Love is the Journey

“Love never fails.” ~The Apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians 13:8

Love is a word we throw around a lot, but what does it actually mean? I found the following explanation on in answer to the question, What is the real meaning of love in today’s world?” It is given by Preetham Krishna from Amalapuram, Andhra Pradesh, India:

What is love?

This is a heavily debated topic. People often try to define love in terms of romantic euphoria; however, the word “love” generally is used so loosely that its meaning can become diluted. The truth is, “love” often is used to describe other emotions or strong feelings. Using the word “love” just saves us the trouble of having to figure out what we’re actually feeling. We can say we “love” anything, but what does love really mean to us?

Let’s take a look at the various ways that we label “love.”

1. I LOVE chocolate.
This is “food tastes yummy” love. When we eat something that tastes overwhelmingly good, we get a physical and emotional satisfaction and that keeps us present as we eat. Food could be love of a sort, but chocolate won’t text to say it misses me during the day.

2. I LOVE this song.
This is auditory love. These sounds and melodies bring us back emotionally to significant memories in our lives. Music is sort of like a bookmark that opens an emotional portal to our past. Music can also be emotional in the present and help us feel or release emotions. Though music can be very moving, I don’t really want to talk about my day to my iPod.

3. I LOVE your shirt.
This is visual love. We see something that resonates with us and we relate to it and enjoy it — somewhat like a painting or a nice view. We  may become emotionally moved by something we see. I certainly enjoy a beautiful view, but I can’t bring it with me to the movies.

4. I LOVE my new iPhone. 
This is the world’s newest love — “techno-love.” This is the feeling of comfort, excitement, and convenience when we can be connected to our friends, email, Facebook, games, music, etc., all in one little electronic object that fits in our pockets. We sometimes develop  attachments to these gadgets because of what they give to us. I enjoy my phone, too, but when I need a hug the phone can only do so much.

5. I LOVE the smell of chocolate chip cookies.
This is the olfactory love (or love of scents). It also includes things such as perfume, cologne, pizza, freshly baked bread, etc. Our senses of taste and smell are attached. Scents can be comforting and relaxing, and may also be an emotional portal to the past. While I love the smell of cookies, I can’t have a meaningful conversation with the smell of cookies.

6. I LOVE (insert sports team here). 
This is vicarious love. It also includes TV shows and anything else that involves a bit of fantasy. These bring us entertainment, but we also develop attachments and a “rooting” factor. We begin to identify with players or characters or the story lines or competition, and it attracts us with great anticipation and excitement over what’s going to  happen next. There’s often a part of us that wants to be in the shoes of the people we’re watching, living in the roles they play and having an impact on the outcome. Sports and TV are wonderful entertainment; however, it’s hard to imagine making love with a TV.

7. I LOVE my mother.
Family love is the care, comfort, bond, and other emotions that we feel with family members. It’s a different form of attachment from love with a significant other, even though there are many similar properties. Family love undoubtedly is important in our lives, but most likely we won’t be sharing any romantic dinners with our mothers.

This is the love we search for in a partner — romantic love. This love often is sensationalized in movies and in real life (and is somewhat understood to be the “original” love), but these attachments still can be very strong and real. There is a pretty deep psychology to what romantic love actually is and where it comes from (and, as always,  it’s debatable). But either way, this is the love where we feel we’ve found a partner we want to share our lives with. This love makes us go the extra mile to make the other feel special and cared for, while we hope to receive mutual caring and sharing. Going the extra mile doesn’t only mean doing something special for the other, but it’s also accepting the other for who they are, including their positive characteristics as well as their limitations.

These examples aren’t advocating for saving the word “love” only for situations involving romantic love, but understanding our personal definition of love is important for finding romance and relationships. We often go from one relationship to another, not understanding what our needs and values are. If we become more attuned to ourselves and gain a  deeper understanding of what it is that draws us to something, or someone, we’ll have that much more of a chance of finding what we’re looking for. (Quote source here.)

