Friday, July 31, 2009

The Heart's Code

I just started reading "The Heart's Code" by Paul Pearsall. Before his death in 2007, Dr. Pearsall was a scientist who had come to believe that “the human heart, not the brain, holds the secrets that link body, mind, and spirit.” He believed that the heart has its own intelligence and speaks to us through what he describes as “the heart’s code” and he also believed that our cells have memory. Dr. Pearsall had come to these conclusions through research and clinical studies as well as through his own personal experience of almost dying of cancer. As he was dealing with the illness, he learned how to tap into the healing wisdom of his heart.

So far, I’m finding it a fascinating read and, although I haven’t gotten very far, I’m finding much that’s in agreement with my understanding of the heart. I’ve come to believe God wants us to be led by our hearts and not our heads and that there should be a union between heart and head where the head supports the heart as it leads.

Rather than trying to put what was written into my own words, I’m going to let the book speak for itself by posting a few quotes from it.

“Our ancestors knew that the heart had energy – a powerful energy – and that it conveyed deep wisdom. However, as the human species developed its brain, it began to lose sight of its heart. At this point in history as we venture into space, create global communication, and invent all sorts of technological tools and toys, we are poised to destroy ourselves, our children, and everything around us. Have we simply lost our minds, or have we lost something deeper? Have we lost our hearts?” (Foreword as written by Dr. Gary E. R. Schwartz and Dr. Linda G. S. Russek)

“The Heart’s Code points the way to a new revolution in our thinking. Metaphorically, the heart is the sun, the pulsing, energetic center of our biophysical “solar” system, and the brain is the earth, one of the most important planets in our biophysical system. One implication of the energy cardiology/cardio-energetic revolution is the radical (meaning “root”) idea that energetically, the brain revolves around the heart, not the other way around.” (Foreword)

“An objective of this book is to offer the possibility of putting more heart into our life by learning to quiet the restless, passionate brain so it may listen for the code of the gentler, more loving heart capable of reminding it that it is supposed to not only fulfill a biological evolutionary imperative but also be an instrument for refinement and expression of the soul.” (page 16)

As Dr. Pearsall explained, this science of energy cardiology is still in the beginning stages and has not been fully accepted by all members of the scientific community. However, like Dr. Pearsall, I believe this may be an important first step in the union of the spiritual and the scientific. For years, I have believed that true science will never contradict the truths of God. If there’s a discrepancy, then either the scientific data is being misinterpreted or the spiritual is being misinterpreted. As God has begun speaking to us about the truths of our good and noble heart, it appears that science is moving closer to agreement with that truth.

In the foreword, I found the following quote by Marcel Proust which I think wonderfully describes the journey I’m on. He said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.” I’m thankful that God is giving me new eyes to see what has always been there.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The law and sin

Although I’ve known that the Bible says that the law excites and activates sin, I’ve never understood why. Recently, I was listening to a teaching series by Darin Hufford called The Sin Series. It was then that I finally got my answer. Rather than try to explain, I’ve decided to post a few quotes from the series. As you read, be aware that when Darin speaks of “the beast”, he is using that term to refer to sin.

“The reason sin gets power from the law is because the law is anti-choice.”

“The law overrides choice. It forces you to do the right thing so the beast rises up.”

“The law doesn’t take choice into account. It doesn’t even consider choice.”

“So, when the law comes and takes choice away, the beast rises up and goes crazy.”

“Every time you put yourself under the law, the beast rises.”

By putting ourselves under the law, choice is removed and the desire to rebel begins to grow. In order to maintain control, leaders in a law based religious system will promote fear to stop rebellion among its members hoping that fear of the consequences will be greater than the desire for freedom of choice.

However, in Christ there is an answer.

“Christ gives you a new name which is more powerful than the old one and, if you believe it, it restores to you choice.”

Monday, July 13, 2009

The desires of our hearts

Darin Hufford, in a recent podcast said, “The more you get somebody away from their heart, the more they can be controlled.”

Religion is all about conformity. We’re taught that there’s only one way to do it. Our christian life is all mapped out by a set of rules that we’re expected to follow and our standing in the church is determined by how well we keep the rules. The result is a powerless religion that leaves us shamed and frustrated.

The truth is that Jesus came to set us free from a performance based religion. He came to bring us into a relationship with our Father that is alive and fulfilling and he does this through the desires he places in our hearts.

In religion, we’re taught that the heart is deceitfully wicked. That’s an Old Testament verse that was spoken to a group of believers who didn’t have the life of God in their hearts. Today, Jesus lives in our hearts and we’ve been given a new heart which Jim Robbins describes as our “good and noble hearts.”

Religion has taught us that we can’t trust our hearts. Yet, God wants to lead us through our good and noble hearts. Because of that false teaching, we’ve shut ourselves away from our hearts. The result is that we’ve lost the ability to hear our hearts and to be led by them. Instead, we now depend on external voices to give us direction.

We pore over the Bible looking for a verse that will tell us what to do. We go to church, notebook in hand, hoping the sermon will finally give us the answer we seek. Yet, all the time, the answer is in our hearts but we won’t go there because we’re afraid of being deceived.

