Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Heart - An Organ of Relationship

I've been very slowly reading through "The Heart's Code." This book was written by Dr. Paul Pearsall who, through his study of transplant patients, came to believe that the heart is more than an organ that pumps blood. He believed that the heart has memory and that it, not the brain, is the organ that is meant to determine how we relate to our environment as well as everyone and everything in our environment.

I found it interesting because I see this book, written by a medical doctor, as supporting my understanding that we are meant to be heart people with our brain working to support our heart. Religion has taught us that our hearts are deceitfully wicked and can't be trusted. However, that's an Old Testament teaching which is nowhere taught in the New Testament.

The truth is Jesus died to redeem our hearts so, in this New Testament era, we've been given new hearts which are now a reliable source of guidance. To be quite honest, I'm coming to believe that our new heart is actually the only source of guidance that we've been given since it's are now infused with God's life and Spirit and he can now direct us through its desires and promptings. He may provide other things to confirm those promptings but our source of guidance is now always meant to be our heart.

This book, while written in technical language, has many gems in it that confirm my understanding of the importance of our heart. I believe the following quotes from this book will encourage those who are seeking to once again connect with their good and noble heart.

1) The heart is an organ of connection and seeks interrelationship.

2) The heart seeks lasting connections, abhors disconnection, and cannot laugh when it is losing connection. Research shows that lack of humor and shared laughter is one of the earliest and most predictive signs of a failing relationship.

3) Through its energy, the heart draws other hearts to it and is drawn to other hearts. Unlike the brain's sardonic humor that can drive people away, healthy humor, the kind that leads to strengthened immunity, healing, and cardiovascular health, is "attracting humor" that narrows social distances.

4) The heart enjoys making other hearts "feel good." Healthy humor makes everyone feel better, but the brain's humor is often intended to disparage others to make itself look good.

5) Unlike the brain, the heart knows that it alone cannot be "the mind" but that together with the brain and body it forms a Mind of which it is a key part. By its nature, the heart is a partner seeking to "be a part of" rather than "in charge of." By contrast, the dominating brain's humor is often a "control device" it uses to assume superiority over other brains.

6) The heart loves and uses humor to express love. The brain's humor is often used to express its dislike of another person.

7) When the brain is quieted, the heart is free to laugh.

8) Those moments we are laughing the hardest are likely to be those when we are the most directly tuned in to our heart's code.

9) The word "silly" derives from the Greek "selig" meaning "blessed." There is something sacred in being able to be silly. Cardio-energetics teaches that it is healthy to be childish if childishness means re-enchantment with living and the ability to "get beside our cerebral self" to join hearts joyfully others.

10) The more you find yourself laughing at others, the more likely it is that you are dealing with the brain's code. The more you find yourself laughing with others, the more likely it is that you have tuned in to the heart's code and are receiving one of the most neglected presents our bodily system has to offer--a joyful, happy heart.
The truth about our new hearts has been hidden from us by faulty religious teaching. To learn more about our new hearts, I would suggest reading Jim Robbins' book, "Recover Your Good Heart," and Darin Hufford's new book, "The Misunderstood God."excellent books that wunderstanding the truth

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wild Thing (Not Meant To Be Tamed)

When I did my re-post last night, it was late so I decided to just get it up there. This morning, I realized that Joel from Grace Roots has just recently done a series of posts that speak to the same topic. What he said goes along well with my post, "Wild children of a wild God." As always, Joel has some great insight so to read his posts, follow this link and this link and this link.

I think you'll enjoy what he has to say.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Wild children of a wild God

I posted this in April 2008 and I wanted to bring it back up because I think this is still an important topic for us today.

In one of my previous posts, I said that I had asked Father what it means to be wild in my everyday life. As I thought about this, I realized that I had a picture in my mind of what I thought wild meant. The picture I had was of something that is frenzied, chaotic and out of control.

As I thought about Duma's journey back to the wild, I realized my picture didn't fit what I was seeing take place in his life. Dictionary.com defines wild as "living in a state of nature, not tamed or domesticated." That is what I believe we'll experience as we learn how to live in the wild. It'll be a return to living in our natural state as followers of Christ . . . the way God intended for us to live.

