12.29.2009

It is You


It is You.

It is only You.

It has ever only been You.

And because of You, I am a better man. You have never let me fall. It is I who always chose to stumble. You always pick me back up, brush me off, and offer Your acceptance so that I might be made whole again. Though I will surely choose again in error as I make my way along this path we share, I know that I am never ever alone. I know that I will always have You.

It is You.

It is only You.

It has never been that it was not only and forever You.

Thank you for Your Love. Thank you for creating me with the certainty that Love is all we have ever needed. When I make the conscious choice to make Love and only Love my method, I am completely in You. For I have also been created with the certainty that You have always been in me. I am forever grateful to You, and I love You.

It is You.

It is only You.

When the earth crumbles, and all the galaxies fade, it will always and forever only be You.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

For in his eyes, it has always been you beloved.

It is you.

It is only you.

It has never ever been that it could possibly be about anything other than you.

LUVWRX. Believe it.

12.25.2009

First Love


It is a very quiet Christmas morning as I write. No people. No laughter. Nothing. Or so it seemed as I woke up today.

This has been a year to remember; death, divorce, division, defeat. And in spite of the way those things hang on me like smoke from stale cigarettes, I find that I am anything but alone. The God of the Universe never leaves, never abandons, never ever divides, and can only lift up.

The King of heaven who gave more to me than I have ever been able to comprehend came to my room and gently reminded me that my first Love is the only love I need.... now or ever.

"Return to me," he said. -- Insert an awkward pause here. -- "It has been so long Father, I don't know how to approach you anymore." It was all I could of think to say. Without hesitation, he simply replied, "My child, you just did. And not only do I receive you, I bless you now in my name with joy, peace, and completion." I am reeling from the event, and I just wanted to say to you beloved,

"Return to your first Love."

You are not alone. Don't ever fall for the lie. If you have no people around you at the moment, it may only be so that you can become reacquainted with true Love. The kind of love that is consistent and unconditional. The kind of Love you and I are searching for. The Love that knows us completely, and doesn't find any fault with us.

Merry Christmas.

And take heart, your life is an unfinished script. So help write by filling it with memories throughout this next year. Make memories that will carry you through till the next Christmas where things are sure to be better for us. God's promises are dependable. Talk with him about your hopes and dreams right now. Your First Love is waiting for you.

God Bless You in the name of Christ who we celebrate this day.

LUVWRX -- Believe it!

11.29.2009

Does Love Hurt?

Why do we feel hurt by Love?

Is Love the source of our pain?

OR --

Are our past experiences the real bully?

All our lives we've heard the phrase, "Love hurts..." And all of our lives we have believed it. While it may feel like Love is the bully, that kind of thinking denies that God is Love, and that is in conflict with scripture. (1 John 4:1-21)

Please read all of the above-referenced scripture before proceeding.

John is specific:  When we choose to believe that Jesus, the Christ, is all he claimed to be; when we choose to live in Love, forsaking everything; Love chooses to live in us. Yet all our lives we've accumulated our fair share of negative experiences that have helped to form our perspectives, our opinions, and our tolerance thresholds. All our lives we have allowed those illusions to blind us to how we come to believe what we come to believe. So instead of taking responsibility for our choices, then and now, all of our lives we have chosen to blame God for our circumstances.

That is a further denial of the truth of scripture.

Please read Galations 6:7-10, Job 4:17, and Psalm 36:5-9.

If we choose to believe we are loved by God, we lose the option of blaming him when we have a bad experience in love. That's a good thing. We are now in the ideal position to let Love off the hook and learn from the experience. God allows us to taste hurt to be sure. The truth is, however, he doesn't desire for us to swallow it.

Learning from heartache (it might be something worse than a breakup) gives us eyes to see others the way God sees them. We are then able to understand that we live in a hurting world. Those of us who call ourselves Christian have been provided the perfect template for avoiding further pain through the simple act of forgiveness, and we are expected to emulate it.

It is also not an option.

When we forgive, we deny darkness the opportunity to deceive us into thinking we've been wronged. Thus we avoid unnecessary pain. When we accomplish this, we see the perceived offense by another, not as hurting us, but as a cry for help.

Love cannot hurt us, and God is not against us.

Love is not designed to participate in pain except to serve as the cure. God would never allow himself to be called Love if there existed the remote possibility that He/It/Love could actually do anything to hurt us. However, he does understand that we blame him.

And to be sure, we do hurt. We hurt for various reasons, and pain in many forms and fashions is sometimes aimed at us by others. And even though we do sometimes hurt, remember this truth:

Love does NOT hurt :)

Beloved, we all want to be loved. It is only natural. So if you ever find yourself at the end of a relationship (or mean people are forcing themselves into your world), don't let Love go just because another person let you go, or another crashed into you. Instead, allow the God of Love to enfold you in his authentic embrace. Then (and this is the hard part) -- extend as best you can the same Love towards that person. Try it. Love works.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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. . . and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. -- Paul

LUVWRX (believe it)

11.05.2009

The Gods Aren't Angry

God is not angry.

God is not capable of disliking you. Your God loves you, even if you don't believe it.

Even if you don't believe there is One.

That's the good news of the day.

It is reasonable to assume that there are individuals today whose minds are free to ponder things outside the box of religion, going straight to the heart of the matter. Our questions are valid. Rob Bell is a mind free in Christ. Below is a trailer for a talk he gave that is outside of the mainstream of religious propaganda. It is compelling:

The Gods Aren't Angry -- Rob Bell



I included an additional clip that only hints at the insightful way he gives us pause to dare question all we've been taught. I have viewed both of these films. They are not new. His church is Mars Hill Bible Church, located in Grand Rapids, MI. In response to critics of his teachings, Bell is quoted, "When people say that the authority of Scripture or the centrality of Jesus is in question, actually it's their social, economic and political system that has been built in the name of Jesus that's being threatened. Generally lurking below some of the more venomous, vitriolic criticism is somebody who's created a facade that's not working...But I love everybody and you're next!" he says, giggling. "That's how I respond to criticism." I like him a lot. I hope you do:

Everything is Spiritual -- Rob Bell



Oh yeah, the bad news of the day is that some who see these clips will be upset.

