Archive | March, 2012

What to do when your heart stops.

19 Mar


We love pleasure.

But more than we love pleasure, our hate for displeasure seems to be stronger.

The loathing of displeasure is what drives our decision making.

In sports, I’ve always asked my teams, “Do you hate to lose or love to win?”.

Most hate to lose.

Although the fear of losing can be a great motivator it never generates a sense of accomplishment, but rather a relief of escape.

If fear is the motivator, success becomes alleviation rather than achievement.


I believe the heart drives the mind and the mind drives actions.

But the mind can put a governor on the heart.

Fear can be a stimulant to motivate, but it can also be a depressant that leads to numbing.


The typical response to pain and loss is the suppressing of our emotions.

Some of us brag about never getting angry, but what has really happened is that we have so little of our heart invested that we are not able to get angry.

Others brag about their ability to “leave the emotion out of it”, as if that is some sort of accomplishment.

That’s nothing to be proud of.

“Even-keeled” is often just code word for someone who’s flatlined emotionally.


The greater the attempt at joy, the more at risk we are to pain.

In our heads we say – “I’ll go this far, I’ll try this hard, I’ll give this much, I’ll love this much”.

We do it in our relationships.

We do it with our dreams.

We do is scholastically.

We do it with God.

When we do this, we not only regulate pain, but we also regulate joy.

When you choose to self medicate your pain, you’ve inadvertently chosen to self medicate your joy.

When we widen the invisible threshold of pain we’re willing to bear, we also increase the amount of joy we’re able to experience.

What if there were no boundaries to how far you’d go, how hard you’d try, how much you’d give,  and how big you’d love?

Yes, there is wisdom in protecting your heart and emotional well being, but there is zero wisdom in living an emotionally flatlined life.

So I say to you- live again.  Get your heart back.  Life is so much better this way.  Embrace pain as a reminder of the joy that is at stake.  Fear not.  Take risks.  Put yourself out there.  You were designed to “feel”.  Stop injecting the vein of your emotions with numbing agents.  Stop mistaking the relief of fear for the satisfaction of joy.  Be vulnerable.

Our ultimate joy is found in Christ and He is the only one that can satisfy-run to Him for joy. John 4:14

Note:2 Corinthians 1:5  is one of many verses that shows the connection of suffering and joy.

17 Mar

Great Post On St. Patty’s Day

Maxwell A. Mooney

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In the midst of all your pinching, a few of you and your drinking, and everyone in their green wearing (warning: I pinch), I thought I would share an encouraging little post.

In all my years, I’ve simply viewed St. Paddy’s day as simply a day where you wear green, and college kids get plastered. Perhaps that biggest tragedy of St. Patrick’s day is forgetting St. Patrick. Though… McDonald’s Shamrock shakes do help make up for it.

Patrick was a saint (hardee har). He loved Jesus. He was taken captive as a slave to Ireland as a young boy, escaped, and returned as a missionary. He taught the doctrine of the Trinity using a shamrock- so as you wear your shamrock’s today, remember that it represents the Triune God. His work started the Christianization of Ireland from paganism.

Ultimately, remember, today isn’t just about fun, it’s also…

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March Madness Gone too far.

15 Mar

Here are my top 10 signs you are way too into the madness of march.

1.When you’re at work, you imagine your desk is a court and you have the paper clips upsetting the pens in a nail bitter .

2. You had a day of mourning when Butler didn’t make the tournament.

3. You lose your keys. Your friend tells you to check your jacket and you scramble to find your bracket.

4. While taking jumpers in the driveway, each shot is preceded by 3-2-1.

5. You knew about Fab Melo’s suspension before ESPN broke the news.

6. While sitting in traffic you start to place the cars around you in a bracket and seed each car based on year, make and model.

7. You name your new puppy Gonzaga.

8. The microwave buzzing sends you into a frenzy.

9. You set up a bracket for the NIT.

10. You increase your kids chore list in order for them to pay for the $10 family bracket fee.

When I say “TEBOW” you say ________________

13 Mar

Let’s play a game….