Omar C. Garcia, Missions Pastor at Kingsland Baptist Church, states the following on the subject of love in his blog,, on the best known chapter in the Bible on love found in 1 Corinthians 13:

Who has defined the word “love” for you? There is a lot being said about love these days and you have to be careful who you listen to or you might get the wrong idea about the meaning of love. While musicians and poets attempt to describe and define love in its many splendored forms, no writer deals with the matter of love as musically and poetically as the Apostle Paul. Nowhere else in all of literature, either sacred or secular, will you find the meaning of love more beautifully expressed than in 1 Corinthians 13. The 13th Chapter of 1 Corinthians is like a prism. When a beam of light is passed through a prism, it comes out on the opposite side broken up into its component colors…red, yellow, violet, orange, and all the colors of the rainbow. So it is in 1 Corinthians 13.

We must keep in mind two very important things as we look at this chapter:

First, remember that Scripture was not written in a vacuum. We find this great chapter on love included in a serious letter by Paul to the church in Corinth…a church with very serious problems. In this letter, Paul painted for the Corinthians a picture of themselves…in their factions, their jealousies, their vanity, their carnality, their misuse of Christian liberty, and their bragging about their spiritual gifts. In the thirteenth chapter of this letter, Paul momentarily turned aside from his direct counsels and rebukes to show the Corinthians an ideal Christian life, which was pretty much everything theirs was not.

Second, we must remember that, unlike our language, the Greeks had several words for love. The word “eros” was used to refer to love of deep desire, passionate and sensuous longing. It had a physical and sexual connotation and is nowhere used in the New Testament. The word “storge” referred to the kind of affection found in a family. The word “philia” was used to refer to brotherly love. Finally, the word “agape” was used to express the unconditional kind of love that God expressed toward us through Christ. It implies loving when there is nothing worthy to evoke love. This is the word Paul used in this chapter. [Garcia breaks down the chapter as follows]:

Love is Indispensable or All-Important: 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (full explanation is available here).

Love is Invincible or All-Enduring: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (full explanation is available here).

Love is Immortal or All-Outlasting: 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (full explanation is available here).

Garcia then states the following practical considerations:

We should evaluate our understanding of love in the light of Scripture.

In view of the many things that we hear about love in our world today, we should evaluate our understanding of love in the light of Scripture. Love is certainly not what many of the songs and movies of our day make it to be.

Ministry, miracles, and martyrdom are meaningless without love.

We must be certain that our actions are motivated by love. We must guard against doing things for selfish and self-glorifying ends.

There is a difference between love and lust.

It would be profitable to read 1 Corinthians 13 in the following light: Lust is impatient, lust is unkind, and is jealous; lust brags and is arrogant, it acts unbecomingly; it seeks its own, is provoked, takes into account a wrong suffered, rejoices in unrighteousness, but does not rejoice with the truth; exposes all things, doubts all things, gives up on all things, does not endure all things. Lust always fails.

Love is characterized by forgiveness.

Love does not keep ledgers or accounts of wrongdoings. Love will not allow the sun to go down on its anger (Ephesians 4:26), but works to extend and receive forgiveness. (Quote source here.)

I’ll end this post with the words from 1 Corinthians 13 (NIV) written by Paul:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (Quote source here.)

Without love . . .

Everything else . . .

Is meaningless . . . .

YouTube Video: “Whole Heart” by Brandon Heath:

Photo #1 credit here
Photo #2 credit here

Our Journey Through Time

“Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.” ~King David (Psalm 39:5b)

All of us on this planet of ours are bound by the same thing–time. King Solomon, who was King David’s and Bathsheba’s son, wrote the following in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

The Byrds’ song, Turn, Turn, Turn made some of these words of King Solomon’s famous back in 1965 (YouTube Video below). And we’ve all heard that expression, “Life is short.” While the young among us have no concept of just how fast life goes by, those of us who are much older are all too aware of just how fast it passes–in the blink of an eye.

