Entertain – to admit into the mind. Truth, beauty and love need to be entertained if they are to make an impact. Too quickly we allow the voices of our past to create a skepticism that dismisses. A healthy self-doubt is a good thing but when skepticism, born out of fear or a lie, pushes life away we need to listen to the disbelief. Listen so you understand it’s origin, it’s story, and allow God to quite the noise. Quieting the noise will give you space to entertain what is being offered…it looks something like this. “I wonder if what their saying could be true?”. You may say how can I know the the truth? First look to scripture…what does God say to me about me? Then ask trusted friends and loved ones for their input. It may feel risky but the benefit is movement toward freedom.
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Frequently we hear that admitting we have a problem is the first step to seeking help. In fact we’ve heard this phase so much that many of us use it as a punch line. Often we don’t like reality. Admitting anything unflattering grounds us in the reality we would like to ignore. This is the very place where life begins to free it’s self. If we’re willing to admit that we struggle with receiving love then there’s the hope that love exists and that we can grow. No matter what the reasons are for resisting love ask God to give you the courage to open your heart and mind to the possibilities of taking a risk. A risk with love…a risk with Him.
While talking with a friend this morning I was struck by her longing to be accepted by her community and her struggle to receive the love that is freely offered. I’m frequently captured by the human struggle of receiving love and care from others because it’s so universal. I’ve yet to meet an adult who doesn’t struggle with the act of receiving. So I’m going to spend a few posts exploring the risks of receiving love, care and enjoyment. In preparation for the journey let yourself begin thinking about all the various ways you resist acceptance. Invite God to join you in the adventure.
I have the good fortune of having a lot of supportive people in my life that are encouraging. Encouragement is a good thing but every once in a while what I really need is a good spanking. I’m not talking about a physical beating but the simply truth spoken direct into my life. It can be unadorned or be wrapped in sweet sarcasm…doesn’t matter to me as long as it’s clear and loving. Like the friend that pointed out to me yesterday that she checks my blog every once in a while to see if I’ve written anything new…she went on to say, “I enjoyed the post “Nice” the first 50 times I read it.” Ouch, message received…thanks!
The word nice, at least in the south, has no real value as a word. Over time we’ve taken a word that conveys the idea of someone or something as being pleasant, agreeable or virtuous and reduced it down to benine word that means shallow, fake or empty. When I hear someone say “she a nice girl” my first thought is that the girl knows how to perform in a social setting. Admittedly not a bad thing but not necessarily requiring any real depth. After all a box of snakes wrapped in pretty paper is nice until you open it up. I’ve had a few people challenge me on my understanding of nice. After doing a little research I discovered that in the late 13th century the word nice meant foolish, stupid or simple minded. Gives a new meaning to the saying, ”good guys finish last” doesn’t it?
A few weeks ago I was a roadie for Matthew’s (my 17 year old son) band. They played at the The Atomic Rocket Lounge in Columbia, TN. It was a moment of beauty. That’s not the way Matthew would want it described but for me it’s part of my son’s journey. I’ve had the pleasure of watching his love for music and expression grow from insecurity and fear to presence and enjoyment. The first gig he played was three years ago and he kept his back to the audience most of the time. He now owns the stage. He has learned to push through he fear to reveal himself. It make me wonder about the times I’m so easily stopped by some invisible force that would seek to keep me in my place. Not to mention the forces that define “my place”. These thoughts challenge me to look to my creator for definition and for the courage to over real and imagined obstacles that keep me from living freely.
Here I am starting a new adventure…an adventure that has taken a long time to begin. Over the last several years I’ve had a number of friends and clients who have encouraged me to start a blog. So here I go! My hope, as I head down this trail, is that you will find refreshment, encouragement and hope as you read the various entries and enjoy some of my photographs. I love curiosity so if you have any questions feel free to ask.