Tag : heart
Tag : heart
When I was in junior school, I attended charm school. Some of you may be thinking, What happened? 🙂 There was only one thing I remember from what the instructor taught that week. She said, “Always leave the house dressed as if you will meet the President of the United States.” I never forgot that, and to this day, I have trouble walking out the door without makeup on.
This week, I was cleaning the floors in my house. My dog, Jewel, sheds a lot and there were hair balls everywhere, so I ran the dust mop over the floor then mopped it. No one was coming over, but what if someone I did not expect dropped by?
Today, I heard that an acquaintance of mine passed away after a short battle with an aggressive brain cancer. She was a beautiful godly woman, in her forties, who led a ministry. We crossed paths many times, and now I won’t see her smiling face on this side of Heaven.
So as I bring all this together, it’s a reminder that we should always be ready. In this case, ready to meet the greatest dignitary of all, Jesus. We may never come face-to-face with a U.S. President, but we will at some point encounter Jesus. We are not guaranteed tomorrow so let’s ask ourselves a few questions.
Have we taken care of this body we’ve been given?
Have we tried to live a righteous life, one that we will not be embarrassed about?
For those of us who believe Jesus may return in our generation, are we doing everything we can to tell others about Him?
Jesus shared a parable in Matthew 25 about ten virgins and their lamps of oil. Five of them were wise. Five were not. When the bridegroom (Jesus) arrived, the wise virgins met Him with their oil-filled lamps, but because the bridegroom had delayed in returning, the foolish virgins “became drowsy and fell asleep” (Matthew 25:6) so when they heard the bridegroom was on his way, they ran out at the last minute to fill their lamps with oil. But it was too late. While they were scrambling, Jesus returned. The ones who were ready joined him—the others found a closed door when they got back. There were consequences for not being ready.
So it is my encouragement to you today to do an assessment of your life. Is your house clean? If Jesus returned tomorrow, would there be oil in your lamp?
Are you ready?
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me (Psalm 51:10) NIV.
We’d love for you to join us at our next POP Chat on October 28th at 6:30 p.m. as Pearls of Promise Founder, Lisa Burkhardt Worley, will teach on “TMI: Why God Doesn’t Give Us Too Much Information.” Singer/Songwriter Renee Rollins will lead worship. This will be one hour of worship, teaching and discussion. The link to sign up is: ttps://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z
Yesterday, at Pearls of Promise Ministries we were talking about our hearts. What it means to have a pure and clean heart, and what it means to pour out your heart. So much of my time recently as been spent examining my heart.
This time of isolation has really allowed me to reflect on my relationships. I have journaled and blogged about my relationship with God, my husband, my girls, my parents and with my siblings. I have had the chance to love on my niece and my nephew-in-law from afar, as they welcomed into the family the first child of the next generation. And, I have spent countless hours of blessed, quality time via phone calls and zoom calls with my friends. I have loved every minute!
Pouring out your heart starts with love, and communication is the key foundation to every relationship so I have been in extrovert heaven. I must admit I have missed hugs and there are some family and friends whom I just can’t squeeze in person—yes, you Baby Russell!
Thankfully, this time allowed me to pour my heart out to the Lord daily and sometimes well into the night. I have cried out to Him for myself, my family, friends, our country and our leaders, for our neighbors in all the countries around the world. What a time to pour out of hearts. Psalm 62:8 says, “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts for Him, for God is our refuge.”
In Him, I have found my refuge, my strength during this time and I am blessed to have deepened many of my relationships. There are so many of you who are struggling. Jobs lost or overworked, moving, families separated, death of loved ones, and even celebrations, births, or graduations diminished or put on hold because of this time. Yet there has been so much love too.
When we get through it all, I pray that we pour out our hearts even more. I pray that marriages become strengthened, family bonds grow stronger, and the things we truly care about stay our number one priorities. Our Faith. Our Families and One Another. These are the places where YOU need to continue pouring your heart out.
