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Would Jesus Call Us Friend?

Compassionate. Competent. Composed. Cooperative. Courteous. Educable. Empathetic. Ethical. Fair. Forgiving. Generous. Honest. Humble. Inclusive. Informed. Intuitive. Kind. Modest. Non-judgmental. Open-minded. Patient. Reliable. Respectful. Responsible. Self-disciplined. Supportive. Sympathetic. Transparent.

We believe Jesus lived these positive values. As people of faith, we believe these values are how God wants us to live too.

Therefore, if we are completely dedicated to living a loving, heart-led life we must focus on being love in action by cherishing these values in our every day, moment by moment, behavior.  And, we have the spiritual responsibility to set healthy boundaries by refusing to enable or support the behavior of any politician, government official, religious leader, social acquaintance or family member whose character values go against our own.

People of faith are confronted each moment with opportunities to be love (positive behavior) in action to walk our “God” talk.  What matters is how we answer life’s challenges and our interactions with other people.  Were we an ambassador of love? Would Jesus be proud to call us friend? Did we stay respectful to those who disrespect us? Did we forgive? Did we set strong boundaries to protect ourselves and other people from abuses of power? How did we show up to support life and our fellow human beings? Do we value peace, personal responsibility and stewardship of the home God created for us?

No matter what we face, how great the challenge, or horrible the injustice, the bottom line is how we rise to the occasion. When we choose to be our very best in each meeting with a stranger, each negative situation, each disagreement, we will absolutely create heaven on earth. For ourselves, our children, and our fellow human beings.  The choice to lead with the integrity of Jesus is ours to make.

A Past Present

I was around five when I decided it was a great idea to let my parent’s sleep in on Christmas morning. I took my little sister by the hand and we quietly crept into the living room. I closed the door and plugged in the Christmas tree lights. I sat my three year old sister down in one of the overstuffed chairs.

One by one I handed out presents. I separated my mom and dad’s and put them next to two empty chairs. I put Rachel’s in front of her and put mine next to me. Once I’d crawled around the back of the tree on my hands and knees to make certain I’d gotten each and every present, we settled back for some serious clandestine gift opening.

When we got finished we both went in to wake up our parents to tell them about all the gifts Santa brought. I’ll never forget the look on their faces. My mom cried and my dad looked so sad. Neither of them got mad. In fact they both quickly assured us that Santa wasn’t mad either but that mom’s and dad’s like to watch their children open gifts. But, they did make us promise we’d never again open presents without them.

It’s been over fifty years since that covert present-opening operation. My mom remembers that Christmas in our little house on Mistletoe Street in Victoria, Texas as if it were yesterday.  I do too and I will for the rest of my life.

E.I. = Heart-smart

Emotional intelligence – my definition: the ability to put ourselves in the shoes of other people with empathy and respect – is a gift from God given to each soul. But, like any skill we must practice, practice, practice to master leading with heart, rather than being led by a judgmental and fearful mind.

Our thoughts create our behavior. Our behavior creates our life. Therefore, mastering a mind with a mind of its own is a responsible thought by thought focus. When we remain in touch with what we are thinking and why (the emotional motivation behind our thoughts – fear, anxiety, judgment, frustration, blame, control, arrogance, domination) we can change negative, limited thinking to positive and loving so we honor God for giving us the precious gift of emotional intelligence.

In order to benefit from the emotional intelligence God asks us to use, to do no harm and to create our best life, it is necessary to educate ourselves to know what is happening in the world. We cannot be insulated with our own thoughts and beliefs. We cannot rely on the group think that is generated by the thoughts and beliefs of our immediate circle of like-minded friends and family or churches. Simply because others believe as we do does not mean we are right or that our decision and actions will not harm ourselves or others.

To make good decisions we must have information that challenges our thoughts so we can discover thoughts and beliefs that do not truly align with OUR HEART! Challenging what we think and why we think it helps keep our heart open so we follow the divine’s direction of treating other people as we want to be treated.

I Don’t Believe in Satan, but …

I don’t believe in Satan. But I do believe in the evil that results when a human being has been completely consumed by unfeeling and uncaring ego.

Personal importance, fear, quests for riches, irrational delusions, and an unending appetite for attention and power over other people drowns out all moral and spiritual guidance.  Of course the guidance is still there, but, without a willing and open heart we cannot hear God whisper truth, wisdom and direction because we’re too busy listening to and feeding ego.  An ego left unchecked becomes exceedingly clever, eventually directing us to completely ignore and act upon the wise, respectful and empathetic advice of our heart.

This battle between good (soul) and evil (egocentric thought) is one with which each and every human on earth wrestles. Each day, in countless ways, we are tested.  That’s why it is important to master an unfeeling mind with a mind of its own with the simple guidance of – treat other people as you want to be treated. Ego’s desire for domination cannot survive when heart is brought forward to consider what is also best for others too.