We’ve all been admonished at some point in life to “not waste our life,” but what, exactly, does that mean? I ran across an article published on February 25, 2011, titled, Life is Short–So Don’t Waste It? by Dr. David A. “Gunner” Gundersen, lead pastor at BridgePoint Bible Church in Houston, TX, and here is what he has to say on the subject:

“Life is short.”

You hear it all the time.

You hear it all the time despite all our western attempts to look young, stay young, and never grow up, and despite our over-realized sense of national invincibility. The ticking clock, the graying hair, the growing children, and the changing times all remind us that our lives are blinkingly brief. One mention of your favorite high school CD around a group of middle schoolers reveals just how much the times have changed, and not because they don’t know the band but because they don’t know what a CD was. As a new friend told me several weeks ago as we were talking about making the most of our time with our young children: “The days are long but the years are short.”

Now, the contemporary church has no shortage of books, sermons, and mottos declaring exactly this lesson, because Scripture teaches its truth, experience echoes its veracity, and urgency requires its recognition. It serves as the grounding indicative for all kinds of urgent imperatives:

The general encouragement: “Life is short — make it count.”

The pleasant reminder: “Life is short — enjoy every minute.”

The negative warning: “Life is short — don’t waste it.”

The ministry exhortation: “Life is short — serve the Lord.”

The missional admonition: “Life is short — reach the nations.”

I have a problem with this.

My problem is not that any of the preceding urgings are wrongheaded or unscriptural. My problem is not that Christians (especially young ones) are constantly being told not to waste their lives. And my problem is not with the connection we typically make between the brevity of life and the call to urgency, purpose, focus, and diligence. They are scriptural. And they are needed.

My problem is that when Scripture talks explicitly about the brevity of life, it often emphasizes the opposite of our calls to ambitious action.

Take this morbid salvo from James: “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:15).

How would you expect James to follow up that statement?

I believe the contemporary church has already answered that question (see above).

We are a people who can’t help but do. We hear something like, “Life is short,” and our immediate application is “Do better,” “Work harder,” “Sacrifice more.” Whether pleasure or service or mission, we remember that life is short and we instantly think: Act.

Now, this is all fine and good and (sometimes) scriptural. But it’s worth reminding that in James 4:13-16, James is rebuking presumptuous businessmen who are declaring precisely what we usually begin to declare in our hearts when we’re hit with the “Life is short” reminder.

“Life is short… I better start doing ____.” “Life is short… I better not waste my opportunity to ____.” “Life is short… I’m going to step it up and ____.”

But what does James actually say? “Your life is a vapor. Therefore, you should stop making ambitious declarations about what you’re going to do and instead acknowledge that God is the one in control. Wake up from your arrogance and remember — only with his explicit blessing are you going to do anything, much less do what you’re so confidently planning to do. You don’t even control tomorrow.”

Even the declaration that I’m not going to waste my life can be arrogant boasting (4:16). Why? Because “you do not know what tomorrow will bring” (4:14). My noble resolution that I’m going to maximize my life could actually be an ignoble presumption that I will have a life to maximize. “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’” (4:15).

My point is simply this: The presumptuous declaration of what a man will ambitiously do with his own life is the exact mentality that God is rebuking when he says through James, “Your life is short.”

So how did a similar kind of declaration become our application anthem for the exact same phrase?

That question probably has more than a couple answers, all of them worth pondering.

Meanwhile, what is James’ exhortation?

“Your life is short. Make the most of it”?


“Your life is short. Humble yourself.” (Quote source here.)

Life IS short. But sometimes we get it all wrong thinking that “doing” more is the answer. The briefest answer in the Bible as to how to live our lives from beginning to end is found in Micah 6:8:

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

And it doesn’t get any simpler than that . . . .

Act justly . . .

Love mercy . . .

