for a worthy cause. People are deceitful and are no longer trustworthy. Gone are the good old days when there was a real need. Good old days——we want them ——–we need them——–but I am afraid they are gone forever. Perhaps, one day we will all agree what makes up THE GOOD OLD DAYS.

Part 2: Christina, The Little Rabbit

One day for sure, disaster did strike. One little rabbit was not paying attention and stayed in the garden too long.  Short, fat and rosy cheek Mrs. Brown, Farmer Brown’s wife, spotted the little rabbit stealing some carrots. Mrs. Brown screamed for Farmer Brown to come and bring his gun. Farmer Brown did as his wife ask him to do and killed the little rabbit. That night, the Browns had rabbit stew for supper, garnish with the sweet carrots the little rabbit had stolen.

All the animals experienced a sad day. One of their own had been killed and devoured by the Brown family. News of their loss went out . They were told to be extremely careful in Farmer Brown’s garden.  Christina said: I told you so. That is not all that is going to happen.  I am warning you! Stop stealing from Farmer Brown!!  No one listened to Christina.  Everyone said that was just an unlucky rabbit. She stayed a little too long when  and where she shouldn’t have. To them, that was just collateral damage.

Wiping her mouth with a big white linen napkin, Mrs. Brown with her rosy cheeks said to Farmer Brown: That rabbit sure was delicious. Farmer Brown responded by telling Mrs. Brown: If you think that was good, just wait until deer season. We are going to have a feast.  Mrs. Brown replied: Yes dear, I have been watching the deers too.

One day Farmer Brown heard Mrs. Brown screaming.  Farmer Brown looked out of his window.  Farmer Brown saw a big buck and grabbed his bow and arrows.  Farmer Brown was a great shooter with his bow and arrow. From a distance  he pulled back  his bow and killed the  big buck. Farmer Brown mounted the buck’s head on the wall. Mrs. Brown  scurried proudly with the slained buck to the  City  to portion the buck off into deer steaks, ground deer, barbecue deer ribs  and whatever came to her mind.

When Mrs. Brown returned home, she and Farmer Brown and their seven little ones had a feast.  Farmer Brown was so impressed with what he had done, he invited all of his neighbors to rejoice with him. They were all having a great time when the sheriff showed up.  Farmer Brown had done a good thing but not at the right season.  It was not deer hunting season.

The party was over. It was time to call it a day. No more free food for the wild animals.  Everybody suffered.  The sheriff warned Farmer Brown never to kill a deer when it was not deer season. The sheriff taught Farmer Brown how to keep the rabbits and deers out of his garden. Get extra dirt. Fill in the spots where the deer and rabbits were coming in the garden. Use cement if necessary. Find creative ways to block their path.

If only the little rabbits had listen to Christina. Farmer Brown gave them free food after he went to market. It all was a good plan but the older rabbits got greedy. They demanded more and more of any new rabbit that joined their ban. The expectations of the new rabbits grew expeditiously.

The moral of this story is, greed gets you nowhere.

The End

Christina, The Innocent Little Rabbit

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Penelope, The Homesick Giraffe

Penelope was born on the savanna in South Africa. From the moment Penelope was born her mother immediately loved her. Penelope was not unlike any other giraffe.  Her mother carefully checked her for size and color. Penelope had all of the usual spots like any other giraffe. Her mother was especially proud of her long neck.  A  giraffe is not worth it’s salt unless it had a long neck and a long tongue.  Penelope and her mother did everything together. They were inseparable.

In the wild, a grown male giraffe weighs between 2,400 to 3,000 pounds and a grown female weighs anywhere as much as 1,600 to  2,600 pounds. Both male and female have horns on their head. These horns are called ossicones and many males have thicker, and less hairy ossicones than females, due to sparring with other male giraffes. A group of giraffes is called a tower. Some giraffes live with all-male groups. Some live in a mixed group. However,  Penelope and her mother lived with other females who helped take care of her. Penelope could not wait to grow up to be like her mom who she admired tremendously.

Penelope and her mother roamed and browsed the savanna for tall trees for mother and small branches for herself. Everything went well until one day a zookeeper from the west came and took Penelope away from her mother. Penelope was placed in a cage and the cage was placed on a ship.  It wasn’t that long of a trip but it seemed like the ship traveled for days to Penelope.

When Penelope arrived at her new home she was weighed and humans with white coats progged every part of her. They all agreed she had been well taken care of. It was no longer the responsibility of her mother to see after her diet but she would be taken care of by the City Zoo. Her diet now would consist of a formula to substitute for her mother’s milk.  Acadia leaves & shoots and herbs & vines came later in the dieting game.  When she grew up,  more substitutes and tall trees would be planted in her habitat provided by the zoo. To those born in captivity,  it was no big deal.  She had free food brought to her every day. A place to live, having no natural enemies. To all the other animals, life was good. But Penelope missed her home on the savanna where she could run free with her mother.  Surprisingly, in spite of her weight, Penelope ‘s mother could run up to about 35 miles an hour.  In spite of her long legs and her ability to run, she could not outrun the truck that took Penelope away. She and her mother found food on their own and they didn’t need a bed. They could sleep standing up.  Their long legs were both a blessing and a curse.  They could not reach the ground to drink water because their long legs made them too high from the ground. This means when giraffes wish to drink water, they must bend their legs awkwardly to reach the ground.

Penelope wanted to go home. One day a busload of little school children came to the City Zoo. The children were placed in open trucks so the animals could roam free. One disobedient boy got out of his truck and threw a rock that hit Penelope on her leg.  Penelope kicked the disobedient child and sent him to the hospital. The Newscasters and T.V. Announcers said Penelope had to be put down. The other children watching the incident unfold said no. The disobedient little boy provoked Penelope. She only retaliated to defend herself.

The City Zoo Keepers decided to take Penelope back to the wild. Penelope and her mother reunited never to part again.

 

The End