For years, that’s how I lived my life. I didn’t even know that I could listen to my heart and I actually didn’t even know how to listen. God is now bringing me to a place where I’m learning to hear my heart and to trust its voice. Teachers like Darin Hufford and Jim Robbins have been instrumental in helping me grow in this area of my life.

I’m currently reading a book entitled “Introvert Power” by Laurie Helgoe. Although the focus of the book is to encourage introverts and to teach us how to live successfully in an extrovert world, I’m finding that the author is also showing me how to tap into and recognize the desires of my heart and to flow with them. This book has taken me to a level of freedom that I’ve only dreamed about.

This has been an exciting journey and, the last few years, God has completely re-shaped my life as a believer. Today, it looks totally different than it used to look. The changes in me have been so dramatic that I’m no longer totally uncomfortable with allowing God to lead me into new and uncharted territory. Years ago, as I started this journey into the unknown, he spoke the following scripture to my heart and today, I’m seeing it fulfilled as I follow the desires of my heart.

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Church of Facebook

My friend and fellow blogger, Chad Estes, has posted a review of a book entitled "The Church of Facebook: How the Wireless Generation is Redefining Community" by Jesse Rice. Since I've found online communities to be a very satisfying way to connect and make new friends, the book sounds like it would be an interesting read.

Chad has done an excellent review so, to check out it out, follow this link.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Good and Noble Heart podcasts

Jim Robbins, author of “Recover Your Good Heart,” hosts a podcast called The Good and Noble Heart and recently he posted two excellent podcasts.

On June 18, he hosted my good friend and fellow blogger, Joel Brueseke of Grace Roots. Joel has a lot of wisdom and insight as he shares about Father’s love and grace. He has also recently started a Grace Roots ning site which is doing well and he shared with Jim his reason for starting this group.

Yesterday, Jim hosted another mutual friend, Darin Hufford of the Free Believers Network. Darin is the author of “The God Honest Truth,” a wonderful book that has been life changing for me. He’s also authored “The Misunderstood God” which will be released November 2.

Darin and Jim “talked about Darin’s new book, how religious thinking (vs. the Gospel) has distorted love, and what it means to be a free believer.” The discussion exposed the lies we've been told about God and replaced them with truth.

I think you’d enjoy both podcasts. To listen to Jim’s conversation with Joel, follow this link. To listen to Jim’s conversation with Darin, follow this link.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Results of a leadership vacuum

I’m involved in several online groups and forums. Some are moderated and some aren’t. Because of recent events on a couple of these groups, I’ve begun to think about leadership and the need for it.

I know that for many of us who are no longer involved in a local church, the thought of leadership brings back some very unpleasant memories. So, before I start sharing my thoughts, let me say that I do NOT agree with the pastoral form of leadership that is used in most institutional churches today. I don’t believe this was the biblical form used by the early church nor was it set in place by the first apostles. Rather than strengthening the church, I believe this form of leadership actually hinders its growth and maturing.

That being said, I think leadership is necessary but should be fluid. The style used will vary and change with the circumstances and I believe the day will come when members of the church will have grown to the point that they will be able to lead themselves. However, if anyone has recently been involved in any online groups, I’m sure you’re aware that many who participate have not developed in self-control and their behavior can become destructive to themselves and to others. For that reason, leadership is still necessary.

However, let me say that I believe the micro-manager style of leadership is NEVER acceptable. A good leader in my opinion should maintain a loose grip over the group and may at times almost seem to disappear into the background. Yet, he will emerge if necessary to deal with issues and to encourage. Then, he will return into the background.

On unmoderated forums, the leader is so far in the background that he almost never emerges and has little influence over how the group functions. That works just fine if the members have matured and are led by love. This style of leadership becomes a problem, however, when the members of the group are not living free and are being controlled by impure motives. In these groups where there is a vacuum in leadership, leadership will ALWAYS emerge. People who are gifted as leaders will naturally begin to move forward and I believe that’s a God ordained flow.

In all of the online groups I’m involved with, I’ve seen this happen. I get excited when I see natural leaders begin to come forward to love and encourage the others. In these healthy groups, it’s not just one person but leadership may move and flow from one person to another to another until the entire group is involved in encouraging and moving the group forward. This is very similar to the V-formation in which geese fly. The geese continually rotate so that each goose take a turn flying in the lead position.

In online groups, the problem usually arises when the group has grown large. Over time, in unmoderated groups, there will eventually arise someone whose natural gift of leadership is tainted by impure motives. They will begin to draw around them an alliance of weaker individuals who will protect and support them. If, at that point the person who has actual authority over the group doesn’t step forward and re-instate order, the group is headed for a takeover. Then, when the takeover is complete, the new leader will rule with an arm of steel to silence anyone who attempts to question them.

We tend to think that spiritual abuse can only take place in an institutional church. However, we need to be aware that spiritual abuse exists outside of the institutional church. It exists whenever a leader forces his own agenda on the group at the expense of the other members. Abusive leaders can infiltrate a home group as well as an online group.

Although the primary purpose of this blog is to share about the life of grace, a secondary purpose is to inform and to encourage those who have been victimized by spiritual abuse. If you believe you’ve been a victim of spiritual abuse, please refer to the resources on my sidebar and don’t be ashamed. There is help and there is freedom available.