Category Archives: Love

When I’m Anxious I go to my Dad

He calls me his precious precious son. I melt at his words. Some thing peaceful happens inside of me.

I remember as a child going to my Father and climbing onto his lap. Snuggling into his chest I would find a place of security. The cropped picture above is one of my Fathers hand’s wrapped around my 1 year old body. Secure, loved and held.
I have listened to the ‘Father/ Child’ experiences of others and I know that I had something very special, even quite unique. 
My Father died a few years back and I miss his quiet wise presence. Some guidance when asked for and a place to be heard.
Where do I go to now for that sense of being held when the storm of life swirls?
I go to Daddy. My three closest friends are Jesus, Daddy and Spirit (Holy). Each have qualities unique to themselves but are also perfectly complimentary to the other.
Daddy welcomes me home with wide open arms. Swings open the banquet room doors and sits me beside him for the feast. I am loved, fed and curled up on his wide lap.
It’s all consuming, you can’t help but experience his infinite love, and the security it brings.
The love your cocooned in is beyond what your brain can comprehend.
You don’t think, you experience.
It at times is overwhelming, while at other times it’s just being. No agenda, no ulterior motive.
You feel so small and inadequate, but some how when you are there you don’t think about it.
Completely safe.
A never ending oasis in the desert of life.
When you come away you know things you didn’t know before, something has transpired in you without you even knowing. It was beyond your control. It was a gift from Daddy that he knew you needed. He knows your deepest needs, beyond what you know yourself.
Each time you curl up on his lap it’s always a bit different because of the growth you have experienced from the previous time. It gently builds on itself.
How do we find this haven?
I suppose the first and probably the most important step is to come to the reality of need. The wandering son Jesus talks about in Luke 17:11-32 ‘came to his senses’. He wakes up to his need. Rejecting self dependency and self determination he returns home to Daddy.
This my journey. Coming to my senses, returning home, and finding a welcoming respite. Warmth, wisdom and rest.
Where do you go to for your security?
Barry Pearman
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Perfect Love drives out Fear

Our Guest blog is from Robyn Walker, a friend and artist.

The Beatles wrote a song with a very profound chorus that goes like this:

All you need is love
all you need is love
all you need is love, love
Love is all you need.

It really is, but why ?
It’s because Perfect Love drives out fear.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

When anyone is hurt and damaged they have experienced fear.  Some to a greater extent than others.  They want to change.  They don’t want to be this hurt, broken person, but they are scared and their fear binds them and traps them.
They are stuck and they need help from outside of them.
This is what they don’t need :

  • They don’t need self help books, because the help they need can’t come from self.
  • They don’t need people saying we love and care for you, but when these people see the extent of the person’s brokenness they walk away.
  • They don’t need to be treated differently to how other people are treated.
  • They don’t need their faults to be bought up time and time again.
  • They don’t need anything to be done to them to make them more scared than they are already.

What they need is :
Perfect love
The bible doesn’t just say love, it says perfect love.  So what is perfect love and how do we love someone perfectly.
Love is described this way

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

Perfect love means unconditional love.  It is the kind of love that God has for us.
Loving someone perfectly means opening yourself up to God and letting yourself become a channel for God to show his love for someone through you.
It sounds easy but it isn’t.
It means loving someone as they are right there and then, in their brokenness.  It means continuing to love them no matter how angry they are towards you.  It might cost a lot, both emotionally, spiritually, and financially.
It might cost emotionally because you get to share in their brokenness and hear their story and weep with them.
It might cost you spiritually because there is a spiritual battle going on

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

It might make you question your beliefs and your faith over and over again.
It might cost you financially because you have to invest time with this person and they may need money from you sometimes.
So why should we do something so hard.
Because love is the basis of Christianity.  Because Jesus said to love God and to love our neighbour as ourselves is the greatest commandment.
Because Perfect Love is the only sort of love God is talking about when he talks about love.  It’s always completely unconditional.
Because Christianity means sacrifice.
Because if we dare to love someone perfectly we may think we are doing this big thing for the other person, when really what is happening is that God is doing massive things in us and changing us into the people he wants us to be.
All you need is love, love
LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED
Robyn Walker
Image: B.S. Wise Flicker (Creative Commons)

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‘In-to-me-see’ with No Secret Hidden Agenda

I have lots of relationships, we all do. All my relationships have some degree of intimacy (in-to-me-see). In meeting a complete stranger the in-to-me-see level is pretty small. I don’t disclose much at all. I also have people in my life that I am very close to and there is a very high level of in-to-me-see.

