Thursday, October 28, 2010

Flying Hearts

According to the Bible, the heart is the center not only of spiritual activity, but of all the operations of human life. This is why the Bible talks about being wise in heart (1 Kings 3:12, etc.), pure in heart (Psalms 24:4; Matthew 5:8), upright in heart, and righteous in heart (Genesis 20:5,6; Psalms 11:2; 78:72).

When I heard the blog topic for this week, the first thing that came to my mind was being in love. When you are in love, your heart soars, or flies high. There is a fantastic feeling that comes when you are in love. People say that they are on “cloud 9.” When that love is broken, we are said to have a “broken heart.” So even though our heart is really the muscle that pumps the blood and keeps us alive, it is also talked about as the place where we “feel” our emotions.

To me, however, a flying heart is more than experiencing loving another person, it is even more in how we live our lives. What comes to mind is Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait for the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not faint.” Life is not just full of fuzzy feelings. We have ups and down, highs and lows. We have times when we feel strong, and times when we are weak. This verse in Isaiah reminds us that in the Lord we can have our strength renewed, and we can soar like eagles. Our hearts can “fly” with the help of God.

Where does this lead us? I believe it leads us back to love, but a love that is more complete. That is why when Jesus was asked what was the greatest command, he gave it in two parts: “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and soul, and mind, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus told us to love with all of our heart. I believe that when we love in this way, we will truly have flying hearts, no matter what is happening in our lives.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Amazon Rainforest

Our blog group topic for this week is the Amazon Rainforest. I have to admit that if I had to tell you what I knew about the Amazon Rainforest, unfortunately it wouldn’t be much. My answer would not sound too intelligent: “I know there are many important animals and plants that live there, and that it is being cut down at an alarming rate.” So much for my knowledge.

So, I decided to gain a little information about it, and found out what I know is pretty correct, although basic. I was surprised to find out what a large area the rainforest covers 1.4 billion acres, in a region that includes nine nations (Brazil containing 60% of it, followed by Peru, then Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana). The Amazon represents over half of the planet’s rainforests, and has the largest tract of species and tropical rainforest in the world! It has currently become a candidate for the New 7 Wonders of the World.

As a wet tropical forest, it is very rich in species and has a tremendous amount of biodiversity. One in ten known species in the world live in the Amazon Rainforest. Yet deprestation is occurring in the rainforest. As human expansion continues, and as humans seek to develop land, more and more of the rainforest is being cut down to make room for this expansion.

This deforestation is causing a wide variety of problems. Environmentalists are “concerned about loss of biodiversity that will result from destruction of the forest, and also about the release of the carbon contained within the vegetation, which could accelerate global warming.” One computer model of future climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions shows that the Amazon rainforest could become unsustainable under conditions of severely reduced rainfall and increased temperatures, leading to an almost complete loss of rainforest cover in the basin by 2100. This has not been fully substantiated, but shows that there is concern with the loss of rainforest.

In Genesis 1, after God had created the world, he gave Adam charge to care for the world. This is an important charge from God to man, and one that I believe is not being followed today. We are not caring for our earth as we should. I believe that God has provided on this earth all that we need to sustain life. But we must treat our world with respect. There is an important balance between all the parts of our world, and when we don’t consider the impact of one part on the other (i.e. the deforestation of the rainforest), then we will cause long term harm to our world.

The challenge is that problems like this often seem too big for one person to deal with, so we just ignore it because we can’t solve it alone. I challenge you and myself to be diligent in finding ways that we can care for our world better, and know that as we take these steps, they WILL make a difference.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why should I have a life coach?

Have you ever been talking to someone about something that is frustrating you, or confusing you, or because you are struggling to make a decision about something? Have you ever felt frustrated in the direction of your life, and feel like you need a fresh perspective? For these reasons, and many more, a life coach can be helpful. A life coach is someone who comes along side you, and because of their expertise and ability to listen and discern, can help you make wise choices in your life.

Every day we make decisions; some of them very important. And quite often we feel led to make changes in our lives. Unfortunately, too many people let their emotions be their guide. These emotional decisions can lead you to leave a job or a relationship, or incur a debt, when it really wasn’t a wise decision. A life coach can listen intently, and intuitively, and ask pointed questions, to help you make the best decision for your life.

One thing that is important to understand in regards to a life coach, is they are not there to tell you what to do, or to influence your decision. A life coach’s goal should be to help you, and with the help of God, decide where God is leading you in your life. It might mean staying at your job, or it might mean leaving. The good news is that you have someone who cares about you and your decision enough to challenge you to seek the right path, not just a different path.

I have been mentoring people for the past 5 years now, and thoroughly enjoy the experience. I have also felt that God has given me an extra gift of discernment to ask important and challenging questions. In love, I try to prod and encourage those I mentor to think through who they are, who God has created them to be, and where God might be leading them. I feel blessed that I have helped many people move further down the path God has truly designed for them, and I hope to do this more and more every year.

If you are interested in getting a life coach, I would love to talk to you. Blessings.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Angels We Have Heard on Earth

People have a lot of different ideas about angels. For some, angels are people who have died and gone to heaven, and God made them a guardian angel. For others, angels have wings and fly around. And still for others, angels don’t exist. The Bible actually tells us a lot about angels. Angels belong to a uniquely different dimension of creation than we can fully comprehend. They don’t have many of the same limitations that we do on earth. God has given them higher knowledge, power, and mobility than us. Because you or I have probably not met or seen an angel, we might doubt that angels are real. However, angel visits do happen even though they are very rare.

The truth is, we have difficulty believing in what we don’t or can’t see. This is true of so many things in life. EX. Think for a moment if you were raised in a jungle. In this setting you are oblivious to most of what exists in the world. You feed yourself by eating what is around you. You make crude tools. You travel by walking or running. You only know what you see. Then one day you meet a stranger from the outside. He tries to tell you that there are cars, and planes, and telephones and computers. You hear the words, but it is difficult to believe. Then the stranger takes you out of the jungle, and you see for yourself all that was told to you. You watch the television and drive in the car and talk to someone far away on a telephone! At this point, you believe.

This is true of believing in something like angels. We hear people talk about it, we read about them in scripture, but do we really believe they are real? What does the Bible say about angels? Angels did not come into being until God created them. As we are told in Colossians 1:16, “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are on earth, visible and invisible.” Angels are among the invisible things made by God.

The empire of angels is as vast as God’s creation. They are mentioned in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible nearly 300 times. We do not know how many angels were created, but some think that it could be in the millions, since Hebrews 12:22 speaks of “an innumerable company of angels.” And King David, in Psalm 68:17, said: “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels.” In another passage, Deuteronomy 33:2, we are told that 10,000 angels came down on Mount Sinai to confirm the holy presence of God as He gave the Law to Moses.

Angels are in essence an extension of the arm of God.

The Bible tells us that angels speak. They appear and reappear. They are emotional creatures. While angels may become visible, their normal state to us is invisible, just like the dimensions of a nuclear field, or the structure of atoms. Our ability to sense them is limited.

Angels are real, and they are nearer than we might think. Angels are vigorous in their efforts to deliver up God’s people to salvation, and to help protect them from evil. As Psalm 91:11-12 says, “(God has given) his angels charge of you, to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Let us take courage and know that God has created angels to not only serve Him, but to do His work, and to help His Kingdom come. When we believe and trust, we can find strength in this knowledge.