Monday, July 18, 2016

Second Wind - Heaven Board #11

It was de va ju  - the "Second wind at J.H. Ranch" for both Ellen and I with Susan joining me for the couples program at Scott River Lodge.   American Airlines once again created all kinds of stress both going and coming (flight cancellations; flight delays; close connections).  Even the Hertz rental redirect and drop off at different airports resulted in a driving the Chevy Spark (in fact I think that car is so small you could fit three of them in Susan's Tahoe).

Ellen returns on Saturday - her first flight alone.  It will be a Brave Journey for both her and us!  It was only a short year ago that Ellen and I did the Father/Daughter camp (A glimpse of Heaven).  And yes the J.H. Ranch mantra - I heard and I forgot; I saw and I remembered; I did and I understood;  really hit home as all the memories of what Ellen and I experienced flooded back into my heart, soul, and mind.  Now those are combined with the experience that Susan and I shared last week.

It was in the very first session that our facilitators Terri and David Sumlin were able to reach me in the objective:  the oneness of marriage to help demonstrate and teach the Love of God - both infinite and unconditional. This week was more than a glimpse of Heaven - it explored every sense - seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. 



Friday, July 8, 2016

Boston Legal #8

It was my turn to host what has become a fun summer tradition that came about rather spontaneously. It was a GOLDEN SESSION.

There are just times the guys need to convene independently and without female supervision or oversight.  I justified this principal in two ways - first citing Brian Tome's recent book "Five Marks of a Man" and C.S. Lewis's excerpt from "Four Loves".

Long before history began we men have got together apart from the women and done things. We had to.  And to like doing what must be done is a characteristic that has survival value.  We not only had to do the things, we had to talk about them.  We had to  plan the hunt and the battle.  When they were over we had to hold a post mortem and draw conclusions for future use.  We liked this even better.  We ridiculed or punished the cowards and bunglers, we praised the star-performers.  We reveled in technicalities.  In fact, we talked shop.  We enjoyed one another's society greatly: we Braves, we hunters, all bound together by shared skill, shared dangers and hardships, esoteric jokes ---away from the women and children.

What were the women doing meanwhile?  How should I know?  I am a man and never spied on the mysteries of the Bona Dea.  They certainly often had rituals from which men were excluded. ......

This pleasure in co-operation, in talking shop, in mutual respect and understanding of men who daily see one another tested, is biologically valuable.  You may, if you like, regard it as a product of the gregarious instinct... something which is going on at this moment in dozens of ward-rooms, bar-rooms, common-rooms, messes and golf clubs.  I prefer to call it Companionship --- or Clubbableness.

In a perfect Friendship.... each member of the circle feels, in his secret heart, humbled before the rest.  Sometimes he wonders what he is doing there among his betters.  He is lucky beyond desert to be in such company.  Especially when the whole group is together, each bringing out all that is best, wisest, or funniest in all the othersTHOSE ARE THE GOLDEN SESSIONS; when four or five of us after a hard day's walking have come to our inn; when our slippers are on, our feet spread out towards the blaze and our drinks at our elbows; when the whole world, and something beyond the world, opens itself to our minds as we talk; and no one has any claim on or any responsibility for another, but all are Freemen and Equals as if we had first met an hour ago,  while at the same time an Affection mellowed by the years enfolds us.  Life ---- natural life --- has no better gift to give.  Who could have deserved it?
Whether it's Wednesday Guys Tennis, SVP Cincinnati Guys Appendix club, AC Alumni Partner, Friday Morning Men's Bible Study, or Men's Movie night (e.g. War Movies), Vistage (mainly the guys), we Braves can mark ourselves as MEN not BOYS!