Friday, February 27, 2009

Right side living part 3

I’ve finished the book “My Stroke of Insight” by Jill Bolte Taylor. It was a good read. Jill ends up pretty new age in thought. Some things I just can’t identify with such as; telling the billions of cells in my body they have, and are, doing a great job, and thanking them for a good day.

She teaches a belief system that’s very internally biologically based but that externally there is a greater ‘whole’ (Nirvana).

She teaches a belief in interconnectedness with each other and the universe, which on the surface sounds trippy but also sounds rather like “The Kingdom”.

She teaches much about living in the moment, the here and now, witch reminds me of Mathew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”.

She draws “Angel Cards” several times a day to help her stay focused on what’s important in her life (apparently these cards contain words such as enthusiasm, clarity, harmony, grace, etc.) which sounds allot like Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things”.

As she teaches these new age concepts though, I’m aware that certain Christian alignments within me are challenged which I see as having value. I realize I’m looking for trouble in certain Christian circles (including some friends) by even talking about these things. I feel like some friends would have me either; fight for and defend Jesus or burn this book and say nothing less the reputation of God and/or scripture is diminished. Yet if I ask Jesus about these things, He clearly tells me He is not threatened, I should relax, He’s amused by my reaction, and He’s not asking me to do anything about this book, these thoughts or beliefs.

To be honest, I’d like to meet Jill. She seems like a wonderful person, and I think we have more in common than not. I wonder if she would be as open to me as a Christian as I am to her not being one.

In conclusion, this book has been a wonderful experience I’ve shared with Jesus. These thoughts have challenged my mind and strengthened my understanding of how my body works. This book has also challenged my faith and strengthened my understanding of how blessed I am to be in relationship with the creator of it all.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Right sided living part 2

I’ve made some progress in the book “My Stroke of Insight” by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. today. It turns out she’s still a brain scientist, and as expected is drawing some conclusions about spirituality and God that might be threatening to some ‘religious minded’ people. Taylor states that brain research performed by two doctors “helped her understand exactly what was going on in [her] brain” she goes on to state “that these scientists identified the neuroanatomy underlying our ability to have a religious or spiritual (mystical) experience. They wanted to understand which regions of the brain were involved in our capacity to undergo a shift in consciousness – away from being an individual to feeling that we are at one with the universe (God, Nirvana, euphoria).” Taylor states these abilities are ‘right sided’ brain activity.

These thoughts are stimulating to me. I embrace the truth that we are human and therefore have a human experience. I believe we are very much the product of our lives; that the events we are exposed too help define who we are, (be they wounds or positive experiences), that as we live, biological nueropathways are established and patterns of response are ingrained.

I also have a testimony that God intervened in my life, that He impacted and changed my life coarse. He ‘touched’ my mind, offering revelation, healing, and the ability to recognize that there was something (someone) outside of me. Did He activate my ‘right side’ mind (no-one comes to the Father unless He draws them)? As I have followed Jesus, have I exercised the right side and become more in touch with these spiritual abilities?

I wonder if Jesus being the perfect representation of humanity had in fact a perfectly balance human brain.

I’m not threatened by these thoughts and my beliefs have not changed. All credit and glory too God. I know that I’m different than I was. I know that this change is not ‘of me’ but ‘to me’.

I think the human brain is amazing.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Right side living

I've been reading a book titled “My Stroke of Insight” by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. Jill was (still is? I haven’t finished yet) a brain scientist who suffered a stroke. This book is her description of the event; her journey to 'recovery' and an interesting look into the physiology of the brain.
Jill's stroke was contained mostly to the left side of her brain which is, in my understanding (and I might add extremely simplified) primarily analytical in nature (linear, sequential). The right side being primarily ‘in the moment’ (abstract, emotional, experiential) was undamaged. Jill describes a type of ‘nirvana’ she experienced as her left hemisphere ‘went off line’ and her existence was limited to right hemisphere thinking. As I read her medical, scientific explanations of the physiology of the brain and her subsequent spiritual experiences “with the universe”, I am joyful to realize once again how fearfully and wonderfully made we are. Specifically, as I read Jill’s narrative of her spiritual experience, I am so thankful that I know the person responsible for it all, call Him by name, and call Him my friend.

As I spend this time away on vacation I reflect how I am choosing to live from my right side. To slow down, respond to my heart, and experience the moment.

See ya.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Slowing down

I’m going to Florida today at about 3:00. We’re driving, which thrills me because it’s slow. We’re going to a place that’s about 15 hours away and we’ll drive it over two days. I really look forward to stopping all the rushing. Even flying, which would get me to my destination in less than 3 hours, seems like too much of a hurry. Granted, I’d be able to start relaxing at the beach this afternoon instead of tomorrow evening, but the sacrifice is I’ll have to meet deadlines, timetables, schedules, and frankly, moving around at 400 mph, (while exceedingly stimulating), just seems like work right now.
I ponder our American lifestyle and reflect about all the anxiety and depression we as people experience. I wonder if we’re just stimulated beyond our design and cramming too much into our life. In the name of efficiency, we do more in less time and marvel at how much we get done.
John Eldredge in his book Wild at Heart, spoke of how in the bible, God ‘meets’ men in the wilderness, outside of their normal environment. I’ve found this to be true. Often, when I am away I seem to ‘hear’ a little better. So in a couple hours, when the bags are loaded, the car is washed and filled up, and the instructions for feeding the dog and fish are gone over one more time, I’ll punch out, take a deep breath and hit the road, me, my beautiful wife and Jesus. The three of us have an expectation that by slowing down, perhaps we’ll actually miss less.

I’ll post a ‘postcard’ from the beach but untill then click on this,

The Monkey

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Life, Freedom, Healing

As I walk through life and have those moments where my spirit 'catches', you know, some type of discomfort or anxiety, I ask myself, where in this experience is the life, freedom, or healing Jesus offers?
Growing up and into adulthood when these experiences occurred, I practiced distraction and detachment. I did allot of things to avoid discomfort (most of which was harmful to my mind, body, spirit and relationships). At about 30 years of age I realized life wasn’t going away and I was stuck with myself. Something had to give. It did. I met Jesus.
For awhile I thought perhaps He would help remove, or change the events that gave me discomfort or fear. I'm sure He did a few times, (I’ve got a few really cool stories) but what to do with the times it appears He didn't?
You see I believe Jesus came so that we can find life, healing and freedom. I base that upon His words from Luke 4:17-19 and John 10:10. However, He also said that in this world we will have trouble (john 17:33). How to balance this?

I conclude that in many circumstances the life, freedom and healing He promised is found in how we respond to trouble (or lack thereof).

So, As I walk through life and have those moments where my spirit 'catches', you know, some type of discomfort or anxiety, I ask myself, where in this experience is the life, freedom, or healing Jesus offers? Often I find it in my response.