fireheart June 27, 2012Posted by needinc in emPulse.
Tags: burned, faith, fear, Heart, human nature, rage, reason, wounded heart
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The flame ignited, burning hot, passions flaring, intensity glowing, depth and elation stretching the limits of reason, mind and body. Your heart is racing, blood pumping. You are ready. You are on fire! Inextinguishable energy personified.
But there is another side. Burned. Emotionally, physically, to the core of your being. Trust destroyed. Energies extinguished. Your heart a pyramid of embers, not even smoldering. Or, ruthlessly smoldering with rage.
The heart holds such sway over human nature. Kingdoms have been built, flourished, defended, and lost because of visions dreamed and passion abated. Great art and great destruction have flowed from its river. The heart is a burning flame with the capacity to inspire or enrage. If crushed, its restoration is costly, both in time and effort. For a wounded heart is reluctant to let even its possessor near.
So what is it that ignites this simple organ, this muscle that calibrates and controls the flow of our life blood throughout our body? What is it that transmutes it from a simple body part into our source of passion and power? What enflames it to become a fireheart ?
1. A Challenge. Whether a problem to solve or a situation to resolve, or a task to be accomplished, it is only a burning desire within that is formidable enough to achieve a triumphant outcome.
2. Anger. Some things should get us so mad that we do something about it; not in retaliation, but in sensible reactions that resolve issues.
3. Intense Fear. The fear that cripples so severely may also serve as the catalyst that launches our hearts to fight. Use fear: do not give into it. [Note. Soldiers at war, in face of imminent death, have moved from mere men to heroes when they faced this fear.]
4. Faith. Believing that something is right and worth living for is an inspiring launching pad for great accomplishments. IF you truly believe in it. And act! [Note. Many genuine Christians have given their lives for what they believed; fewer agnostics or atheists have done the same.]
One final point to ponder— Is your heart a fireheart? What are you doing about it?
Have a nice week,
distant intimacy June 19, 2012Posted by needinc in emPulse.
Tags: commitments, communication, courage, intimacy, known, lovers, relationships, trust
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Over the past 20 years we’ve developed a kind of barrier that allows people in, and keeps them out at the same time. We want to have friends, but not too many close friends. We want to be known, but not too known. We want to be loved, but we want to return love on our terms. We want to fully give ourselves to another, but our confidence in trustis cautious. A paucity of depth in our relationships has woven in us the threads of doubt, fear, and hesitancy. So above all else, we seek to protect our hearts from the outside world, even among those who are close to us.
This has resulted in a kind of distant intimacy between lovers, husbands & wives, siblings, and within many other relationships. We’ve grown careful with how much we bare our souls with another, how much and what kinds of information we pass on, and we think twice about our degree of openness with others. This blocks uncluttered communication and further damages the nurturing of any safety we might desire. Even the excitement of a first date with someone carries some relational tentativeness into it. And long-term commitments…, well, the idea has become a rarity.
Broken relationships, the dissolution of our families, and life shattering events have all but relegated intimacy to short-term sexual encounters with little thought to the context for that kind of intimate connection. Thus, some reflection on moving intimacy from distant to deep—
Deep intimacy takes work: it does not just happen.
- Deep intimacy takes time: it is more than a one night stand or a series of dinners out.
- Deep intimacy takes forgiveness: admitting you are wrong, versus pointing the finger.
- Deep intimacy takes trust: putting your life into another person’s hands.
- Deep intimacy takes courage: it is a risk. But, nothing ventured… .
- Deep intimacy will hurt at times: that’s where you will be put to the test.
- Deep intimacy will cost you— everything. Holding back leads to distant intimacy again.
So, is it worth it? The deep intimacy? Of course it is! But it cannot be possessed without giving something of yourself, with little thought to what you might, or might not, receive in return. Personally, I need God’s help to make every relationship work. You may be different, but I doubt it.
naked June 13, 2012Posted by needinc in emPulse.