It truly is a sad day when an open mind is somehow meant to imply an empty one. The truth is, only an open mind is offered the potential to become like Christ's mind. It is his deepest desire that our minds be identical to his. Jesus Christ is a peace-loving non-conformist.

Don't be afraid to ask questions.

If you like the trailers,the films can be purchased here -- http://store.flannel.org/eis.html

There is no God of Wrath. The proof is in the bloodshot eyes of the one who, like Bort, can see God's Mystery, and has still found it possible to not ask questions. I asked my earthly daddy to teach me what he knew. He taught me love. I have asked God to teach me what he knows. He has taught me that Love can change everything.

God is love.

It is not a new thing. God never changes so that we can have the joy of experiencing Love that can never fail.

LUVWRX -- jb

When All Is Said And Done

I know that I am misunderstood by some readers. I also know that it is hopeless to attempt to explain myself through words -- written or spoken. I get grief for purposefully being open to others. The truth is, I am willing to accept anyone and everyone just as they are. I live my life as close as I possibly can to the example of Christ for the simple reason that he told us it is a good way to live. It is The Way. There are others who have gone before me that exude his goodness and his genuine love for All, and I try to follow their example too.

I am not into apologetics, yet I find myself actually bothered that some so-called Christians find fault with me because of my openness. Let's be frank: I am who I am. You are free to think of me as you wish. Just be honest: If you are saying ugly things about me, you don't know me.

I make mistakes every day. I am so far from perfect that I don't seek after it. I seek to be a peacemaker, and by my witness I hope to share with you what Christ means to me. If you are Buddhist, Muslim, Jew, or Pagan; I love you. I accept your beliefs. I accept your wisdom. I accept you. I want you to know the Christ that lifted me from my blind state of judgement, found me faultless, and dusted me off, patted me on the back and said, "Keep doing just what you're doing. I like the fact that you think enough of me to try and emulate My Way."

I sleep just fine at night with this way of thinking. I converse with him daily to ensure I am still on my path. Some of you Christians who read these words and assume I am something strange, or even worse, someone who is beneath you; I love you too.

I love you.

I have prayed that those of you with the most awful ideas about me, who spread lies and innuendo to any who will listen, will bump into me somewhere in public. I pray that we will lock eyes. I pray that you will not hate me -- even though you profess to be a follower of Christ, you know you hate me :) Yet, I sincerely want peace for you. You can't rob me of mine because my peace is beyond your ability to understand. Most days it is beyond my understanding too. I would give a body part to have a discussion about how we differ, if in fact we do.

When all is said and done and I stand before my Maker, I will know without doubt that I did the best I could to love, accept, embrace, and relate to All. It is not my place to judge anyone ever. I adhere to that just like Jesus said I should. I want to be understood, but I accept the fact that some people are intimidated by a person that can't condemn another to hellfire and eternal damnation just because they see things differently than I do.

Here's a visual for those of you that are cringing as you read this:

Imagine every living being alive today joined together, hand in hand, encircling God. Clearly we are only able to see God from where we are, yet we still see God. If my perspective is different as a result of where I am as I look, yet I love what I see and recognize through my understanding that it is God, how can I judge you and say you don't know God? Why would I take it further and believe that since you don't see him/her (God has no genitalia) the way I do, you're wrong? Did God tell you that?

Think. About. It.

Every time we unfairly decide for another person that our way is better than theirs without first considering their perspective, we spit on God's plan for the world he created. He never wanted us to hate another for any reason, yet we do it anyway. Remember:

There is no them.

There is no them except in your mind. That is not the Mind of Christ my friend, and you know it! If you've ever been one of them-- as I am to some of you -- you would never want to inflict such unfair judgement again. If Jesus is God, and even if you believe that God killed everyone that he didn't like (including pregnant women and children) in his wrath, did he just change his mind when he appeared on earth as the savior of the Jews? Why and how did Christ forgive his murderers while they were in the act of killing him? Is God unchanging yet he won't forgive anyone for their sins except when they are killing the kindest, most accepting person on earth? You tell me. You have all the answers; right? Your God of wrath is also just in your mind. God is Love. PERIOD! I like to think that I am a willing participant in what God is doing in his world. And loving All is part of it.

LUVWRX.

Try it out on those you H8 today, and see if you don't feel better about yourself.

Peace. -- jb

10.13.2009

What I've Learned

I fly a lot but I had a chance to actually drive to my job today. It was a day like any other day except for the fact that, as I was driving, a post popped into my head. I guess being a frequent flyer frequently induces writer's block.

It occurred to me that my being a newly-created 47 year old provides me with nearly a half century of experience from which to glean wisdom... or the repetition of all-too-familiar "oops events." And while you and I have seen the dreaded e-mail forwards with all types of quips about how after such and such time you know this or that, I have no desire to plagiarize. I may be unconventional, but I am absolutely original. So...

Here's what I have learned; in my own words:

1. LOVE is the only thing that is real.
2. Life is not measured by the number of breaths I take. Just breathe.
3. Some people will only love me with conditions attached. Just love.
4. Once I decide that I have it all figured out, I have quit searching. Ouch!
5. I don't know a thing, and I'm good with that.
6. Music is a gift from the heart of an artist. I want to make some.
7. Love is the ONLY thing that is real.
8. Memories are not the past. They're happening now. Pay attention :)
9. Resentment can kill me. Love can heal me.
10. Mean people seem to be everywhere. I don't want to be one.
11. I am myself only to the extent that I know myself. I want to be real.
12. If I look for it, I will have the opportunity to help someone.
13. Love is the only thing that is REAL.
14. Laughter is as powerful as music. Make some.
15. The act of forgiveness should never be an act.
16. If I believe me, I will be as healthy as I say I am.
17. I am loved, and I am worth the effort it may take.
18. I am thankful for all my experiences. They make me who I am.
19. Christ forgave his murderers while they were in the act.
20. LOVE is the ONLY thing that is REAL.

