Tag Archive Heart

ByAngie

Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday – What A Difference A Week Makes

8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Hosanna in the highest!”

10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”
11 So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Matthew 21:8-11 NKJV

Today most of us are celebrating Palm Sunday, the day we remember when Jesus rode on a donkey into the city of Jerusalem.  As mentioned in the Bible, the people of the city flocked to see Jesus, this man they had heard about riding on a donkey as royalty would, exclaiming “Hosanna!” and laying down palms in His path. The believed in Him, had faith in Him, and wanted to follow Him.

Not much time passes though before they turn on Him. All because others had. Like a chain reaction, they embrace the mob mentality and trade in those hosannas for “Crucify!” and want nothing more to see Him die a bloody death. All in what I can only assume was for their entertainment. (Step out of the prophecies foretold for a minute and think back to their society…) Why would each of those hearts turn on Him? Because one person told another person, gossip spreading like wildfire, that this was not the Son of God after all and was full of blasphemy? Did anyone care to think for themselves? They lost all inhibition and adopted the feelings of the one next to them, forgetting that the week before they loved Jesus.

Sounds a little too familiar to our present day, does it not?

Palm Sunday

Easter comes and goes so quickly, never getting the true attention it deserves. Not to cut Christmas short, but in my opinion, Easter serves much more emphasis on the Christian walk than Christmas. Jesus didn’t have to die for our sin, coming back 3 days later from the dead, all so each of us could have a place in Heaven if we believe in Him. Sure, His birth has great meaning, but to me His sacrifice means so much more! Add in all the secular tidbits of the holiday and it’s really easy to discount what we are really celebrating, leaving it all behind the next day.

I don’t want to be like those that were in the city that day. My desire is to serve Jesus and love Him on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and every other day! My heart sings “Hosanna!” over and over, and I never want my praise to end. No one could ever tell me anything to change my belief in Him. Not the media, not a friend, no one.

Now I want to ask you: Next Monday, when Easter is over, when the eggs are eaten and the fake grass has been cut out of your vacuum, what will you be saying? Will your heart still exclaim “Hosanna! He is the King of Kings! He reigns in my heart! Praise God, He is RISEN!” as it does today on Palm Sunday? I’m praying that it does.

My prayer for you and I is to never forget and fall into going through the motions of every day life, failing to daily praise God for sending His only son as a gift to us. May we never forget Christ’s love for us. Thank you, Lord, for everything.

 

ByKaren

Heart Cleaning

Pope John Paul II said, “It’s better to cry than to be angry, because anger hurts others, while tears flow silently through the soul and cleanses the heart.”

I believe that he knew what he was talking about, because you can not come up with a statement like this without first, going through some pain.

Anyone who knows me, knows that once I start crying, I can not stop.  I’m a crier… Not little cries, but the sloppy, messy, runny nose, ugly cries.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I put up a wall so that others can’t get close enough to hurt me. I don’t deal with it very well.

Anyone who has been a Christian very long can tell you that Christians are mean. Plain and simple. Most of the time, they mean well, but don’t realize that actions speak louder than words and the hurt and pain is very real. Church hurt is the worst hurt.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my brothers and sisters in Christ deeply. Sometimes, they have no clue what they have said or done.  That is why we must forgive quickly.  If I held a grudge, God would hold me accountable.

When I feel hurt or disappointed, the tears come.  Not because I’m mad or angry, but because it has to cleanse my heart of the pain it felt.

It was once said, “Your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.”

If I’m able to help someone else who is hurting or has been hurt, it will be worth it.  It’s all gonna be worth it in the end anyways…

So, it’s OK to cry.  I always feel better after it’s washed away anyways…

Psalms 51:10 says, “create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”  Let God wash away the hurt so that your spirit doesn’t suffer.  The feeling of renewal is refreshing.

ByAngie

Thank God I Am FREE!

I’ve been a bit concerned with myself lately. Constantly asking myself, “Am I doing what God wants me to do? Am I where He wants me to be? Am I on the path He wants me to take? What does He want me to do next? Is He disappointed in me?”

