Thursday, October 31, 2013

I'm not a Cat. Are you a Cat? (Musing)

Musing about felines.

They say cats are like dogs. No, that's not what they say.

Cat's are finicky. Cats are particular about who they like. The plural they, walking amongst others they may or may not know, ready to strike if they like.

The cats, they like when you feed them, and they might like when you pet them, today. They might also scratch you if you pet them on a day they don't like to be pet. They also (generally speaking, mind you), are quite indifferent towards you, when you don't do what they like. If that cat was bigger, it would eat you, rather than waiting to be fed.

They say cats are like women, or women are like cats.

I know dogs operate differently.
They like you if you're nice. They're loyal if they have reason to be.
Sometimes they like everyone who comes by, because that's just who they are.
They're pretty stable as far as mood, unless you really push their buttons (yea, the big red button in plain sight!).

They say women are cats, and men are dogs.

Who's they?

I'm not a cat.

Are you a cat? If you want to, you can make friends with dogs.

What kind of cat are you?

I'm not a cat.
Does this invariably make me a dog?

Are people animals, and are genders that easily defined?

I think not.

Although, I don't understand cats, and I love my pup!

I'm not a cat person, but if you're a cat, you can change my mind.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


What is discipleship?

Is it following a leader in whose teachings you believe or with which you are in agreement? Is it emulating the leader of whom you are the disciple?  What does emulating their ways, their actions, their way of thinking look like?

If you emulate a leader, then you aim to think like that leader, as if you were them, moving the way they moved, as if it were you that believed what they do (it would be you believing). Wouldn't you then believe what they say, since you would (ideally) say the same? Would you repeat the words and have the mindset of a leader who is misguided, misleads others, speaks untruths, and has a god-complex? Hopefully not.

I think what this means is that an individual has one choice, whether to believe, when it comes to Jesus in particular. If he's a great leader, a visionary, a good man; if one leaves it at that, and concludes he's not the son of God (one in purpose, thus one in mindset; God & his will in fleshly form, with and of his purpose), then he must be a false teacher or witness. If he claims he is essentially one with God (because he lives his purpose and he has his mindset - he emulates his essence), and if it's not true, then there's no point in believing the other things he says. Why choose to believe parts of what a liar teaches?

Jesus was a great leader, a compassionate man, and an amazing & pure example of how to love; he lived life showing us how to love others, and how to live life while honoring God. Even those scholars who don't believe in Jesus as more than a man, and/or don't believe in God (or they aren't sure), they believe in Jesus' legitimate existence based in historical fact. This is because Jesus, like all other historical figures, leaves behind witnesses and places that fit into the timeline he was there. This is the same as others who's lives are recorded.

So, because he existed, then I think it's worth examining what he said, and deciding whether he lives a good life, one of an honest person. Whether the fruit that he bore was good, and according to his teachings. I think it's worth deciding, whether he's teaching truth or lies.

Then, if he's truthful, if one judges his life to be good and noble, then what did he say?
If we believe what he said, and how he lived to be good, and we want to live like him, then we must also learn to think like him. This brings us to a place, where we examine ourselves, what we believe, what we want to believe, and what inevitably we must believe if we believe him.

If we decide his life is worth following, and his attitude worth emulating, then we are his disciples. Teaching his ways is part of discipleship; living his life is part of being his discipleship.

Discipleship today looks like a person living a life that looks the life Jesus would live in todays world. I don't know many of us who can do that every day. But I do know it's worth doing our best, and aspiring to it. I do know that being his disciple means standing out, being different, and realizing that he offers simply a better way of doing things. He does this in a way that welcomes others, doesn't alienate them, gently corrects and shows what's good and better. He does this not by beating others down, or telling them they're bad, but by being different and living different, and inviting them to join him.

Discipleship is living in today's world, and doing it differently. Loving others, and never stopping.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Family is for fun, and friends are forever.

Maybe it's not true, but it'd be an interesting approach. What if we treated our family (and closest friends) like we didn't necessarily just expect them to be there forever? What if we treated our friends or our acquaintances like they mattered; like they weren't just convenient or only good for fun. What if...when we related to our families, engaging with them just for fun, it changed the dynamic?

Try it out on a stranger. It might be easier, safer, when no one you know is watching. When you're not as vulnerable to the feelings that a close one can bring out, upon their impending rejection of you (or your thoughts or ideas).

Wait for someone to walk by, and then say hello. Now say hello, to the next person, and the next, until you count 20 people. Did it change you, even for a minute? (You thought it would be about their reaction, didn't you?) What did it do for you, inside you?

The next task might be only for those a bit more brave. Come on, you're brave!
Stand in the same place, or pick somewhere new. It doesn't matter. Tell people to have a wonderful day. Smile at them. Keep smiling, even if they look at you funny. Do that with 20 people again.

How do you feel?
Experience your feelings.
Think about them, and where your confidence comes from, or where it is not present.
Would only their responses change your feelings, or can you change them, by perceiving things differently. Think about the different thoughts you might have, or prejudgments, about why someone might be saying hello to you, if the roles were reversed, If you were the passerby.

Lastly, pick a place to sit; a public place.
Talk to one random person. Say hello. Ask them how they are. Find something nice to say, something encouraging or complimentary (if it's true).
Take note of how they react. Take note of how you react.

Go home (or to your immediate family member's home). Ask them how they are. Say hello. Say something encouraging. Show up just to have fun. Go somewhere. Listen. Laugh. Treat them like friends. Maybe they'll be fun.

Go to your friends. Pick a few, with good hearts; maybe ones you haven't been close to, but have fun with. Tell them they matter. Ask how they are. Find something nice to say. Maybe they'll be family forever.

Go to a stranger. Ask them how they are. Tell them they're worth something. Find something nice to say. (Rescue Missions, Retirement Homes, Orphanages, Cancer Hospitals - these are great places to find these people.) Maybe these people will become friends.
(*Caveat: sometimes this invites insult or injury. Don't let a few bad seeds get you to throw away the whole fruit.)

How are you feeling? I hope we can become friends. I know you're worth something, and I hope you have people who tell you so. If not, start with telling them. Sometimes breaking the ice is the hardest thing.

Good luck!!!!