Peace -- jb

9.09.2009

An Open Letter to My Son

I wrote this to Brandon as he was preparing to leave for college a few years ago. He is a senior this year. I had completely forgotten about it and as I was working today, I stumbled upon it. It is remarkable to me that this occurred because I had been having one of those days that we sometimes have when we are not completely centered. I offer it, as always, as a reminder for me and me alone. If you glean anything from it, I am blessed by that. Peace. -- jb
________________

Dear Brandon,

Somewhere it is written that the father is to give some final words of advice before sending the son off to college. I originally wrote this letter to you one day last week. It just poured out onto the paper. I have since read it about 10 times and I must confess that it looks like I wrote it to myself as much as I wrote it to you.

I wish I had known when I was your age what you will read below. I did not and that is ok.
At any rate, I want you to not read this until you are in a place physically and mentally where you have time to sit and think about the words. It’s ok to put this down and read it later. If you decide to go ahead though, just know that this is from my heart... here goes.

As I have told you many times, you somehow broke out of the generational trends that have existed for as long as there have been Bakers. I know I have said this to you a lot more in recent months and that is because you have also shown signs of being farther along in a spiritual sense than I had noticed before. I’m not talking about religion or church attendance. You have started a new thing that will serve you and all mankind, and will carry our name into the future.

It is important that you recognize this.

All your life I have had the honor of watching you -- I have blessed you, prayed for you and cried for you. I have memories that hurt because for whatever reason, I was unable to protect you from something that hurt you. All the while, I was being taught the role of "father." Those old memories have begun to fade as I now have the opportunity to watch you make your newest memories. I am comforted knowing that you make good choices and I like what I see in you very much.

Brandon, you were born with a "knowing" that is very special. You have a certain wisdom that transcends you and is far above the earthly kind of wisdom. What I am talking about is much deeper than what I had come to understand wisdom to be. It seems to come from a place I am only now beginning to understand -- a place of collective knowing that has always existed through all the ages. I can’t explain it, and, yes, it is included in the "talk" I’m going to have with you very soon.

I now know that true wisdom cannot be taught like I may teach a class or something... no, it comes from experience. We all have experiences and we sometimes learn from them and sometimes we do not. I am talking about something that seems to come from deep within us – from a place that was created by God and put there for a purpose. Think about this... it is worth considering how you will use this wisdom to help mankind as you discover why you are here.

You may not yet know what your purpose is. You may be in the early stages of discovering it or you may not really care right now. Either way, I’d like to offer some insights that I have learned from my own experiences. These insights have come from painful places many times and I’d like to see you avoid such delays in finding your complete self. Reading these may help you define your purpose.

Remember that Love outshines and will outlast everything else in all of creation. Whatever you think about, ask yourself is this from Love? For you see, thought is the creation of word and deed. It preexists all action and has the power to either hurt or to heal. Think about Love... pray, shout, sing and dream about Love. It is really that important. Do this and you will see your purpose for this lifetime as clearly as you can see on a crystal-clear blue morning.

Second, listen to your heart. Trust what you hear and test it against the standards you have been taught. Don’t go with the crowd unless the crowd has convinced you that its purpose matches or enhances your own. Never, ever compromise unless in so doing, you further the cause of Love. Remember the words of Jesus -- "Love God, love your neighbor, and love yourself." Treat everyone and everything -- family, friends, strangers, animals, plants, all of creation with respect and honor. If you do this, the Universe will reward you with the abundant life that is already yours... even if you cannot yet see it.

Be slow to speak and don’t speak at all unless it lifts up the person you are talking to or about.

Listen to what people are saying. Really listen on purpose, and you will gain a better understanding of where they are coming from. Remember that everyone has experiences, and those experiences helped to shape them into the person that they are. You may not agree with them and that is ok -- just don’t judge them. Everyone is equal in God’s eyes and they should also be equal in our eyes -- no one is any better than anyone else.

Even if you are in a disagreement with someone or even if they have hurt you, put yourself in their shoes and try to forgive them. Show patience and give grace. I assure you that all of heaven will stop and take notice that you actually put Christ’s teachings into practice.

Help an old person; smile at a stranger; bless the children you meet; be vulnerable -- now I didn’t say be weak. There is a difference. If you open your heart, you may get hurt, Jesus did, but you will grow and expand in ways that will make you a better person. Be humble. Thank God always and at all times with a truly grateful heart. You have much to be thankful for.

Be yourself. Don’t be something that is false and never be arrogant or mean. You know how to treat people, so remember that as your world begins to open up before you. You are going to meet lots of different kinds of people, and although you are a natural leader, college life will present you with a new set of challenges.

Son, you are the apple of my eye and such a powerful source of joy for me that even as I fumble to write these words my heart feels like it will burst. It is not easy to express these types of feelings because they are so very real and so deep.

I have never tried to influence you to be anyone other than Brandon. I believe it is an error for a father to put such pressure on their son. What you are today is certainly the answer to millions of prayers, but I especially want you to know that you are the fulfillment of all my hopes and dreams, and I am always here for you. You will never be so far away that I would not move heaven and earth to come to your aid.

Receive, once more, the blessing of your earthly father with complete assurance that I merely reflect the love of your eternal and perfect Father. It is because he loves me so much that he has allowed me to serve you in this way at this time. I am forever grateful.

May the sun be always on your beautiful face, with the wind of Love at your back. As you follow your dreams, may the road rise up to meet you and carry you to the greatest heights of completion. You deserve nothing less.

I love you.

Dad

8.31.2009

Dark Night of the Soul

The phrase brings haunting imagery to mind, but it doesn't have to. It is so very descriptive of how many of my friends are experiencing life right now, but it has Hope as its intended result.

I have been noticing the intensity of the dark times for several years now and it would seem that they are not only inevitable, they are an indication of something Good and True emerging.

Hope.

Hope is the last thing some of us know about lately, but it remains nonetheless. We are all, each of us, hoping for something better for ourselves, and the Dark Night syndrome, although excruciating, is a clear sign that Light is in our immediate future. It is this absence from the Light that allows us time to refocus our eyes; to reevaluate our priorities; and to ultimately re-present ourselves to the world.

I have also noticed that these times are less frequent, but more powerful in their effects. This is encouraging for me as it tells me that I am learning to maneuver through the darkness more efficiently. I am more familiar with the Hope that springs forth in the aftermath, and that provides energy to endure.

My friends, these are strange and difficult days to be sure. At the same time, it is an unfolding of possibilities if we are aware of it. We are never alone in the darkness even though we sometimes forget under the weight of our circumstances and pain. And when we come out on the other side into the Light, we realize that we were never, ever left alone.

