“Bucket List” The Rules…..I’m Doing Me Right Now
June 4, 2015

It was December 15, 2007 when the Hollywood blockbuster “Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman hit the world by storm.  The movie cost about $45 million to produce and brought in over $175 million dollars.  The primary plot centered around two terminally ill patients who with nothing to loose deciding to toss restraint to the wind and go out with a bang by doing anything and everything they had always wanted to do but had not yet completed.

Bucket list poster.jpg

Recently an American was on a safari through a lions park where signs in large print were posted warning those driving through the park to keep the vehicle windows up at all times.  For some strange reason according to tour guides in the park people will ignore the verbal and written cautions as if they have nothing to loose and are saying to the world around them “Bucket”.

ABC News recently posted the following regarding the lion incident:

The park where the mauling occurred allows lions to roam while tourists drive through the preserve. A park official said that although visitors are ordered to keep their windows closed, the woman was taking pictures through an open window when the lioness lunged. The vehicle’s driver, believed to be a local tour operator, was also injured and was hospitalized.

South African media have reported that an Australian tourist was bitten by a lion earlier this year while driving through the park with his windows open and a teenager who tried to cut through the park on a bicycle was attacked by a cheetah.

The park official said the lioness would not be killed, but was kept away from tourists after the attack.

Most recently near Jackson, Mississippi a family attending the high school graduation ceremony of a loved one made a decision to ignore the directives of the school district to wait until the end of the awarding of diplomas before cheering and applauding in order for all students to be able to not only hear their name called but to maintain a certain dignity for the commencement ceremony.  A family came to the decision to “Bucket” the schools request and live, celebrate and call out the name of their loved one as if this would be the final commencement they would every attend.

http://news.yahoo.com/video/mississippi-family-members-charged-cheering-225635150.html

Boundaries, regulations, expectations and rules are often in place to protect not only an individual but also the specific institution or environment as well.  The Old Testament nation of Israel continually found themselves in danger and were constantly faced with grief and death because of their decision to “Bucket” many of Gods boundaries, regulations and expectations that were in place to keep them safe.

Deuteronomy 12:8 Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.

At some point our country, our communities, our families and our churches must accept the reality that putting laws on a “Bucket List” will destroy the very fabric of this world as God intended.

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How Intimate Is Your Intimacy?
March 12, 2013

Have you filled out a document and responded to the inquiry about your sex as “yes” or “no”?  Of course not.  Sex isn’t the same as intimacy.  Sex has more to do with gender than it does about intercourse.  In fact in the underground world of prostitution and call girls and pornography intimacy is the key missing ingredient that allows the females and males who have chosen such a lifestyle to engage in it without any sense of attachment or bonding to the people they engage.  

According to Erik Erikson’s Stages of Development, Intimacy vs. Isolation is the sixth stage of the eight stages of healthy psychosocial development.  Intimacy which is stage six typically occurs between the ages of 18 to about age 30.  Intimacy is the ability to allow oneself to become completely close to others with one’s spirit, soul, and body.  Intimacy at such a level involves risk taking, trust, and being vulnerable.  By age’s 18 to 30 one should be more secure in who they are and less concerned about being accepted or of value.  Intimacy requires one to posses an inner clarity of self that empowers one with a high capacity of assurance of being entrusted into the hearts of those they are in relationships with.  Erikson on the other hand cautioned about isolation in stage six.  Erikson believes that isolation is actually a manifestation of loneliness and stages one through 5 exclusion from love, friendship, community and long term relationships.  Erikson argues in the absence of intimacy an inner hateful spirit develops which in reality is an overcompensation for being lonely inside one’s spirit.  

Intimacy Must Be Preceded By:

1.  Hope – Trust

2.  Will – Autonomy

3.  Purpose – Initiative 

4.  Competence – Industry 

5.  Fidelity – Identity

6.  Love – Which is Intimacy

Now let us take a closer look at intimacy through the lens of love.  In order for healthy love to be present in one’s intimacy none of the previous steps can be skipped.  Intimacy requires the ability to trust self in the emotions of others.  Intimacy requires the ability to be determined to reach forward not because of others but rather because of the value of who one is in the eyes of their creator.  Intimacy requires the ability to have a clarity of purpose for living each in the richness of one’s calling.  Intimacy requires the ability to development a spirit of competence based socially, spiritually, and family healthy morals.  Intimacy requires the ability to possess within one’s self a spirit of loyalty to healthy others which becomes the permanent identification of character.  All of the foregoing requirements will more naturally result in long lasting and comfortable closeness in genuine love which is intimacy.

Have stages leading to true intimacy been disrupted in your life?  What do you think can be done to repair any phase or phases that are incomplete?