Saturday night, this literally kept me up nearly all night long. I prayed, tossed, turned, and worried. By nature, I’m a worry wart. Problem was, I was asking myself all of these questions instead of asking Him. I finally laid there in bed and said “Lord, lead me. Tell me what You want me to hear… I need to know where I stand and where to go next…”

“You’re free, Angie. There is no burden to carry, everything is forgiven. You are FREE…”

I didn’t even realize this was something I had been worrying about! But it made so much sense when I laid there and thought about it. I’m free. I’m listening. And with that simple answer from him I knew where my focus needed to be re-aligned, the next step to take, and that He is still just as happy to call me His daughter as I am to call Him my Father.

To help keep this reminder to myself, I’ve been humming this old song since then. It may not be a favorite style of music for a lot of people, but just listen to the lyrics and let it bless you!

 

 

 

ByEmily

Oh, Be Careful Little…

Earlier today I was singing songs from my childhood to Naomi. I remembered one that was sort of to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” The song begins with
Oh, be careful little feet where you go
Oh, be careful little feet where you go
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little feet where you go
It goes on to say, “Be careful little mouth what you say,” “Be careful little eyes what you see,” “Be careful little ears what you hear,” and “Be careful little hands what you do.”

As I started singing this to Naomi, I was reminded of the verse that says, ”

Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil.”- Romans 14:16

As a kid, this was just a cute little song that I sang along with at church. Now I am reexamining it as an adult and it means so much more. Yes, our heavenly Father knows and sees ALL that we do, but people also watch and see. They pay attention, even when you think they are not. Especially if you profess to be a child of God. This tends to create a target for those around us. They are waiting for us to make a mistake, to mess up. We are human, therefore, we are not perfect. Just forgiven. However, we have a choice to not let our good be spoken of as evil. We are called to be set apart, sanctified. No matter how minor, our little feet have to be careful where they go. Our little mouth has to be careful what it says, and so on.

This is my reminder to myself and you…..For the Father up above is looking down in love.

ByKaren

Blessings!!! To Bless or Not To Bless?

I love to bless people!!  Love it!  I love to see the reaction of blessing others, especially when it’s done in secret and no one has a clue that it was me. (As it should be done secretly; “don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing”.)  It makes me feel good.

Not to brag on myself, but here are some of the things that I do, that you may like to try:

  • While going thru the drive thru at McDonalds, if I have the extra money, I pay for the person behind me.  I ask the cashier to tell them that their ticket has been taken care of and to have a blessed day.
  • If I’m at the store and the person behind me has a few things, I say “go ahead and ring them up with mine” and tell the person that I just felt like blessing them.
  • Sometimes, people just need you to ask how they are doing, and MEAN IT. Take the time to stop, look them in the eye, and ask how they are.  Others like to know that they are being taken seriously and that they are being listened to.
  • Simply holding the door for someone can mean all the difference in the world.
  • Ask someone if they need help with anything.  Whether it be at home, at the store, etc.

There are several ways to be a blessings to someone and it doesn’t always have to be financial.

You never know what these little things can mean to someone.  They could be having a horrible day and you just might be what they need to lift them up!  It could also start a chain reaction of niceness to others.  It could become an epidemic!  Bless out ya’ll!!

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: Breathing

Need help breathing? Turn to scripture...

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 150:6 NKJV

How often do you find yourself breathing? Yeah, that’s what I thought. All the time, right? At least I hope… 😉 But how can breathing be a calling? Well, remember how I’ve mentioned before about being the only Bible some may ever read? I’m talking about your every day actions. The things you do without even realizing it. The words that come out of your mouth. The way you come across to others. Being human…

Sure, we all slip up from time to time. I know I certainly do. But in every action, word, thought, & breath I must remember “I never know who is watching. I would hate to cause someone else to stumble. I must be careful, because I never know… I would rather my existence LEAD someone to the Father than to cause them to run away from him.”

The Bible tells us this:

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men,  they may see your good works and  your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:13-16 NKJV

I need to be set apart. Different. Unique from the world. I have to take into account that if I act just like those who are not following Jesus, they will not see the appeal in following him. They won’t see that living the straight and narrow can bring on a happy life also… with many rewards. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Do good. Speak well. Be positive. Give all glory to God. These are phrases I tell myself to remind me.

When we start to “blend” and not let His light shine, we are causing harm to not only ourselves, but others. For example, our speech. What does it say about our heart if we are saying all the same things they are in the world?

34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.36But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Matthew 12:34-37 NKJV

Don't do this!!!