I am never alone.

Choose for yourself this day to see your situation as hopeful. It may not truly be at this moment, but it will be. You and I can rest in the peace of that certainty. Inner peace will be our experience sooner than later when we see our path for what it is:

A journey of reacquainting ourselves with the Source of Life.

God is real. Love is the proof. And Dark Nights are lovingly designed to propel us out of fear and into Peace.

I love you. -- jb

7.16.2009

Family Ties and Fine Porcelain

For many of us there comes a time when our friends scatter, and there is that inescapable feeling of abandonment. We sometimes use the term fair-weather friend in reference to people like that, but whatever we chooses to call them, I don't believe most individuals intentionally mean to cause pain in doing this. So let's be honest; it just happens. And when it does, it is very comforting that our family is there to help replace the hurt with uplifting support and acceptance. When circumstances seems to turn against us, family ties undergird us with all we need to get back to joy:

Love.

It is true that not all of us have this kind of support when we need it most because we just don't have any family. While this situation does exist I believe that God provides alternatives. I have had the honor of being a surrogate family member, and it was one of the highest honors of my life. If you ever find yourself in any situation that provides you that privilege, take it. You being offered to that person, as a form of family, in love, by Love ItSelf is a beautiful thing.

Mr. Glynn

I have written about my dear friend Mr. Glynn Luckie Mosley who recently died. His wife Opal collected porcelain figurines, and he went to the ends of the earth in search of the ones she would ask him to find for her. One or two were exquisite and some weren't even very expensive. They just couldn't be shipped from where they originated.

He Went Anyway.

I observed many similar acts of devotion, and when she died he gracefully allowed me into his then very private and isolated world, and he stole my heart. I weep as I write remembering I got to say, see-ya-later to one of my best friends. When I was told he would not respond as the result of a coma he suddenly fell into from a simple stint procedure, I walked in the room and he began to try and talk to me. He reached for me... I got to hug him, and it was the last time I got to do that. He died the next morning.

What's Next?

My friends, it is a different time we live in. People are moving in and out of each other's lives at record speeds. Some say it's another sign of change. What I know is that for every friend that leaves you, there is another waiting to enter your life and take you to the next level. If you're really lucky this new friend may turn out to be the one you've been looking for your whole life.

Ponder It. Things Change.

So when change enters your life, make the effort to greet it like an old friend. Don't resist; that just creates repetition of circumstances. Instead receive it like a gift, maybe a fine porcelain figurine. Exquisite in craftsmanship, breathtaking to behold as the hands that created it must have surely known that it was to be this way :)

God bless those without family ties, as well as those friends who stand and remain no matter what may come. And God bless us all as we continue on in our journey of discovery. Don't fight the things you can't control. Just roll with it Baby. Rest in the beingness of it all, and quit trying to do so much. Do what you can, but let the rest go. There is freedom in that. I love you!

Peace for your weekend, spend it with your family and friends. And may you always have Love in your life. Love is real.

jb

7.13.2009

Contrast is Calling

If it were not for contrast in our experiences, would we have the capability of recognizing just how good Life really is? This may seem a strange question at first glance. However, being confronted with change, which is simply contrast -- or opposites as others put it -- we are offered opportunities to consider things from a different perspective, and this equates to growth potential.

But Please Pay Attention!

Bloggers come from all walks of life, and I have been given a larger world view completely free of charge just by being open to what they write about. In the same way, being open to change lessens resistance to growth, and we find that we flow more naturally with the current of Life. I have found that it is much more enjoyable than swimming upstream! And the key is the awareness that change is not intended to hurt me.

Stop Fighting Change.

Allow. I did not say tolerate. Tolerance screams, "I still disapprove!" Allowing simply allows. No fighting. No judgement. In much the same way we are guided through this life by a benevolent Love, we can more easily maneuver the maze-like "obstacles" we sometimes face by just letting go of the desire to control.

Desire is good. Control is dangerous.

Would you rather win, or would you rather offer love? Do you prefer being right over being open? Do you even think about it?

Think. About. It.

Do something ridiculously kind for someone in need today. And do it for no other reason except to experience the contrast of otherwise pretending to be too busy to see them.

There is no them, and I love you! -- jb

6.10.2009

Everywhere I Go, There I Am

Friends leave. Sometimes there is no other way. They may choose to leave for various reasons -- job change, death, or sometimes they just run away. Whatever the reason, whatever the purpose, what remains is always the same -- I.

I am.

I am, no matter what happens to my circumstances. Happiness is not found outside of me. If I rely on relationships (or anything else) to bolster my happiness factor, I am forgetting my right to choose. I know I talk about this a lot, but it is so worth repeating:

Happiness is a choice; not something you get.

I observe and I learn. I am learning the art of being me, and it as simple as a choice. All my life I've been searching. That's what I do. Today I am reminded me that I have discovered enough through the years to be, do, and have anything I choose. The Spirit which is in all things, and emits the Love that underpins all that exists is alive and well in me, and my happiness is found there.

Love.

Because of Love, I am able to love. I choose it knowing full well that It chose me first. I am. And everywhere I go, whether alone or with friends, there I will be found. And I am here. Right here, right now. I am a little more awake today, and the sun shone a little brighter today. It is this type of perspective on Life that guides me in the way that is best suited for me. I am a lucky man, and I know it. Thanks for reading :) and may peace fill your soul.

I love you. -- jb

6.03.2009

Suffering in the Name of Love is Dumb

"There is much suffering in the world - very much. Material suffering is suffering from hunger, suffering from homelessness, from all kinds of disease, but I still think that the greatest suffering is being lonely, feeling unloved, just having no one. I have come more and more to realize that it is being unwanted that it the worst disease that any human being can ever experience."
-- Mother Teresa

Now I'm not sure how much personal suffering one has to experience before they can say loneliness is the greatest suffering, but if you've been there I suppose there is no need for comparison. It seems there is much upheaval these days, and there is no shortage of perceived suffering on just about every horizon I can see. I received the above quote from an old and dear friend in reply to an earlier post here, and when I read it, I was struck by the thought that the suffering seems to be over. Thanks Mia.

