Open Wide Your Heart…


heart openUs human beings have this uncanny approach to life whereby we tend to acclimatize ourselves to our surroundings and habituate a large portion of our existence. When we were young, everything was new and exciting. There was a whole world out there to explore and we looked forward with excited anticipation to where we might find our place in the world. Then life happened and we stopped looking. We traded in our thirst for adventure for the familiar and the well known. As the years passed, unbeknownst to us, we began to put limits on our options and settled in for the mundane. We became slaves to our habits and developed a fixed mindset; a mindset that has little space for the unfamiliar, leaving us with a little too much familiar. The days became longer and longer and our new activities became less and less. Our quest for learning slowed to a standstill and much less our capacity for spontaneity. We just go too old and too afraid of the unknown. In this we closed our hearts off to life and suffered as a result of it. Life was never meant to be endured or survived, but rather a place for endless learning and new adventures. The reason we lost track of that life is because we let our hearts get hard, closed off from the true experience of living. Life never changed, we did. Open wide your hearts!

Living life absent the truth of God’s Word subjects our hearts to a host of wrong ideas, fears and hurts. In defense, or in an attempt at defense or self preservation, we learned to close off our hearts. The world can be a scary place and an open heart feels vulnerable and subject to pain. That same world taught us to harden our hearts, to lessen risk wherever possible and to play it safe. We were told to content ourselves with the mediocre and be thankful simply to be alive as opposed to really living. We thought we were getting wiser, but in actuality were being talked out of life. One by one our happinesses and enjoyments were curtailed in favor of the responsible existence. The messages, “watch out now” “be careful” and “be safe” became our new mantra. Young folks rarely make such statements as the world has not yet convinced them of the danger in everything. And while being reckless has its own painful lessons, adhering to nothingness is even worse. How do you get to the place where you go to work for someone else’s dream, exert your energy for that dream, then come home, go to bed and wake up to do it all over again? You can’t do anything fun on a weeknight because it is a weeknight. God forbid you go to work a little sleepy. Any fun that there is, is reserved for a few hours on the weekend. There’s not a category of life that hasn’t been diminished by some expert or had its dangers extolled and repeated. In this people cease to live and end up enduring the hours of their remaining life. 

The culprit most famous for closing hearts is always fear. Fear closes off all the outlets until all that is left is you stuck inside alone. One by one, fear takes something from you until you have nothing left. Fear steals your fun, your thirst for life, your love of learning, your energy, your time, your enthusiasm and your health. Fear always limits your options. Fear makes you choose three things instead of a hundred things. Fear sets your prosperity limits and your means to enjoy your life. Fear makes you poor both metaphorically and literally. Fear is behind the boredom you endure because it talked you into what you can and cannot do, always emphasizing what you cannot do! In a life so full and rich, with so much infinite variety of experience, there is always, always so much more. You don’t see it nor can you experience it because of your fear. Open wide your heart by getting rid of fear. 

The only way to life is to seek out the Author of Life. Don’t waste your time with religion or any practice that always aims at you and your imperfections. Instead seek Him who is perfect. Seek the very source of life and experience. And in order to find Him, though He be not very far from any one of us, you have to open your heart. You have to be willing to learn something new. You have to be just as willing to unlearn that great edifice of error that has been built into your mind. You have to rid yourself of fear with all that you are. You have to learn a new and a living way. Every one of your lost pleasures and your lost treasures can be found in Him. He knows the person you really are and all that He put into your heart to do. You have a purpose and your life has meaning, deep rich, enduring meaning. There is vastly more life to live than you have days left to live. You just have not yet been able to see it. What questions have long plagued your heart? What things do you so desperately need? What needs His restoration and healing power? Riches and honor are in His left hand and in His right hand, pleasures forevermore. Open wide your heart. 

The path to the life you wish to live runs through your heart. Open it back up again and let it heal. Give out that love and kindness you have inside and don’t reserve it only for the little ones. Be a wave of warmth and goodness to the people you meet and let your light shine. Be lavish in your praise and hearty in your approbation. (Thanks Dale Carnegie). Be the goodness you want to see in the world. Be the person, hurting people need the most and be it with your whole heart. All that you could have ever wished for in your life will come through your open heart. Open wide your heart…

Just some good thoughts. 

Enjoy the Life that is Now!