One of the first signs that Duma was returning to his wild state was that he began eating wild food. He wanted meat from an animal that had just been killed. When Xan tried to stop him, Duma snarled at him and Xan drew back. Duma was not going to allow anyone, not even someone he loved, to stop him. Tame food would never satisfy him again. No longer would he be satisfied eating Purina Cat Chow and table food. Only wild food will satisfy a wild cheetah.

When we start our journey back to the wild, we realize that the tame food of religious sermons no longer satisfies. We want the fresh meat of the word that comes directly to us from the Holy Spirit. We want the fresh meat that the Spirit speaks directly into our hearts.

I enjoy watching nature programs on television and I've noticed that wild animals like cheetahs and lions do not live lives of frenzied activity. Instead, their lives are characterized by intentional behavior that is instinctive. Most of their days seem to be spent lying down and enjoying the warmth of the sun. They also spend time grooming their fur. If they're proud parents, part of their day is spent caring for their young. Wildness, as we think of it, is seen only as they pursue their prey, kill it and then eat it. Yet, even this behavior is natural for a cheetah.

To live in the wild means to live in what is our natural state and to do those things that are natural for us. It doesn't mean frenzied, chaotic activity. For Duma, it meant that he would no longer live like a house cat but he would now do the things that are natural for cheetahs to do.

The same is true for us. As we journey back to the wild, we'll give up the artificial world of religion. We'll no longer live lives of programmed behavior being controlled by man's agenda. Instead, we'll be free to follow Jesus wherever he might lead each day. We'll be free to be who we are and to do those things which Father has created us to do.

Others may not understand and it may appear to them as though we're rebellious or heretical. However, this freedom is only an indication that we're living lives that are natural to followers of Christ. Religion may try to put us back in a cage but once we've tasted life in the wild, we'll never be able to go back to the constraints of religion again.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Looking for a safe place

The Bible says that in the latter days people's hearts will fail them because of fear. This has proven to be true as we see fear all around us. Every day, we're bombarded with news telling us about the dangers that await us. Even the church has developed a fortress mentality as it waits for Jesus to sneak us out of this world in the rapture. So, instead of being the light of the world, we see a weak and struggling church which is making very little difference in the world.

This world is a dangerous place and there is much out there that is waiting to snuff the life and light out of the church. I believe that nothing much will change until we become oases of safety, places where people can be refreshed by the love of God. There's a song whose lyrics say, "What the world needs now is love, sweet love." That may sound very clique but it's true. The world is looking for an authentic display of love.

Unfortunately, much of the church has not proven to be places of safety. Even believers struggle to feel loved and accepted. There are exceptions but instead of being oases of love and acceptance, many churches have become places where people receive more wounding. Those who do struggle are made to feel guilty about their struggles.

Guilt is always followed by shame. So, Jesus came to free us from shame because he knew that shame separates us from God. It's not that God turns away from us but, in our shame, we put on our fig leaves and we hide from him. So, we'll never really be free until we can take off the masks of pretense and be who we really are, flaws and all. The church is supposed to be places where we can learn to do this, places where we're loved unconditionally by those who will help us walk through the messes of life to healing and wholeness.

I'm learning that in this life I'll never be perfect but I'm also learning to accept my humanness and that I'm okay the way I am. Those broken areas of my life where I struggle and just can't seem to get it together, I have to leave to God and allow him to bring healing. I believe as we learn to live freely in God's love and to accept ourselves, we'll then be able to accept others. Laying down expectations can be a real challenge but people want to be accepted without any strings attached. I believe it's critical that we become oases of safety where people are not afraid to be real because it's only through living authentically in this world that others will be made whole. As sappy as it may sound, the world really does need love because only where we feel loved do we feel safe enough to be real.

To get a picture of what these safe places look like, I believe these two books may be helpful: "Bo's Cafe" and "The Secret Life of Bees."

You might also want to read my two previous posts about safe places, "A safe place to heal" and "A safe place."