At the same time, there is this knowing. You know?


You know how you just know, and then it is? I do. Hope lingers, even when ignored, and I just know that the dark days of perception tainted by pain are over... or quickly will be :) I can't explain the sudden turn in the air. Maybe the many sunrises I've participated in over the last months have left me with a promise forgotten, that all things are good if I say so. Things are only not that when I say, No.

Don't Just Say No


When I stand and block the gates of love, I am saying no. When I judge any-one including myself I am saying no. When I say no, I am saying I don't care what happens, I'm against it. Saying no to the extent that it causes another to suffer is not only unnecessary, it is unhealthy.

Think. About. It.

Love is the way to peace. Peace is the reason we offer love. Thinking about it is being responsible. Doing something in the name of love can change the world.

Peace -- jb

5.24.2009

Love's Will Be Done

I often speak of love and things related, and while I am no stranger to it, Love is a mystery waiting to be unraveled. I allow music and the gift of the artist to assist me in that unraveling. In fact...

I am a music freak.

I find solace in knowing that there exists an artist who has the unmistakable gift of reading our hearts, and producing a work of art by which to prove it. Eddie K. of the band LIVE has a special way of expressing things. This song says so much, so well that I wanted to just share it.

I know one or two of you have already heard this song, but indulge a romantic and give it a listen just once more. This "official" video was done by a young man who entered a contest held by the LIVE fan club to actually create a visual for their fans who have raved over the lyrics. It is shot in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The scenery is surreal, nearly perfect, and the words... well the words are haunting. Allow yourself to go with Eddie as he, once more, says it just so...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqrDozjICPs

I love you. -- jb

5.21.2009

Forgetting

I have been writing about conversations between me and a dear friend. His has been a journey towards inner peace.

He has arrived.

His failing relationship, which was the cause of his turmoil, has come to an end. He is now facing the future with head held high, free of the emotional tugs that kept him under the dark cloud of guilt.

My friend is strong, but he is also vulnerable to his own self-inflicted pain. It would seem that, for some of us, pain has a miraculous way of bringing about emotional healing.

My friend is healed.

Following, you will read two poems from another dear friend. These were sent to my friend as a way of assisting in the process of moving on. They are quite moving. I suppose even more so for those of us who have survived traumatic events of our own.

Allow yourself to become immersed in the words. If you've lost at love, then you will see where this talented writer is coming from. May you never have to endure such pain.

________________________________________


KINDRED SPIRIT

There are moments when like minds meld,
as parallel thoughts turn perpendicular,
only to collide and dissolve as quickly as they appear.

In this short span of time
expressions slide past tongues and into ears,
with the speed of a spine-tailed swift.

Here, where past transgressions are forgiven,
with the simple spark of a synapse,
or the stroke of a pen.

The probability of finding one kindred spirit
with which to share such painful pleasures,
is almost nonexistent in this life.

But, somewhere while traversing the depths of life’s vast sea,
my soul found in yours,
what yours found in me.


FORGETTING

There was a point where I thought I had forgotten you;

A point where present and past folded into each other like ribbons,

Bending and swirling in the breeze,

A point where time bent into itself,

Overlapping and overwriting as the second hand ticked quickly by.

For a brief moment, synapse and soul rejected my memories of you,

And I felt relief from the ache of the empty place you left behind.

Then, as quickly as I had forgotten the time,

I remembered your hand on your hair,

Your voice in the distance,

The gentle roll of your throaty laugh,

And then,

The moment when it all came crashing to an end was vivid once again.

Somewhere, memories still fold into themselves,

Waxing and waning like the flow of the tide,

Bound inexplicably by a silver thread to the pull of the moon,

Your center,
Your soul,
Your breath,

The part of you I sense when I slumber.

There is no explanation for this strap that tugs me toward you in thought.

Even in sleep, I find no solace.

My earthly eyes may close,

But the visions of your sweet face haunt me,

And always will,

Until memories overlap and overwrite,

And the second hand ticks off the last moment of my time.

5.03.2009

There's Nothing to Forgive

This life is full of unexpected twists and turns. And as we go our way merrily singing our own praise, we sometimes don't recognize the warning signs as we enter a particular turn. If we're not careful we can flip over. My friend is still in the midst of turning, and this is a bit of an update about the journey he finds himself on.

Things are better.

It would appear that things are better for him in that he is reading the signs and, most importantly, obeying them. This has led him to his peace. It has its price of course, this inner peace, and what I am about to describe for you is a portion of another conversation regarding the necessity of being in your own peace before you can attempt to offer any.

Additionally, looking for your own peace or happiness in anything outside of your own self is sure to lead to difficulty. No one and no thing can provide what is inherently ours at the start. It is our recognition that we have the power to choose that makes it easier to find the peace that otherwise seems to elude us.

We choose everything. And what we see in others that we don't like is usually what we have not addressed within our own selves.

My friend and I had just made it through some rough territory about what constitutes grounds for absolute forgiveness (which is everything) when he said the most remarkable thing: "My heart tells me that there is nothing left to forgive. It is as if my perception (meaning ego) is the only thing that attempts to make me think someone did something to hurt me. When I really meditate on it, there's nothing to forgive. That makes it easier."

Turn the other cheek.

It is such a courageous moment when we turn the cheek. We don't do it because we are weak. No. We do it because we have found our own power; the power that is ours alone, and not to be given to others.

But don't give your power away.

Giving ourselves to another is proof that we see within them something we want to contribute to and participate in. That doesn't mean we allow them to have our power. It follows then that allowing another to give themselves openly and honestly to us is to say, "I allow you to be you; warts and all." That is not taking their power. It is simply allowing.

In allowing another person the right to be authentic, we naturally allow the Spirit which is in all things the freedom to provide blessing and energy to the most subtle of interactions between us. Love is naturally expressed through willing participation in the ups and downs of another, and by remaining with them as they grow through it all.

Just Grow up.

It is growth, and the willingness to grow that speaks to our commitment to a given thing. Whether it be a career, a goal, or a relationship, it is all about improving ourselves, and improving how we treat others. When we focus on our personal growth without sacrificing the art of paying attention to the needs of others, we have found the balance that we need to remain at peace in this life.

There is nothing to forgive.