When God invented life, He intended for it to be a time of happiness, blessings and delight. In His original creation, man and woman had unlimited access to all that God created and He created it all for them. There was no pain, no sorrow, no sadness, no sickness and no death. There was no disruption in God’s provision for his precious people and everything they touched turned to gold. Then, something happened. Evil found a way to gain access to man’s heart, deceived and tricked them and eventually took away all of the rights God originally gave to man. From that fateful day forward, unto this very day, the creation continues to function in a disrupted, decaying state. Evil’s involvement resulted in pain, sorrow, sadness, sickness and eventually death. This is the life people live today. Instead of rejoicing in the experience of life, people settle for survival, unfamiliar with any alternative way to live. Enjoying and rejoicing in life doesn’t appear to be an option except for fleeting periods of happiness destined to return to the old familiar misery. Yet it is not necessary to live this way any longer. There is a life available to you that encompasses all that you could have ever imagined. It is the life God gave you to enjoy.

Jesus Christ lived God’s Word perfectly in a world subjected to evil the same way it is today. Jesus had no sin in his blood and by his freewill choices, never sinned or broke his unity with God. He obeyed God’s Word for mankind perfectly, a feat no other man had ever been able to do. And when he freely gave up his life for mankind, despite being the innocent blood, he paid the price for everything that was ever flawed or corrupted in you and me. By his sacrifice, he gave back to mankind everything mankind had lost when evil entered the creation. Once a person decides to accept his sacrifice by making him Lord in their lives and believing that God raised him from the dead, they become born again and receive God’s spirit inside, forever setting them free from the claims of sin and evil. From that day forward, the believer has the capacity to live the enjoyable and blessed life God originally had in mind for His people.

So you may ask, why am I telling you these things? I’m telling you this because people have been living far, far below par. People spend their entire lives in the grips of fear and uncertainty. Folks over occupy their minds with sin and condemnation, guilt and shame, all of which has been throughly purged by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. When Jesus said, “it is finished” just before he gave up his life, he meant it. What was finished forever was any need on your part to try and earn God’s love, protection and care. Good people work hard to be worthy before God and it’s a futile work. God made you worthy in the life of His son. Trying to do it on your own simply crucifies the son of God afresh. People have so many, many unmet needs but are afraid to go to the One who promised to supply all of their needs. Folks walk around with anxiety about everything. It’s no wonder they aren’t enjoying the life that is now. You are never going to be able to really enjoy your life until you let God be God and you content yourself with being you. Honestly, what problem have you ever been able to solve with all of your worry and fret? What guarantees do you have in your life outside of God? God never intended for you to live that way. The only way to enjoy your life, I mean really enjoy the experience of it, is to let God do the things He promised to do and you to simply keep yourself in a space to receive it. It is never more complicated than that. The real complication and perplexity in life comes from evil, masterfully manipulating people’s minds in a corrupted, broken and sad world. Endless causes. Ceaseless distractions. Perpetual shifting away people’s focus from God to everything else supposedly going on in the world. As if men that God made can band together and fix something God made. You are missing the enjoyable, blessed life.

And, here is the ultimate irony of the whole thing. You can have this life God promises right now in your day to day existence if you only knew it. It is already here for you to live. It has already been done for you. Your job simply is to accept it. Once you accept it and learn to trust God, you can start enjoying your life like a five-year old does at her birthday party. Like when you were a youngster, you can put your focus back on enjoying things instead of killing your joy with worry and concern. You can finally stop over thinking everything and for God’s sake (literally) let stuff go. You can open your heart and have fun in life. You can be vulnerable. You can share the love you have been burying inside. You can be perfectly imperfect. You can be flawed yet tremendous. You can be any damn thing you want to be because God has already covered you forever. Don’t you see it? You can stop waiting to exhale and rejoice in the life you get to live. Rejoice in it. Live it. Experience it. Prove it. Test it. You no longer have to be worried about what God thinks, He tells you what He thinks in His word and when it comes to you, it’s all good! So live your life now. Enjoy the life that is now. Rejoice and treasure the life that is right now. You owe it to the God that did so much for you to experience it. God ain’t mad at ya and neither am I!

Enjoy the life that is now…

Just some good thoughts….