Walk humbly . . . .

YouTube Video: “Turn, Turn, Turn” (1965) by the Byrds:

Photo #1 credit here
Photo #2 credit here

If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time

“Always pay attention.” ~Leon Logothetis, global adventurer, motivational speaker, and philanthropist.

The title of the book was enough for me to pick it up from a large variety of books stacked in the discount area at a local Barnes & Noble bookstore I stopped at yesterday. The title? Live, Love, Explore: A Roadmap to the Life You Were Meant to Live (2016) by Leon Logothetis, global adventurer, motivational speaker, and philanthropist. His website is located at, and he has another website located here.

As I was browsing through the book I ran across the following quote on page 127:

So many of us find ourselves confined by the gadgets and routines and accouterments of modern life that we think should free us. Sure, the Internet is basically the whole of the world’s knowledge at the tips of our fingers, but sometimes it also prevents us from being present in the world around us. Sometimes, in order to connect with the world, we need to cut the cord to all the emails and updates and news feeds–the unending, digital responsibility. Sometimes we need to break up the routine, put down the phone, and just go live. (Quote source, Live, Love, Explore,” page 127.)

I learned to type on a manual typewriter my sophomore year in high school. By my senior year it was an electric typewriter (I graduated from high school in 1970). Our phones were connected to walls located at home or at work or at pay phone booths. Information was found in a library, on TV, in a newspaper, a magazine, a book, an encyclopedia, or a dictionary. I lived clear into my 30’s before the first computers started showed up on the scene when I was in grad school in the late 1980’s. I got my first email address when I was a doctoral student (at the age of 40) during my fellowship year (1992-93). And it all began with that glorious DOS screen that was black with green or white type (and no pictures–just type). I found the following information on Quora:

[Internet] Providers hit the scene in the early 1990s. 1995 was the year AOL, Prodigy, and CompuServe all showed up. At the time (and still), ISPs would give users an email address automatically. Popular webmail services (such as Hotmail) started popping up in 1996/97.

By the end of 1996, just shy of one in ten Americans was on the Internet, which would mean that most everyone would either be an Internet user, or be within two degrees of separation of an Internet user. For me, if everyone can “know someone who knows someone” who does something, it might not be popular, but it’s gone beyond an obscurity. But somewhere in 2001, more than half of Americans crossed over to the Internet; and I feel like once half of a population is engaged in a behavior, it’s “popular” by any reasonable definition.

So somewhere between 1996 and 2001, Internet usage went from being a relative rarity to normalized, depending on how you want to define popular. And while it’s not a direct 1:1, I feel like it’s reasonable to assume that email popularity tracked with Internet usage. (Quote source here.)

And that wasn’t “way back in the dark ages” either. We are talking late 1980’s and early 1990’s. The first stand alone computer using 5″ floppy disks that I used in a work setting occurred when I worked at a school district in the mid-to- late 1980’s.

As the saying goes, “We’ve come a long way, baby.” Yes, we have, and now we don’t know how to live without it. We are so joined at the hip with our technology today that we’d rather text with the person sitting next to us instead of engaging in a normal conversation with them. So, right now I want to post some suggestions on how we can learn to disconnect a bit from all that technology and learn to live, love, and explore life without always having to be connected to the internet. I’m not even sure the younger generations have ever experienced life without it.

After looking at a bunch of articles on how to disconnect from the world of technology (not completely, of course), I liked this particular article published in 2015 titled, 16 Ways to Unplug from Technology Every Day,” by Cathy Presland, Editor-in-Chief at authorunlimited.comHere are her tips:


Technology, even for writers, is an integral part of our lives, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But, as with all good things, to truly reap the benefits you should moderate how and when you use it.

Tech addiction isn’t just a problem for the “selfie generation”; the average smartphone user checks their device 150 times a day. Wow! That means, if we’re awake for 15 hours, then, on average, we might check our phone ten times an hour. And it’s the norm to think that multi-tasking means we can get more done in both our work life and private life.