When we remember that love never sees itself offended, life will become joyful instead of difficult. Let us focus on others as we grow up. Let us make peace by being at peace with ourselves.

I love you. -- jb

4.27.2009

The Loneliest Life

"The loneliest life is the life lived unloved."

I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with a dear friend who has been experiencing some turbulence in his personal life. We were just contemplating his potential when he said those words to me. A very intimate and difficult conversation ensued, and this post is a memorialization for those of us who believe Love never fails, or fails to forgive... and forget.

Some of the conversation cannot be repeated for obvious reasons, but here is a piece of the story of the journey of finding one's peace. It is within. There is no sense looking around for it.

To seek after Love is not erroneous thinking, but one should not have to seek that which is abundantly available. No. One is always allowed to receive Love in its purest form in effortless fashion by just being.

When Love seems unavailable it is only an illusion. Life is filled with illusions of great variety, created by fearful thinking and made real by repeating difficult scenarios over and over. Not only am I loved, I am loving. I am lovable just as I am. Imperfections included at no extra charge. Imperfections actually serve to strengthen bonds when given the chance.

Forgiveness allows me to find peace in spite of the appearance of lovelessness. I am a forgiver now. (Formerly a spoiled brat.) It is as if it snuck up on me. I'm really glad it did, for I discovered that fear is not the enemy. It is merely the perceived absence of Love. It is our reminder that love has not been allowed into the situation. I reminded my friend of this, and we shared a silent moment together.

Let Love in.

Forgive the perceived transgression and discover the freedom of letting them off the hook. You will find peace in giving forgiveness. It is the one thing you have to give even if you think there is nothing left to give.

Forgiveness heals.

It is the best prescription for any pain, whether real or perceived. In forgiving I make the conscious decision to let love in and let go of expectations about what happens next. I control nothing except my choices.

I choose love. It feels really good. And feeling good means healing has begun.

My friend's story is not over, and neither is he. He is attempting to re-present himself in a new light. I wish him well. I love him, too.

I love you. -- jb

4.21.2009

Commitment

COMMITMENT is what transforms a promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions. And the actions which speak louder than the words. It is making the time when there is none. Coming through time after time after time, year after year after year. Commitment is the stuff character is made of; the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism." -- Abe Lincoln

Have a great day as you live within your commitment! -- jb



4.12.2009

poem of contrition

the apple of my eye

you are

though I've not shown you that

thus far

instead I've allowed distance

to creep

in between us

as if I was asleep

my heart is broken to pieces

tiny fragments remind me of you

I know it is hard to believe

but I promise it is true

you own my heart you share my soul

without you there's no role

that I care to play

it is fear that's been on display

I have repulsed you

and you've turned away

I am ashamed of myself

for putting

my ego ahead of my love

from this day till the next

one day at a time

with help from inside and above

I will display

my very true and honest self --

until you believe in me again

and until I've won you back

all I can do is wait...

jb

3.09.2009

A New Blog





3.02.2009

What'd You Go And Do That For?

They (the unknown authorities) say that change is inevitable. We either choose to resist that change, or we allow the flow of Life to show us the new thing.

I am staring directly into the eyes of the new thing.

I am not sure what I see, but I know one thing. I have begun to expand my writing to include topics that were not my original intent, and I find that I have allowed my main focus for this blog to move off center.

I have lost focus.

When I began to explore my feelings about exclusion and the act of separation (the verb), I found writing was an outlet that served two purposes. I could voice my opinion of course, which is something I do well. I could also take the opportunity to reflect on the words that came from within me and allow them to be for me.

It has been good therapy.

It is good to reflect and take stock of what we are accomplishing for good as we walk the earth. In my contemplation I have decided that I will begin again with There Is No Them. I will continue to rant and rave here as Jeff Baker (the ego) Talks. God knows I have a need to talk.

At the same time, I am so very conscious of the fact that I live in a world that is hurting, with some on the brink of despair. The situation we find ourselves faced with today resulted specifically because of the egos of the greedy individuals who would rule the world. I still see it in myself. How I pray it were not so.

For those of you who, like me, ultimately see this world as a place of beauty and promise, I will soon provide a link to a blog that is more in tune with what I know I am to speak about. There is no way I can ever look out from these tiring eyes again and see otherness. It is so clear that we are meant to be connected in an intricate and divine fashion.

That we are divided by racial, religious, social, or even geographical lines is the great lie cast upon us, by us.

In our ignorance, we have hurt our brothers and sisters in some name or for some cause. Through anger and revenge we have given the taking of another person's life a certain legitimacy... no matter the reason. It all must end soon.


We must forgive. It is our only hope. See you soon.

Peace -- jb

2.23.2009

There's Only One World

At least as far as we know right now. The point being, we can continue finding fault with them ... the other party, the other religion, even the other denomination or affiliation, OR we can decide to take responsibility for ourselves and start working on solutions to our perceived differences.

There is No Them

The mere thought that we are separate and apart from each other is a root cause for our divisiveness. This world is a splendid place in which to live, and our cooperation and reconciliation with each person we interact with can bring healing and dissolve our illusion of separateness.

What a Wonderful World

Today the sky is a beautiful blue with wispy cirrus clouds drifting lazily by. As I sit and take it all in, I am conscious of the stirring in my own heart for peaceful coexistence with all of Life. I am amazed at the treasures this world offers me and I am grateful for the opportunity to live relatively free from strife. (The wind just picked up as if in agreement.)

What Can I Do?

I have the opportunity to view the world today as it has always been intended to be seen from the start. I can choose today to see them as I wish to be seen. Not as the other, but as one of us. We are One. It may take some effort to get to the point of being in agreement with that statement, however as soon as we change the way we see the world, the world we see will change. Be Peace.

I love you. -- jeff

2.16.2009

How to Avoid Conflict Every Time

There is a very simple step we can take any time we are faced with the potential for conflict. Just one step... We can choose to NOT be offended.

Just. Do. It.

Now, I didn't say this is an easy thing to do. Simple and easy are two different things. Easy implies little or no effort. Simple suggests that little thought should be involved... it just might be difficult to make the choice to do it.