I just finished listening to a marvelous book by Andy Andrews called the The Heart Mender. In his own voice, with a range of character voices, Andy performed a story of bitterness that was vanquished by unconditional love and forgiveness. I know a thing or two about forgiveness, yet I was surprisingly pulled into the story about how, unknowingly, another person can be the catalyst that mends a broken, bitter, or hurting heart.
After being riveted to the story for nearly three days, trying to listen in between household chores, yard work, and the daily activities needed to keep a family fed and home running, I finished the audio book this morning. I was supposed to be working on a blog for Pearls of Promise, but I seemed to be experiencing a block. So I woke up this morning intent on finishing the audio book so I could focus on blogging.
But after wrapping up the book I still had no topic to write about. This time at home seems to have stopped me in my tracks from gathering experiences to write about. However, I have had a lot of time to think. Too much time, because every time I think about something it just seems to race into another thought. It’s not like a solo race, more like a relay run. You know the kind of relay were you keep passing the baton to the next person—that’s how my thoughts have been—one thought passing on to another, never really staying focused except for a short sprint.
And this morning has been much of the same. You see, in just the short three hours I have been awake, I have passed the baton from needing to blog, finishing Andy’s book, to thoughts about the gardening I did yesterday, to house chores needed to be done, to my daughters’s college journey, to exegete vs eisegesis sharing of scripture, to my thinning hair and needed nutrients, and then back to my need to get the blog out.
I get so mad at myself for not staying focused long enough to accomplish tasks, let alone get them done ahead of schedule, which would be preferable for all of those involved in Pearls of Promise Ministries.
So when I got back to the topic of needing a blog, my mind went back to the audio book I just finished listening to and its topic of forgiveness as a way to mend one’s heart. Welcome to my mind. I hope I haven’t lost you, but the inner working of my mind is a continual relay race of thoughts. Somehow what is really important seems to find its way back, and this morning it seems to be forgiveness and the people who help us forgive.
Once I finally focused on this topic it seems like a flood of stories came to mind. One from my childhood sparked my heart so I want to share it with you. It’s about Sara. We were best friends when I was young. She was the exact opposite of everything I was. She was blonde-haired, blue-eyed as compared to my very curly brown hair and brown eyes. She was thin, and let’s just say I was not. She was in the gifted and talented programs at school, and again let’s just say I was not, but we were the best of friends.
As best friends we spent so much time together that I knew everything about her family, but she knew very little about mine as we spent most of our time together at her house. It was like she was an only child but she was really one of those treasured surprise children, born late to her parents. She appeared to have their undivided attention, which was something I always craved from my own parents. And, because she was the last child left at home she didn’t have to share, but she always did with me; that was of course until I took her lipgloss. Yes, I confess. Envy took over and I stole from my friend. I thank God that I’m not a deceitful person now, but at the time I was mortified because she caught me.
We never spoke again. That was until about a month ago. After many times throughout the years looking for her via the Internet, I finally found her. Would she talk to me? I was surprised when she replied to my message. Indeed, she had remembered me, and what transpired in the next few emotionally charged communications from me was a beautiful moment of forgiveness. I told her that I had been looking for her and said I was truly sorry for taking her lipgloss. She replied that she was surprised that I had remembered what had torn our friendship apart, because she didn’t. I said yes, I remembered, and it had been one of the my greatest regrets, losing such a beautiful friend over something so stupid. I admitted that I thought she was rich and was envious so I took the lipgloss.
The next few texts were from Sara easily accepting my apology and then going on as if we had always been friends. Chatting about all the years that have passed, all the things that we have done, where we are now, and who we are now. Since then, Sara and I have continued to talk, but most importantly we mended our hearts. She freely gave forgiveness and I finally forgave myself. I have no idea how our friendship would have been had I not hurt her so, but I learned a unforgettable lesson from her—the cost of friendship is invaluable.
As Andy’s story illustrated, God sends people into our lives who can help us mend our hearts. Sometimes the mender can be just one person, or it may take an army, as it has in my life. Mending may be immediate or it may take years. Regardless, it’s important to learn that when given the opportunity—apologize, but most importantly, forgive.
Thank you Sara! You truly are a dear friend.