Getting Outside of your Own Head…


get-out-of-your-head-540Your life was meant to be lived, not analyzed. The best parts of your earthly sojourn lie beyond your capability to find them out. Love and God (which are synonymous), compassion, tenderness, kindness, peace, and joy all are experienced in your heart, not just inside your head.  Inside your head rests that great mechanism for analysis, which, if left to its own devices, will wear your ass out! So, at certain times, it is necessary to get outside of your own head…

The sphere we occupy has become a frenetic jumble of information doled out to an increasingly thirsty world obsessed with more and more gulps of information. We’ve lost the ability to just sit with ourselves absent electronic entertainment. We’re like the perpetual flicker of the television image, flashing from thing to thing in an ultra-passive state of inactivity! We wonder why we can’t sleep at night or sit for an hour with absolutely nothing to do. It’s a tuberculosis of thought minus the cough. We’re troubled and endeavor to think ourselves out of our troubles with a troubled and overloaded mind. It never dawns on us that the solution to our problem is found in our revery; in our quiet moments of clear thought. Yet onward we march down a road with a thousand forks, each promising a better existence; a nicer life.

It’s no wonder that a chance return to nature softens our harried outlook and delivers rest to our weary souls. In God’s creation we are as we were meant to be. We stand naked before the expanse of vegetation appearing random yet carefully placed. The innumerable trees ask for nothing but for our thoughtful observation. The majestic mountains with their symmetrical yet asymmetrical peaks or the shimmering sun lowering itself onto the gray, bubbly ocean speak to us in words we cannot form. They abhor our analysis and seek only to be enjoyed. All of life follows this sublime, experiential effect.

There is, of course, a time for our analytical thought, but that time has an end point. Otherwise we remain at work; a different work without break or lunch or shift’s end. We imagine we are accomplishing so much, but like the machine that runs around the clock, we finally seize and die. Our tasks have no conclusion, our thoughts never rest. Yet it is in rest and inactivity that we recharge. When we recognize, at last, that there is nothing we so urgently have to do, that we are finally free to accomplish.

It’s by no mistake that we feel the ever pressing urge to recognize the danger that may come our way, but our minds are too hurried to discern the real signs. We run from this and hide from that, never seeing what we were meant to see, but instead seeing everything else. We have an ideal that we fantasize, yet cannot reach it amidst the clamor! We want to love and be loved but have no time for it. We seek for peace but look for it in gigabytes of electronic mumbo-jumbo. We promise ourselves a rest after the yard is done, the meat is cooked, the house is cleaned and the final tasks have been wrapped up. Yet, to our dismay there is always another task, another job, another beckon for our immediate, rapt attention.

The most profound example is found in our children, who are really younger forms of ourselves before the information got to us. They have not yet lost the ability to turn on and off their thoughts in the spur of the moment. They can be engrossed in the Xbox one moment and lost in the fun of the playground the next. They are sure of what pleases them and pursue it wholeheartedly without worry or fear of some pending doom in the future. They don’t seek to arduously analyze their trouble, they simply ask for help. They haven’t yet falsely assumed that it is their lot in life to know everything that is going on at every particular moment. They simply exist with a joyful, exuberant confidence that they are always going to be okay. They have no factual basis for their belief, they choose rather simply to believe.

When you find yourself trapped in your own head, buzzing about from thought to thought, give whatever is eating away at you to God. Toss it away from yourself like you do when you accidentally discover you’ve grabbed something you’re not supposed to touch. The grasshopper that lights on your arm with his prickly feet and his foreboding tobacco filled tongue, must not be run through your high-powered processor, but clutched and discarded with all vigor! (smile) Neither would you spend an hour pondering why he chose to land on you. You simply dismiss the thought and return him to his natural habitat. You, being solely responsible for you, must also always seek to be returned to your rightful habitat.

Get outside of the confines of your own woefully limited thinking and look up or outside of yourself. Stop dwelling and rehearsing and ruminating and move on. How many of us have laid paralyzed in the morning, unable to sleep while being haunted by the possible disasters of the day, after finally deciding to get up, are immediately encouraged and blessed by the sanity of real experience? We look back upon our waking fits with a sort of embarrassment and shame. Getting up simply got us out of our own heads and worries and fears. So get up from the frightful, illogical horrors of your own mind and live. Get out there and see what is all around you. Know that wherever you are, God is there and that there’s nothing too big for Him!

The information age has certainly taken its toll on us, but it cannot overtake us, if we so choose! Make time for real things with real people in real life and escape from its electronic counterfeit. Turn off the news. Refuse the Facebook debate! Stop filling your head with predigested information and read a book instead. This life, no matter the age we live in, ever has the promise of new possibility, hand in hand with your God and mine…

Experience love and joy and peace and bliss. You can, you should!

Just some good thoughts…