When I say “boots, guns, and broken down cars in the front yard”, you say ____________ (Cowboy or Redeck depending on if you are one)

When I say “Scary, obnoxious,  and not human”, you say ____________ (Lady Gaga. I’ll also accept Nicki Minaj)

one more……

When I say “doesn’t like girls, smells like B.O., wears the same clothes two days in a row”, you say ______________(Jr. High boys or my dog Raz when we dress him up for Christmas)

We all stereotype.

A stereotype is defined as a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.

My guess is the greatest type of stereotyping you’ve been doing is to yourself.

When I say (insert your name) you say ____________.

You have an oversimplified idea of who you are.

In your head you have determined that you think, act, walk, talk,  and relate in a certain way.

Because you have determined this, you now take it upon yourself to uphold your very own stereo-typification of yourself.

You created that stereotype.

Sure people’s actions and words have helped form that, but you were the one who approved those ideas in your head.

Stereotyping yourself postpones personal growth.

Stereotyping yourself abandons adventure.

Stereotyping yourself crushes your creativity- You think things like “I wouldn’t normally think that or say that” and so you don’t.

Stereotyping yourself neutralizes faith.

Stereotyping yourself takes away from the uniqueness of  who you really are.

Didn’t Moses do this in Exodus 6:30 ?

He did a quick overview of his self stereo-typification and said, “nope, public speaking isn’t in there” (paraphrase)

I can hear him speaking in third person, “Moses doesn’t do that” (paraphrase)

Now I’m not saying you need to have high self worth or “give yourself more credit”.

And I’m not suggesting to “believe in a better version of yourself”.

I’m suggesting you give God more credit.

I’m saying you need to believe in a better version of Him.

Whatever stereotyped picture of yourself you’ve drawn up in your head- Let’s the take the eraser to it.

Like an etch a sketch, you may need to shake yourself in order to rid yourself of the self imposing lines you’ve drawn.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”- Matthew 19:26

When Push Comes to Love

11 Mar



Two of the most profound words in our dictionary.

Distinct, but both enourmosly powerful.

Separate, yet intertwined.

Here’s the problem.

They are constantly at odds.

People say things like, “all this world needs is more love” or  “truth is the only thing that really matters”.


The man who heralds truth without an ounce of sympathy.

Or the woman who bypasses truth for the sake of feelings or people getting hurt.


Because we protect what we value most.

Those who hold truth highly are prone to leaving Love on the shelf.

Those who hold love highly are prone to forfeiting truth so that “love wins“.

There are some underlying motivations to these actions that we must understand.

Those who elevate truth over love tend to be motivated by being right.

Those who elevate love over truth tend to be motivated by being accepted.

They both sprout from the same seed-Pride.


Which person are you?

Which route does your pride take you?

The BitterSweet truth is that Truth and Love are inseperable.

In order to properly deliver truth or love we have to value them both equally.

That is not to say you need to devalue either but rather value the lesser more.

They become separate when their values are different.


Love is the music that truth dances to.

You can’t have a football game without a football.

You can’t have truth without love and love without truth.

Genuine love and genuine truth can only occur simultaneously.


So to the truth guy/girl-

Examine your heart.  Make sure your love for truth = your love for people.

Watch your tone.  Don’t let your passion for truth be mistaken for  cold-heartedness.

Show some emotion. You don’t always have to offend.

You don’t always need to be controversial.  You don’t always need to speak.  Learn to navigate truth in a way that shows you care.


To the love guy/girl-

Truth can be painful.  Truth can lose you some friends.

If you love someone you  may need to have difficult conversations with them.  If you don’t say it to them, who will?

Don’t belittle truth in the name of love.  Stop getting your feelings hurt by truth. Love could actually mean saying “no”.

Stop rejecting truth that doesn’t make you feel good.  Stop sugarcoating everything. Medicine tastes bad no matter what flavor it is.


To both of you-

You guys are on the same team.

Embrace each other.

Truth Guy, show Love Guy where he’s neglecting truth.  Love Guy, show Truth Guy how to lovingly communicate truth.


The mission is truth.  The motivation is love.  Value both deeply!