Tags: human-rights, potato culture, religion, spirituality
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Naked. Butt-naked. Au natural. Birthday-suit. Bare. Buff. In today’s world cultures, the human form has oft been portrayed in its superlative beautiful form and as its most ignoble pornographic depiction. Nakedness, per se, is nothing of which to be ashamed (unless you resemble this writer). The shame comes more in the eye, or, more precisely, in the mind, of the beholder. Our species has a tendency to seek the basest elements in nature and to lift them to an art form, thus diminishing the beauty of what our God has created in all of us— a reflection of Himself. [Inordinate use of fast-foods, sugars, and salts hasn’t helped either, not to mention the prevalence of our “couch-potato culture.”]
So we hide ourselves in post-Eden attire, brightly colored and reflective, to hide the form with which God has endowed us and we have abused. We hide in hides, as it were. Or cotton, wool, silk, or polyester, eye-liner, flushed cheeks and dangly thingies from our ears. Not that any of these are bad, mind you…, given the alternative. Gross nakedness of a Creature gone awry.
Moreover, we extend hiding to our relationships with our Creator and our fellow creatures. Though decked in the latest fashion, we cover-up further with a personal façade to prevent others from truly knowing who we are underneath. Concealing our true selves from one another, for whatever reasons, seems counter-productive to Truth and truth to this writer. Attempting to hide from God…, well, that’s just ridiculous. Yet we find ourselves in a culture where being accessible and being secretive aspire to go hand-in-hand. We want God to be there when we need him; otherwise, we do not want him meddling in our stuff. We want our friends there to Blog with, FB, IM, or Tweet. But responding must remain on our turf & time.
We humans have such a desire to be known, to be loved, and to know others intimately and safely. We want to love freely, like we could when we were just children: but our world has become such a frighteningly unsafe place. It takes more effort to earn the trust of someone today than it did in the past. My word is my bond and a handshake is no longer enough. Saying “I love you.” even needs a prenuptial agreement. How did we arrive at such a deplorable, tragic state?
Might I suggest that a modicum of nakedness might be in order; baring our souls for others to see, opening our lives to people who need to know they are not alone. Isn’t it time we all took the risk of standing naked before our Creator so as to stand unashamed before one another?
Have a nice week,
issachar June 5, 2012Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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There is a reference in the Jewish Chronicles regarding the confluence of the tribes of Israel to support David, a former shepherd, in his bid to assume the King’s throne. One of the tribes is described as “the men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” (I Chronicles 12:32) An odd reference to be sure. Issachar did not even bring that many to the battle– “200 chiefs and all their relatives under their command.” other tribes brought tens of thousands.
But the men of Issachar had an skill not attributed to any other tribe. They understood the times…, and knew what needed to be done.
100 years ago British author G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) wrote a commentary on his times—
“Our world today needs a new kind of prophet. Not one like the prophets of old who told men that they were going to die; rather we need a prophet who will tell them that they are not dead yet.”
Chesterton understood his times. Though critical in much of his writings he was still quite poignant. He drove home the truth whether his audience wanted to hear it or not. He was not afraid to speak up, to go on the offense against his antagonists, to stand his ground. He understood his times: he knew what to do.
In our era, who are the prophets who understand these times and know what to do? Are they in government, religion, or the local pub? In a way it doesn’t matter where they are. They need to be heard. More so, it is important for us to heed their insights and ACT. For understanding the times is just part of equation.
Are you this kind of prophet? Or, are you one who understands? Then ACT? There is still time to make a difference; to warn people of impending disaster, to inspire them to great opportunity, to come alongside them and guide them. Are you this kind of person?
As I recall, most of the people on this planet are still alive. They are not dead yet: and neither are you. If you are like the men of Issachar and understand the times, and know what to do…, please, for the sake of all that is right, and holy, and decently human…, step forward, take a stand.
And… ACT! With an understanding of the times.
Have a nice week,