Love is a gift from God.
A chemical, spiritual, burst of emotion that is capable of changing our hearts and minds.
Love catapults us into a life that we would otherwise not be capable of living.
"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams," wrote the gifted philosopher Dr. Seuss.
But love is about more than feelings.
Love is also about choices.
John Lennon famously said "All You Need is Love" but I think that can only be true if we are talking about Love that finds form in right and virtuous action.
Our culture tends to be a little flippant about love.
I love these shoes. I love my iPhone 5. I love burritos. That's not what love is.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."
And how did Christ love the church, how did Christ love all of humanity?
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters." (1 John 3:16 NIV)
Jesus showed us love, not as a concept or a feeling but as an action.
He showed us Love IN Action.
Love is sacrificially giving up one's rights, dreams, preferences, ambitions and natural selfishness.
When two people become one, it only works when we prefer the other person over ourselves.
Love is about faithfulness, commitment and friendship.
Some of you are fortunate to have parents who love each other, who are friends, who embody the values of commitment and dedication that are behind every successful marriage.
In a world where we are told to do what feels good and what makes us happy, they have chosen to be faithful.
They have chosen commitment.
And finally, they have chosen to be friends.
There is a Friedrich Nietzsche quote on friendship and marriage, “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”
The best advice I could give today, is after you've built the right foundation and made the most holy of commitments, is to continue to be friends for the rest of your lives.
That's when the pain, the struggle, the challenges transform into the joy, the fun, and the glory.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
I am my wife's biggest fan, that's why I decided to try and do her performance of Over The Rhine's heartbreaking masterpiece "Latter Days" justice by creating a music video from footage on my hard drive. We recorded this song live in our living room.
Monday, May 21, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Along with over 150 ONE volunteers, last week I traveled from Fresno, CA to our nation's capital for this year's ONE Power Summit. There, we had the privilege of learning from leading voices on extreme poverty and an opportunity to collaborate with other activists to produce catalytic action on behalf of the world's poorest people.
Throughout the conference, I was consistently motivated through thoughtful presentations on policy, advocacy and communications. On Monday afternoon, we heard from Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to The President of the United States and Senior Director, National Security Council. Smith spoke about the administration's commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS, eliminating preventable child deaths and ensuring food security for the world's poorest people. Particularly paying attention to the president's Feed The Future initiative, she said "It's our hope that Feed The Future will last for many, many years until the job's done." She thanked ONE for continuing to let the White House know that preserving funding for life saving programs must remain a priority.
The keynote address was delivered by H.E. Ebrahim Rasool, Ambassador of South Africa to the United States. Rasool spoke about the important role that activists, like all of ONE's membership, play in our current global community. "Activists have the ability to imagine a future that hasn't yet arrived," he said. Recalling firsthand the difference that PEPFAR (begun by President George W. Bush) has made in South Africa, Rasool concluded with an appeal to stay the course on fighting HIV/AIDS. He said, "This is not the time to be tired, this is is not the time to retire."
We finished our time together with preparations for Lobby Day, a time when a diverse group made up of professionals, clergy, students, veterans, moms, teachers and more, will head up to Capitol Hill to let our elected officials know that ONE advocates for people whose lives are on the line!