I strongly suggest reading I corinthians 13 and Ephesians 4, specifically verses 15 and 25 for a better understanding of truth and love.

The Death of Superman

9 Mar

Don’t worry you superman nerds. Clark Kent isn’t going anywhere.

And no, I’m not talking about the Superman Curse.

There’s a superman that lives inside of you and he or she needs to die.

The superman in you needs to die because superman is a myth.

He doesn’t exist, yet he’s killing you.

In this story, superman is no hero.  He’s a fake.

You are not superman.

You are man. And sometimes you’re not really super at all.

On 9/11/01, 341 firefighters lost their lives saving people they didn’t know.

They are heroes.

Amongst those heroes there were probably some poor fathers.

Amongst those heroes there were probably some cheating husbands.

I think it’s safe to assume that some of those men had issues with pornography.

Some may have had drug problems.

Those men were incredible heroes, but none of them were superman.

Superman would never cheat on his wife.

The trap of superman occurs because you know you can’t measure up and so you begin to hide all of your failures.

You hide pain.  You hide insecurities.  You don’t talk about your sin.  You don’t ever show weakness.

How detrimental is this to your ability to lead?  It’s a cancer to your relationships.  Because of the desire to be superman you only display the highlights of your life. People are then left comparing the video of their torn apart life to your highlight reel and they leave feeling depressed.

But who’s the real depressed one?

Like the movie, no one knows who superman is.  They all know Clark Kent.  Being superman makes you unknowable.

Put down the cape, superman.  Life is so much better when you’re not hiding.

There is one superman and He came to save us from the pressure of needing to be perfect.  He saved us from the idolatry of the superman syndrome.

The superman complex needs to go.  That’s the bittersweet truth.

Bitter Sweet Truth

4 Mar

How old were you when you found out that there was no tooth fairy? Or were you one of the smart ones that caught mom in the middle of the exchange? The realization of this truth (that the tooth fairy isn’t real) is a bit bittersweet.

Bitter because who is going to bring you your two dollars now?

Sweet for mom because she’s now off the hook for the $2.  (She can buy half a starbucks now)

It’s also sweet because knowing this truth could save you from the embarrassment of not knowing this truth.

It’s bitter because now your teeth have no real worth, except for the entertainment value of inspecting the object that’s been lodged in your gum line for 6 years.

And on and on we could go.  This truth has so many implications. Knowledge of this truth really changes a lot when it comes to teeth and your piggy bank.   But let’s face it: we’re talking about the tooth fairy.

Although truth doesn’t have a size, couldn’t we say that certain truths have a larger ramification than others.

The death of the tooth fairy wasn’t very revolutionary to my life.

The death of my grandpa was.

These are both truths I had to face. Both on opposite ends of the spectrum.  They had one thing in common: they were both true.  I had to come to the knowledge that the tooth fairy never existed, and that “Pipa” was gone from this earth.

It’s important to note that knowing something is true and knowing something isn’t true are both a form of the truth.

But isn’t it more than just knowing?  John 8:32 says “and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

That word “know” in the original manuscripts is “ginosko”.  It’s the same word used to describe sex.  Matthew 1:25 is just one example.

So that paints the picture of becoming pretty well acquainted with truth.

Some of us know truth, but we’ve never embraced it.  We’ve never “slept” with it. We keep it in the friend zone so we can admire how sweet it looks, but be sure to avoid the pain sometimes accompanying it.

What does that mean?  It either means we don’t believe John 8:32 or we’re content with not being free.

That’s a tragedy.

For some of us, sleeping with the truth means we need to confess some sin.  Not just to God, but to others. (James 5:16)  Yes.  It will be bittersweet, but it will end in freedom.

For some of us, embracing truth means we need to stop being people we are not.

We need to remember the past instead of forgetting.

We need to tell people how we feel.

Acknowledge our shortcomings.

Acknowledge our gifts.

In John 4 Jesus confronts a woman with truth she’s known but never wrestled with: The fact that she’s had 5 husbands. Talk about a bitter memory.

Her confrontation ended in freedom.

Embrace truth as something that ends in freedom.  It will be bitter.  It will be sweet.  You will be free.

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