Monday, February 19, 2018

The Passion of the Cut Sleeve


Chinese emperor Ai of Han, fell in love with a minor official, a man named Dong Xian, and bestowed upon him great political power and a magnificent palace. Legend has it that one day while the two men were sleeping in the same bed, the emperor was roused from his sleep by pressing business. Dong Xian had fallen asleep across the emperor’s robe, but rather than awaken his peaceful lover, the Emperor cut his robe free at the sleeve. Thus “the passion of the cut sleeve” became a euphemism for same-sex love in China. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Our Own Fruit


Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers, but the root of the righteous bears fruit. (ESV) (Proverbs 12:12)

Thieves are jealous of each other's loot, but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit. (NLT) (Proverbs 12:12 ) 

Do you ever find yourself envious of other people? It is only natural, everyone does, it's part of being human. Watching the Olympics, I envy a lot of these athletes: their stamina, their strength, their beauty, etc. However, we don't have to act on our feelings. While we can’t steal these things from the athletes, we can and often find other flaws in people to make ourselves feel better. This verse tells us that with being strong in our faith comes the ability to create our own fruit! Of course, this is done through God. If we are to be envious, envy someone for their faith and emulate that. We can work hard to have better bodies and work on our own strengths. But how awesome to know we can rise above thieves, who only steal from each other, and instead can glorify God with creating fruit. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Sleeping In



I have to work this Saturday, so I am off today. I plan to sleep in and take it easy. I actually got to stay up and watch the Olympics last night. I wanted to see the men's figure skating. I always love watching the men. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Winter Olympics


Each night when I turn in the Olympics, my eyelids grow heavy and I fall asleep. I end up watching them the next day because I have been recording them. It's not that I find them boring, I just can't seem to stay awake.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentines Day


Well, it's Valentines Day, and once again I am single with no prospects in sight. I know most people like to have chocolate on Valentines Day, but I personally have never been that big of a chocolate fan unless it contains caramel or peanut butter. I'd much rather have fruit flavored candy. I know that puts me in the weird category, but I like fruity candy better than chocolate. Well, I doubt I will get either today as it will just be another day at work. I hope all of you have a wonderful and loving day, and if you have a significant other realize how blessed you are.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

How Do I Love Thee?


How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

What is more appropriate for the day before Valentine's Day than this beautiful love sonnet. It's one of my favorite poems and was first published by Elizabeth Barrett Browning in her book Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850). Most critics agree that Barrett Browning wrote the sonnets, not as an abstract literary exercise, but as a personal declaration of love to her husband, Robert Browning (who was also an important Victorian poet). Perhaps the intimate origin of the sonnets is what led Barrett Browning to create an imaginary foreign origin for them. But whatever the original motives behind their composition and presentation, many of the sonnets immediately became famous, establishing Barrett Browning as an important poet through the 19th and 20th centuries. Phrases from Barrett Browning's sonnets, especially "How do I love thee?," have entered everyday conversation, becoming standard figures of speech even for people who have never read her poetry.

I wanted to post this poem for all those I love, including my wonderful readers. I think my favorite part of this poem is "if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death." How wonderful is that line. We know all things will be greater in heaven than on earth, so to be able to love better after death implies to me that the love in life is as great a love as can be imagined. Only in heaven could it be greater. That's a powerful statement of love. I have family and friends whom I love with all of my heart, and I hope one day I will find love in a romantic way. If you have found that kind of love, I admire you and am jealous. If you haven't, then I hope you too will find it someday.

For those like me who are single on Valentine's Day, it can seem so lonely, but there is one thing I have learned over the years: you must love yourself. Before you can truly love someone else, you have to first love yourself. If there are things about yourself you don't love, you will never allow yourself to be loved in the way we all deserve to be loved. So love yourself, and allow yourself to be loved, too. To ultimately answer Browning's question, "How do I love thee?" I must love myself first so I can love you more.