Haven Of The Heart

Image result for flower purple heartsOur father, who art in heaven,
hear this little prayer
and reach across the miles today
that stretch from here to there,
so I may feel much closer
to those I am fondest of,
and they may know I think of them
with thankfulness and love.
and help all people everywhere
who must often dwell apart
to know that they are together
in the haven of the heart.

Helen Steiner Rice

 

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Through Good & Bad

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Isn’t it good to know that Jesus loves ALL people, including the substandard whom society casts aside as worthless.

One great example that often comes to mind, (Luke 7: 36-39)the woman who had lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at a Pharisee’s home.

This woman cast aside any fear of ridicule and shame, went there and knelt at Jesus’ feet weeping.

The Pharisee labeled her a sinner, but Jesus received and accepted her. He spoke gently to her, assuring her that her sins had been forgiven.

Jesus loves flawed, imperfect people like us.  And the greatest demonstration of His love for us is that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 

As recipients of His love, may we also extend that same love to other flawed people that we encounter along the way, so that they too may know that they can receive God’s love despite their imperfections.

God heals broken people with His love, and we can be His hands and feet to love on others.

ONE Who Understands

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  John 1:14

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From this one scripture verse, we trust that God understands every situation that we face because He made us and sees everything that happens to us.  We also know He understands because He has been to earth and experienced life as a human being.  He “became flesh and made his dwelling among us” as the person Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ earthly life included a wide range of difficulty. He felt the searing heart of the sun, the pain of an empty stomach, and even the uncertainty of homelessness.  Emotionally, He endured the tension of disagreements, the burn of betrayal, and the ongoing threat of violence.

Jesus experienced the joys of friendship and family love, as well as the worst problems that we face here on earth.  He provides hope for us all.  He is the Wonderful Counselor who patiently listens to all of our concerns with insight and care.  He is the One who can say, I’ve been through that too, and I understand.

So whenever you feel that there isn’t anyone who understands how you feel, or what you are going through regardless of what it entails.  Don’t stress it. God does understand, and  has provided everything that we need to overcome.

Be encouraged today.

Lay It At the Cross

As a toddler, I began doodling and writing.    From the time I could hold a crayon, I would write on any piece of paper in sight.  Needless to say, once I started kindergarten,  (after finishing my assignment of course)… I would draw on the corners of my worksheet; the sun, clouds, smiling faces….typical kid stuff.

The teacher, Mrs. Wilkerson wasn’t nearly as thrilled as I with my artistic creations, telling my mother that I was spending way too much time day-dreaming in class.

Smiling now, I didn’t see it that way…..I was simply making my paper pretty, a letter of sorts to her. 6820724_orig.jpg [Side note: To this day, she was my favorite educator and provides me with such fond memories of my childhood.]

Ok! Back to the subject……

However, as I matured into adulthood, I realized that this was a coping tool for me when I needed to gain perspective on whatever was going on in life.

Most of the time after pouring my heart out onto a blank page, I felt that I was better able to step back and view whatever is/was going on more objectively than my emotions would otherwise allow, yet with NO real plausible solution.

Where am I going with this?

Well, just as recording my thoughts onto paper offers me fresh perspective, I now know that pouring our hearts out to GOD in prayer helps us gain His perspective and remind us of His power in whatever we are facing.

When we’re faced with a situation that brings anxiety, fear, or a deep awareness that getting through it will require more than what we possess, lets not resort to doodling and turning it over in our minds.  Instead, run straight to Jesus.

A great example was provided us in 2 Kings 19: 9-19 .  King Hezekiah, after receiving an unsettling letter from an ominous adversary the Assyrians, whom threatened to destroy Jerusalem, as they had many other nations….placed the letter before the LORD.  He prayerfully called upon God to deliver the people, so that the world would recognize that He alone could deliver them.

“Then[Hezekiah] went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD.” 2Kings 19:14

We too, should follow this example.  When we receive unsettling news. Pray, meditate in the word of God, and place whatever problem and or concern at the feet of Jesus. Trusting that He will intercede on our behalf, order our steps, provide a solution, and calm our uneasy hearts, all according to His purpose and plan.

God is our greatest help in times of trouble. He is our Deliverer from every fiery trial and a testimony to the world that He is in control of all things.

 

Think On These Things

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”   Philippians 4:6-8

 

When reading the above passage of scripture, what does it speak to you?

For me……It speaks that we should not agonize over any moment beyond the present. Instead, focus on the many ways that GOD has blessed us till now, and that He will continue to do so.

Why?

Because worrying over fruitless matters, which are beyond our control, only paralyzes our prayer life and can hinder us from moving forward into all that He has planned for our lives.

Of course, this is what was spoken to me today.  He may speak something entirely different to you…..and that’s OK too.

I believe, that the apostle Paul reminds us that instead of wringing our hands in worry over jobs, finances, health, relationships etc. We should ask GOD for help during these trying times and remain focused on what truly matters. Those things that are true, just, pure, lovely and of good report.

When we take this approach to problem-solving and anxiety,  we can’t help but to have God’s peace guard our hearts and minds.

Lastly,  we must always be mindful that worry gets us nowhere, but prayer gets us in touch with GOD, who can handle all of our concerns, today and every day.

 

Its impossible to wring our hands when they are folded before GOD in prayer.

hjk

 

 

 

Life Is A Privilege 

Life is a privilege. Its youthful days Shine with the radiance of continuous 

To live, to breathe, to wonder and desire,

To feed with dreams the heart’s perpetual fire,

To thrill with virtuous passions, and to glow

With great ambitions – in one hour to know

The depths and heights of feeling – God! in truth,

How beautiful, how beautiful is youth!
Life is a privilege. Like some rare rose

The mysteries of the human mind unclose.

What marvels lie in the earth, and air, and sea!

What stores of knowledge wait our opening key!

What sunny roads of happiness lead out

Beyond the realms of indolence and doubt!

And what large pleasures smile upon and bless

The busy avenues of usefulness!
Life is a privilege. Thought the noontide fades

And shadows fall along the winding glades,

Though joy-blooms wither in the autumn air,

Yet the sweet scent of sympathy is there.

Pale sorrow leads us closer to our kind,

And in the serious hours of life we find

Depths in the souls of men which lend new worth

And majesty to this brief span of earth.
Life is a privilege. If some sad fate

Sends us alone to seek the exit gate,

If men forsake us and as shadows fall,

Still does the supreme privilege of all

Come in that reaching upward of the soul

To find the welcoming Presence at the goal,

And in the Knowledge that our feet have trod

Paths that led from, and must wind back, to God.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

To Autumn

O  Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained

With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit

Beneath my shady roof; there thou mayst rest,

And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,

And all the daughters of the year shall dance!

Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
“The narrow bud opens her beauties to

The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;

Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and

Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,

Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing,

And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.
“The spirits of the air live on the smells

Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round

The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.”

Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat;

Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak

Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.
-Blake

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