So basically, If I walk around saying the same things that those who do not follow Christ are, how am I any different? If my heart is the same as theirs, what do they see to make them want to follow Jesus? Not much! This is so important, and something that all should take into account. If we talk like them, act like them, think like them… WE ARE THEM. And by doing this, we are not only hurting them, but ourselves… and most importantly, the One who loves us more than anyone. God is not happy when we don’t do as he says. We should never intentionally give anyone any reason to tear us down.

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

Matthew 7:6

Now, all that being said, we should not judge either. For that, I recommend reading the entire chapter of Matthew 7. SO important. Who wants to be a Christian when they are constantly condemned and preached at? Show LOVE! (And I certainly hope this blog post doesn’t come across as preachy either…)

Just follow your convictions, let your light shine, and do your best. Witness when possible. God will not only bless you, but also someone else!

 

ByKaren

Growing Pains…

Growing Pains aren’t called “Growing Pains” for no reason. No matter what area you are in, in your life, you have to go thru growing pains to get there. It’s not comfortable. Sometimes, you feel like your heart is being ripped out.

Life is not easy. Ours eyes are blinded from the time that we are babes. Whether it’s through happy, go lucky TV shows, cartoons, etc, society and media plant a picture of perfectness. If we are not careful, we easily get sucked into believing a lie about life.

Girls strive for a perfect body. It’s not real. The average size of the American woman, is a size 14. (Though I haven’t worn it in years, ugh!) But some go through the pain and awkwardness of having to try to please others, when God just wants them to grow in Him. There are not many perfect size 2-6. And even those girls/women have conflicts within themselves.

Boys want to be “buff” and “macho” and do not realize how ridiculous they look when trying to impress someone. They will learn eventually, maybe, after being rejected, made fun of for no reason. This hurts. God is always there though, to heal the wounds.

As we strive to achieve the place that God wants us to be in, in life, it hurts getting from one place to the next. There are so many trials and temptations, hurts and pains, etc, that we go thru to try and please God. To be in His will and not in His way. He never said that it would be easy, He said that we would not have to go it alone.

So as the aches and pains of spiritual growth, physical growth, mental growth, hit you, let God be the ice pack or the heating pad. His comfort brings relief.

ByAngie

Sticky Hands: Disciplining Mom

DISCIPLINE

2 obsolete:instruction
3: a field of study
4: training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
5 a: control gained by enforcing obedience or order b: orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior c:self-control
6: a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity
Yesterday, I took a Facebook survey of my friends to see what was the first word that came to their mind when they heard the word “Discipline“. Jimmy said “Marine“, which I found honorable. Kathleen said “Behaved” which I loved. Kara joked around and mentioned spanking, but said in all seriousness “Teach“. Love that one too! Susie brought up “Consequence“, which is something it seems we all seem to forget about sometimes before we do something, so I really enjoyed this one too. Our very own Emily came back with “Being in order and in line with how you know you’re supposed to be” Wow, huh? When I asked my “Sis” Michele she stated “Inner Strength“. Great one! My buddy Keith said “Focus“, which is so true, isn’t it? Christi said “Correction“, and honestly, I was surprised we got this far down the list without it. Not because it was what I was looking for, but because many associate those to words. Tasha made a good point with “Chaos … I know .. weird, but I guess because if you don’t discipline you have chaos.” She got that one right, didn’t she? Kelli stated “Parents“. Kristianna replied “Consistent“, Dawn “In Order“, and Robin “Biblical“. I love them all! Especially Jessica’s interpretation with “Love“…
What does the above word make you think of? Probably your children, right? We want them to grow up to be wise, well mannered, and well liked so we correct them and mold them all the while praying that God guide us and use us for His good as we raise the next generation.
But what about you, Mom? Who keeps you in line? Who molds you? Who corrects you? Who teaches you? What training has brought you to a place of self control and structure? A Mom without discipline herself would have a very difficult time disciplining her children, would she not? And think about it, how can you be a disciple without discipline?
I know, you want to say “Um, duh Angie. I control myself and with the help of The Lord I do all the others…” Yeah, okay, I know you know this stuff. But I mean I want you to stop and think REALLY hard about this. Read those questions again, one at a time, and ponder them for a moment.
  • Who keeps you in line? Is it you, your pastor, your spouse, and most importantly the Lord? Maybe with a little help from friends & family? If so, good!
  • Now, who molds you? Is it God and God alone? Sure we can be influenced by others, but I am talking about molding you. There was a time that my friends molded me, the ways of celebrities and what I thought I should be instead of what God wanted me to be were how I was molded. Obviously, I had a lot of cracks and was very oddly shaped. (Not claiming to be perfect now, still a few defects there…)
  • Who is correcting and teaching you? A few months ago during the Summer, I woke up one morning and God started dealing with me to change some things in my life. The conviction was so strong that I had to stop doing the morning dishes and just cry, which lead to a lot of prayer. It was as if He had taken a switch to my backside and I instantly realized my wrong doing and WHY it was wrong when I didn’t even see it before. You’d think I’d be angry, but no, I was more in love with my Savior than before. I was so glad that I finally let HIM correct me instead of the world. So refreshing!
  • What training have you received? Well, as Christians we read our Bibles, listen to sermons, and read books penned by anointed hands. All of these used as a combination are a great way to learn to walk the straight and narrow.
Discipline from God is a key part in living in His will. As my husband says, “You shouldn’t have the intestinal fortitude of licorice.” When we stand strong, firm, practicing self-control and willing to accept His correction we find that the path, while straight and narrow, becomes a lot clearer to see.
Now, PLEASE, share your answers if you are willing. Let us all encourage each other and lift one another up!
1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.2 A good man obtains favor from the Lord, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.3 A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous cannot be moved. Proverbs 12:1-3 NKJV
ByKaren