We can make a tremendous contribution to the overall well being of our planet by choosing to avoid fighting. All it really takes is a conscious awareness of the consequences of being part of a dispute, and choosing to be a part of the solution instead.

You Can Do It!

It may not seem natural to offer forgiveness, but who ever said fighting was our nature? Have you ever paid attention to how you feel either during a fight or after? It really isn't a pleasant feeling at all. Make the effort today to see the "other" as anything but the other. See them as equal. Choose to turn the other cheek. It is a sure fire way to avoid conflict. Try it today.

Peace -- jb

2.08.2009

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

I watched a video clip today that was sent to me by my wife. It made me happy. I was quite moved by it, and I decided to share it for no other apparent reason. Of course, there is this tiny hope in me (it's why I blog) that it might move you... too.

In fact, I began to think that if our world leaders would, for just a moment, let go of their fear-based prejudices towards each other, and watch it, it might not seem so out of the ordinary. It might, instead, serve as a model.

Don't walk, don't talk. Do.

Leaders lead, preachers preach and teachers teach. But as you will see in a moment, lessons on love and acceptance (which are finally on the increase) are apt to be illustrated in most any way, by a variety of characters, in just about any place. This case centers around creatures that have discovered a truth of our existence. I suspect that it will move many of you as it did me.

In a word, the video is refreshing. (Someone took the time to tell the world about it.) It is a simple illustration of possibility. The possibility that we, the human race, might set aside the assumed paradigm of "them" or "other," and embrace the cause of peace through the simple act of acceptance.

And. Be. Open.

Many we see are different than we are in some way, and that my friend is a gift from God. If we were all the same, with the same beliefs, the same looks, the same religion, the same, the same, the same, where would the contrast be? Without contrast, without discussions about how variety really is the spice of life, are we able to appreciate? Can we grow if we aren't offered something new to consider? How many people do you know who want to talk about the prospects of lasting peace?

Peace.

It is not just a buzz word. It is an eternal fire burning in the hearts and minds of many of us across the Earth. Our desire is strong, and we know that there is a coming critical mass. A time when enough people will stop being against things, and start being for things. A sudden awareness by the majority will occur that we really are meant to love one another as we love ourselves. It really does work.

Peace. It is not the buzz of the day. A real peace for the entire world will be realized. How much sweeter that we would enjoy the ride, and get there by choice... so we can get there sooner.

Bzzzzz...

Ok. On the first link, let the commercial pass and enjoy. I added the second one so you can see how these two interact in daily life. May your perspective about life on this planet be filled with images such as these:

1. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4696315n

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAN5nf04L2s

Peace and Love. -- jb

2.04.2009

History Starts Now

There is only Now. For every moment in history, there was first the Now. Our past is of no use to us if we ignore It, our future nonexistent without It. We are present within It, as It exists in all that is.

Music Reminds Us

I am a music person. I understand fully the power it possesses and its effect on me. From within the literal ocean of music available today, some songs rise to the top, as if elevated by the very vibration contained within them. There seems to be some kind of special (good and true) intent behind these songs.

Intelligent Artists Spread Peace

At the end of this post is a link (including lyrics) to a song that asks the question: What Kind of World Do You Want? It is written by John Ondrasik of the band Five For Fighting. I like it for many reasons but was reminded tonight by my good friend Kimbo that it is an important song. Many artists today are making great use of their fan base by raising awareness about those things they find worth writing about. (can you bloggers relate?)

What Kind Of World Do You Want?

There is no one who can take responsibility for the world I choose to see. Think. About. It... really stop and give it some headspace. I know life can be very unfair. Things happen to us that no one should have to go through. I understand personally. Yet I can choose to see a better world for me and it IS true. Can I get an amen?

Write History Now

With all the news about our current state of affairs, it can seem difficult to have a hopeful outlook. It is, however, my choice to see it "as it is," or to see it "as I desire it to be." I participate in the vibration of the media if I give in to the illusion of separation, lack, and terror. I create another vibration entirely when I not only pray for peace, but take an active role in offering forgiveness to those who would otherwise view me as one of "them."

Take Responsibility

It has been said that if I want peace, I must truly be at peace. If I, as an individual citizen of planet Earth, take full responsibility for all of my thoughts, words, and actions, the idea of world peace somewhere in the future would become the reality of Now. Put another way, being mindful of the personal responsibility we have at the individual level for the thoughts we think about others... as well as ourselves, can lead to forgiveness, which leads to healing, which leads to all kinds of wonderful things to consider. So...

Think. Good. Thoughts.

Enjoy -- http://www.onlylyrics.com/song.php?id=1003546 -- jeff

1.27.2009

Life Is Good

No matter what you've been told, all is well.

There are many of us who don't believe that statement, and that's a symptom of living in a world that reflects our thoughts back to us. Our thoughts become things. All is well. Think that thought. Just try it for a minute. Life is good.

Think. About. It.

For those of us who realize this absolute truth, freedom has arrived. There is nothing to worry about or fret over. There is nothing to fear. Believe in yourself and remember that you are a pure soul created in perfection. You have been placed exactly where you are to do what you came here to do. You may not know what that is, but it may only be because you haven't asked.

And it is ok to ask the question. It is ok to question period. But hey dude (or dudette), it's your life, you have a say-so in what happens so get up, get out and get on with life. Enjoy where you are... and you don't have to give up on your goals and dreams in the meantime. I have made a discovery that helps me a great deal. Here it is.

Are You Ready?

Decide to accept the life you have and be ok with that. Always have a burning desire for your goals to be realized, but don't miss out on what is going on right now. Enjoy now and tomorrow will reward you with more of life to enjoy. There is plenty of time. Time is an illusion anyway :-O

Love is the only thing that is real.

Make time for love, throw away your watch. -- jb

1.25.2009

How To Begin To Overcome Any Problem

Before you begin to think that this is just another how-to post, think again. Let me state that I never pretend to have the right answer. I have my own experiences to rely on, and in the case of this post, on this night ;) let me just say that I have come to believe that the solution to any and every problem we face already exists within us :O

The Deepest Place

It exists in that place deep within us that is outside of anyone else's absolute knowing. It is indeed a collective place on the level of consciousness, while at the same time remaining that private, inner place that we all possess. Who do you think you've been talking to all this time? Do you get it? Have you thought about it?