But does it?


Studies show that doing more than one thing at the same time is actually making us slower and stupider, rather than making us more efficient. Burying your face in a screen for a large part of your day wreaks havoc on mental and physical health, with studies showing that young adults who overuse technology show similar brain patterns to those addicted to alcohol and cocaine.


While going “off the grid” and living totally without technology isn’t a viable option for most of us, we can learn to cut down on our tech habits and still be functioning members of society. It’s perfectly OK to switch off sometimes without damaging your social life, or reducing your impact at work. Unplugging does not mean disconnecting.


We’ve put together 16 easy ways you can detach from your device on a daily basis, leaving you to get the most out of your work and your life. And, of course, have time to write your book, and perhaps even learn how to write better.


We know that starting our day with a healthy breakfast or a nutrient-packed smoothie is good for us, so why not also nourish your mind first thing in the morning? Instead of reaching for your phone as soon as you wake up, concentrate on you. Spend some time meditating, or boost your brain with meditation alternatives, before answering a single email. You’ll have a more productive and relaxed day.


Leave your smartphone behind and go back to the stock standard android of the early 2000’s (Nokia 33500 anyone?) Not only does the battery power far exceed that of any modern smartphone on the market, it also severely limits what you can do while you’re out.

No more emails or checking Facebook on the go. Just essential phone calls and texts. Try it and you might be surprised how much you like it.


If you’re one of those people who spends (dare I say ‘wastes’?!) time surfing the net, then fill your day so that there is no spare time in there. Run an accountability system or arrange meetings during the day. And pack your after-work schedule with activities that nourish you so that there is very little time for online activities between work, dinner and sleep.

Even if you just do this a few days a week, it helps detox you from the need to be online constantly.


Checking emails and social media on the train or while waiting in line may seem like the ultimate time management, but all those different images, clips and emails are actually making you unfocused. Carry a book with you instead, or at least use the Kindle app on your phone and switch off the mobile signal.

Or maybe you can put that time to even better use, switch the phone off altogether and use it to write. An extra hour or two a day could help you get to first draft in just a few months. Will you even remember the time you spent on Facebook then?


Can you use technology to detach from technology? It seems counter-intuitive to say the least but, if there’s a market for it, tech companies will deliver.

Detach Apps are popping up all over the place and they work by blocking you out of certain apps (Facebook or email perhaps?), or by turning your smartphone into a ‘dumb’ phone for the time period you specify. (Might help you focus on that writing we were just talking about!)


Just like you’d count your calories or activity steps to help you drop a few pounds, why not start counting your technology time? Take note of how many times a day you check your emails, surf the web, or browse social media, and then try reducing it by 10%, or cutting out one or more of those sessions a day. And, with your extra time, try adding in an exercise class, or a writing session, or just some focused family time?


If you’re struggling with a serious technology overdose, then take the tech version of a mini-break and leave your phone at home. I know it might be painful, but the world will not end if you do not post details of your day on Facebook. And if this is too hard, then take a real mini-break to a location without connection — a health spa, perhaps, or a writer’s retreat?


Before you start to think that we’re all about switching off, then let’s talk about streamlining so that you can make technology work for you. Have you noticed the explosion of ways that people can get in touch with you? From phone, to text, to Facebook message, Skype, Whatsapp, and more…

It’s a misconception that being uber-connected is the only way to stay ahead of the game in business. In fact, the opposite is true — it’s better to limit your connectivity. Streamline the places you need to check in when you’re online by requesting certain people only contact you through a particular medium.

For example, clients may have access to your phone number, but general inquiries come by email and then have an assistant who filters them before you even see them. Turn off messaging on your Facebook page, have ‘do not disturb’ as the default on Skype with a message re-directing them to that general email address. And so on.

And then switch everything else off so you’re not constantly refreshing your apps on the lookout for messages that aren’t coming. Or maybe even uninstall some of those many communication apps…?