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Every time I go to a particular store, there is always this one woman whom I desperately try to avoid.  She never has anything good to say and everything is so depressing.  It is Eeyore in the flesh!

I really do feel bad about ignoring her and not wanting to go thru her line.  I do understand that life has not been kind to her.

There are so many people in today’s society, that are like this.  Raw.  Hurt. Their share of fairness went to someone else.  These are the ones who need to be shown love the most.  Those who have been so hurt that the walls are built so high and tight around their hearts, that no one is allowed in, under any circumstance!  I know. I’ve been there.

She doesn’t need me to shun her.  She needs to see the love of Jesus in me.  To know that she matters to the Kingdom.  Sometimes it takes love and understanding from someone else, before others can start to see that there is love in others and a reason to be.

The New Testament states over and over again, to love one another and to treat others as you would treat yourself.

We will always have that one person, or 2 or 6, that is going to be difficult to show love to. Just keep in mind that you have never walked a mile in their shoes and you don’t know for sure why they are the way they are.  Ask God to teach you how to love them.

ByEmily

Hiding Him In Little Hearts Week 2: Psalm 119:11

Psalm 119:11

“Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.”

Last week we learned that the Bible is God’s word. We also learned that His word is the perfect guide for the rest of our lives.

This week, we learned more about how God’s word is helpful for us. First, I taught the kids what ‘sin’ is…remember, my girls are 4 and 2….I try to simplify things. 🙂 I told them that to sin is to do something bad or to do something you know you are not supposed to do. I also let them know that God doesn’t like for us to sin. Then I taught them that learning His word is very important because it helps us not to sin. They learned that God wants us to read the Bible and remember His word, that’s how we hide it in our hearts, so that it’s always in us. When we have His word in us, we are better people and we don’t want to sin.

Ironically, if you take the song I posted last week, you can fit this week’s scripture into the chorus and sing it instead of Psalm 119:105. The kids found this humorous when we tried it. They were almost in awe. I love seeing them smile at my quirky ideas.

Adah, Josie and Creed working on their crafts for our 2nd week of memory verses

For our craft this week, I gave each kid a page with two matching hearts on it. I let them color the hearts however they wanted before we cut them out. After we cut the hearts out, we glued them together (only along the side and bottom edges) creating a pocket. When the pocket was ready, I had an “open Bible” cut out for them to write the scripture on so they could keep it inside their heart. At the last minute, I grabbed some ribbon and decided to make them into necklaces. You just never know how it’ll go for craft time! Or maybe I just never know. Lol!

Adah, Naomi, and Essie (Creed fell asleep before we could take his picture!)

Once again, I was amazed at how the kids transformed themselves for crafts. They went from fighting and bickering to the very best friends you’ve ever seen! “Yes, you did a great job coloring your hearts. We’re all doing so good!” It was almost as if they were reading from a script. I’m thinking about making craft time every hour on the hour???

I can only pray each week goes as well as the last two weeks. I’ve been enjoying it as much as the kids have (maybe more) and am surprised at how it’s encouraging me to hide the word in my own heart as well.