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Archive for the ‘heart’ Category

Lucky

I just read a column by Jon Foreman (of Switchfoot) called “This Is What Luck Smells Like“. Foreman talks about how being next to a guy who smells bad on a transAtlantic flight leads him to meditating on how thankful he should be that he can smell. And how we choose to see our lives,

“Maybe luck is a choice. Yeah, maybe luck is a choice. A choice to be thankful for the myriad blessings that you have rather than complain about the few smells that are unpleasant. Seems like luck doesn’t pour out like it does on the beer commercials: the young, rich, good looking, famously lucky few turn out to complain more often than their “unlucky” contemporaries. Maybe luck is a choice chosen by those whose roots sink deep into the grounds of community, sacrifice, family, worship and service. Yes, maybe luck is a choice.”

He was getting personal with me, I know what he’s talking about. I mean, I’m not a pessimist, but it doesn’t take much to set me grumbling. Then he ends it with this, which finished me off:

“But I’d like turn in my grumbling rights. I’d like to burn the authorization that I was born with, the authorization to complain, moan, and sigh heavily. I’d like to surrender my weapons of privilege. Here and now, I lay them down.”

This is something to think on, maybe a great New Year’s Resolution: to surrender my weapons of privilege.

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Last week I took Zach to visit Wheaton College in Chicago. Wheaton is a Christian liberal arts college. We called on Wednesday to try to set up meetings with a couple of faculty and staff on that Friday. We were amazed when they let us know that they were able to set up several meetings, including the campus Chaplain. One of the meetings was with the director of Urban Studies, Dr. Noah Toly. We both knew when we walked in his office that this was going to be a great visit. He was completely engaging and in Zach’s words was “so present in the moment”. Zach’s comment was accurate and really hit home with me. What a great description of Jesus as we see him in the gospels, that He was “present” with each person He encountered. Here we were, a high school junior and his dad. Dr. Toly had no idea whether we serious about Wheaton or Urban Studies, or even if Zach could get in the school. But there he was, fully giving us his attention and energy, when I’m sure there were a million other things he could be doing. I thought of how many times I have been in a similar circumstance but have not been “present”, of how often I am not faithful in the many small things God puts in my day because I’m trying to do something bigger or “more important”. I have no idea if Zach will get to go to Wheaton, or if he will ever study under Dr. Toly, but I do know that in his faithfulness in the way he received Zach and me he has already started teaching us.

http://www.wheaton.edu/urbanstudies/

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This is a video of a guy named Nick Vujicic. He has no arms or legs, but he does have an amazing heart. All kinds of speakers tell groups of young people that they are beautiful just as the way they are. Somehow it means alot more coming from him.

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“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-
witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the
simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if
he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of
doubt, what is laid before him.”
— Leo Tolstoy
This quote appears at the beginning of the book “The Big Short” by Michael Lewis. In the book, Lewis tells the story of the recent mortgage crisis largely through the eyes of a few of the few people who saw it coming.  The Tolstoy quote addresses the overwhelming majority of people in the financial world who, usually due to their greed and/or arrogance, couldn’t or wouldn’t see what was about to happen. The story is both fascinating and frightening. It’s not frightening just because of the economic implications, but because the patterns of pride and greed aren’t confined to Wall Street. It is the reality of each of our hearts that we must wrestle with every day.

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steve, you were right. i watched this video of henri nowen and was profoundly challenged in where i find my identity as a Christian and the artificial ways i find my significance. this reminder from nowen on living as beloved children of God is worth the time as it will refreshingly re-orient your heart and perspective. last night lisa and i watched it together and had great discussion and prayer time afterwards.

there are also some moments where you will be reminded of the minister in the movie  “the princess bride”… enjoy! 

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Heart

After a night full of bed-wetting kids and a screaming 21 month old, it’s helpful to think about Jesus’ words:  “Do not let your heart be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1).  Granted he wasn’t talking about me and my evening, but I think it’s always helpful to remember something from this verse:  you are in charge of your heart.

Same with Matthew 6:33; Jesus teaches that we can control our hearts by generosity.  Proverbs (7:25, 24:17) assumes you can control your heart’s response to beautiful–and potentially adulterous–women, and the temptation to gloat over your enemies.  I know this is possible because, as a Cardinals fan, I really do pity the Cubs and their futility.

Seriously, it is not true that our hearts control us, and that we follow them.

And the solution to a troubled heart is (1) belief (John 14:1), and (2) the peace Jesus leaves with us as he takes his place on his father’s throne, which is not something that the world can give (John 14:27-28).  And the world can only take it away if you let it…

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