All my relationships would fall along this line of vulnerability. I will be most vulnerable and allow in-to-me-see to those people who I feel carry no agenda for me. They have no desire to manipulate, use me or control me for their own self centred needs.

Do you find you have people come to you with a hidden agenda?

They pretend friendship, love and syrup sweetness, when all along they have quite self centred motives. You feel you are being subtlety used for some purpose they have?
Their spirituality still has their relationships being about them rather we.

Any spirituality that does not lead from a self-centered to an other-centered mode of existence is bankrupt.  Brennan Manning

Its a difficult narrow path journey to take our spirituality from being self-centred to other-centred. To have in–to–me-see relationships rather than relationships based upon results and goals achieved.

I will put it to you this way.

In your relationship with the Family – Father, Jesus and Spirit – what is your deepest motivation?

To make your life better, to ease your discomfort in a world of strife. What happens when the Family doesn’t come through on your Christmas wish list? They decide not to be Santa Claus to you.

Does your relationship with the Family have an agenda based on personal comfort? You do so many things for

Jesus surely he should do …….. for you.

What really is your motivation for doing all those saintly Godly things in your Church? To get noticed, to get attention, to guilt others into loving you?

There is a strong motivation in all of us that says ‘If you scratch my back I’ll scratch your back’. I will do something for you if you are going to do something for me. The agenda is very clear, its all about me.

Jesus comes and slaps this motivation in the face.

1 “Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding. 2-4“When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—’playactors’ I call them— treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out. Matthew 6:1-4 (The Message)

Jesus never played the guilt trip card to manipulate people into his agenda.  He never had altar calls with the soft music playing music in the background. He didn’t work the crowd, wanting to be seen with the key players. Yuk, I hate that!

Instead he hung out and had in-to-me-see with those who had nothing to scratch his back with. The lepers, the crippled, the poor.

He was ostracised because of it.

Who do you hang out with and why?

His message was extremely clear and succinct. Three little words.
‘Come, follow me’

Have no agenda but to love.

Stop using and trying to control others to get ahead. They are getting squashed and the Family are not pleased!

What challenges do you face to have a type of relationship with others where they are no hidden agendas?

Barry Pearman
Image: Aussiegail Flicker (Creative Commons)

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Love –The Missing Ingredient in Change

People change when they …
Hurt enough they have to,
Learn enough they want to, and
Receive enough that they are able to.
John Maxwell

A question that bounces around my thought blender is this.


Why does sacrificial and costly love change people?


I know people who are hurting deeply, they carry many unshed tears, yet still go unchanged.


These same people learn about the change needed but still they are stuck. They gather knowledge and insight. They go to counsellor after counsellor, course after course, book after book. Yet they are still stuck in a rut that seems impossible to get out of.


There is one factor that I believe tips the scales to quite dramatic change. Seen it many many times, and I am still puzzled by how it works.


It is the Receiving of Love.


Well that was simple wasn’t it!


But this is not just ordinary love, this is sacrificial love, it costs something.


I think that as Jesus walked this earth people were so drawn to him because every breathe and action spoke sacrificial love. Demons could not handle it, and they still can’t today. Religious legalists just didn’t get it and tried to control him, they still can’t today. But those with tender vulnerable hearts did and allowed it to radically change their lives, and it can still do so today.


If C.S. Lewis had been born before Jesus, then Jesus may well have quoted him – now there’s a thought!


To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. C.S. Lewis


I have met many people who say deep in their hearts ‘I will never let my heart be broken again’ yet deep in their hearts they cry out to be held and valued.


How can we receive a love that tips the scales of change?
  1. Embrace a Jesus story.

Find a Jesus story and become part of that story. Imagine yourself as one of the people in the story.
One of my favourite stories isn’t really a story; it’s a comment about John’s relationship with Jesus. Peter describes John as the one who had ‘leaned back’ on his Jesus’ breast (John 21:20). I wonder what that would feel like?


Listening to the heart beating, feeling his chest rise up and down, smelling …? Live the story over in your mind. Go there repeatedly over a number of days, and even months.


Let Jesus embrace you, let his kisses fall on your head and his gentle firm arms wrap around you, gently pulling you in. What is he saying to you?