If you find that you get into the ‘tech haze’ when you’re on the move because you’ve had your face buried in your device on the way to a meeting, the office (if you have one), the shops, or a friend’s house, then change your mode of transport. Try something that means you can’t be on the device, or can only be hands-free. Ride a bicycle, or put on some runners and jog to work. Or travel with a friend or colleague. Whatever works to stop you reaching into your pocket and clicking that typepad.


When you leave work, really leave it. Activate the “out of office” on your email, have a separate number and don’t divert calls to your personal phone, and don’t be tempted to check emails (or use an assistant filter them and ask them to only forward ones that are essential for you to see).

Unless you’re the Prime Minister, there is unlikely to be anything work-related that can’t wait until tomorrow!


Make yourself accountable to your decision to unplug by telling your friends and family about it. Ask them to call you out if you duck off to write an email or keep your phone on the table during dinner. Even just knowing they’re watching out for you will help you stay unplug from technology and, if that fails, public shaming should keep your relapses to a minimum.


Don’t trust yourself to keep your anti-tech word? Then give your phone to your partner to hold onto for an hour or two while you do something else, or give your passwords to your assistant and him or her to lock you out until a designated time.

Or, my favorite, go and work in an environment that doesn’t have wifi (like my favorite cafe) or where you are forced to be quiet (like the local library). Or head off to that spa retreat for some serious relaxation time.


We’ve known for some time now that the blue light from our screens can really mess up our sleeping patterns, but I bet I’m not the only one who has a last peek at the phone before bed? Set a bed time for your technology. And experts recommend that this should be around two hours before your actual bedtime to give you enough time to wind down.

You could even do this for the whole family and turn the wifi off at a set time giving yourselves time to talk, play games, read or catch up with Game of Thrones. And then, easier said than done I know, you have to stick to it!


Life isn’t all about restrictions so set some ‘free time’ every day where you can go on any and all your devices to do what you want — play games, chat to friends or upload your pics to Instagram. And, when that time slot is over, just switch off again.

This gets you into a pattern of using your tech-time more wisely. If you know you only have a limited slot then you’ll prioritize naturally, and you’ll know when enough is enough.


One of the biggest costs we pay for our societies’ addiction to constant connection is that we are no longer living in the moment. But you can buck that trend and still practice functioning in the here, now, and physical.

Enjoy just living in the moment: go for a walk in a suburb, or a location you don’t know — and don’t take your google maps! If you live in a city, go on a random train or tube ride without scheduling the trip on your travel app. Leave a note on the kitchen table instead of texting your partner with your dinner plans.

And for writers (or anyone!), this spontaneous exploration will help spark ideas and boost your creativity.


There are a hundred different tricks to get you offline, but when it comes down to it, all you have to do is switch off. Get into the habit of turning off instead of turning on the screen saver. Don’t race to answer messages or calls—get into the habit of letting them go to voicemail and then check in from time to time.

Build a routine so that you are online for part of the day, and then strictly offline for the rest of the day, enjoying life, or focused on your work, or just relaxing.


You probably know, at some level, whether your use of technology is getting out of control and impacting on your quality of life. Perhaps it’s a moan from a partner, a comment from one of your children, or a look at what someone else is doing when you go out for a meal and realizing that’s how you look some of the time. Take note of those signs and act on them before technology takes time and attention away from your work and loved ones.

With 16 ways to take a digital detox, you have no excuse for not trying at least one of these methods. And, who knows, you might even enjoy being offline! (Quote source here.)

Those suggestions are quite helpful in getting us to think about connecting more with life and people and less with technology. Just pick one and give it a try. You might just find a whole new way of life waiting for you.

Ready . . .

Set . . .

Take a break . . . .

YouTube Video: “If I Could Turn Back the Hand of Time” (1970) by Tyrone Davis:

Photo #1 credit here
Photo #2 credit here