Think. About. It.

There is no need to look outward (out there), to look to others for the answers to the questions that you already know the answers to. Be honest with yourself. Think. About. It.

We Don't Need No Drama.

Most of us can see (if we're honest) that we create the drama that permeates our otherwise peaceful existence. We lose it, and sometimes we make things worse than they are. But we can cut the whole crazy process short by consciously choosing to reduce our own need for rightness. We can simply allow everyone to have whatever opinion they have. I want my opinion to mean something. That's ok. You want your opinion to mean something. That's ok, too. I want to be understood. You want to be understood. We want to be understood. It's ok.

Think. About. It.

My God! Just the collective recognition that we all have a voice, and we choose to make things as they are seems to me to be enough reason to get together and see what our collective wisdom can produce in the way of solutions... but we are here to talk about problems not really being problems at all; aren't we? Can we refer to problems, then, as growth opportunities?

Growth Opportunities

How we see ourselves within a given situation is important. It is good to have a healthy view of self before we attempt to overcome something. We don't have to be a mystic or possess the ability to regurgitate the wise words of our favorite sage either. We need only take a moment to be quiet and listen to our own heart. Really listen.

Sit as comfortably as possible and calm your mind. Prayerfully allow the other voices in your mind to dim so you can begin to hear the Voice that is good and true. Don't make fun of this unless you've actually tried it and have a better idea.

God is always speaking, we just don't always listen.

Praying is praying. But there has to be some faith in the prayer. The idea here is to change the way you see the issue you are facing. Don't look at your perceived problem; see the solution. See the truth of your situation. Nothing is hopeless. Everything is possible. Prayerfully and actively visualize the current thing as being the way that would be better for you, and hold that image -- as you see it, not as you have heard it described by others. Believe that it can be the way you see it. Then... let it go.

Let It Go.

Once you let go of it and give it to God, you have sent the clearest possible signal that you are at peace with your current state, and you are ready to get up, get out, and get on with living this wonderful life instead of worrying.

Ask, receive, but for Hope's sake believe. For it is the believing that makes it possible to overcome. We are not alone in this journey. We are never alone.

You Are Never Alone.

Believing is critical to success in overcoming our issues of incompleteness, separation, lack, failure, etc. There is nothing that can stop you when you believe. Believe in yourself. I believe in you. And I love you.

Peace -- jb

1.20.2009

I Am An American

We got a new president today. Did you witness Barack Obama's first speech as our Commander in Chief? I did. I wept. Today I am a hopeful and optimistic American.

I Have Hope.

I guess you could say that I felt hopeful today. I felt the glimmer of a much-missed optimism that our new administration will truly be in tune with the hearts and minds of its people. I do not talk about politics. I am neither Republican nor Democrat. I am an American citizen. I support my president, and today I am a proud and peace-filled American.

America Is Good.

One of the reasons I am so excited about our immediate future is because of the positive international response we are receiving as a result of this historic day. I meet bloggers from all over the world, and the consensus is overwhelmingly in favor of our decision to elect this man, Barack Obama. This is good news for our ailing reputation. Today I am a grateful American.

Barack Obama Is Our President.

Where I live, there is an obviousness to people's fear. Some people I know are concerned that we have elected the wrong man for the job; he is too inexperienced, these are very uncertain times, he sounds good but... I smile because I personally believe he is the man he says he is. I trust him today. My gut tells me to. These late bloomers will also feel the light of hope as soon as they let it go, and let him in. Today I am a confident American.

All Is Well.

My prayer for our nation, our president, and our citizens is one of singular focus. It is a wish of childlike innocence. It is a hope that was once only a longing. My prayer is this: May we experience the Peace of God. May we truly be in that peace, live out that peace, and share that peace with all creatures across the earth. We can change the world if we believe that we can. What do you think?

I love you. -- jb

1.19.2009

Reactor or Creator?

Do you react to things you experience and that is your action, or do you take action and create the life you want?

The Reactor-Type

I got up this morning and as soon as I stepped out of bed I stumped my toe, and fell into the nightstand bruising my leg. It hurt so bad. Everything spiraled from there as I prepared to go to the job I hate just so I can sit and listen to all of the problems of the delinquent occupying the cubicle next to me. He always looks at me like my fly is open. Every time I see him, I want to scream, "Brush your teeth!" He is such a loser.

The Creator Type

I woke this morning from a great night's sleep. As I got out of bed I stumped my toe and then I fell into the nightstand and really whacked my leg. If I didn't know better, I would swear someone moved that thing while I slept... lol. I couldn't wait to get to work so I quickly ignored the pounding in my toe, and just like that I forgot all about the event. I was in a particular hurry to get to work today. You see, there's this new kid in the cubicle next to me. He has had a rough time of it lately, but I really listen to him and we seem to be connecting in some way. He must know that I am being honest in trying to help him. Every time I see him I want to hug him and assure him that all is well. He's such a great kid.

Which Type Am I?

Do I understand the difference? Do I acknowledge that it is in the choosing that I determine whether I am the creator of my reality or the reactor to it? Either way, I choose. I am the one who makes my reality. There is no one to blame when things go bad for me. In fact, as soon as I choose to forgive the imagined offender, I realize that there was never any offense committed against me. It is always my perception.

Rearrange Your Letters

Did you notice that each type makes use of the identical letters? Reactor. Creator. When I rearrange the letters, I see that I could be either one. It is how I choose to arrange the letters that determines the word I use to describe myself. In the same way, when I choose to see the world around me in a different way, the world takes on a different look for me. I choose. It is only I. There is no one that is to blame for anything.

Realize The Truth

To quote a portion of the introduction to A Course in Miracles: "Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God."

Dear friend, put on real eyes, and real-ize the truth of our existence: We are One. We are created in the image of God to be about the business of joining in with what God is doing. And what is God doing? He is waking his children from their slumber, as we are willing, and He is showing us who we really are. (Even while we are breaking our toe.) When you get it, express it, share it. The peace of God is for all people. It is meant to be expressed. In the expressing it is shared, and in our sharing we are creating peace on earth.

One Hope -- Peace. One World -- Now. One Love -- Forever.

We can change the world if we believe that we can. Believe. Be change.

I love you. -- jb