God’s Glasses

Research has proven that the brain sends emotional “data” to the heart, not vice-versa. You can also bet your chips that the heart is the seat of attitude. As adults, we’ve learned to camouflage these “attitudes,” but the expression on a child’s face is a ready give-away of theirs.

I’ve watched children lie with a straight face, and even toddlers (with undeveloped verbal language) expressively shake their head ‘no’ in answer to a who-dune-it inquiry. It made me wonder: “How did he/she comprehend such an abstract maneuver to deflect blame, to avoid punishment?! Obviously, it doesn’t take practice; in a split second, we make this truth-or-consequence choice to fess-up and face it, or to lie and live in limbo.

By facing the truth, we choose to walk in the light. By lying, we’re forced into hiding. Deception casts a shadow of fear (of being found out), and its guilt pierces our heart. Guilt holds us back from spontaneous walks in the Son, worship, and prayer. 

Yes: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)

Yes: we will find ourselves guilty of many deceptions before we meet our Maker.

Yes: we will shy away from communion because of our sin.

Although all of the above are true, we should not sin! But thankfully, our God is an awesome God and sees us through the red-tinted glasses of redemptive blood. I quote Jim Croft’s perspective on this:

“In my estimation, one of the most encouraging passages that affirms answers to prayer is 1 John 3:16-23. It reveals that the condemnation of heart that prevents people from confidently making prayer requests in faith of positive outcome is overruled by God himself. The inference is that if our hearts condemn us, that God is greater than our hearts. His magnanimity of heart overrules and nullifies any condemnation within our hearts so that we can pray with full expectation of reward. The qualifier for this is not obedience to an endless list of biblical and self-inflicted religious regulations. All that we need do is believe on the name of Jesus and love our fellow Christians. You know in your inmost knower that you consistently meet that qualification in all circumstance. God is greater than your heart and invites you to pray for whatsoever you desire with expectant faith.”

Amen.

AFFIRM: “O Lord, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105 NAS) By Your Word, I am redeemed. I am forgiven. I AM blessed. I choose the path of Truth.”

Ambassador of Peace

If you’re alive, you’ve heard or read Mahatma Gandhi’s quote: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” BUT, there’s an unwritten pre-requisite: discard expectations!

A belief of something, good or bad, that will or will not happen in the future is an “expectation.”

Expectations are mental! Yes, I mean it in the worst way. They’re not fact. In fact, they’re fiction, like the plot in a novel. Compare these 5 elements of a plot to one of your expectations: a story of characters; a series of events that build up to a conflict; resultant emotions, tension, and stress; the resolve of complications; and, their tragic or happy conclusion.

If a hoped-for expectation isn’t realized, disappointment results. How is disappointment normally expressed? In children, we see sulky silence or spiteful retaliation. We also see it with adults, along with character assassination and, maybe, an all-out feud.

If a negative expectation is met, it’s usually interpreted as personal rejection or even an assault. Again, disappointment, evidenced by silence, isolation, and/or retaliation.

Let’s be the change. Let’s discard–delete–expectations of others. Like Gandhi, we can be ambassadors of peace! (a holiday reminder) 

 

Don’t Give Up!

We’re all familiar with the famous war-time quote: “Never, never, never give up!” But, do you know who has said: “Don’t Give Up!” concerning your health, hopes, and pursuits? Stephen Hawking.

Who is Stephen Hawking?

He is an “English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. Among his significant scientific works have been a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set forth a cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He is a vocal supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics….” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking

The truly amazing thing is that at 21 years of age, he was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). By its progression over the years, he is almost entirely paralyzed and communicates through a speech-generating device.

At 72 years of age, he has yet to give in to his physical disability. But, in September of 2014, he declared himself an atheist.

If you’re so given, would you lift up a prayer that his spiritual eyes would be opened for his greatest discovery yet: that the “grand design of the universe” was created by The Grand Designer, God, Who was, is, and forever will be…and his heart would open to receive Him.

(If interested, today, November 7, “The Theory of Everything,” is premiering in theaters. It’s a movie depicting Stephen and Mary’s love story, and subsequent marriage (after his diagnosis and expected two years to live), his collaborations, honors, and struggles.)