  1. Allow someone safe to Embrace you

Now this will probably scare a few of you, especially if you are real religious and are bound by fears, but I believe that in this sterile ‘non contact’ world there are a lot of touch deprived people.


We all need safe touch.


Touch that breaks down barriers of isolation and loneliness.


I wonder what it did for the lepers of Jesus day for him to come and touch them. Those considered ‘unclean’ by all, except by the one who dangerously had a habit of trampling over societies norms. The touch of Jesus softened their fearful hearts, bringing hope and banishing loneliness.


Love circled down like a lighting bolt to the core of their pain.


Perhaps love breaks down the self sufficient strategy that I can change on my own, that I don’t need anyone else to help me.


We were created by the perfect community – Daddy, Jesus & Spirit – where self giving love is the dominant theme, so isn’t it obvious that we are also called to be like this with others? It’s in our image bearing DNA.


What do you think?
  • What examples can you think of when you have ‘Received enough’ to change?
  • How have you given costly love to others, empowering them to change?


Barry Pearman

Who do you let into your World?

The rattle of the security chain behind the door told me a lot about the person behind it before I saw them. The door opened a crack and two eyes warily peered through looking at me.

Who do you let into your world?

I learnt a new term this week from the good people at Like Minds Like Mine in their newsletter.

Nimbyism is a term that applies to views based on unjustified fear, as opposed to facts.  Nimby is an acronym for ‘Not In My Backyard’ and refers to the discrimination against people that experience mental illness in relation to finding a place to live.

It got me thinking about who I let into my private world and who expects to be part of my private world without my permission?

I was really surprised years ago when I started worked in Mental Health when one of the people I was supporting just opened up and told me some of her most private health issues.

She was a wide open door. She had been asked questions by so many health professionals and others, over the years, that she really had no private world any more. Every one knew and every one shared.

How would you like that!

Them and Us. There are ‘Them’ that are on the outside of ‘Us’.

The ‘Us’ hold the power. They have the money power, the knowledge power, the word power ( the ability to form a powerful argument), and the decision making power where decisions are made without taking the persons opinion into consultation.

This is disempowering abuse and it has to stop.

In thinking about Jesus and the people in his world, there were, and still are, four types of people.

1. The Spectators – these were the people who watched him. Comfortable at a distance, enjoying the show while it was entertaining to them. ‘Heal me, do what I need, meet my self – centred needs’. This relationship is all about ‘me’ rather than ‘we’.

2. The Supporters – these were the people that walked with him. They got out of the grandstand and walked with him, town to town, dust under the toe nails. They knew Jesus, still a little unsure about him, but they followed. Its ‘we’ but still with a security chain across the door.

3. The Select – these were the people that wrestled with what Jesus was all about. They allowed the teaching of Jesus to truly play havoc with their private worlds. The 12 disciples were amongst them, so were Mary and other women probably not mentioned. They were the select. The Door was open and they welcomed him in.

4. The Sufferers –these few wept with Jesus. They were with him in the toughest of times. They were soul partners, they bore in themselves the very pain and joy of what Jesus was going through. The truest of friends need not words, they just know. There was no ‘me’ it was totally ‘we’.

All were spectators and observed, but it was the degree to which they were willing to suffer alongside Jesus, to leave their nets, to give up all, to experience complete vulnerability themselves.Reality check for us.

Not everyone is going to be your bosom buddy! 

There is just not enough room on your chest or theirs to accommodate the whole world.

Some of those who want to be bosom buddies with you may well be wolves dressed as lambs. Be careful who you let near your heart for they may well rip a fatal chunk out of it.

We no longer live in Eden. We no longer have a safe garden where all relationships are pure, intimate and safe.

There is a God given, inbuilt desire, for deep intimate relationship within in everyone. Yes its there, deny it if you like, but it is there.

Relational intimacy is a gift learnt through experiences of risk, reaction and repair. We take a risk and share what’s truly on our heart. We get a reaction either positive or negative, and then we if want to develop this relationship to a deeper place there is a repair. A mutuality is discovered where ‘I’ is now ‘We’.

True conversation always puts the conversant’s at risk, because you cannot truly converse without the risk of conversion’.[1]
Questions to consider and leave a comment

  • Who do you let into your World? 
  • Why are relationships risky?
  • What sort of relationship do you have with Jesus?

Barry Pearman
Image: Home Depot


[1] Lee Bernard J., Cowan Michael A. Gathered and sent: the mission of small church communities today. (New York: Paulist Press, 2003, 12.)